Pioneers of Alaska Fairbanks

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PIONEER MUSEUM

The museum has  a colorful 1900s storefront facade.

With a 1900s storefront facade, the Pioneer Museum the home of The Big Stampede Show and Pioneer Hall, where members of the Pioneers of Alaska meet. Photo by Susan Gibson.

MUSEUM HISTORY

In 1961, Pioneer Memorial Park, Inc. was created by the Pioneers of Alaska to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Alaska's purchase from Russia by saving many of the historical buildings and antiquities in Fairbanks from decay or demolition. That same year, a 501C3 non-profit status was acquired. Built on the edge of the Park's Gold Rush Town with a 1900s style architectural facade, is Pioneer Hall, home of the Fairbanks Igloos. The Hall also houses both the Pioneer Museum and "The Big Stampede Show."


The greater portion of the Museum’s collection has been donated by Pioneers of Alaska. These items tell the stories of Alaska's unique local, territorial and state history and illustrate the triumphs and struggles our early pioneers faced as they sought to tame Alaska's wild, unforgiving landscape in pursuit of their dreams for riches and a better life. Most of the early pioneers followed the gold rush stampedes throughout "The Great Land" and they came from around the world.


"The Big Stampede" presentation, also located in Pioneer Hall, tells the story of two such stampedes. This unique show is the last known of its kind. It is comprised of fifteen oil on canvas paintings by C. M. “Rusty” Heurlin. In a darkened theater, the audience, seated on a turntable, moves to focus one at a time on each of the large mural-style paintings. As each painting is spotlighted, the narrator, Ruben Gaines, describes the suffering and hardships endured by the stampeders to the Klondike and Fairbanks gold fields of 1898 and 1902. The narrator marvels at what “gold fever” will lead people to do.

Museum Hours

There is no admission fee but donations are accepted and greatly appreciated.

March & April:
Opens the 2nd Friday in March.
Thereafter it is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 - 5 pm.

May:
Daily from 1 - 5 pm

May 27 - mid-September:
Daily from 11 am - 8 pm

October - February:
Closed, except for:

  • Special event days in the Park (i.e., Halloween Town, Santa Train, Holiday Bazaar)
  • Small groups (4+ people) by prior request. A one (1) week notice is required.
  • Free, enhanced school tours for public, private, or home schools at any day and time. A one (1) week notice is required.

For more information about these exceptions and to arrange a tour, please contact the museum.

"Big stampede" Showtimes

"The Big Stampede Show" is open Memorial Day Weekend through mid-September.

Showtimes:

  • 11:30 a.m.
  • 1:00 p.m.
  • 2:30 p.m.
  • 4:00 p.m.

Admission:

  • Adults (16 & up): $4
  • Children (6 to 16): $2
  • Children Under 6: Free

Some Items on Exhibit

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Staying warm in the Alaskan wilderness means survival. This ingenious well-made lightweight trail stove demonstrates another use for the standard 5-gallon aviation gas can.

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In 1928, the Creamers, a pioneering family, purchased a dairy farm and operated it until it sold to the community of Fairbanks in 1966. Located on College Road, the farm has been preserved and is now a waterfowl refuge manage by the State of Alaska.

Large, heavy metal safe with wheels.

This safe was owned by H.B. Avakoff, a jeweler specializing in the manufacture of platinum and diamond items. Avakoff was an Armenian immigrant who travelled the Valdez Trail to Fairbanks in 1907.

WHERE TO FIND THE PIONEER MUSEUM

The Pioneer Museum is located in the Gold Rush Town section of Pioneer Memorial Park.

Pioneers of Alaska Fairbanks

Pioneer Museum, 2300 Airport Way, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701, United States

(907) 456-8579