Anchorage Firsts

Do you know which newspaper was the first in Anchorage? Who hosted the first women's TV show on channel 2? All of this and more in this edition.

The year was 1915 and the first newspaper serving tent city was called the Cook Inlet Pioneer.

Some years later, the Cook Inlet Pioneer became the Anchorage Daily Times.


See a picture of the first Cook Inlet Pioneer “office” in Tent City right now.

Pioneer School House

Also in 1915

Jane Mears organized the Anchorage Women’s Club to establish a school for the children of the tent city railroad workers.

The Anchorage Pioneer School House is located at 437, 3rd Avenue in Anchorage.


You can learn more about the Anchorage Pioneer School House right now.

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Anchorage’s First Hockey Team

The Year was 1935

The outdoor rink's advertisers included The Frisco Cafe, Elkmann's Furniture and Piggly Wiggly Market.

Both Elkmanns and Piggly Wiggly were located in the Anchorage Commercial building at 4th avenue and H street.

Arctic Valley

It’s 1941

Arctic Valley is the oldest ski club in Southcentral Alaska.

The U.S. Army created the area in 1941.

The Anchorage Ski Club created the civilian side, “Alpenglow” at a later date and Alpenglow was later renamed Arctic Valley.

Have you ever skied there?


The following website has lots of great vintage photos.

Check out this fascinating look at the Alaska Lost Ski Areas Project right now.

Anchorage Pioneer Lorene Harrison

Many of our Northern Stars (members of Anchorage Memories VIP) know Lorene Harrison as the owner of The Hat Box, a downtown Anchorage store. Mary of Anchorage Memories purchased her wedding dress there.

But this lady was involved in so much more.

From 1954 to 1958, Lorene hosted a local women’s TV show (before Theda Comstock) on KFIA - TV channel 2, which later became KENI-TV, now KTUU.


Read more about Anchorage Pioneer Lorene Harrison right now.

It was the First Movie Shown Here

The Year Was 1947

Imagine being there as the curtains parted for the first time.

The very first movie to grace the screen at Anchorage’s beautiful 4th Avenue Theatre was…

What was the first movie you saw at the 4th Avenue Theatre?

Jody sent us this following our look at Anchorage Pioneer Nellie Brown.

“What an interesting story about Nellie Brown and Club 25!

My father, Joe Hart, was a liquor distributor in the 1950s and I remember Myrtle Stalnaker as the owner. I remember her, she was an elderly woman (probably in her 50s but that was old to me as a kid).

I really enjoy your writings about the early days of Anchorage.

Keep up the great work.” Jody

Pat Parnell Behind the Microphone

“Carpenters Hall is where I met Ron Moore. He sponsored weekend dances there. He gave me two names of places to be trained as a broadcaster, for which I am eternally thankful.  When he and Marsha moved from Alaska they came by our business to say good-by. I treasure their friendship.

I very much remember the 4th Avenue theatre. I saw “Bridge on the River Kwai” there. I was very glad when one of the Gottsteins bought it to preserve the building.

I also remember one time there was a "street dance" on 4th Avenue. I recall hearing “Kansas City” by Wilbur Harrison. (1960 maybe).” Pat

Did You Enjoy These Anchorage Firsts?

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Until Next Time

Mike and Mary