Antler arch a gateway to downtown Fairbanks

FAIRBANKS - One thing every tourist in Fairbanks should do is check out the world’s farthest north antler arch.

Located just a short walk from the Morris Thompson Visitors and Cutlural Center on the Chena River bike path near downtown, the arch is made up of more than 100 moose and caribou antlers that were collected from all over Interior Alaska. It’s an impressive structure that is very Alaskana.

Ten sets of antlers came from the village of Huslia and 15 sets of antlers were collected from Fort Yukon. Additional antlers are from Fairbanks, North Pole, Dot Lake, the Minto Flats, Tok, Koyukuk, Delta, Northway and the Tanana Flats. One of the largest sets came from Shawn Gover, a young boy from Nikolai who got the moose antlers on his first hunt.

Local artist and cabin builder Sandy Jamieson oversaw installation of the antlers. The arch was completed in 2010.

A goal of the arch is to bring attention to the bike and walking paths along the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks and to encourage people to make the short four-minute walk between the Morris Thompson Center and the Golden Heart Park on Second Avenue. The arch is billed as the “Gateway to Downtown Fairbanks.”

The total cost of the arch was approximately $25,000. The bulk of the cost, approximately $20,000, was for construction of the two concrete columns which form the base and the steel beam that holds the antlers.

The remaining $5,000 covered the purchase of antlers, installation, and a sign that recognizes the individuals and communities that donated the antlers.