Mammoth Creek was named in the early 1890’s for tusks and bones contained in the frozen muck overlying the gold-bearing gravel. Gold was discovered on Mammoth Creek in 1894; yields were 0.3 to 0.5 ounces of gold per man, per day. In 1906, a small steam shovel capable of handling 50 square yards of gravel per hour was installed on Mammoth Creek, and a 9.5 km long ditch was built in 1908 to bring water from Bonanza Creek for hydraulic mining.
In 1915 the Berry Dredging Company installed a dredge on the creek. It worked upstream along several parallel paths, was dismantled, carried down valley, and reassembled several times during the following 35 years. This historic dredge had a wooden hull, 58 buckets and a rated capacity of 3,000 yards a day.
Subsequent to 1950, when the dredge was operating near the junction of Mammoth and Crooked Creeks trying to work its way down to known “richer ground” on Crooked Creek, it burned. The partly buried remains can be seen today on Crooked Creek, just downstream from the mouth of Bedrock Creek.
Miller House, a historic site on Mammoth Creek at the mouth of Miller Creek, was for many years the local supply center for the mining camps in this area of the Circle mining district. A post office, roadhouse, and general store provided gathering places for the miners. The roadhouse, the oldest in Alaska, was built in 1896 and burned in 1971. The last vestiges of this establishment, several abandoned log and frame buildings, were destroyed during the remining of the creek gravel in the 1980’s.
Most of the gold recovered from Mammoth Creek was flat and flaky. The early miners recovered a few 3 and 4 ounce nuggets from gravel that yielded values of $40 to $60 per yard. The paystreak mined by the dredge was 200 to 300 m wide. It is doubtful that there is much gold left in the well-washed gravel of Mammoth Creek.