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.
Big Delta SHP https://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspunits/northern/bigdeltashp.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rika%27s_Landing_Roadhouse 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 www.alaskastateparks.org 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 rikasroadhousecafeandgifts@gmail.com 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
For More Information: Visit us online at Alaska is big, wild, and scenic, www.alaskastateparks.org with a state park system to match. Encompassing Area Offices over 3.3 million acres of rugged, unspoiled terrain, the Alaska State Park System provides endless recreational opportunities year-round, and is a priceless resource for residents and visitors alike. Chugach State Park Potter Section House 18620 Seward Hwy. Anchorage, AK 99516 (907) 345-5014 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 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 123 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. Morgan’s Landing State Recreation Area Denali State Park Photo courtesy of Erik Schlimmer 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. 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! The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation provides outdoor recreation opportunities and conserves and interprets natural, cultural, and historic resources for the use, enjoyment, and welfare of the people. Harding Lake State Recreation Area Photo courtesy of Nicole Phillips 3rd Edition—2016 Rock ptarmigan, Chugach State Park Photo courtesy of Leanne Quirk Background, Hatcher Pass Management Area Photo courtesy of Matthew Johnson Chena River State Recreation Area Shrimping in Prince William Sound Eagle River Nature Center, Chugach State Park Photo courtesy of Ricketts Rafting Photo courtesy of Mary Wasche Photo courtesy of Jim Wood A Division of the Department of Natural Resources Camping History & Culture 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. 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. Birch Lake State Recreation Site Big Delta State Historical Park Eklutna Lakeside Trail, Chugach State Park Public-Use Cabins Rupe Andrews Cabin, Alaska State Parks offers Shelter Island State Marine Park more than 60 public-use cabins for rent year-round. These coveted cabins are booked months in advance, so make your reservation today! For more information visit http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/cabins/index.htm. Kachemak Bay State Park Photo courtesy of Andre Kaeppele Wickersham State Historic Site Johnson Lake State Recreation Area Wood-Tikchik State Park Petroglyph Beach State Historic Site Photo courtesy of Kyle Joly Photo courtesy of Wayde Carroll Willow Creek State Recreation Area Photo courtesy of Donna Quante Chena River State Recreation Area Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park Photo courtesy of Kyle Joly Photo courtesy of Wanda Scholze Independence Mine State Historical Park Photo courtesy of Dan Kehlenbach Crow Pass Trail, Chugach State Park Photo courtesy of Justin Wholey Trails Totem Bight State Historical Park Photo courtesy of Mary Kowalczyk Background photo courtesy of Donna Olson Fort Rousseau State Historical Park Photo courtesy of Nicole Acevedo Independence Mine State Historical Park Photo courtesy of Wayne Biessel Alaska State Parks boasts an unrivaled multiuse

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