The history of Fairbanks, the second-largest city in Alaska, can be traced to the founding of a trading post by E.T. Barnette on the south bank of the Chena River on August 26, 1901. The area had seen human occupation since at least the last ice age, but a permanent settlement was not established at the site of Fairbanks until the start of the 20th century.The discovery of gold near Barnette's trading post caused him to turn what had been a temporary stop into a permanent one. The gold caused a stampede of miners to the area, and buildings sprang up around Barnette's trading post. In November 1903, the area's residents voted to incorporate the city of Fairbanks. Barnette became the city's first mayor, and the city flourished as thousands of people came to search for gold during the Fairbanks Gold Rush.By the time of World War I, the easy-to-reach gold was exhausted and Fairbanks' population plunged as miners moved to promising finds at Ruby and Iditarod. Construction of the Alaska
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