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John Schnabel

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John Schnabel is a legendary gold miner in Alaska. At the age of 17 John had chopped off his big toe, as he was a logger. His parents split up when he was young. He lived with his two sisters in a 12x15ft cabin. He was the founder of the Big Nugget Mine, a famous mine on the edge of Porcupine Creek. He was the boss of the mine, until 2011, when 91 year old John gave the mine to his 17 year old grandson Parker Schnabel. John is still around to help with the mine and his grandson.

Near the end of the Season 2, John suffered a heart attack, but lived and went back to the mine as boss during Parker's return to school. In 2013, John was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His dream of mining Smith Creek Hill was documented in the episode Grandpa's Last Wish, with Payson Schnabel and Parker Schnabel, his grandsons by his son Roger Schnabel and his wife Nancy Schnabel, digging it out. At the end of Season 4, in March 2014, John was 93 years-old, and still alive. 

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