As my MA program in American History and Museum Studies winds down, I’m pleased to say I have a fairly excellent summer job lined up. In late June I’ll be heading across the continent to help to set up a local history museum in Tenakee Springs, Alaska!
Tenakee Springs is a remote town off the road system, accessible only by sea plane or a six-hour ferry ride from Juneau. Approximately 100 people live there year-round, though in summer visitors are drawn by the natural hot springs, whale-watching possibilities, and scenic location.
Regarding the town’s history, here’s a quote from its web site:
At one point Tenakee was known as “Robbers Roost” stemming from bank robbers and other outlaw types reportedly hiding out here. The most notorious of these were members of the Soapy Smith gang who were said to have settled here after Smith’s death in 1899. Gambling and prostitution were part of the rowdy frontier town. There was no reliable law and order here in until 1917 when Deputy U.S. Marshall and a U.S. Commissioner began making regular visits.
My two-month position is funded by Alaska State Museums. I’ll be helping to transition the volunteer-run Tenakee Historical Collection into a small museum by cataloguing objects and documents, preparing for exhibits, and pitching in with anything else that needs to be done.
This will be my home in Tenakee — a cabin in the woods!
I’ll be blogging through the summer, so stay tuned!