Thing to Do

See the Wassillie Trefon Dena'ina Fish Cache

a wooden structure with a small door on stilts in winter

Details
Duration
5-45 Minutes
Activity
Museum Exhibits
Age(s)
5 and Older
Pets Allowed
Yes
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Location
Port Alsworth, Alaska
Reservations
No
Season
Year Round
Time of Day
Day, Dawn, Dusk
Accessibility Information
The ground surface from the road to the building is fairly flat gravel. Exhibit is located outside. A wheelchair is available. Inquire at the visitor center or call ahead at (907) 781-2117.
 

Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

a wooden structure with a small door on stilts in winter
The Wassillie Trefon Dena'ina Fish Cache is outside of the Port Alsworth Visitor Center and is accessible year round.

NPS/K. Lewandowski

Once all over the Lake Clark region in Dena'ina and inland Yup'ik villages, hunting and trapping camps and summer fish villages, fish caches like the Wassillie Trefon Dena'ina Fish Cache have now largely disappeared from the scene.

The type of construction of this cache is that of a hand hewn square notched log building. Wassillie Trefon was acknowledged to be a master woodworker by his peers and the present generation in Nondalton in the art of traditional Dena'ina woodcraft. Wassillie Trefon built all his own log houses and caches for his family at Miller Creek, Tanalian Point, Old Nondalton and Nondalton. He built plank skiffs from lumber he sawed both with a whip saw and by assisting Charlie Denison on his steam powered sawmill on Lake Clark.

Study of the cache shows important Dena'ina wood working techniques and methods. The cache was built without nails or spikes. A tightly grooved vertical stick was hammered into a groove running the height of the inside of the gable end providing the rigidity keeping the gable logs together.

The cache was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013 and will inform future generations on the details of a once common but now largely extinct local way of secure food storage and preservation.

Last updated: September 12, 2019