Museum and Mushing in Nome

Part of the modern day Iditarod exhibit at the Carrie M. McLain Museum. Photo Credit: J. Westrich


I am a total museum geek. Before I became a librarian I worked in museums and I just love that format of learning – objects that tell stories. Today I had the greatest museum experience in Nome, AK.  We got here a day before any Iditarod mushers are expected to arrive so there was time to explore. I visited the Kegoayah Kozga Library and met with the Library Director to hear about the programs and resources available. It was amazing and I hope to make it back there for storytime!

Fritz, Seppala’s other lead dog! Photo Credit: J. Westrich

Alaska Sweepstakes memorabilia. Photo Credit: J. Westrich

In the same building is the Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum which tells the story of Nome through artifacts and engaging exhibits. Mo Davis, museum guide, provided a fantastic tour and shared with us some incredible artifacts related to the history of dogsled mushing.  It was the kind of tour that could only happen in Alaska – where the people are friendly and willing to share their time to explain the rich culture, history, and humanity of their home. Below are several of the remarkable items that make up the long history of dogsled mushing in this region.

Whale bone dog sled runners. Photo Credit: J. Westrich

Walrus scrimshaw depicting a scene of dogsledding. Photo Credit: J. Westrich

Historic dog harness. Photo Credit: J. Westrich