These photographs of women in Alaska’s history tell a remarkable story.
They tell many remarkable stories. They tell of women driving trucks, hoeing gardens,
tending the sick, mushing dog teams, catching a moment’s rest, socializing
with friends, skinning reindeer, exploring a remote land, wearing the latest fashions.
In short, these women are doing things commonly associated with their gender roles
but they are also often crossing those barriers.
Kiana, November 1939. This portrait of Nellie Atoruk standing in
front of her cabin and cache hints at winter life in northern Alaska.
[Alice Wran Photograph Album, HMC-0617]
Kenai Lake, ca. 1941-1945. “Alaska Nellie” Lawing poses for a
portrait in the door of her cabin next to a few of her hunting trophies. A legend
in Southcentral Alaska, Nellie came to Alaska alone at the age of 42 in 1915 and
was the first woman to get a roadhouse contract from the railroad.
[Arthur O. Trosvik papers, HMC-0503]