Gold Rush HistoryPure Gold Without The Rush

Though the economy has evolved over the last century, Fairbanks still remembers its origins. Italian immigrant Felix Pedro's initial 1902 gold strike coincided with Captain E.T. Barnette's goal of building a trading post on the banks of the Chena River and the gold rush to Fairbanks was on. Prospectors filled the area to pan and sluice, followed by small manual drift mines and draglines to the monster floating dredges and lode mines.

Today, historic visitor attractions and modern-day mining operations still celebrate the quest for gold. See the largest public display of gold in the state at the University of Alaska Museum of the North. Visit the Pedro Monument in tribute to gold's first discovery. Try your hand at gold panning and uncover your own Alaskan gold. Find that perfect gold nugget souvenir to take back home. Discover for yourself one of the many reasons Fairbanks is called the "Golden Heart" city.

did you know

  • Felix Pedro was an Italian prospector who discovered gold north of Fairbanks in 1902. Pedro Monument marks the spot 16 miles from town.
  • During its 30 years of operation from 1928 to 1959, Gold Dredge #8 took in approximately seven million ounces of gold.
  • The Fairbanks Exploration Company, an early corporate mining company, was the major employer in Fairbanks between 1928 & World War II.
  • The largest gold mill in North America at Fort Knox Gold Mine grinds 40,000 tons of ore each day to extract gold.