Deltana is southeast of Delta Junction on the Alaska Highway, near the
convergence of the Richardson and Alaska Highways, approximately 100 miles southeast of
Fairbanks. It lies at the foot of Panoramic Peak. It lies at approximately 63.853710° North
Latitude and -145.22307° West Longitude. (Sec. 21, T012S, R013E, Fairbanks Meridian.)
Deltana is located in the Fairbanks Recording District. The area encompasses 562.2 sq. miles
of land and 3.0 sq. miles of water. This area of Interior Alaska experiences seasonal extremes.
The average low temperature in January is -11 degrees Fahrenheit. The average high during July
is 69 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature extremes ranging from a low of -63 to a high of 92
degrees Fahrenheit have been recorded. Average annual liquid equivalent precipitation is 12
inches, which includes an average annual snowfall of 37 inches.
Tanana Athabascan Indians occupied this site throughout most of the 19th and
early 20th centuries. The peak of the Alaska gold rush was between 1898 and 1903.
In 1899 the Army sent parties to investigate the Susitna, Matanuska, and Copper River valleys
to find the best route for a trail north from Valdez, through the Copper River valley.
By 1901, the Army had completed the Trans-Alaska Military Road, which extended from Valdez to
In 1902, gold was discovered in the Tanana Valley and, shortly after, a spur
trail was created from Gulkana on the Valdez-Eagle route to the new mining camp in Fairbanks.
This trail became the Valdez-Fairbanks Trail. Ongoing mining activity just north of Delta
Junction in the Tenderfoot area, and the Chisana Gold Strike of 1913, brought many prospectors
and other travelers through the area. It became known as Buffalo Center in 1927, for the
American bison that were transplanted here in the 1920s.
In 1942, construction of the Alaska
Highway began, and a military base (later Ft. Greely) was completed 5 miles to the south. In
1946, a dairy farm was established; beef cattle were brought in during 1953 by homesteaders.
Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline between 1974 and 1977 brought a dramatic upswing to
the population and economy.
In 1978, the State began Delta Agricultural Project I, creating 22
farms averaging 2,700 acres each. In 1982, the Delta II project formed 15 additional farms,
averaging more than 1,600 acres each. Tracts of 2,000 to 3,600 acres were sold by lottery, and
State loans were made available to purchase and clear the land. The 70,000-acre Delta Bison
Range was created in 1980 to confine the bison and keep them out of the barley fields.
A Guide to Yakutat, Alaska
Alaska Community Histories Index
Alaska DCCED Community Database Online
History and map graphic used with permission from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development