Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ester Gold Camp a reminder of the town's heyday

The Ester Gold Camp hotel, constructed in the 1930s, was originally a mess hall-bunkhouse for the
Fairbanks Exploration Company. The structure is at the center of Ester Camp Historic District, located in Ester, Alaska.

There are 11 buildings in the district, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. The buildings include the hotel, blacksmith shop, assay office, storage buildings (one of which became the Malemute Saloon), and  several smaller bunkhouses and wanigans (A wanigan was a small portable building usually on skids—the equivalent of the modern Atco unit.) 

Ester Camp once housed workers for the massive gold dredging operation that tore millions of dollars worth of gold from Ester and Eva Creeks. It was sold by the F.E. Company to private individuals in 1957, who developed it into a resort. The resort closed in 2007.

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