Talkeetna History


TALKEETNA, ALASKA

by Coleen Mielke

2019



The confluence of the Talkeetna, Susitna and Chulitna Rivers had always been traditional Athabascan fishing territory, but when gold was discovered there in 1896, white prospectors encroached and a small settlement began. After gold was discovered at Cache Creek in 1906, the Alaska Commercial Company (ACC) built a trading post and the settlement was dubbed Talkeetna.

The ACC had big plans to build another trading post at Indian River (35 miles north of Talkeetna), but those plans never materialized, mainly due to dangerous waters. The ACC closed their Talkeetna store in 1910.

Talkeetna was nothing more than a few wall tents until 1915, when Talkeetna was chosen as a subdistrict headquarters for the construction of the Alaska Railroad track expansion, by the Alaska Engineering Commission (AEC).

Prospectors, trappers and railroad employees poured into the area and Talkeetna's population was almost 1,000. H.W.Nagley, who had a trading post at Susitna Station (and another at McDougal), hired someone to mamage his store's and then put up a 3rd store in Talkeetna in 1917. A
Post Office, was established in 1917, and that made Talkeetna official. The Postmasters, over the years, were: Charles A. Anderson (1917), Thomas P. Weatherell (1918-1927), Horace W. Nagley (1927-1946), Horace W. Nagley Jr. (1946-1947) and Donald Barrett (1947-1957).

In 1920, Horace Willard "H.W." Nagley was appointed as U.S.Commissioner of the Talkeetna District. As Commissioner, he was also Probate Judge, Justice of the Peace, Recorder and Coroner; positions he held until 1934.



TALKEETNA 1917



TALKEETNA WAS SURVEYED IN 1918 and
FIRST  LOTS  SOLD ON 10/16/1919

BLOCK #
LOT
NAME
ADDRESS
DATE OF SALE
PRICE
BLOCK TWO
1
CHARLES MACK
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$20
BLOCK TWO
2
CHARLES MACK
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWO
3
WILLIAM  T.  BOYCE
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWO
4
MATT GOSPAR (or Gaspar?)
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWO
5
BRUNO NAUMAN
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWO
6
FRANK  E.  LEE
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK TWO
9
WILLIAM  T.  BOYCE
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWO
10
WILLIAM  T.  BOYCE
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWO
11
HORACE  W.  NAGLEY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWO
12
HORACE  W.  NAGLEY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$20
BLOCK THREE
1
HORACE  W.  NAGLEY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$20
BLOCK THREE
3
PATRICK  J.  McLAUGHLIN
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK THREE
5
LIMER  COX
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK THREE
6
HALL  and  COURTLAND
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK THREE
7
HALL  and  COURTLAND
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK THREE
8
HALL  and  COURTLAND
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK THREE
9
GUY  L.  KENNEDY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK THREE
10
HORACE  W.  NAGLEY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK THREE
11
HORACE  W.  NAGLEY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK THREE
12
HORACE  W.  NAGLEY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$20
BLOCK FOUR
1
RICHARD   O'RORK
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK FOUR
2
RICHARD   O'RORK
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK FOUR
3
JOSEPH KRUMMENMACHER (?)
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK FOUR
4
RICHARD   O'RORK
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK FOUR
8
ROY   SWANSON
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK FOUR
12
BRUNO    NAUMAN
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK FIVE
12
CHARLES   WOLFF
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK NINE
7
THOS.  F.   ROBERTS
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK NINE
9
JOHN   F.  THOMPKINS
ANCHORAGE
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TEN
1
CLARENCE   BRANNON
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$25
BLOCK TEN
2
ALONZO   O.  WELLS
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK TEN
3
DAVID   H.  LAWRENCE
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK TEN
6
CHARLES   A.  BERG
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK TEN
7
HORACE   W.   NAGLEY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$25
BLOCK TEN
8
MRS.  ROSE  KINSMAN
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK TEN
9
WILLIAM   TURNER
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TEN
12
JOHN   WILSON
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK ELEVEN
11
ANDREW   ANDERSON
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK ELEVEN
12
THOS.   P.  WEATHERELL
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK ELEVEN
13
CHAS.   F.  GRIFFETH
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK ELEVEN
14
JOHN   COFFEY
ANCHORAGE
10/16/1919
$35
BLOCK TWELVE
8
HORACE   W.  NAGLEY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$20
BLOCK TWELVE
9
JOSEPH   KING
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWELVE
10
GEORGE   P.  PERKINS
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWELVE
11
CHARLES   HARPER
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWELVE
12
OSCAR   E.  HILLMAN
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWELVE
13
ANNA    PETERKIN
ANCHORAGE
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWELVE
14
JOSEPH   KING
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWELVE
15
WILL   A.  JOHNSON
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWELVE
16
HARRY   R.   BROWN
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWELVE
17
JAMES   F.   MAJOR
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWELVE
18
GEO.   P.   PERKINS
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWELVE
19
MATT  GOSPAR (Gaspar?)
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWELVE
20
HALL  and   COURTLAND
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWELVE
21
HALL  and   COURTLAND
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$55
BLOCK THIRTEEN
1
THOS.    L.    OWENS
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK THIRTEEN
2
JOHN   D.   FERGUSON
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK THIRTEEN
3
JOHN   D.   FERGUSON
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK THIRTEEN
6
OLE    DAHL
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$20
BLOCK THIRTEEN
7
OLE    DAHL
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
     ?
BLOCK THIRTEEN
9
HARRY   R.  BROWN
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK THIRTEEN
11
HELMER    RONNING
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK THIRTEEN
12
HELMER   RONNING
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK THIRTEEN
13
HELMER   RONNING
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK THIRTEEN
14
FRANK   E.   LEE
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK TWENTY
5
HARRY   R.  BROWN
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWENTY
6
HARRY   R.  BROWN
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWENTY
7
BRUNO  NAUMEN
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK TWENTY
8
HORACE   W.   NAGLEY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWENTY
9
HORACE   W.   NAGLEY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWENTY
10
BRUNO   NAUMAN
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$40
BLOCK TWENTY
11
HORACE   W.   NAGLEY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$45
BLOCK TWENTY
12
HORACE   W.   NAGLEY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$25
BLOCK TWENTY
13
HORACE   W.   NAGLEY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$25
BLOCK TWENTY
14
CHARLES   SEAMAN
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWENTY
15
WALTER   LEECH
ANCHORAGE
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWENTY
16
WALTER   LEECH
ANCHORAGE
10/16/1919
$10
BLOCK TWENTY ONE
1
HORACE   W.   NAGLEY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK TWENTY THREE
1
ANNA   PETERKIN
ANCHORAGE
10/16/1919
$15
BLOCK TWENTY THREE
2
HORACE   W.   NAGLEY
TALKEETNA
10/16/1919
$15



Today, Most of
Downtown Talkeetna is on the
National Register of Historic Buildings




NAGLEY STORE

Horace and Jessamine Nagley built a permanent 25' x 35' store in Talkeetna, in 1920. Some say the materials for the store came from one of their buildings at Susitna Station, but I can find no record of that.

The original Nagley Store still stands today, although it has been added onto a few times and it had to be moved 3 blocks east, in 1945, because it was too close to an eroding river bank. Old timers say that it took George Weatherell's tractor 3 days to move the old store, but it still stayed open for business during the entire move.


FAIRVIEW HOTEL (INN)

Another old building is the Fairview Hotel, built by a German cabinet maker named Bruno Nauman in the early 1920's. It was originally a 36' x 36' x two-story structure. When the Nagley's bought it in 1940, the name was changed to the Fairview Inn.


THE FRANK LEE CABIN

This cabin was originally built in 1917 by Frank Elwin Lee (and his brother Ed) of Merrill, Wisconsin. The brothers were freighters by trade. First they freighted out of Knik to the Willow Creek Mining District, then Frank operated a ferry boat that hauled people and freight across the Susitna River to Talkeetna. The Frank Lee cabin was originally 21' x 31' x 2½ stories tall and it had a 2½ story barn in the back yard for Frank's horses. It was sold in 1944 to the Darch family and it turned into the Talkeetna Roadhouse.



TALKEETNA SCHOOL HOUSE

The Talkeetna School House, a 30' x 37' structure, was built in 1936.
Today it houses the Talkeetna Museum.




THE  OLE DAHL TRAPPERS CABIN

The Dahl Cabin was built in 1918 by Ole Rasmussen Dahl. He immigrated from Skiaaker, Norway in 1906 and worked first as a gold miner and trapper, he later worked as the town barber. This next photo was the home of Ole and his Athabascan wife Annie and their 5 children. Built in the 1930's, it is now a gift shop.


OLE AND ANNIE DAHL'S  HOUSE




WEATHERELL CABIN

The 19' x 25' Weatherell Cabin was built in 1920 by Thomas P. Weatherell, a bachelor from New York. Before settling in Talkeetna, he lived at Susitna Station for a while, and worked for H.W. Nagley. Weatherell was the Postmaster in Talkeetna from 1918 to 1927.

The 18' x 26' Trepte house was built in 1935 by a gold miner named Mike Alvin Trepte from Germany. His name was originally Alwyn Tryte, but he changed it when he became an American citizen; Trepte prospected for gold at Dutch Creek. The cabin is a private residence today.

Two small cabins in Talkeetna's historic district today, were built by partners that worked at the Cache Creek Mines. The Zulich Cabin was built by Giovanni ("John") Zulich of Trieste, Italy, in about 1930. The other one...the Cuculich Cabin, was built by John Cuculich of Fuime, Yugoslavia.




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