Nenana, Alaska

Yukon - Koyukuk Census Area


Nenana is a place in the Yukon - Koyukuk Census Area of the U.S. state of Alaska. In the census of 2000, it had 402 inhabitants.

Nenana is located in Interior Alaska at the mouth of the Nenana River in the Tanana River, 86 km southwest of Fairbanks on the George Parks Highway. Initiated by a diphtheria epidemic in Nome dog sled relay across Alaska began in 1925 in Nenana.


Nenana is the westernmost part of the Tanana Athabascan territory. The town of Tanana was originally called " Tortella ," which was derived from the Indian word " Toghotthele " and as much as " mountain which is next to the river " means. First Europeans arrived around 1875 in the region. The indigenous people living there in Alaska had by trade already had contact with Russian fur traders at that time.

Discovery of gold in Fairbanks in 1902 brought many prospectors according to Nenana. 1903, a trading post was built. 1905 was the first school in the region, which also visited children from neighboring communities. 1908 opened a post office.

The construction of the Alaska Railroad in 1915 led to a doubling of the population. 1921 Nenana received its town charter. The railway station was completed in 1923 and U.S. President Warren G. Harding defeated the Golden Nail after two unsuccessful attempts in the rails at the northern end of a 200 m long railway bridge over the Tanana River. Nenana was now connected to the rail network with Fairbanks in the interior and Seward on the Gulf of Alaska. The population, however, declined - caused by the departure of the railroad workers - and 1930 from about 5000 to 291

In 1961, 30 km southwest of the city the Clear Air Force Station built, which attracted some civilian companies by Nenana. In 1967 the city was devastated by a severe flooding. The following year, a road bridge over the Tanana River, which produced a road link to Fairbanks and the ferry across the river was made ​​redundant. The 1971 finished George Parks Highway shortened the connection to the south to Anchorage.