Category Archives: Sled Dog History

Joe Redington, Sr.

Joe Redington came to Alaska in 1948, settling on a homestead near Knik, south of Wasilla, with his family. He learned about sled dogs and how to handle a dog team from his new neighbors, mail and freight team driver Sharon Fleckenstein and Lee Ellexson, one of the last dog team mail drivers on the Iditarod Trail. Continue reading

Posted in Alaska History, Books, News & Information, Sled Dog History, Sled Dog Races | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Call of the Wild

An excerpt from Jack London’s The Call of the Wild (Macmillan, 1903), the fictional account of events in the life of the great sled dog Buck who, at this point in the story, ran in the traces of a courier for the Canadian Government, bearing important dispatches. Continue reading

Posted in Books, Gold Rush History, Sled Dog History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Icebound

The documentary ‘Icebound’ is the story of the 1925 Serum Run, a heroic testament to the human spirit, and to the dogs of the far north. But beyond the legend lies a complex tale, filled with irony, tragedy, and myth. Continue reading

Posted in Alaska History, Alaska Railroad, Sled Dog History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Roadhouse Registers

Travelers of the Trail • Seeking Shelter and A Warm Meal W. A. Dikeman and Charles Peterson reported by Iditarod Nugget as “First Mushers Over the Iditarod Trail: Taking 45 Days from Seward to Otter, they meet several others on the … Continue reading

Posted in Alaska History, Gold Rush History, News & Information, Roadhouse, Roadhouses, Sled Dog History | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ernest de Koven Leffingwell

Ernest de Koven Leffingwell was a joint commander, with Ejnar Mikkelsen, of the 1906-1908 Anglo-American Polar Expedition, which established that, contrary to long-held myths and stories, there was no land north of Alaska.

Self-described as “the forgotten explorer,” as his efforts went largely unrecognized in his own time, Leffingwell is credited for later mapping about 150 miles of the Arctic coastline, between Point Barrow and Herschel Island, along with the adjacent Brooks Range, between 1906 and 1914. Continue reading

Posted in Alaska History, Books, Kindle eBooks, Sled Dog History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild, by Jack London, was published in 1903, and the story is set in the Yukon during the 1890’s Klondike Gold Rush—a period when strong sled dogs were in high demand. Continue reading

Posted in Books, Gold Rush History, Sled Dog History | Tagged , , , , ,

Jujiro Wada, Trailblazer

There are many strange and unusual stories in the annals of northern sled dog travel, but one of the most fascinating concerns an enigmatic Japanese explorer and adventurer named Jujiro Wada. Born in Japan in the 1870s, the second son of a lower-class samurai warrior, he traveled to the U.S. in 1890 and worked as a cabin boy for the Pacific Steam Whaling Company and at Barrow for the renowned Charlie Brower, manager of the Cape Smythe Whaling and Trading Company, which history buffs agree was probably where he learned to handle sled dogs and began learning the Alaska Native languages. Continue reading

Posted in Alaska History, Book Reviews, Books, News & Information, Sled Dog History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Seppala House Update

The Seppala House Project STILL needs funds for moving and restoration, please donate generously: Continue reading

Posted in Alaska History, News & Information, Sled Dog History | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leonard Seppala House

The Leonhard Seppala House Restoration Project is an effort to save what many believe to be a key piece of Alaskan history, the home of a legendary musher, three-time champion of the All Alaska Sweepstakes, who played a central role … Continue reading

Posted in Alaska History, News & Information, Sled Dog History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alaska Nellie

Nellie Neal Lawing, familiar to Alaskans as “Alaska Nellie,” lived a life much larger than most, even by Alaskan standards. She 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. She mushed a dog team, kept a pet bear cub, became famous for her strawberry pies, and saw a movie made about her adventures. She was one of a kind, an Alaskan original, and she lived life to the fullest. Continue reading

Posted in Alaska History, Alaska Railroad, News & Information, Roadhouses, Sled Dog History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment