January 31 Update

Rambling through past issues

Welcome to all the new subscribers! This is just a look back at a few photos and other items of interest from the back issues of the magazine. Enjoy!

From the 1922 Rand McNally Guide to Alaska and the Yukon:

The dog team will always be a part, in fact, the greatest factor in transportation in the northern country. In winter as soon as a person leaves the railroad, or the automobile roads, he is in need of the dog team as much as before the coming railroads, automobiles, or the horse. Many times when the country is struck with storms all other means of transportation are tied up. 

Traveling in the interior after October 15th is by dog team, which can be hired for about $25 per day, this amount covering charge for driver and his board, and food for the dogs en route. The equipment includes dogs, harness, sled kettles, and pans for feeding; snowshoes for driver, robe for sled, tarpaulin and charcoal foot-warmer, in fact, all the traveler needs for his comfort except his personal clothing. Such a team should, when trails are well broken, make from 25 to 35 miles a day and haul 600 or 700 pounds. (from the Nov-Dec, 2020 issue)

Charles Ott and John Scheele's general merchandise store in Eagle. In 1908 John Scheele, tinsmith by trade, purchased John Paulson’s share of the Paulson & Ott store, changing the name to Ott & Scheele. [F. Carpenter Collection, Library of Congress] (from the Nov-Dec, 2020 issue)

A. E. “Cap” Lathrop

In the spring of 1896 Austin Eugene Lathrop sailed north as captain of a small schooner, the LJ Perry, a year before news of the Klondike gold strike reached Seattle. Over the next half-century he became one of territorial Alaska’s most prominent businessmen. He developed coal mines, built apartments and movie theaters; started banks and radio stations; served as a city mayor, a state legislator, and a university regent, produced a motion picture and became Alaska’s first millionaire. A man of great drive and bold vision, the entreprenurial spirit of A. E. “Cap” Lathrop inspires the publication of Alaskan History Magazine! (From the Sept-Oct, 2020 issue)

Editorial from the Jan-Feb, 2021 issue:

A New Year

The Roads Ahead, the Trails Behind

As we settle into a new year, many are already planning summer road trips to favorite places and and explorations to new sites of interest, some even beyond the roads, over trails forged by the pioneer travelers, or by native peoples before them. Some, of course, will strike out beyond the trails, perhaps following rivers or streams, quiet valleys and canyons, or maybe the rugged shoreline of a lake, an island, or an arm of the sea. 

Wherever we wander, whenever we go—for many love exploring icebound, snow-covered lands—we can be assured that someone was there before us. Perhaps not many, but there are few places in Alaska which have not been trod at some point, whether by the moccasined feet of indigenous people, the heavy boots of a prospector, or the hiking shoes of an avid outdoorsman. 

Some will disike the idea of not being the first to gaze on some scenic vista, but I think there is a certain comfort in knowing that our fellow travelers have, at some point, been there too. They may have left some residue of their passing; a crumbling cabin, a fire ring, the stumps of trees, or a misplaced tool which says “someone came this way….”

Alaska is blessed with an incredible landscape, often all one needs to enjoy an outing. But it is also fortunate to have a wonderful history, relatively short as world histories go, but full of adventures, characters, joys, hardships, discoveries, unimaginable privations, and so much more. Pause to consider what may have happened, who might have come that way in years past, as you make your own discoveries this year.