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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St. Michael Alaska Awakens

On June 25, 1897, the sleepy old Russian town of St. Michael Alaska awoke when the river steamer Alice arrived with 25 miners from Dawson carrying $500,000 among them in gold dust. That was enough to liven up just about any town. But the party wasn’t over. Two days later, the P.B. Weare carried in […]

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How Did Seward Get Its Name?

In March, Alaska celebrates Seward’s Day in honor of the man who succeeded in persuading the United States to buy Alaska from the Russians. And there are many landmarks named after President Lincoln’s Secretary of State. However, when Seward was chosen for the name of the town on Resurrection Bay, it took the personal intervention […]

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Anchorage: A Jewel on the Tundra

By the early 1950s, the tent city at the mouth of Ship Creek had turned into a bustling, modern city. Clifford Cernick wrote that Anchorage was much like Baghdad in an article that appeared in the Seattle Times on March 4, 1951 – a time when Baghdad was a bustling city, a jewel in the […]

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The Mall in Anchorage turns 47

Forty-seven years ago this month, an Anchorage landmark opened its doors to the public for the first time. When shoppers streamed into The Mall, then Alaska’s largest shopping center, on Jan. 31, 1968, they found a covered, weather-conditioned facility anchored by Sears Roebuck Co. at one end and the newest Carr’s Quality Food Center at […]

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Airfield emerges from Anchorage wilderness

More than 90 years ago, Anchorage residents prepared to usher in a new form of transportation. Bush pilots, flying open-cockpit planes, needed a place to land, so the community dedicated an area “outside” of town as its first airstrip. Townspeople turned out in force in the spring of 1923 to clear 16 acres of land […]

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Happy Birthday, Anchorage!

Although railroad workers began laying tracks along Ship Creek in 1915, technically speaking, Anchorage was born in November 1920. So this month marks its 94th year as a city. According to information gleaned by the League of Women Voters many years ago, it was eligible to become a first-class city because it had a population […]

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Ship Creek plateu becomes Anchorage

How did Fourth Avenue become the main street of Anchorage? Some say, “it just happened,” while others say look at its location in relation to the land disposition in 1915. Many original lot owners lived in “Tent City” and had established businesses in their tents along Ship Creek. The area that was to become Fourth […]

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Hudson’s Bay Company in Ft. Yukon 1846

Fort Yukon, which can be reached by air from Fairbanks, was described by famous columnist Ernie Pyle as being “a half mile from the ends of the earth.” Its story is a page out of Alaska’s history. John Bell, an employee of the Hudson’s Bay Co., reached the Yukon by way of the Porcupine River […]

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Demon rum finds its way to Alaska

When the U. S. Army took over responsibility for administering Alaska in 1867, law enforcement found it had its hands full trying to stem the flow of liquor into America’s newest property. Up until alcohol possession was legalized in 1899, smugglers brought their illegal brew into Alaska via whalers, fishing vessels, American and foreign ships […]

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School Days Delayed in Early Anchorage

When Land Office chief Andrew Christensen opened the auction for the townsite above Ship Creek on July 10, 1915, bidding became so brisk that prospective lot owners couldn’t hold down prices. After sales closed a week later, 655 lots had sold for almost $150,000 (more than $3.5 million in today’s dollars). Christensen claimed the sale […]

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Russian settlement near Sitka attacked 1802

Scientists plan to travel to the Aleutian Chain of Alaska this summer to see if they can find evidence of a Russian attack on the Aleut people that happened 250 years ago. They will be looking for bullets and other artifacts that would confirm stories that have been passed down for generations. There have been […]

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Wacky weather warms Alaska winter

The wacky weather across the Continental United States this winter is really crazy. While those who live in the Midwest and East Coast dig out from the 2014 Snowcropolis, Alaskans are seeing one of the warmest January’s on record. And as the thermometer hovers in the mid-40s across much of the state, the melting snow […]

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