Category Archives: Books

Kindle Edition: Alaskan Roadhouses

Now on Kindle, this book presents historic photos of dozens of individual roadhouses, and 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. From Haly’s Roadhouse at Fort Yukon to the Grandview Roadhouse near Seward, and from the Slana Roadhouse south of Tok to the Deering Roadhouse on Kotzebue Sound, these respected establishments made travel in territorial Alaska possible. Continue reading

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Kindle Edition: Alaskan Sled Dog Tales

Alaskan Sled Dog Tales, by Helen Hegener, shares the important history of sled dogs in Alaska, highlighting the adventures of legendary mushers such as Leonhard Seppala, Scotty Allan, and ‘Iron Man” Johnson, and explaining how sled dogs were an integral part of historic events such as the 1925 Serum Run to Nome. True stories include Alaskan mail carrier Eli Smith’s epic trip to Washington, D.C., Alaska Nellie’s daring rescue of a lost mail carrier, the Rev. Samuel Hall Young’s 1913 trip over the Iditarod Trail, and Territorial Judge James Wickersham’s 1901 dogsled trip down the frozen Yukon River from Eagle to Rampart. Fascinating stories of Alaska’s history as seen from the runners of a dogsled, told by the adventurous souls who made the journeys. 
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Kindle Edition: The First Iditarod

“Musher after musher agrees that no one – racers or officials – knew what to expect.” ~Bill Sherwonit in Iditarod: The Great Race to Nome (Alaska Northwest Books, 1991) The First Iditarod  Mushers’ Tales From the 1973 Race On a … Continue reading

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Kindle Edition: Long Hard Trails

Now available in a print replica Kindle edition, Long Hard Trails and Sled Dog Tales is a memoir of sorts, an adventure story to be sure, and a look at what it’s like to follow a winning sled dog team across the Canadian and Alaskan wilderness.

Award-winning author Helen Hegener hitched her wagon to a star: The legendary four-time Iditarod and Yukon Quest champion Lance Mackey, beginning with his bid for a fourth Yukon Quest title in 2008. Lance would go on to make sled dog racing history, and Helen would go on to build a publishing company specializing in the history of Alaska. Continue reading

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Kindle Edition: “A Mighty Nice Place”

The story of the 1935 Matanuska Colony Project, which settled 200 families near Palmer, Alaska. Continue reading

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Frank George Carpenter

Frank Carpenter photographed Alaska and collected the images of other Alaskan photographers between 1910 and 1924, and Carpenter’s works helped popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the early years of the twentieth century. Continue reading

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The Beautiful Matanuska Valley

The Beautiful Matanuska Valley, by Helen Hegener, includes chapters on Palmer, Wasilla, and other communities within the Valley, both still-existing and long-gone. Stories and photos of Knik, Sutton, Matanuska, Big Lake, Chickaloon and others tell the story of the founding, settling, … Continue reading

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Split-the-Wind

In 1924 Harold Noice published an account of his adventures with the Canadian Arctic Expedition, titled With Stefansson in the Arctic. In his book, Noice told of an Inupiat guide for Vilhjalmer Stefannsson’s expeditions named Emiu, who was also known as “Split-the-Wind” due to his fondness for fast dogteams. Continue reading

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A Woman Who Went to Alaska

A Woman Who Went––to Alaska, by May Kellogg Sullivan, was published in 1902 by James H. Earle & Co., of Boston, Massachusetts. The book describes two trips in which the author journeyed to the Yukon and Alaskan goldfields in 1899, a year after the height of the Klondike Gold Rush. Continue reading

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Alaska’s Coal History

Alaska’s railroad history has been interwoven with Alaska’s coal resources almost from the beginning, and the black rock has driven the development of the Alaska Railroad since the days of its smaller predecessors. Continue reading

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Parks-Archer Colony Barn

The magnificent Parks-Archer barn which sat on the south side of Bodenburg Butte is gone now, another loss to Matanuska Valley history, but it was included in my 2013 book on the Matanuska Colony barns (see below for ordering). Comprised … Continue reading

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New Book: Alaska & the Klondike

The newest book from Northern Light Media is an anthology, Alaska & the Klondike, Early Writings and Historic Photographs, compiled and edited by Helen Hegener, published May 10, 2018. Charting an unknown country, exploring a wondrous land, searching for gold, … Continue reading

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Northern Light Media Books

Northern Light Media publishes non-fiction books about the history of Alaska, with more than a dozen titles currently in print. Learning more about these titles and ordering books is easy, and there are four convenient ways to do so online: … Continue reading

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The Alaska Railroad 1902-1923

The Alaska Railroad: 1902-1923 , subtitled Blazing an Iron Trail Across The Last Frontier, shares the compelling story of the construction of the Alaska Railroad and its predecessors, from 1902, when John Ballaine built the Alaska Central Railroad; through 1923, … 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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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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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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“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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