|Name of Ski
in Interior Alaska on the north banks of the Yukon River just
downstream from it's confluence with the Tanana River.
|Type of Area:
|Who Built It?:
Gibbon, a U.S. Army outpost that supported a large number of troops.
As the gold rush to Alaska
gained momentum at the tail end of the 1890's, the U.S. Army
arrived to help maintain order. Posts were established
at Fort Seward (Haines), Fort Liscum (Valdez), Fort Egbert
(Eagle), Fort Gibbon (Tanana), Fort St. Michael (St. Michael), and
Fort Davis (Nome).
Soldiers at these posts
used skis for drills, patrols, recreation and for hunting
previously the site of Fort Adams (1868-1869), an American trading
post. Originally Fort Gibbon troops supported the telegraph
line from Fairbanks to Nome. Later, in 1908, the telegraph
line was abandoned for wireless [radio] communications. Fort
Gibbon became a wireless station at that time.
From: Duty Station Northwest,
The U.S. Army in Alaska and Western Canada, 1867-1987, Volume One
1867-1917, Lyman L. Woodman, Lt. Colonel, USAF-Retired.
"It appears that duty
at this fort was not too onerous. In March 1908 there were
37 men who, when their terms of enlistment expired, re-enlisted in
the 22nd infantry, the organization due to succeed the 10th on the
following summer. Fort Gibbon's winters were easier to
endure than Fort Egbert's.
Major Charles S. Farnsworth
was post commander 1910-1912. Farnsworth encouraged skiing
and hunting parties for recreation and for the Arctic training
value, as well as to obtain fresh meat. Sports and
recreation programs and various forms of entertainment the men
devised contributed to their high morale".