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 m³) 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.

    Map Juneau

    Jack-Nicholas Trambitas Family - Juneau
  • Valerian-Visarion Trambitas (Jimmy Darcy) had two sons with his wife Elizabeth: Jack-Nicholas (1919) and Valeri-Vincent (Larry, 1921). Valerian and Elisabeth later divorced and he raised the boys when he and his wife got seperated. Both of their sons settled in the Juneau, Alaska. It is believed that both sons boxed and had professional careers, possibly with their uncle Alex Trambitas in Los Angeles.
  • On June 10, 1938, Jack Trambitas arrived at Juneau, Alaska from Portland, Oregon, at age 18, traveling steerage on the North Star. His fare was $25 for the trip from Seattle to Juneau.
    On July 3, 1939, he married Edith "Edie" Spaulding.
    Jack worked in the Alaska Juneau Mine in the late 1930s and '40s, first as a nipper, running an electric train that run through mine tunnels ,delivering supplies into the mine by trolley. He also worked as a bulldozer, one of the most dangerous jobs in the mine. He stood on steel beams and pushed and blasted the ore so it fit into the 30-inch ore chutes.
    "A rock would flip and a bar would hit the guy and he would go down the ore way" Trambitas said. "And if you go down the ore way, it's sayonara". The pay was $5.65 a day.
    (Juneau-Douglas City Museum)
  • For Jack Trambitas, veteran status was a family thing. His uncle, Floyd Kennedy, fought in Germany in World War I. And both Jack Trambitas and his brother, Larry Trambitas, received their World War II draft notices in June 1944.
    After completing training in the Aleutians and Mississippi, Jack, then 23, and Larry, then 21, boarded a boat for India in May 1945. They each left behind a wife; each also left behind a 3-year-old daughter. Upon their arrival in Calcutta, the brothers parted company. "They didn't believe in brothers serving together anymore," he said, referring to a new military policy that mandated the separation of relatives. "If one vessel went down, then brothers or relatives wouldn't go down with the ship all at the same time. At least they'd have one or two that would go home."
    As Larry stayed in India, Jack continued to Burma, where he helped construct supply roads. He drove trucks and lived in fear of robbers who often invaded the military camp during the night.
  • Jack Trambitas continued his tour after the allies declared victory, he said, as troops continued to construct roads and ensure peace in the region.
  • In 1946, Jack Trambitas returned to Juneau. After the war, he worked for the Bureau of Public Roads as a grader and truck operator. He went on to become foreman. When Alaska became a state, he went to work at the airport during the winters and went commercial fishing during the summers, until he retired in 1984
  • In addition to being a commercial fisherman for 25 years and holding several other jobs, Jack Trambitas twice served as post commander of the American Legion and post commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Juneau. He has been a member of the Defense Force and was discharged as a warrant officer. Among VFW and American Legion certificates, a black-and-white photo of Trambitas hangs in his living room. He is perched on an Army jeep in an Indian village, in uniform and wearing his steel helmet and a wide grin. A thatch-roofed hut is in the background.
  • As with every Memorial Day, Jack Trambitas planned to attend the local services. "He's very military," said his wife, Edie. "He never missed a Memorial Day or Flag Day. He's always waving the flag."

    Jack-Nicholas and Edith had one daughter, Judy married Robert "Swede" Haffner and they had four children.
    Jack and Edith lived at Auke Lake in the same home they built in 1940. They raised beautiful flowers in their yard all summer long, and during the Christmas season, it eas decorated like a fairy land. Family members said, "Their home was always filled with friends and family, stopping in for a cup of coffee and to enjoy her wonderful cooking."

    Wes Waydelich

    Edith "Edie" Spaulding Family (Waydelich/Spaulding) - Juneau
  • Wes Waydelich came to Auke Bay in 1892, and had 118 acre homestead; Waydelich Creek runs through his property.
    Wes was the first white man to settle in Auke Bay, and he was also the first president of the Pioneers of Alaska. He was a graduade of Yale University, but the gold bug bit him and he came to alaska to seek his fortune mining for gold. brfore setting in Auke Bay he mined along the Stikine River.
  • Wes raised vegetables and fruit on his Auke Bay homestead. He loaded his produce into his small boat and rowed them over the bar to sell in Juneau. He had a few mining claims around Auke Bay, but he never got rich from them!
  • His wife 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.
  • Wes Waydelich's only daughter Dora married Victor Spaulding, who was a miner. Victor had the gold fever bad, too. He went up the Chilkoot Trail to Atlin and mined there before coming to Auke Bay. He had mining claims on Treasure Hills where Spaulding Meadows is today. The children were John Spaulding, Edith Spaulding and William Spaulding.
    Wes Waydelich Victor and Dora operated the vegetable farm for many years. When the road came to Auke Bay, the storekeepers drove out to their farm in their cars and picked up the produce. Sometimes in the winter when the road hadn't been plowed, Victor had to row his children across Auke Bay to Fritz Cove Road so they could catch the school bus. On the bus the kids sat on wooden egg crates because there were no seats.
  • "Edie" Trambitas, 88, died Nov. 4, 2006, at Bartlett Regional Hospital after a short illness. She was a lifetime member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 25 in Auke Bay, an assistant 4-H leader and a member of the Sourdough Gem Society.
  • For many years she had a day care in her home and was known affectionately as "Nan" by many. Her family said she enjoyed gardening, cooking and cake decorating, and was a avid reader. She also enjoyed picnics and potlucks and taking trips with her husband, until his death in 2004. She had a devoted toy poodle, Sugar, said family members.
    She was proceeded in death by her husband Jack Trambitas, mother, father, and brothers, John and William (Bill) Spaulding.
  • Jack, Judy, Edith Trambitas
    Juneau, Alaska, USA
  • Jack, Judy, Edith Trambitas
  • Jack-Nicholas, Edith Trambitas
    Juneau, Alaska, USA
  • Jack-Nicholas, Edith Trambitas
  • Jack-Nicholas
    Juneau, Alaska, USA
  • Jack-Nicholas Trambitas
  • Edith Spaulding
    1938 - Juneau, Alaska, USA
  • Edith Spaulding
  • Edith Spaulding
    Juneau, Alaska, USA
  • Edith Spaulding
  • Edith Trambitas, Dora Spaulding,
    Judy Trambitas Haffner
    Juneau, Alaska, USA
  • Edith Trambitas, Dora Spaulding, Judy Trambitas Haffner

    More pictures... click here!
    Juneau 1900-1930
    Juneau, Alaska - 1909 Juneau, Alaska - 1930 Juneau, Alaska - Old Juneau 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
    Jack-Nicholas TRAMBITAS Family
    Jack-Nicholas TRAMBITAS Family