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Books

The Beautiful Matanuska Valley

April 7, 2014
The Beautiful Matanuska Valley

This new book by Helen Hegener includes chapters on Palmer, Wasilla, and other communities within the Valley, both still-existing and long-gone. Stories and photos of Knik, Sutton, Matanuska, Big Lake, Chickaloon and others tell the story of the founding, settling, and development of the area, while details about the Valley’s geography, geology, transportation, agriculture, mining,...
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Beyond Ophir

September 28, 2013
Beyond Ophir

“In the darkness of a midwinter Alaska evening, with sundown around 3 pm, I round a corner and run into not only a moose but two moose, a cow and a calf. I stop just as the cow lowers her head and charges, right past the team and then past me. This puts me...
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All Alaska Sweepstakes

May 21, 2013
All Alaska Sweepstakes

  The historic All Alaska Sweepstakes is the subject of All Alaska Sweepstakes: History of the Great Sled Dog Race, by Helen Hegener, now in a new edition, revised with 60 pages of new content and photographs. Hundreds of beautiful photos by Jan DeNapoli, Joe May, Donna Quante and others tell the story of the...
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An All Alaska Sweepstakes Tale

April 24, 2013
An All Alaska Sweepstakes Tale

My current project is a reprinting of my 2010 book, All Alaska Sweepstakes: 2008 Centennial Race. No major changes, just moving the book to a different format and cleaning up a few typos in the original, but working on it has been good preparation for another long-term project, an in-depth book on the entire...
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Matanuska Colony Barns

March 30, 2013
Matanuska Colony Barns

It’s been my good fortune to live in the Matanuska Valley off and on for over 40 years, and the Matanuska Colony barns have always been a part of my life in Alaska. Driving the roads around Palmer and Wasilla one often sees the old structures, glimpsed down a tree-lined lane or silhouetted against...
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A Brief History of Alaskan Barns

December 11, 2012
A Brief History of Alaskan Barns

Dog Barns The first shelters for animals in Alaska were likely the small crudely-built dog barns for the passenger, freight, and mail dogteams which traveled the winter trails. When staying in one place for a length of time, dog drivers would construct rough canvas tents for their teams, and many owners built dog barns...
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Before the Colonists: George Palmer

December 11, 2012
Before the Colonists: George Palmer

George Palmer’s trading station on the Matanuska River was established around 1880* to take advantage of the trails between the Cook Inlet region and the Copper River area. According to Wikipedia: “The indigenous Dena’ina Athabascan name for the river is Ch’atanhtnu, based on the root -tanh ‘trail extends out’, meaning literally ‘trail comes out river’.”  (*see Jim...
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Historic Legacy of the Matanuska Colony

December 11, 2012
Historic Legacy of the Matanuska Colony

Anyone who travels through the eastern part of Alaska’s dramatically beautiful Matanuska Valley soon finds a Colony barn enhancing the landscape. These striking Valley landmarks are the enduring legacy of an all-but-forgotten chapter in American history, when the U.S. government took a direct hand in the lives of thousands of its citizens, offering Depression-distraught...
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Along Alaskan Trails

July 16, 2012
Along Alaskan Trails

Along Alaskan Trails, Adventures in Sled Dog History, by Helen Hegener, is a collection of true stories about Alaskan sled dogs and the role they played in the development of the north, with dozens of historic photos from the archives of the Alaska State Library, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and other sources. The...
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Backstage Iditarod

June 27, 2012
Backstage Iditarod

Backstage Iditarod, 2nd Edition, by Wasilla author June Price, is the most in-depth and comprehensive guidebook available for the Last Great Race on Earth, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which runs 1,000 miles across Alaska, from Anchorage to Nome, every March. In December, 2006, June shared a post on one of her blogs...
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About Northern Light Media

Northern Light Media, founded in 2007, is an Alaskan company which publishes nonfiction books about Alaskan topics. Titles currently in print include The Matanuska Colony Barns (2013), Along Alaskan Trails (2012), Yukon Quest Album (2010), and The All Alaska Sweepstakes (2009). Northern Light Media has also produced a documentary DVD, Appetite & Attitude: A Conversation with Lance Mackey, about the four-time Iditarod & Yukon Quest Champion. Northern Light Media has produced two popular and well-attended Mushing History Conferences; and is an active supporter of the Northern Lights 300 Sled Dog Race, run in January, on the Iditarod Trail, from Big Lake to Finger Lake and return. You can contact us at helenhegener@gmail.com

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