Still today Nome is a real goldrush town. You can only get to Nome by plane. Or by dogsled (with the Iditarod dogsled-race).
Nome is still very traditional and the old bearded men love to tell you the old goldrobbery stories.
If you have some days rent a car and explore the nice landscape of Nome. There is for example a hot spring in the middle of nowhere. You can get the chance to pan for gold if you want to.
On Anvil City Square, and behind the statues of the "Three Lucky Swedes," stands the old St. Joseph's Church, the oldest building still standing in Nome. The church was established in 1901, shortly after the 1898 gold rush. Dogsledders used the lighted cross atop the church as an important navigational aid, known to the Eskimos as "white man's star."
In 1946, the church was replaced by a newer version and this old building became a warehouse for a mining company, in use until the mid-1990's. Through the effort of local citizens the church has now been moved to it's current location on Anvil City Square, restored, and turned into a Community Hall. It has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.
Wyatt Earp, the legendary desert lawman, gunslinger and adventurer was in Arizona when the fabulous news broke - Gold had been discovered in Alaska! Earp and his third wife, Josie, headed to Nome to "mine the miners."
Earp partnered with Charlie Hoxie and built "The Dexter", Nome's first two story wooden building, near the present-day Nome City Hall. It measured 70' by 30', with 12' ceilings, and was Nome's largest and most luxurious saloon. The Earps left Nome in October, 1901, with $80,000 - a fortune at that time.
Favorite thing: This small monument, on Front Street beside City Hall, is dedicated to the memory of the first trans-polar flight over the North Pole between Europe and North America. The flight was carried out by the famous Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his men, including one American, Lincoln Ellsworth, in the airship "Norge." The flight departed Ny Alesund, Spitzbergan, May 11, 1926 and landed at Teller, Akaska (Near Nome), May 14, 1926 - an incredible journey of 5,400 kilometers.
Favorite thing: After 50 years of severe loss to the stormy Bering Sea, the U.S. Government built this seawall, beginning in 1949, to buffer downtown Nome from the ocean. The wall cost more than $1.5 million and took about two years to build. Within five years of completion the wall is said to have prevented more damage that the cost to build it. The wall is 3,350 feet long, 65-feet-wide at the base and 16 feet at the top. It contains 136,000 tons of granite which was hauled by truck from Cape Nome, 13 miles away.
I lived in Nome from 1977 - 1995 off and on. Nome is situated on the Bering Sea the south side of the Seward Peninsula. Pop. 4,200 and maybe a few more during the summer months for miners. People flock to the beaches south of Nome and pitch tents hoping to bring home pockets of gold. There is one dredge that still operates there. Break up in Nome is right around Memorial Day when the locals do the "Polar Bear" dunk, never did it myself! I could hop on my snowmobile right outside my door and ride for miles, I went crabbing out in the ocean, fished for Silvers in the Rivers and picked blueberries. I have fond memories of growing up in Nome. I believe there were 9 bars and 9 churches, and there is one local strip with grocery stores, liquor store and P.O. You could stand there all day and see everyone in Nome pass thru the postoffice. March is a time for the Iditarod Dog Sled race from Anchorage to Nome 1049 miles in which takes mushers 9 days to finish now. Funny to talk about a town like I'm a tourist hehe, but it is full of history, Ivory pieces, gold and friendly faces.
Fondest memory: Nome is a place of wide open space. There are 3 roads that lead out of Nome about 75 miles each of them. One goes NE to a town called Teller (lotsa salmonberries there) One goes to Kougaruk and the other to Council where we have a summer cabin to go fishing and hunting. There is so much wildlife that to me is every day experience. Bears, Muskox, reindeer, Moose. It is very quiet and sirene on those drives, which are unpaved and not maintained in the winter months.
The Bearing Sea is literally within walking distance of every place in Nome city limits. No matter what kind of day a citizen of Nome, or a visitor to Nome has had, they only need walk a minute or two, and they are at the sea. It is beautiful, calming, majestic. You can breathe deeply and smell clean, fresh unpolluted air. What a way to unwind! And no crowds.......
Fondest memory: I miss the ability to walk anywhere! And no matter what time of day or night you are out walking (and perfectly safe doing so, I might add).
Go fishing in the many rivers close to Nome during the summer, pick berries on the tundra and watch thousands of migratory birds in the fall.
Fondest memory: Driving out into the country around Nome and seeing the wildlife and plantlife.