Chicken, Alaska

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Chicken is a census-designated place (CDP) in Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska, United States. Chicken is a community founded on gold mining and is one of the few surviving gold rush towns in Alaska. The population was 17 at the 2000 census, 5 of them being children[1].



Chicken was settled by gold miners in the late 1800s and in 1902 the local post office was established requiring a community name. Due to the prevalence of ptarmigan in the area that name was suggested as the official name for the new community. However, the spelling could not be agreed on and Chicken was used to avoid embarrassment. A portion of Chicken, with buildings from the early 1900s and the F.E. Company Dredge No. 4 (Pedro Dredge) are listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Chicken is the outpost for the 40 Mile mining district. There are still active gold mines in this area. Enough gold was mined here to make it worthwhile to haul huge gold dredges to this remote location. There are still several inactive gold dredges in the Chicken area.

Chicken has one important former inhabitant: The teacher Anne Hobbs Purdy, co-author of the book "Tisha" (together with Robert Specht, Bantam Books), lived here for 1 year in the late 20s teaching the local children. Her famous and captivating book tells her story in the Alaskan wilderness and how she faces the difficulties of a close-set community, prejudices against natives, and the hard winter.


Chicken is located at 64°4′15″N 141°52′30″W / 64.07083°N 141.875°W / 64.07083; -141.875 (64.070738, -141.874894)[2].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 115.4 square miles (298.9 km²), all of it land.

The only transportation to Chicken is a small local airstrip, as well as Alaska Route 5, the Taylor Highway. The highway is not maintained from mid-October through mid-March.

There is a United States Post Office for Chicken.

There is no local telephone exchange service in Chicken.

The zip code for Chicken is 99732.

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