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Museum: Iditarod Commemorative Belt Buckles and Pendants

On this page we are featuring ITC numbered commemorative belt buckles and pendants from the estate collection of Rickie Lee Hildebrand.  Click on each image to enlarge it for clearly seeing the exquisite details and historical representations. Pewter belt commemorative belt buckles 1979 – 1994         ITC commissioned belt buckles and pendants, …

Primary Source of the Month: September

Welcome back to another year exploring Iditarod Themed Primary Sources. Using historic photos and objects is a wonderful way to have students use critical thinking and observation skills as they try to understand what they are seeing and what it can teach us about history. In honor of the 50th running of the race, each …

Primary Source of the Month: May

The idea of awarding a red lantern to the final finisher in a dog race apparently got its start during the Fur Rendezvous races in 1953 as a joke. When the the Iditarod came into existence, the tradition continued. The award has come to represent the preservation and grit needed to finish the race. The …

Primary Source of the Month: April

Something that every Iditarod Rookie looks forward to is “earning his or her buckle.” Each Iditarod finisher is awarded a brass finisher’s belt buckle upon the completion of their first race signaling that they are a rookie no more! In the early days of the race, the Nome Kennel club wanted to do something to …

Primary Source of the Month: March

One of the iconic images of the Iditarod is the Burled Arch that stands at the end of the epic journey the teams take across the state of Alaska. But, did you know the current Burled Arch is actually the second arch in Iditarod History? Using the Source With Students: Display the historic photo above …

Primary Source of the Month: February

Primary sources are not just for Social Studies class! Here’s one that you could use as a math warmup that ties in to the ghost town of Iditarod which will play such an important role in this year’s Iditarod Race.     Using the Source With Students: Display the object for your students and have …

Primary Source of the Month: January

Last month, we looked at the use of the Iditarod Trail as a mail trail by investigating trail mail. This month, we turn our focus to the use of the Iditarod Trail during the Gold Rush Days. The vault of the Miners and Merchants Bank is one of the few structures still standing in Iditarod …

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Primary Source of the Month: December

December ushers in holiday seasons for people all around the world. And with holiday seasons comes the big rush to the post office to mail holiday cards and packages. Do your students ever wonder how letters and packages were delivered before the creation of airplanes? Well, for many in the northern regions, mail was delivered …

Trail Mail

Honoring the Iditarod Trail’s use as a Mail Trail, mushers traditionally carry mail cachets down the trail as a part of their mandatory gear.  According Katie Manglesdorf in her book, Champion of Alaskan Huskies –  Joe Redington Sr. Father of the Iditarod, having mail carried down the trail was always a part of the plan. …