15Mar

Gold brings Post Office to Circle City

While the Southeast town of Sitka claims the first U.S. Post Office established in America’s new possession of Alaska in 1867, Circle City – located on the banks of the Yukon River – holds the honor for the first post office in Alaska’s Interior, according to “Directory of Alaska Post Offices and Postmasters.” Circle City’s […]

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03Mar

Dinosaurs roam Alaska grasslands

My 2-year-old grandson Aiden is crazy about dinosaurs. So much so that we decorated his birthday cake last weekend with small brontosaurus, nanosaurus and T-rex replicas. He received an abundance of dinosaur-themed gifts, too, including dino sippy cups, dino books, dino imprinted T-shirts and a multitude of dinosaur toys. I went to bed Sunday night […]

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03Feb

Alaska’s first dog team relay run

Did you know, Balto the dog, the four-legged hero who helped deliver the diphtheria serum to Nome, wasn’t the first to make an epic medicine run in Alaska? One of Anchorage’s most respected doctors took on a similar task four years earlier. The year was 1921. Alaska Railroad doctor John Beeson got word that the […]

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04Jan

Maternity suit ends with wedding bells

Long before marshals and judges brought law and order to Alaska’s Interior districts, miners made a point of policing themselves. When a wrong was perceived, a meeting of miners was called and both the offender and offendee could explain their sides of the matter. Then the miners would render a verdict and carry out the […]

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08Dec

Archbishop of Vancouver Island murdered near Nulato

When Archbishop of Vancouver Island Charles John Seghers journeyed down the Yukon River in November 1886, he had no way of knowing he would never return to civilization. The Catholic priest, who originally came from Belgium, had spent many years doing missionary work in Canada and Alaska. Seghers first came to Alaska in 1873, as […]

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24Nov

Give the gift of Aunt Phil’s Trunk Volume Five!

Aunt Phil’s Trunk Volume Five, the last book in this critically acclaimed Alaska history series, is chock full of stories from the Great Earthquake of 1964. I found true gold last year while sifting through the archives at the University of Alaska Consortium Library – firsthand accounts of people from all of the communities who […]

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12Nov

Aunt Phil’s Trunk Volume Five is here!

After 10 years of research, the final volume in the Aunt Phil’s Trunk Alaska history series is making its debut this week. Copies now are available on my Website for $19.95, plus shipping – Click Here to Purchase! Volume Five features Alaska’s first 25 years of statehood. And just like the rest of the series, […]

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27Oct

Anchorage’s first police chief murdered

In an effort to curb rampant crime in Anchorage in the early 1920s, the town’s newly formed city council officially created a police department in December 1920. The council then sifted through many applications, and settled on John “Jack” Sturgus as its first chief of police. The council told him to crack down on gambling […]

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13Oct

Big Sickness Arrives in Alaska in 1918

During the spring of 1918, as World War I veterans returned to their home countries, flu spread across the world and sickened many people. By that fall, the virus had mutated and become a mass killer. It preyed on the young and healthy. A dull headache signaled the beginning. Then came chills so intense that […]

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29Sep

Alaska’s first serial killer strikes

Between 1912 and 1915, a number of single, unattached men mysteriously disappeared in Southeast Alaska. The few law enforcement officials in the territory were baffled, but a suspect finally emerged in the fall of 1915. A Petersburg man named Edward Krause, who’d run for the Territorial Legislature as a Socialist Party candidate in 1912, represented […]

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