Anchorage Alaska

Discover Anchorage Alaska, rich in history, culture, and enjoy stories from locals.


anchorage alaskaA long way from its days as a tent city

Did you know that while most towns in Alaska were first settled by native tribes, or because of gold being discovered nearby, Anchorage came about for a different reason?

The story of Anchorage Alaska goes back to 1914 when the U.S. Government purchased the Alaska Northern Railroad and relocated its headquarters to the mouth of Ship Creek where it feeds into Cook Inlet.

At that time, there was no settlement, not even a trading post.

But all that changed quickly because there was a railroad to be built.

As word of a railroad being built in Alaska quickly spread, from April to August 1915, thousands of people from all over the world, came to the area by steam ship seeking employment.

Steam ships came into Cook Inlet, dropped anchor and lowered small boats into the muddy waters that took weary travelers to shore at the mouth of Ship Creek.


Tent City


tent city

People arriving at Ship Creek found no accommodations.

The area was a wilderness and the only source of drinkable water was ship creek. Conditions were primitive and unsanitary.

So, land was hastily cleared, and a rugged tent city sprang up on the banks of the creek.

It was the beginning of what would quickly become Anchorage Alaska.


An Early Anchorage Pioneer



Town Site Auction


town auction

Andrew Christensen, (seen at the podium in the above photo) worked for the U.S. Government, and was task with laying out the new town.

On July 10, 1915, Christensen auctioned off town site lots for a crowd of about 2,000.

Lots were sold for between 25 and 400 dollars each.

The auction was a bigger success than imagined, bringing in a total of 148,000 dollars in sales.


Naming the New Town


To name the new town that had sprung up on the shores of the creek, the town folk held a vote.

Names that were considered included:

  • Matanuska
  • Ship Creek
  • Homestead
  • Alaska City
  • Terminal
  • Gateway

The name “Alaska City” won the most votes.

Then the U.S. Post office stepped in.

Across Cook Inlet is the small community of Knik. And the inlet was the boat “Anchorage” for Knik. So, the Post Office decided that the name for the new town on the banks of Ship Creek would be Anchorage.


Anchorage Alaska


anchorage modern day

Today, Anchorage Alaska is a modern, thriving city with a population of around 292,000 which is about 40% of the state's population.



BONUS


Did you know?

From Anchorage, you can see six different mountain ranges.

The Chugach, Talkeetna, Alaska, Aleutian and Tordrillo ranges.



Weather


“Anchor Town” as it's sometimes called by locals, has an unpredictable subarctic climate.

It features cool, cloudy summers and freezing cold, snowy winters.

Average temperatures during the year, range from 13 to 68 degrees F. 

The highest temperature ever recorded was 90 degrees F on July 4, 2019

The coldest day on record stands at -34 degrees F which occurred on January 5, 1975. Yes, that's cold.


ANCHORAGE WEATHER

What Do Locals Have to Say?


Below are stories about growing up and living in Anchorage Alaska


anchorage alaska memories

“Reading “My Beautiful Alaska”

(here on Anchorage Memories)

made me almost unbearably homesick

for Anchorage and Alaska”  Darragh


Interesting stories,
love Anchorage Memories
” Christine


I've been wanting to write about my experiences in Anchorage for years. Now, because of Anchorage Memories I can.” Marci



Do you have a story about your Anchorage Memories?

Share it!

Read Nostalgic Anchorage Memories Right Here

Click below to read interesting Anchorage Memories submitted by our website visitors.

My Beautiful Alaska 
When the door of the plane finally opened, I saw Anchorage and the surrounding mountains for the first time. It was the most beautiful sight I had ever …

Anchorage in 1946 - 1947 
My parents came to Anchorage in 1946. First Dad in April 1946, and Mom in late June 1946. Here are a few of her thoughts about life in Anchorage …

Just an Anchorage
Junkyard Kid
 
My name is Sam Delozier, and I was born and raised in anchorage. My dad was John Delozier, and he owned a towing business in anchorage called Alaska …

Flying with PNA
Pacific Northern Airlines
 
In 1947 at the age of eight. My mother and older brother flew into Merrill Field on a DC3. It was a converted army plane. You sat down the sides …

A&W Drive-In,
Brown's Electric,
and Mr. Brown...
Fond Memories
 
I have many fond memories of the A&W drive-in, as well as Brown's Electric. I always loved the curly fries at A&W and the Root Beer was the best! Not …

Remembering
the Statehood Celebration
 
I have copies of both the Anchorage Daily Times (headline was WE'RE IN) and the News (headline was STATEHOOD)from the date congress voted for statehood. …

Memories of the
Territory of Alaska 1950
 
As we settled into life in the dusty city of Anchorage, we explored the offerings of enjoyment and entertainment. The beautiful surroundings in a day when …

Ancient Anchorage memories. 
After the Korean War my dad got assigned to Fort Richardson and claims he pulled the first house trailer over the Alaskan Highway. He got out of the …

"Race to the Summit" 
It’s not often a person takes the mundane job of washing dishes and writes about it. My 6-month dish washing stint was much different from scrubbing …

Village in the City 
The serenity of living in a rural Alaska village is something I’d love to experience. It seems a subsistence lifestyle has distinct advantages. Hunting …

Break Up in Anchorage
A Music Video
 
After a long, dark winter of cold, snow and ice, when Alaska starts to enjoy more daylight and warmer temperatures begin to melt away those winter blues, …

The 1976 Walk for Hope
Music Video
 
On the first Saturday in May, back in 1970, 4,500 Anchorage residents raised $137,000 dollars for what was then called “Hope Cottage.” And, back in …

Valley of the Moon Park 
In the spring of 1974 on a warm Saturday in Anchorage, my husband Mike and I took our daughter Nikki for her first visit to “Valley of the Moon Park.” …

Moose Meat John 
In 1949, I got on O'Hara bus lines in Mt.View. I was going to the Empress Theater on 4th. Avenue. At the next stop a bearded man got on and sat down …

Anchorage Daily News
Paper Sales
 
Back in 1948 and 49 I sold newspapers at 4th. and C st. In Anchorage. There was a bar on that corner. I would always get paid more than the paper was …

Skipping School
at Dimond
 
(To be sung to the tune of “Kodachrome”) When I think back on all the stuff, I did in High School It's a wonder I'm not still in Jail. The last …

Gilman's Bakery
Got any
Free Donuts Today?
 Not rated yet
Our family lived on 2nd and Cordova in Anchorage Alaska back in the 1950s and my brother's and sister's and I had to walk to school. Our grade school …

Growing Up in Anchorage Not rated yet
My family moved to Anchorage back in 1950, when I was just three years old. And I convinced them to take me along. We flew from Northern, California …

Woolworth's Grand Opening Not rated yet
My entire family went to Woolworth's Grand Opening in Anchorage when I was in grade school. That was back in the 60s. Woolworth's was just a few …

Anchorage, Alaska
In the Great Year
of 1946
 Not rated yet
We lived in Mountain View on Bliss street, Dad called it “mud ally”. We lived in a tent house, that was shiplap sides three feet high and the rest …

The Anchorage I Remember Not rated yet
My Dad was a dozer operator and came to Anchorage in 1940 to work on the Elmendorf expansion. His plan was to work the one summer then go back to Washington. …

Treasured
Anchorage Moments
 Not rated yet
All these moments came from three homes. The first was living at Fort Richardson during the time of Statehood. The second was when we had a house …

My Grandmother was
a True Alaskan Pioneer
 Not rated yet
This is about my grandma, Wilma Irene Moddison Preston. She was an Alaskan pioneer, very involved in the community. In 1955, she drove the Alaska Highway …

East Anchorage
High School Daze
 Not rated yet
1972 East Anchorage High graduate Pamela Painter Jones mentioned a couple of years back, that those of us having interesting or funny stories from our …

Click here to write your own.

Anchorage Newspapers
Sold Twice?
 Not rated yet
Back in 1950 I sold Anchorage Daily News on the corner of 4th and C. Ten feet from the bar door. Most of my customers paid more than I was selling …

Downtown Anchorage
a Record Snowfall
 Not rated yet
One of the beautiful sights we enjoy during winter in Alaska is when big snowflakes float down from the sky, covering the Great Land with a fresh, clean …

Click here to write your own.


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anchorage alaska

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What Are Your Memories?


Were you living in Anchor town before Alaska became the 49th state?

  • Did you travel on the Alaska Highway to get to Anchorage?
  • Where did you go to school?
  • What were your favorite activities?

Do you still live there? Or, have you moved away from the Great Land?


What kind of activities did your family enjoy? Did you enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, picking berries, sightseeing, or something else?


What are your memories of life in Alaska's largest city?


Post your stories in the easy form above


Anchorage Alaska


For Mary and I here at Anchorage Memories, while we no longer live in Anchorage, the town and all our wonderful memories of growing up there will forever be in our hearts.


Living in Alaska's largest city gives you a different perspective on our world.


It means growing up in a magnificent land where you are close to nature, where the local TV weather reports include how many minutes and seconds of daylight you have either lost or gained on that day. And where most of the supplies for living have to either be flown in, trucked in over the Alaska Canadian Highway (ALCAN) or brought in by ship.


Growing up in Anchorage means you don't keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator because the drinking water comes right out of the kitchen faucet, fresh and ice-cold.


Anchorage is where a billion stars fill each clear night sky. And where more daylight hours make summer days fun. Where winter nights are long, cold, and from time to time, the dark blue night sky is home to the majestic Northern Lights. And what a beautiful sight they are.


During winter weekends, there's skiing at Arctic Valley and Mount Alyeska. In the summer, locals like swimming at Goose Lake and Spenard Lake.


Have You Heard About Lake Hood?


Lake Hood float planesMore float planes than anywhere in the world

Located in Anchorage, Lake Hood is home to more small aircraft than anywhere in the world.

In the summer, plans take off and land on the lake, using pontoons.

Winter means that aircraft have to adjust by using skis on the ice and snow-covered lake.


The Anchorage Visitor's

Log Cabin



They come from all over the world, to spend a few hours or a few days in Anchorage, enjoying what some Alaskan's take for granted.

Right in the heart of 4th Avenue, Anchorage's modern main street, you'll find the Visitor's Log Cabin. A great place to visit, get some information and discover things you can do in and around town.


BONUS


Do you know where this historic log cabin came from?

Take a closer look at the Anchorage Visitor's Log Cabin and enjoy.



Anchorage Alaska


Fur Rendezvous Winter Carnival


Fur Rondy Dog Sled 2016A sled dog team on 4th Avenue

In 2012, National Geographic Explorer named Anchorage's Fur Rendezvous the world's number one winter carnival

“Rondy” takes place in February and features:

  • Parade
  • Fur Auction
  • Carnival rides
  • Outhouse races
  • Sled Dog races

People from all over the world come to enjoy the Fur Rendezvous.


Anchorage Alaska


We have only just scratched the surface when it comes to the story of Anchorage. The biggest city in Alaska is a must-see.

Is visiting Alaska your dream?

If so, be sure to include Anchorage, Alaska as one of your destinations.


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