Historic Hall is an Alaska History museum that recently opened in the downtownarea of Fairbanks, at 825 1st Ave in the old Rebekah Lodge building. According to Terrence Cole, who works at the University of Alaska Office of Public History,and is quoted in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, "There's nobody who has a collection of Alaska ephemera like this, I'm sure, anywhere else (May 13, 2007, p.E1)." The museum is free and open to the public every afternoon through September.
It's Junk Edit
Candy Waugaman, museum "curator" has had a long-standing fascination with Alaska memorabilia. She said, "People have asked me what ephemera is, and I tell them it's stuff people throw away. It's junk." Waugamans collection has become substantial enough to deserve a public home, and that's what she has given it. She bought the historic building that houses it now, to prevent developers from tearing it down, and she's moved a portion of her treasure trove into the premises.
Elementary School Visits Edit
The museum opened it's doors to elementary school visitors this past week, and was an instant hit with my group of fourth-graders from Denali Elementary School. The students had plenty to talk about on returning to the classroom. These are a few things they had to say:
Our class went to the History Hall and I like the maps of Alaska.
At the Historic Hall I found a old map of Alaska. It was made of wood. I don't know what land. I thought it was cool because it only had a few things on it. That that many people knew what Alaska looked like then, or what the names of places were.
There was a trap in the room. It was Trapper John's. He was hunting from a cabin where bears came. After hunting, on his way home, he forgot where his trap was, and he stepped in it. He couldn't pull his foot out, so he took a knife and cut it off. Then he hitched up a dog team and rode one-legged to Faibanks for treatment.
At Historic Hall there was a story. It told about a man he had a cabin and bears would always come around so he put a trap out. He forgot wherre his trap was and he stepped in his won trap. It was too hard to get off, so he grabbed a knife and cut off his leg. Then he traveled 55 miles to get to Fairbanks.
Today we went to the Historic Hall Museum. when we arived there there was a bunch of History on the walls. I liked looking at a medicine bottle with the name on it called "Nome, Alaska." I studied it for a while and found that it was the same bottle that that dog named Balto brang because he was the one delivering the medicine to Nome because kids were sick.
This is about the cigar boxes. there were tons of brands.and only 5 cents each.that seems like nothing today, but that's a lot back then. If you travel back in tiem with 10 dollars, you wold be a millionaire. That's all I know.
The thing that caught my eye was the smoking boxes. May favorite box was beige with a shut lid and a red and black top.
Our field trip to the Historic Hall was about history. I thought that the old time ice cream was cool. There was sliced ice cream and ice cream that was a kind of soda in yummy flavors. Like cherry, chocolate, and orange.
I was learning about one of the bottles. The bottle I was looking at is called "Pepsi Cola." It was about 7 inches tall. It was a clear glass bottle.
People drew on moose skin with fire. I don't know how but it was cool. It had a lot of detail. I thought they drew it with lead but it wasn't. One was a moose in the snow by a house. The other was a husky sitting on the porch of a house.
When we were at Historic Hall, there was a thing that you look in and it shows slide shows. Without that, the house was big. I also got to see a foot with a bone and his name was John.
I remember a picture that had the old Fairbanks. Well, if you looked at the hills in the picture, there is no houses up there.
I really liked the milk jars and the thing I liked about the milk jars was that it was from Creamer's Field. Creamer's Field was a dairy farm but hnow it is a bird's sanctuary where people look at the birds.
This was a fascinating place to learn about our local history. Candy Waugaman has a story to tell about each of the hundreds of things that she has on display there. Bring a camera, and plan on spending some time poking through her junk.