Our indexer, Lisa has finished describing the Arnold Granville Photographs which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives. Here’s what she has to say:
Arnold Granville took over 300 photos as a district supervisor for the Alaska Department of Education,though he had been a teacher and a principal prior to his taking on the supervisory role. Some of the places he lived and taught school are seen in this collection, where he makes mention of them. Most of these photos were taken between 1953 and 1965, though a few were taken as late as 1975. A large portion of these photos are taken in the Aleutian Islands and the Alaska Peninsula. There are a few photos of schools in the Interior, such as Minto and Tok. Some of the larger schools are also captured in this collection, such as Anchorage High School and Palmer High School. I found Afognak’s schools interesting, though sadly they did not survive the tsunami that destroyed the village in 1964 after the Good Friday earthquake.
I absolutely love this collection! Having worked in elementary schools for almost ten years, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the many students and school buildings of rural Alaska. Many of the locations are very remote, and strikingly beautiful. The views out of some school windows are of pristine Alaskan bays and mountains. Several of the schools were one-room schoolhouses serving all grades in the area in which they were built. One school had a VW mini-bus as their school bus. Another school, in Anaktuvuk Pass, had to be flown in! The teacherages were unique as well, since many of them were actually a part of the school building itself. A few of them were trailers next to the school, while some were quaint little (emphasis on little) cabins near the school buildings. One can only imagine the challenges of conducting school in such isolated places, where supplies must be flown in or brought in by boat. If you enjoy looking at maps, I suggest looking up some of these locations on Microsoft virtual earth—it really gives a good perspective on how remote many of these schools really were. One can only imagine what it might have been like to be a teacher fresh out of college, going to teach in one of these Alaskan villages.