The History of Gakona

Gakona is at the confluence of the Copper and Gakona Rivers, 15 miles northeast of Glennallen. It lies at mile 2 on the Tok Cutoff to the Glenn Highway, just east of the Richardson Highway. It lies at approximately 62 18' N Latitude, 145 18' W Longitude (Sec. 18, T006N, R001E, Copper River Meridian). The community is located in the Chitina Recording District. The area encompasses 1 sq. miles of land and 0 sq. miles of water.

Ahtna Indians have lived in the Copper River basin for 5,000 to 7,000 years. Gakona served as a wood and fish camp, and later became a permanent village. In 1904 Doyle's Roadhouse was constructed at the junction of the Valdez-Eagle and Valdez-Fairbanks Trails, and became an essential stopping point for travelers. There was also a post office, stagecoach station and blacksmith shop here. Some buildings are still standing. Gakona Lodge was built in 1929 and is on the National Register of Historical Places. The lodge contains many old relics of the gold rush era.


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