A Golden City

Sunset landscape of gold dredge in small pond in rural Alaska town

Massive gold dredges like this one dot the Nome landscape.

At one time, these dredges used large, cast-iron buckets on looped conveyor belts to scoop the beds of shallow ponds, sending soil through sluicing drums to extract the precious metal. The long-dormant dredges have become curiosities and tourist attractions. This one, Swanberg Dredge, is Nome’s most famous, and each March, it even marks the last mile of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Image at top: Swanberg Dredge in Nome, Alaska. Photo: KJ McElwee, KNOM.