This is one of those historic photographs that would never make a book – much less an article – but is an on-the-ground important glimpse into the past. What you see here is an Alaska Gold Rush shot of a man digging in the frozen ground. When the hole is deep enough, he is going to put the wood in the background into the hole and set it ablaze. The fire will thaw the ground, melt the ice and loosen the soil. Then he will quickly pan the water and the soil for enough gold to buy food for a week or so. Then he will get back into the hole to do it all again. This man was clearly broke but he was doing the best he could to survive. Did he? With the kind of enthusiasm he is displaying here, I think so. It’s people like this man who made America what it is today.