LitSite Alaska: Alaska Nellie, Pioneer

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 8.15.56 PMThe Alaska Nellie pages at LitSite Alaska include an informative article (with an audio link included), several photos, a number of links to related materials, and information about accessing  audio, visual, and written material about Alaska Nellie.

“One of Alaska’s best-known crack-shot hunters and camp cooks was a wiry, independent woman named Nellie Neal Lawing. Born Nellie Trosper, ‘Alaska Nellie’ was already 42 years old when she arrived in Seward on July 4, 1915. But her timing could not have been better for an ambitious and hard-working woman.

Grandview, photo by John Combs

Grandview, photo by John Combs

“Construction of the Alaska Railroad had recently begun, and Nellie was the first woman to be awarded a lucrative roadhouse contract with the Alaska Engineering Commission. She provided government employees room and board at the Mile 45 roadhouse, a place she renamed Grandview. The name has outlasted the roadhouse itself, and that bend in the railroad is as beautiful as ever. Today, on the Alaska Railroad’s southbound route from Anchorage to Seward, passengers are especially drawn to the windows during the Grandview stretch.”

LitSite Alaska is “a Web community promoting literacy, cultural diversity, and well-being throughout Alaska. A gathering place for families, communities and teachers, LitSite Alaska features narratives illustrating many cultural aspects of life in Alaska. As an on-line learning tool, LitSite Alaska showcases a living archive of lesson plans used in Alaskan classrooms and an extensive collection of excellent peer work by Alaskan students. LitSite Alaska is a project of the University of Alaska Anchorage and the Alaska Literary Consortium, funded in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the Rasmuson Foundation.”

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