“In Alaskan Roadhouses, Helen Hegener reconstructs the scant history of these establishments and the people and dogs who made their existence possible. She tells us as much about the travelers who foraged from one roadhouse to the next as the roadhouses themselves. These pioneers were beyond hearty. Braving sub-arctic temps and trails that defied logic, they walked along with, or ahead of their dog teams, 20 to 30 miles per day, without surcease. They pushed past blistered feet (treated with coal oil) twisted ankles and fingers and toes frosted just this side of hypothermia. What shines through-one indelible portrait after another-is their sheer exuberance for life. Their words leap from the page, so vibrant their zeal for life you can hear them as you read their words.” –David Fox, Alaska Press, January 14, 2016
This long-anticipated 284-page book recounts the detailed histories of twenty-four roadhouses, and presents historic photos of two dozen more. Along with the colorful histories are first-hand accounts of those who stayed at the roadhouses while traveling the early trails and roads of Alaska, including the Reverend Samuel Hall Young, Frank G.. Carpenter, Judge James Wickersham, Leonhard Seppala, Col. Walter L. Goodwin, and Matilda Clark Butler, who opened a roadhouse near Nome in 1901, at the height of the Nome Gold Rush. -Make-a-Scene magazine, July, 2015
Alaskan Roadhouses: Shelter, Food and Lodging Along Alaska’s Roads and Trails, by Helen Hegener
This 284-page book presents historic photos of dozens of individual roadhouses, along with the colorful histories are first-hand accounts of those who stayed at the roadhouses while traveling the early trails and roads of Alaska, including the Reverend Samuel Hall Young, Frank G. Carpenter, Judge James Wickersham, Leonhard Seppala, Col. Walter L. Goodwin, and Matilda Clark Buller, who opened a roadhouse near Nome in 1901, at the height of the Nome Gold Rush.
The following description is from Jim Reardan’s book, Sam O. White, Alaskan: Tales of a Legendary Wildlife Agent and Bush Pilot [Graphic Arts Books, 2014]:
“A man named Ohlson ran the Lone Star Roadhouse between Minchumina and McGrath. He had been a dog team driver, trapper, and prospector until old age caught up with him. He then settled down to winters in his roadhouse on the Fairbanks-McGrath trail, where he cooked and cared for overnight travelers. His supplies arrived in the spring to be put on the only boat that would take them to Lake Minchumina. There they remained at Minchumina until October when a dog team could freight them to Lone Star over the trail. Hotcakes, bacon, coffee and two eggs (if you were man enough to take ’em before they took you) was $2.50. There was also moose and caribou stew, which was always good. At $2.50 per meal this was not at all out of line when considering the distance and transportation involved in getting the supplies there.”
"Alaskan Roadhouses, Shelter, Food, and Lodging Along Alaska's Roads and Trails," by Helen Hegener, published by Northern Light Media in 2016. 6" x 9", over 100 black/white photographs, 284 pages. $24.95 plus $5.00 for First Class shipping.
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My parents owned the Glenallen Roadhouse around 1950-51. I was about three. I had a chance to go back to it and meet the people living in it. I still could feel the vibes.