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CHARLES H. PALDA (Ak. Hist. Soc. Col.). Alaska Highway Construction Photograph Album and Home Movies; n.d., 1942-1944. .25 cu. ft. Photograph List.

Charles H. Palda was senior partner of the Okes Construction Company of St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1942 and 1943, the company was the managing contractor for work on the Alaska Highway on Section E (Fort St. John to Fort Nelson), and a portion of Section D (Fort Nelson to Lower Post). The company trucked in men and supplies, erected construction camp buildings, built a temporary bridge over the Peace River, graded and surfaced roads, built several permanent bridges, and maintained a 256 mile stretch of the highway for a year. Palda and his company later worked on portions of the Panama Canal.

The collection consists of the Alaska Highway construction photograph album and home movies of construction company executive Charles H. Palda. The collection contains: the original leather album cover; a xerographic copy of the original 31 page album; 101 original black and white prints; 43 departmental preservation copy negatives of selected images; a page describing the company's work on the Alaska Highway; two hand colored maps of the Alaska Highway: one noting the entire rough route of the highway, and the other detailing the route from Fort St. John to Lower Post where the company managed the construction; a hand colored plat map of the base camp for the Okes Construction Company at Fort St. John, British Columbia; an Alaska Highway certificate of merit for Palda signed by the commissioner of the U. S. Public Roads Administration and the district engineer of the Alaska Highway District; a portion of an illustrated magazine article on construction of the Alaska Highway from the May 30, 1942 issue of Collier's; and two digital video discs (DVDs) with transfers of Palda's color and black and white home movies and other film footage. Subjects of the photographs include: construction company executives and workers; construction camps (Okes base, P.R.A., Nos. 6, 8 & 11, Roverude, Volck); temporary and permanent bridges (Sikanni Chief River, Peace River, Jack Fish Creek, Little Beaver, Kiskatinaw, Bear Creek, Muskwa River, Kledo River); Sweetwater Saw Mill Camp; towns (Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson); vehicles and heavy equipment (trucks, bulldozers, cranes, crushers, graders, snowplows, etc.); and highway scenery. The page in the album describing the company's work on the Alaska Highway includes lists of the construction subcontractors, Okes company staff, and the primary work they performed. Subjects of the home movie footage on DVD (Disc 1: 120 minutes, Disc 2: 43 minutes) include: Alaska Highway construction (32 minutes on Disc 1 and 43 minutes on Disc 2, most of which is the same); duck and geese hunting in Canada; World War II (Castle Films newsreels); Panama Canal construction; family; and vacations. Main sections of the Alaska Highway footage include those for the Dawson Creek railhead, Peace River crossing, Fort St. John, the Sikanni Chief River and bridge, Okes Construction Company base camp, Muskwa River Bridge, the Peace River Bridge, and highway wrecks.

The collection was presented to the Alaska Historical Society by Mary Palda Marxen in 2006. The collection was deposited in the archives in 2006.

JAS (5/2007)

Photograph list:

Note: Photograph numbers at left correspond to the page number of the album and the photograph's position on the page, generally from top to bottom and left to right. For example, the fourth photograph on page 20 would be number 20d. If there is only one photograph on the page, only the page number is used.

1. Okes Construction base camp scene with the following sign in center: "'The Highway,' You Helped to Build It, Don't Let Up, Let's Finish the Job!" (8 X 10 inch).
2. View of permanent Sikanni Chief River Bridge with temporary bridge and construction camp below (7 X 11 inch).
3. "Peace River Ice Break-up 1943" Charles Palda with camera on bridge (8 X 10 inch).
4. "Bridge Collapsed in 1960 Then Rebuilt" View of permanent suspension bridge over Peace River (7 X 11 inch).
5. View of Muskwa River Bridge from near end of bridge (7 X 11 inch).
6. View of Muskwa River Bridge under construction in high water as seen from riverbank (7 X 11 inch).
7a. "Entrance to Base Camp" Okes Construction sign (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
7b. "Okes Gas Station" (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
8a. "B. A. Oil Storage" Oil tanks, building and vehicles (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
8b. "Hauling 66' Girder" Bridge girder loaded on truck (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
8c. Three men in front of vehicles (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
8d. "Welch's Crusher" R. J. Cooney Construction Co. crusher loaded on truck (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
9a. "Dawson Creek, B.C." Aftermath of fire (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
9b. "Dawson Creek, B.C." Street scene (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
9c. "Dawson Creek, B.C." View of smoldering fire (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
9d. "Remains of stolen pick-up" Cab of truck (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
9e. "Tom Welch hauling equipment" Truck convoy (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
9f. "Mile 1 at Fort St. John" Mile marker (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
9g. "Hockey Rink, Base Camp" (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
10a. "Ladies' Living Room" (2.75 X 4.5 inch).
10b. "19,000 Bd. Ft. Lumber" Boards loaded on truck (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
10c. "Miss Easto" Woman at desk in office (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
10d. "Studer & Regan" Men at doorway (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
11a. "Slide at Mile 117-J" Hole in road surface (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
11b. "Slide at Mile 220-J" Slid embankment (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
11c. "Forest Fire" View of smoke from road (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
12a-d "Temporary & Permanent Bridges, Peace River."
12a. Winter scene of temporary bridge (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
12b. Permanent bridge towers under construction (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
12c. Paddlewheel boat pushing barge loaded with vehicles on river below permanent bridge (2 X 2.75 inch).
12d. View of permanent bridge from hillside (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
12e. Winter view of river from road (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
13a. River view (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
13b. "Beatton River" Tractors at work on road near river (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
13c. "Revision around hill, Mile 108-J." View of road from hillside (2.75 X 4.5 inch).
13d. "Aerial view of river valley (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
14a & b. "Sorenson & Volden Grading" (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
14c. "Chlorinator" (2.75 X 4.5 inch).
15a. "Grading at Mile 220-J" (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
15b. "Installing Wood Box Culvert" (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
16a. "Jack Fish Creek – Bridge built by Pedersen Bros." (4 X 4.75 inch)
16b. "Little Beaver Bridge – wrecked by flood 7-10-43" (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
17a-c. "Sweetwater Saw Mill Camp" (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
17a. Pine trees.
17b. Camp scene through tree.
17c. Office building in camp.
17d. "Kiskatinaw work bridge" View from below (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
17e. "Peace River Valley" View from road (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
18a. "George Shepard" (2.75 X 4.5 inch).
18b. "Russ Sutmar" Man standing next to sign for Sutmar Creek (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
18c. "W. C. Donaldson" (2.75 X 4.5 inch).
19a. "Finished road – about Mile 15-J" (3 X 4.75 inch).
19b. "Volck crushing at Mile 114-J" Gravel plant (2.75 X 4.5 inch).
19c. "Bears at Mile 70-J" (2.75 X 4.5 inch).
20a. "Geo. R. McLean" (3 X 4.75 inch).
20b. "Tom Leopard" (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
20c. "Warehouse 5" (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
20d. "Peace River from Chuilli Pit" (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
21a. "Thornton Trucks" Distant view of large truck lot (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
21b. "Hauling 80' Girder" Bridge girder loaded on truck (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
21c. "Scotty Saunders" Cook standing in doorway (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
21d. "P. R. A. Camp" (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
21e. "Sno-Go" Snow plow truck (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
22a. "Sikanni Bridge celebration, 4-25-43" (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
22b. Men at celebration (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
22c. Construction camp (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
22d. Man outside doorway of Pederson Bros. building at Camp No. 6 (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
22e. "Pete Pedersen" (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
23a. "Pedersen Bros. building Beaver Creek Bridge, Mile 162-J." (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
23b. "Reconstructing Bear Creek Bridge" (2.75 X 4.5 inch).
24a. "Blasting at Quarry, Mile 20-J." (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
24b. "Southern Minnesota grading revision Mile 34-J." (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
25a. "Roverud Camp, Mile 225-J." (3 X 4.75 inch).
25b. "Reese-Olson, Camp 11" (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
25c. "Jack Pedersen – John Ose" (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
25d & e. "Reese-Olson – Muskwa Bridge approach" Machinery working on road (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
26a & b. "Permanent Sikanni Bridge – built by Pedersen Bros."
26a. Distant view of bridge from above on hillside (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
26b. View of bridge from side near approach (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
26c. "Temporary Bridge" Temporary Sikanni River bridge and construction camp (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
27a. "Volck crushing at Mile 131-J." Crushing plant (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
27b. "Volck washing material, Mile 190-J" (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
27c. "Volck Camp" (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
27d. "Coglan, Jameson, Kranenbuhl, Shepard, Studer" Group photo (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
27e. "Pedersen Bros. casting concrete pile" (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
28a. "Mile 148-J: Minniker Valley & Kingzut Mountains" (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
28b. "Finished Road" (3 X 4.75 inch).
28c. Sign for Art Bolier Contractor, Camp 8, Mile 165 (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
29a. "Muskwa Bridge – Concrete Work by Pedersen Bros." (3.25 X 5.5 inch).
29b. Muskwa Bridge under construction (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
29c. Muskwa Bridge under construction (1.5 X 2.25 inch).
29d. "Bill Regan" (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
30a & b. "Steamboat Mountain" Views of mountain from roadway (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
30c. "Thomas Bros. at Mile 64-J" Bulldozer at work (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
30d. "Winter Scene near Steamboat Mountain" (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
31a & b. "Fort Nelson" (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
31a. Hudson Bay Company store.
31b. Float plane on river.
31c. "Maurice Thomas and Ed. Studer, Mi. 148-J" (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
31d. "Kledo Bridge, Mile 35-N." Construction scene with crane (2.5 X 3.5 inch).
31e. "Ed Dunnigan" Man standing next to Kledo River sign (1.5 X 2.25 inch).