1. Dry Gulch City, South Pole, Antarctica.
Welcome to the last frontier -- "Dry Gulch City"--
where it's always cold and the air is dry because
we're at just over 10,000 feet altitude at the bottom
of the world. Lt-Cdr Richard Carlson, from
Butler, N. J., is the mayor of Dry Gulch, which has
an average population of some 120 Seabees of Naval
Mobile Construction Battalion 71 in its eight
buildings. When one ventures around the city you
see such rustic sights as the famous "Last Chance
Saloon" where the Seabees spend a lot of their
off time; the "Court House," or headquarters
building where the city's paperwork is done; and
surrounding sites. If the men don't go to the
movies, then they are likely to head for the
"Last Chance Saloon" where there is always excitement.
Sundays are a day of relaxation for most
of the Seabees. However, there are a select few
whose talents are needed: the chef and his staff
work with dedication, and of course the bartender
is on duty at the Saloon when it's open after work.
Towards the end of this deployment in Feb. (1974),
"Dry Gulch" will be a ghost town as the NMCB-71
Seabees return to Davisville, Rhode Island. It
will be the end of a town constructed to withstand
snow, 100 mile per hour winds and temperatures of
minus 80° and lower, but there will be left in its
place a new station for U. S. scientists who will
continue to probe for science at the bottom of the
world. The good and the tough times at Dry Gulch
City will be only memories to the Seabees with
NMCB-71 after this season and will certainly provide
a number of "sea stories" for many years to come.
2. Seabee Ingenuity. Looking more like Miss
Kitty's Longbranch Saloon in Dodge, the Last
Chance Saloon in Dry Gulch, Antarctica is the
favorite place of the Navymen serving in support
of science on the Great White Continent. It was
designed and built by the men of Naval Mobile
Construction Battalion 71 from scrap materials,
old packing crates, or anything else they could
find. Everything is handmade, including the
3. Welcome to Dry Gulch. The city limits sign,
normal with any small village or township, is
found on the edge of Dry Gulch, Antarctica. The
population of 146 represents the construction
personnel of NMCB-71 who built the new geodesic
dome as the new station at the South Pole (seen
in the background in Photo No. 1.)
4. Home at the end of a long day. Members
of NMCB-71 trudge through the main (and only)
street in Dry Gulch. This construction camp
is the home of these Navy Seabees during the
austral summer during their deployment to the
South Pole at the Bottom of the World.
--the above is from the Ice Cap News, May-June 1974. This journal was (and is) published by the American Society of Polar Philatelists (ASPP). This copy is courtesy of Billy Ace Baker.
This photo of the Last Chance Saloon is from Gerald Davis, one of the 1973 winterovers, who describes this as the second best bar at Pole.
Here is Stu Harris' picture of what the, er, Last Chance Saloon looked like in late 1976 after the great fire across the street. (jump to the rest of the 1976 construction camp pictures...)