On Saturday, July 20, 2019, the Friends of the Tanana Valley Railroad invited all of our friends, family, supporters, and visitors to join us at Pioneer Park as we reenacted the original Tanana Mines Railway Golden Spike Ceremony from July 17, 1905, in celebration of Locomotive No. 1 turning 120 years old, having been built in the early winter of 1899.

The original ceremony in 1905 was held to commemorate first part of the railroad system, linking the towns of Chena and Fairbanks, which were both important parts of the Tanana Valley. Complete with commemoration from one of the founders of the company, Falcon Joslin, who pioneered the idea of the valley railroad in the interior; Federal Judge James Wickersham, who was in favor of a railroad that created many job opportunities; E.T. Barnette who founded and was the first mayor of Fairbanks; and his lovely wife, Isabelle, who drove the golden spike into the railbed.

The Friends of the Tanana Valley Railroad reenacted this ceremony on a gorgeous day with the amazing help of local volunteers to play the roles of our characters, a great team of members to operate No. 1, our fantastic visitor delegates from Valdez to serve cake and punch at the reception, the committee to put it all together, our lovely VIP’s who traveled near and far for the event, and all the amazing supporters who joined us to bring back the rich history of our Golden Heart Community.

From everyone at the FTVRR, we would like to thank everyone for their continued support and dedication to history, and we would like to thank everyone for joining us to keep the history of the Tanana Valley Railroad alive for everyone. Please enjoy the following photos which were taken by our amazing photographers and shared with us by visitors.

Please check back soon as we will be uploading more photos of the event as they are received.

A special thank you to our cast:

  • FTVRR Spokesman Mark Cosson
  • Falcon Joslin Nick Nugent
  • Judge Wickersham Stephen Mitchell
  • E. T. Barnette Raleigh Johnson
  • Isabelle Barnette Julia Hnilincka

To all of our VIPs, thank you!

  • Daniel Gullickson, FTVRR Founder
  • Patrick Durand, FTVRR Founder & 557 Restoration Representative
  • Ray & Betsy Bonnell, FTVRR Founders
  • Nicholas & Bernice Deely, FTVRR Founders
  • Emily Dexter, Granddaughter of Falcon Joslin
  • Jim Matherly, Fairbanks Mayor
  • Michael Glaser, King Regent of the Seward Igloos of the Pioneers of Alaska
  • Kate Glasser, Queen Regent of the Seward Igloos of the Pioneers of Alaska
  • Stephen Cooper, King Regent of the Fairbanks Igloos of the Pioneers of Alaska
  • Ruth Knapman, Queen Regent of the Fairbanks Igloos of the Pioneers of Alaska
  • Jay Schikora, President of the Pioneers of Alaska Men’s Igloo No. 4

To our amazing delegates from Valdez, thank you!

  • Emily Skilbred
  • Heidi Frank
  • Sarah Jorgenson-Owen

To the committee for putting together the event, thank you!

  • Joan Skilbred, Chair
  • Moe Griswold
  • Garry Farnham
  • James Farnham
  • Brian Forrest

And a very special thank you to the crew who made the day possible, and all the visitors who joined us!