Circle


Population: 104*, predominantly Athabascan
Location: South bank of the Yukon River, 160 miles NE of Fairbanks. Accessible by the Steese Highway.

History: Circle (also known as Circle City) was established in 1893 as a supply point for goods shipped up the Yukon River and then overland to the gold mining camps. Early miners believed the town was located on the Arctic Circle and named it Circle. By 1896, before the Klondike gold rush, Circle was the largest mining town on the Yukon, with a population of 700. It boasted an Alaska Commercial Company store, eight or ten dance halls, an opera house, a library, a school, a hospital, and an Episcopal church. It had its own newspaper, the Yukon Press, and a number of residential U.S. government officials, including a commissioner, marshal, customs inspector, tax collector, and postmaster. The town was virtually emptied after gold discoveries in the Klondike (1897) and Nome (1899). A few hardy miners stayed on in the Birch Creek area, and Circle became a small, stable community that supplied miners working nearby Mastodon, Mammoth, Deadwood, and Circle Creeks. Mining activity continues to this day.

*According to the 2010 US Census