Who We Are

Above: Tanana Mill Company Yard. (Alaska Digital Archives, Alaska State Library, the University of Alaska Archives)

The Tanana-Yukon Historical Society has helped celebrate and preserve Alaska’s history since the 1960s. Join us and help keep Fairbanks and Alaska history alive for future generations! Our work includes:

  • Tours of the historic Wickersham House
  • Winter lecture series
  • Researching and publishing historical works
  • Supporting students at National History Day
  • Working with the US Army to discover and maintain Alaska history on military lands, and to facilitate the Army’s government-to-government process with Alaska Native groups
  • Assisting owners of historic properties and advocating for preservation of Interior’s historic places throughout Alaska’s Interior

All are welcome to attend our summer monthly meetings. See a current list of board members and staff.

About Alaska’s Interior

Alaska’s Interior region is bordered by the Brooks Range and Ray Mountains to the north; and the Alaska Range and Wrangell Mountains to the south.

Interior_Alaska_Stub
Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Fairbanks, located in the Tanana Valley, is the Interior’s largest city, and the second largest in Alaska. Other towns include North Pole, just southeast of Fairbanks, Eagle, Tok, Glennallen, Delta Junction, Nenana, Anderson, Healy and Cantwell. Learn more

James Wickersham and the Interior’s early days

wickersham

James Wickersham was a longtime judge who had traveled extensively throughout the Alaska territory to ensure fair application of the law. He later served as Alaska’s delegate to the US Congress, starting Alaska down the path toward statehood by establishing the Territorial Legislature. He was also instrumental in establishing the Alaska Railroad, Mt. McKinley National Park, and what would eventually become the University of Alaska.

  • Introduced the first Alaska Statehood Bill to Congress in 1916
  • Responsible for the passage of the Second Organic Act, providing the Territory of Alaska with an elected legislature
  • Utilized a law providing land grants to states for the support of colleges and universities, and introduced legislation in Congress to establish the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines, precursor to the University of Alaska

Learn more about James Wickersham and tour his historic Fairbanks home.