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HAMMON CONSOLIDATED GOLD FIELDS COMPANY (Ak. Hist. Soc. Col.). Photographs; 1925. .1 cu. ft.

The Hammon Consolidated Gold Fields Company gained control of the mining holdings of the Pioneer Mining Company near Nome, Alaska, in 1923. The holdings consisted of 5,932 acres of ground and four water ditch projects. In 1924, the United States Smelting and Refining Company took over the Nome assets from Hammon, although that name was used until 1936.

The collection consists of photographs of the mining operations of the Hammon Consolidated Gold Fields Company near Nome in 1925. The collection contains twelve black and prints and typed captions from the illustrations section of a company report or investment prospectus, and copy negatives of the photographs. Subjects of the photographs include: mining engineer Otto Halla (portrait); No. 4 Dredge near Snake River; No. 3 Dredge on Wonder Creek; No. 1 Dredge on Coopers Gulch; cold water thawing pipes; a six inch churn drill; prospecting near Dry Creek; bunkhouse near Little Creek; power plant and oil tank; Little Creek camp; and the large rear wheel of a churn drill.

The collection was presented to the Alaska Historical Society by David M. Lang in 2003.

HMC-1022-AHS
JAS (8/2004)

Photograph list:

1. Otto Halla (portrait, 2 X 6 inch).

2. No. 4 Dredge of the Hammon Cons. Gold Fields Co. working on the “Inner Submarine” beach level of 15 to 19 foot below the present sea, near Snake River, Nome District, Alaska. It is extracting about $2000 each working day although it is only a 3.5 cubic foot re-constructed machine.

3. No. 3 Dredge of the Hammon Cons. Gold Fields Co. on Wonder Creek, on the tundra of Nome. This dredge is one of three Yuba Dredges, similar of construction, with 9 cubic foot buckets and a capacity of digging 80 feet below water level. It is reported this dredge produced $8000 each working day during September 1925.

4. No. 1 Dredge of the Hammon Cons. Gold Fields Co. near the junction of Coopers Gulch and the “Third” beach line. It is abreast of some fabulously rich pay, the gravels of some 6 inch drill holes, which were driven to bedrock for the cold water thawing, when rocked out, produced $35.00 and over. The dredge was idle the summer of 1925, the management wanted to have such rich ground thoroughly thawed before commencing to dig. It will start up early in the summer of 1926.

5. Lateral pipe lines from the main water distributing system, for cold water thawing on the tundra near Nome. In the distance, new bunkhouse, or rather Hotel for the men employed by the Hammon Cons. Gold Fields Co.

6. Cold water process of thawing frozen ground, on the tundra near Nome, from 45 to 80 feet deep. 1.5 inch to 2 inch pipes are put to bedrock in previously drilled 6 inch holes, 30 feet apart. Water is connected from ditch system 50 miles long coming through 3 ditches from the headwaters of Nome River. The cold water thawing has proven an unqualified success under the new management of the Hammon Cons. Gold Fields Co., the dredges were cutting the gravels the summer of 1925 like cheese. More than 3000 holes were drilled during 1925 on the properties of the Hammon Cons. Gold Fields Co.

7. A six inch churn drill, putting holes down to bedrock, preparatory to inserting 1.5 inch to 2 inch pipes for cold water thawing. There were 15 drills employed for this purpose all last winter and summer of 1925. No. 1 Dredge of the Hammons Cons. Gold Fields Co. in the distance.

8. Prospecting on the tundra near Nome, on J. F. Schmidling’s ground abreast of Dry Creek and south of the “Minnie Bell” claim. Anvil Mountain in the distance.

9. The new bunkhouse or rather Hotel of the Hammon Cons. Gold Fields Co. near Little Creek. It contains 84 rooms with 2 (two) beds, not bunks, each, has radiator steam heat and electric light in each room, commodious wash and drying rooms, shower baths and lounging room. It is the best equipped bunkhouse in Alaska. Other smaller bunkhouses are scattered near each particular working unit.

10. Power Plant and Oil Tank of the Hammon Cons. Gold Fields Co. The Electric Power to drive the dredges is generated by five 500 HP Diesel Engines, however, even these 2500 HP are inadequate and additional units must be installed next summer. The oil tank holds 35,000 Bbls. Of oil and was filled to capacity last summer. To the right is the machine shop and one of the warehouses of the Company.

11. Little Creek camp of the Hammon Cons. Gold Fields Co., about four miles northerly of Nome, is now connected by a rail road, upon which speeders run to and fro and also by an excellent wagon road, upon which automobiles and trucks carry on the traffic. In the foreground are seen lateral pipes for the cold water system.

12. On account of the boggy nature of the Nome tundra in summer, the rear wheels of a churn drill, passing over the ground, must be at least five feet wide and 4.5 feet in diameter. The front wheels are smaller, about two feet wide and 3 feet in diameter. The drill must be self propelling as in the summer months no team of horses can walk over the tundra and not get bogged and besides the hire of a 4 horse team at Nome is $40.00 per day. When the ground freezes, of course, the tundra is like a boulevard.