Wiseman is situated in Northern Alaska, flanked by the beautiful Brooks Range mountains near the Gates of the Arctic National Park, approximately 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle, along the Middle Fork of the Koyukuk River. The community population has fluctuated over the years from a robust mining/trading outpost to current times, with a few families making it home. There are no services in the town. Wiseman has a colorful history dating back to the gold mining era of the early 1900s. The following books are great resources about the area.
- Arctic Village by Robert Marshall: Describes his 15-month stay in this frontier town around the year 1930. Marshall described Wiseman and the Koyukuk River area surrounding it as “the happiest civilization of which I know.”
- Alaska Wilderness Exploring the Central Brooks Range by Robert Marshall
- Two in the Far North by Margaret Murie: Memoirs of a wilderness advocate with tales of her life in Alaska’s early pioneer days, namely Fairbanks and scientific exploration in Alaska’s Arctic.
- History of the Central Brooks Range by William Brown
- Alaska’s Brooks Range, the Ultimate Mountains by John Kauffman, a good read on the history of the area and the value of wilderness in the north.
OUR HISTORIC HOME
Like most cabins in Wiseman, our home, the historic pioneer hall, was built in the early 1900s during the Koyukuk region’s gold rush heyday. During the gold rush days, it served as a saloon for a short time before it became the community center of sorts, being used for meetings, dances, elections, and such.