Historical commerce items now at the Rasmusson Library

by Sophie Evan on November 28, 2012

Alaska’s largest and oldest rural retailer, the Alaska Commercial Company, donated historical items to what are described as pure gold. The University of Alaska Fairbanks Rasmusson Library received the items in a transfer ceremony held on Monday, November 26th in Anchorage.

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The AC store company donated a new collection of artifacts from the port of Saint Michael and the Yukon River villages. The items include five boxes of ledgers, records, charts, maps, and photographs. They also contain the arrival and departures of ships, names of ivory carvers, and pictures of a pre-World War One Alaska. The earliest known shipping invoice for pilot bread was also on display.

A widow of a former company President repatriated the items.

AC started doing business in Alaska in eighteen-sixty-eight (1868), the year the first European traders began bartering with Alaska Natives. A-C is best known for their exclusive twenty (20) year fur seal contract out in the Pribiloffs.

At the height of A-C’s operations, more than forty (40) trading stations were in business from Dawson City, Kenai and Attu. Today, the A-C Value Center family of stores dominate rural Alaska as the largest retailer in the State. Dennis Moser, head of the Polar Regions collections and archives, says the new items will help researchers, scholars, and those searching for genealogical records.

Sophie Evan KYUK news.

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