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stanton patty Stanton H. Patty was born in Fairbanks in July 1926 and is the middle son of Ernest and Kathryn Patty. His father was the first professor of geology at the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines (later named the University of Alaska). He also managed the mining interests of General A.D. McRae at Coal Creek and Woodchopper Creek in Yukon-Charley National Preserve. In 1954, the elder Mr. Patty became the third president of the University of Alaska and retired from active mining.

As a young boy, Stan accompanied his parents and brothers to the mines each summer. Eventually, as a teenager, he was a member of a drilling crew and his duties included driving a small bulldozer, an experience he fondly recalls.

Mr. Patty's interview, recorded on October 11, 1991 at his home in Vancouver, Washington, recounts his early life in Fairbanks, spending his summers at the mines, as well as a wide range of family anecdotes. Throughout the narrative, he discusses such things as early Fairbanks history, gold rush history, meeting various "characters" who came north with the major rushes to the Klondike and Fairbanks areas, and working at the mines (along with descriptions of a number of the more colorful individuals who worked on the creeks). Among the non-gold rush personalities he mentions are Will Rogers and Wiley Post, and early Alaskan aviation pioneers including the Wien brothers.

Stanton left Alaska just prior to the outbreak of World War II, moving to Seattle with his family. He attended high school followed by serving in the US Army toward the end of the war. Rather than following his father into the mining world, Mr. Patty instead followed his own interests in journalism. He spent 34 years working for the Seattle Times, eventually retiring as one of the paper's editors. He continues to live in Vancouver with his wife Mabs (who he has been married to since 1946). He is keeping busy in his retirement as a free-lance writer and photographer who has been roaming the world for 54 years. His work frequently brings him back to his roots in Alaska.

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Tape Reference #H91-22-37
Stan Patty talks with Dan O'Neill on October 11, 1991 in Vancouver, Washington about...

1) ... his background, and growing up in Fairbanks.
Patty, Stan\ Patty, Ernest Sr.\ Patty, Kay\ World War II - Alaska\ Bunnell, Charles\ University of Alaska Fairbanks - founding\ S.S. Northwestern - steamship\ Agricultural College and School of Mines\ gold rush - Fairbanks\ Fairbanks - pre-World War II\ "The Line"\ Model Cafe\ Empress Theater\ Adler, Don - organist\ Fairbanks - children\ Fairbanks Exploration Company\ Fairbanks - "mental health"\ Ladd Field|

2) ... early aviation pioneers and polar explorers that came through Fairbanks.
Fairbanks - pre-World War II\ polar explorers\ Stefansson, Vilhjalmur\ Post, Wiley\ Rogers, Will\ pioneer aviation\ aviation - Alaska\ Weeks Field\ Wien, Noel\ Wien, Sig\ Gillam, Harold\ Pollock, Frank\ Nerland, Jerry\ Hall, Bob|

3) ...their family in Fairbanks.
Patty, Ernest Sr.\ University of Alaska Fairbanks\ McRae Mining\ Patty residence - 6th and Cowles\ Patty, Kay\ Laurence, Sidney\ Fairbanks - pre-World War II\ Jacob, Valentine Francis - bandleader\ Fairbanks - schools pre-World War II|

4) ... summers at the mines.
Patty, Stan\ Patty, Ernest Jr.\ Coal Creek - history\ mining - history\ McRae, A.D. - British Columbia\ mining claims - consolidation at Coal Creek\ mining claims - selling\ Bennett, Frank\ dredges - supplies and shipping\ Walter Johnson Company - San Francisco\ transportation - Yukon River\ shipping - mining equipment\ mining equipment - transportation\ river steamers\ White Pass and Yukon Route - sternwheelers\ Coal Creek - supply from river\ fuel drums - Coal Creek\ Coal Creek - roads\ Coal Creek - air transportation\ Slaven's Roadhouse\ Pollack, Frank\ air transport - sandbar landings|

5) ... taking a historical perspective on mining methods, and more on life at Coal Creek camp.
Coal Creek - machine shop\ Estrada, Frank - cook\ Patty, Kay\ mining camps - lifestyles\ Celetex - fiberboard\ Coal Creek - chores\ Coal Creek - ditches\ Coal Creek - hydraulics\ caribou hunting - Coal Creek\ tobacco use - extent and brands\ mining methods - Coal Creek\ "driving points"\ mosquitoes - Coal Creek\ "points" - explanation\ points - cold water\ points - steam\ points - hot water\ thawing - mining\ mining - thawing\ mosquitoes - repellents and smudges\ Citronella\ Stay-Away\ Buhack\ mosquito nets\ old timers - mining camps\ O'Neill, Bill\ O'Neill, Pat\ Bowman, Bob\ Franklin, Glenn\ mining camps - bunkhouses|

6) ... the gold-mining industry.
Fairbanks Exploration Company\ Patty, Ernest Jr.\ miners - spending money\ dredge jobs - "winchmen"\ miners - wage advances\ Slaven, Frank - memory of\ Slaven's Roadhouse|

7) ... his drift trip down the Yukon River with Dave Mihalic, and his memories of Slaven's Roadhouse.
Patty, Stan\ Mihalic, Dave\ Slaven's Roadhouse\ Yukon River - scenic values|

8) ... more memories of the mining camp and of his brother Ernest Jr.
dozer operators - mining\ mining - dozer operators\ D-2 cat\ Patty, Ernest Jr.\ dredge - Atlas diesels\ Coal Creek - dredge\ Lavery, Bill - flight instructor\ Patty, Ernest Jr. - World War II\ airplane crash - story\ airplane - Grumman Widgeon\ Patty, Ernest Sr.|

9) ... the Woodchopper mining area.
Coal Creek-Woodchopper - road\ Woodchopper Creek - mining\ mining - Woodchopper Creek\ Ramparts of the Yukon - view of\ airstrips - Woodchopper\ fishing - Woodchopper|

10) ... old timers whose claims were consolidated by Patty; old timers who worked at the mines.
Bennett, Frank\ Slaven, Frank\ Berail, Phil\ North Country Challenge\ Ginrich, Harry\ Estrada, Frank - story\ caribou - Coal Creek\ Coal Creek - old timers\ Coal Creek - children\ Edmonson, Merle\ "surgeons" - dozer operators|

11) ... his pleasure that "the Coal Creek dredge still exists and will be part of the park."
Coal Creek - historic preservation\ gold mining - historic value\ historic preservation - Coal Creek\ Patty, Ernest Sr.\ National Park Service - concept of history\ Mihalic, Dave\ Chase, Don\ Yukon-Charley - goals\ Patty, Stan\ Vogler, Joe\ Woodchopper mine - inclusion in preserve|

12) ... clean-up day at Coal Creek dredge.
Coal Creek - gold clean-up\ "clean-up" - gold collection\ dredge - operation\ dredge - description\ gold recovery - melting\ "gold fever"\ gold - transportation\ Pollock, Frank|

13) ... Ernest Patty Sr.'s library, correspondence and other documents which became a part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks collection.
Patty, Ernest Sr.\ Johnson, Jim\ Patty, Stan|

14) ... Kay Patty, the school she started, and her other activities at the mining camp.
Coal Creek - school\ Patty, Kay\ Bureau of Indian Affairs\ Eagle Village - children\ Eagle - Alaska Natives\ Fairbanks - race relations\ Mihalic, Dave\ Patty Peak\ Brewer, Max\ Patty, Stan - parents\ Alaska - intangible values|

15) ... his father's tenure at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Patty, Ernest Jr.\ Patty, Ernest Sr.\ University of Alaska Fairbanks\ Alaska Highway - story\ O'Neill, Bill\ Rasmuson, Elmer\ Walsh, Mike\ Board of Regents\ Taylor, Warren\ Stepovich, Mike\ geophysics program\ Arctic Research Laboratory - Barrow\ Naval Arctic Research Laboratory\ wildlife biology\ Wood, William|

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