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Thread: Vintage old Alaska photo

  1. #1
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    Vintage old Alaska photo

    Hi All,
    In perusing through my mom's collection of vintage old Alaska photos (actually it was my dad's), I came across this old picture. As you can see, it says "U.S. Forestry Office Ship Creek" on the front. On the back is handwritten "Jack Brown, 1912". That is 3 years before Anchorage was founded (which happened in early 1915 I believe).

    Has anyone ever heard of Jack Brown? Does anyone know anything about a U.S. Forestry Office there?


  2. #2

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    Could it be Jack Brown of " Jack Brown"s Float Plane Service" in Winter Haven, Fla.? It's run by his son, John Brown. If there is a chance it is him, please let me know so that I can alert John, who helped me get my floatplane from Crane Lake, Minn. to Baton Rouge 2 yrs ago.
    Steve J.

  3. #3
    RedEye's Avatar
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    Steve J,
    Crane Lake, MN.? Who'd you buy the plane from, if I might ask ?? Thats right in my back yard, just curious. Lots of good people around there.

  4. #4
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve J
    Could it be Jack Brown of " Jack Brown"s Float Plane Service" in Winter Haven, Fla.? It's run by his son, John Brown. If there is a chance it is him, please let me know so that I can alert John, who helped me get my floatplane from Crane Lake, Minn. to Baton Rouge 2 yrs ago.
    Steve J.
    Well, considering that I stated the photo is from 1912, and the gentleman in it appears to be middle aged, that would make your friend John probably at least 95 years old (unless he was really old when he fathered your friend). And what makes you think the guy went from working in forestry in Alaska to starting a float plane service in Florida????????????????????

  5. #5
    Crash's Avatar
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    Christina, this is Mrs. Crash. Hopefully Crash will forgive me for hijacking his login.

    Alaska became a territory in 1912, I believe. The US Forest Service was established in 1905 and the Chugach National Forest was established in 1907, before AK became a territory. The Forest Service may have had an office in Anchorage even earlier than 1912. Don't know about the Ship Creek location. A couple of articles I've read indicated that Anchorage was first called Ship Creek Landing back in its original territorial days, so maybe that was the reference on the photo?

    In 1915-16, in its Alaska-Yukon Gazetteer and Business Directory, the R.L. Polk Directory listed Jack Brown as a forest ranger with the U.S. Forest Service. At that time he was listed in Sunrise, a small village on Turnagain Arm about 65 miles north of Seward (south of Anchorage), population 100.

    Len

  6. #6
    Crash's Avatar
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    From the Anchorage Museum site:

    "Prior to 1915, the area had been called Ship Creek or occasionally Knik Anchorage, in reference to the village of Knik across Knik Arm from the Creek. Lighters and small boats used to unload steamers sometimes called it Ship Creek Landing. The US Post Office was responsible for giving the town the name "Anchorage" in April 1915."

    Len

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    To David-- Bought my 220 Franklin powered 172 Floatplane from Russ Daniels. He kept it hangered at Hoodoo Point. I came accross it because I have a Log Cabin on Miners Lake in Ely. I spend a bit of time there both in summer and winter with my kids and grandkids-- Great place !! It is a real scooter and gets off the water in 10 seconds or less with full fuel. Russ was 79 when I bought it 2 years ago and was not going to renew his medical. He had owned the plane since 1974 and kept it hangered all those years. It is just what I need down here in Bayou Country where the temperature and humidity are frequently near 100. I use it primarily to chase ducks, redfish and speckled trout. Life is tuff !!
    Steve J

    To Christina-- Guess it ain't the same Jack Brown !

  8. #8
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    Mrs Crash... thank you very much! I wonder if Jack Brown has any descendents in the Anchorage area.

    I'll post a couple more vintage photos if I get a chance tonight, this time from the 1950s...

  9. #9
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    Mrs Crash and Christina,

    As already pointed out, Jack Brown later was stationed in Sunrise Alaska, just a few mils from Hope Alaska.
    Gold was discovered near Resurrection Creek in 1889 by somebody named King. Legend has it that the tent town that sprang up was named Hope after Percy Hope, who happened to be the youngest kid off the boat to try prospecting.

    A short time later, gold was also discovered at Sixmile Creek near Hope. Another town sprang up and was called Sunrise.
    At one time, the combined population was just over 3,000.

    As for Ship Creek:

    1910 The first cabins are built on the flats of Ship Creek – the beginning of what later becomes.

    The survey crews headquartered near the mouth of Ship Creek in upper Cook Inlet. As construction crews gathered there in 1915 a tent city spread along the creek's northern banks. On a plateau above the creek the Alaska Engineering Commission laid out a 240-acre townsite.

    At first the town was called Ship Creek, but residents voted to rename the town. First choice was Alaska City." Second choice was "Lane," in honor of Secretary of the Interior Franklin D. Lane. Alaska's governor, J.F.A. Strong, favored "Matanuska" as the official name. The United States Post Office made the final choice by insisting that "Anchorage" would be the name. The name was an abbreviation of "Knik Anchorage," a holdover from the days when the area was a transfer site for passengers and supplies bound for Knik.

    I sure wish I could see the entire pennent or banner on the tent wall.

  10. #10
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Clark
    I sure wish I could see the entire pennent or banner on the tent wall.
    I would too. Unfortunately, that's the only picture I have of Mr. Jack Brown. Looks like the letters might be "NHS".... maybe a high school?

    Here is another vintage photo, this time of my dad (on the left) holding up Alaska Railroad guys.



    And then during the escape (also on the left).



    And here he must have gotten religion (on the right)... does anyone remember the "Methodist Mobile Ministry" of Kenai Peninsula?



    Remember the old pictures I posted last year in this thread:

    http://www.supercub.org/phpBB2/viewt...&highlight=dad

  11. #11
    Gary Reeves's Avatar
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    I sent this thread to a friend in Anchorage - he is currently the President of the Pioneers and one great SuperCub pilot- here is what he replied:

    Jack and Nelli Brown famous Anchorage Piioneers. They came in
    1912 he did
    work for the forest service. Bud Whittney homesteaded here
    before Browns
    arrived but they were the first people to settle here. there is
    a book "Jack
    and Nellie Brown" by Mary J. Barry

    GR

  12. #12
    Gary Reeves's Avatar
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    and a tad more

    Mary J. Barry, Jack and Nellie Brown: Pioneer Settlers of Anchorage, Alaska (Anchorage: MJP Barry, 2000), 142 pp., paper, $25.00 plus postage, ISBN 0-9617009-7-1, order from Cook Inlet Book Company, 415 West Fifth Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501. Life stories of the first permanent residents of Anchorage, who arrived on their honeymoon in 1912 and stayed until their deaths six decades later.

    GR

  13. #13
    Gary Reeves's Avatar
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    I really llike to study old photos. Since a photograph was an unusual and organized event back then, the subjects put on their best.

    Note in Christina's photo how crisp Jack is, and even the haircut indicates a lot of planning went into this photograph.

    GR

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