Rampart is located on the south bank of the Yukon River, approximately 75 miles upstream from its junction with the Tanana River, 100 miles northwest of Fairbanks.
It lies at approximately 65° 30' N Latitude, 150° 10' W Longitude (Sec. 23, T008N, R013W, Fairbanks Meridian). The community is located in the Rampart Recording
District. The area encompasses 233 sq. miles of land and 8 sq. miles of water.
The name Rampart refers to the range of low mountains through which the Yukon passes in this region and which forms the "ramparts" of the Upper Yukon.
was established in 1897 as a river supply point for gold placer mines in the hills and creek valleys south of the Yukon. News of strikes in Minook Creek, Idaho Bar,
Quail Creek, and Eureka Creek, all within 30 miles of Rampart, triggered a rush to the community in 1898 and swelled the population to as high as 10,000 by some estimates.
The photograph to the right shows the community in early 1898 (click on it to enlarge it).
During its heyday, Rampart had a newspaper, hotels, saloons, library, fire department, hospital, and a host of stores and businesses that were typical of the mining towns
of that time. The boom was short-lived. New strikes in the Upper Koyukuk River, Anvil Creek, Nome and Fairbanks rapidly depleted the population. By 1903, only a Native
community remained among the abandoned homes and businesses.
Over time, the population gradually increased as people migrated from Minook Creek. By 1917, about 30 Natives and 30 Whites were living in Rampart. An agricultural
experiment station was established by the University of Alaska across the river from Rampart in 1900 to cross-breed grains and legumes. By 1920, more than 90 acres were
under cultivation. The station also tested vegetables, strawberries, flowers and field crops. The farm was closed in 1925. An airstrip was constructed by the Alaska Road
Commission in 1939. A salmon cannery was established in the 1940s, and a sawmill and logging operation was built in the 1950s. Residents continued to work in nearby gold
mines and the local store served as supply point for area operations.
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Alaska DCCED Community Database Online
History and map graphic used with permission from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development