Deltana is southeast of Delta Junction on
the Alaska Highway, near the convergence of the Richardson and Alaska
Highways, approximately 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks. It lies at the
foot of Panoramic Peak. It lies at approximately 63.853710░ North
Latitude and -145.22307░ West Longitude. (Sec. 21, T012S, R013E,
Fairbanks Meridian.) Deltana is located in the Fairbanks Recording
District. The area encompasses 562.2 sq. miles of land and 3.0 sq. miles
of water. This area of Interior Alaska experiences seasonal extremes.
The average low temperature in January is -11 degrees Fahrenheit. The
average high during July is 69 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature extremes
ranging from a low of -63 to a high of 92 degrees Fahrenheit have been
recorded. Average annual liquid equivalent precipitation is 12 inches,
which includes an average annual snowfall of 37 inches.
Athabascan Indians occupied this site throughout most of the 19th and
early 20th centuries. The peak of the Alaska gold rush was between 1898
and 1903. In 1899 the Army sent parties to investigate the Susitna,
Matanuska, and Copper River valleys to find the best route for a trail
north from Valdez, through the Copper River valley. By 1901, the Army
had completed the Trans-Alaska Military Road, which extended from Valdez
to Eagle City.
In 1902, gold was discovered in the Tanana Valley and, shortly after,
a spur trail was created from Gulkana on the Valdez-Eagle route to the
new mining camp in Fairbanks. This trail became the Valdez-Fairbanks
Trail. Ongoing mining activity just north of Delta Junction in the
Tenderfoot area, and the Chisana Gold Strike of 1913, brought many
prospectors and other travelers through the area. It became known as
Buffalo Center in 1927, for the American bison that were transplanted
here in the 1920s.
In 1942, construction of the Alaska Highway began, and a military
base (later Ft. Greely) was completed 5 miles to the south. In 1946, a
dairy farm was established; beef cattle were brought in during 1953 by
homesteaders. Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline between 1974 and
1977 brought a dramatic upswing to the population and economy.
In 1978, the State began Delta Agricultural Project I, creating 22
farms averaging 2,700 acres each. In 1982, the Delta II project formed
15 additional farms, averaging more than 1,600 acres each. Tracts of
2,000 to 3,600 acres were sold by lottery, and State loans were made
available to purchase and clear the land. The 70,000-acre Delta Bison
Range was created in 1980 to confine the bison and keep them out of the