Free Weekly Newsletter

June 4, 2021

Hello Readers, and Happy June!

The image above is a postcard showing a motorized sled, apparently a distant forerunner of the snow machine? There is scant little information available about the image at Wikimedia Commons.

Finding little gems like this is one of the rewards of being a researcher of history, and such finds often result in epic searches for more information. The ‘ice motor’ above certainly triggered a lengthy search online, but to no avail. What is was and how it worked—and whether or not it ever got to Dawson—remains a mystery.


Alaska History

If you do a search for ‘Alaska history’ a long list pops up, and browsing some of the websites is interesting, entertaining, and educational. This is only a starting point:

Alaska Historical Society - Articles, FAQs, publications, much more

History.com - Overview, Interesting Facts, Photo Gallery

Wikipedia - Lengthy, in-depth, with links to related information

Outline of History - from Wikipedia, a timeline of sorts

Britannica - A brief, broad overview of the subject

Alaska Centers - Cultural history

UAF Jukebox - Alaska Native History and Cultures Timeline

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center - There’s an office in Anchorage

Office of History and Archaeology - Historic preservation


Book Excerpts

Free book excerpts are posted to the newsletter site and emailed to both free and paid subscribers almost every week. Titles online now include A Dog Puncher on the Yukon, A Woman Who Went to AlaskaLong Hard Trails and Sled Dog TalesThe Tanana Valley RailroadThe History of Seward, and The Land of Tomorrow. If you missed one they’re all still free to read at the newsletter site.

Book excerpts (and more)


Alaskan Museums

Seward Museum

The museum is a partnership between the City of Seward and the Resurrection Bay Historical Society(RBHS), whose collection of objects, photographs and archives is housed and exhibited in our museum spaces. Located near downtown Seward at Sixth Avenue and Adams Street, the museum takes visitors on a history-filled journey from the first Native inhabitants of Resurrection Bay to the devastating 1964 earthquake and tsunami, and beyond. Link to history videos at the website linked above.


July-August Alaskan History Magazine

The July-August issue of Alaskan History Magazine will be mailed June 15 for delivery near July 1st. This issue features some great articles, including Alaska Nellie, Jujiro Wada, Rufus Harvey Sargent, the 1926-1929 U.S. Navy Aerial Alaskan Survey, the first Army Forts in Alaska, The Clay Street Cemetery, and more. Click below to pre-order the July-Aug issue, sent postpaid via first class on June 15, and check out a few sample pages of the interior.

Pre-Order July-August


From the Archives

Pioneer Packhorses

E. J. Glave and Jack Dalton blazed a trail from tidewater to the Yukon

In 1890 Glave and Dalton followed the Tatshinshini River to the Alsek River, where they purchased a dugout canoe and hired an Indian guide. Their harrowing trip down the whitewater river to the coast was detailed in popular articles and greatly increased interest in this unknown territory. 

Read the article


 There are two versions of this newsletter: 

~ A free subscription - the version you’re reading now.

~ A paid subscription ($5/month or $40/year). Check it out with a free trial! 


• Books from Northern Light Media include The Alaska Railroad 1902-1923, Alaskan Roadhouses, The Matanuska Colony Barns, The First Iditarod, Alaska & The Klondike, Camping and Trailing in Alaska (1909), The 1935 Matanuska Colony Project, and many more! Check them out at this link:

Northern Light Media Books


Alaskan History Magazine is published by Northern Light Media.

Thanks for reading, see you next week!

Helen Hegener, publisher

Northern Light Media