Alaskan History

Tanana and Iditarod 2015

by Martha Dobson Edgar Nollner and Josephine Roberts. Father and daughter. Volunteers working in Tanana were thrilled to meet Josephine, now 93, who was a 3 year old when her father, Edgar, ran one of the relay legs of the 1925 Serum Run to deliver diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, combating the epidemic there. The first …

Book Review–Ghosts in the Fog: The Untold Story of Alaska’s WWII Invasion

A recent, narrative nonfiction account for middle school age and older, through adults, about a part of WWII kept secret for decades. Find out more here. 

Virtual Trail Journey – Iditarod

BOO again! Another ghostly greeting from ghost town and checkpoint, Iditarod. Have you ever wondered where the word or name Iditarod came from? I’ve heard 3 explanations so I’ll share them with you. First, Iditarod was a word used by Athabascans that meant FAR DISTANT PLACE. Second, Iditarod was a word used by other Native …

Virtual Trail Journey – Shageluk

It’s been many miles since the mushers and their teams have come to a populated place. Unlike Ophir and Iditarod, Shageluk is populated with people and not ghosts! Handler didn’t actually visit Shageluk as the 2006 Teacher on the Trail because ’06 was an even year so the teams followed the northern route. It wasn’t …

Virtual Trail Journey – Anvik

Leaving Shageluk and mushing on toward Anvik, the teams will have fewer miles to go than they have covered.  No one would be so bold as to say that it’s downhill to Nome from Shageluk because the Yukon River and the Bering Sea Coast present many challenges for the mushers and dogs.  Anvik (AN-vik) is …

Virtual Trail Journey – Eagle Island

When teams reach Eagle Island, they have covered about half of the miles they will be traveling on the Yukon River.  In his Trail Notes, Don Bowers, Jr. calls this section of trail that runs upstream and into the wind on the Yukon long and boring.  He says, “There is nothing but wide-open river and …

Virtual Trail Journey – Elim

Elim, an Inupaig Eskimo village of 310 people is situated on the south shore of the Seward Peninsula or north shore of Norton Bay.  Elim (EE-lum) is 100 miles east of Nome as the crow flies.  Like all bush villages, Elim isn’t connected by road to the rest of Alaska.  The only way to travel …

Virtual Trail Journey – White Mountain

Jeff King left Elim in 1994 with the feeling that he was being followed.  Sure enough a young husky not more that 4 months old was close behind.  For all of his short life, the Husky wanted to “play sports.”  What the puppy needed most was a coach who would work with him and train …

Virtual Trail Journey – Safety

Out in the middle of no where on the Nome to Council Highway sits the Safety Roadhouse.  Looking back toward White Mountain, you see nothing but snow, looking toward Nome you see nothing but snow.  Looking out over the Bering Sea, you see nothing except sea ice and jumble.  The checkpoint is located in the …

Virtual Trail Journey – Nome

The fire siren sounds in Nome to announce that a dog team is approaching Front Street.  Fans put on their coats, boots, hats and mittens and gather at the burled arch to welcome another Iditarod finisher  Approaching the burled arch marks the end of a very personal journey for the mushers and dogs.  There is …