Gold Dredge No.8 has a rich history that goes back to 1902 when gold was first discovered here in this small area about 15 miles outside of Fairbanks. During it's 31 year history millions of dollars worth of gold was unearthed.
"They pulled out about 2 million oz. (of gold) just from Dredge 8 in this roughly 24 square miles." Tim Lamkin a tour guide here said. "That's a lot of gold."
The owners of the dredge, the Fairbanks Exploration Company, was the largest employer in the area during that time. The dredge closed as Alaska became a state when gold prices were at an all time low.
The image here of the crusty-old gold miners have been replaced by well dressed tourists wearing Patagonia windbreakers hunkered over sluice boxes.
"I think I need to find some more," Drew Koss from North Pole said. "it's addictive."
Almost everyone walks away from their gold panning experience with a at least a few flecks of gold.
Gary and Bonnie Buck, from Ontario, Canada discovered $70 worth of gold, Joyce Stearns and her sister Janis, from Oregon, panned about $36 dollars combined, and the Eston family from Fort Wainwright found $44 dollars in gold.
Lamkin said about 14,000 tourists visit the dredge daily.
"Gold fever is a very real phenomena," Lamkin said.
Contact, Rebecca Palsha