Congressional Records & the ARR

oie_244326XVKhXigS

There are a wealth of historic resources at the website for my book on the Alaska Railroad construction from 1902 to 1923. Most of the resources I used in researching the history and writing the book are there.

Link to the 1913 Congressional Report of the Alaska Railroad Commission, on Railway Routes in Alaska.

Alternate Link.

Below is an excerpt from this report, a message from President William H. Taft dated February 6, 1913, in which he explains the purpose and meaning of the commission report.

oie_24499lxDDDYzG

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

oie_2431739Mw7GhIDh(1)Link to the Congressional Report of the Alaskan Engineering Commission for the period from March 12, 1914 to December 31, 1915.

Alternate link.

oie_2435231wRnLzaV6

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

AEC History cover

 

1922 Report on The Alaskan Engineering Commission: Its History, Activities and Organization.

Alternate link.

AEC History quote

 

 

 

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Read more history: Website for the Book

ARR CoverThe Alaska Railroad: 1902-1923, Blazing an Iron Trail Across The Last Frontier, by Helen Hegener, published in May, 2017 by Northern Light Media. 400 pages, over 100 b/w historic photos, maps, bibliography, indexed. The book can be ordered via PayPal for $24.00 plus $5.00 postage, by clicking here (credit cards accepted). The Alaska Railroad: 1902-1923 is also available at Amazon, and can be ordered through your favorite bookstore.

 

 

Posted in Alaska History, Alaska Railroad, News & Information | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nov-Dec Alaskan History

Screen Shot 2019-10-25 at 1.48.24 PMThe November-December of Alaskan History Magazine ranges widely across Alaska, from the early settlements of Tyonek and Knik to the frontier towns of Cordova, Chitina, and Valdez, and from the goldfields of the Fortymile District to the halls of the Territorial legislature in Juneau. Among the articles for this issue:

A guidebook to territorial Alaska from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s U. S. Work Progress Administration (WPA), a New Deal jobs program which created the Federal Writers Project.

• An unusual but little-known earth-moving project known as The Kink, notable for the remote location and for the size of the undertaking.

Orr Stage ad• The Ed. S. Orr Stage Company, an important part of our past, which proudly claimed “Eight day service between Valdez and Fairbanks, a distance of 364 miles,” and “All stages equipped with abundance of fur robes and carbon-heated foot warmers.”

• The Woodchopper Roadhouse, at one time the oldest and largest log structure on the Yukon River between Eagle and Circle City.

• The story of pioneer Native rights activist Elizabeth Peratrovich.

• The 1898 explorations of Capt. Edwin F. Glenn and W. C. Mendenhall through the Matanuska Valley.

• Pioneering Alaskan artists, color postcards from the turn of the century, a timeline, an index to the 2019 issues, and a few classic Alaskan books worth seeking out make this issue another worthwhile addition to your library shelves.

Click here to go to the orders page for subscriptions or single issues!

 

Posted in Alaska History, Alaskan History Magazine, Explorers, Gold Rush History, Matanuska Valley, News & Information, Roadhouse, Roadhouses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sled Dog Movies

Last year, 2018, was noted by the Chinese calendar’s zodiac as being the Year of the Dog, but this year, 2019, seems to be the Year of the Sled Dog, as film after film featuring heroic sled dogs is released to movie theaters and home streaming services. There are two movies about the great Serum Run to Nome during the 1925 diphtheria epidemic, one focusing on the champion musher Leonhard Seppala, and the other on his favorite lead dog, Togo. One is an independent production, the other is from the powerhouse film company Disney Studios, but both are absorbing stories, beautifully filmed. Another champion musher, the sprint racing legend George Attla, is the subject of a new PBS documentary, and one of the greatest dog stories of all time is brought to life by a great film legend, Harrison Ford. Pass the popcorn!

~ ~ ~ THE GREAT ALASKAN RACE ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

MV5BNzY2NDFhYzctM2ZmMi00MmU3LWJkOWMtM2UyYzQzYzZmYjQzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTA0NTU3MDYz._V1_UY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_ From the official website for The Great Alaskan Race: “After overcoming personal tragedy, widowed father and champion musher Leonhard ‘Sepp’ Seppala steps up in the midst of a diphtheria outbreak in Nome, Alaska to deliver the anti-toxin to the hospital. With his own child’s life on the line, Sepp battles the impossible, accompanied by his pack of sled dogs.”

Rex Reed in the Observer: “Bruce Davison is the nervous, embattled governor who approves of the race despite growing fear and criticism, and the skeptical antagonist is Henry Thomas (yes, the child from E. T., all grown up and bearded now). Director Presley is very good as Sepp—the strong, virile and indestructible hero. But there’s no getting around the fact that it’s the dogs who steal the picture.” And “The unfailing spirit of survival is captured along with the excellent period costumes, sets and even makeup (the frostbites look too real for words) that are rare for an independent film with a limited budget. Not a perfect film, but breathtaking enough to linger in the memory.”

great-alaskan-race_668_330_80_int_s_c1Frank Scheck for the Hollywood Reporter: “You’d think that the true story of a legendary dog run across Alaska’s frozen tundra nearly 100 years ago to get lifesaving medicine to diphtheria victims would make for compelling drama. Unfortunately, actor tyro director/screenwriter Brian Presley lacks the filmmaking chops to make the tale come alive in his feature debut. Although earnest to a fault and certainly fulfilling its goal of being family-friendly entertainment, The Great Alaskan Race ultimately proves less exciting and not nearly as adorable as Balto, the 1995 animated film inspired by the same events.”

~ ~ ~ TOGO ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

220px-Togo_film_poster  Walt Disney Studios: An Original Movie starring Willem Dafoe and Julianne Nicholson, “Togo” is the untold true story set in the winter of 1925 that treks across the treacherous terrain of the Alaskan tundra for an exhilarating and uplifting adventure that will test the strength, courage and determination of one man, Leonhard Seppala, and his lead sled dog, Togo. The poignant and emotional adventure debuts on Disney+ on Dec. 20, 2019.

Kate Erbland on IndieWire: “Tom Flynn’s screenplay wedges in a hefty amount of fact-based drama (with a few curious tweaks), and while those elements will likely prove less appealing to younger viewers, the human demands and the canine cost of the quest to secure diphtheria-fighting serum during a horrific Alaska winter are the stuff of classic drama. Dafoe stars as legendary breeder and musher Leonhard Seppala (who helped normalize the use of Siberian Huskies beyond their Native American roots) as he sets out on a 600-mile journey to obtain the medicine needed to save the children of his adopted hometown of Nome, Alaska.”

Screen-Shot-2019-12-04-at-10.05.26-AM-800x400Nicola Austin for Geeks Wordwide: “Togo is a character driven tale that focuses primarily on the central “man and his dog” tale rather than the wider race against time (and elements), and it’s all the better for it. The film flits between present day and flashbacks, nicely building up the central bond between Seppala and Togo – recounting his mischievous puppy years in which the musher tried to give him away twice(!), to him finding his heroic place leading the pack. It’s a beautiful bond that will undoubtedly melt the iciest of hearts; you know what they say about the purest love being between grumpy dads and the pets they said they didn’t want!”

~ ~ ~ ATTLA ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Screen Shot 2019-12-07 at 12.36.40 AMFrom the film’s website: A co-production of ITVS & Vision Maker Media, ATTLA tells the gripping but little-known story of George Attla, a charismatic Alaska Native dogsled racer who, with one good leg and fierce determination, became a legendary sports hero in Northern communities around the world. Part dog whisperer, part canny businessman and part heartthrob, Attla rose to international fame during a unique period of history when Western education, economies, and culture penetrated the Alaskan village lifestyle and forever changed the state with the discovery of oil in the late 1960s. Spanning his fifty-year long career, the film tells Attla’s story from his childhood as a tuberculosis survivor in the Alaskan interior, through his rise as ten-time world champion and mythical state hero, to a village elder resolutely training his grandnephew to race his team one last time.

Screen Shot 2019-12-07 at 12.34.45 AMFrom PBS Independent Lens: “ATTLA tells the gripping but little-known story of George Attla, a charismatic Alaska Native dogsled racer who, with one good leg and fierce determination, became a legendary sports hero in Northern communities around the world. Part dog whisperer, part canny businessman and part heartthrob, Attla rose to international fame during a unique period of history when Western education, economies, and culture penetrated the Alaskan village lifestyle and forever changed the state with the discovery of oil in the late 1960s.

“ATTLA weaves George’s remarkable underdog story with the final chapter of his life, as he emerges from retirement to mentor his twenty-year-old grandnephew, Joe Bifelt, who takes a break from college to train with his uncle. With their sights set on reviving proud cultural traditions, the pair embark on a journey to compete in one of the world’s largest dogsled sprint races, one that has seen a steep decline in Native competitors.”

~ ~ ~ THE CALL OF THE WILD ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Screen Shot 2019-12-07 at 12.47.34 AM  20th Century Fox: Adapted from the beloved literary classic, THE CALL OF THE WILD vividly brings to the screen the story of Buck, a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life is turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Alaskan Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s. As the newest rookie on a mail delivery dog sled team–and later its leader–Buck experiences the adventure of a lifetime, ultimately finding his true place in the world and becoming his own master. As a live-action/animation hybrid, THE CALL OF THE WILD employs cutting edge visual effects and animation technology in order to render the animals in the film as fully photorealistic–and emotionally authentic–characters.”

No reviews yet, scheduled for release in February, 2020.

Posted in Alaska History, DVD & Video, Movies, News & Information, Sled Dog History, Sled Dog Races, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alaskan History Magazine

Jul-Aug coverAlaskan History Magazine’s second issue shares the history of the aviation pioneers known as bush pilots, from the first attempt to climb into Alaska’s skies  in 1911 to 1935, when the future of flight in the Last Frontier was well-established and looking bright! 

Ak Steamship Co 2 420Other articles in this issue explore Alaska’s first newspaper, The Esquimaux, which was published a little northwest of Nome; the Alaska Steamship Company, which became an Alaskan shipping monopoly; a 1916 horseback trip across the Kenai Peninsula by the dauntless world traveller Frank G. Carpenter; Alaska’s first commercially successful novelist, Barrett Willoughby, whose every book was about or set in Alaska, and two were made into movies; and an exciting childhood in the gold rush town of Nome by Irving Kenny, who saw it all first-hand!

Wrapping up this issue are brief highlights about Alaska’s early missionaries, the ubiquitous white canvas tent, a half dozen classic books on Alaska’s history, and a guide to some of the sources and resources used in researching this issue. You won’t want to miss this one!

Click here to go to the orders page for subscriptions or single issues!

 

Posted in Alaska History, Alaskan History Magazine, News & Information | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A New Books Site

First six books

I have reworked an old website I built a few years ago and it is now a showcase for my Baker’s Dozen books on Alaskan history. The front page displays all the book covers, and clicking on any book title will take you to an in-depth description and ordering information for that book. Photographs, excerpts, quotes and more from each book can be found on their individual pages, easily accessed from anywhere on the site via the book titles listed in the right sidebar.

Bottom Seven BooksA page about my company, Northern Light Media, and another linking to my new Alaskan History Magazine round out this simple and straightforward book site. It will be a somewhat static site, while this Northern Light Media site will continue to be updated with posts about Alaskan history, my books and book-related activities, and great photographs. Books can be ordered via PayPal from either site. I hope you’ll take a look at my new book site, share the link with friends who may be interested, and bookmark the site for future reference!

Here’s the link again! 

 

 

Posted in Alaska History, Alaskan History Magazine, Book Reviews, Books, News & Information, photographs | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Interesting Old Photos

As I’m researching and doing reference work on articles for Alaskan History Magazine I come across many interesting old photographs of Alaska which don’t meet my needs, but which seem worth sharing for those who enjoy the history. I’ll post a few here now and then, and I’ll share more great old photos from time to time at the magazine’s website and on the related Facebook group.

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 1.51.49 PM

Wells Fargo Express office, Tanana, 1900.

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 1.57.58 PM

The U.S. Lighthouse Service tender Armeria, assigned to Ketchikan, ran aground off Cape Hinchinbrook on 20 May 1912 while delivering supplies for the Cape Hinchinbrook lighthouse.

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 2.17.22 PM

Governor’s mansion under construction. Juneau, July 31, 1912. 

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 2.05.30 PM

Cabin of Rex Beach, author of ‘The Spoilers,” and “The Silver Horde,” Rampart, date unknown.

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 2.26.54 PM

Freighters crossing Thompson Pass north of Valdez, date unknown. 

 

Posted in Alaska History, Alaskan History Magazine, News & Information, photographs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Old Alaskan Postcards

Nome 1899

Juneau mine

Ft. Gibbon on the Yukon River

Seward birds eye view

Valdez Overland Stage

Nome watching passengers landing

Skagway

Wrangell

Juneau and Gastineau Channel

Nome passengers landing

Valdez

78. Keystone Canyon team

 

Posted in Alaska History, News & Information | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Subscribe to Alaskan History

Single Issue $10The inaugural issue of Alaskan History Magazine is almost ready to be mailed! You can subscribe for one year (6 issues) or just buy the current issue and get a closer look at what it’s about, simply by clicking one of the big green buttons to go directly to PayPal, where you can use your credit card or PayPal account. If you would prefer make payment by sending a check or money order, the postal mailing address is Northern Light Media, P.O. Box 870515, Wasilla, Alaska 99687. To visit the Alaskan History Magazine website just click on the magazine cover below.

Small M:J coverPrices are $10.00 for a single issue, or $48.00 for a one year subscription (6 issues). You are more than welcome to purchase each issue as it’s published, but subscribing will save you $12.00 over the span of a year. All prices are postpaid, to U.S. addresses only. If you live outside the U.S. I can figure out postage pricing and work with you to get a single issue or a subscription delivered, just send me a message through the Contact page on the magazine’s website. Options for B/W, online, and other versions of the magazine will be added soon!1 Year Sub $48

Issues are published bimonthly: Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, and Nov/Dec. Copies will be mailed upon ordering, and then the first week of each issue date. Please allow ten days to two weeks for delivery unless priority postage is added to the price. Back issues will remain permanently available.

The first issue is almost ready for publication, thank you for your interest and support!

Small pages 2 and 3

 

Posted in Alaska History, Alaskan History Magazine, News & Information | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Alaskan History

oie_164055HiQywoYDA New Magazine

I am an Alaskan author, and I have written and published more than a dozen non-fiction books on Alaska’s history through my company, Northern Light Media. My titles in print include a history of Alaskan roadhouses, the construction of the Alaska Railroad, the history of the 1935 Matanuska Colony Project, and many more.

Alaskan History has been foremost among my interests for over half a century, and I’ve shared my passion for history in the books I have published in the last ten years. Now I’m setting a different course in my efforts to share the history of our great state, with a bimonthly magazine which will bring the stories of the people, places and events which shaped Alaskan history to a wider audience. A magazine has always seemed more immediate, accessible and engaging than a book, and a good one will feature a broad range of subjects and photographs in its pages.

oie_9cYHdmJyihou

Sample page layouts for the May-June issue

The inaugural issue of Alaskan History is slated for May-June, 2019, and the premiere issue features articles drawn from my books. I am looking forward to publishing many different writers, for Alaskan History is a huge topic, but this is a start, and I am excited about where it can lead. A simple caveat: This magazine is not designed to be an authoritative journal of history, and I do not presume to portray it as anything other than a simple effort to share some interesting stories, just as I have done with my books. But this will be a professionally produced magazine, as I have 30 years of experience in magazine production, editing, and publishing, and I have some major national awards for that work under my belt.

I am currently building a website for the magazine, and creating a presence on Facebook, and maybe on some other social media sites. If you are interested in writing for Alaskan History, send me an email at helenhegener@gmail.com and I will return my writer’s guidelines.

I’m still exploring options for a subscription price, advertising, and other details of publishing, but feel free to send an email if you’d like to be added to my mailing list for more information as it becomes available. And thank you for your interest, this is going to be a fun adventure!

Helen Hegener

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Alaskan History Magazine, News & Information | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Mush with PRIDE

Mush with PRIDE borderedThe mutually beneficial relationship between sled dogs and people is one of the oldest bonds of its kind. In his essay “A History of Mushing Before We Knew It,” champion musher Tim White wrote of this relationship:

“Sled dogs have coexisted and cooperated in partnership with humans for many thousands of years in the northern regions of North America and Siberia. Archeological evidence puts the earliest date at over 4,000 years ago. Some anthropologists suggest that human habitation and survival in the Arctic would not have been possible without sled dogs.”

Modern sled dog owners are proud of their dogs, and view them as canine athletes that are bred and trained to do what they love to do — that is, run as part of a team. The organization Mush with P.R.I.D.E., established in 1991 as an organization of mushers who were concerned about the care of sled dogs and public perceptions of mushing, supports the responsible care and humane treatment of all dogs, and is dedicated to enhancing the care and treatment of sled dogs in their traditional and modern uses.

YQ Dogs by me

Northern Light Media photo

The abbreviations in the organization’s name, P.R.I.D.E., stand for Providing Responsible Information on a Dog’s Environment, and to address some of the concerns relating to sled dog care and training, the organization developed sled dog care and equipment guidelines. A voluntary kennel inspection program was established because, as the page on their Web site explains, “The P.R.I.D.E. Board firmly believes that if we mushers conduct ourselves responsibly then we will be less likely to suffer from unknowing governmental regulation. We hope that this program is a demonstration of the fact that we can responsibly take care of our own.”

Mush with P.R.I.D.E. guidelines have frequently been used by other groups and agencies when determining responsible dog care and kennel husbandry standards. Member clubs supporting Mush with P.R.I.D.E. include not only Alaskan sled dog groups, but mushing associations, clubs and groups from around the globe, including Canada, Norway, Great Britain, Germany, Jamaica and Australia. In 2007, P.R.I.D.E. elected a new multi-state, international Board of Directors. Anyone who cares about sled dogs and mushing is encouraged to support Mush with P.R.I.D.E. by becoming a member. Current P.R.I.D.E. members include large competitive kennels, small recreational teams, skijorers, veterinarians, race sponsoring organizations, local mushing clubs and fans of sled dogs. The support and input from the membership is what helps direct the P.R.I.D.E. Board of Directors and establish P.R.I.D.E. as a leading organization promoting responsible sled dog care and dog-powered sports.

Members receive a quarterly newsletter and a copy of Sled Dog Care Guidelines and Equipment Guidelines, and a First Aid Manual for Sled Dogs. Mush with P.R.I.D.E., PO Box 1915, Kenai, AK 99611. https://mushwithpride.org

Posted in Iditarod, News & Information, Sled Dog History, Sled Dog Races, Yukon Quest | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment