Did You Know?

Great memories of Anchorage, Alaska




In the summer of 1922, Cap Lathrop began the Alaska Moving Picture Corp.

The first (and only) movie they produced was the 1923 silent movie, "The Chechahcos".

In November of 1922, a 7,000 square foot movie studio was constructed at the end of Third Avenue in Anchorage.

"The Chechahcos" was filmed in Anchorage, Mount McKinley and Girdwood where the movie production recreated the famous Chilkoot Pass.

When the movie was completed, it played to packed audiences all around the territory of Alaska.


BONUS

See "The Chechahcos" on Youtube




Anchorage Pioneer Z.J. Loussac

Click on the image above to see a very short video about Z.J. Loussac and his many contributions to Anchorage.

While most remember the original Z.J. Loussac Library downtown, few people know that when he first came to town he ran a drugstore.

Discover Z.J. Loussac.




Anchorage's First Newspaper

The Cook Inlet Pioneer became Anchorage's first daily newspaper in 1915 when the town was nothing more than a tent city.

The Cook Inlet Pioneer later became the Anchorage Daily Times.




Oscar Anderson Home

Located at 420 M Street in Elderberry Park.

Oscar Anderson was the 18th person to set foot in the tent city that became Anchorage.

Built in 1915, this was the first wood-frame house in Anchorage.

Oscar Anderson lived in this house (now a museum) until his passing in 1974.




Anchorage and Alaska's

first flower shop

Click on the image above to watch this short video about the first flower shop in Anchorage and Alaska.

The video includes a picture of the first Flowers by Bagoy location on 4th Avenue.




Eileen Bagoy

Daughter of John and Maria Bagoy

In 1937, Eileen Bagoy, daughter of John B. and Maria Bagoy of "Flowers by Bagoy", became the very first Fur Rendezvous Queen.

She was crowned by the Anchorage Women's Club.




Anchorage's First Mayor

Leopold David arrived in Anchorage's Tent City in 1915.

In 1917 he built this house which still stands at 605 West Second Avenue.

Leopold David was elected Anchorage's first Mayor in 1921.




Anchorage Pioneer School House

Many of the workers who arrived at Ship Creek in 1915 had brought their families.

Jane Mears, the wife of Lt. Col. Fredrick Mears of the AEC, Alaska Engineering Commission, asked her husband to have a school built for the children.

But his reply was "I'm busy building a railroad. If you want a school, you'll have to build it yourself."

And with that, on September 16, 1915, Jane Mears and a group of the town's women formed the Anchorage Woman's Club... The main goal was to build a school.

Left over material from the railroad helped build the school.

But because the new town was growing so fast (by 1917 there were more than 6,000 people), the new school was only used for a short time.

The original school then served as a meeting place for community activities and was named "Pioneer Hall".





Kimball's Dry Goods

Located at 500 and 504 West 5th Avenue in Anchorage.

This iconic Anchorage store operated at this same location from 1915 to 2002.

The store was run by Irving L. Kimball until his death in 1921. Following his passing, his wife Della and their daughter Decema ran the store. Following the passing of her mother, Decema ran the store until her passing in 2002.

Kimball purchased the land for $500 dollars and his family lived in a tent in the back of the lot while the store was being built. An apartment was included on the top floor.




She Drove the First Alaska Railroad Spike

Martha White drove the first spike in the Alaska Railroad.

She was born in a cabin on the shores of Cook Inlet about 200 miles from Ship Creek and what was known then as Tent City.




A&W Drive-In Being Built


The year was 1951

The building pictures above was the beginning of the first drive-in restaurant in Anchorage.

Located at 3105 Mountain View drive, Anchorage's first A&W Drive-In would also become home to Timbo and Princess - two live lions who greeted visitors to the restaurant.

BONUS

Get the whole story about Brown's A&W Drive-In right now.


Anchorage's Park Strip

Circa 1924

In 1923, Arthur A. Shonbeck organized the people of Anchorage to clear the 9th Avenue Park Strip to create an airstrip for bush pilots and a 9 hole gold course.

On July 4, 1924, bush pilot Noel Wien performed aerial stunts in his Hisso Standard biplane that he had named "Anchorage" to commemorate the opening of the Park Strip.

The Park Strip was originally cleared to serve as a fire break for the new town of Anchorage.


BONUS


Check out The History of Aviation in Anchorage right now.


Anchorage All American City

The photo above was taken in 1950


Notice the sign across the street in the background that reads:

"Anchorage, All American City"?


The National Municipal League and Look magazine named Anchorage an "All American City" in 1956, 1965, 1985 and 2002.





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