Bill Hedman is an archaeologist with Alaska's Bureau of Land Management.  He provided a multimedia presentation on Mining on the Upper Koyukuk from about 1899 to 1940.

Bill's presentation was alot more than facts and figures.  Not only did he show the human side of this period of time through photographs, stories and anecdotes, he also had video from this period of time. 

The cast of characters involved in mining in such an extreme environment was both colorful and varied.  Some of them came alone, but many of them came as a group from far away places.  Much of the mining had to be done deep underground, and the location was so remote that it was both expensive and difficult to bring in.  Accordingly, the back-breaking nature of mining was even more back-breaking than in most places.

The number of miners fluctuated widely, as did the equipment and personalities of the miners.  The presentation was a fascinating core sample of Alaskan culture, and a period of time that more of us ought to know about.