The Wickersham House was the home of one of Alaska’s first and best known political figures Judge James Wickersham. Judge Wickersham was the first Federal Judge in the Interior of Alaska. His jurisdiction ranged over 300,000 square miles. It was James Wickersham who promised political help to the town’s founder E.T. Barnette if he would name the new community on the Chena River “Fairbanks” after his friend Senator Charles W. Fairbanks of Indiana. The judge based his court here in Fairbanks, helping to assure the city’s future. In 1908, after resigning his judgeship, he was elected Alaska’s (non-voting) delegate to Congress. In the next 14 years, he lobbied successfully for the construction of the Alaska Railroad and for territorial status for Alaska. He also introduced Alaska’s first bid for statehood way back in 1916, a visionary idea that didn’t become a reality until 1959. Judge Wickersham was one of the people responsible for the creation of the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines which later became the University of Alaska.
Originally situated on the corner of 1st Avenue and Noble Street, the Wickersham House was the first house in Fairbanks built with milled lumber, and that had a white picket fence. Judge Wickersham purchased the lot in April, 1904 for $175. He built the house himself that same spring, hauling the lumber down the street on his back.
The Wickersham House was moved to Pioneer Park in 1967, partially restored by the City of Fairbanks in 1977, and placed on the Historic National Register in April, 1979. It is now a restoration project of the Tanana Historical Society.
Summer: Daily 11am-9pm
No admission fee, donations accepted.