J. B. "GEORGIA" HARPER. Photograph Album and Papers; n.d., 1944-1945. .25 cu. ft.
J. B. "Georgia" Harper was an asphalt technician with Baker Engineers, a surveying and engineering design firm founded by Michael Baker, Jr., in 1940. The firm is currently known as Michael Baker Corporation. The firm completed many military engineering contracts in Alaska and elsewhere during World War II. In 1944 to 1945, the firm was under contract with the United States Army to construct a runway at Galena Army Air Base. The airbase at Galena, also known as Station 8, was a refueling stop for aircraft on Alaska Defense Command and Lend-Lease missions.
The collection consists of J. B. "Georgia" Harper's photograph album and related papers concerning the construction of an aircraft runway at Galena Army Airbase during World War II. The collections contains: a xerographic copy of the original 28-page album; 209 original black and white photographs and 38 copy negatives; a certificate of Harper's membership in the Mystic and Auroral Order of Alaska Cheechakos (Aug. 23, 1944); Harper's visitor's certificate from the Tanana Lodge No. 162, Free and Accepted Masons, Fairbanks (Oct. 25, 1944); a poem entitled, "Guy McGee," about a Morrison-Knudsen project engineer; a poem entitled, "The Georgia Gobbler," about Harper by fellow Baker Engineers employees W. E. Sturgess and W. S. Peterson; a notice of classification for James Murray Baker, Jr., of Hopeville, Georgia, from the local selective service board (Oct. 31, 1945); two service cards from the Atlanta Motor Club made out to a J M Baker; and a Baker Engineers Alaska embroidered cloth patch (round, 4 inches in diameter, in red, white, blue, and brown). Subjects of the photographs include J. B. Harper and fellow Baker Engineers employees (Last names identified: Schaeffer, Bright, Glenn, Inman, Bennett, Knighton, McBride, Allison, O'Mallion, Warmington, Laucus, Chance, Chapman, Grogan, Smith, Underwood, and Walsh); the Bishop Mountain Trading Company (store and post office); the native cemetery with spirit houses; the construction camp mess hall, tent camp, and prefabricated wood buildings (exteriors and interiors); the steamboat Alice, a river barge, and riverside facilities and scenery on the Yukon River; surveying transits, bulldozers, a portable asphalt paving plant, and other equipment and machinery used in constructing the runway; bridges built over a creek bed; and Galena area people, buildings, and scenery.
The collection was acquired by the archives in 2002.