The History of Wiseman

Wiseman is located on the middle fork of the Koyukuk River at the junction of Wiseman Creek in the Brooks Range. It lies just north of Coldfoot on the Dalton Highway (North Slope Haul Road.) It lies at approximately 67 25' N Latitude, 150 06' W Longitude (Sec. 24, T030N, R012W, Fairbanks Meridian). The community is located in the Fairbanks Recording District. The area encompasses 81 sq. miles of land and 0 sq. miles of water.

In response to increased mining on the Nolan and Wiseman Creeks in 1911, locals began to abandon Coldfoot, 10 miles to the south. Supplies were brought up the Koyukuk River to Wiseman Creek where a new town developed. It was first called "Wrights," then "Nolan," and finally Wiseman in 1923. The 414-mile North Slope Haul Road was constructed in 1974. Travel was restricted for the general public until December 1994. The road is now known as the Dalton Highway, named for James William Dalton, an Arctic engineer.

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