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Henk Binnendijk | profile | all galleries >> Places in Alaska , Yukon and BC >> Wiseman tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

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Wiseman

Wiseman (pop. 30) sprang up around 1907, long before the trans-Alaska pipeline and the Dalton Highway were constructed in the 1970s. Dog sleds, horses and bush planes were used to reach the outside world. Gold was discovered in nearby Nolan Creek and the town became a supply center for miners in the upper Koyukuk Valley. Wisemanís heyday came in 1910 after gold seekers abandoned Coldfoot, 13 miles south. The town was first called Wrights, then Nolan, and finally Wiseman in 1923.
Wiseman is located 75 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the Brooks Range, at 1,180 ft. elevation in a valley. The town features thirty original historic cabins and log structures (all privately owned and still in use) from the gold rush area, a Historic Museum with old minerís journals and old photoís, and a chapel named after Florence Jonas-Kalhabuk, the last full Eskimo resident. She passed away in Wiseman in 1979 at the age of 82. A nearby mountain was named in her honor.
Winter temperatures in Wiseman can be extremely cold, -50 to -70 at times in January and February. There is a total loss of sunlight between December 5 and January 9. High temperatures occasionally reach 90. Individual generators are used for power; some residents use propane lights.

Old post office
Old post office
Wiseman
Wiseman
Moose antlers pole
Moose antlers pole
Wiseman bridge
Wiseman bridge
Historical Museum
Historical Museum
Wolf hunter's cabin
Wolf hunter's cabin
Wiseman wood
Wiseman wood
Log cabin
Log cabin
Wiseman wood
Wiseman wood
Wiseman wood
Wiseman wood
Wiseman patriot
Wiseman patriot
Kalhabul log chapel
Kalhabul log chapel
Trading Company
Trading Company
Wiseman
Wiseman
Wiseman
Wiseman
Wiseman
Wiseman
 Koyukuk River
Koyukuk River
Boreal Lodge
Boreal Lodge
Dalton Highway
Dalton Highway
Dalton Highway
Dalton Highway