The History of Northway Junction

The community is located on the Alaska Highway, 5.5 miles northeast of Northway, at the foot of Cheneathda Hill. It lies in the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge. Northway presently consists of three dispersed settlements: Northway Junction, at milepost 1264, Northway, on the airport spur road, and the Native village. It lies at approximately 63 01' N Latitude, 141 48' W Longitude (Sec. 03, T014N, R019E, Copper River Meridian). The community is located in the Fairbanks Recording District. The area encompasses 4 sq. miles of land and 0 sq. miles of water.

The area around Northway was first utilized by semi-nomadic Athabascans who pursued seasonal subsistence activities in the vicinity of Scottie and Gardiner Creeks and Chisana, Nabesna, and Tanana Rivers. The Native settlement of Northway Village is located 2 miles south of Northway. The Native village was named in 1942 after Chief Walter Northway, who adopted his name from a Tanana and Nabesna riverboat captain. The Northway airport was a link in the Northwest Staging Route, a cooperative project between the U.S. and Canada. A chain of air bases through Canada to Fairbanks were used to supply an Alaska defense during World War II, and during the construction of the Alcan Highway. A post office was first established in 1941. The development and settlement of Northway Junction was due to the airport and highway access.


To Community Histories Index Alaska DCCED Community Database Online


History and map graphic used with permission from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development