Author Archives: Helen Hegener

About Helen Hegener

I write books about Alaskan history, and titles currently available include Alaskan Roadhouses, The First Iditarod, The All Alaska Sweepstakes, The Yukon Quest Trail, The Matanuska Colony Barns, and others. I am currently researching and writing a book on the early history and construction of the Alaska Railroad. You can contact me via email at helenhegener@gmail.com

The Alaska Railroad 1902-1923

The Alaska Railroad: 1902-1923 , subtitled Blazing an Iron Trail Across The Great Land, covers the construction of the Alaska Railroad and its predecessors, from 1902, when John Ballaine built the Alaska Central Railroad; through 1923, when President Warren G. … Continue reading

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Alaskan Adventurer Mary Shields

In 1974, the second year the 1,049-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was run, Mary Shields became the first woman to finish the race, with the smallest team in the race (only eight dogs) and a part-Labrador lead dog named … Continue reading

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Iditarod: The First Ten Years

Please click here to help put a copy of this book in every Alaskan school – even a $5.00 donation will help put more books into our schools! Iditarod: The First Ten Years is a tremendous compilation of history from … Continue reading

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Still Crazy After All These Years

Still Crazy After All These Years by Helen Hegener with Rod Perry Adventure has been a way of life for Rod Perry of Chugiak, Alaska. Now seventy-four, an age when most are slowing way down if not sitting still, Rod … Continue reading

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Great Trail Dogs

“For years, with great dogs, I toiled and often with them was in great perils. Much of my work was accomplished by their aid. So I believe in dogs, and here in this book I have written of some of … Continue reading

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The Men of ’73

In March of 1973, filmmaker, author, and Iditarod historian Rod Perry ran his dogteam in the very first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. Now Rod is seeking to preserve the story of that very first … Continue reading

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The First Iditarod

The First Iditarod: Mushers’ Tales from the 1973 Race, by Helen Hegener “We got a storm back about Rainy Pass and the trail was covered over; we had no trail, so Victor Kotongan, Bud Smyth and I spent about three … Continue reading

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The Yukon Quest

The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race spans some of the harshest and most beautiful winter territory anywhere: 1,000 miles between Fairbanks, Alaska and the city of Whitehorse in Canada’s Yukon Territory. Known as ‘The World’s Toughest Sled Dog Race,’ … Continue reading

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2017 Sled Dog Race Calendar

• January 6 – Gin Gin 200 – Paxson, Alaska • January 7 – Tahquamenon Country – Newberry, Michigan • January 7 – Knik 200 (Joe Redington Sr. Memorial) – Knik, Alaska • January 7 – La Grande Odyssée Savoie … Continue reading

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A Dog-Puncher on the Yukon

People sometimes ask me which musher in history is my favorite, and it’s a tough choice, as there have been some truly amazing mushers (and I write about many of them in my book Alaskan Sled Dog Tales), but one … Continue reading

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Looking for Lizzy

As an author of books on the history of Alaska, I often receive inquiries from people seeking information about long-lost relatives, and I’m always happy to help whenever I can. Family connections are important, and helping someone piece together clues … Continue reading

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“A Mighty Nice Place”

“The valley looks great. It looks fine, fine. You got a mighty nice place here.”     ~American humorist and commentator Will Rogers, Palmer, Alaska, August, 1935 The newest book from Northern Light Media combines the history of the Matanuska Valley with … Continue reading

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Ordering Books

Ordering books from Northern Light Media is simple, and I offer four convenient ways for you to order my titles online: Northern Light Media – You can order every title I’ve published directly through my website, just click on the … Continue reading

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Golden Places

Golden Places: The History of Alaska-Yukon Mining, With Particular Reference to Alaska’s National Parks, was written in 1990 by William R. Hunt, prepared as a special theme study to assist in the assessment of cultural resources associated with metal mining … Continue reading

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Gakona Roadhouse

This article is an excerpt from the book by Helen Hegener,  Alaskan Roadhouses, Shelter, Food, and Lodging Along Alaska’s Roads and Trails, published in 2015 by Northern Light Media. Ordering information below.   The Gakona roadhouse at milepost 205 on … Continue reading

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1912 All Alaska Sweepstakes

An old friend, Robert Lutz, sent me the link to an article which appeared in the March 27, 1912 issue of the newspaper, The San Francisco Call, which noted entries for the 1912 All Alaska Sweepstakes race. The article read, … Continue reading

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Seppala Kennels Advertising Card

I often stumble across interesting websites in my research, and one I’ve returned to a number of times over the years is the Alaskan Heritage Bookshop website, which sells Alaskan books, Alaskan art, vintage Alaskan memorabilia and photographs, and much … Continue reading

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Horse Snowshoes

The photos and information here are borrowed from the Alaskan Heritage Bookshop website, which sells Alaskan books, Alaskan art, vintage Alaskan memorabilia and photographs, and much more. Based in Juneau, the site bills itself “The Museum of Alaska History Where … Continue reading

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Crow Creek Pass, Iditarod Trail

Crow Creek Pass is a popular summer destination with hikers and backpackers, crossing a scenic pass high in the great Chugach Range of mountains which overlooks Anchorage and separates the Matanuska Valley from Prince William Sound. Crow Creek pass, or … Continue reading

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Joe Redington’s Iditarod Booklet

A slim little booklet came to my attention at the Palmer library recently; if memory serves me it was tucked into their collection which cannot be checked out of the library but must remain in the building. Titled Iditarod Trail, … Continue reading

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