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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Alaska Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database

 

on January 18, 2021

 
Image attributed to Chase & Sanborn Coffee Co.

 Alaska ranks 71st among states and provinces with markers in this database. Alaska is a state in the United States of America located in Northwest. Alaska is some 663 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 710 thousand people. The state is divided into 27 boroughs and 15 of them have entries in this database. In Alaska we have discovered historical markers in 18 cities and towns lying in 25 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 93 historical markers in Alaska, by our count. We have cataloged 89 historical markers and six war memorials—each individually presented on 94 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another four historical markers in Alaska that we don’t yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

The first Alaska marker in the database, Golden Spike, was added December 18, 2007. It was photographed in Nenana in Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area. The last one added was submitted on May 13, 2020, and titled Brevig Mission Memorial Cross. It is in Brevig Mission in Nome Census Area. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Alaska was erected in 1950. It was this one: Liberty Bell Reproduction, and one of our correspondents found it in Juneau in Juneau Borough on December 14, 2013.

Alaska Historical Topics
18 • Industry and Commerce
18 • Settlements and Settlers
14 • Native Americans
11 • Waterways and Vessels
9 • Animals
8 • Roads and Vehicles
7 • Natural Resources
7 • Exploration
7 • Anthropology and Archaeology
6 • Disasters
    ... and others ...

Alaskans don’t want to forget their Industry and Commerce history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Alaska about Industry and Commerce—18 of them—than about any other historical topic. A close second is Settlements and Settlers with 18 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Industry and Commerce topic was Pipeline History, added June 24, 2009. It had been erected in Fairbanks in Fairbanks North Star Borough. The last one submitted was submitted on December 22, 2019, and titled Gold Dredge No. 8. It had been erected in 1986 in Fairbanks in Fairbanks North Star Borough. The earliest marker erected with the Industry and Commerce topic that we have listed was erected in 1964. It is Lacey Street Theater (1939), found in Fairbanks in Fairbanks North Star Borough on September 1, 2012.

What is the most interesting historical marker in Alaska? What we know is that Golden Spike is the most viewed entry in the database from Alaska since it was added in 2007. This year so far, the most viewed Alaskan entry is located in North Pole in Fairbanks North Star Borough. It is "The North Pole".

Boroughs, Cities and Towns

The Alaska borough with the most historical markers listed in this database is Anchorage, with 20 of them. It is followed by Fairbanks North Star Borough with 18 markers. In Fairbanks North Star Borough the area with the most markers, 17, is Fairbanks.

Historical Markers in These
Alaska Boroughs
20 • Anchorage
18 • Fairbanks North Star Borough
14 • Skagway
11 • Juneau Borough
7 • Sitka Borough
5 • Ketchikan Gateway Borough
3 • Matanuska-Susitna Borough
3 • Denali Borough
3 • Southeast Fairbanks Census Area
3 • Valdez-Cordova Census Area
    ... and others ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Alaska with the most markers we again find Anchorage at the top of the list with 20 markers in or near it. And Fairbanks also shows up again in next place, with 17 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 99840 at the top of the list with 14 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 99840 is assigned to Skagway AK.) It is followed by ZIP Code 99701 with twelve markers. (99701 is assigned to Fairbanks AK.)

Historical Markers Near These
Alaska Cities and Towns
20 • Anchorage
17 • Fairbanks
14 • Skagway
11 • Juneau
7 • Sitka
5 • Ketchikan
3 • Denali National Park
3 • Valdez
3 • Wasilla
2 • Haines
    ... and others ...

Getting back to Anchorage, the first marker added to the database from there, Fort Richardson National Cemetery-Gate, was added January 17, 2013. . The last one submitted was uploaded on December 12, 2013, and is titled Atlantic Salmon-A Threat to the Chugach National Forest?. One of the earliest marker erected in Anchorage that we have listed was erected in 1976. More than one was erected that year. This is one of them: Resolution Park 1776 / 1778 on September 13, 2013.

Latest entry from Alaska. Click to go there
By Ned Rozell
Latest Entry from Alaska
“Brevig Mission Memorial Cross”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Fairbanks. The first we touched on earlier: Pipeline History. The last: Gold Dredge No. 8 added on December 22, 2019. It had been erected in 1986. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1964: Lacey Street Theater (1939), added on September 1, 2012.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

There is no organization in charge of erecting official historical markers state-wide in Alaska today but the Alaska Centennial Commission was once responsible for erecting the familiar brass plaques framed in black. We have six of their markers in the database. Also, a number of boroughs have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from Alaska. Click to go there
By Alvis Hendley, May 16, 2011
An Alaska Centennial Commission Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Alaska have been marked with history. Check out North Slope Borough, Nome Census Area and Kenai Peninsula Borough. We've only found one historical marker in each. Visiting one or more of these parts of Alaska might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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Jan. 18, 2021