Agricultural Experiment Station Substation 2 – Petersburg AK


From The Fur Farms of Alaska: Two Centuries of History and a Forgotten Stampede: “In 1937, the legislature responded by appropriating $20,000 to establish an experimental fur station near Petersburg on land to be selected by a committee of three— Governor John Troy, B. Frank Heintzelman from the Forest Service (which contributed thirty-five acres of land), and Frank Dufresne of the Biological Survey (which granted $4,000 for research equipment)… The site chosen by the committee was cleared of trees by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Public Works Administration awarded a building grant and oversaw the building contractor. The new farm was designated Substation 2 of the Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Alaska, the new name for the institution headed by Charles Bunnell… Work began on the Petersburg station in the spring of 1937. The contractor erected a two-story, saltbox-style central building with a laboratory, library, offices, and a three-bedroom apartment for the superintendent and his family” (pp. 129-131). A photograph on p. 131, also from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks archive, shows the newly constructed office still bearing a PWA placard, dated 1938.

The station closed in 1974. It is unknown whether the original building still stands, or its precise location.

Source notes

Isto, Sarah Crawford. The Fur Farms of Alaska : Two Centuries of History and a Forgotten Stampede. Fairbanks, US: University of Alaska Press, 2012.

University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Agricultural Experiment Station Photograph Collection, Album 6, records UAF-1968-0004-00798 & UAF-1968-0004-00801

Agroborealis, Vol. 30, No. 1, Spring 1998

Project originally submitted by John Stehlin on July 26, 2016.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Petersburg, AK 99833

Location notes: Location is estimated based on current satellite imagery and historical photos, not precise

Coordinates: 56.802973, -132.980296

One comment on “Agricultural Experiment Station Substation 2 – Petersburg AK

  1. This building still stands at it’s original site and is being renovated after sale to a private party. My current neighbor’s father worked on this farm and Russ has many stories to tell, yet. There are additionall two beach shelters at Sandy Beach that were rumored to have been built by the CCC–in the cement plazas are several names with 1940 dates. Both have now been rebuilt around their original stone fireplaces. Finally, the Three Lakes shelter on the Three Lakes Trail about 14 miles south of Petersburg is a CCC structure still standing.

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