News & Events

James William Dalton Interpretive Panel:  Fundraising Request
In collaboration with the Dalton Family, the Tanana-Yukon Historical Society (TYHS) presents:
An interpretive panel memorializing the importance and significant successes of James W. Dalton, who spent his engineering career in Alaska, first in the Aleutians and then all across the road-less far north, helping to guide the U.S. Navy’s oil exploration in the Naval Petroleum Reserve 4 (NPR-4), supervising the construction of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line, and then decades of consulting with various mining and petroleum exploration efforts.  He also aided Alaskan officials in selecting what have become valuable northern tracts of oil-producing state lands.  Dalton helped to open up the country for petroleum, minerals, transportation, defense and communication … and his story has never been told.
The panel’s creation has taken many volunteer hours and fabrication dollars.  In addition, the TYHS has accepted a 10-year sponsorship of the panel, guaranteeing its maintenance and repair or replacement if damaged.  The total estimated cost is $7,500. Installation of the panel is being provided by the DOT&PF.  
(Funds raised in excess of actual & projected costs will be used for other historic preservation projects). 
Join us for the unveiling:
23 September, 2018 at 3:00 PM Mile Post 1.1 Dalton Highway 
Make Donations in support of the project:
By USPS: TYHS, P.O. Box 71336, Fairbanks, Alaska 99707-1336
or Ask Questions:
Email Address:; or (907) 488-3383
Telephone:  Project Coordinator, Patty Peirsol:  (907) 479-8668


2018-19 Lecture Series

The TYHS has an active schedule of speakers at our monthly public free lectures held in Pioneer Hall at Pioneer Park at 7 PM unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

“James W. Dalton” presented by Patty Peirsol (and Clark Milne, in absentia, now bicycling in Northern France!)

In 1981, over 37 years ago, the road leading north to Prudhoe Bay was designated the

“James William Dalton Highway”.  But, why James Dalton?

More than five years ago, Mike Dalton began attempting to have a sign installed along the highway, describing her late husband’s important involvement in opening the state up for petroleum, minerals, transportation, defense and communication.

A little over two years ago, Mike and daughter Libby traveled the road with 14 homemade signs telling Jim Dalton’s story. Clark and Karen Milne traveled with them and helped nail signs to trees along the way.

Then, just over eight months ago, Patty Peirsol took on a project to finally get a sign designed, fabricated and installed.

Learn how this collaboration started and how these Fairbanksans, from different walks of life, came together to make this happen.  See the final outcome, learn about the life of James Dalton and – perhaps – along with the Tanana Yukon Historical Society- become a supporter and donor.



Fairbanks Local History Lecture Series

The Fairbanks North Star Public Libraries present:  Fairbanks Local History Lecture Series. Lectures and multimedia shows compiled and presented by Joan Skilbred. All lectures begin at 7:00 PM and will be held in the Noel Wien Auditorium in the Noel Wien Library, 1215 Cowles Street, Fairbanks.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 – Ewing & Swanson, Two Early Day Success Stories

For more information contact the library (907-459-1020 or at,