Fairbanks was established by Captain E.T. Barnette in August 1901. Barnette was trying to form a trading post at Tanacross (crossing of the Tanana River of the Valdez-Eagle trail), but the steam boat Barnette was travelling upon ran aground and he found himself seven miles up the Chena River. Prospectors in the area were attracted to the scene by the steam engine’s smoke and met Captain Barnette where he disembarked. Barnette was convinced by the prospectors to establish his trading post there. Fairbanks is named after Charles Fairbanks, a Republican senator from Indiana. Senator Fairbanks later became the 26th Vice President of the United States, serving in the second term of Theodore Roosevelt.