Fairbanks Gold Rush Town Walking Tour

Walk through a series of his­tor­i­cal build­ings, some cabins are now occu­pied by shops and restaurants during the open season of Memorial to Labor Day! Enjoy a walk around the park and take in the historical placards listed on each cabin, even in winter time.

Show Map

Walking Tour Points

Pio­neer Hall was designed in 1966 to rep­re­sent a fine 1900’s era build­ing. It hous­es the Pio­neer Muse­um and The Big Stam­pede Theater.

Cab­in #2 was con­struct­ed in 1906 as the Palace Hotel and Bath House, and was orig­i­nal­ly locat­ed at 194 4th Avenue near Cush­man Street. In 1957, the bath­house was renamed the Chena Hotel, and was moved to its loca­tion at Pio­neer Park in 1967.The Palace Empo­ri­um spe­cial­izes in unique gifts, food, drinks, and apparel.

Cab­in #3 was used to intro­duce Robert Service’s lit­er­ary works to the Fair­banks com­mu­ni­ty. It was orig­i­nal­ly locat­ed at the 1400 block of 2nd Avenue and Bad­ger Road, and owned by Lawrence Olson who willed it to Carl Erikson.

Cab­in #4 was built in 1903 by the founder of Loomis Secu­ri­ty, L.B. Loomis. The Lit­tle Wil­low, owned and oper­at­ed by Gail Kennedy, spe­cial­izes in bead­work, and oth­er hand­made items.

This cab­in was moved from 653 8th Avenue and pre­sum­ably built in the 1920’s. All the orig­i­nal records of this cab­in, and many oth­ers in the park were on file pri­or to the 1967 flood, but the records were lost at that time. The cab­in is now occu­pied by Oh So Won­der­ful, and is owned and oper­at­ed by Bon­nie Colel­li, who spe­cial­izes in Alaskan themed bas­kets, quilts, and more.

Cab­in #6 was orig­i­nal­ly part of the Prostitute’s Line that was locat­ed on 4th Avenue. This Cab­in now hous­es the Artist Chantelle Marie who spe­cial­izes in fine art, cus­tom paint­ings, and stickers.

Cab­in #7 was owned by Fair­banks’ first vet­eri­nar­i­an Doc Stearns. This cab­in is now occu­pied by Juliana Miller, a self-taught artist from North Pole, Alas­ka. She pro­vides books, charms, and Blobb­i­fy portraits.

Cab­in #8 was built in 1908. It is believed that, in the ear­ly 1930’s, it was pur­chased by a pio­neer min­er named Nick Nagen­gast who had trav­eled to Alas­ka with Elam Arnish, the hero of Jack London’s book, Burn­ing Day­light. The cab­in is home to Charms by C.J., a retail jew­el­ry store.

Cab­ins #9 and #10 were built in 1948 by Jess Moriner, and were used as motel cab­ins near a tiny ser­vice sta­tion south of Fair­banks in the Big Bend area.

The Kit­ty Hens­ley House was orig­i­nal­ly locat­ed at 932 8th Avenue, and was moved to the Park in 1967. The Pio­neers of Alas­ka fur­nished it with authen­tic pieces of fur­ni­ture from the period.

This cab­in was donat­ed by Edgar Philleo. It was moved from between Cush­man and Lacey Street. Accord­ing to Alas­ka Title Guar­an­ty Com­pa­ny, this cab­in was build before 1911.

Cab­in #13 is a repli­ca of a cab­in which is believed to have been part of the orig­i­nal home­stead owned by Dr. Young, one of the first dairy farm­ers in Fair­banks. At that time, it was a five-room cab­in, but it burned down some­time before 1942. The cab­in was moved to Pio­neer Park from 11th Avenue.

Cab­in #14 is one of the ear­li­est cab­ins built in Fair­banks, built before 1904 by two Finns at 159 2nd Avenue. The orig­i­nal mud chink­ing is vis­i­ble between the worm-eat­en logs. The adja­cent cab­in on stilts is a cache, used for stor­ing food.

The white church at Pio­neer Park was the first church built in the Inte­ri­or of Alas­ka. It was con­struct­ed in 1904, on the cor­ner of 7th Avenue and Cush­man Streets. The church at Pio­neer Park is open for ser­vices every Sun­day by Angli­can Church of the Redeemer, and can also be reserved for wed­dings and events.

Cab­in #16 was owned by Skag­way Jim in the ear­ly 1900’s and today is occu­pied by Cheechako’s Tacos, a restau­rant that serves Fusion Taqueria.

This cab­in was moved from 7th Avenue in down­town Fair­banks. Mar­tin Nun­ner bought the cab­in in the mid-fifties from a Russ­ian fam­i­ly. Mr. Nun­ner was a min­er from the Coal Creek-Wood­chop­per area. This cab­in is occu­pied by Soul­va­ki, which has been fam­i­ly owned and oper­at­ing in Pio­neer Park since 1972.

What is now known as the Palace The­atre was, at the turn of the cen­tu­ry, Golden’s Gro­cery Store. The Palace The­ater pro­duces vaude­ville-style shows that are per­formed at 8:15 pm every evening. The shows poke fun at ear­ly Fair­banks his­to­ry and the pio­neer­ing lifestyle.

Cab­in #19 was once known as the Geor­gia Lee House. In the 1920’s, dur­ing the con­struc­tion of the Alas­ka Rail­road, it was a house of ill repute” in the town of Nenana, 60 miles south of Fair­banks. In 1928, the build­ing was cut into sec­tions, barged to Fair­banks, and placed at 829 4th Avenue. Today, Cab­in #19 hous­es the Pio­neer Park Office. 

Cab­in #20 was the Saw Shop locat­ed at 2nd Avenue and State Street. It was owned by Bill Sher­win, who came to Alas­ka in 1898, at 21 years old, to try his luck at gold min­ing. Not find­ing his for­tune in gold, he took up wood cut­ting in Fair­banks. This cab­in is now used as restroom facil­i­ties for the Gold Rush Town.

The Lavelle Wheel­house is the orig­i­nal, restored wheel­house of the Lavelle Young, the boat that brought E.T. Bar­nette the founder of Fair­banks up the Chena Riv­er. It was aban­doned in McGrath, Alas­ka in 1920, and brought to Fair­banks in pieces in 1972. The orig­i­nal steer­ing wheel is now on dis­play in the Pio­neer Museum.

Cab­in #22 belonged to E.H. Mack who was involved in real estate, and was a home­stead­er along Col­lege Road. The cab­in is now occu­pied by Friends of SS Nenana who are a group that are ded­i­cat­ed to the restora­tion and preser­va­tion of the SS Nenana stern­wheel­er in Fair­banks, Alas­ka. For more infor­ma­tion, or to donate, please vis­it their website.

Cab­in #23 was the bunkhouse for dri­vers of Ed Orr’s Stage­line, which oper­at­ed between Fair­banks and Valdez; 360 miles south of Fair­banks. This Cab­in is used by Beau­ti­ful­ly Blend­ed Cre­ations, spe­cial­iz­ing in wood­en wall art.

Cab­in #24 was the home of Bill Sher­man. Bill’s Saw Shop, Cab­in #20, was locat­ed direct­ly behind this house. Both cab­ins were orig­i­nal­ly locat­ed on 1st and State Street.

Cab­in #25 was owned by Harold R. Allen and was orig­i­nal­ly locat­ed at six-mile Richard­son Highway.

Cab­in# 26 is thought to have been a black­smith shop. Site records indi­cate that it was moved from 1409 3rd Avenue.

This cab­in was orig­i­nal­ly locat­ed on Wick­er­sham Street, and was believed to be built in the ear­ly 1900’s. Two busi­ness­es share this cab­in. Pow­er­ful Cre­ations who spe­cial­izes in woven wire jew­el­ry. Jam Bou­tique is an inde­pen­dent Ruby Rib­bon representative.

This cab­in was orig­i­nal­ly the Torg­er­son Shed” locat­ed at 2nd Avenue and Cleary Street. Today, it is home to Old-time Pho­tos. Vis­i­tors can dress in peri­od cos­tume for fun pho­to oppor­tu­ni­ties, and pur­chase keep­sakes of their pho­tos on site.

This cab­in was built in 1976 by a Ryan Junior High School Class

This was built in 1926 by pio­neer Alex McRae whose life­long dream to own his own home was ful­filled with this log cab­in. He built this cab­in when he was 55. Today, this sto­ried cab­in is occu­pied by Just Orig­i­nals, a retail­er of unique Alaskan items and gifts. 

Cab­in #31 was orig­i­nal­ly the home of Har­ry Karstan, a Park Ranger and Super­in­ten­dent of Denali Nation­al Park. Karstan came to the Klondike in 1897 at age 17. He earned his trip by back­pack­ing sup­plies for min­ers over the Chilkoot Pass. Karstan made the first suc­cess­ful, doc­u­ment­ed climb of Denali (for­mer­ly Mt. McKinley).

Cab­in #31A was home to the Wold fam­i­ly from 1946 to 1969. At that time, it was locat­ed at 1229 1st Avenue. Today, Frosty Paws occu­pies the space, serv­ing deli­cious soft serve ice cream. 

Cab­in #64 was built in 1965 as the office for North­land Wood when the sawmill was locat­ed on Col­lege Road.

Very lit­tle infor­ma­tion about cab­in #66 has sur­vived, but there are plen­ty of rumors that it is haunt­ed. Despite its unknown past, Cab­in #66 is mak­ing a name for itself as The Folk School. They offer year-round class­es and pro­grams for all ages in tra­di­tion­al crafts, wood­work­ing, out­door skills, and hands-on, arts and sciences.

Cab­in #69 is anoth­er his­tor­i­cal piece that seems to have mis­placed its mem­o­ry. We know very lit­tle about the past of this quaint Alaskan cot­tage. Today, how­ev­er, #69 is occu­pied by Gold Rush Ice Cream which serves an array of ice cream, slush pup­pies, and shaved ice.

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.