Birth of a University

Many think the origin of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) goes back to 1917, when the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines was first opened. But in 1906, an Experimental Agricultural Station was established on the same site. The following article is the very first mention in a Fairbanks newspaper of what was to later become the University of Alaska Fairbanks Campus.

Fairbanks Evening News- August 1, 1905


Along Line of New Railroad

Prof. C.C. Georgeson, accompanied by Fred Rader, passed the day between here and Chena looking for land for an experimental agricultural station.

Mr. Georgeson has been kept busy since coming to town. Yesterday he and his companion secured horses and visited many of the homesteads surrounding Fairbanks and made notes of the soil and native vegetation.

Owing to the large number of homesteads close to this place he thought it would be difficult to get enough land for as large a tract as he desired, and he was thinking some of trying to locate it up the Tanana river near the Delta district. Members of the Chamber of Commerce and others however, used their influence to have him inspect the country between here and Chena. It is believed he can secure a piece of ground large enough for all practical purposes, and it will be much more valuable to the government and to the people for whose benefit it is intended. In fact, all of the homesteads are located within a close radius of the two towns, while there is not more than one or two in the Delta district at present, and these were located mostly for townsite purposes.

Near Fairbanks, on the other hand, are many cultivated farms and the people in charge of them badly need the assistance which could be given them from an experimental station. Then, too, such a place near this town will be more central for the Tanana valley than any place that could be found.

Of course, the present purpose of the government officials is to reserve the land. The placing of a station upon it will depend entirely upon congress next year, whether an appropriation is made sufficient to cover the cost.

Note: Obviously Professor Georgeson was successful in his search, and we hope you will take a moment to visit the beautiful gardens named for him at UAF. They are located along the lower edge of the hillside near the railroad tracks between Fairbanks and Chena.

This groundbreaking History Nugget has been proudly brought to you by Men’s Igloo No. 4 and Women’s Igloo No. 8 of the Pioneers of Alaska.

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