America’s Territory

Alaska History Essay #3

Before Russia sold Alaska to America a Russian geologist named Petr Doroshin reported finding gold on the Kenai Peninsula. That was in 1848 at the same time as the California gold rush so it took a while for anyone to get interested in Alaska’s gold. The first real rush for gold in Alaska happened in 1872, twenty-four years after the original discovery of gold.

Gold played a huge part in Alaska’s history. There were many gold strikes all over the state from 1872 to the early 1900’s. The three biggest gold fields in Alaska were Juneau, Nome and Fairbanks. The gold strike in the Tanana Hills in 1902 lead to the founding of Fairbanks, which over the years became the biggest and most profitable of all the Northern gold fields.

Gold has was very important to the construction of Alaska. It brought more people to the state than any other industry. It was instrumental in the founding of many towns and cities, and it forced the government to build roads and provide other necessary services.

Another thing that has effected Alaska greatly has been the Military. The Military built many bases in Alaska over the years, and brought plenty of people as well. Many service members who have been stationed in Alaska end up retiring their. The bases the Military have built, have created towns. And during World War II the Military build roads to help them in their effort of fortifying Alaska.

There have been many important industries in Alaska’s history, trapping, fishing, caning, and oil. But the most important to Alaska’s development by far was gold.


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