Prospector Monument Addition

(L-R) George Lounsbury, Rodger Hopp, Jim Plaquet and Michael Gibson after completing the interpretive plaque installations at the Prospector Monument site. All four are members of Men’s Igloo No. 4. Also participating in the work crew were Don Ilgenfritz, Jr. and Pioneer, George Dalton. Photo courtesy of George Lounsbury.

Fairbanks, Pioneer Park—On June 30, 2018, members of Men’s Igloo No. 4 installed two historical plaques next to Prospector Monument in the Mining Valley of Pioneer Park. The original granite monument was erected and dedicated in 2017.

The photos in the two new interpretive signs were researched by Joan Skilbred and George Lounsbury with Joan Skilbred creating the the layout designs. The final plaques were financed by Men’s Igloo No. 4 and Women’s Igloo No. 8. The stands were constructed and donated by Pipefitters Local 375.

One plaque displays photos of:

  • Felix Pedro, who discovered the Fairbanks Mining District;
  • two prospectors at the entrance to a mine tunnel;
  • prospectors using a rocker box to recover gold;
  • and a man and woman working the windless at a prospect site.

The second plaque includes photos of early prospectors in the Fairbanks Mining District, including a rare photo of Frank Cleary, and the first map of the Tanana Gold fields dated from 1904.

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