Alaska Old Map
Alaska, USA

Vitus Bering, a Dane working for the Russians, and Alexei Chirikov discovered the Alaskan mainland and the Aleutian Islands in 1741. The tremendous land mass of Alaska—equal to one-fifth of the continental U.S.—was unexplored in 1867 when Secretary of State William Seward arranged for its purchase from the Russians for $7,200,000. The transfer of the territory took place on Oct. 18, 1867. Despite a price of about two cents an acre, the purchase was widely ridiculed as “Seward's Folly.”
  • But the History of Alaska dates back to the Upper Paleolithic Period (around 12,000 BC), when Asiatic groups crossed the Bering Land Bridge into what is now western Alaska. At the time of European contact by the Russian explorers, the area was populated by Alaska Native groups. The name "Alaska" derives from the Aleut word alaxsxaq, (an Archaic spelling being alyeska), meaning "mainland" (literally, "the object toward which the action of the sea is directed").
  • In the 1890s, gold rushes in Alaska and the nearby Yukon Territory brought thousands of miners and settlers to Alaska. Alaska was granted territorial status in 1912.
  • In 1942, three of the outer Aleutian Islands— Attu and Kiska —were occupied by the Japanese and their recovery for the U. S. became a matter of national pride. The construction of military bases contributed to the population growth of some Alaskan cities.
    Alaska was granted statehood on January 3, 1959.
  • In 1964, the massive "Good Friday Earthquake" killed 131 people and leveled several villages.
  • The 1968 discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay and the 1977 completion of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline led to an oil boom. In 1989, the Exxon Valdez hit a reef in the Prince William Sound, spilling between 11 and 35 million US gallons (42,000 and 130,000 mł) of crude oil over 1,100 miles (1,600 km) of coastline. Today, the battle between philosophies of development and conservation is seen in the contentious debate over oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Map Juneau

    Juneau, Alaska, USA
  • Long before European settlement in the Americas, the Gastineau Channel was a favorite fishing ground for local Tlingit Indians, known then as the Auke and Taku tribes, who had inhabited the surrounding area for thousands of years. The native cultures are rich with artistic traditions including carving, weaving, orating, singing and dancing, and Juneau has become a major social center for the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian of Southeast Alaska.
  • In 1880, Sitka mining engineer George Pilz offered a reward to any local chief who could lead him to gold-bearing ore. Chief Kowee arrived with some ore and several prospectors were sent to investigate. On their first trip, to Gold Creek, they found deposits of little interest. However, at Chief Kowee's urging Pilz sent Joe Juneau and Richard Harris back to the Gastineau Channel, directing them to Snow Slide Gulch (the head of Gold Creek) where they found nuggets "as large as peas and beans," in Harris' words. On October 18, 1880, the two men marked a 160-acre (0.65 km2) town site where soon a mining camp appeared. Within a year, the camp became a small town, the first to be founded after Alaska's purchase by the United States.
  • The town was originally called Harrisburg, after Richard Harris; some time later, its name was changed to Rockwell. In 1881, the miners met and renamed the town Juneau, after Joe Juneau.
  • In 1906, after the diminution of the whaling and fur trade, Sitka, the original capital of Alaska, declined in importance and the seat of government was moved to Juneau. When loose gold in the stream beds ran out, hard-rock mining began. Four Treadwell mines were in heavy production in 1917 when a broken water flume caused a mudslide, flooding three of them. In 1921 the Alaska-Gastineau Mill folded from high production costs, and WWII closed the Alaska-Juneau Mill.
  • Juneau was the largest city in Alaska during the inter-war years, passing Fairbanks in the 1920 census and displaced by Anchorage in 1950.

    HAFFNER Family - Juneau
    - Andrew Haffner and Blanche had many sons and daughters
    - brothers (all of Juneau):
  • Edward Kenneth Haffner - Juneau was born Nov. 30, 1926, in Tacoma, Wash. In 1935 he moved from Shelton, Wash., to Juneau, where he helped his family with its mink farm in the Valley. He attended St. Ann's Catholic School and Juneau schools.
    He served in the Army from 1945 to 1948. He was a commercial fisherman, mechanic, prospector, trapper, and retired international Union Operating Engineer of Local 302.
    He married Joan Mielke in 1971 and they were happily married for 20 years. They loved fishing on their boat, the Mint, gambling in Nevada, and spending time with their grandchildren.
    Edward Kenneth Haffner died Dec. 16, 2002, surrounded by family at his home. He is preceded in death by his wife Joan, stepdaughter Nedria. He is survived by stepsons Max, Steve (Lisa), and Roy Mielke of Juneau, Bruce Mielke of Sitka, and stepdaughter Nadine (Al) Culbreath of Juneau
  • Duane (Jewel) was born in Canada; he and his eight family members moved to Tacoma, Wash., when he "was about 24 inches long." Haffner's father came to Juneau to look for work during the Depression; his family, including 12-year-old Haffner, joined him in 1935. At the time, the Alaska-Juneau gold mine was "running all the way around the clock." Haffner said. "It was fun."
    Haffner worked in a sawmill and as a pile driver before beginning his sharpening business in 1970. At the time, he was also working with Alaska Electric Light & Power Co.; he retired in 1985. "I got into it before I retired so I'd be established by the time I retired, but I started 15 years too soon" Haffner said.
    Haffner is married to Jewel; he had 2 adult children, Cathy Hildre (died 2006) and Richard "Rick" Haffner, with Gene, his late wife of 43 years.
  • Herman was born on Nov. 12, 1929. Another name for Herman is Mick. "Marge" Marjorie Jo Ann Hamm was born on August 8, 1933 in Corvallis, Benton, Oregon, USA. Marjorie married Herman Andrew Haffner on December 27, 1958 in Philomath, Benton, Oregon, USA.
    He and his wife Marjorie celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Dec. 27, 2008. They have 6 daughters and 1 son and have 14 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
  • Robert was born January 19, 1932 and came to Alaska with his family from Shelton, Washington when he was just 3 years old. Robert (+Judy Trambitas) with their sons Ronald, Jack and daughters Laurie Helfinstine, Heidi Haffner.
  • Benjamin "Bobbie" was born in March 1934 and he had 2 daughters and 3 sons (one birth was a set of twin boys) by his first wife Elizabeth Donohue, and they divorced after 27 years. He married his 2nd wife Roberta shortly after. They had no children and are now estranged.
    - sisters:
  • Irene had several husbands and only 1 son (Jimmy)
  • Verenice Eleanora Kirchhofer of Juneau was born May 6, 1922, in Canada, to Andrew and Blanche Haffner. She arrived in Juneau by steamship when she was 12 with her mother and seven siblings. They met up with her father, who had moved up a year before. She graduated from Juneau High School in 1941. She married Everett Kirchhofer (1946). She was a housewife and a mother. Her family said she enjoyed gardening in the summer, jigsaw puzzles in the winter and spending time with her family and friends. She enjoyed going to the Valley Senior Center for exercise classes and the Sourdough Gems Social Club.
    She died April 18, 2004, in Juneau. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, who died in Juneau in 1991. She is survived by her daughters, Dorothy (Ken) Krieger and Doris Kirchhofer, both of Juneau; and grandson, Kurt Krieger of Juneau.
  • Florence (Mark) Floreske of Ashdown, Ark. Florence was born in 1928 and married to Mark. They had one son and one daughter.

    Ronald Haffner

  • Ronald Haffner has donated four ancient stone objects to Sealaska Heritage Institute, marking one of the most significant donations of cultural items received by the nonprofit in recent years.
    The pieces donated by Ronald Haffner include a maul, a bowl, what appears to be a grinder and an object shaped like a seal head. The items were dug at Auke Bay by Haffner's great grandmother, Dora Spaulding, likely in the 1930s, said Haffner.
    The pieces reveal the artistic talent of indigenous people thousands of years ago, said SHI President Rosita Worl, who thanked Haffner, calling the donation generous.
    "The objects are utilitarian objects, but one piece in particular, the seal head, is finely and intricately carved, and it reflects the artistic achievement of Tlingit people prior to the arrival of Europeans" said Worl.
    "I'm glad we can finally put them out there and give them back to the Native community so everyone can see and enjoy them and learn about them." said Haffner, who is part Tlingit and Haida.
    The stone seal head is the most unusual of the collection. Its function is unknown, but it is decoratively carved with the face of a seal and grooves that suggest it was once attached to a staff or other item. It appears to be a piece that was ornamental or of ceremonial use. The carver spent a lot of time on the piece, suggesting its function was important.
    Mauls historically were used by Native people as a type of sledge hammer. The maul donated to SHI is significant because it was carved as a zoomorphic head and painted, and some traces of ancient red paint remain. The specific function of grinders is unclear to scholars, but the object donated to SHI shows use from hammering while another side is worn flat from grinding.
    It's also unclear why the objects were buried at Auke Bay, the ancestral homeland of the Tlingit cak'w Kwáan. Haffner's great, great grandmother was a Tlingit born at Auke Bay. She married Wes Waydelich, who moved here in the late 1800s and founded Juneau's first commercial farm. The farm was at Auke Bay, back then a remote area with no road.
    Their daughter, Dora Spaulding, might have unearthed the objects while digging at or near her family's farm. Spaulding eventually gave the collection to her daughter, Edith Trambitas, who treasured it for 50 years before giving it to Haffner.
    Ronald Haffner made the donation to SHI in memory of Trambitas, who passed away in November 2006.
    SHI will care for the objects, and eventually exhibit the collection at Sealaska Plaza, Worl said. "We know that future generations are going to welcome seeing things made by their ancestors, and clearly these are objects made by grandparents of the cak'w Kwáan" she said.

  • Juneau, Alaska, USA

  • Juneau, Alaska, USA
  • Duane Haffner
    Juneau, Alaska, USA
  • Duane Haffner
  • Robert HAFFNER, Judy TRAMBITAS
    30 August 1958 - Juneau, Alaska, USA
  • Robert Haffner & Judy Trambitas
  • Judy HAFFNER , Robert HAFFNER
    30 August 2008 - Juneau, Alaska, USA
  • Judy & Robert Haffner

    More pictures... click here!
    Juneau 1900-1930
    Juneau, Alaska - 1909 Juneau, Alaska - 1930 Juneau, Alaska - Old Juneau

    Aerial,Gastineau Channel,Juneau,Alaska,1900-10s Coastal Waters of Juneau, Alaska, 1898 Face of Taku Glacier From The Water, Juneau, Alaska, 1910-30s

    Old Witch Totem and Nugget shop, Juneau, Alaska, 1930-40s Fur & Indian Basket store,Juneau,Alaska, 1930-40s

    Street (dirt) on Ocean Front, Juneau City, Alaska, 1890s OldChurch, Juneau Ice-Covered S.S. NORTHWESTERN, Juneau,Alaska,1916

    Ice Covered Steamer Ship Northwestern,Alaska,1900-10s Oceanliner SS NORTHWESTERN, after storm, Alaska, 1916 Steamer Northwestern Covered In Ice,Juneau,Alaska,1900-10s
    Juneau 1930-1950
    Aerial View Of Juneau, Alaska, 1930-50s Clipper Flies High Over Juneau, Alaska, 1950 Evening, Juneau, Alaska, 1930-40s

    Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska. ca. 1950. Schallerers, Mountain View, Juneau, AK, 1938 Taku Glacier, Juneau, Alaska 1939

    Waterfront, Juneau Alaska, 1940s Waterfront, Juneau, Alaska-1953 Old Russian Church

    Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska. ca. 1950. Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska. ca. 1950. A fish trap operation in Southeast Alaska. ca. 1950
    Juneau 1970s
    Juneau, Alaska, Airport, 1970s Eskimo Children, Mt. Juneau, Alaska-1979 Old Russian Church 1940-60s