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Iditarod Trail Shelter Cabins, Seward to Nome, Seward, Kenai Peninsula Borough, AK



Data Pages


Drawings


Item Title


Location
Seward to Nome, Seward, AK

Find maps of Seward, AK


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS AK-5
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-4).
Part of building/structure is in Nome, Nome Census Area, AK.
Significance: The Iditarod Trail consisted of a 938 mile main trail and numerous branch or connecting trails for a total of some 2264 miles. The main trail connected the ice-free port of Seward with the mining and trade center of Nome, an ice-locked port from October to June. The branch or connecting trails tapped three major Alaskan mining regions -- the Cook Inlet Country, the Inland Empire (between Iditarod and Ruby), and the Seward Peninsula. Between 1908, when the U.S. Army's Alaska Road Commission blazed the main trail, and the 1930's, the Iditarod Trail served as one of the three main cross-Alaska land routes. Used primarily during the winter, travelers crossed the trail by dogsled, snowshoe, and, in a few segments, bobsled. Roadhouses and shelter cabins were built approximately every twenty miles, a convenient day's journey apart, and served the mushers between settlements. Skwentna Crossing, Rhon River, and Portage are three representative shelter cabins. The decline of mining after World War I and the introduction of the airplane for mail and freight service caused the decrease of trail use. Today, trappers, hunters, natives, and dogsledders continue to use portions of the trail.

Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

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