Towns in Alaska

Discover towns in Alaska, including history, pioneers, events and what made each town unique.

towns in alaska

Alaska is a vast land, a frontier filled with villages, small towns and big cities. And each one has an incredible story to tell.

A Quick Look

They discovered gold in the towns of Fairbanks, Juneau, and Nome. Just to name a few.

A major tribe of Tlingits first created a village called “Shee Atika” in Southeastern Alaska that later became Sitka.

Eskimos and the Tanaina Indians first established what would become Homer. In 1889, the town grew because of coal.

A fur trading post became Seward.


anchorage alaska

Discover the largest city in Alaska.

From its days as a rugged “tent City”, and how it became a town.


fairbanks alaskaPhoto by Quintin Soloviev

On the banks of the Chena river in the interior of Alaska, Fairbanks got its start as a trading post.

With the discovery of gold in nearby creeks, the area was quickly home to stampeders looking to get rich.


skagway, alaska

The Klondike Gold Rush put Skagway on the map.

Meet the early pioneers who braved harsh conditions and faced a con man named “Soapy” Smith to build a frontier town.


juneau, alaska


Discover this thriving city on the banks of the Gastineau Channel and learn how the discovery of gold started it all.


wasilla, alaska

The Alaska Railroad, gold and two towns.

The story of Wasilla includes the Dena'ina Indian tribe, the town of Knik and nearby gold fields.

A fascinating history.

Towns in Alaska

Russian Explorers

In 1741,The first to spot the Alaska mainland while he was leading a Russian expedition was Vitus Bering

43 years later in 1784, Three Saints Bay on Kodiak Island became the first permanent settlement of Russian explorers in Alaska.

“Seward's Folly”

“Seward's Ice Box”

Later, in the 1850s, Russia was in financial trouble and looked to the United States and U.S. President James Buchanan to purchase Alaska from them.

But the Civil War broke out in the United States and stalled talks with Russia.

Then, in 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signed with Russia to purchase Alaska. The agreed price was roughly 2 cents an acre, or 7.2 million dollars.

Scoffers began calling his purchase of Alaska, “Seward's Folly” and “Seward's Ice Box”.

Many towns in Alaska came into existence because of natural riches including coal, gold and later, oil. And of course there are many thriving fishing and timber industries. Seward's purchase turned out to be a smart move.

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