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Fairview Inn, Talkeetna, Alaska

©Fairview Inn

Fairview Inn


Though not an official museum, the Fairview Inn might as well be. Founded in 1923 to serve as the overnight stop between Seward and Fairbanks on the newly constructed Alaska Railroad, the inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. As it is officially a bar, you need to be 21 or over to get in.

Its old plank-floored saloon is classic Alaska: its walls are covered with racks of antlers, various furry critters and lots of local memorabilia. One corner holds Talkeetna’s only slot machine; another is devoted to President Warren G Harding. When the railroad was finished in 1923, Harding arrived in Alaska and rode the rails to the Nenana River, where he hammered in the golden spike. Talkeetna locals swear (with grins on their faces) that he stopped at the Fairview Inn on the way home, was poisoned and wound up dying in San Francisco less than a week later. Ever since, the Fairview has remained a fine place to be poisoned.

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