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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Seattle ship swipes totem

Of the multitude of steamships that plied the waters from California to Point Barrow during the late 1800s, one has the dubious distinction of being what some may call a “pirate ship.” The City of Seattle, which sailed from Seattle to Skagway and points in between, played a major role in spiriting a totem pole […]

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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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Eskimo Scouts Guard Alaska

When the U.S. Government needed them, Alaska’s Native population came out in droves. From the beaches of Bristol Bay to the far corners of Bethel, Kotzebue and Barrow, villagers didn’t hesitate to provide Alaska with a line of defense after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Col. Marvin “Muktuk” Marston, who’d been […]

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Alaska’s 1st Sourdough Governor

Alaska’s governor from 1933 to 1939 believed the vast northern territory should become a state. And John Weir Troy, who came to Alaska during the gold rush in 1897, thought a larger population and a better road system would help achieve that goal. “More people for Alaska is her greatest need,” said the former pack-train […]

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Alaska Criminals Run Amuck

Criminals dabbling in everything from prostitution to bootlegging to gambling flourished in Alaska during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Believing that gold miners and other citizens easily could be parted from their hard-earned income, thugs crossed the border into Alaska when law enforcement in the rest of the United States cracked down on their […]

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Earthquakes and Alaska landscapes

Alaska’s earthquake history has been written on its landscape – its riverbeds, glaciers and mountains – in the centuries before and since man set foot on the Great Land. Most of the early earthquake accounts are fragmentary. There are mentions of two in the Aleutians and the Alaska Peninsula as early as 1786 and 1788, […]

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Aunt Phil’s Trunk Series 2014

Aunt Phil’s Trunk July 2014 International Blog Tour 1) Inspire to Read blog – South Africa http://lynelleclarkaspiredwriter.blogspot.com/2014/07/introducing-alaska-and-its-treasures.html “A must have for the history junky.” – Lynelle Clark

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White Pass Yukon Railway faces dispute

The White Pass and Yukon Railroad Co. began construction of its narrow-gauge railway to access the Klondike gold fields in May 1898. Along with the challenge of crossing coastal mountains – and a vertical rise of 3,000 feet in 20 miles near Skagway – engineers had to work around a boundary dispute between the United […]

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Alaska treasure 100 years old

A turn-of-the-last-century pioneer set down roots in the Greatland in the early 1900s that are still with us today in a historical Seward landmark, the Brown & Hawkins building. T. W. Hawkins came to Alaska in 1898 via the Chilkoot Pass to Dawson, Yukon Territory. He searched for gold in the Tanana country, and then […]

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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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Adventurers carve postal system through Alaska wilderness

The first post office in Alaska was established in Sitka on July 23, 1867. John H. Kindaid, who later became an Alaskan governor, was named the first postmaster, three months before Alaska was formally transferred from Russian to American rule. “The Russians maintained no postal system in Alaska,” wrote James S. Couch in “Philately Below […]

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Chickaloon coal drive helps to build Anchorage

In the early 1900s, coal was being shipped from as far away as Cardiff, Wales, to the U.S. Navy’s coal station at Sitka. Some thought that the coal deposits at Chickaloon in the Matanuska Valley might meet the Navy’s requirements. Along with federal Bureau of Mines director A.M. Holmes, Jack Dalton went to look the […]

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Last shot of U.S. Civil War lands in Bering Sea

Seventy-four days after Appomattox, and almost two months after the Confederate Army stopped fighting on land, the last gun of the U.S. Civil War was fired in the Bering Sea. Not knowing the war had ended, the commander of an English-built Confederate vessel named The Shenandoah fired upon several whalers near Saint Lawrence Island on […]

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Japanese invade Aleutian Islands 72 years ago

The remote islands of the Aleutian Chain, home to the Unangan people for more than 8,000 years, endured the first invasion on American soil since the War of 1812. On June 6, 1942, at around 10:30 p.m., 500 Japanese troops came ashore at Kiska. They captured a small American naval weather detachment of 10 men, […]

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