Area: 4.2 square miles
Population: 1,570 (2000 census)
County: Fairbanks North
One of Alaska’s most unique communities is North Pole, 14 miles/22.5 km southeast of Fairbanks. It is best known as the home of Santa Claus’ House but has a large number of businesses that cater to the traveling public. Restaurants, motel, campgrounds, supermarket and a shopping center are conveniently located near the Richardson Highway.
This area was first homesteaded in 1944 by a farmer named Davis, but did not gain much recognition until 1953 when North Pole was incorporated as a town. An enterprising merchant named Con Miller moved his store from Fairbanks and began a tradition that is still going on today. Miller had already developed a reputation for playing Santa Claus to the Native children in the Alaskan Villages, and so he named his new trading post Santa Claus House.
North Pole Visitor Information Center, mile 348.7/km 561.2 (1504.7) Open June through August.
North Pole Library, 301 Snowman Lane, 907-488-6101. Internet access is available on a scheduled basis (limit 1 hour per person per day), call for an appointment.