Big Delta

State Historical Park - Alaska

Rika's Roadhouse, the adjacent outbuildings, and property are preserved as the Big Delta State Historical Park. The structure was restored in 1984 by Stanton and Stanton Construction (owned and operated by brothers, Eldon and Richard Stanton). It was placed on a new foundation using original timbers, and in some areas, the packing crate floor was restored. It is now operated as a "house museum"; some rooms have been fitted with 1920s-1930s period furniture and accessories donated by local residents.



Brochure and Map of Big Delta State Historical Park (SHP) in Alaska. Published by Alaska State Parks.Big Delta - Brochure

Brochure and Map of Big Delta State Historical Park (SHP) in Alaska. Published by Alaska State Parks.

Brochure and Map of Northern Area state parks in Alaska. Published by Alaska State Parks.Northern Area - Brochure and Map

Brochure and Map of Northern Area state parks in Alaska. Published by Alaska State Parks.

Brochure of State Parks in Alaska. Published by Alaska State Parks.Alaska State Parks - Brochure

Brochure of State Parks in Alaska. Published by Alaska State Parks.

Big Delta SHP Rika's Roadhouse, the adjacent outbuildings, and property are preserved as the Big Delta State Historical Park. The structure was restored in 1984 by Stanton and Stanton Construction (owned and operated by brothers, Eldon and Richard Stanton). It was placed on a new foundation using original timbers, and in some areas, the packing crate floor was restored. It is now operated as a "house museum"; some rooms have been fitted with 1920s-1930s period furniture and accessories donated by local residents.
Welcome to Big Delta For More Information Milepost 275 Richardson Highway P.O. Box 318 Delta Junction, AK 99737 907-451-2695 Rika’s Roadhouse Café & Gifts Open Daily from 10:00am to 4pm, May 15 to Labor Day Seasonal Phone: 907-895-4201 Cell: 507-884-9103 State Historical Park Rika Wallen and Marnie Washburn outside the barn, sometime in the early 1920s Communication Imagine sending an email or text message and waiting one year for it to reach its intended audience and receive a response—in 1900 that is how long it took the U.S. Army in interior Alaska to communicate with their headquarters in Washington, D.C. To speed up communications, the U.S. Army built the Washington to Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System (WAMCATS) in 1903. The telegraph station at Big Delta was named McCarty Station after the owner of the trading post. Soldiers were stationed every 20 to 40 miles along the line and endured lonely and harsh conditions. Their assignment was, perhaps, more tolerable at McCarty Station because of its location on the Tanana River—supplies arrived here first and were then distributed to other stations. Harold Washburn Collection, Delta Historical Society The U.S. Army allowed civilians to use the telegraph, which provided vital communication for settlers, miners, and travelers. Big Delta remained an important communication station mpo p rt rtan an nt co comm mmun unicca attio tion n st stat attio ion n when radio and telephones nd tthen hen he n tte ele leph ph hon ones es rreplaced ep pla lace c d ce the WAMCATS. S. S. Rika’s Roadhouse Oxen at Big Delta Harold Washburn Collection, Delta Historical Society Big Delta State Historical Park is in the National ty Register of Historic Places. The Delta Historical Society maintains historical displays throughout the park. A construction team embarking from McCarty Station UAF Archives, Edward R. McFarland Photographs, UAF-1974-130-73 The “Grizzly Gang” Alaska State Parks UAF Archives, Edward R. McFarland Photographs, UAF-1974-130-78 Roadhouse & Homestead A In 1904, entrepreneur Ben Bennett built a trading post and roadhouse near this Native winter camp to provide travelers, miners, and trappers with supplies and shelter. Bennett soon sold his holding to Daniel McCarty and it became known as the McCarty Trading Post. Fourteen non-Native people lived roadhouse and homestead, a river and road, a telegraph and radio— when interwoven, these threads create a rich and colorful tapestry at Big Delta State Historical Park. Big Delta has been significant in the development of interior Alaska for over 100 years. around the trading post by 1906. John Hajdukovich McCarty Trading Post Ted Lowell Collection, Delta Hotorical Society John Hajdukovich, from Yugoslavia, arrived at Big Delta in 1906 to seek his fortune in the nearby gold-rich hills. Hajdukovich acquired the trading post and roadhouse in 1909 and had a new roadhouse built. By 1913, the roadhouse was the center of activity for miners, traders, freighters, military personnel, hunters, and trappers. Hajdukovich lived and worked in this area for almost sixty years. He died in 1965 at age 86. Rika Wallen In 1917, John Hajdukovich hired Swedish-born Rika Wallen to run his business. She bought the roadhouse in 1923 for “$10.00 and other considerations.” Rika’s Roadhouse was open yearround, catering to travelers in summer and locals in winter. Rika raised livestock and grew vegetables and fruits, which allowed her to serve fresh produce, eggs, milk, and meat. Rika ran the roadhouse until the mid- 1940s; she died in 1969 and Wallen is buried on the grounds. Rika Photo Courtesy of Ted Lowell, Delta Hotorical Society P rior to European exploration and settlement, Athabascans traveled here during fall to benefit from the Tanana River’s chum salmon runs. They overwintered and left for their summer camps in spring. When U.S. Army explorers passed through here in the late 1800s, it was during summer—they reported seeing Native dwellings, but no occupants. View of roadhouse from river bank Harold Washburn Collection, Delta Historical Society John Hajdukovich John Hajdukovich Collection, Delta Historical Society Ta na n Doc Cripe and his dogs, Big Delta Harold Washburn CollecƟon, Delta Historical Society a River Walking Tour Guide ne eli Pip Valdez to Fairbanks Trail 1—Valdez 2—Alaska Alaska Road Commission Garage 3—Alaska Alaska Road Commission Outbuilding 4—Ferry Ferry Scale 5—Ferryman’s Ferryman’s Cabin 6—Prospectors’ Prospectors’ Trail 1—Military Military Stable Site 2—Telegraph Telegraph Building 3—Mess Mess Hall Foundation 4—Military Military Residence Legend Features RV Camping Sites Interpretation —————Transportation————– – —————Communication———— — Parking Park Info Toilet Rika’s Roadhouse Café and Gifts Dump Station —Roadhouses and Homesteading— — Water 1—Rika’s Rika’s Barn 2—Homestead Homestead Outbuilding (Mu
Welcome to History View of men riding in Model T Ford with banner, Valdez-Fairbanks Trail, Valdez, Alaska. Northern Area AMRC-b62-1-a-83, Crary-Henderson Collection The Northern Area is steeped in history important to the development of Interior Alaska. For thousands of years, this region was home to Tanana Athabascans. When Europeans arrived, most contact with Alaska Natives was tied to trading posts and government explorations. Big Delta began as a trading post and, for the next 100 years, served as a transportation and communication hub for weary travelers, prospectors, traders, and military personnel. For More Fo re Info Information format fo ation 1RUW 1 UWKH KHUQ UQ Q $UH UHD D 2I 2IÀFFH 3700 37 00 Air irpo porrt Way Fair Fa i ba ir ank nks, s AK 99709 9 (90 07) 451 51-2695 51 Alaska State Parks Fairbanks, Delta Junction, and Tok Vicinity www. alas aska kasttat a epar arks k .o org www ww alas aska kast stat atettra ailils. s.or org g What would the region’s history be without tall tales of VWUHDPVÀOOHGZLWKJROG"3URVSHFWRUVUXVKHGLQWR$ODVND after news spread of the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897. 'XHWRWKLVLQÁX[RISHRSOHWKH860LOLWDU\VWDUWHG construction of the Valdez-Eagle Trail in 1899. In 1902, Felix Pedro’s gold strike, caused a stampede to the Fairbanks and Chena areas. Welcome With over 400 square miles of land dedicated to outdoor recreation and natural and cultural history, Northern Area Alaska State Parks provide plenty of room to play and learn. During long summer days, head outside to ÁRDWULYHUVDQGVWUHDPVFRRORIILQRQHRI the many lakes, go camping with family and friends, hike through forests and over hills, or take in some of Alaska’s history at Big Delta State Historical Park featuring Rika’s Roadhouse. Don’t even think about following the bear’s example and sleeping through winter! The parks in this area beckon visitors to enjoy the snow and invigorating cold air. Try your KDQGDWLFHÀVKLQJVNLRQJURRPHGWUDLOV snowmachine on fresh powder, go skijoring with your pooch, or enjoy the dazzling winter scenes as you hike along in snowshoes. Today, when you drive through the Northern Area, you are more than likely following historic routes. The Richardson Highway is Alaska’s oldest highway, designed to link the coast and the rich resources of the interior. The Alaska Highway is the result of an incredible effort during World War II when over 1,600 miles of pioneer road were built during one short construction season. Northern Highlights With 16 state parks spanning from Fairbanks to Tok, the Northern Area is ideal for a summer road trip. It also offers great platforms for launching into winter fun—the sky is the limit! ll g Lake Hardin Robert Ange by Photo Each park has something different to offer outdoor enthusiasts throughout the year. Summer in this inland region is very warm and perfect for water-based activities as nearly every park is located near a water body. Stiles C reek Tr ail Photo courtesy s in Chena Riv er SRA of Lona Boyars ky Fall brings with it opportunities to hunt for moose, bear, and other animals; loads of sweet, juicy berries for the picking also draw people outdoors. Winter settles in with a blanket of snow inviting skiers, sledders, dog mushers, and snowmachiners to enjoy the northern lights. Spring ÁRZVLQZLWKEUHDNXSQHZEXGVDQG Angel Creek Valley Photo courtesy of Brooks Ludwig leaves, and thousands of migratory birds, beckoning hibernating people to get out and stretch their legs. Moose calf Photo by Robert Angell A Division of the Department of Natural Resources IA L PRO DUCT FI Compeau Trail WŚŽƚŽĐŽƵƌƚĞƐLJŽĨ:ƵƐƟŶtŚŽůĞLJ OF Rika’s Roadhouse, as seen from the riverbank Photo courtesy of the Harold Washburn Collection C Harding Lake Photo by Robert Angell AL A Female mallard and ducklings Photo by Robert Angell OF SKA S™ ARK TE P STA 0— — E S T. 1 9 7 Alaska State Parks Public-Use Cabins Wildlife Wildlife of all shapes and sizes can be found throughout these parks, from water-loving mink to forest-dwelling lynx, and from bugle-sounding sandhill crane to willow-munching moose. Please remember that wildlife is wild no matter how docile they may seem, so appreciate them from a distance. Keep your cameras and binoculars handy—you never know what you will see! Pleasant Patches Delta-Clearwater River Photo courtesy of Justin Wholey River Floating Sandhill Crane Photo by Robert Angell 0RVWSDUNVLQWKH1RUWKHUQ$UHDDUHÀUVWUDWH boating destinations. Many are also prime locations IRUULYHUÁRDWLQJDGYHQWXUHV:KHQÁRDWLQJZDWFK for obstacles and avoid them well in advance to prevent disaster. Wear a life jacket—it can be the difference between life and death if your boat capsizes or you fall overboard. Interior Alaska is famous for its wild berries—you just have to know where and when to look. Blueberries, raspberries, crowberries, bearberries, low-bush cranberries, and black a
Photo courtesy of Bill Berkhahn Wood-Tikchik State Park Photo courtesy of Wayne Biessel Photo courtesy of Nicole Acevedo Photo courtesy of Mary Kowalczyk Background photo courtesy of Donna Olson Independence Mine State Historical Park Fort Rousseau State Historical Park Totem Bight State Historical Park Wildlife Viewing Independence Mine State Historical Park Photo courtesy of Wanda Scholze Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park Brown bear, Chugach State Park Trails Whale Watching Photo courtesy of Dan Kehlenbach Background photo, Wood-Tikchik State Park Alaska State Parks boasts an unrivaled multiuse trail system. Trails range from paved, ADA accessible paths to challenging mountain scrambles. Explore the map inside or visit us online at to view interactive maps and download printable guides. Photo courtesy of Justin Wholey Crow Pass Trail, Chugach State Park Swimming Snowshoeing Photo courtesy of Kyle Joly Chena River State Recreation Area Snowmachining Skiing Photo courtesy of Wayde Carroll Petroglyph Beach State Historic Site Wickersham State Historic Site Photo courtesy of Donna Quante Willow Creek State Recreation Area Running Photo courtesy of Kyle Joly Wood-Tikchik State Park Relaxing Alaska State Parks offers Shelter Island State Marine Park more than 80 public-use cabins for rent year-round. These coveted cabins are booked months in advance, so make your reservation today! For more information visit Photo courtesy of Andre Kaeppele Kachemak Bay State Park Pack Rafting Historic preservation is embedded in the Alaska State Parks’ mission statement. Our uniquely Alaskan State Historical Parks (SHP) and State Historic Sites (SHS) represent several eras of Alaska’s history and are as diverse as the places in which they reside: tour a hard-rock gold mining camp at Independence Mine SHP in Palmer; explore a WW II Army artillery base at Fort Abercrombie SHP in Kodiak; or view Tlingit and Haida designs on the totem poles and the clan house at Totem Bight SHP in Ketchikan. Rupe Andrews Cabin, Picnicking Public-Use Cabins Eklutna Lakeside Trail, Chugach State Park Photography Big Delta State Historical Park Johnson Lake State Recreation Area Birch Lake State Recreation Site Paragliding Pitch a tent in the backcountry or slide your RV into a drive-in slip. With over 2,500 campsites and limitless backcountry settings, there is no shortage of camping options in Alaska State Parks. Explore the map inside for a list of developed campgrounds. Orienteering History & Culture Camping For More Information: Visit us online at Alaska is big, wild, and scenic, with a state park system to match. Encompassing Area Offices over 3.3 million acres of rugged, unspoiled terrain, Chugach State Park Potter Section House 18620 Seward Hwy. Anchorage, AK 99516 (907) 345-5014 the Alaska State Park System provides endless recreational opportunities year-round, and is a priceless resource for residents and visitors alike. Northern 3700 Airport Way Fairbanks, AK 99709 (907) 451-2695 Kenai/PWS P.O. Box 1247 Soldotna, AK 99669 (907) 262-5581 Southeast 400 Willoughby Ave. P.O. Box 111070 Juneau, AK 99811 (907) 465-2481 Kodiak District 1400 Abercrombie Dr. Kodiak, AK 99615 (907) 486-6339 Wood-Tikchik State Park P.O. Box 1822 Dillingham, AK 99576 (907) 842-2641 Mat-Su/Copper Basin 7278 E. Bogard Road Wasilla, AK 99654 (907) 745-3975 DNR Public Information Centers Anchorage: (907) 269-8400 Fairbanks: (907) 451-2705 Welcome to Alaska State Parks ATVing Backpacking Recreation From high alpine tundra to temperate rainforests, the state’s diverse landscapes are reflected in the parks, historic sites, recreation areas, trails, preserves, and special management areas that comprise the Alaska State Park System—a collection of 157 units Wood-Tikchik State Park Photo courtesy of Bill Berkhahn ranging in size from the half-acre Potter Section House State Historic Site to the 1.6-million-acre Wood-Tikchik State Park. Beachcombing Berry Picking Biking Bird Watching Denali State Park Photo courtesy of Erik Schlimmer Camping Canoeing Recreational opportunities are equally varied: hike through fields of lupine; pick blueberries under the midnight sun; snowmachine in Denali country; observe a pod of orcas from your sea kayak; or fish the world-famous Kenai River. Clamming Alaska State Park units are an essential component of the Alaskan lifestyle, with locals participating in wilderness recreation at a rate twice that of the national average. Alaskans make up over two-thirds of the 5.4 million annual visitors to our parks. Outdoors is “where it’s at” in the last frontier, and with a square mile of land for every resident, we have plenty of room for you to find your Alaska! Dog Mushing Climbing Exploring Fishing Hiking Horseback Riding The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation provides outdoor

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