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Cordova, AK
Saturday, February 24, 2018

Museum Memories: Feb. 24, 2018

The rush to Alaska at the turn of the century for gold, copper, coal and salmon led to increased ship traffic and accidents at...

Museum Memories: February 17, 2018

Born in Philadelphia, PA in 1871, Dora Keen was the daughter of the surgeon William Williams Keen. Her father was the very first brain...

Museum Memories: Feb. 10, 2017

Born of high hopes upon the discovery of oil in 1902, Katalla was deemed a city of the future. Enthusiastic developers drilled oil wells...
Carrying on traditions is a way of life for Cordovans, whether it’s celebrating the annual Iceworm Festival drummed up many years ago over a hot toddy or the return of the fish in the summer. The Copper River Queens made an elegant debut in the Iceworm Parade shortly after the ’89 oil spill, gleefully waving their tails and depositing roe-colored ping pong balls for the egg takers from the Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation. New banners mark the Iceworm Festival, but the Queens and the ever-loyal Iceworm help Cordovans keep mindful of the fact that while things may change around them … a lot of things stay the same.

Museum Memories: February 3, 2018

Carrying on traditions is a way of life for Cordovans, whether it’s celebrating the annual Iceworm Festival drummed up many years ago over a...
A couple of the boys were warding off the cold one night in 1961, and over glasses of their favorite “anti-freeze” they discussed just what was missing in Cordova’s winter social scene. The “couple of boys” for the record were Omar Wehr and Merle (Mudhole) Smith and they got to wondering why all the other towns in Alaska had some kind of festival each year and Cordova had none. A unique event was needed, and Omar came up with the idea of the Iceworm Festival. For that first festival’s visitors, Cordova Airlines offered a one-day $15 roundtrip special ticket, leaving Anchorage at 7 a.m. and returning at midnight the same day. This included transportation to and from the airport as well as a ticket to the Crab Feed Dinner! The annual event has continued ever since with many of the same events still taking place. A variety show features local talent, the crowning of the Iceworm Queen, the survival suit race, a grand parade, pet show, arts and craft fair, cake bake, and lots of activities guarantee a fun-filled weekend!

Museum Memories: January 27, 2018

A couple of the boys were warding off the cold one night in 1961, and over glasses of their favorite “anti-freeze” they discussed just...
As we continue the bowling story in Cordova, after the opening of the Club Bowl, leagues formed immediately — many were already forming before the Club Bowl even opened. A teen league also formed and Dick Barton donated the bowling ball he won to the most improved bowler in the Teen League after the 12 games of the season were played. Although a big percentage of the people in Cordova knew little about bowling, classes were started, associations and leagues were formed, balls and shoes were picked out and bowling began in earnest. In the early spring of 1963, the Women’s Association sent two teams to Fairbanks for the State Tournament. It would make a good story to say the new kids on the block won all the trophies but alas that only happens in fairy tales and only a few minor triumphs were realized on the lanes.

Museum Memories: Jan. 20, 2018

As we continue the bowling story in Cordova, after the opening of the Club Bowl, leagues formed immediately — many were already forming before...
Ken and Don VanBrocklin and Bill Sherman decided to expand their business to include an eight-lane bowling alley. The plans were drawn, and construction began in the summer of ’62. The interior equipment was to be all A.M.F. automated equipment and the new, design of rounded seating arrangements. The Club Bowl was set to house an average of 100-150 bowlers who could bowl in four or five leagues. The grand opening at the new Club Bowl was a huge success and as the Cordova Times reported: “a good time was had by all!” Flowers were in abundance around the bowling center with congratulations from well-wishes, which added to the festive atmosphere. After the opening ceremonies, the serious league play began. Cliff Webber of Anchorage was the first bowler to roll a 200 game after the official ceremonies were over. In this photo, Bill and Kay Sherman celebrate! This photo came from the archives and collections of the Cordova Historical Society housed within the museum. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from Noon until 5 p.m. Stop by to see our new exhibit in the Copper River Gallery, “Winter White” featuring all local artists!

Museum Memories: January 13, 2018

Ken and Don VanBrocklin and Bill Sherman decided to expand their business to include an eight-lane bowling alley. The plans were drawn, and construction...
Did you know there was a bowling alley in Cordova in 1908? How about a bowling alley in Cordova in the 1960s? Enjoy an evening of Cordova bowling history on Monday, Jan. 22, when the museum presents “The History of Bowling in Cordova!” Club Bowl’s story began when a team of brothers and their partner decided to expand their booming bar business. Don Van Brocklin and William A. Sherman purchased the bar in 1940 from the Baddon family. Bill entered the military service 1942 and Bob Van Brocklin became a partner in the same year. Bob Van Brocklin died in a plane crash in 1944. Don kept his interest in the business and in 1955 his brother Ken bought in. Bill rejoined the group in 1959 as a partner and in 1962 they began the plans for the bowling alley. Stay tuned for more! This photo came from the archives and collections of the Cordova Historical Society housed within the museum. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Stop by to see our new exhibit in the Copper River Gallery, “Winter White” featuring all local artists.

Museum Memories: January 6, 2017

Did you know there was a bowling alley in Cordova in 1908? How about a bowling alley in Cordova in the 1960s?  Enjoy an...

Museum Memories: December 30, 2017

For the first 20 miles, the Copper River and Northwest Railway route followed old Eyak trails from the lake to Alaganic slough. Plenty of...
In the early days of construction of the Copper River and Northwest Railway, the company property in Cordova included two office buildings, a hospital, two storehouses, one 11-stall roundhouse, one cinder pit barn, one galvanized iron warehouse and a general shop building which included a machine shop, paint shop, car shops and power plant. The equipment in the shops was adequate enough to service all the rolling stock used in the railroad operations and the large wharf adjoining the shop allowed for deliveries directly from barges to railroad cars. The company also provided housing by building a number of cabins along a street that became known as Railroad Row. These cabins were used by the superintendents and were all connected by a series of boardwalks to help avoid the muddy streets. The unmarried workmen were housed in large bunkhouses near the old cannery/headquarters site. Heney established a hospital in the old cannery buildings to serve the railroad crews. This photo came from the archives and collections of the Cordova Historical Society housed within the museum. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Stop by to see our new exhibit in the Copper River Gallery, “Winter White” featuring all local artists.

Museum Memories: Dec. 16, 2017

In the early days of construction of the Copper River and Northwest Railway, the company property in Cordova included two office buildings, a hospital,...






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