How Do I Get There?

If you plan to settle in Alaska after the war, it is a good idea to take with you the tools and equipment of your trade, household machinery such as the family washing machine, radio, and refrigerator (yes, they use refrigerators in Alaska!), clothing, blankets, linen, silver, dishes, and your less bulky furniture. You can buy all these articles in Alaska, of course, but they will be imported from the States, and you will pay full prices plus transportation.

If you take your household effects with you, you will, of course, go by steamship from Seattle, through the beautiful Inside Passage, stopping at Ketchikan, Petersburg, Wrangell, and Juneau in southeastern Alaska.

Don’t count on loading your jalopy or a secondhand jeep with family and furniture and going overland via the 1,600-mile Alaskan Highway that runs from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Fairbanks, Alaska. The Highway is a rough road, built for military purposes, connecting a string of airports from our midwest to interior Alaska. Along it there are no gas stations, garages, hot-dog stands, or hotels. At some time in the future all these may exist. But today the Highway is barred to ordinary passenger traffic because of the war.

You will also be able to fly into Alaska after the war via a system linked up with commercial airways of the States and Canada. At least three routes will be available—by way of Seattle over water to southeastern Alaska, over the coastal land route (Seattle-Prince George-Whitehorse), or by way of the midwest overland paralleling the Alaska Highway to south central and interior Alaska.

Once in Alaska, a choice of routes is open to you. From southeastern Alaska, you can get to other parts of Alaska by steamship or plane. From the south central coast (reached by steamship or plane) you can reach the interior via the Alaska Railroad (open the year round) or the Richardson Highway (open in summer). The Richardson Highway meets the Alaska Highway at Big Delta, and is also linked with the Alaska Railroad and other Alaskan roads, and with water and air transportation systems.

From EM 20: What Has Alaska to Offer Postwar Pioneers? (1944)