Ancient Anchorage memories.

by O.B. Thomas
(Houston, Texas)

After the Korean War, my dad got assigned to Fort Richardson and claims he pulled the first house trailer over the Alaskan Highway.

He was discharged from the Army and started a used furniture store, buying furniture from the military, leaving Alaska and selling it back to military arriving.

I joined him and my stepmother in 1956.

We lived in a little white house with green trim at 159 Eagle Street. I was 9 and here is what I remember.

There were some project apartments across the street. There was a Carrs Food center nearby and behind it a very steep hill that we used for sledding.

I remember going down to 4th avenue and watching the Fur Rendezvous when the dog sleds took off. The Coca Cola plant was down the hill from 5th Avenue.

We shopped at Monty's department store and went to the movies at the Denali Theater.

After a while, my dad gave up the furniture business and went into business with a military buddy and started plowing snow from parking lots in Anchorage. This lasted for a winter or two when he hooked up with a partner, and we were off to Kenai.

For the next many years, we were the local distributor for Standard Oil. Hauling fuel from Homer to Kenai and delivering it to the area around Kenai, Ridgeway and Soldotna.

For many years, my dad, and mother told the story that if they had only homesteaded, they would have owned what is now Spenard.

From age 9 to 19 I lived in Alaska and loved every minute of it. Fish, bears, moose, berries, rhubarb, and ice skating. I remember when Alaska became a state, and I remember the 1964 earthquake. But that's another story.

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Spenard Homesteading
by: Verna Robinson Gibson

My dad moved to Anchorage in 1948.

He and 3 other African American men. He sent for my mom and us 5 kids to meet him, and we rented a house in Spenard in 1949, so it was already developed.

I was 3 years old.

Alaska Highway 1952
by: Elizabeth ostler Ficke

My parents, brother and me and our collie, drove up the Alaska Highway in 1952 starting in California in February and arriving in Anchorage in early April.

We pulled an 18-foot house trailer.

We had many unplanned stops because of impassable roads because of mud.

We pulled the trailer with a 4 door Chevrolet car.

Spenard Acres Trailer Park
by: Elizabeth Carter

My parents drove the Alaska highway starting in February and arriving in Anchorage in early April with my brother and me and our collie.

We pulled an 18-foot trailer with us and lived in it for 3 years with a lean to added on before winter came.

Our trailer did not have a bathroom, and we had to use the bath house/laundry room all winter until my parents bought a larger trailer the next year.

Spenard Acres was at the end of Chugach Drive at Dead Man's curve.

Arctic Blvd. and Chugach Drive is where the trailer park used to be located.

Spenard homestead?
by: Terry Thorgaard

My grandmother and her sons (my uncles) lived in Spenard in the '50s.

I don't think any part of Spenard was open to homesteading then.

House Trailer
by: Robbie Johnson

What year did you bring the house trailer over the Alcan?

My parents, brother, & I drove the Alcan in a loaded pickup towing a 27-foot house trailer from Pennsylvania to Anchorage in 1952.

That was quite a trip.

I still remember the adventures of that 3-week trip.

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