Click each photo to greatly enlarge it
The Pedro Dredge originally owned by the Fairbanks Exploration Company (FE Co.),
a subsidiary of the United States Smelting Refining & Mining Co. (USSR&M), was built by the Yuba
Manufacturing Company in California, and was shipped to Pedro Creek north of Fairbanks in 1938.
It was assembled there, and operated until 1958. The following year it was disassembled,
trucked to Chicken, and reassembled. The dredge commenced operations on lower Chicken Creek in
September and worked approximately five months every year thereafter until October 1967, when
it produced its final cleanup.
The 3-cubic-foot dredge (measurement of the bucket capacity), the smallest in
the FE Co.'s dredge fleet, mined over 55,000 ounces of gold in the eight years on Chicken Creek.
In 1998, after sitting idle for 31 years, the million pound dredge was moved in one piece to its
present location at the Chicken Gold Camp & Outpost. The dredge was opened to the public in
August 2005. It is the most complete bucket line gold dredge open to the public in Alaska and
perhaps North America. Adjoining the dredge there is an assemblage of historical gold rush
equipment and buildings which can be viewed for free.
The Grand Opening of Pedro Dredge was held in 2006; tours are now offered daily
throughout the season. In June 2006, years of work were rewarded when the dredge was
listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
For much more information on our dredge, see Mike's article at
ExploreNorth. A great deal of other information about Northern
gold dredges and mining generally, can also be found from the links on that page.