Experience more than 100 years of Interior Alaska history through photographs, newspaper clippings and artifacts at the Fairbanks Community and Dog Mushing Museum, located in the Co-Op Plaza at 535 Second Ave.
Admission is free, though donations are gratefully accepted.
One display offers a glimpse into how residents amuse themselves during long, cold winters. A display about the Klondike Gold Rush, lots of dog mushing memorabilia, photographs and home movies from the historic 1967 flood are just some of the additional offerings.
“Seasons of the Sled Dog,” a film about musher Mary Shields, is screened twice a day, and other movies are rotated in.
A small gift shop with Alaska literature and keepsakes helps fund the museum.
The collection of historic photographs includes classic pictures of miners arduously ascending Chilkoot Pass during the Klondike Gold Rush. Some of those prospectors eventually made their way to Interior Alaska, striking gold in the hills surrounding Fairbanks and helping put the Golden Heart City on the map.
An art gallery exhibits works by local artists in an art show on the first Friday of every month.
The museum has exhibits dedicated to the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Examples of beaded mittens and slippers made in the Interior Alaska village of Galena, located on the north bank of the Yukon River, are on display. Another display case boasts a bear skin coat with a wolf ruff.
Check out one of the dog sleds that Charlie Biederman used to haul mail up and down the Yukon River. Biederman was the last contract mailman to deliver mail by dog sled. His route stretched 160 miles between Circle and Eagle on the Yukon River and was discontinued in 1938.
Another exhibit pays tribute to the late George Attla, one of the greatest sprint-race dog sled champions of all time.
Across a wall are professional photographs showing all manner of wintertime events and activities in Fairbanks, including a picture of the famous outhouse races that used to take place at the Chatanika Lodge.
More than 400 photographs of the aurora borealis taken by late photographer Warren Gammel can be viewed on an electric display.
The museum also possesses an old panoramic photograph of Fairbanks that is believed to have once adorned a wall at the Nordale Hotel, which burned down in 1972. It was found in a dump and donated to the museum, and burn marks on the picture lend truth to the story that it was salvaged from the hotel’s ruins.
The museum’s summer hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. It is located on the second floor of the Co-Op Plaza.