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Chatanika, Alaska facts for kids

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Chatanika, Alaska
Country United States
State Alaska
Borough Fairbanks North Star
Township T N R W Meridian
Settled 1904
Named for Chatanika River
Elevation
896 ft (273 m)
Time zone UTC-9 (Alaska (AKST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-8 (AKDT)
ZIP code
99712
Area code 907 (local exchange phones use the 389 prefix)
FIPS code 02-12460
GNIS feature ID 1400167

Chatanika is a small unincorporated community located in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, United States, north-northeast of the city of Fairbanks. The community runs along an approximately 20-mile (32 km) stretch of the Steese Highway, the majority of which sees the highway paralleled by the Chatanika River. The community consists of sparsely scattered residential subdivisions, several roadside businesses, a boat launch where the Steese Highway crosses the Chatanika River, relics of past gold mining operations in the area and the Poker Flat Research Range operated by the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Chatanika was one of over a dozen small communities in the vicinity of Fairbanks whose prosperity was tied to gold mining during the Fairbanks Gold Rush. Chatanika, as the northern terminus of the narrow-gauge Tanana Valley Railroad, also owed much of its early prosperity to railroad operations, which were closely tied to the mining activity. Chatanika, along with Fox, are the only two of the numerous communities in the hills immediately north of Fairbanks which has managed to remain populated and maintain a distinct community identity.

History

See also: Chatanika Gold Camp

A mining settlement established about 1904, it received a railroad station when the Tanana Valley Railroad was completed in 1907. The Chatanika post office was established in 1908.

Etymology

The community was named after the Chatanika River.

Geography

Located 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the confluence of Cleary Creek and the Chatanika River, Chatanika lies 20 miles (32 km) northeast of Fairbanks. Its altitude is 896 feet (273 m).

Gold dredge

Gold Dredge 3
Gold mining dredge in Chatanika, Alaska

The Chatanika gold dredge is a historic relic of gold dredge #3 owned and operated by F.E. Company between 1928 and 1958. The dredge is located at about 27.5 miles (44.3 km) along the Steese Highway east of Fairbanks in a 60 acres (24 ha) pond it dug itself, directly across the road from the Chatanika Lodge. Today the dredge is private property and off-limits to the public. In August 2013 an accidental fire destroyed the dredge.

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