The May-June, 2019 issue is an anthology of excerpts from books which have been published by Northern Light Media over the past ten years, with articles featuring a look at the construction of the Alaska Railroad from 1902 to 1923; a 1918 trip taken by Margaret Murie, who was traveling the Fairbanks-to-Valdez Trail as a 16-year-old girl; the surveyor and explorer Addison Powell’s 1902 adventures in the Copper River Valley; the great All Alaska Sweepstakes sled dog race; the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle; and the magnificent barns of the 1935 Matanuska Colony Project near Palmer. Shorter articles include a photo-feature of snowshoes, a look at a few Alaskan photographers, and brief reviews of a half-dozen classic books on Alaska.
The July-August, 2019 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! Other 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.
The September-October, 2019 issue of Alaskan History Magazinefeatures a bounty of the Last Frontier’s colorful past, from the endearing sled dog artwork of Josephine Crumrine’s menu covers for The Alaska Steamship Company to the unprecedented luxury cruise of railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman and his carefully selected passenger list of scientists and artists. An excerpt from a book in progress by noted Alaskan author Tim Jones highlights the importance of a key player in Alaska’s history: the sea otter; and the featured article for this issue is the story of the SS Nenana, the Last Lady of the River, by Fairbanks writer and historian Patricia De Nardo Schmidt. Other articles in this third issue include the history of Alaska’s flag, and an excerpt from Josiah E. Spurr’s 1896 expedition to map and chart the interior of Alaska for the USGS. His unvarnished descriptions of the Birch Creek Mining District are among the first ever recorded. Wrapping up this issue are brief highlights from half a dozen classic books on Alaska’s history, a guide to some of the sources used in researching this issue, and a timeline.
The November-December, 2019 issue 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. Articles for this issue include 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, notable for the remote location and for the size of the undertaking. 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. Shorter features on 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.