A town called Knik

Thousands of gold seekers flooded into the North Country during the late 1800s and settled around new towns such as Nome, Juneau and Dawson. Several also streamed into Cook Inlet. They hacked out primitive trails connecting scattered camps and eventually unified the region between Cook Inlet on the south and the Talkeetna Mountains on the […]

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Newspapers spread the word of Yukon gold!

Glowing reports, like the following excerpt from the Aug. 8, 1897, edition of the New York World newspaper, helped fuel the stampede for gold along the Yukon River. “Mr. J. O. Hestwod, one of the most successful argonauts of ’97, has just returned from Klondike and furnishes by telegraph to the Sunday World a true […]

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Historic Alaskan Names Along The Koyukuk

It seems fitting to devote this May blog to the woolly mammoths that roamed the earth 10,000-15,000 years ago. Scientists in Russia have discovered viable blood and tissue from the ancient creatures in ice along the Arctic Ocean and today are attempting to clone the animals back into existence, according to a recent article in […]

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Alaskan Entrepreneurs – From Rags to Riches

Harriet Smith Pullen left her children and a bankrupt farm in Washington state and arrived broke in Skagway on Sept. 8, 1897. Although her husband came with her, their marriage ended in divorce. Earning $3 a day as a cook, one of many enterprising Alaskan entrepreneurs, the 37-year-old opened a tent restaurant to feed Skagway’s […]

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Fires in Alaska – The Day Dawson Burned

Fires in Alaska – The curse of many towns during the Klondike Gold Rush era, and Dawson was no exception. The extreme cold, coupled with dryness, meant fires burned in all buildings when occupied. Stovepipes thrust through flimsy walls or roofs of cabins and tents carried smoke from high-creosote spruce. Over time, the creosote built […]

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Chitina once was a thriving town

This Model-T is loaded and ready to deliver mail out of Chitina in 1919. These new-fangled automobiles put a few sled dogs out of business along some of Alaska’s postal routes! The town, located about 53 miles southeast of Copper Center on the Edgerton Highway, was a bustling operation following the discovery of copper ore […]

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Kodiak was buried in ash from Novarupta in 1912

This month in Alaska history: On June 6, 1912, the earth exploded when a volcano located on the Alaska Peninsula blew its top. The Novarupta explosion was the most powerful volcanic eruption of the 20th Century. People in Juneau, Alaska, about 750 miles from the volcano, heard the sound of the blast more than an […]

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First Post!

The first school in Anchorage, pictured here during the winter of 1916, was located between Fifth and Sixth avenues downtown. School days delayed in Anchorage When Land Office chief Andrew Christensen opened the auction for a townsite above Ship Creek on July 10, 1915, bidding became so brisk that prospective lot owners couldn’t hold down […]

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