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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 25, 2022

 
Image attributed to Chase & Sanborn Coffee Co.

 Alaska ranks 64th among states and provinces with markers in this database. The United States of America 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 21 cities and towns lying in 29 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 184 historical markers in Alaska, by our count. We have cataloged 180 historical markers and six war memorials—each individually presented on 185 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.

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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 September 18, 2021, and titled 'Cat' Houses & Sporting Women. It is in Ketchikan in Ketchikan Gateway Borough. 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
52 • Industry and Commerce
39 • Waterways and Vessels
33 • Native Americans
23 • Communications
22 • Architecture
21 • Settlements and Settlers
14 • Churches and Religion
14 • Disasters
12 • Animals
12 • Women
    ... 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—52 of them—than about any other historical topic. It is followed by Waterways and Vessels with 39 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 also was submitted on September 18, 2021, and titled 'Cat' Houses & Sporting Women. It had been erected in Ketchikan in Ketchikan Gateway 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 Ketchikan in Ketchikan Gateway Borough. It is In Defiance of the Dry Squad.

Boroughs, Cities and Towns

The Alaska borough with the most historical markers listed in this database is Juneau Borough, with 48 of them. It is followed by Ketchikan Gateway Borough with 31 markers. The Juneau area of Juneau Borough has the highest number of markers within its limits, 48. In Ketchikan Gateway Borough the area with the most markers, 31, is Ketchikan.

Historical Markers in These
Alaska Boroughs
48 • Juneau Borough
31 • Ketchikan Gateway Borough
29 • Sitka Borough
21 • Anchorage
19 • Fairbanks North Star Borough
14 • Skagway
7 • Valdez-Cordova Census Area
3 • Matanuska-Susitna Borough
3 • Denali Borough
3 • Southeast Fairbanks Census Area
    ... and others ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Alaska with the most markers we again find Juneau at the top of the list with 48 markers in or near it. And Ketchikan also shows up again in next place, with 31 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 99801 at the top of the list with 48 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 99801 is assigned to Juneau AK.) It is followed by ZIP Code 99901 with 30 markers. (99901 is assigned to Ketchikan AK including the Edna Bay, Kasaan, Naukati Bay, and Saxman delivery areas.)

Historical Markers Near These
Alaska Cities and Towns
48 • Juneau
31 • Ketchikan
29 • Sitka
21 • Anchorage
18 • Fairbanks
14 • Skagway
3 • Denali National Park
3 • Valdez
3 • Wasilla
2 • Haines
    ... and others ...

Getting back to Juneau Borough, the first marker added to the database from there, Hard Rock Miners, was added May 29, 2011. in Juneau. The last one submitted was uploaded on September 14, 2021, and is titled Juneau Remembers:, in Juneau. The earliest marker erected in Juneau Borough that we have listed was erected in 1950. It was Liberty Bell Reproduction, found in Juneau on December 14, 2013.

Latest entry from Alaska. Click to go there
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 4, 2021
Latest Entry from Alaska
“'Cat' Houses & Sporting Women”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Ketchikan. The first: Creek Street, was added May 22, 2011. The last: 'Cat' Houses & Sporting Women added on September 18, 2021.

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 seven 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!

Jan. 25, 2022