William A. Egan papers

Our indexer,  Ulyana has finished describing the William A. Egan papers which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she has to say:

The William A. Egan Papers feature photos that belonged to William Allen “Bill” Egan, the first Alaska Governor who served from 1959 to 1966. He was reelected in 1970-1974. Egan’s widow, Neva Egan, gave his papers to the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives. In 1985, a special appropriation from the Alaska State Legislature funded the processing of this important political collection. The photos were arranged and identified by India Spartz. The images depict public events, politicians and public officers, and the city of Juneau.

Bill Egan taking the oath of office.

Bill Egan taking the oath of office.

Alaska’s three democratic electors – Lucille Marshall (Juneau), Clara McCutcheon (Anchorage), and Annella Davis (Fairbanks), 1965.

Alaska’s three democratic electors – Lucille Marshall (Juneau), Clara McCutcheon (Anchorage), and
Annella Davis (Fairbanks), 1965.

Officials of the University of Alaska view plans for the new health, physical education and recreation building which is planned for the Fairbanks University campus.

Officials of the University of Alaska view plans for the new health, physical education
and recreation building which is planned for the Fairbanks University campus.

Leslie A. Marchand Photographs

Our indexer,  Ulyana has finished describing the Leslie A. Marchand Photographs which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she has to say:

Leslie A. Marchand Photographs belonged to Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines professor who worked there in 1923-27 and 1934-35. Winter issue of 1924 Farthest-North Collegian listed Leslie A. Marchand as Professor of French and Instructor in English who “graduated from the University of Washington with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, in 1922, and the following year received a Master’s Degree with a major in English and minor in French from the same university.” The forty-three images feature Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines students and faculty, early Alaska pilots, Fairbanks city streets, and dog races. Fairbanks was becoming more modern – it had its own college, and the city conveniences included water delivery and air mail services.

Students and faculty ready for cold weather.

Students and faculty ready for cold weather.

Blue Crystal Water Co. water carrier near Andrew Nerland Warehouse, Fairbanks.

Blue Crystal Water Co. water carrier near Andrew Nerland Warehouse, Fairbanks.

New Alaska mail service.

New Alaska mail service.

Elizabeth Hayes Goddard Diary

Our indexer,  Ulyana has finished describing the Elizabeth Hayes Goddard Diary collection which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she has to say:

Elizabeth Hayes, born in New York in 1898, graduated from the Mary C. Wheeler School, Providence, Rhode Island and from the Rochester Business Institute, Rochester, New York. In 1943, she married George W. Goddard, then Colonel in the U.S. Air Corps. They had one daughter, Diane. Fifty-three photographs featured in Alaska’s Digital Archives illustrate Elizabeth Goddard’s diary that documents her 1934 trip along the Yukon and Koyukuk Rivers – from Vancouver to Dawson, Dawson to Eagle, Eagle to Fort Yukon, Fort Yukon to Koyukuk Station, up the Koyukuk to Allakaket, Koyukuk Station to Anvik, and Anvik upstream to Nenana. In foreword to her typed and bound 150-pages diary, Elizabeth Goddard wrote, “From the first day aboard ‘Pelican IV’ in the summer of 1934 I jotted down everything we saw and everybody we met along the Yukon and Koyukuk rivers in Alaska.”

Pelican IV.

Pelican IV.

Robert Service's cabin - Dawson, Y.T. Bluebells and wild roses in yard.

Robert Service’s cabin – Dawson, Y.T. Bluebells and wild roses in yard.

vilda.alaska.edu_-2

Indian children of the mission school, Fort Yukon.

 

Reverend S. Hall Young Album

At Muir Glacier.

At Muir Glacier.

Our indexer,  Ulyana has finished describing the Reverend S. Hall Young Album which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she has to say: Reverend S. Hall Young Album features 106 images of his 1913 summer cruise to Alaska and Siberian waters. The big game hunting expedition, organized by Young’s son-in-law Frank E. Kleinschmidt, consisted of Dr. S. Hall Young, Kleinschmidt, E. Marshall Scull, Gilpin Lovering, Dr. Arthur W. Elting, Alfred M. Collins, and taxidermists Albrecht and Kusche. The hunters, except Lowering, who joined in Nome, boarded steamer Jefferson in Seattle. E. Marshall Scull, who in 1914 described this expedition in a book titled Hunting in the Arctic and Alaska, stated that the itinerary was: “to traverse the Inside Passage by steamer, cross the White Pass to the head of the Yukon River, take steamer to Dawson and see the Klondike gold fields, go down the great river across the boundary into Alaska, to Fairbanks, the chief interior town, and emerge at Nome. . .” From Nome, the party boarded Ed Born’s P. J. Abler, and sailed across to Siberia, toward Wrangell Island in the Arctic, back to southwestern Alaska, and to Seattle. P.J. Abler’s crew included Captain Larsson, P.J. Abler’s owner and engineer Ed Born, assistant engineer Frank Born, Mate Hanson, and a cook and a cabin boy. About half of the album’s photographs were taken by Frank Kleinschmidt, whose other interest included filming a motion picture. The other half consists of photo postcards.

Mike Utcht, our guide, and family.

Mike Utcht, our guide, and family.

Rev. Young and two other hunters stealing up on walrus.

Rev. Young and two other hunters stealing up on walrus.

Agnes E. Egan photographs

Our indexer, Lisa has finished describing the Agnes E. Egan photographs which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she has to say:

Three story building with cupola.

Three story building with cupola.

Agnes E. Egan was born in February 1874 to a family that was from Canada but had relocated to Minnesota. Agnes moved to Alaska in April 1898 to live with her sister, Mrs. Chisolm. She worked in Douglas as a nurse, and she also taught school during her lifetime. These nineteen photographs were taken between 1900 and 1905, in and around the Douglas area. The photos include some professional portraits of local citizens, the Douglas Harmony & Island Bands, the Douglas Fire Department, and several of the Gastineau Channel waterfront. There’s even a photo of fifteen people seated on an iceberg! The finding aid states that “many of the portraits are by photographer E. Andrews, perhaps Edmund Andrews.”

Douglas Harmony Band

Douglas Harmony Band

Douglas Fire Department.

Douglas Fire Department.

E.B. Collins papers

Our indexer, Lisa has finished describing the E. B. Collins papers which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she has to say:

What did people do before Facebook? They made scrapbooks! I’m not speaking of the kind where you sink hundreds of dollars into fancy papers, tools, and stickers. I’m talking about the good old-fashioned album with the black pages that you attached photos, ticket stubs, performance programs, and the like to. They told a story of someone’s life, and of the ones that were closest to them. Often the edges would become worn and tattered from all the handling they received over the years. Such was the case in the life of Margaret Collins Cooper. Her photo albums (there were two) were typical of what you might find in any home from the same era. They had photos of family and friends, school outings and baseball games. They include images from when Margaret was young (she was born in 1902) through young adulthood. Many of the photos are of Margaret and her friends during their high school years.

Margaret, 1919.

Margaret, 1919.

One thing that stood out about Margaret is that she loved wearing her fur stole! She graduated from Fairbanks High School in 1921, and married Robert Cooper. Unfortunately, some of the photos were not captioned, so I can only guess at which ones depict Robert. However, many did have captions, and so we see Muriel, Evalyn and others, as well as Margaret’s family members.

Florence1

Florence.

Her father was E. B. (Earnest Bilbe) Collins (1873-1967) who came to Alaska in 1904, became a gold miner in the Fairbanks area, and later became a politician. I hope you enjoy walking back in time with Margaret and her friends, seeing Alaska as it was in the early 1900s.

Margaret Collins in her uniform.

Margaret Collins in her uniform.

The Cheechakos collection

Our indexer, Lance has finished describing the “The Cheechakos” collection  which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what he has to say:

In 1922 Austin E. Lathrop and George Lewis formed the Alaska Motion Pictures Corporation for the purpose of creating the silent film “The Chechahcos.” It was thought the altered spelling would  make it easier for audiences to pronounce. It was the first fiction film shot entirely in Alaska. Filming took place in 1923 and released to the public in 1924. It’s plot received a poor review and the title was criticized as unpronounceable. The movie was a commercial failure in the lower 48.

Cheechakos" film shooting group with actors at the entrance to Denali Park in 1923.

Cheechakos” film shooting group with actors at the entrance to Denali Park in 1923.

A fake Chilkoot Pass scene was filmed at mile 52 of the Alaska Railroad. Apparently a train was chartered for the day and the public was invited to participate as extras and to enjoy a free trip. They needed at least 250 extras to recreate the famous scene.
Fake Chilkoot Pass scene of the 1923 film "The Cheechakos."

Fake Chilkoot Pass scene of the 1923 film “The Cheechakos.”

The 87 minute silent film may be viewed on YouTube.

Coleen M. Platner Photograph Collection

Our indexer, Dee has finished describing the Coleen M. Platner Photograph Collection which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she has to say:

As the finding aid states, this collection “includes photographs of the Tanana Valley Railroad at Little Eldorado City, the original McKinley Park Hotel, the S.S. Dolphin in the Interior Passage, and a group portrait of Nenana’s first draft quota in June 1918. There are also photographs of a man feeding his pet bear and a boy holding a leashed young moose.”

This collection is reminiscent of Little House on the Prairie in an Arctic sort of way.  Instead of living in the Big Woods on the prairie, families lived in the Alaska wilderness.

Iditarod, Alaska, about 1912

Iditarod, Alaska, about 1912

Instead of traveling by covered wagon, dog sledding was a mode of transportation.

Dr. F.W. Herms, DDS on trip, Tanana - Ruby

Dr. F.W. Herms, DDS on trip, Tanana – Ruby

Instead of Nellie, there was  Sigrid.  [Photo credit: NY Daily News, Aug. 9, 2008.]

Nellie was a bit of a punk.

Nellie was a bit of a punk.

Sigrid McDonald

Sigrid McDonald

Housed in this collection are images of the Last Frontier – the wildness of Alaska, the animals of Alaska, the mountains and glaciers of Alaska, the people of Alaska.  Take a gander and see for yourself.

Robert L. Brown Photographs

Our indexer, Ulyana has finished describing the Robert L. Brown Photographs which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she has to say:

The 262 images in the Robert L. Brown Photographs were taken during the summer of 1967 by Robert L.Brown, who worked for the Alaska Department of Highways, Fairbanks District. The photographs document construction of the Tanana River Bridge in Nenana, Alaska. The images show construction crews, machinery, and formwork. The powerful steel structures are breathtaking! And yet, Nenana and Tanana Rivers flooded the same summer, making use of the Tanana River Bridge second priority…

Flood waters in Nenana. August, 1967.

Flood waters in Nenana. August, 1967.

Reinforcing steel in place prior to pouring deck slab on main bridge. June, 1967.

Reinforcing steel in place prior to pouring deck slab on main bridge. June, 1967.

Homer C. Votaw Collection

Our indexer, Alex has finished describing the Homer C. Votaw Collection which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what he has to say:

The Homer C. Votaw Collection includes an album of photographs taken and assembled by Homer Votaw’s mother between 1905 and 1915. Many of the photos were taken in and around Circle, Alaska (thus the album’s informal name: “The Circle Album”), though other locations are included. Subjects include landscapes, cityscapes, steamboats, close-ups of flora and fauna, and portraits, though the portraits are most striking, providing a distinctive look into Alaskan frontier life at the turn of the 20th century.

Take, for example, “Miller house,” a family portrait. Everything about this photo seems cut from the cloth of a different era, from the clothing on up to the facial expressions (smiling for pictures, as we know, is a more modern convention). I’m particularly delighted by the patriarchal figure in the center, identified in the album as ‘Cap’ Griffin. Everything about this guy seems bygone, even the nickname. I have to imagine that the only proper greeting for a ‘Cap’ Griffin would be a doffed cap or a curtsy.

Miller house

Miller house

And while many of the photos seem dragged up from a different century, there are others that seem positively alien. “Dumping out the barrow” is one such example. (Have you ever seen John Carpenter’s The Thing?) I love the surreality that the snowy atmosphere, the refuse pile, and the man’s straight-backed posture all lend to this picture. What world is this that we, the viewers, have just wandered into? And what on earth has got him staring off into the distance so attentively? Have a look at the background’s spectral trees….

Dumping out the barrow

Dumping out the barrow

Finally, for those horror fans among us, those steel-nerved aficionados of all things unsettling, eerie, spine-tingling, and macabre, I beseech you, look no further than “Faceless man with blurry dog.” Gaze upon this image and know the depths of horror! By what witchcraft has this man been scrubbed of all his features? From what circle of Hell has this devil dog come howling? The answer, friend, lurks in the darkness just beyond the doorway. Step inside and see…

Faceless man with blurry dog

Faceless man with blurry dog