The Fairbanks Exploration Company, a subsidiary of the United States Smelting, Refining and Mining Company (USSR&M), bought up most small gold-mining operations in the Fairbanks area by 1925 and began an extensive prospecting and drilling program. With considerable capital, the company was able to bring in dredges and to construct the 90-mile-long Davidson Ditch to provide water for the dredging operations. Between 1926 and 1940, the Fairbanks Exploration Company employed close to one thousand men each year, bolstering the Fairbanks economy. The company built an extensive industrial complex on the north side of the Chena River, and many of those buildings remain today.
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Fairbanks Exploration Company Complex
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