in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 Department of Labor Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (sen' trul)
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Fisheries Participation and Earnings
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
Facilities and Amenities
Geography and Climate
- Central is located on the Steese Highway about 125 miles northeast of Fairbanks and 28 miles southwest of Circle. Circle Hot Springs is located nearby.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- Central has a continental subarctic climate, characterized by seasonal extremes of temperature. Winters are long and harsh, and summers warm and short. The average high temperature during July ranges from 65 to 72 °F. The average low temperature during January is well below zero. Extended periods of -50 to -60 °F are common. Extreme temperatures have been measured, ranging from a low of -71 to a high of 97 °F. Annual precipitation averages 6.5 inches, and annual snowfall averages 43.4 inches.
History and Culture
- After the discovery of gold in the Circle Mining District in the 1890s, a centrally-located roadhouse was needed between Circle, a supply point on the Yukon, and the mining operations at Mammoth, Mastodon, Preacher, and Birch Creeks. Central House, originally built around 1894, was located at the supply trail's crossing of Crooked Creek. It became the center of a small community of miners who settled there and provided food and shelter to travelers and support services to nearby miners. In 1906, the Alaska Road Commission began construction of a wagon road to replace the primitive pack trail from Circle to Birch Creek mining operations. By 1908, construction had reached Central. The original roadhouse burned to the ground and was rebuilt in the mid-1920s. A post office was established in 1925. In 1927, the road link to Fairbanks was completed. The road was named the Steese Highway in honor of General James Steese, former president of the road commission. Mining continued until the beginning of World War II. After the war, a few miners returned to Central, but mining declined through the 1950s and 60s. Activity increased again in the mid-1970s with the rise in gold prices. In 1978, the Circle Mining District was the most active in Alaska, with 65 gold mining operations employing over 200 people.
- Central provides services to area residents, including Circle Hot Springs.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- The community is on the Steese Highway, by which residents can reach Fairbanks. Year-round maintenance by the Department of Transportation enabled goods to be delivered on a regular schedule by truck. A state-owned gravel airstrip is available. Boats are used for recreation and fishing. Snow machines and dog sleds are also used.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection