AHS Blog  |  News

100th Anniversary of the Princess Sophia Tragedy

Date Posted: October 29, 2018       Categories: News

October 25th was the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the SS Princess Sophia in Lynn Canal, Alaska’s worst maritime accident. Go to the podcast “Stuff You Missed in History Class” to learn more about this event.

SS Princess Sophia Memorial, Skagway

Date Posted: October 16, 2018       Categories: News

The public is cordially invited to the SS Princess Sophia Memorial & Storyboard Dedication Saturday, October 20, 2018 • 2 PM
White Pass & Yukon Route Depot & Skagway Centennial Park

Introduction by emcee Jeff Brady, SS Princess Sophia Committee
Welcome by Skagway Mayor Monica Carlson
Welcome by White Pass & Yukon Route – Tyler Rose

Guest Speaker: David Leverton, Maritime Museum of British Columbia
Unveiling of SS Princess Sophia Memorial at Centennial Park with reading of the names of known victims by SS Princess Sophia Committee members
Closing Remarks by SS Princess Sophia Committee Chair Carl Mulvihill
During this special event, the SS Princess Sophia Exhibit from the Skagway Museum will be on display at the WP&YR Depot in front of the ticket office.

Special thanks to Hamilton Construction for donation of the memorial rock, and to the Skagway Public Works crew for installation.

Please join us at 7 PM on the Railroad Dock for a wreath-laying ceremony.

James Dalton Highway Sign Dedication

Date Posted: October 16, 2018       Categories: News

The new James Dalton sign on the Dalton Highway, September 23, 2018. Courtesy of Patricia Peirsol.

On Sunday, September 23, 2018, more than 75 people traveled up the Elliott Highway from Fairbanks to dedicate the James Dalton informational sign at Mile 1.1 of the Dalton Highway. Arriving in a bus and van generously provided by the Northern Alaska Tour Company and many individual vehicles, elected officials, friends and acquaintances of the Dalton family arrived for the unveiling. The overcast weather did not deter the enthusiasm and good company of the brief ceremony.

Dalton Highway sign unveiling ceremony, September 23, 2018. Courtesy Patricia Piersol.

The dedication included: singing of the Alaska Flag Song led by Joy McDougal; a brief presentation about the history of the sign project by Clark Milne; comments by Jeff Russell, Northern Area manager for the Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT); and closing remarks by Kathleen “Mike” Dalton about her husband and her efforts to provide information about him, about northern resource development related to the Haul Road, and a tribute to the male and female truckers who logged many miles on the Dalton Highway. A champagne toast followed the unveiling of the sign.

Kathleen “Mike” Dalton with family and friends at the new James Dalton sign on the Dalton Highway, September 23, 2018. Courtesy of Joan Skilbred.

A crowd-funding project that raised $7,500 towards the cost of building the sign and 10 years of maintenance was sponsored by the Tanana-Yukon Historical Society in cooperation with the sign designers and advocates, engineer Clark Milne and local architect Patty Peirsol, and Northern Region DOT.

For more about the James Dalton sign project and the unveiling event, see the article in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner newspaper published on September 29, 2018.

October is Archives Month

Date Posted: October 16, 2018       Categories: News


JUNEAU – The Alaska State Archives and Alaska State Historical Records Advisory Board (ASHRAB) are kicking off October with activities aimed to connect individuals with historic records and learning opportunities, as well as remind government agencies about the importance of managing digital records. October is nationally recognized as Archives Month, a month when archivists make the effort to increase awareness of the value of archives. For Archives Month 2018 the State Archives has produced educational posters, is participating in an educational social media event, is offering a special collections care and research day for the public, and making awards to individuals for educational use of historic records.

In anticipation of Archives Month, the Alaska State Archives has released its Archives Month Poster. The poster features historic photographs of Juneau’s Mendenhall Glacier over time and documents the glacier’s steady recession over the last century. October 10 is known nationally as Electronic Records Day, and the State Archives will release an Electronic Records Day poster for government agencies featuring Alaskan animals dialoging about managing electronic records.

On October 4 the State Archives encourages Alaskans to participate in the national #AskAnArchivist Day on Twitter where teachers, students, and the general public can pose questions to Alaskan archivists, librarians, and curators. Alaskans can view past Alaskan discussions under hashtag #AkArchivists.

On October 18, the Alaska Day holiday, the State Archives is participating in the Alaska Day Research Open House. In Juneau from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Andrew P. Kashevaroff Building (APK), located at 395 Whittier Street in Juneau, 2nd floor Research Center, doors will be open and staff available to demystify the research process and provide tips for caring for your own family archives. Alaskans can learn how to research collections at State Archives and Library, see treasures from the collections, and find out how to care for your family photographs, letters, and other papers.

For Archives Month the ASHRAB has also announced the winners of its Certificate of Archival Excellence Awards. The annual awards are given to individuals or organizations nominated by the public that evidenced excellent work with historic records. This year an Excellence Award has been given to William Schneider of Fairbanks for the publication of his book The Tanana Chiefs: Native Rights and Western Law (2018), which focuses on the 1915 Tanana Chiefs Conference and provides published archival sources and oral history interviews about this significant event in Athabascan history. A second Excellence Award for education with use of historical records was given to Rebecca Poulson of Sitka for her development of a place-based history curriculum for K-12 students that paired historic photographs with present-day images of Sitka.

These efforts to recognize Archives Month have been supported by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, as well as the labors of the ASHRAB and Alaska State Archives.


Zachary Jones



18th Annual Silent Auction

Date Posted: September 8, 2018       Categories: News

The catalog for the 2018 Alaska Historical Society’s annual auction is now available.

Gold-seekers and their building materials at Nome City, 1899. Alaska State Library, Clarence L. Andrews Collection (P45-1054).

The auction will take place during the Alaska Historical Society’s annual meeting to be held September 12-15, 2018 at Old St. Joe’s Hall, Nome, Alaska.

If you are not attending the meeting you can still submit bids. Non-members also are welcome to bid. Absentee bids can be sent by email: members@alaskahistoricalsociety.org or submitted by phone: 907.350.5523.

Absentee bids must be received by 12:00 p.m. Friday, September 14, 2018. Auction closes at 5:30 p.m. Friday, September 14, 2018

Earnings from this auction help support the programs and activities of the Alaska Historical Society, and their efforts to promote the value of Alaska history. Please show your appreciation for this effort to raise funds for historical projects by bidding outrageously on items!