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Tuesday Evening History Lectures

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Join local lecturers on a journey to the past of our Golden Heart City, and the great state of Alaska.



Tuesdays, August 6, 13, 20, 27 and September 3 @ 7pm in the Noel Wien Auditorium.

Dates for each event are at the bottom of the page.


Black History From the Gold Rush Days of the Golden Heart City**
A detailed look at the lives of nine African Americans who were early day residents of Fairbanks, Alaska.  We will learn about their challenges, their sorrows and best of all their many triumphs as they participated in the gold rush of the Tanana Valley.  Joan will share what she has learned about these important residents of Fairbanks from early day records and newspapers.  This show will make you laugh, cry and cheer, all in one hour!  There are also lots of great photos in the show that came from the Pioneer Museum’s extensive collection of early day Fairbanks photographs. **Lecturer Joan Skilbred is a longtime resident of the Fairbanks area and has a passion for our local goldrush history.  She is well known for promoting the history of the Interior region of our beloved state.   She is a proud member of the Pioneers of Alaska, The Friends of the Tanana Valley Railroad, The Fairbanks Genealogical Society, and the Tanana Yukon Historical Society.   She works as an individual and in groups to share and appreciate the rich history that is Fairbanks, Alaska.


Fairbanks Women , Four Feminine Stories of Early Day Fairbanks**
Three members from Pioneers of Alaska Fairbanks Women’s Igloo No. 8 are teaming up to showcase four women that represent the women of early day Fairbanks.   Pat Babcock will feature Minnie Geis and Jesse Bloom, who are both of the more traditional types.  Marilyn Nigro will showcase Kitty Hensley, whose house is in Pioneer Park’s Goldrush Town.  Kitty’s story is one of hardship and endurance.  Joan will finish the series with the story of Belle Dormer, who refused to play by the rules, and was way ahead of her time.  These ladies show the spunk, hard work, and real grit of life in early day Fairbanks from a woman’s perspective.




Prudhoe Bay Exploration and Discovery
Prudhoe Bay is the largest oil field in North America, and one that almost went undiscovered. After years of fruitless searching, oil companies ( and the Navy) had largely given up on the North Slope of Alaska. One Company decided to drill “One more hole” –( a rank wildcat well), and the rest is history. The discovery of oil in Prudhoe Bay was a watershed moment for Alaska, good or bad the discovery changed Alaska, the oil industry and to some degree, the world. Lecturer Bob Hurlbut a 36 year veteran employee of Prudhoe Bay and a self-proclaimed local historian on exploration and discovery of oil in Prudhoe Bay. Over his career, Bob has had the pleasure of meeting, working with and talking with many of the “pioneers” in the discovery and early development of oil in Prudhoe Bay.





LeRoy Tozier, A Gold Rush Story of Fame, Fortune & Scandal
Joan will take you on a journey into the life of LeRoy Tozer, who was an important early day resident of the Klondike and then later, Fairbanks.  He was a community builder, a passionate lawyer and had an affinity for the seedier side of life.  This show has a lot of talk in it about sex and crime, and may not be suitable for children or those with “tender ears.”  There are also lots of great photos in the show that came from the Pioneer Museum’s extensive collection of early day Fairbanks photographs.
Joan Skilbred is a longtime resident of the Fairbanks area and has a passion for our local goldrush history. 




Wimbish & Cooper, A Gilmore Creek Murder Story
Spend an evening learning about how the federal justice system worked in criminal prosecutions prior to 1920.  This exciting murder story will take you through the investigation, the trial, the politics, and the aftermath of this tragic early-day event.   See how distance and time conspired to challenge our American ideals regarding criminal prosecutions and what happened to those that went through it.   This show has actual crime scene photos and images of trial documents.


* Adjustments and discounts will be applied during checkout if applicable. *

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