Alaska Real Estate Blog/News

Alaska Real Estate Blog/News

A Look Into Anchorage History

A Look Into Anchorage History

Alaska is a fascinating state, which captures the imaginations of people all over. For some who have never been here, it can be difficult for them to imagine that there are actually warm summers or that people don’t necessarily live in igloos (unless they want to, of course).

Anchorage History from Michael and Decker Realestate Anchorage, AK

Photograph taken while visiting the Anchorage History Museum


Anchorage is Alaska’s largest and most populated city and carries an interesting and relatively brief history, becoming a U.S. settlement just over 100 years ago in 1914. Of course, the Dena’-ina, the indigenous inhabitants of the Cook Inlet Region, began arriving in Southcentral around 1,000 to 1,500 years ago.

Anchorage was chosen, in 1915, as the site for the country’s first and only federally owned railroad. Woodrow Wilson was President at the time, and he approved funds for this project, with Ship Creek Landing in Anchorage serving as headquarters. Thousands of people began pouring in to take advantage of employment opportunities surrounding the building of the railroad, and Anchorage was incorporated on November 23, 1920.



Anchorage’s population really didn’t boom until after the building of two military bases, Elmendorf and Fort Richardson, after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Within 10 years, the population went from a few thousand to 30,000, making Anchorage a key town in Alaska.

A significant and powerful event in history then took place in the Anchorage area — The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964. Alaskans are used to a little shaking, as the state experiences 50 to 100 earthquakes – get this – per day! Of course, only a handful of these per year are actually felt by the population. The Good Friday earthquake of ’64 registered 9.2 on the Richter Scale, making it the most powerful in North American history, causing a tsunami and taking the lives of 118 people. The most recent powerful earthquake that occurred near Anchorage happened on Sunday morning, January 24, 2016. It registered 7.1 on the scale; definitely a shaker, but no one was injured.

The resilient residents of Anchorage immediately began rebuilding their city after the Great Earthquake, which took up a lot of the later 60s. With the discovery of oil in Prudhoe Bay, on Alaska’s North Slope, Anchorage experienced more economic and population growth throughout the 70s, 80s, and beyond. Oil is a big part of Anchorage, and Alaska’s economic stability.

Many Alaskans feel that growing tourism will become an important part of the state’s economic future. The Anchorage area offers breathtakingly beautiful scenery and relatively mild weather because of its coastal location. What’s NOT to like for those lucky enough to visit or live here?

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