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The following information is part of a book called ALASKA's HISTORIC ROADHOUSES,  a 1974 publication (pages 40-49) by the Office of Statewide Cultural Programs, Alaska Division of Parks, Department of Natural Resources. Many thanks go to its principal investigator: Michael E. Smith for making this information available.


EARLY IDITAROD TRAIL ROADHOUSES

By order of the Alaska Road Commission, the Iditarod trail was surveyed and blazed by W. L. Goodwin with a crew of nine men and six teams of seven dogs each.  After a voyage from Seattle, they left Nome on November 9, 1910 arriving at Seward on February 25, 1911. The men who established the trail received $3.50 a day out of which they paid 50¢ a day for food, the same rates for workers on the Richardson Road.  This trail was most heavily used during the winter, with the mail, medical supplies and other goods delivered by dog sled. The first mail contract over the Iditarod Trail was awarded to Colonel H. E. Revelle of Seward in 1914.

Besides surveying and blazing the 958 mile trail, Goodwin was also charged with locating sites for roadhouses. A log of distances was kept, measured by attached cyclometers to the sides of the sleds. As most of the distance, about 180 miles, from Susitna Station to Seward was over the right-of-way of the Alaska Northern Railway, where roadhouses averaged about 12 miles apart, part of Goodwin's orders were already fulfilled. Thus roadhouses listed along the Iditarod Trail are those from Knik to Nome. With the completion of the Alaska Railroad in 1923, Nenana became the departure point for travelers heading for Iditarod and Nome. The Iditarod Trail consequently fell into disuse.




STARTING AT KNIK, ALASKA

KNIK ROADHOUSE       6
1°  
27'  29" N       149°   43'   41" W
Opened in 1909 by Frank Cannon, closed when Knik became a ghost town when the railroad opened up Wasilla in 1917. The building is one of only two original Knik Townsite buildings left (it houses the Knik Museum).  Source: National Register of Historic Places.

LITTLE SUSITNA ROADHOUSE    61°  28' N    150° 9' W
(Fourteen miles from Knik)
No information available, but it is mentioned in several first hand accounts of travel in this area. Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

SUSITNA ROADHOUSE 61°   32'   40"  N    150°   30'   45" W  Fourteen miles from Little Susitna RH
Mrs. W. A. Johnson was proprietor as early as 1913.
Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

SUSITNA STATION: 61°   32' 47.48" N      150°   29'   40.88" W

Located at a prominent point on the east side of the Susitna River, due sough of Leech Lake (on west side of river), approximately 1½ miles below the confluence of the Yentna River. Longitude, latitude and description provided by Kevin Keeler  Iditarod National Historic Trail Administrator

ALEXANDER's ROADHOUSE (exact location not known) Half way between Susitna and Lakeview Roadhouse
Most likely abandoned pre-1925, appears on American Geographic Society maps in 1923.

LAKEVIEW ROADHOUSE  (exact location not known) 20 miles from Susitna Roadhouse
20 miles from Susitna Roadhouse  William Keller proprietor in 1917. Source Rand-McNally 1922.

OLD SKWENTNA ROADHOUSE  61°  52'  50"  N   151°  20'  45"  W   Twenty miles from Lakeview RH
West bank of the Skwentna River. Built about 1915, built to serve miners who traveled the winter trail from Susitna River to the Innoko and Iditarod region. Also known as the Skwentna Crossing Roadhouse. McElroy and Rimer owned the roadhouse in 1917.
Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBER's ROADHOUSE  21 miles from the Old Skwentna Roadhouse
Also known as the Halfway Roadhouse. Owned by McElroy and Rimer in 1917, Burt Goodpasture manager. Victor "Spaghetti" Crison ws the manager in 1919.
Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

HAPPY RIVER ROADHOUSE  61°  59' N   152°  21'  W  22 miles from the Mountain Climbers Roadhouse
Lee and Grace Ellexson (pioneers of Knik) owned the roadhouse in 1917.
Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

PASS CREEK ROADHOUSE  (exact location not known) Near Rainy Pass
Original roadhouse was 2 story log building, with one story log addition. Source: Irving Reed Alaska Sportsman 1965.

RAINY PASS ROADHOUSE (exact location not known) Thirty miles from Happy River Roadhouse
Claus Anderson owned roadhouse in 1917. He could see down the trail three or four miles and always had hot tea and biscuits when travelers arrived. Source: Rand McNally 1922.

ROHN ROADHOUSE  62°  18' N    153° 22' W on Rohn River  28 miles from Rainy Pass Roadhouse
Owned by the Richard's brothers in 1917, abandoned pre-1949.
Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

PIONEER ROADHOUSE  62° 32' N  153°  37'   Sixteen miles from Rohn River Roadhouse
Also known as the Farewell Mountain Roadhouse in 1949. In 1917 it was operated by French Joe.
Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

MORGAN's ROADHOUSE  (exact location not known) Eleven miles from Pioneer Roadhouse
No other information available.
Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

PELUK ROADHOUSE (exact location not known) Nine miles from Morgan's Roadhouse
Info found in unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader

BEAR CREEK ROADHOUSE (exact location not known) Forty one miles from McGrath
Info found on  1922 Rand-McNally

SALMON RIVER ROADHOUSE  62° 53' N    154° 35' W  Twenty miles from Peluk Roadhouse on the Salmon River.  Frank Fox owner in 1917. Also referred to as Sullivan Roadhouse in some records.
Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

SALMON CREEK ROADHOUSE  (exact location not known) Thirty three miles from McGrath. Source Rand McNally 1922.

BIG RIVER ROADHOUSE 62°  59' N   154°  59' W  on the north bank of the  Kuskokwim River, 28 miles from Salmon River Roadhouse and 26 miles from McGrath.  Sherwood owner in 1917.
Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

SMITH's ROADHOUSE (exact location not known) About 8 miles east of McGrath. Source: Rand McNally 1922.

CLOUGH's ROADHOUSE (exact location not known) Thirteen miles from the Big River Roadhouse. Also known as the McGrath Roadhouse, maintained by Mr. and Mrs. Clough in 1917.
Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

BIG RIVER ROADHOUSE (exact location not known) 7½ miles south of Takotna. Source: Rand McNally 1922.

TAKOTNA ROADHOUSE   62°  59'  N    156°  04'   00"  W   Nineteen miles from McGrath Roadhouse.
Once operated by Jake Esselman.
Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

OPHIR ROADHOUSE   63°  10'  N   156°  31'  W   Twenty two miles from Takotna.  Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

BOXCAR ROADHOUSE  (exact location not known) Eight miles west of Ophir on the Innoko River. Source: Polk's Alaska-Yukon Gazetteer 1923.

SUMMIT ROADHOUSE (exact location not known) Twenty miles north west of Ophir. Source Polk's Alaska-Yukon Gazetteer 1923.

OLSON's ROADHOUSE  63°   21'  10"  N    157°  4'  10" W  Twenty three miles north west of Ophir; East bank of Tolstoi Creek.  Source: Donald J. Orth Dictionary of Alaska Place Names 1967.

RUBY CREEK ROADHOUSE  62°  25'  N   157°  41'  W  Mouth of Ruby Creek (on Bonanza Creek). Source: A. G. Madren  USGS Bulletin 140  1910.

COOPERS ROADHOUSE
 (exact location not known)  Thirty five miles NW of Ophir. Source: Polk's Alaska-Yukon Gazetteer 1923.

MADISON CREEK ROADHOUSE (exact location not known)  On Madison Creek near Dishkaket. Source: Polk's Alaska-Yukon Gazetteer 1923.

DETNA ROADHOUSE  (exact location not known) Eight miles NW of Madison Creek, near Dishkaket.
Source: Polk's
Alaska-Yukon Gazetteer 1923.

IQUIK ROADHOUSE   64°  02'  N    160°  55' W  About 11½ miles N by NW of Unalakleet.
Source: USGS 1909.

FOOTHILLS ROADHOUSE  64°  15;  N   161°  00' W  East end of Norton Sound.  
Source: USGS 1955.

SHAKTOLIK ROADHOUSE   64°   20'  N   161°  09' W
  Seventeen miles S by SW of the Bonanza Roadhouse.   Source:  USGS 1909

BONANZA ROADHOUSE  64°   30' N   160°  54' W  On right bank of the Ungalik River.  Source: USGS 1909.

ISAAC's ROADHOUSE  64°   46'  N    161°  40' W   Twenty six miles NW of Bonanza Roadhouse. Source: USGS 1909.

MOSES ROADHOUSE   64°  40'  n   162°  00' W  on Norton Bay at the mouth of the Kwiniuk River.
Seventeen miles from Isaac's Roadhouse. Source USGS 1909.

WALLA WALLA ROADHOUSE  64°  33'  N   162°  28'  W  on Norton Bay, eight miles SW of Elim and 59 miles east of Solomon.  Source: Donald J. Orth Dictionary of Alaska Place Names 1967.

PORTAGE ROADHOUSE  64°  29' N   162°  36' W  Mouth of Carson Creek on NW shore of Norton Bay; fifteen miles SW of Elim.  Source: Donald J. Orth  Dictionary of Alaska Place Names 1967.

TOPKOK ROADHOUSE  64°  34'  n    163°  57'  W  Mouth of Topkok River, north shore of Norton Sound; fifteen miles east of Solomon.  Source: Donald J. Orth Dictionary of Alaska Place Names 1967.

SAFETY ROADHOUSE  64°  25'  00"  N   164°  59'  30"  W   SE side of Cape Nome. Built in early 1920's; used by military during WWII.  Source: Bonnie Hand and Laurel Bland correspondence to Alaska Division of Parks  1972.

CAPE NOME ROADHOUSE  64°  26'  n    165°  03'  W   Fourteen miles East of Nome. Built in about 1900, in part, from logs hauled 70 miles from Council by horse. Reportedly the only roadhouse still standing that was used in the famous "Race to Nome" in 1924 during the diphtheria epidemic. Bonnie Hahn, of Nome is the owner (1972)  Source: Bonnie Hahn 1972 letter to Alaska Division of Parks.

SINUK ROADHOUSE  64°  30' N    165°   25'  W   Located in Nome.  Source: John Wallace  Alaska Sportsman 1939.


IDITAROD TRAIL LOOP


If a traveler on the Iditarod Trail intended to go to Nome via Flat or Iditarod, he turned south at McGrath, where the trail first reached Flat, then Iditarod, and thence  north to rejoin the main trail just northwest of Dishkaket. A  number of roadhouses were situated along this trail, the following list being in order of occurrence from McGrath to Dishkaket.

FRITZ's ROADHOUSE (exact location not known) Thirty four miles from Ophir. This roadhouse may not be on the main trail from McGrath as surveyed by Goodwin. Owner was "Big Fritz" in 1917.
Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

HALFWAY ROADHOUSE (exact location not known) Twenty nine miles from Fritz's Roadhouse. Operated by Shermier in 1917. Mail robbery occurred here while he owned it.
Source: Unpublished manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

LINCOLN CREEK ROADHOUSE  62°  43'  N   156°   48'  W   on Fourth of July Creek at the mouth of Lincoln Creek.  Source: A.G. Madren USGS Bulletin 1910.

MOORE CREEK ROADHOUSE  62°  36'  00"  N   157°  09'  10"  W   Thirty miles E of Iditarod and 49 miles SW of Ophir, on Moore Creek.  Source:  Polk's Alaska-Yukon Gazetteer 1923.

FLAT ROADHOUSE  62°   27'  30"  N    158°  00'   30"  W  Eight miles from Iditarod, owned by George Mutchler 1917.
Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

IDITAROD ROADHOUSE  62°  32'  40"  N   158°  05'   30"  W   in Iditarod. George Adams proprietor in 1917.
Source: Unpublished  manuscript by Charles Lee Cadwallader.

HALFWAY HOUSE  62°  45'  N   157°   58'  W  Half way between Iditarod and Dikeman on the Iditarod River.  Source: Carl Rogers Alaska Sportsman 1964.

NATAMUTE ROADHOUSE (exact location not known) Trading post on the trail near Iditarod. Source: Polk's Alaska-Yukon Gazetteer 1923.




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