FAIRBANKS — According to the 1915 U.S.G.S. report, “Geology and Mineral Resources of Kenai Peninsula, Alaska,” the only recorded instances of Russian gold exploration in Alaska occurred between 1848 and 1851, when Peter Doroshin, a Russian-American Company mining engineer, discovered gold in the Kenai River and spent two summers prospecting along the Russian River.
Doroshin, or his men, may have searched further afield, though. American miners in the Hope area found abandoned workings that they attributed to the Russians.
After the 1867 purchase of Alaska, prospectors began pushing north along the coast from British Columbia. By the 1880s, miners were working beach deposits along Lower Cook Inlet. In about 1888, a prospector named King (first name unknown) sojourned into the Upper Kenai Peninsula, returning two summers later with four pokes of gold.
King never staked a claim and moved on before revealing any information. However, his luck prompted others to explore the Upper Kenai. Gold was discovered on Resurrection Creek, near present-day Hope, in 1893. King’s diggings were found nearby.
The next few years saw increased mining on Resurrection Creek and on Sixmile Creek to the east. Mary Barry’s book, “A History of Mining on the Kenai Peninsula,” states that in 1895 a settlement consisting of about a dozen log cabins sprang up near the beach beside Resurrection Creek
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