Knowledge unlocks a world of possibilities The Robinson Library

Home About The Library Navigation Help Sitemap Terms of Use Contact Information

  American HistoryUnited States: Local History and DescriptionPacific StatesAlaskaCities, Towns, Etc., A-Z

the second-largest city in Alaska, after Anchorage, with a population of 31,535

location of Fairbanks on a map of Alaska


Fairbanks sits near the center of the state, close to the junction of the Chena and Tanana rivers. It is 188 miles south of the Arctic Circle, 357 highway miles north of Anchorage, and about 120 miles north of Denali National Park.

The temperature in Fairbanks averages 60 F. (16 C) in June and about -11 F. (-24 C) in January.


Fairbanks is a service center for the extensive mineral development of the Alaskan far north and was construction headquarters for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline (completed in 1977). Also important to the city's economy are the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, Fort Wainwright, and Eielson Air Force Base.


Felix Pedro, a prospector, found gold twelve miles north of Fairbanks in 1902. Fairbanks was founded that same year as a trading post for gold miners developing the Interior Fields. It was named for Charles W. Fairbanks, Vice-President of the United States from 1905 to 1909.

The city was a stopping place for warplanes travelling to Russia during the World War II Lend-Lease Plan. In the 1970's, Fairbanks boomed with the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which passes just to the east of the city.

Below: A statue of Alaska's unknown first family stands along the Chena River near the city's visitors center and old church.

statue of Alaska's unknown pioneer family

World War II

Questions or comments about this page?

  The Robinson Library > American History > United States: Local History and Description > Pacific States > Alaska > Cities, Towns, Etc., A-Z

This page was last updated on May 16, 2015.

About This Site | Navigation Help | Sitemap | Terms of Use | Contact