The last great gold rush occurred in Nome in 1898, with a stampede of prospectors creating a town of 18,000 out of thin air. Over night the landscape was transformed into a city of tents as everyone flocked to make their fortune.
Transporting materials and equipment was a costly endeavor, with the soft tundra reaching havoc on wagon wheels. Charles D Lane saw the need for an easier form of transportation and started developing a railroad from Nome to Dexter and Council to Ophir Creek
A marvel of engineering ditch lines sprung up rapidly all over the Seward Peninsula to transport water which was necessary for gold mining.
It’s a miracle that Nome is still standing. Great storms wreck havoc on the shore lines in 1913, 1945 and 1974. Along with the massive fires of 1905 and 1934 which burn most of Nome to the ground. Yet, Nome still here at the foot of the snake river.