Pioneer Park, Fairbanks, Alaska, August 18, 2012

September 18th, 2012 | Posted by Steve in Buildings | Museums | Parks | Photography | Ships

After we got back from Denali (see my post prior to this one) it was only late afternoon.  That day the sun was up until 9:58 pm so light was no issue even though the sky was a little overcast.

We decided to visit Pioneer Park, a large historic theme park in Fairbanks.  The park is public with no admission.  It houses museums, shops, galleries, restaurants and other attractions.  Some of the museums charge admission.

One of the first things you see when you enter the park is the S.S. Nenana, an old paddle wheel steam ship.  This is the plaque in front of the steamer.

I think their statement ’2nd largest’ should have been better defined.  The H.M.S. Victory and the U.S.S. Constitution came immediately to mind.  Both are wooden vessels and both are considerably larger, especially in tonnage, than the Nenana.  Still, it is quite a treat walking around this vessel and the ship itself is very photogenic.  Here are a few photos shot at various times that day.

From the Nenana we wandered over to the Pioneer Air Museum operated by the Interior and Arctic Alaska Aeronautical Foundation.  The museum is housed in a gold colored geodesic type dome building.  Inside are airplanes and displays of aeronautical equipment used in Alaska from 1913 to 1948.

I must apologize here to my readers who like aircraft.  I was quite remiss and got virtually no information on what was being shown.  The museum itself is chock full of things including aircraft hanging from the ceiling.  A visitor could easily spend a few hours in there.

Here is a vividly painted single engine aircraft.

This next photo is of an air cushion vehicle.  One of its pilots or inventors was there showing a video of the machine in action and explaining all about it.  I seem to recall it weighed under 150 Lbs. and had an engine that turned out less than 10 HP.

Here are photos of a few more items on display including a memorial to Will Rogers and Wiley Post.


Back outside the only other things I was interested in photographing were a couple of totems, but it was late in the day and we were all getting tired.


As a counterpoint to these totems I offer this shot I did in 1992.  It is in Ketchikan, Alaska and shows a brand new totem (that means carved to order) in front of a new hotel.  This one, of course, was shot with film.  I can’t say that I recall which camera it was.


I would show one more, but it apparently I have no copy on this computer.  Perhaps it will appear another time.

The next post will show some shots of Mt. St. Helens from the air.

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