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Aunt Phil’s Trunk Volume One is flying off bookstore shelves in Alaska. The 344-page Alaska history book shares stories of early Alaska Natives, the arrival of Russian fur traders in the mid-1700s and the surge of Americans north following Alaska’s purchase from Russia in 1867.

Filled with more than 300 historical photographs, this is a book about exploration and discovery, including the gold rushes of the Koyukuk, Juneau-Douglas, Cook Inlet and Klondike gold fields. It also showcases a spectacular photo essay highlighting harrowing routes rugged prospectors traveled to get to the Klondike, including the all-water route from Seattle to St. Michael and on to Dawson, as well as the Stikine, White Pass and Chilkoot Pass trails.

Volume 1 features other fascinating stories, too. Did you know:
* Catholic nuns mingled with rough and tumble adventurers on the banks of Nome?
* The last shot of the Civil War boomed in the Bering Sea?
* Scoundrel Soapy Smith served as an angel of mercy before he became the undisputed king of crime in Skagway?

These and many more easy-to-read, colorful Alaska history stories unfold within the pages of Aunt Phil’s Trunk Volume One.

Volume Two in the Aunt Phil’s Trunk Alaska history series shares entertaining, easy-to-read short stories of Alaska’s colorful past from 1898 to 1914.

This 14-year timeframe is filled with the birth of towns like Fairbanks, Valdez, Cordova and Seward. It also is when early lawmen – and the criminals they pursued – began arriving in the Last Frontier. Pioneering postmen and rugged adventurers also challenged the vast wilderness as mountain climbers attempted to scale the Great Land’s highest peaks.

And this is the period of time when men and dogs blazed the Iditarod Trail from Seward to Nome. Once completed, it took several months for dog teams and their drivers to mush down the 900-plus-mile route that today takes less than two weeks during the Last Great Race each March.

This 376-page treasure is filled with more than 300 historical photographs that complement the vivid storytelling and colorful history of Alaska.

Aunt Phil’s Trunk Volume Three is filled with dozens of tales and hundreds of historical photographs highlighting Alaska history between 1912 and 1935.

The theme of Volume Three is transportation. With axes and hammers, rugged men hacked and carved their way through wilderness from Seward to Fairbanks and laid tracks for the new Alaska Railroad. The project birthed Anchorage, which now is Alaska’s largest city.

The 344 pages of this book also feature stories about the famous diphtheria serum run to Nome in 1925, where sled dogs became the heroes of America. It also follows Alaska’s early flyboys as aviation takes the place of dog teams in the Last Frontier.

Other stories showcase a variety of disasters in Alaska, including the Great Sickness that devastated many villages and the sinking of the Princess Sophia, both in 1918. This volume ends with the fatal airplane crash near Barrow in 1935 that took the lives of much-loved humorist Will Rogers and famous aviator Wiley Post.

Anyone interested in Alaska history will enjoy this easy-to-read book with its incredible array of more than 300 photos.

Alaska’s history again comes alive in Volume 4 of the critically acclaimed Aunt Phil’s Trunk Alaska history series. The easy-to-read short stories, along with hundreds of historical photographs, share Alaska’s past from 1935 to 1960. This book highlights Alaska’s role in World War II and the Cold War, as well as its struggle for statehood.

When WWII broke out, there were only about 100 GIs in all of Alaska. Within a few years, more than 150,000 military folks were in the Last Frontier ready to fight the enemy and keep America safe.

They built military bases all around Alaska, laid steel matting on beaches to create airstrips and boosted the economy of most of Alaska’s towns. Many of those military men stayed in Alaska after the war ended and continued to help make Alaska what it is today.

These and many other little-known stories fill the pages of Aunt Phil’s Trunk Volume Four. Did you know:
* Canadians guarded Southeast Alaska when World War II broke out?
* Japanese bombed and occupied two islands in the Aleutian Chain?
* Americans had a secret mission with the Russians in Fairbanks during the war?

Aunt Phil’s Trunk Volume Four is a must-have for anyone interested in Alaska history and is filled with entertaining short stories and more than 350 historical photographs.

This short video features one of the short stories included in Aunt Phil’s Trunk Volume Five.

Volume Five of the critically acclaimed Aunt Phil’s Trunk Alaska history series, published Fall 2015, is filled with the trials and tribulations of Alaska’s first 25 years of statehood. The easy-to-read short stories, along with hundreds of historical photographs, share Alaska’s past from 1960 to 1984.

Highlights in this fifth book include:

1. How Alaskans struggled to create a state government after decades of Federal oversight
2. How the incredible spirit of Alaska’s people held fast during the devastating 9.2 earthquake of 1964
3. How Alaska’s Native people fought for the right to their land
4. How men and women braved the arctic cold to build an 800-mile-long oil pipeline through some of the most remote country in the world
5. How evil broke the serenity of the North when several mass murderers wielded their deadly will

Aunt Phil’s Trunk Volume Five is a must-have for anyone interested in Alaska history and is filled with dozens of short stories and more than 350 historical photographs.

Authentic Alaska sourdough starter from the Cook Inlet gold rush of 1896 comes with each sourdough cookbook. Author Laurel Downing Bill’s great-grandfather, Robert Burns Mathison, was part of the rush of prospectors who headed north in the late 1890s. He helped settle the little mining town of Hope, located about 90 miles south of Anchorage.

This sourdough cookbook has easy-to-follow directions to get the 117-year-old sourdough starter up and running and about 100 recipes that are sure to please the palates of family and friends.