150 Years: Kenai Peninsula History Conference

in the news

(newest on top)


150th Anniversary history column series in the Peninsula Clarion:

(Meant to be read in order starting with #1, the oldest.  The newspaper did not post all the columns online, but they were published in the Sunday paper's "community" section.  We thank the Peninsula Clarion for its generous support of the conference.)


#9  The treaty that ceded Alaska from Russia to the USA – 19 Mar. 2017


#8  William Seward, architect of the Alaska purchase – 12 Mar. 2017


#7 Why the United States wanted Alaska – 5 Mar. 2017  NO LINK


#6 Yankees in Russian America – 26 Feb. 2017



#5 Why Russia wanted to sell Alaska – 19 Feb. 2017



#4 Russian America on the peninsula in the mid-1800s – 12 Feb. 2017



#3 How did Russia end up running Alaska? – 5 Feb. 2017; NO LINK


#2 Alaska’s Centennial in 1967 – 29 JAN 2017; NO LINK


#1 What is the Sesquicentennial? – 14 Jan. 2017




News about our conference:

Rescued tapes show Kenai Peninsula history conference in 1974 – 7 Jan. 2017 Peninsula Clarion

http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2017-01-07/rescued-tapes-show-kenai-peninsula-history- conference-in-1974


Just in time for Kenai Peninsula history conference, films from 1974 event found

4 Jan. 2017; Homer News



Plans for history conference advance – 19 Dec. 2016 Peninsula Clarion



Citizens’ group aims to organize history conference – 24 May 2016 Peninsula Clarion


“Signing of the Alaska Treaty” by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze was painted in 1867 shortly after the event.  The original is touring Alaska this year for the sesquicentennial.  The original was commissioned by New York merchants as a gift to Seward.  It usually hangs at the Seward House Museum in Auburn, NY, which loaned it to Alaska.  Leutze is best known for his iconic painting of "Washington Crossing the Delaware."

Contact us at KenaiPeninsulaHistory@gmail.com or (907) 460-7554.

150 Years:
kenai peninsula history

For the first time in a generation, friends and residents of the Kenai

Peninsula will come together to explore its unique history and cultural

diversity.  The 150th anniversary of the US purchase of Alaska from Russia

presents an opportunity to learn about the dramas of the past, their

legacies in the present, and their lessons for the future.

The conference will focus on the 1800s, particularly the period around 1867,

when rule of Alaska transferred from the Russian American Company to the

United States military.  It will examine the ongoing interactions among the area’s Alutiiq/Chugach, Dena’ina, Russian, and U.S. cultures.  Specific topics, to be determined by participants’ interest, may include: resource use and stewardship (such as fur trapping, mining, and salmon fisheries), the role of the Russian Orthodox Church, the story of the garrison of Fort Kenay, and preservation of traditional knowledge (such as indigenous languages, Russian foods, and local foods and medicines).

Scheduled for April 2017, the conference will include presentations about Alaska and local history, plus community activities for all ages.  The main conference presentations will be at Kenai Peninsula College in Soldotna on Friday and Saturday April 21-22.  Tie-in activities are being planned for other communities and schools around the peninsula.


The nonprofit conference relies on volunteers.  Presenters are welcome, but so are people of all ages and background who can donate time to make the conference realize its potential.  Tasks may include: telling civic groups about the conference, sharing history and culture with school children, hosting field trips, helping participants with transportation, set up, take down, filming events, and serving refreshments during breaks.  Please contact us at the email below if you would like to be on our mailing list and get involved.

Stay tuned for updates.  This winter we will issue a call for speakers and for community activities linked to our themes of history and cultures.  At the beginning of 2017 we will firm up the agenda and set up registration.

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