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Mr. BALLAINE. Thirty-eight miles from Knik junction (indicating). This junction at Knik is ať mile 152 from Seward. For 38 miles it would go through the Matanuska coal fields.

Senator LIPPITT. Is the road built up to that junction now?

Mr. BALLAINE. No; it is built to this point (indicating), at Kern Creek, 72 miles from Seward.

Senator NELSON. It would be over 100 miles from Kern Creek to get up to Matanuska?

Mr. BALLAINE. One hundred and ten miles, approximately, to get through the Matanuska district.

Senator NELSON. It would take 110 miles from the end of the road to get up to the Matanuska field.

Senator Walsh. Then so far as the coal is concerned, for naval supplies, at least, leaving out of consideration everything else, it would signify the building of one or both of those two lines, one being a branch 41 miles, or an independent line 25 miles, and another a continuation of the present road a distance of 110 miles ?

Mr. BALLAINE. Yes, for the Navy, and of course for the supply of the Pacific coast, but the mining of the coal and getting it to the market is one of the least important points in the development of Alaska. At the present time all development is limited to narrow fringes along the navigable streams, on account of the high cost of getting supplies in. The rate, for instance, on freight from Seattle into the Fairbanks district ranges from $40 to $150 per ton, and it is shipped in in the summertime. They leave it over until fall, and then take it out on sleds in the winter. There is a road from Fairbanks, Mr. Joslin's road, running out to some of the mines, but whether there are railroads or wagon roads it is necessary

Senator LIPPITT. What is that place you were referring to?
Mr. BALLAINE. Fairbanks.
Senator LIPPITT. I want you to get it in the record.

Senator Bristow. Going back to Senator Walsh's inquiry, at Cook Inlet, where that harbor is, it is open six months in the year.

Mr. BALLAINE. Yes; Ship Creek.

Senator BRISTOW. How far is it from there into the Matanuska coal fields ?

Mr. BALLAINE. Ship Creek is at mile 117 from Seward. The difference between mile 117 and mile 183, in the Matanuska, is the exact distance.

Senator BRISTOW. That would be 66 miles.
Mr. BALLAINE. That is the exact distance

to the extreme part of the Matanuska.

Senator Bristow. That would open up those fields six months in the year?

Mr. BALLAINE. Six months; but we want it open all the year round.

Senator NELSON. At Seward it is open all the year round, winter and summer. I suppose Seward is accessible at all seasons ?

Mr. BALLAINE. Oh, yes; there is never any ice in the harbor there at any season of the year.

Senator Nelson. Nor is there at Valdez. They can always get in at Valdez and Cordova in the winter?

Mr. BALLAINE. Yes; they have a little ice at Valdez some winters, but not enough to close navigation.

Senator Bristow. This point on Cook Inlet at Ship Creek, would that be on the road contemplated from Seward into the Matanuska field ?

Mr. BALLAINE. Oh, yes; you see it connects there [pointing]. The main line runs right by Ship Creek.

Senator BRISTOW. So that if it was desired in the summer time they could take the coal from there by water?

Nr. BALLAINE. Unquestionably the summer transportation would all be from Ship Creek for coal. Colliers would come right into that harbor, and there would be only that short haul from the Matanuska field down to Ship Creek.

One main object in building a line through from the coast to the interior is to open as much of the resources of Alaska as possible-the coal, the gold, and the agricultural, timber, and grazing lands. The two must go together, the development of the mining industry and the development of the farming industry. This

proposed line from Chitina through the Copper River Valley to Fairbanks would be 313 miles. From the point where the Kuskokwin Branch would leave the Susitna Valley line, at the Kaswitna River, the distance to the mouth of the Nenana River on the Tanana is only 218 miles.

Senator NELSON. Is that river navigable down to the Tanana? Mr. BALLAINE. No, sir; not the Nenana. Senator Nelson. You said “the mouth.” I misunderstood you. How far is that above Fairbanks?

Mr. BALLAINE. It is below Fairbanks, about 40 miles. The Copper River route would open no possible resources until it reaches the Tanana Valley. It would open no coal fields at all except a very few small outcroppings of low-grade coal-lignite.

Senator LIPPITT. Will you give the names of the railroad lines?

Mr. BALLAINE. The line from Chitina through the Copper River Valley to Fairbanks would open no territory until it reaches the Tanana River at the mouth of the Delta. That is the proposed extension from the Copper River & Northwestern. One of the greatest needs of the interior is coal. The mining operations of the interior are carried on by first thawing out the gravel. A great deal of fuel is required. At the present time they are paying about $15 a cord. Is it not about that price, Judge Wickersham?

Mr. WICKERSHAM. Yes; for wood.
Senator NELSON. If it is not in a forest reserve.
Mr. BALLAINE. No; there are no forest reserves there.
Mr. WICKERSHAM. But you have to pay for it just the same.

Mr. BALLAINE. Yes; they pay stumpage. Only the cream of the mineral lands can be worked under such conditions. So that the bringing of a plentiful supply of coal into the mining country is a very important need in Alaska's development.

The line through the Susitna Valley would not only traverse the best of the agricultural region in Alaska, but it would also tap very rich coal, gold, and copper districts and pass through the heart of Nenana coal fields—these coal fields indicated in this large map [indicating). There would be almost 100 miles saved in comparison with the route from Chitina through the Copper River Valley to Fairbanks. The Government then would have one unified system of railroads running over its own tracks connecting every part of Alaska and giving the interior of Alaska, whether in the Susitna Valley or the Tanana Valley or the Yukon or the Kuskokwin, accessibility to the Matanuska coal fields. These are details, however, that will be thrashed out with the President when the final routes are located, but they are important at the present time as matters of information.

Senator WALSH. Where are the available timber resources ?

Mr. BALLAINE. All of these islands in the panhandle of Alaska are covered with timber up to about 1,500 feet above sea level.

Senator WALSH. Those would not be affected at all by these railroads?

Mr. BALLAINE. No, sir. The Susitna Valley is nearly all timbered.

SENATOR WALSH. How does that timber grow in a region where the ground is always frozen?

Mr. BALLAINE. It is not frozen in the Susitna Valley. It is frozen in the valleys north of the Susitna. There is a high range of mountains encircling the Susitna Valley, a mountain range 6,000, 7,000, and 8,000 feet high.

Senator WALSH. That condition does not obtain, then, for all parts of Alaska.

Mr. BALLAINE. Not in the Susitna Valley at any rate. The Susitna Valley is one region in Alaska where the ground is not permanently frozen. The winter temperature there rarely gets lower than 35 below zero.

Senator Nelson. Then they have an immense snowfall along the coast.

Mr. BALLAINE. Along the coast they do, but the snow back of the coast range of mountains is light. The timber in the Susitna Valley covers most of the area up to about 2,000 feet above sea level.

Senator WALSH. Let me inquire where the gold mine operators, the placer mine operators, to the north of Fairbanks get their timber i

Mr. BALLAINE. There is timber on the Tanana River. The Tanana Valley is sparsely timbered away from the river, but the lower reaches from the Tanana River down to the junction of the Tanana with the Yukon contain some thick forests. There are timber areas all along the Kuskokwin River down to within 100 miles of its mouth. There are fringes of timber all along the Yukon River. At some places thick forests occur, and at other places the growth is sparse.

Senator NELSON. It is mainly spruce, is it not?

Mr. BALLAINE. Spruce and hemlock. The timber in interior Alaska—that is, the evergreen-is spruce and hemlock. There is some birch, cottonwood, and other varieties.

Senator LIPPITT. How high does it grow?

Mr. BALLAINE. Many trees there are 100 feet, many of them. The timber is tall and straight. The timber in the Susitna Valley has, I should say, an average diameter of 12 inches up to 40 feet from the ground. Some of it is larger than that, and some smaller.

Senator LIPPITT. Forty feet in diameter?
Senator Nelson. Twelve inches up to 40 feet in height.

Mr. BALLAINE. Up to about 40 feet in height, 12 inches in diameter. On the coast the timber is mostly spruce and hemlock, but it is not so good in quality as the timber of the interior. The coast timber is knotty. The trees there do not grow so high in the interior, but they

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grow much larger. There are many trees all along the coast from Controller Bay out to Port Graham that are 4 and 5 feet in diameter, but trees that size are not good timber, as a rule. They are apt to be punky, rotten inside, and knotty. A great deal of it is used for

A commercial purposes. There are many sticks that are good, but it is not so good as the timber in the Susitna Valley or in the Tanana Valley, because the timber in the interior is freer from knots and it is harder—a great deal stronger in every way. It does not compare at all with our timber in Washington and Oregon, but it is a good timber for all local uses.

Senator Walsh. Let me inquire, is the dust from all that country north of Fairbanks marketed there or turned in—the gold dust?

Mr. BALLAINE. It is taken down to Seattle, turned into the assay office there, or into the mint at San Francisco.

Senator Walsh. There must be some central point from which it is distributed ?

Mr. BALLAINE. Fairbanks is the central point in the Tanana Valley.

Senator Walsh. What amount do they send down annually from Fairbanks?

Mr. BALLAINE. It varies. I think the output was about $6,000,000 in the Fairbanks district last year. There are several other districts. Below Fairbanks is Hot Springs-quite an important town—and a new town has recently started in the district back of Ruby, on the Yukon below the mouth of the Tanana.

Senator Walsh. But the gold is assembled at some central base, is it not?

Mr. BALLAINE. Fairbanks is the present center of the interior.

Senator NELSON. There are several other fields there. There is the Rampart field, and there is the Birch Creek field, and there is the Forty Míle field.

Mr. BALLAINE. Over around Nome there is another distinct field. Senator WALSH. That is out of the railroad region ?

Mr. BALLAINE. Before I go further I wish to put into the record this statement: If Alaska's development is really to be provided for adequately, the line recommended by the Alaska Railway Commission to the Kuskokwin River should be extended on to the Yukon River somewhere near Kaltag. A very rich new country is being opened up in the Iditarod district. The output here last year, the second year of its existence, was close to $5,000,000. I am not quoting official figures. I take them from a report in the Seattle PostIntelligencer.

Senator Walsh. It is the history of the mining business that placer mining is an evanescent industry.


Senator Walsh. It is never long lived. What does the Geological Survey say in regard to the permanency of that region around Iditarod

The last two years you have taken a great deal of gold out of that district. What is the reason for supposing that that will continue, say, more than 10 years ?

Mr. BALLAINE. The history of all camps discovered in Alaska is that they get bigger and bigger. There is more gold in sight as they go along. You see, the country is timbered and covered with grass, and prospecting in the early stages is confined to the creek beds and river beds. As they go in, the discoveries widen more and more. That was the history of the Fairbanks district. They have more gold area in sight now around Fairbanks than they had last year, and they had more last year than the year before.

Senator Walsh. What are the returns from Dawson, for instance? That is the oldest district.

Mr. BALLAINE. Yes; the Dawson district—the rich placer diggings-are worked out, and the country has nearly all passed into two large corporations, an English corporation and the Guggenheims. They are mining now on a large scale with hydraulic and dredges.

Senator Walsh. What has been the regular succession of annual returns ?

Mr. BALLAINE. At one time, I think, the Dawson district produced as high as $18,000,000 a year. They are producing now not more than $5,000,000; but that production will remain stationary, probably, for many years-probably for a quarter of a century.

Mr. WICKERSHAM. If you will allow me to interrupt you, I will say that we are now locating quartz in the Fairbanks and the Iditarod districts.

Senator Walsh. I was coming to that. What have you done in the way of quartz mining?

Mr. BALLAINE. They are opening a great deal of quartz-a high grade of quartz-all through the Fairbanks district. Some of the quartz runs as high as $40 a ton. The veins are not large--only 2 or 3 feet—but the grade is high.

Senator Walsh. Have any of those been developed yet past the prospective stage?

Mr. BALLAINE. Yes. Judge Wickersham, you can answer Senator Walsh on that with more authority than I can.

Mr. WICKERSHAM. We have 16 small stamp mills near Fairbanks. Senator WALSH. Those run about what?

Mr. WICKERSHAM. Three or five to six stamps in each, and they seem to be permanent. They are taking out quite a lot of gold at

a Fairbanks in these veins. They are now down about 300 feet. It is new work. They have only been working two or three years, but the prospects look to be permanent and good.

Mr. BALLAINE. You understand, Senator, that to get the machinery in for the development of quartz ledges is an expensive proposition. They can not do it, except in rare cases, without railroad transportation. There are two quartz mines being worked now about 30 miles north of Knik, in what is known as the Willow Creek district. One of them earned and paid a dividend of $40,000 last year, after paying

a cost of operation and the cost of installing their plant. They have, I believe, one of the richest quartz mines in Alaska.

Senator WALSH. That is gold?

Mr. BALLAINE. That is gold. It is a large property. It is owned partly by people of your own State—the Bartholfs, of Billings. They have a great deal of quartz in the Iditarod, but it is impossible to work quartz property there, owing to the great expense of getting machinery in. There are large quartz areas in the Seward Peninsula, this peninsula here indicating). You will see in the reports of the Geological Survey that the Seward Peninsula has gold enough in sight to last 100 years. I think that statement is applicable to the Fairbanks district also.

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