Nostalgic Pictures of
Anchorage Alaska

These Pictures of Anchorage Alaska are treasures that will happily take your heart to a different time. Every photo tells a story.

pictures of anchorage alaska4th Avenue, 1940s courtesy Michael Nore

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to hear the introduction

How many Anchorage businesses do you recognize in the photo above?

Piggly Wiggly is one.

The tallest building is the Federal building.

Spenard Road



Photo courtesy of Linda Kaye Lynnie Miller

spenard road and fireweed 1955

What are your memories of Spenard in 1955?

A lot has changed over the years.

Remember Piggly Wiggly

in Spenard?

Year Unknown

Photo by Ralph Smith

Courtesy of Clayton Smith

Piggly Wiggly Spenard

The first Piggly Wiggly in Anchorage opened in 1947 at 4th Avenue and H streets in the Anchorage Commercial Company building.

“Anchorage Memories brings back a lot of memories of life in Anchorage” 


5th Avenue and E Street


Photo courtesy of Cindy Pendleton

anchorage alaska 1968

Looking east toward the mountains.

Notice the JC Penney building in the background and Kimball's on the far right.


Kimball's is one of the oldest buildings in Anchorage, going back to 1915.

What were (are) your favorite places in downtown Anchorage?

4th Avenue, Downtown Anchorage

Circa Mid-1940s

Photo courtesy of Bob Rieth

anchorage, alaska mid-1940s

In the background on the left side you can see the 4th Avenue Theatre.

What other businesses do you see?

The downtown skyline has certainly changed since the mid 1940s.

Charles Brewster

Owner of

Brewster's Department Store

Photo by Cindy Pendleton

charles brewster

Pictures of Anchorage Alaska include this summer parade.

Do you know who the rider is?

Besides owning one of the most popular stores in Anchorage, (Brewster's) Charles Brewster was a horseman and, as you can see, he had an incredible saddle.

It looks like the crowd appreciated his ride.

The people of Anchorage enjoy parades.

Jonas Brothers Museum

5th Avenue in Anchorage

jonas brothers

This log cabin-style building housed a collection of Alaska wild life. It was a favorite for tourists and locals alike.

When someone living in Anchorage had a visitor from outside Alaska, a visit to Jonas Brothers was always a hit.


Did you know that, the Book Cache, one of Anchorage's most popular book stores, got its humble start inside Jonas Brothers?

Discover how it all began and enjoy the story.

Take a look at Book Cache Memories and enjoy

Fur Rondy

Sled Dog Races


Photo courtesy Les Graff

fur rendezvous sled dog races

The beautiful photo above shows you how crowds lined the trail in 1978 to catch a glimpse of dog mushers and their teams as they raced during Anchorage's annual winter carnival, the Fur Rendezvous.

Competition in this race made it a crowd pleaser. And people from all over the world came to watch.

Anchorage Visitor's

Log Cabin

Watercolor by Alaskan artist, Cindy Pendleton

anchorage visitors log cabin

A Frontier City Welcome

By Cindy Pendleton

“Alaska is a long way from anywhere.

When I first came to Anchorage forty some years ago, I didn't know a soul, except my best friend, who had come 4,800 miles from Michigan with me in my little jeep.

As I put her on a plane to her first job in Fairbanks, I realized that I was truly alone in a new land. A little forlorn, I returned to my newly rented trailer. As I pulled into my driveway, I was greeted by the lady next door. With a smile on her face, and a sack of fresh salmon in her hand, she said, “Come join us for dinner.” Before long, I had a whole set of “extended family”, who were there when I needed advice, a helping hand, or just a sounding board.

These people made Anchorage such a special place – a place to call home. This frontier hospitality was, and still is, the Alaska way of life.”


Enjoy more watercolors by by Alaskan artist Cindy Pendleton.

4th Avenue

Circa 1958

photo by Gene Smith

courtesy Gary Smith

a president visits anchoragePresident Dwight D. Eisenhower visits

In the background of the photo above, notice the original location of Hewitt's lunch counter and drug store. Following the 1964 earthquake, Hewitt's changed their location to Spenard.

By the way -

Notice the sign over 4th Avenue that reads, “Anchorage All American City”.

Many people have no idea why such a sign hangs over the main street.

The designation was an honor given to the city by the National Municipal League and Look Magazine. Anchorage won the award a total of 4 times. In 1956, 1965, 1985 and again in 2002.

Spenard Road


Fireweed Lane


Photo by Ken and Nancy Parker

Courtesy of John Parker

spenard 1955A look at the way we were.

My how times have changed.

The intersection seen above is now a very busy one in modern-day Spenard.


Do you know the story behind how some streets in Anchorage got their name?

The Anchorage Memories VIP Club includes an edition filled with the names of people who have streets named after them.

Take a look at Anchorage Street Memories and enjoy.

4th Avenue


Photo by Jim Zoller

1956 anchorage alaskaDirty snow covers the street

In the Picture Above:

How many businesses do you remember in the photo above?

The D&D Bar and Café. Next door is Stewart's Photo. Across the street is the Union Club and Army Navy Surplus.

In the background, the tall structure is the McKinley Building. Can you spot any other businesses?

Entering Spenard


Photo Courtesy of Linda Miller

spenard road 1958You know it's different

In the Picture Above:

Going toward Spenard, where Minnesota is now.

The sign reads: “Entering Spenard The Land of the Free For All”

Most people who live in Anchorage have at least one Spenard story.

Spenard Lake


Photo by Ken and Nancy Parker

Courtesy of John Parker

spenard lakeRemember those summer days?

In the picture above:

Sunbathers enjoy a warm day as small planes take off and lands in the water across the lake.

Have you ever spent time on the beach at Spenard Lake, our taken off in a small plane from the lake?

Spenard Lake

the early days

Circa 1916 to 1920

resort at spenard lakeAnchorage pioneers enjoying a summer day

At one time, Anchorage pioneer, Joe Spenard, had built the lake up to be a resort. It featured a dance pavilion, bath houses, a picnic area and more.

A fire destroyed the resort.


Circa 1950

Photo courtesy of Michael Nore

anchorage looking eastWhat do you see in this picture?

In the Picture:

Notice the old Alaska Native Services (ANS) Hospital to the left in the picture above.

The Chugach mountains can be seen in the background.

Alaska Railroad Yards

and Government Hill

Circa 1950

Photo courtesy of Michael Nore

railroad yard and government hill circa 1950A long way from a tent city

Circa 1950, see how much building has taken place over the years. From a rugged tent city in 1915, to this 1950s photo.

The Sears Mall

Circa 1968

sears mall anchorage alaska 1968Remember going to Anchorage's first mall?

In The Picture Above:

The Sears Mall at E. Northern Lights and the Seward Highway.

Anchorage, Alaska's first mall.

Stores included Carr's Food Center, Andy's Carmel Corn, Sheffield Cafeteria and Pub, Grandma's Closet and Ben Franklin.

Spenard Road


Photo by Ken and Nancy Parker

Courtesy of John Parker

1957 spenard roadPictures of Anchorage Alaska – remember the winter of 1957?

In the Picture Above:

This winter scene is how most people think of Alaska. Cold and covered in snow and ice.

But this picture tells a story about how Alaskans deal with the many things that make Alaska a special place.

Alaska Railroad Building

and Anchorage Docks

Circa 1950s

anchorage docks and alaska railroad building circa 1950sWinter day in the 1950s

Pictures of Anchorage Alaska give you this look at the Railroad Depot, the mouth of Ship Creek and part of the Port of Anchorage.

This location is where Anchorage began as a tent City in 1915.

While the tents are long gone, can you imagine what life was like for the first souls who came by steam ship to forge a community out of the wilderness?

After the 1964 Earthquake

anchorage earthquake clean upphoto by Orville Eggen

On the right side of the photo above, you can see the earth being cleared of debris from the 1964 quake and the ground prepared for new construction.

How many businesses do you recognize in the picture?

Residents of Anchorage were happy about the rebuilding because it meant that their town was coming back.

Carr's Super Market

Circa 1954–1955

carrs supermarket 1950s anchorage alaskaLook at the automobiles on a busy shopping day

When you live in Anchorage, grocery stores get food by truck, air or by ship.

Larry Carr and his brother started the Carr's supermarket chain by opening their first store in an old Quonset hut.


4th Avenue


4th Avenue 1944How things have changed

In the Picture Above:

Most people in Anchorage would say that 4th Avenue is the main street. In the mid 1940s picture above, you can see a city taking shape.

4th Avenue


Photo courtesy of Kimberly Starks

anchorage parade 1956Time for a parade

In the Picture Above:

Drum Major: Alice Wanda Turner

Anchorage High School

Bootlegger's Cove


Photo by Cindy Pendleton

bootlegger coveRemember those beautiful summers in our town?


Liquor was banned when Anchorage was a tent city.

So bootleggers would sneak moon shine to shore from Cook Inlet to a place that was away from the eyes of the authorities.

And with that, the area became known as “Bootlegger's Cove”.

Betty Faris Apparel

Circa 1950s

Photo courtesy of Doug Brundage

betty ferris apparelBetty Faris Apparel, downtown, circa 1950s

About the Picture Above:

Between 3rd and 4th Avenues

Owned and operated by Izzie Brundage

Bi Lo Grocery Store

Circa 1974 or 1975

Photo courtesy of Clytie Alaimo (on the pony)

bi lo grocery storeSummer fun

Bi-Lo was also a sponsor of the Mother Moose TV show, an Anchorage kid's program that featured Larry Beck as the Old Prospector and Carol Beck as Miss Northern Lights.

What are your Bi-Lo memories?

You can Submit Your

Pictures of

Anchorage Alaska

Visitors will love seeing your pictures of Anchorage from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

You can easily send us your pictures as an email attachment. And when you do, remember to tell us what the picture is and the year.

Send your pictures to mike@anchorage

Chester Creek Flats


Photo by Cindy Pendleton

chester creek flatsA winter view before the lagoon

About the Picture Above:

Overlooking Chester Creek Flats before it became Westchester Lagoon.

Eklutna Chapel

Photo courtesy of Gene Gough

eklutna chapelMemory of Eklutna Chapel

About the Sketch Above:

The village of Eklutna. Located about 28 miles north of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway.

Carola Gough drew the sketch above.

President Nixon's



president nixon in anchorage alaskaPresident Nixon visits our town in 1971

About the Picture Above:

Part of the motorcade when President Nixon met with Japanese Emperor Hirohito in Anchorage.

It was the first time an Emperor from Japan had set foot on American soil. The event was televised world-wide.

Taken on Northern Lights as the motorcade made its way to the home of Walter J. Hickel.

In the background, you can see Rayfield's 76 gas station and a Bi-Lo grocery store.

La Casita

Mountain View

Photo courtesy of Roxann Regenstreif

la casita restaurantWhat are your memories of La Casita?

Everyone in Anchorage who enjoys Mexican food, has a favorite restaurant.

Pictures of Anchorage Alaska

Eldeberry Park

west end of 5th Avenue


Photo by Cindy Pendleton

eldeberry park anchorageSummer Fun in 1976

In the Picture Above:

Anchorage youth are blessed with an abundance of parks. This one is next to Cook Inlet.

What are your favorite parks in Anchorage?

4th Avenue

circa 1940s or 1950s

Photo courtesy of Cordell Dow

downtown anchorageHow many businesses do you recognize?

In the picture Above:

Cub Scout troop 817

Food Center, owned by Keith Lesh

J. Vic Brown Jewelry store

Siedenverg's (before it was Siedenverg and Kays)

Pictures of Anchorage Alaska

Early Log Home


Photo courtesy of Gary R Smith

anchorage log home 1915After the tents came log homes

About the Picture Above:

Swan and Lisa Swanson's Home

Their daughter, Ingaborge is the mother of Gary R Smith

Many Anchorage residents have roots that go back to these early days.


4th Avenue 1968

Photo by Cindy Pendleton

anchorage 4th avenue 1968Remember how Summer looks on Anchorage's main street?

In the Picture Above:

This photo includes the Anchorage Westward Hotel, towering over Anchorage's main street, 4th Avenue.

Anchorage Main Street


Photo courtesy of the Michael Nore Collection

anchorage main street 1957Notice the 4th Avenue Theatre on the right in this 1957 memory

Northern Lights Blvd.

Looking east of Wisconsin


Photo courtesy of Lonnie Frazer

northern lights blvd 1978

The Bun Drive-In

and the Coke Show

radio booth

July 1963

Photo courtesy of Malcolm Burgess Jr.

anchorage bun drive inDo you remember this teen favorite?

In the Picture Above:

Anchorage teens could stop in for a burger and listen to The Coke Show with DJ Ron Moore, a radio favorite.

Teens could also call in to the program, request a song and make a dedication.

Spenard Kid's Train

across from

Spenard Lake


Photo courtesy of the Brown family

kiddy train in spenardHaving a good time in Spenard in 1948

In the Picture Above:

Cliff, Cheri, Ron Brown and Denny Beeman enjoy the train.

Summer fun in Anchorage.

Anchorage Dairy

4th and C Street


Photo courtesy of the Brown family

anchorage dairy 4th C streetsThe early days of Matanuska Maid Dairy

About the Picture Above:

At one time, the Brown family lived in an apartment above the dairy.

Coming Home from School

Northern Lights Blvd

Near Turnagain by the Sea


Photo courtesy of Linda Miller

school bus in anchorage alaska 1956Remember your school days in Anchorage?

Pictures of Anchorage Alaska include this winter-time photo of school student Linda Miller, the girl in red who just got off the bus.

Did you ride the bus or walk to school?

5th Avenue Looking East

Circa 1950s

winter day on 5th avenue anchorageDoes this picture take you back?

Did you enjoy looking at these Pictures of Anchorage, Alaska?

It's nice to see our town the way we remember it in these photos.

Pictures of Anchorage Alaska

Here on Anchorage Memories you can celebrate your precious memories of days gone by.

Did these pictures bring back memories?

Remember taking pictures in and around Anchorage.

Then you promptly put them in a photo album or a box in a closet. But when was the last time you looked at them?.

Now, you can share at least a few of them with the world.

Your pictures of Anchorage Alaska will help our website visitors remember back in the day.

“I hadn't thought about that in years” is something people say to Anchorage Memories all the time.

“Thank you for the memories” is another thing that we hear regularly.

That's what it's all about. Preserving your precious memories, stories, and bringing a smile to your face… and your heart.

You can now be a part of that by simply sharing your Anchorage Alaska pictures.

After seeing the above pictures, and enjoying the stories and memories, we have something very special for you.

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“I’ve learned a lot about my hometown of Anchorage, and you’ve jogged memories of things I haven’t thought about for years. I can only say YAY!”  Juanita.


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