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Past SPE Annual Conferences

J. Jason Lazarus

SPE Member since 2013
Member Chapter: Northwest

Stories Fading Fast: Capturing the Remnants of the Alaska Gold Rush

Hidden within the thick Alaskan boreal forests lie the overgrown remnants of the abandoned mines, dredges and Gold Rush communities that define our rich and fabled mining past. These neglected relics may seem like empty husks of their former selves, idle for the last 60 years, but to the careful visitor, their walls vibrate, their machines hum and the air is alive with the latent life force of those that once called these places home. The stories of the Klondike Gold Rush are immortalized in the fictional tales of London and Service, yet the plight of the common man forging a home out of the unexplored Alaskan tundra has been left untold. However, with each passing year, yet another miner's story is lost to the pages of time, and with them, so do fade the stories that define these hallmarks of Alaska’s pioneer past. Without a connection to the past, these derelict buildings and discarded artifacts lose their importance even though they represent all that remains: a poor substitution for a once rich and storied life.

Treasure and preserve the stories before they're lost. Respect and honor these places for what they represent as part of our collective past as Alaskans.

Process: These prints combine both digital and film technologies to produce images using a 160 year old printing process, called Van Dyke Brown. Each print is handmade, has unique brushstrokes and is one of a kind. They range in size from 8x10 to 11x17.

Apparitions, Independence Mine, Talkeetna Mtns. // Berry Camp Bunkhouse paired w/ advert for modern living.

Apparitions, Berry Mining Camp Mess Hall. // Berry Cabin with Newspaper Clipping hung to a wall.

Apparitions, Hi-Yu Engine Room, Fairbanks Creek. // Hi-Yu Engines paired w/ Stopehammer manual.

Apparition, Fern Mine, Talkeetna Mnts. // Eagle Creek Sluice paired w/ rifle boards.

Apparitions, Cleary Hill Stamp Mill. // Hi-Yu Stamp Mill paired w/ Ore Collection Bag Tag.

Apparitions, Kitchen, Livengood Creek. Livengood Kitchen paired w/ 1955 Car Advertisement & Women's Velour Hat.

Apparition, Cabin near Eagle Summit. // Eagle Creek Cabin paired w/ Hills Bros Coffee Can.

Apparitions, Family Home, Cleary Summit. // Cleary Hill Home paired w/ Alphabet Block.

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