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Before the discovery of gold, a settlement called Sitnasuak was established by the Inupiat people in the Nome area. Norwegian-American Jafet Lindeberg and two naturalized American citizens of Swedish birth, Erik Lindblom and John Brynteson, discovered gol in 1898 on Anvil Creek. In 1899, it was organized as a mining district and gold was found in the beach sands for miles, spurring a stampede of gold prospectors. A tent city extended 30 miles by 1900 and saw about 1000 newcomers a day. By 1934, the gold deposits had been majorly depleted and the population declined along with it. From 1900 to 1974, two fires and four violent storms destroyed most of the gold rush architecture aside from the “Discovery Saloon”, which is now a pivate residence and slowly being restored as a landmark. In 1925, the Great Race of Mercy brought diphtheria serum to Nome by use of dog sleds through harsh conditions. The final leg of the race was run by Norwegian-born Gunnar Kaasen and his sled dog Blato. A statue of Balto now stands near Central Zoo Park in New York City. Leonhard Seppala and his dog Togo are considered the forgotten heroes as they had run the longest part of the race. Another of his dogs, Fritz, was preserved and is on display in Nome at the Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum. It is remembered through the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race each winter since 1973.

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