The crookedest street in Fairbanks, an Alaskan sourdough once said, is rightly named for town founder E. T. Barnette. Crooked Past, Terrence Cole's lively history of Fairbanks examines one of Alaska's most notorious con men. Barnette, a footloose fortune hunter who had served time in an Oregon penitentiary, came north during the Klondike gold rush of 1897-1898. He struck it rich after founding the city of Fairbanks in the early 1900s. Yet less than ten years later he was run out of the territory and allegedly disappeared in Mexico, becoming the most hated man in the town he founded and fled.