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The town of Nome stands on the Northwest coast of Alaska; 180 miles from Russia and 1,100 miles from the state capital of Juneau. Cut off by sea ice during the winter, and with no road or rail connections to the rest of Alaska, it seems like an unlikely place to build a town. A gold rush, however, can drive people to extraordinary lengths. When âThe Lucky Swedesâ discovered gold near Nome in 1898, thousands of prospectors headed north with high hopes, and fortunes were won and lost. Nome grew with schools, churches, a hospital, and electricity, but each winter, most of its population would depart before the sea-ice locked in the town. For those that remained, temperatures would typically be around -20C and winds would tear down from the mountains to the coast. In the depths of winter, the sun would rise for just four hours a day.