Justus Mekiana House, 3022 Main Street, Anaktuvuk Pass, North Slope Borough, AK
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3022 Main Street, Anaktuvuk Pass, AK
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Documentation compiled after 1933.
Survey number HABS AK-193
Significance: The only occupied house during the documentation period was Justus Mekiana's Log Cabin. The features of this site, as well as its utilitarian character, are representative of the historic period. Although dogs have been replaced by snow machines for winter transport, sleds are still used to increase carrying capacity. Pole drying racks for caribou hide are also found throughout the village, and are constructed in the traditional fashion. The wood yards were replaced with fuel oil in the early 1960's, when the local willow supply of wood was depleted. Yards are used for storage and work, and paths are still determined by the easiest route. The sod houses of Anaktuvuk have characteristics of both traditional Nunamiut winter dwellings and the log cabins of Western introduction. The houses typically have one room, with a gabled roof and an absence of openings on the north side, where the weather is most harsh. Several have vertical log walls nailed to a 7 or 9 spruce pole frame, with a "kinaq," or vent, towards the front of the house directly west of the ridgepole. Homer Mekiana's post office demonstrates this building type. These features are reminiscent of the "Ivrulik,' or winter house, which consisted of four spruce poles in a central square, surrounded by a ring of forked willow boughs supporting stringers. A skylight or smokehole was located over the central fireplace and the outer walls were of vertical willow supported by the stingers. Moss covered the entire exterior. Another structural system found in the Anaktuvuk houses, but derived from outside influence, was horizontal log walls joined at the corners with simple square laps, as shown in the Presbyterian Church.
Welsh, Amanda, Delineator
Galindo, Ivan, Delineator
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
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