John Dexter came to the Seward Peninsula in the late 1800s to work at Omilak silver mine. He later opened Dexter Trading Post near Golovin, about 100 miles east of Nome. That historic place was Grand Central for finding out about possible gold deposits on the Seward Peninsula. Dexter dealt in provisions and information, grubstaking others to hopefully get a share of some of their profits. He also taught Native Alaskans how to pan for gold, which led to one of the first main discoveries along Ophir Creek.

Most of the geographic sites with Dexter’s name were likely inspired by him: Dexter Ridge, Dexter Creek, Dexter Peak, Point Dexter, and the small community of Dexter (the endpoint of the Wyatt Earp Dexter Challenge).

Additionally, there have been a few roadhouse/bars named for Dexter, which can get confusing for visitors. Here’s a quick description for sorting them out.

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Points of Interest

Wyatt Earp ran one of the fan­ci­est bars in Nome in the ear­ly 1900s, leav­ing after a few sea­sons after mak­ing it rich off of the local min­ers. Dex­ter Saloon is said to have been named for Dex­ter Creek. This saloon is no longer stand­ing, but the site is rec­og­nized by a sign at its for­mer loca­tion, which is now occu­pied by Nome City Hall.

His­toric site near Golovin opened by John Dex­ter where min­ers got their sup­plies and trad­ed infor­ma­tion. It’s where the Three Lucky Swedes” stocked up (on sup­plies and help) after their big gold dis­cov­ery on Anvil Creek in 1898. Also where Leon­hard Sep­pala fin­ished his long leg of the 1925 dipthe­ria serum run. This build­ing is still stand­ing in Golovin, and was report­ed­ly board­ed up as is, with all its arti­facts still inside.

Bar in Dex­ter, now closed. Locat­ed about 5 miles north­east of Nome, this was a favorite local hang­out for many years. Because of the sim­i­lar name, this estab­lish­ment was often con­fused with the Dex­ter Saloon owned by Wyatt Earp.