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MINER Profile – David Olson

This summer for KNOM Profiles we’re talking to a miner every week. With 205 off-shore mining permits issued by the Department of Natural Resources this summer, Nome is in the midst of the second gold rush. This week, we spoke with the man who was the very first to put a suction dredge in the Bering Sea. Living in and out of Nome since 1981, this miner originally came to Nome to get the Nome Youth Facility going. He quickly became interested in Nome’s mining history and mining got in his blood.

In the spring of 1983 Dave Olson bought suction dredge, put it together in the fall and says he stared at it all winter. In the spring of 1984, he put it in the ocean. Olson says in the first two hours he got about two ounces. In 1985, he bought himself a bigger 6 inch dredge. The first time he put that dredge in the water for about 20 minutes, he got about 4 ounces. And Olson says after that for about 10 years, he and another miner were the only ones off-shore mining in Nome.

Today you won’t find Dave Olson suction dredging out in the ocean during Nome’s second gold rush. He’s spending his summer dredging in the country – at a creek where he has a mining claim.

To hear stories of Sam Kakik and Blueberry John from Dave Olson – the man who started dredge mining off the coast of Nome, listen to KNOM Profiles: