Category Archives: Alaska History

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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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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Dog Team Doctor

In 1896 Dr. Joseph  H. Romig traveled to Bethel, Alaska, and opened the first doctor’s office and hospital west of Sitka, at a time when there were very few non-native people living in remote southwest Alaska. Four decades later a … Continue reading

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The Parks-Archer Colony Barn

In 1935 the U.S. Government transported 200 families from the Great Depression-stricken midwest to a valley of unparalleled beauty in Alaska, where they were given the chance to begin new lives as part of a federally-funded social experiment, the Matanuska … Continue reading

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John “Iron Man” Johnson

In 1910, a Scottish nobleman who lived in Nome, Fox Maule Ramsey, crossing the Bering Strait to Siberia and purchased 70 Siberian racing huskies. In that year’s All Alaska Sweepstakes race, a 408-mile run from Nome to Candle and return, … Continue reading

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A Look Between the Covers

The newest book from Northern Light Media, Alaskan Sled Dog Tales, is in the final proofing stage before indexing the book, and I thought a peek between the covers might be fun for readers looking forward to this book. Here, … Continue reading

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Alaskan Sled Dog Tales

The history of Alaska was in large part written behind a team of sled dogs. “These trustworthy creatures could be relied upon to do the heavy work, while remaining—as Hegener eloquently reminds us—our most treasured friends.” David Fox, for the … Continue reading

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A.A.”Scotty” Allan

From the Wenatchee World, Wenatchee, Washington, June 29, 1909: “Scotty” Allan, Dog Trainer Winner of All-Alaskan Sweepstakes an old-time resident of Chelan County and well known here The Seattle Post-Intelligencer of Monday night contained an interesting story regarding “Scotty” Allan, … Continue reading

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Writing

As a writer I work with words on a daily basis, and I’ve been asked if it ever gets old, this spending my time at a keyboard instead of pursuing other potentially more exciting ways to make a living. Okay, … Continue reading

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Famous 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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Icebound

“On January 28, 1925, newspapers and radio stations broke a terrifying story — diphtheria had broken out in Nome, Alaska, separated from the rest of the world for seven months by a frozen ocean. With aviation still in its infancy … Continue reading

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Iditarod Trail History

I assembled the following photos relating to Iditarod Trail history for the BLM Alaska Idita-Chat on January 20. As it turned out, circumstances changed and I only posted a few of the descriptions, and none of the photos, so I … Continue reading

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Leonhard Seppala

Leonhard Seppala, who would, like Scotty Allan, win three Sweepstakes championships, became a living legend in Alaska, and in his own autobiography, Seppala, Alaskan Dog Driver, written with Elizabeth Ricker, he described a harrowing event which took place during his first … Continue reading

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