Category Archives: history

Quiz

Unknown date; Traveling north out of Fairbanks

I was sent the above picture, with the question: “Where in Fairbanks is this?”

My response: “Behind a Land Rover.”

I received an “eye roll” emoji for my efforts.

Other than the Series Rover, the image shows what is now the Steese Highway as it swings by Birch Hill.


’67 Flood

Aerial photo of Fairbanks after the Chena River overflowed its banks

This week is the 55th Anniversary of the Great Flood of 1967 that hit Fairbanks. The first half of August that year saw near continuous rainfall, that eventually was too much for the Chena and Tanana Rivers to hold back.

Downtown Fairbanks in August of 1967

At its peak, 95% of Fairbanks was under water. Over 6000 homes and businesses were a total loss, and as many sustained damage. Eight people lost their lives due to the flooding.


SS Nenana Day

On Saturday at Pioneer Park, the Borough will celebrate SS Nenana Day, to honor the Last Lady of the River.

The SS Nenana steamed the waters of the Yukon and Tanana Rivers between 1933 and 1954. It was officially retired in 1957, and has been a museum ship since 1965.

The SS Nenana; Photo credit: Fairbanks North Star Borough

The Nenana is one of only three steam-powered passenger sternwheelers left in the U.S. and the only large wooden steamer to survive the years.

Inside the Nenana’s wheelhouse

The Nenana has been neglected, restored, and then neglected once again. Efforts, including today’s celebration at Pioneer Park, are underway to try to stabilize, and hopefully restore the Last Lady of the Yukon.


Photo by Robert Capa; Omaha Beach D-Day

1944

U.S. Army Rangers, Weymouth, England, just days prior to D-Day

Totem House

Totem House, Hoonah, Alaska; circa 1915

Happy Seward’s Day

Mural painted on the vaulted ceiling of the U.S. Capitol, by Jeffrey Green

27 March 1964

Anchorage, Alaska after the 9.2 Good Friday Earthquake


Finding Endurance

Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance

A team of modern day adventurists and scientists used undersea drones to locate the famed Endurance. The ship was last seen 106 years ago.

Captained by Ernest Shackleton, the Endurance was caught in sea ice off the Antarctic Peninsula in 1915. The crew was forced to abandon the ship before it was crushed by the sea ice, and sank. Shackleton then led his crew on a miraculous 800 mile journey to safety.

The Endurance, caught in the sea ice off Antarctica; Photo by Frank Hurley, 1915

The Endurance was found approximately 4 miles from the position last taken by Shackleton, almost 10,000 feet below the surface of the Weddell Sea. The ship is “in a brilliant state of preservation”, which did not come as a surprise due to the cold water temps and lack of wood eating marine organisms. The name Endurance can clearly be seen on the stern, as well as a five pointed star, which dates back to when the vessel was known as Polaris.


Alaska Travel: 1910

A musher and dog team outside Nome, Alaska