Tanana-Yukon Historical Society
Sharing the history and continuing story of Fairbanks and Interior Alaska
Historical Lecture Series
Fairbanks at -50°. (Alaska Digital Archives, Alaska State Library, the University of Alaska Archives)

Historical Lecture Series

In the winter, we run a monthly lecture series featuring presentations about local and state historical topics.

When: Third Wednesday of the month
Where: Pioneer Hall at Pioneer Park, Fairbanks

Upcoming lectures will be posted here.

Lecture topics

Past lecture topics have included:

  • The Birthplace of William H. Seward, Alaska’s First Statesman
  • Drawing History
  • Gold Rush Ice Train: George Glover and the US Government’s Unlikely Attempt to Conquer the North by Steam
  • Husker Du – Reel History of Alaska’s Interior
  • The Mears Memorial Bridge: Crowning Link in the Alaska Railroad
  • On Whose Terms? Indian Chiefs and White Settlement in the Tanana Valley
  • Paved with Ice: John Muir’s Road to the Glacier Gospel
  • Pioneer Voices: Highlights of the Tanana-Yukon Historical Society’s Audio Collection
  • Rockwell Kent, a Realist: Encouraging Alaskan Artists in an Age of Abstraction
  • The Tanana Chiefs and Wickersham: a Centenary
  • Walter Harper – A Portrait
  • Where’s Chena? Revisited

‘Wickersham:  Finding His Way Home’

A joint collaboration between TYHS and Hyperborea Pictures is the story of Judge James Wickersham. Settled in Tacoma since 1883, James Wickersham was a successful lawyer and probate judge, looking for new opportunities to use his talents and immense energy. What he got, in 1900, was not quite what he had in mind:  appointment as a district judge in Alaska. And so began a decades-long journey throughout the territory and on to Washington DC. Resting briefly during his frequent travels in roadhouses, hotels, on shipboard, he stayed longer in only three places – where he sought to create amore permanent home for himself and his wife:  Eagle, Fairbanks, and Juneau. Those properties were discussed by researcher and actor Steve Mitchell and illuminated by videographer Bryan Whitten in a presentation made on January 25, 2023 about James Wickerhsam and his journey. 

Click here to view the presentation.

Laine Rienhart (Tlingit) Chilkat Weaving Artist Talk & Robe Progress Update.

This artist talk by Laine Rinehart (Tlingit) was the third event in the Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum’s Winter Share Your Culture/ Share Your Research Series in 2022. The talk was co-sponsored in a partnership with the Tanana-Yukon Historical Society. The Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum are grateful to the Tanana-Yukon Historical Society for partnering and to Laine Rinehart for speaking. Laine Rinehart (they, them, theirs) speaks about the history of Chilkat weaving and how it has been passed between tribes over time. Additionally they share how mountain goat wool is prepared to weave and give and update on their progress on their robe that they worked on while an artist-in-residence at the Sheldon Jackson Museum in 2021.

You can access this talk on YouTube here.