Near Wasilla in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska — The American West (Northwest)
Father of the Iditarod
Joe Redington, Sr.
—Iditarod Trail Race Headquarters —
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 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 (Submitted on January 27, 2018.)
Categories. • Roads & Vehicles • Sports •
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.