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

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database

 

on February 26, 2020

 
Image attributed to Chase & Sanborn Coffee Co.

 Alaska ranks 68th 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 14 of them have entries in this database. In Alaska we have discovered historical markers in 22 cities and towns lying in 24 different ZIP Codes.

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How many historical markers are there in Alaska? There are least 90 of them, by our count. We have cataloged 88 historical markers and six war memorialsóeach individually presented on 93 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another two historical markers in Alaska that we donít 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 Borough. The last one added was submitted on December 22, 2019, and titled Gold Dredge No. 8. It is in Fairbanks in Fairbanks North Star Borough and had been erected in 1986. 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 Categories
18 • Industry and Commerce
16 • Settlements and Settlers
13 • Native Americans
8 • Roads and Vehicles
7 • Waterways and Vessels
7 • Animals
7 • Exploration
7 • World War II
6 • Railroads and Streetcars
6 • Disasters
    ... and more ...

Alaskans donít 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 Commerceó18 of themóthan about any other historical category. It is followed by Settlements and Settlers with 16 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Industry and Commerce category was Pipeline History, added June 24, 2009. It had been erected in Fox in Fairbanks North Star Borough. The last one submitted also 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 category 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 Borough, with 20 of them. It is followed by Fairbanks North Star Borough with 18 markers. The Anchorage area of Anchorage Borough has the highest number of markers within its limits, 14. In Fairbanks North Star Borough the area with the most markers, 9, is Fairbanks.

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

Checking the database for the city or town in Alaska with the most markers we have a tie for first: Anchorage and Skagway in Skagway Borough, each with 14 markers in or near them. It is followed by Juneau in Juneau Borough with eleven markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers itís 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
14 • Anchorage
14 • Skagway
11 • Juneau
9 • Fairbanks
7 • Sitka
6 • Faribanks
5 • Girdwood
5 • Ketchikan
3 • Denali National Park
3 • Valdez
    ... and more ...

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

Latest entry from Alaska. Click to go there
By Thomas Fehring, August 30, 2017
Latest Entry from Alaska
“Gold Dredge No. 8”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Skagway. The first: Skagway and White Pass, was added January 29, 2008. It had been erected in 1964. The last: Bank of Alaska added on April 30, 2014. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1964: Skagway and White Pass, added on January 29, 2008.

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

Youíll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Alaska have been marked with history. Check out Haines Borough, North Slope Borough and Kenai Peninsula Borough. We've only found two historical markers in the first and one in each of the other two. Visiting one or more of these parts of Alaska might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe youíll discover more historical markers while youíre there. If you do, perhaps youíll 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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