Alaskana 2013

Alaska History, Vol. 28, #1, Spring 2013

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

Compiled by Teressa Williams, Anchorage Museum.

Dean J. Adams, Four Thousand Hooks: A True Story of Fishing and Coming of Age on the High Seas of Alaska (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2012), 270 pp., hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 9780295991979.  An account of the author’s experience of his first season working on his uncle’s commercial fishing boat in the 1970s at the age of sixteen;  an adventure with the drama and conflict of fishing, working with the crew, maritime Alaska and the ambiguities of family life.

Bob Adkins, Panhandle Pilot: Twenty Years of Flying in Southeast Alaska (Haines, AK: Panhandle Publishing, 2012), 184 pp., softcover, $15.00, ISBN 9781578335749.  Contact for copies.  A collection of amusing anecdotes about Bob Adkins twenty five years of flying in Alaska.

Julie Decker, Alaska and the Airplane: A Century of Flight ([Salenstein, Switzerland]: Braun Publishing AG, 2013), 128 pp., hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 9783037681411.   Accompanying the exhibition Arctic Flight: A Century of Alaska Aviation at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center from February to August 2013, this book looks at the triumph, tragedy, and survival of the last century of aviation in Alaska, illustrated by the use of historic photographs, artifacts, and ephemera.

Naomi Gaede-Penner, ‘A’ is for Anaktuvuk: Teacher to the Nunamuit Eskimos (Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing & Enterprises, 2013), 305 pp., softcover, $21.99, ISBN 9781621473626. Available at and  A portrayal of Anna Bortel Church who moved to the remote village of Anaktuvuk Pass as a teacher in 1959.  She had to overcome obstacles such as no school building, no roads to transport building supplies, no wood for fuel except willows, no airline service, few English-speaking adults and children, and severe winters.

M. J. Kirchhoff, Dyea, Alaska: The Rise and Fall of a Klondike Gold Rush Town (Juneau: Alaska Cedar Press, 2012), 95 pp., softcover, $25.00, ISBN 9780962490446.  Limited printing.  A pictorial history of the rise and fall of Dyea, which was the seaport and jumping off point for the Chikoot Trail during the Klondike Gold Rush.

Looking Back: A Fairbanks Community Collection of Historic Photos (Fairbanks: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 2012), 160 pp., hardcover, $39.99, ISBN 9781578335893.  Available at  A collection of family photographs and history of Fairbanks residents from the 1900s to the present.

James R. Mackovjak, Aleutian Freighter: A History of Shipping in the Aleutians Islands (Seattle: Documentary Media, 2012), 135 pp., hardcover, $32.95, ISBN 9781933245270.  A history of the Aleutian trade, from the sailing vessels that transported salted cod, to the mail boats that at one time provided the region’s only scheduled communication, to the small fleet of today that reliably provides essential cargo service to the Aleutian Islands.

Charles M. Mobley, World War II Aleut Relocation Camps in Southeast Alaska (Anchorage: National Park Service, Alaska Region, 2013), 215 pp., softcover, ISBN 9780985394806, limited printing, not currently available.  Using current and historical photographs and maps, archival material, and oral history, this publication looks specifically at the six relocation camps of the evacuated and interned Aleuts from the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands during World War II.

Alaska History, Vol. 28, #2, Fall 2013

Compiled by Kathy Ward, Juneau Public Libraries and Maeghan Kearney, Alaska State Library.

William J. Brady, Skagway, City of the New Century: The True Story of Skagway, Alaska, Including the White Pass, Dyea, and the Chilkoot Trail (Skagway, Alaska: Lynn Canal Publishers, 2013) 469 pp., paperback, $19.31, ISBN: 9780945284093.  Full of historic photographs and newspaper clippings, this compilation of articles from the Skaguay Alaskan and the Skagway News provides an interesting timeline of the views and events of Skagway and surrounding areas.  Contains many articles on local history, including “Soapy” Smith and various Gold Rush tales.  This one is a bit too big for a stuffed bookshelf, but would look nice on a coffee table.

William Dollarhide, Alaska Name Lists, 1732-1991: With a Selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present: An Annotated Bibliography of Published and Online Name Lists (Bountiful, Utah : Family Roots Publishing Co., 2013) 47pp., $18.95. ISBN: 9781628590012, available online at  Dollarhide references print, online, and microform resources useful to furthering genealogical research in this latest guidebook from Family Roots Publishing.  This volume has the information needed to find specific name lists, and also information on how to use them in their own right and as a stepping stone to further research.

Tom Kizzia, Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier (New York: Crown, 2013) 309 pp., hardback, $25.00, ISBN 9780307587824. Papa Pilgrim (Robert Hale) and his wife and fourteen children started appearing in the Alaska news when they bulldozed a road from their homestead through Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, and one of their final appearances was when Hale died in prison in 2008. Kizzia’s extensive research brings readers the full story.

Daniel James Inulak Lum, Nuvuk, the Northernmost: Altered Land, Altered Lives in Barrow, Alaska (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2013) 85 pp., hardcover, $25.00, ISBN: 9781602231955. In 2006, Inupiaq polar bear guide Lum decided to document the changes to landscape and wildlife around his hometown of Barrow and also Nuvuk, or Point Barrow, where the Beaufort and Chukchi seas meet. What makes this more than a book of fascinating photos is Lum’s commentary on what the changing landscape and the disappearance of pack ice mean to the wildlife in the area and to the residents of Barrow.

Jean Morgan Meaux, In Pursuit of Alaska: An Anthology of Travelers’ Tales, 1879-1909 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2013), 284 pp., paperback, $26.95, ISBN: 9780295992884. Meaux has collected extracts from some of her favorite writings by adventurers who traveled in Alaska between 1879 and 1909, including the nature musings of John Muir, the fruitless gold fever of J. D. Winchester, and the bootless perseverance of Henry Allen. Meaux’s engaging prefaces to each section set the cultural and political scene for contemporary readers, and she includes a timeline of Alaska history to 1910 along with a section of black-and-white photos and a bibliography.

Preston Jones, The Fires of Patriotism: Alaskans in the Days of the First World War 1910-1920 (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2013) 208pp., paperback, $35.00, ISBN: 9781602232051.  World War I had a large impact on Alaska.  Told through personal stories and photographs, this book shows another side of Alaska during the war, and tells how the territory firmly entrenched itself in the nationwide war efforts.

Mike Stempe, M. J. Kirchhoff, and Tom Paul, Port Alexander, Alaska: A Centennial Celebration, 1913-2013 (Juneau: Alaska Cedar Press, 2013) 172 pp., $35.00, ISBN: 0962490458 9780962490453. Available through the Port Alexander Historical Society, 224 Katlian, Sitka, AK 99835. Laid out like the old, but still familiar Alaska Geographic’s, with lots of historic black-and-white photos, personal reminiscences, and short biographies of notable town characters, in addition to an overview of the area.

John Virtue, The Black Soldiers Who Built the Alaska Highway: A History of Four U.S. Army Regiments in the North, 1942-1943 (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2012) 220 pp., paperback, $45.00, ISBN: 9780786471171. In the spring of 1942, the first regiments of black American soldiers were sent abroad—to the wilds of Canada and Alaska. They were assigned to work on the Alaska Highway and the Canol pipeline, two projects of strategic importance. Studded with high quality black-and-white photos and finished with many pages of chapter notes, an extensive bibliography, and an index, this book holds appeal for both scholars and casual readers of Alaskana, military history, and black history.