Tok Alaska is located between the Tanana River (to the north) and the Alaska Range (to the southwest). In August of 1942, the US Army Corps of Engineers assigned to build this portion of the Alaska Highway and the Tok Cutoff named this junction Tok, after a small husky pup that was a mascot of the 97th Engineers. Tok had a best friend, a black bear cub, named Dynamite. Watching the antics of these two gave the over-worked men hours of pleasure. Those working on the highway spent so much money in the camps erection and maintenance that it earned the name “Million Dollar Camp.” In 1944 a branch of the Northern Commercial Company was opened and in 1946 Tok was established as a presidential town site. With the completion of the Alaska Highway, a post office and a roadhouse were built. In 1947 the first school was opened and in 1958 a larger school was built to accommodate the newcomers. Tok Alaska is an unincorporated community with a population of approximately 1300 and is the trading center for several Athabascan Native Villages.
The town’s economy is based on tourism and because of this it is highly recommended you telephone ahead at least a day in advance to secure reservations for lodging.
The highway traveler will pass through Tok Alaska twice, once coming into the state and once again leaving Alaska. Because Tok is the only community that can boast this fact, and considers itself to be goodwill ambassador for the state, Governor Walter J. Hickel proclaimed Tok as “Mainstreet, Alaska”. A distinction it will carry into the future. A logo and Tok’s own flag have been designed as part of this theme.