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The Alaska Gold Rush’s All-in-One Miner, Hunter, Brewer, and Cook

In 1886, 16-year-old Fannie Quigley left her home in Nebraska to seek adventure out west. She followed the gold rush to Alaska in 1897, and made her life there for the next 47 years. Her fame came not by prospecting for gold, which she did, but by the more successful business of supplying what prospectors needed.  

Over her decades in the backcountry, Quigley acquired a reputation as not only a renowned hostess and cook, but one of the finest hunters the region had ever seen. Her guests—who were many, despite the fact that her cabin was only accessible by foot or dogsled—were universally impressed by the woman who “tracks her own game, prefers to hunt alone, skins and dresses, packs and caches even such massive beasts as moose and bear, skins out the cape and horns of mountain sheep and can both butcher and cook any game meat to the queen’s taste.”

Quigley's cabin is now a historical part of Denali National Park. Read the story of Fannie Quigley at Atlas Obscura.

(Image credit: Denali National Park and Preserve, Museum Collection)

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