Photo Credit: Frank Kovalchek

Grants assist communities in telling their stories

December 10, 2015

8-C Hope Museum
Visitors to the Roundhouse Museum at Alyeska this summer will open a hot-off-the-press vintage newspaper to read about James Girdwood’s arrival in Glacier City in 1900. Thanks to a grant from the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area (KMTA) the Roundhouse Museum will re-create a 12-page historic newspaper with articles and photos first published 35 years ago. The reprint of the Alyeska Chronicle will include an updated insert with news on the people and places central to Girdwood Valley’s identity.

“Guests are constantly asking for reading material regarding the Girdwood area,” reports Marianne Daniels, Executive Director of The Roundhouse Museum. “This is a piece of fun history that’s been waiting a very long time to be reproduced.”

The Hope and Sunrise Historical and Mining Museum was also awarded a grant to support the museum’s summer programs which include showcasing the Charles Davis Tool Collection, producing newsletters and keeping the museum website up-to-date. The museum’s youth tour guide program welcomes visitors to explore the history of the 1896 Turnagain Arm Gold Rush, Alaska’s involvement in World War II, and Hope’s resilience during the 1964 Earthquake.

KMTA regularly supports regional museums to design new exhibits and share the stories of the corridors and communities of the eastern Kenai and Turnagain Arm. Five new grants were awarded at the October 20th KMTA Board meeting.

Other grants awarded include the publication of a new book by Doug Capra, author of The Spaces Between: Stories from the Kenai Mountains to the Kenai Fjords. The new book will be a companion to his previous title a will highlight the people and places of the KMTA.

Summit Educational Services of Seward was given a grant to provide teacher training for use of the KMTA secondary and elementary curricula in the classroom.

KMTA also provided a grant to the Seward Iditarod Trail Blazers to construct and install the Jujiro Wada Monument, honoring the pioneering musher, marathoner, and prospector famous throughout Alaska and Japan during the gold rush years.

KMTA awarded up to $55,080 in community grants at its October meeting, to be matched by a minimum of $88,377 in support from volunteers and in-kind donations. The five projects recognize and interpret the unique contributions of the Kenai Mountain-Turnagain Arm corridor to the identity of the region, state, and country. One project may improve a reader’s historical view of Girdwood Valley from the side of Alyeska.