Alaskana 2007

Alaska History, Vol. 22, #s 1&2, Spring/Fall 2007 (issued December 2007)

Alaskana is an annotated listing of recent publications on the North featured in Alaska History, the journal of the Alaska Historical Society.

Compiled by Bruce Merrell, Alaska Bibliographer at the Z. J. Loussac Library in Anchorage.

Dr. Aaro E. Aho, Hills of Silver: The Yukon’s Mighty Keno Hill Mine (Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2006), 336 pp., paperback, $26.95 plus postage, ISBN 1-55017-394-4, P.O. Box 219, Madeira Park, BC V0N 2H0. Account of silver mining that began with discovery of deposits in 1918, just to the east of the more famous Klondike gold region.

Alaska Historical Society, The Alaska 67: A Guide to Alaska’s Best History Books (Walnut Creek, CA: Hardscratch Press, 2006), 95 pp., paperback, $16.50 plus postage, ISBN 0-9678989-9-4, order from Alaska Historical Society, P.O. Box 100299, Anchorage, AK 99510-0299. Descriptions of sixty-seven of the most important books about Alaska’s past, selected by an editorial board after receiving hundreds of suggestions from the public.

Alaska Historical Society Conference, Juneau, Alaska, October 4-7, 2006—Conference Theme: “Passages: What Were They Seeking?” (Anchorage: Alaska Historical Society, 2007), 229 pp., spiral-bound, $20.00 for Society members, $25.00 for non-members plus $3.00 postage, P.O. Box 100299, Anchorage, AK 99510-0299.

Alaska Historical Society Conference, Kodiak, Alaska, October 5-8, 2005—Conference Theme: “Stepping Stones to History: Islands in Alaska’s Past” (Anchorage: Alaska Historical Society, 2007), 229 pp., spiral-bound, $20.00 for Society members, $25.00 for non-members plus $3.00 postage, P.O. Box 100299, Anchorage, AK 99510-0299. Includes memorial papers in honor of Russian America scholar Richard A. Pierce.

Evguenia Anichtchenko and Jason Rogers, Alaska’s Submerged History: The Wreck of the Kad’yak (Anchorage: Office of History and Archaeology, 2007), 63pp., spiral-bound, request from Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, Office of History and Archaeology, 550 W. 7th Avenue, Suite 1310, Anchorage, AK 99501-3565. Bilingual report of the discovery and investigation of the 1860 wreck of a San Francisco-bound sailing ship carrying a cargo of ice.

Sergei A. Arutiunov and Dorian A. Sergeev, translated and edited by Richard L. Bland, Ancient Cultures of the Asiatic Eskimos: The Uelen Cemetery (Anchorage: National Park Service, Shared Beringian Heritage Program, 2006), 241 pp., paperback, request from 240 West 5th Avenue, Room 114, Anchorage, AK 99501. Translation of a 1969 study of a Chukotkan excavation. Includes a new prologue by the principal author in which he updates earlier archaeological observations.

Evangeline Atwood and Lew Williams, Jr., Bent Pins to Chains: Alaska and Its Newspapers (Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2006), 725 pp., hardback, $41.99 plus postage, ISBN 1-4257-0066-7 or paperback, $31.99 plus postage, ISBN 1-4257-0065-9, order from Xlibris, International Plaza II, Suite 340, Philadelphia, PA 19113-1513. Long-time newspaperman Williams updates Atwood’s unpublished manuscript titled A History of One Hundred Years of Newspapering in Alaska, 1885-1985, which she completed just before her death in 1987.

Karen Bell and Janet Shelfer, Taku: Four Amazing Individuals—Four Incredible Life Stories and the Alaskan Wilderness Lodge That Brought Them Together (Birmingham, AL: Will Publishing, 2006), 208 pp., $24.95 plus postage, ISBN 0-9668486-4-9, 1029 22nd Street South, Birmingham, AL 35205. Adventurous lives of former owners of Taku Lodge near Juneau, which was built in 1923.

Ellen Bielawski, In Search of Ancient Alaska: Solving the Mysteries of the Past (Anchorage: Alaska Northwest Books, 2007), 120 pp., paperback, $12.95 plus postage, ISBN 0-88240-591.8, P.O. Box 10306, Portland, OR 97296-0306. An introduction to pre-contact cultures and what archaeology has taught us about them.

Donna Blasor-Bernhardt, Pioneer Road: Recollections of the Pioneers Who Built the Alaska Highway (Las Vegas: ArcheBooks Publishing, 2004), 223 pp., hardback, $26.99 plus postage, ISBN 1-59507-028-1, 9101 W. Sahara Avenue, Suite 105-112, Las Vegas, NV 89117. Excerpts from interviews with civilian and military workers; detailed contact information for some 150 contributors (some already deceased at the time of publication) forms an appendix.

Bill Brokaw, Hearse to Hoops: “Hearsing” the Old Alaska Highway & 40 Years of Alaska Men’s Basketball (Eagle River: Northbooks, 2006), 161 pp., paperback, $14.95 plus $4.50 postage, ISBN 0-9720604-8-6, 17050 North Eagle River Loop Road, #3, Eagle River, AK 99577-7804. The author came north to Alaska driving a 1950 Cadillac hearse and reminisces about family history, including his passion for basketball.

Ernest S. Burch, Jr., Social Life in Northwest Alaska: The Structure of Inupiaq Eskimo Nations (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2006), 478 pp., hardback, $65.00 plus $5.00 postage, ISBN 1-889963-78-X, P.O. Box 756240, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6240. An in-depth study of social systems and lifeways in the nineteenth century.

Phyllis Downing Carlson and Laurel Downing Bill, Aunt Phil’s Trunk, Volume II: An Alaska Historian’s Collection of Treasured Tales (Anchorage: Laudon Enterprises, 2007), 344 pp., paperback, $19.95 plus postage, ISBN 1-57833-343-1, order from Title Wave Books, 1360 W. Northern Lights Boulevard, Anchorage, AK 99503-2510. “This book contains a collection of Alaska history stories written by my aunt, Phyllis Downing Carlson, as well as stories written by me that came from tidbits found among the notes and rare books I inherited when she died in 1993.” Volume I was published in 2006.

Paul E. Carrigan, The Flying, Fighting Weathermen of Patrol Wing Four, 1941-1945, U.S. Navy: Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, Umnak, Cold Bay, Adak, Amchitka, Kiska, Shemya, Attu and The Empire Express to Paramushiro (Forked River, NJ: Regal-Lith Printers, 2002), 3 volumes totaling 873 pp., comb-bound. Memories of the author’s World War II experiences in the Aleutians.

Anthony Dalton, Baychimo: Arctic Ghost Ship (Surry, BC: Heritage House Publishing, 2006), 255 pp., paperback, $17.95 plus postage, ISBN 1-894974-14-X, P.O. Box 468, Custer, WA 98240-0468. After a decade spent supplying Hudson’s Bay Company trading posts, the Baychimo was trapped by ice in 1931 and abandoned. Amazingly, it stayed afloat, drifting around the Arctic Ocean for years. The ship was last seen in 1969.

Helen Dianne Dangel, A Celebration of Weavers: Catalog of Weavers and Baskets of the Doris Borhauer Basket Collection, Sitka, Alaska (Virginia Beach, VA: Donning Company, 2006), 63 pp., paperback, $9.95 plus postage, ISBN 1-57864-358-5, 184 Business Park Drive, Suite 206, Virginia Beach, VA 23462. Illustrated description of baskets and the women who made them.

Bonnie Demerjian, Roll On!: Discovering the Wild Stikine River (Wrangell, AK: Stikine River Books, 2006), 186 pp., paperback, $31.99 plus postage, ISBN 0-9776792-0-9, P.O. Box 1762, Wrangell, AK 99929. Overview of the Stikine River region with several historical chapters; illustrated with black & white and color photos. Chapter 10 is a guide to place names on the river, from its mouth near Wrangell up 160 miles to the head of navigation at Telegraph Creek, British Columbia.

Marvin W. Falk, Alaska History: An Annotated Bibliography (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2006), 371 pp., hardback, $125.00 plus postage, ISBN 0-313-28224-2, 88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881. Part of the series “Bibliographies of the States of the United States,” compiled by the long-time rare book librarian at University of Alaska Fairbanks. There are 3,030 entries.

Kay Fanning with Katherine Field Stephen, Kay Fanning’s Alaska Story: Memoir of a Pulitzer Prize-Winning Newspaper Publisher on America’s Northern Frontier (Kenmore, WA: Epicenter Press, 2006), 255 pp., hardback, $24.95 plus $6.00 postage, ISBN 0-9745014-6-8, P.O. Box 82368, Kenmore, WA 98028. How a newly-divorced mother with three children drove her station wagon up the Alaska Highway and became publisher of the Anchorage Daily News.

Robert Fortuine, A Century of Adventure in Northern Health: The Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in Alaska, 1879-1978 (Landover, MD: PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation for the Advancement of Public Health, 2006), 150 pp., paperback, $18.95 plus postage, ISBN 0-9773149-0-4, distributed by University of Alaska Press, P.O. Box 756240, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6240.

Angus Graham, The Golden Grindstone: One Man’s Adventures in the Yukon (Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2006), 304 pp., paperback, $14.95 plus postage, ISBN 1-59228-707-7, P.O. Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437. Reprint of the 1935 book by the same title, which Pierre Berton described as “a graphic account of one man’s vain attempt to reach the goldfields via Edmonton, the Mackenzie and the Wind River Divide.”

Jane G. Haigh, King Con: The Story of Soapy Smith (Whitehorse, YT: Friday 501 Media, 2006), 119 pp., paperback, $9.95 plus postage, ISBN 0-9780367-0-0, Box 31599, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 6L2. Biography of the Colorado crook whose gang controlled gold rush Skagway—until Smith was shot dead in a legendary gunfight on the wharf.

Jane G. Haigh, Searching for Fannie Quiqley: A Wilderness Life in the Shadow of Mount McKinley (Athens, OH: Swallow Press/Ohio University Press, 2007), 185 pp., hardback, $39.95 plus postage, ISBN 0-8040-1096-X or paperback, $19.95 plus postage, ISBN 0-8040-1097-8, “The Ridges,” Athens, OH 45701. Life story of a young woman who left her Nebraska homestead and became a legendary prospector, thriving for nearly forty years in the Kantishna area near Denali National Park.

William Hedman and Charles Diters, The Legacy of Project Chariot ([Anchorage]: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Alaska Region, Regional Archeology, [2007]), 12 pp., paperback, request from Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Office of History and Archaeology, 550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1310, Anchorage, AK 99501-3565. Description of an Atomic Energy Commission project, proposed in 1958, that would have tested nuclear explosive devices by blasting a harbor near the Inupiaq village of Point Hope; also discusses environmental effects caused by base camp activities.

Joseph Homme, Cures and Chaos: The Life & Times of Dr. Vincent Hume and His Impact on a Frontier Alaska Town (Anchorage: Publication Consultants, 2007), 224 pp., paperback, $19.95 plus postage, ISBN 1-59433-060-5, P.O. Box 221974, Anchorage, AK 99522-1974. Story of a gifted medical doctor’s rise and fall in Palmer.

Sarah Crawford Isto, Good Company: A Mining Family in Fairbanks, Alaska (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2007), 254 pp., paperback, $24.95 plus postage, ISBN 1-889963-88-7, P.O. Box 756240, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6240. From the Depression through the 1960s the author’s father worked with gold dredges in Fairbanks, ending his career as manager of a company operating dredges scattered across Alaska from Nome to Chicken. Isto was born and raised in Fairbanks and shares her family’s story.

Walter Johnson, Sukdu Nel Nuhtghelnek = I’ll Tell You A Story: Stories I Recall From Growing Up On Iliamna Lake (Fairbanks: Alaska Native Language Center, 2004), 81 pp., paperback, $19.00 plus postage, ISBN 1-55500-086-X, P.O. Box 757680, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7680. Fourteen stories in Dena’ina and English text, accompanied by an audio compact disc.

Aldona Jonaitis, Art of the Northwest Coast (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2006), 322 pp., paperback, $26.95 plus postage, ISBN 0-295-98636-0, P.O. Box 50096, Seattle, WA 98145. Illustrated comprehensive survey of Native arts of the Pacific Northwest Coast, from Puget Sound to Alaska, and from prehistoric times to the present.

Preston Jones, Empire’s Edge: American Society in Nome, Alaska, 1898-1934 (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2007), 158 pp., paperback, $19.95 plus postage, ISBN 1-889963-89-5, P.O. Box 756240, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6240. Founded when rich deposits were discovered on the shores of the Bering Sea, Nome exploded into existence as a gold rush town. Its citizens built a unique version of small-town America close to the Arctic Circle, adapting to the harsh environment and borrowing selected cultural elements from the local Inupiaq Eskimos.

Mildred Keaton, No Regrets: The Autobiography of an Arctic Nurse (Marysville, WA: Pukuk Press, 1999; reprinted 2006), 99 pp., spiral-bound, $19.95 plus postage, 5611 Parkside Drive, Marysville, WA 98270. Life story of a public health nurse serving bush Alaska from 1922 to 1971, illustrated with her photographs.

Robert E. King, Postcards from Alaska: Souvenir Pictures of the Last Frontier, 1890s-1940s (Anchorage: Greatland Graphics, 2007), 175 pp., paperback, $29.95 plus postage, ISBN 0-936425-98-9, P.O. Box 100333, Anchorage, AK 99510. Includes more than four hundred historic postcards, many of them illustrated in color.

Steve J. Langdon, Traditional Knowledge and Harvesting of Salmon by Huna and Hinyaa Tlingit: Final Report (Anchorage, AK: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Subsistence Management, Fisheries Resource Monitoring Program, 2006), 185 pp., spiral-bound. Combining archeological evidence and interviews with thirty-three Tlingit elders from Hoonah and Klawock, the author describes fishing techniques thousands of years old.

Thor Lauritzen, Peggy Arness, and Edward Melseth, compilers, The Alaska Pen: An Illustrated History of Unga (Bothell, WA: Book Publishers Network, 2007), 240 pp., paperback, $24.95 plus postage, ISBN 1-887542-43-4, P.O. Box 2256, Bothell, WA 98041. History of a once-thriving island community in southwest Alaska, drawn from the pages of the monthly high school newspaper and illustrated with many photographs.

Dean Littlepage, Steller’s Island: Adventures of a Pioneer Naturalist in Alaska (Seattle: The Mountaineers, 2006), 237 pp., paperback, $17.95 plus postage, ISBN 1-59485-057-7, 1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134. Account of Georg Steller’s scientific contributions and discoveries while on Bering’s eighteenth-century voyage of exploration.

Patricia A. Neal. Fort Wrangel, Alaska, Gateway to the Stikine River: 1834-1899 (Greenwich, CT: Coachlamp Productions, 2007), $15.00 plus $5.00 postage, ISBN 0-9773871-1-9, order from Wrangell Museum, P.O. Box 1050, Wrangell, AK 99929.

Frank Norris, Crown Jewel of the North: An Administrative History of Denali National Park and Preserve, Volume I—General Park History to 1980 (Anchorage: National Park Service, 2006), 330 pp., paperback, request from Alaska Regional Office, National Park Service, 240 West 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501. A general history of Alaska’s first national park, from its creation as Mount McKinley National Park in 1917 up through expansion under the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

Dick North, Sailor on Snowshoes: Tracking Jack London’s Northern Trail (Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing Co., 2006), 237 pp., paperback, $19.95 plus postage, ISBN 1-55017-284-7, P.O. Box 219, Madeira Park, BC V0N 2H0. “A wilderness ramble through Jack London’s gold rush to find and preserve its tangible relics. In particular, it is the story of the search for a Yukon bush cabin in which London wrote his name.”

Our Story: Readings from Southwest Alaska—an Anthology, edited by John Branson and Tim Troll (Anchorage: Alaska Natural History Association, 2006), 205 pp., paperback, $21.95 plus postage, ISBN 0-930931-81-5, 750 West Second Avenue, Suite 100, Anchorage, AK 99501. History and anthropology of the Bristol Bay region. This is a revised edition of Readings from Southwest Alaska, published in 1998, with additional text and new illustrations.

Kathy Price, Tracking the Unthinkable: The Donnelly Flats MIDAS Ground Station and the Early Development of Space Warning Systems, 1959-1967 (Fort Wainwright, AK: Directorate of Public Works, US Army Garrison Alaska, 2006), 90 pp., spiral-bound, 1060 Gaffney Road, #4500, Fort Wainwright, AK 99703-4500. Description of Cold War-era satellite tracking technology as installed near Delta Junction.

Jim Rearden, Sam O. White, Alaskan: Tales of a Legendary Wildlife Agent and Bush Pilot (Missoula, MT: Pictorial Histories Publishing, 2007), 410 pp., paperback, $23.95 plus postage, 713 South Third Street West, Missoula, MT 59801. Beginning in 1922, the former lumberjack from Maine criss-crossed Alaska on foot, with packhorses, dog teams, canoe, riverboat, and airplane, becoming the world’s first flying game warden.

Patricia Roppel, Striking it Rich!: Gold Mining in Southern Southeast Alaska (Greenwich, CT: Coachlamp Productions, 2005), 286 pp., paperback, $25.00 plus postage, ISBN 0-9773871-0-0, order from the author at Farwest Research, P.O. Box 1998, Wrangell, AK 99929.

Ken Ross, Pioneering Conservation in Alaska (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2006), 540 pp., hardback, $34.95 plus postage, ISBN 0-87081-852-X, 5589 Arapahoe Avenue, Suite 206C, Boulder, CO 80303. A chronicle of the evolution of environmental values in pre-statehood Alaska, through the study of key land and wildlife issues and the careers of environmental leaders.

Catherine Holder Spude, et al., The Mascot Saloon: Archeological Investigations in Skagway, Alaska, Volume 10 (Anchorage: National Park Service, 2006), 337 pp., paperback, request from Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, P.O. Box 517, Skagway, AK 99840. Analysis of archeological deposits associated with the longest lived saloon in the gold rush town of Skagway.

David M. Standlea, Oil, Globalization, and the War for the Arctic Refuge (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2006), 209 pp., hardback, $71.50 plus postage, ISBN 0-7914-6631-0 or paperback, $22.95 plus postage, ISBN 0-7914-6632-9, 194 Washington Avenue, Suite 305, Albany, NY 12210-2384. Discussion of past, present, and future issues raised over proposed oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

John Taliaferro, In a Far Country: The True Story of A Mission, a Marriage, a Murder, and the Remarkable Reindeer Rescue of 1898 (New York: Public Affairs, 2006), 400 pp., hardback, $26.95 plus postage, ISBN 1-58648-221-1, Perseus Books Group, 11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142. The story of missionaries Tom and Ellen Lopp, and of a seven-hundred-mile reindeer drive to provide food for whaling crews trapped in the ice.

Bonnie Vlasoff, Our Kotel’nikov Journey: From Okhotsk, to Fort Ross, to Ouzinkie (Anchorage: Publication Consultants, 2007), 125 pp., paperback, $19.95 plus postage, ISBN 1-59433-055-1, P.O. Box 221974, Anchorage, AK 99522-1974. Illustrated history of an Alaskan family that traces its roots back to employees of the Russian American Company who arrived in Kodiak in 1784.

Catherine M. Williams and Sarah McGowan, The Davidson Ditch (Fairbanks: Fairbanks Gold Mining, Inc., 2005), 20 pp., paperback, request from Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Office of History and Archaeology, 550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1310, Anchorage, AK 99501-3565. Description of the ninety-mile ditch that transported water for gold mining in the Fairbanks vicinity between the late 1920s and 1950s. This brochure summarizes a larger report, History of the Davidson Ditch, North of Fairbanks, Alaska, published in 2003.