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Wickersham State Historic Site  

Wickersham State Historic Site

James Wickersham was Alaska's pioneer judge, arriving in 1900 as the new District Court Judge, headquartered in Eagle City on the Yukon River. He held the position for seven terms, from 1900 to 1907 and covered 1,000 miles roundtrip by steamer or dog team. Wickersham also held court in the Aleutians and along the coast aboard U.S. Revenue cutters.

At age 45, he had the distinction of being one of the first to attempt the summit of Mt. McKinley. Eventually, as a delegate to congress, Wickersham won legislation that created Mt. McKinley National Park, now Denali National Park and Preserve. In 1903, District Court headquarters were moved to the new hub of Fairbanks and Wickersham moved with it. He rounded out his career as a delegate to Congress from 1909-1920 and from 1931-1933.

Judge Wickersham finally settled in Juneau and purchased the Wickersham house in 1928. The house was built on the ridge overlooking downtown Juneau in 1898 and the judge lived in it with his wife until his death in 1939 at age of 82.

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