With a 1900s storefront facade, the Pioneer Museum is the home of The Big Stampede Show and Pioneer Hall, where members of the Pioneers of Alaska meet. Photo by Susan Gibson.
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.
If YOU have any "Alaskana" items and are wanting to downsize, please give the Pioneer Museum first chance at the items, especially Alaskan photographs (please remember to identify the photos on the back in pencil or acid-free pen).
"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.
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.
Daily from 1 - 5 pm
May 27 - mid-September:
Daily from 11 am - 8 pm
October - February:
Closed, except for:
For more information about these exceptions and to arrange a tour, please contact the museum.
"The Big Stampede Show" is open Memorial Day Weekend through mid-September.
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.
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.
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.