• If You Are Having Trouble Logging In with Your Old Username and Password, Please use this Forgot Your Password link to get re-established.
  • Hey! Be sure to login or register!

How Dahl Creek became a town in 1967 instead of just airport


Mission, TX
In the early days in the bush, most airline management personnel and pilots for Wien (and selected others) received their regular mail via a Wien company mail bag. Sometimes company mail bags were even addressed to aircraft. The address used was the company address in Fairbanks where the mail clerk would stuff our personal mail into the good old bright red bags which were on every flight. Worked great actually.

When I was reassigned to our Dahl Creek operation from Umiat, we had lots of US mail as well as cargo and passengers that we brought in on medium twins such as the F-27s,
DC-3s and C-46s. From there, I would load that volume onto smaller aircraft such as Beavers, Porters and my C-185 to deliver around my area. Kind of like a mini hub only in the 60s but our airline was built on that system and Alaska still works the same way.

Once I was established, I thought it would be a good idea for me to visit the postmaster (at that time, a postmistress) at Kotzebue just to say Hi. Finally the subject came up from her about how did I get my personal US mail. Told her through our company mail system out of Fairbanks. After a period of time, I got a hand carried note from the pilot telling me she had received authorization to dispatch a mail bag on every flight just to Dahl Creek which actually meant just to my family. At that point Dahl Creek became a recognized US mail devilry site and all maps had to show it. My address suddenly became pouch Dahl Creek, Kotzebue, Alaska. So, in 1967, Dahl Creek was shown as a town on every new map in the world and the only people living there were myself, my wife and our three kids and cat of course but he didn't get much mail other than packages of catnap. Ah, progress is our most important product some say.

An added comment or two:
I became the mayor, town council, public utilities manager, commissioner of water and sewer, supervisor of power distribution and maintenance eng, official weather observer, airport manager, airport maintenance supervisor, airport equipment supervisor and mechanic, snow removal supervisor and equipment operator, chamber of commerce manager, town PR spokesman, town animal control officer, unofficial post master, zoning commissioner, and in the private sector, major building contractor, electrician, plumber, carpenter, vehicle mechanic including maintenance on Cat crawler equipment and road graders, grocery store manager, meat cutter, non paid baby sitter (I collected late at night), firewood cutter and delivery, recreational director, tour director, gold panner, jade cutter and with the help of the local chief of police, the chef for special parties, recreation director and most important of all, the only on site medically trained medical representative. I was very well trained thanks to a doctor in Barrow, Alaska who took his personal time to train me and who also set me up with a well stocked mini pharmacy to use as directed via short wave radio. He even taught me how to do minor surgery (he furnished the equipment) and child delivery since my wife was 6 months along.
I will admit that my wonderful wife retained the honor of locally elected chief of police. (check and balance?) Vote was 4 to one but who was counting. Not bad turnout since there were only 5 of us living at Dahl Creek at the time.
In other words, my wife and I actually did everything that is required to sustain a normal town. No taxes, the money came from my airline. Working 24 hours per day in all jobs was nothing unusual at all. On one snowfall, I worked constant for over 36 hours to keep the airport open. This is not the same grader I used but same model. Notice the small size.