Chicken of Chicken, Alaska – Chicken, Alaska - Atlas Obscura

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Chicken of Chicken, Alaska

Chicken, Alaska

A giant poultry statue immortalizes one of Alaska's more humorous town names. 


This huge metal chicken, named “Eggee”,  perched on a hill overlooking the Pedro Dredge at Chicken Gold Camp in Chicken, Alaska, one of the few surviving gold rush towns in the state. It’s a sight you can’t miss within a small town with a name you surely won’t forget. The metal statue was created by high school students from recycled school lockers and presented to Chicken Gold Camp, which sponsors the annual Chickenstock Music Festival.

The town of Chicken was named in 1902 when the community applied for a Post Office and needed a name.  The gathering of local miners who had flocked to the town for gold chose “Ptarmigan,” opting to name their little hub after the type of bird they frequently spotted in the area.

But they soon ran into a problem—no one could actually agree on how to spell “ptarmigan.” So as not to ruffle the feathers of any future map readers with a fowl spelling error, the residents decided to call the town “Chicken” instead because the two birds look a bit similar and the word was easy to spell.

The tiny town—its population dips down into the single digits in the winter—celebrates its connection with the popular farm animal. Chicken’s humorous naming story is immortalized by the giant metal chicken sculpture off the main road (just off Airport Road at Chicken Gold Camp). There are other chicken decorations within the small downtown area, too, each one a charming addition to the still-active mining community.

Know Before You Go

The statue and dredge are easily accessible at Chicken Gold Camp just off Airport Rd in Chicken.

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March 26, 2018

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