- Pronounced (RAM-part)
- Current Population 29 (2012 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate)
- Legislative Districts (link to State Legislature page):
- Senate District T
- House District 39
- Judicial District 4
- Latitude: 65.5050
- Longitude: -150.1700
Rampart is located on the south bank of the Yukon River, approximately 75 miles upstream from its junction with the Tanana River, 100 miles northwest of Fairbanks.
The winters are long and harsh, and the summers are short but warm. After freeze-up, the plateau is a source of cold, continental arctic air. Daily minimum temperatures between November and March are usually below 0 °F. Extended periods of -50 to -60 °F are common. Summer high temperatures run between 65 and 72 °F; a high of 97 °F has been recorded. Total annual precipitation averages 6.5 inches, with 43 inches of snowfall. The Yukon River is ice-free from the end of May through mid-September.
The name Rampart refers to the range of low mountains through which the Yukon passes in this region and which forms the “ramparts” of the Upper Yukon. Rampart City was established in 1897 as a river supply point for gold placer mines in the hills and creek valleys south of the Yukon. News of strikes in Minook Creek, Idaho Bar, Quail Creek, and Eureka Creek, all within 30 miles of Rampart, triggered a rush to the community in 1898, and, according to some estimates, the population swelled as high as 10,000.
During its heyday, Rampart had a newspaper, hotels, saloons, a library, a fire department, a hospital, and a host of stores and businesses that were typical of the mining towns of that time. The boom was short-lived. New strikes in the Upper Koyukuk River, Anvil Creek, Nome, and Fairbanks rapidly depleted the population. By 1903, only a Native community remained among the abandoned homes and businesses.
Over time, the population gradually increased as people migrated from Minook Creek. By 1917, about 30 Natives and 30 whites were living in Rampart. An agricultural experiment station was established by the University of Alaska across the river from Rampart in 1900 to cross-breed grains and legumes. By 1920, more than 90 acres were under cultivation. The station also tested vegetables, strawberries, flowers, and field crops. The farm was closed in 1925.
An airstrip was constructed by the Alaska Road Commission in 1939. A salmon cannery was established in the 1940s, and a sawmill and logging operation was built in the 1950s. Residents continued to work in nearby gold mines, and the local store served as supply point for area operations. The school was closed in 1999, due to insufficient students. Consequently, a number of families have left the village.
The population of Rampart is predominantly Koyukon Athabascan and is active in subsistence.
Community profile data provided by the State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.