Skip to main Content

Iditarod photos: Ghost town of Ophir

  • Author:
  • Updated: May 31, 2016
  • Published March 6, 2013

Ophir isn't one of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race's bustling checkpoints, though it used to be quite a beehive of activity. Ophir, population 0, took it's name from a nearby placer creek when gold miners swarmed the area just after the turn of the century.

The creek was reportedly named by Bible-reading prospectors for the lost country of Ophir, the source of King Solomon's gold. And many artifacts remain from those gold-mining days of the early 1900s. It was never a big city. According to Wikipedia, Ophir's population peaked at 122 in 1910.

As late as 1949, there were eight mining operations near Ophir, including two dredges. But low $35-an-ounce gold prices winnowed them down to none by about 1955. Some new operations have started in the area more recently, prompted by much higher gold prices.

Local news matters.

Support independent, local journalism in Alaska.

Comments
Sponsored