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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Wasilla in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska — The American West (Northwest)
 

Father of the Iditarod

Joe Redington, Sr.

 

—Iditarod Trail Race Headquarters —

 
Father of the Iditarod Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, July 19, 2013
1. Father of the Iditarod Marker
close up, showing text
Inscription.

Joe Redington, Sr.
Born in Oklahoma, February 1, 1917 • Died in Alaska, June 24, 1999

Joe was an accomplished man; homesteader, big-game guide, bush pilot, commercial fisherman, boat builder, fish-plant manager, and mountain climber. But most of all, he was a man who loved dogs and dog mushing.

After service in the Army during World War II, Joe came to Alaska in 1948 to homestead. Here he established Knik Kennels. Until 1966, he and his dog teams performed search-and-rescue and reclamation work for the Army. In, 1979, Joe mushed a dog team to the summit of Mt. McKinley and showed the world what dogs could do.

Joe’s interest in the old mail route known as the Iditarod Trail led to its declaration as a National Historic Trail. He was the driving force behind the creation of the first Iditarod Trail sled dog Race in 1973 and fought to keep the event alive through its most difficult years. Thanks to his tenacity, the Iditarod has evolved into a thriving, world-renowned event that continues to this day. He will always be remembered as the Father of the Iditarod.
 
Location. 61° 33.629′ N, 149° 28.751′ W. Marker is near Wasilla, Alaska, in Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Marker is on Knik-Goose Bay Road, on
Father of the Iditarod Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, July 19, 2013
2. Father of the Iditarod Marker
carved inscription on sculpture
the right when traveling north. Touch for map. The marker is on the front lawn of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Museum, a little over a mile south and southwest of I-4 (E. Park Hwy) from downtown Wasilla, Alaska. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2100 South Knik-Goose Bay Road, Wasilla AK 99654, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Balto (a few steps from this marker); Iditarod Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker).
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia Entry for Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. “Dorothy G. Page, the chairman of the Wasilla-Knik Centennial Committee, had the original idea to race a portion of the Iditarod Trail. Joe Redington Sr. (named the "Father of the Iditarod" by one of the local newspapers), and his wife Vi were Page’s first true support and, with volunteer support they cleared up a portion of the trail. The first race, known as the Iditarod Trail Seppala Memorial Race in honor of Leonhard Seppala, was held in 1967. The purse of US$25,000 attracted a field of 58 racers, and the winner was Isaac Okleasik. ”

“A ‘Widow’s Lamp’ is lit and remains hanging on the arch until the last competitor crosses the finish line. The tradition is based on the kerosene lamp lit and hung outside a roadhouse, when a musher carrying goods or mail was en route. The last musher to complete the Iditarod
Father of the Iditarod Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, July 19, 2013
3. Father of the Iditarod Marker
sculpture on pedestal above bronze plaque
is referred to as the ‘Red Lantern’.” (Submitted on January 27, 2018.) 
 
Categories. Roads & VehiclesSports
 
Father of the Iditarod Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, July 19, 2013
4. Father of the Iditarod Marker
full view of marker
Father of the Iditarod Marker Site image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, July 19, 2013
5. Father of the Iditarod Marker Site
marker can be seen at extreme left
Iditarod Trail Museum image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, July 19, 2013
6. Iditarod Trail Museum
marker in foreground, another marker "Balto", to the left. Large log lodge is the museum.
Robert Sørlie's team approaches Nome, 2007 image. Click for full size.
Flickr user ra64 via Wikipedia Commons, March 14, 2007
7. Robert Sørlie's team approaches Nome, 2007
Original caption states “This is at Farley’s camp, about 3 miles east of the Nome finish line.” Musher identified in Flickr tags and photostream as Norwegian Robert Sørlie in the 2007 Iditarod sled dog race.
Iditarod Museum image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, July 19, 2013
8. Iditarod Museum
sign in parking lot
Iditarod Trophy image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, July 19, 2013
9. Iditarod Trophy
this is what the winner gets "Mush you Huskies!"
Iditarod Award image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, July 19, 2013
10. Iditarod Award
names of the winners are enshrined on the award
Iditarod Wall of Fame image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, July 19, 2013
11. Iditarod Wall of Fame
pictures of winners, also, first stop for travelers arriving on bus
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 27, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 20, 2015, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 439 times since then and 80 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week January 28, 2018. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 20, 2015, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio.   7. submitted on January 27, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on January 20, 2015, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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