Felice Pedroni, discoverer of gold in Fairbanks, was born in
He had been prospecting in the hills around the Tanana Valley in the interior of
Alaska, during the Klondike Gold Rush in Yukon Territory,
1898 found Felix trying to reach Circle City when he became lost and was soon
nearly out of food. It was then that he stumbled across the richest gold-bearing creek he
had ever seen.
He and his partner marked the find and continued on to Circle City. He needed
to earn money for supplies. He searched for years, but never found his way back to Lost
Three years later, he and Tom Gilmore were in the hills, still searching for
gold in other creeks. On August 26, 1901, once more out of provisions and exhausted, they
began the 165 mile walk back to Circle City. From the top of a hill, Pedro and his partner
saw the smoke from the LaVelle Young, and
headed toward the steamboat, hoping the men on board had extra food to sell.
It was meeting the miners and learning that there were other prospectors in
the area that persuaded Captain Barnette to set
up a trading post where he was until he could move his goods to Tanacross, his original
destination. He never did move to Tanacross and the new settlement became Fairbanks, in
honor of Charles Fairbanks, a Republican senator from Indiana.
Felix Pedro stuck gold on July 22, 1902, in a creek 12 miles north of E. T.
Barnette's Trading Post. See our Fairbanks History
to learn more about what happened then.