Honoring Pedro in 2018

Pedro Monument, 16.6 mile Steese Highway—On Sunday, July 15 at 3 pm, the Igloos of Pioneers of Alaska Fairbanks honored the man whose discovery of gold in the Tanana Valley lead to the founding of a gold rush town what would later be named Fairbanks.

The 116th re-dedication ceremony for the Pedro Monument began promptly at 3 pm under cloudy, breezy, drizzly and cool conditions. Yet, about 75 hardy souls braved the weather to hear speaker and author, Rose Rybachek deliver an enlightening and entertaining speech about Felix Pedro while drawing comparisons between her life as a gold miner and his.

As Rose's speech concluded, the skies parted and the sun came out just in time to lay the rededication wreath at the monument and hear an impromptu address to the crowd by Bruce Olnes from Minnesota, who coincidentally stumbled upon the Pedro Monument site just prior to the rededication ceremony. A descendant of gold miner and founder of the Olnes settlement just north of Fairbanks about the same time that Felix made his gold discovery, Bruce and his wife, Carol, were visiting the area in search of genealogical information.

The festivities wrapped up with the serving of gold miner traditional fare of coffee and doughnuts, good conversation and a mini-stampede for an after-ceremony dinner at the Chatanika Lodge.

Photo Captions:

Photo 1—(L-R) Nick Nugent, Gail Stack, Randy Frank and Jay Schikora dress in their 1900s garb for the event.
Photo 2—(Left) Pioneer, Joy McDougall leads the singing of the Alaska Flag Song at the conclusion of the rededication ceremony. (Right) Speaker Rose Rybacheck delivers her entertaining and educational speech.
Photo 3—Visitor Carol Olnes; Women's Igloo President, Mebble Hansen listen as Carol's husband, Bruce, gives an impromptu address to the crowd.
Photo 4—(L-R) 2018 King and Queen Regents, Frank and DA McGilvary pose with 2018 Women's Igloo President, Mebble Hansen and Men's Igloo President, Randy Frank.

—Photos courtesy of Joan Skilbred and Susan Gibson


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