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Stanton Patty
Stanton Patty

Stanton "Stan" Patty was interviewed on October 11, 1991 by Dan O'Neill at Stan's home in Vancouver, Washington. In this interview, Stan recounts his early life in Fairbanks, Alaska and spending his summers at the mines on Coal Creek and Woodchopper Creek, as well as telling 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 what it was like working at the mines. He also mentions some of Alaska's early aviation pioneers.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 91-22-37

Project: Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
Date of Interview: Oct 11, 1991
Narrator(s): Stanton Patty
Interviewer(s): Dan O'Neill
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
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1)  Personal background, and growing up in Fairbanks

2) Early aviation pioneers and polar explorers that came through Fairbanks

3) Family in Fairbanks

4) Summers at the mines

5) Taking a historical perspective on mining methods, and more about life at the Coal Creek mining camp

6) The gold-mining industry

7) His drift trip down the Yukon River with Dave Mihalic, and his memories of Slaven's Roadhouse

8) More memories of the mining camp and of his brother Ernest Patty, Jr.

9)  Woodchopper Creek mining area

10) Old timers whose claims were consolidated, and old timers who worked at the mines

11) Preservation of the Coal Creek dredge

12) Clean-up day at the Coal Creek dredge

13) Ernest Patty Sr.'s library, correspondence and other documents in the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives at the University of Alaska Fairbanks

14) Kay Patty, the school she started, and her other activities at the mining camp

15) His father's tenure at the University of Alaska Fairbanks

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Section 1: 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|

Section 2: 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|

Section 3: 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|

Section 4: 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|

Section 5: 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|

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

Section 7: Patty, Stan\ Mihalic, Dave\ Slaven's Roadhouse\ Yukon River - scenic values|

Section 8: 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.|

Section 9: Coal Creek-Woodchopper - road\ Woodchopper Creek - mining\ mining - Woodchopper Creek\ Ramparts of the Yukon - view of\ airstrips - Woodchopper\ fishing - Woodchopper|

Section 10: 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|

Section 11: 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|

Section 12: Coal Creek - gold clean-up\ "clean-up" - gold collection\ dredge - operation\ dredge - description\ gold recovery - melting\ "gold fever"\ gold - transportation\ Pollock, Frank|

Section 13: Patty, Ernest Sr.\ Johnson, Jim\ Patty, Stan|

Section 14: 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|

Section 15: 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|