After discovery of gold in the Circle Mining District in the 1890s, a centrally-located roadhouse was needed between Circle, a supply point on the Yukon, and the mining operations at Mammoth, Mastodon, Preacher and Birch Creeks. Central House, originally built around 1894, was located at the supply trail's crossing of Crooked Creek. It became the center of a small community of miners who settled there and provided food and shelter to travelers and support services to nearby miners. In 1906, the Alaska Road Commission began construction of a wagon road to replace the primitive pack trail from Circle to Birch Creek mining operations. By 1908, construction had reached Central. The original roadhouse burned to the ground and was rebuilt in the mid-1920s. A post office was established in 1925. In 1927, the road link to Fairbanks was completed. The road was named the Steese Highway in honor of General James Steese, former president of the Road Commission. Mining continued until the beginning of World War II. After the war, a few miners returned to Central, but mining declined through the 1950s and 60s. Activity increased again in the mid-1970s with the rise in gold prices. In 1978, the Circle Mining District was the most active in Alaska, with 65 gold mining operations employing over 200 people.
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History and map graphic used with permission from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development