2017 Mining History Association Tour

 

Tour of the Chatanika Dredge
Tour Hosts: Jane Haigh and Patricia Piersol
June 18, 2017

PHOTO GALLERY
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Webmaster’s Note:  This is a temporary Photo Gallery until we receive photos taken by members who participated in this tour.

The FE Company Gold Camp at Chatanika, Alaska


The FE Gold Camp at Chatanika provided food and housing for the employees working on Dredges 3 and 5 in the surrounding area near the Pedro Dome.

Several of the buildings have been repurposed as a restaurant and hotel.  An array of mining artifacts is on display near the entrance.



The FE Company Dredge 3 at Chatanika, Alaska


The Chatanika Lodge on the Steese Highway, a typical Alaska roadhouse, is the landmark for finding Dredge 3.


For years it was an outstanding example of the FE Company’s dredge fleet.  Unfortunately, the dredge was recently a victim of arson and a major loss of Alaskan mining heritage.


The bow of the dredge still contains the rugged boom on which the bucket line was mounted. The buckets dug the stream gravels and conveyed them to the on-board processing plant.


The stacker conveyor can be seen projecting from the stern of the dredge.  It deposited the dredge tailings in piles behind the dredge. This view also shows the extent of the area dredged for gold.
The FE Company Gold Camp at Ester, Alaska 

Several grey buildings with the signature green trim of the FE Company remain in the community of Ester (not visited on this tour).  Dredge 10 worked the placer gold deposits on the flanks of the Ester Dome.   Today, there are many homes in this wooded area located just a few miles west of Fairbanks. 
 

One of the Ester Gold Camp buildings was repurposed as the Malemute Saloon for a while in the 1970’s.  It was a popular local watering spot with a Robert Service theme.  It, too, now sits idle.
 

Photos courtesy of Mike and Pat Kaas

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