Swanberg Dredge listed in National Register of Historic Places

Posted: Monday, April 30, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Swanberg Dredge at Mile 1 of the Nome-Council Highway has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The register is the nation's catalog of significant historic properties.

The Swanberg Dredge initially was called the Johnson-Pohl Dredge. It exemplifies the hopes of miners and mining companies to resume profitable operations on the Seward Peninsula after World War II, officials said.

The Gold Beach Dredging Co., owned in part by veteran Alaska gold miner Walter Johnson, bought the dredge in San Francisco and shipped it to Nome in 1946.

Inflation made the fixed price of gold, $35 an ounce, too low to cover postwar labor and operating costs. The Swanberg Dredge operated on the Seward Peninsula for just one season.

It stands where it stopped working, an example of small gold mining operations, the economic risks of gold mining, and the challenges miners faced working in the Far North during the middle years of the 20th Century, officials said.

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