Roadtrippin’ 2022: Stepping back in time at Dredge No. 7 Inn

Roadtrippin’ 2022: Stepping back in time at Dredge No. 7 Inn
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 5:22 PM AKDT
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NOME, Alaska (KTUU) - The Dredge No. 7 Inn in Nome is a step back in time to an era when gold miners rushed to western parts of Alaska to make their fortune.

The lodge is run by the Martinson family, who are third-generation miners.

While the lodge is operated by the family, it was the matriarch, Judy, who loved the inn the most intensely.

“My mother was very creative and she was passionate about the turn-of-the-century style and gold mining history, and every addition, every time we added on — which was a lot — she had to make sure that was reflected in the style,” said Sari Martinson-Reid, sitting in the sun outside the lodge with her four-month-old son strapped to her.

Currently, the lodge has 32 rooms.

Judy recently died and her family has been working hard to ensure the Dredge’s legacy continues to represent Judy’s aesthetics.

“She was really an incredible businessperson, entrepreneur, dreamer,” Martinson-Reid said. “Not only would she sit down and do the papers, and pay the bills, and run the skiff, and run the loader, and make sure all the guys were cutting boards to the right measurements, and then in the evening she would dress up in her turn of the century gown and go to the miners and she was an incredibly dynamic person.”

As more rooms were added to the business, Judy would fly south to Seattle, load up a truck and haul antiques dating from that time period back to Nome.

“I really, really love all the antique furniture,” Martinson-Reid said.

According to the family, there were six operating dredges — which are used to dig up objects from underwater — in Nome in the early 1900s. There was no seventh dredge, but Judy liked the number so the name stuck.

The suites in the main building have old-timey mining names and furniture. The suites have private baths, kitchens and living rooms for longer stays, which many birders take advantage of.

According to Nome locals, the best time to view birds is near the end of May and June.

A mine shaft leads visitors from the main house to the cabins. Sparkly lights hang from the ceiling, and fireweed, lilacs and grasses line the shaft as warm air engulfs visitors.

Martinson-Reid says people often host business meetings in the shaft instead of staying inside.

“It’s really pretty and very unique to Nome, and that’s right out here in back, and it’s my favorite kind of pace to hang out,” she said.

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