ALASKA HISTORY: The first Alaskans are believed to have come to Alaska from Asia, traveling across the land bridge that connected the two continents at that time. This may have occurred about 28,000 years ago. Other peoples, the Eskimos and Aleuts. may have come later by boat, hopping from island to island along the Aleutian Chain. They probably arrived at least 8000 years ago.
The native population of Alaska changed slowly over thousands of years until the time of contact with the outside world. The Russians were the 1st to come, arriving after the discovery of Alaska by Vitus Bering in 1741. The Unangan on the Aleutians were violently impacted by the Russians who came to profit from sea otter pelts.
Then after Captain James Cook sailed into Cook Inlet in 1778, word of the findings of sea otters brought the British and Americans to the northwest coast. By 1815, the sea otter was essentially exterminated. The Russians brought smallpox and venereal diseases to the native populations, reducing some area populations by 50 to 80%. In 1867, Russia sold Alaska to the United States for 7.2 million dollars or about 2 cents per acre.
Between 1867 and 1884 Alaska had no civil government and was under military jurisdiction. The Native Americans suffered from the excessive forces used against them by those in control. In the 1880s Yankee whalers brought diseases and they destroyed the bowhead whale and walrus populations.
Salmon canning became a major industry in Alaska around 1878. Gold was discovered in Alaska in 1870 and in 1896 that brought an onslaught to the Klondike and other Alaska locations. The white population in Alaska increase to about 95,000 by 1950. After World War 2 there was a move for statehood driven mainly by the white population. The Alaska statehood act was signed by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1958, making Alaska the 49th state.
In 1968 there was a huge oil find in the North Slope. Dispute over land rights led to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act signed into law by President Nixon in December 18, 1971. The act gave 963 million dollars in cash and 44,000,000 acres to Alaska natives. Every living Alaska native received 100 shares of stock in the region and in the village where he lived
In about 1991, a section of an original homestead property located near Anchor Point was purchased by the Ogle family. Local spruce trees were used to erect log buildings and other improvements were made to the homestead. The business that was started was originally a fishing charter service, but it was expanded to be a full-service lodging and adventure service, now known as Bear Paw Adventure.
Get a limited-edition Alaska Statehood quarter with your completed stay at Bear Paw Adventure.
Your choice of colorized (shown) or gold plated. One quarter per party. Offer valid only for reservations made on Bear Paw Adventure’s website or by phone (866 286 0576), after February 10, 2020 and for stays anytime in 2020. While supplies last.