The History of Minto

Minto is located on the west bank of the Tolovana River, 130 miles northwest of Fairbanks. It lies on an 11-mile spur road off of the Elliott Highway. It lies at approximately 64 53' N Latitude, 149 11' W Longitude (Sec. 23, T004N, R009W, Fairbanks Meridian). The community is located in the Manley Hot Springs Recording District. The area encompasses 163 sq. miles of land and 4 sq. miles of water.

Minto is in the western-most portion of traditional Tanana Athabascan territory. During the late 1800s, some members of the Minto band traveled to Tanana, Rampart and Fort Yukon to trade furs for manufactured goods, tea and flour. With the discovery of gold north of Fairbanks in 1902, steamboats began to navigate the Tanana River, bringing goods and new residents into the area. Old Minto became a permanent settlement when some members of the Minto band built log cabins there, on the bank of the Tanana River. Other families lived in tents on a seasonal basis. A BIA school was established in 1937, but most families still did not live in Minto year-round until the 1950s. The Minto band was eventually joined by families from Nenana, Toklat, Crossjacket and Chena. The village was relocated to its present location, 40 miles north of the old site, in 1969 due to repeated flooding and erosion. The present site had been used as a fall and winter camp since the early 1900s. New housing and a new school were completed by 1971.


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