The following information was provided
by the Office of Statewide
By order of the Alaska Road Commission, the Iditarod
trail was surveyed and blazed by W. L. Goodwin with a crew of nine men
and six teams of seven dogs each. After a voyage from Seattle, they
left Nome on November 9, 1910 arriving at Seward on February 25, 1911.
The men who established the trail received $3.50 a day out of which they
paid 50¢ a day for food, the same rates for workers on the Richardson
Road. This trail was most heavily used during the winter, with the
mail, medical supplies and other goods delivered by dog sled. The first
mail contract over the Iditarod Trail was awarded to Colonel H. E. Revelle
of Seward in 1914.
Cultural Programs, Alaska Division of Parks, Department of Natural Resources,
published in 1974. MANY thanks go to the departments main investigator:
Michael E. Smith for making this information available
Besides surveying and blazing the 958 mile trail, Goodwin was
also charged with locating sites for roadhouses. A log of distances was
kept, measured by attached cyclometers to the sides of the sleds. As most
of the distance, about 180 miles, from Susitna Station to Seward was over
the right-of-way of the Alaska Northern Railway, where roadhouses averaged
about 12 miles apart, part of Goodwin's orders were already fulfilled.
Thus roadhouses listed along the Iditarod Trail are those from Knik to Nome.
With the completion of the Alaska Railroad in 1923, Nenana became the departure
point for travelers heading for Iditarod and Nome. The Iditarod Trail consequently
fell into disuse.