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Gold Nugget History

Gold was discovered in Gold Run Creek in the Nome gold rush of the 1900s. Word got out that there was gold to be found in the beach sands of Nome. Soon Nome was bulging with 20,000 people trying to find their place in the sand. With all the beach staked, prospectors started combing the country to find their chance to strike it rich. One of those prospectors named Haden discovered gold in Gold Run Creek. And, the stampede was on again. Almost over night Sullivan Camp sprang up and the creek was over run with miners. With picks, shovels, rockers, and sluice boxes they mined nuggets from the frozen gravel in the streams and benches. The miners worked furiously highgrading the easy gold. They lived it up in the saloons and spending time with the dance hall girls. But, the winters were harsh and the easy gold became harder to find. In the 1920s all but the hardy miners started to leave Sullivan Camp. Soon the harsh elements began taking over the camp. By the 1930s there was only the name on the map and a couple miners were still living at Gold Run Creek.

In 1934 William A. Bartholomae Sr., an oil man from Los Angeles, bought up the claims on the Gold Run Creek and the Bluestone River. With a lot of gold still left in the river gravel he prospected and developed his mining plan. The next year Mr. Bartholomae shipped up lumber and steel to build a bucket line dredge. He had skilled ship builders, machinist and blacksmiths to complete the construction. Soon they were digging their way up the river. Fighting the elements, frozen ground, and a short mining season he mined 1,000s of ounces of gold.

Then in 1941 during World War II the miners lost their ration of fuel. The Gold Run Dredge came to a screeching halt. It was parked on the side of the river and sits there till this day. Bill Bartholomae following in the family tradition will be prospecting for nuggets at Gold Run Creek.

© Bill Bartholomae 2017