Ditch Lines


Hydraulic mining was used for mining the hard permafrost located only a few feet underground. Water became a vital resource for mining though the Seward Peninsula with the development of ditch lines necessary to meet demand. The three largest ditch lines consisted of the Miocene, Pioneer, and Seward Ditch. The Miocene Ditch built by W. L. Leland and J. M. Davidson in 1901 with work continuing through the early 1900s. Miocene being the longest ditch covered a distance of 50 miles running from Dexter at Buffalo Creek to Salomon Lake. Capable of carrying 28,500 gallons of water per minute, the Miocene Ditch was indispensable to early mining operations.