Horace H. Draper Photograph Collection, 1906-1908  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Draper, Horace H
Horace H. Draper Photograph Collection
1906-1908 (inclusive)
56 photographic prints (1 box) ; various sizes
Collection Number
The collection contains Horace H. Draper’s photographs of the Porcupine Gold Mining Company in Porcupine, Alaska
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Horace Herbert Draper was born on July 5, 1855 in Rockford, Illinois. Draper developed a partnership with fellow photographer W.H. Case (1868-1920), forming the commercial photography studio of Case & Draper. Before going to Skagway in 1898, they followed the excitement of the Klondike Gold Rush where they remained active photographers from 1898 to circa 1908 in Skagway and Juneau, Alaska. By 1907, the partnership of Case & Draper dissolved, with Draper retaining possession of the business in Skagway, while Case opened a new business in Juneau.

After 1908, Draper worked individually as “Draper & Co.” primarily based in Skagway. While living in Skagway, Draper married a local school teacher named Harriet and became an active member of the community. When he died in 1913, the people in the town of Skagway closed all businesses for the day. The Draper photograph studio was purchased by the Keller Brothers Drug Company of Skagway.

Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

The Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon territory began with the discovery of gold in Bonanza Creek, a tributary of the Klondike River in 1896. Within a span of two years, over 30,000 prospectors occupied the area. In 1900 over $22 million dollars worth of gold was mined. After the depletion of gold deposits in the area, prospectors continued their quest for gold in Alaska.

The Porcupine Mining District was established in November of 1898 after S.W. Mix and his friends Fenley and Wiley, discovered gold near Porcupine River, eight miles from Haines. The Porcupine River flows for 450 miles from the Yukon territory into NE Alaska and is one of the chief tributaries of the Yukon River in Alaska. The three friends staked claims, including Discovery, along Porcupine River and it's tributaries, McKinley, Cahoon and Glacier Creeks. By the end of the mining season, there were 50 men in residence and Jack Dalton, developer of the Dalton Trail, had built a trading post and sawmill to support the miners.

By 1899, $50,000 in gold had been recovered and the 150-acre townsite of Porcupine had 200 residents. As original claims played out and the more traditional methods of mining gold were no longer sufficient, partnerships and companies developed to continue mining operations. It became necessary to use more sophisticated and expensive mining techniques to recover the gold. The Porcupine Trading Company, owned by Dalton, Hanley and John F. Maloney, purchased controlling interest in the original claims. They build a large flume to divert the river, allowing them to recover the harder to mine gold. In 1905, the Porcupine Trading Company flume and all mining operations in the area were destroyed by flooding, ending the gold rush to Porcupine.

In 1905, a road was constructed between Haines and Porcupine, which provided cheaper access to the remote area. In 1907, The Porcupine Mining Company was organized by E.E. Harvey. Additionally, claims in the area were consolidated, providing Harvey with the means to obtain large capital backing for mining operations. In order to mine in the area, a large flume was constructed to divert the river’s water. The flume, the largest in Alaska at the time, was constructed with boards milled on site and spanned a distance of 8,000 feet, 25-40 feet in width, and had a depth of 6-8 feet. Exhausting most of the gold deposits, work ceased after a 1915 flood destroyed the lower end of the flume.

Although salvaged and rebuilt in 1917 by the Alaska Corporation, floods destroyed the flume once again. In 1926, August Fritsche gained control of the site and constructed a new 12,000 foot highline flume, which remained until 1936. Company records show a yield of $1,700,000 in gold.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains H.H. Draper’s photographs of the Porcupine Gold Mining Company in Porcupine, Alaska. Images include Porcupine Mining Company staff and their families, miners, flume construction, mines and mining operations and surrounding mountains.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from the collection in digital format

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Preferred Citation

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Porcupine Gold Mining CompanyReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
1 1-2 circa 1906-1908
1 3 circa 1906-1908
1 4 circa 1906-1908
1 5 circa 1906-1908
1 6
 Four women, one man, and two young people on porch
"Porcupine Ladies at Manager's Cottage"
circa 1906-1908
1 7 circa 1906-1908
1 8-10 circa 1906-1908
2 11 circa 1906-1908
2 12 circa 1906-1908
2 13 circa 1906-1908
2 14 circa 1906-1908
2 15 circa 1906-1908
2 16 circa 1906-1908
2 17
Men working in the snow
circa 1906-1908

Construction of flume Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
3 18 circa 1906-1908
3 19 circa 1906-1908
3 20 circa 1906-1908
Flume intake and dam
Folder item
4 21 circa 1906-1908
4 22 circa 1906-1908
4 23
View from hillside of dam, intake and spillway under construction
circa 1906-1908
4 24 circa 1906-1908
4 25 circa 1906-1908
4 26 circa 1906-1908
4 27-29 circa 1906-1908
Station No. 1
Folder item
5 30-31 circa 1906-1908
5 32 circa 1906-1908
Station No. 2
Folder item
6 33 circa 1906-1908
6 34 circa 1906-1908
6 35 October 1, 1908
6 36
 Man standing at intersection of bedrock flume and spillway tail-race
"View looking north showing 300 feet of bedrock flume completed and the spillway of tail-race from No. 2 penstock."
October 1, 1908
6 37
Station viewed from above Pit No. 2
circa 1906-1908
6 38-39 circa 1906-1908
6 40 circa 1906-1908
6 41
Building materials on riverbank, in river, under and alongside flume, probably near Station No. 2
circa 1906-1908
6 42 circa 1906-1908
6 43
 Station and flume in winter as seen from across the river
"No. 2 below after closed down October 29, 1908."
circa 1906-1908
6 44 circa 1906-1908
6 45 circa 1906-1908
6 46
Side view of flume and possibly part of Station No. 2 in winter
circa 1906-1908
6 47
View from ground of possibly part of Station No. 2 in winter
circa 1906-1908
6 48
Spillway in between crossbeams and posts of flume in winter, possibly Station No. 2
circa 1906-1908
Near Discovery
Folder item
7 49 circa 1906-1908
7 50 circa 1906-1908
7 51 circa 1906-1908
7 52
 Looking out flume spillway into gravel clearing and forest
"Sect. 7 Spillway 3 below Discovery."
circa 1906-1908

Mountains Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
8 53 circa 1906-1908
8 54 circa 1906-1908
8 55
 Bonanza Mine, Kennicott Mountain
"Limestone overlaying greenstone. Bonanza Mine, Kennicott Mt. 30' shaft, 100' drift, 200' tunnel, 1906. Vein 4' - 30' wide, outcrop 700' long crosses contact, extends into greenstone and limestone."
circa 1906-1908
8 56
 Dock with pilings and high tide watermarks visible
"Mt. Andrews dock without barge loading."
circa 1906-1908

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Flumes--Design and construction--Alaska--Photographs
  • Gold miners--Alaska--Photographs
  • Gold minines and mining--Alaska--Photographs
  • Loggers--Photographs
  • Logging--Machinery--Photographs
  • Logging--Photographs
  • Mountains--Alaska--Photographs
  • Sawmills--Photographs
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)
  • Personal Names :
  • Williamson, Ike--Photographs
  • Corporate Names :
  • Porcupine Gold Mining Company
  • Geographical Names :
  • Alaska--Photographs
  • Kennicott (Alaska)-- Photographs
  • Porcupine (Ont.)--Photographs
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographs