TALKEETNA, Alaska — Location and Climate
Located at the junction of the Talkeetna and Susitna Rivers, it lies 115 miles north of Anchorage at mile 226.7 of the Alaska Railroad. The paved Talkeetna Spur Road runs 14 miles east off the George Parks Highway, at Milepost 98.7. The community lies at approximately 62.323890° North Latitude and -150.109440° West Longitude. (Sec. 24, T026N, R005W, Seward Meridian.) Talkeetna is located in the Talkeetna Recording District. The area encompasses 41.6 sq. miles of land and 1.4 sq. miles of water. January temperatures range from -33 to 33; July can range from 42 to 83. Precipitation is 28 inches, including 70 inches of snowfall.
History, Culture and Demographics
The Talkeetna and Chulitna Rivers join the Susitna River at Talkeetna, a Dena'ina (Tanaina) Indian word meaning "river of plenty." Talkeetna was settled as a mining town and Alaska Commercial Co. trading post in 1896. A gold rush to the Susitna River brought prospectors to the area, and by 1910, Talkeetna was a riverboat steamer station, supplying miners and trappers in the Cache Creek, Iron Creek, and Broad Creek districts. In 1915, Talkeetna was chosen as the headquarters for the Alaska Engineering Commission, who built the Alaska Railroad, and the community population peaked near 1,000. World War I and completion of the railroad in 1919 dramatically decreased the population. Talkeetna has since developed as an aviation and supply base for Mount McKinley expeditions. Several of its old log buildings are now historical landmarks, and Talkeetna was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in April 1993. State land disposals and homestead programs helped the community grow.