Place:Big Delta, Southeast Fairbanks, Alaska, United States

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NameBig Delta
TypeCensus-designated place
Coordinates64.147°N 145.802°W
Located inSoutheast Fairbanks, Alaska, United States
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Big Delta is a census-designated place (CDP) in Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska, United States. The population was 591 at the 2010 census. Big Delta is at the confluence of the Delta River and the Tanana River and gets it name from the huge river delta formed by the confluence.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

From at least 10,000 years ago to the present, Athabascan Indians have inhabited portions of the interior of Alaska. They survived by hunting the abundant game and fishing in the rivers of the interior of Alaska.

Beginning in 1899, the United States Army built a pack trail from Valdez, on the south coast of Alaska, to Eagle, northeast of Big Delta, a distance of about . The trail crossed the Tanana River near the confluence of the Delta and Tanana Rivers.

Gold was discovered in 1902 in Fairbanks, about north of the crossing of the Tanana River. Roadhouses were built along the pack trail that connected the south coast of Alaska with Fairbanks. One such roadhouse was Bates Landing, which was built at the confluence of the Delta and Tanana Rivers, about north of the current Delta Junction, in the area known now as Big Delta. The U. S. government collected a toll on the south side of the Tanana River from all passengers crossing north. In 1904 work began on the Richardson Highway, which mostly followed the route of the pack trail.

In 1906, John Hajdukovich bought the roadhouse and enlarged it. In addition to running the lodge there, he took hunting parties into the nearby Granite Mountains and traded with the Athabaskans in the surrounding area. An 18-year-old Swedish girl named Rika Wallen came to the roadhouse to work for John. After several years, John deeded the roadhouse to Rika in lieu of back wages he owed her. Rika also homesteaded an adjoining piece of land. Rika's Roadhouse and the adjacent property are now the Big Delta State Historical Park.

In 1928 a herd of bison were brought from the U. S. state of Montana to Big Delta, because they were thought to be threatened with extinction in the continental United States. The herd still roams in the Delta Junction area, about south of Big Delta.

The construction of the Alaska Highway during World War II shifted much of the economic activity of the area south to Delta Junction. Later history of the area can be found in the entry for Delta Junction.

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