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1898 Matanuska Valley

Screen Shot 2020-04-18 at 6.55.29 PMA look back at the Matanuska Valley in 1898. Captain Edwin F. Glenn, Twenty-fifth Infantry, United States Army, was the officer in charge of explorations in southcentral Alaska in 1898.

1899 Harriman Alaska Expedition

screen-shot-2019-06-09-at-8.47.16-pmEdward H. Harriman, one of the most powerful men in America,  decided to go to Alaska to hunt Kodiak bears, but rather than go alone, he conceived the idea of taking with him a community of scientists, artists, photographers, and naturalists to explore and document the Alaskan coastline.

• 1909 Alaska-Yukon Pacific Expo

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 12.31.06 AMThe Alaska–Yukon–Pacific Exposition was a world’s fair held in Seattle in 1909, publicizing the development of the Pacific Northwest. It opened on June 1, 1909, on the largely undeveloped grounds of the University of Washington.

1935 Matanuska Colony Barns

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 1.04.42 AMGlimpsed down a tree-lined dirt lane or silhouetted against a mountain backdrop, and they rarely fail to bring a smile. Like trusted and comforting old friends, the barns are always there.

1935 WPA Guide to Alaska

Screen Shot 2020-04-18 at 6.51.51 PMIn 1935, with the nation in the grip of a crippling depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Federal Writers Project as part of the United States Work Progress Administration (WPA)

Alaska Nellie

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.21.05 AMNellie Lawing, known as Alaska Nellie, was a fisherman, a hunter, a trapper, a cook and a roadhouse keeper; she fed the crews building the Alaska Railroad, welcomed princes and presidents into her home, guided big game hunters and developed an impressive trophy collection of her own.

Alaska’s Flag

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 7.35.27 PM“Eight stars of gold on a field of blue…” was the basis of a design submitted by a 13-year-old Aleut boy from Seward in the 1927 contest to design a flag for the territory of Alaska.

• Alaskan Artists

Screen Shot 2020-04-18 at 7.00.17 PMShort biographic sketches of four great artists from Alaska’s past: Sydney Laurence, Theodore Roosevelt Lambert, Fred Machetanz, and Eustace Paul Ziegler.

Alaskan Railroads

ARR RecordThe construction of the Alaska Railroad, from 1902, when the Alaska Central Railroad was begun in Seward, through 1923, when President Warren G. Harding drove the golden spike in Nenana to open the Alaska Railroad.

• All Alaska Sweepstakes

trophy_aasIn the winter of 1907, a group of friends in Nome, Alaska set about developing a kennel club and formalizing the rules for racing dogs, founded on the same principles as the jockey clubs which oversaw the famed horse races of the bluegrass country in the south.

Barrett Willoughby

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.28.09 AMBarrett Willoughby was Alaska’s first commercially successful female novelist. Her romantic stories, set in various parts of Alaska, were serialized in the most popular magazines of the day, and two of her books, Rocking Moon and Spawn of the North, were made into Hollywood motion pictures.

Canvas Tents

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 4.48.50 PMA collection of early photographs of the ubiquitous white canvas tent which housed thousands of Alaskan pioneers, from prospectors to doctors and from explorers to families.

Deering Roadhouse

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.31.53 AMThe village of Deering, located on a sandy spit on the Seward Peninsula where the Inmachuk River flows into Kotzebue Sound, 57 miles southwest of Kotzebue, was established in 1901 as a supply station for interior gold mining.

Ed S. Orr Stage Company

Screen Shot 2019-09-14 at 10.32.59 PMThe history of the Edward S. Orr Stage Company, also known as the Fairbanks-Valdez Stage Company, which operated along the Valdez-to-Fairbanks and Chitina to Fairbanks Trails in the early years of the twentieth century.

Elizabeth Peratrovich, Tlingit Activist

Young Peratrovich 420 resThe story of Elizabeth and Roy Peratrovich, who led the long, hard campaign to fight the discrimination against Alaska Natives.

Ezra Meeker in Alaska

Screen Shot 2020-04-18 at 6.46.19 PMEzra Manning Meeker (1830–1928) was a pioneer who traveled the Oregon Trail in 1852. In 1896, gold was discovered in Alaska, and Meeker turned his attention north. The 67-year-old Meeker climbed Chilkoot Pass, and floated down the Yukon River to Dawson City.

First Bush Pilots

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 5.02.33 PMAn article on the early bush pilots of Alaska, spanning the years between 1911 and the 1930s, a time when the pioneer pilots, utterly fearless and a breed apart, totally dedicated to their work, soared over the Last Frontier.

Frank Carpenter

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 5.07.02 PMThe venerable world traveler, Frank Carpenter (1855-1924), a photographer, journalist, and lecturer whose writings helped popularize world geography and cultural anthropology.

Irving M. Reed

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.34.44 AMIn his classic 1969 book, Boyhood in the Nome Gold Camp(Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, University of Alaska), Irving McKenny Reed records the observations made by an enthusiastic young boy in one of Alaska’s great gold mining towns at the height of its glory: Nome between 1900 and 1903.

Josephine Crumrine

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 4.49.28 PMThe beautiful pastel paintings of Alaskan huskies by Alaskan artist Josephine Crumrine graced the menu covers in the dining rooms of the Alaska Steamship Company during the 1940’s and ’50’s.

Josiah E. Spurr

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 7.28.38 PMAn excerpt from Josiah Edward Spurr’s historically important account of the first expedition to map and chart the interior of Alaska for the United States Geological Survey, in 1896.

Rim of Red Water

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 7.32.06 PM“Out across those open turbulent waters in the Aleutian Islands, among the last to be explored by Europeans, is where Christopher Columbus, if he could have sailed farther, might have taken his three ships right off the edge of the Earth, somewhere west of Kodiak.”


Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 12.43.20 AMSnowshoes, those wonderful wood-and-webbing contraptions which made walking on snow possible for the early travelers in the north country.

S. S. Nenana

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 7.32.54 PMThe wooden-hulled, western rivers-style steam sternwheel passenger boat Nenana is one of only three steam-powered passenger sternwheelers of any kind left in the U.S., and the only large wooden hulled sternwheeler.

The Esquimaux

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.38.41 AMOnly published for one year, 1866-1867, The Esquimaux was Alaska’s first newspaper, edited by a Western Union Telegraph line man named John J. Harrington. The story of this unique publication, and the little-known history behind it.

The Kink in the North Fork of the Fortymile

Screen Shot 2020-04-19 at 3.09.08 AMApproximately 20 miles up the North Fork of the Fortymile River from its confluence with the South Fork is a curious point on the map called The Kink. It is a very recently unnatural abandoned meander of the river.