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

    Valeri-Vincent 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.
  • Valeri-Vincent was born June 22, 1921, to Valerian and Elizabeth Trambitas (Kennedy) in Portland, Oregon. He came to Juneau as a boy with his family in 1935. His first job was selling newspapers for the Juneau Empire. During the depression years he also worked as a professional boxer and as a laborer in the Alaska Juneau Gold Mine.
  • He joined the Army before World War II and served with honor. After his discharge he returned to Juneau and worked as a mate on a boat. When World War II erupted he rejoined the Army, serving in the Aleutians and that part of India that is now Pakistan. He was assigned to the force scheduled for the invasion of Japan when the war ended.
  • After the war he fished commercially, saving to invest in a business. He went on to own and operate several movie theaters. He eventually left the theater business and returned to a career in fishing, and fished commercially out of Juneau aboard his vessel The Ivory Gull.
  • His family wrote that he never lost his love for Alaska, that he always had a twinkle in his eye, was ready with a quick joke and had a heart of gold. He was a lifetime member of the Juneau chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and The Elks Club, and the service organizations Variety Club International, People Helping People and The City of Hope.
  • He was married several times: Crystal, Nelda-"Terry" Olson, Clyde Heint Heffner (1952), Vesta-Sylvia Nashman (1962).
  • Longtime former Juneau resident Valeri-Vincent "Larry" Trambitas died Dec. 30, 2000, at his home in Rancho Mirage, California. He was 79.
    He was survived by his wife Vesta-Sylvia (died 2005), his brother Jack-Nicholas (died 2002), daughter Galene Axelson of Oregon, son Larry of Washington State, stepson C.R. "Bud" Marsh of California, and stepdaughter Kathleen Voorhees of Washington, nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

  • Juneau, Alaska, USA

  • Juneau, Alaska, USA

  • Juneau, Alaska, USA

  • 1938 - Juneau, Alaska, USA

  • Juneau, Alaska, USA

  • Juneau, Alaska, USA

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    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