in the Fairbanks North Star Borough - FNSB
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 Department of Labor Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (ess tur)
- Community's Judicial District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Geography and Climate
- Ester is located 8.5 miles west of Fairbanks on the George Parks Highway.
- Interior Alaska experiences seasonal temperature extremes. Average January temperatures range from -19 to -2 °F; average July temperatures range from 49 to 71 °F. Annual precipitation averages 11.5 inches, with 67.8 inches of snowfall.
- Community Map Available
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Ester began in 1904 as a gold mining camp at the Discovery Claim on Ester Creek, one of the richest creeks in the Fairbanks Gold Rush. By 1907 ?Ester City? had a population of several hundred, with hotels, saloons, stores and a social hall. After 1910 the town?s population began a slow decline. Mining, and with it the town, revived in the 1930s when the Fairbanks Exploration Company (FE) bought up the old claims on Ester Creek and nearby Cripple Creek. Starting in 1933 the FE built a mess hall, bunk houses, offices, shops and warehouses at Ester, uphill from the old town. They ran two gold dredges out of the Ester Gold Camp, one of which mined through the entire original Ester townsite. In 1958 the FE sold the Ester Gold Camp to local investors who reopened it as the Cripple Creek Resort. The Ester Gold Camp, now recognized as a National Historic District, closed after the 2007 season. It is now for sale.
- While gold mining continues in the area, Ester today is largely a bedroom community for nearby Fairbanks and the University of Alaska. It is known for artists and artistry of all kinds, for the quirky behavior of its citizens, and for its sense of humor. Ester?s zany annual Fourth of July parade has been described as ?a cross between Norman Rockwell and the Twilight Zone.? Ester has an active Community Association (http://estercommunityassociation.org/). Founded in the 1940s, the ECA runs a meeting hall and a neighborhood park. The Hartung Community Hall, in the village center, is a remodeled gold rush era building. The park offers a soccer field, playground, picnic shelter, outdoor stage and other amenities. The Ester Volunteer Fire Department (http://www.esterfire.org/) is a full service fire, rescue and EMS provider, housed in a modern station at the intersection of the Parks and Old Nenana Highways. The John Trigg Ester Library (http://www.esterlibrary.org/) presently occupies a log house on Main Street. The local non-profit that runs the library is trying to raise funds to build an energy-efficient facility nearby.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Ester has access to the statewide highway system and to all Fairbanks transportation facilities.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District