the city of north pole began as a homestead in 1944 that was established by bon V. and Bernice Davis. the alaska railroad established a siding as part of its road to eielson air force base. it was named davis after the homesteaders that lived there and this became the fledgling of the settlement. in 1952, the homestead was purchased by Dahl and Gaske Development Company. the company then subdivided the area and named it north pole. it was incorporated as a city in 1953 from portions of the davis homestead and a nearby homestead owned by james ford, who became the city's first mayor. in 1952, conrad b. miller opened a trading post along the highway which became known as the santa claus house.