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  • Placer mining operations 1960s
    I enjoy watching the television shows about mining in Alaska…. May I say they are nothing like this video shows about mining in the 60s. I know that I have said on some of these videos that my back aches watching people work so hard…. When I watched this one, I not only thought that […]
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postheadericon Placer mining operations 1960s

I enjoy watching the television shows about mining in Alaska…. May I say they are nothing like this video shows about mining in the 60s. I know that I have said on some of these videos that my back aches watching people work so hard…. When I watched this one, I not only thought that again…but I also thought there would not be enough hand lotion in the world to put on my hands after of day doing this.

If you enjoy learning about the way things use to be done.. you may enjoy this book called
The lost Ways. Just take a look at the Table of Content for an idea of all this book has to offer.

I hope you have enjoyed this series about Alaska in the late 50s early 60s. I have heard there are more to come and I will be posting them when they arrive. If you missed the start of the series you can watch the first one here… Building an Alaskan Log Cabin

Miner Bob Young pans for gold at his placer mine in Southcentral Alaska during the late 1960s or early 1970s. He pans for gold, pushes soil into a sluice box with his D9 Caterpillar bulldozer, moves tailings piles, cleans the sluice box, separates gold from soil, and weighs out the gold. John Baker filmed the sequence during the late 1960s or early 1970s and added narration in about 2000 (Color/Sound/16mm film). This sequence contains excerpts from AAF-16369 from the John Baker collection held by the Alaska Film Archives, a unit of the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives Department in the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks. For more information please contact the Alaska Film Archives This sequence contains excerpts from AAF-16369 from the John Baker collection held by the Alaska Film Archives, a unit of the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives Department in the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks. For more information please contact the Alaska Film Archives

postheadericon Airplanes in Winter Storm

Airplanes played a very important role in the early days in Alaska. They are still a great way to get around. Sometimes you have to work even harder to dig your plane out before you can fly it.

If you enjoy learning about the way things use to be done.. you may enjoy this book called
The lost Ways. Just take a look at the Table of Content for an idea of all this book has to offer.

Next up in this series of videos is Placer mining operations 1960s

John Baker pulls his dog Queenie on a sled, checks out his Aeronca Champion airplane during a winter wind storm in Southcentral Alaska, digs the airplane out of the snow after the storm, and later examines several aircraft damaged by high winds at Lake Hood Seaplane Base in Anchorage, Alaska. John Baker filmed the sequence during the late 1960s and added narration in about 2000 (Color/Sound/16mm film). This sequence contains excerpts from AAF-16367 from the John Baker collection held by the Alaska Film Archives, a unit of the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives Department in the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks. For more information please contact the Alaska Film Archives.

postheadericon Fur Rendezvous Scenes

It was not all hard work… This video shows Scenes from Fur Rendezvous in Anchorage, Alaska.
Looks like an event that people would look forward to going to for months in advance. Just think of the stories that were told when something like this took place.

If you enjoy learning about the way things use to be done.. you may enjoy this book called
The lost Ways. Just take a look at the Table of Content for an idea of all this book has to offer.

Next up in this series of videos is Airplanes in Winter Storm

Scenes from Fur Rendezvous in Anchorage, Alaska, during the late 1960s include dog mushers hooking up their teams on 4th Avenue, racing along trails, and crossing the finish line. Mushers include George Attla, Bergman Sam, Jimmy Malemute, and Roland Lombard. Clip also includes scenes from the fur auction and Jonas Brothers Museum and Taxidermy shop. John Baker filmed the sequence during the late 1960s and added narration in about 2000 (Color/Sound/16mm film). This sequence contains excerpts from AAF-16367 from the John Baker collection held by the Alaska Film Archives, a unit of the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives Department in the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks. For more information please contact the Alaska Film Archives.

postheadericon Drift fishing in the 1960s

My how things have changed. This video show what it was like to fish in the 60s. In the first video I posted in this series, Building an Alaskan Log Cabin.. I thought that looked like back breaking work…. This video about fishing looks like a tough way to make a living as well.

If you enjoy learning about the way things use to be done.. you may enjoy this book called
The lost Ways. Just take a look at the Table of Content for an idea of all this book has to offer.

Next up in this series of videos is Fur Rendezvous Scenes

Fisherman Roy Koshney of Alaska mends fishing nets, sails out in his old cannery boat (the PG 78) on the Kasilof or Kenai River, runs out nets, pulls in fish, uses a peugh to move fish out of the boat hold and up to a cannery operation, and cuts up salmon with his wife Ethel Koshney. John Baker filmed the sequence in the late 1960s and added narration in about 2000 (Color/Sound/16mm film). This sequence contains excerpts from AAF-16370 from the John Baker collection held by the Alaska Film Archives, a unit of the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives Department in the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks. For more information please contact the Alaska Film Archives.

postheadericon Baking Bread at Talkeetna Roadhouse

In this short video John talks about the Talkeena Roadhouse…. I can almost smell that bread that is shown being prepared. It was not just the men that worked hard in Alaska… The women worked hard too. I can assure you they didn’t have all of the wonderful amenities that we have now.
Just doing all those dishes would keep someone busy.

If you enjoy learning about the way things use to be done.. you may enjoy this book called
The lost Ways. Just take a look at the Table of Content for an idea of all this book has to offer.

Next up in this series of videos is Drift fishing in the 1960s

Scenes include images of the Talkeetna Roadhouse in Talkeetna, Alaska, with Carroll and Verna Close baking bread. John Baker filmed this sequence during the late 1960s and added narration in about 2000 (Color/Sound/16mm film). This sequence contains excerpts from AAF-16367 from the John Baker collection held by the Alaska Film Archives, a unit of the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives Department in the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks. For more information please contact the Alaska Film Archives.

postheadericon Flying with Queenie

Johns best friend was his beloved dog Queenie. Being far from home and in a remote area having the companionship of mans best friend must of been extremely important. Sounds like Queenie went everywhere with John…..

If you enjoy learning about the way things use to be done.. you may enjoy this book called
The lost Ways. Just take a look at the Table of Content for an idea of all this book has to offer.

Next up in this series of videos is Baking Bread at Talkeetna Roadhouse

John Baker prepares his 1958 Piper PA-18 Super Cub airplane to fly in cold weather in Southcentral Alaska. He briefly mentions Queenie-the-dog’s story of having survived an 800-foot fall from another PA-18 piloted by Cliff Hudson of Talkeetna. Her story is detailed in the July 1967 Alaska Sportsman magazine. Baker also told the story in Arctic Entries (“116 Johnny Baker – Man’s Best Friend” at apple.co/2hQJ9ml). During a flight through turbulent weather, the 90-pound Queenie had become spooked and agitated, and pushed her way out of an openable side door, falling for several seconds before landing in a patch of snow-covered alders near Black Creek Summit. Cliff Hudson returned to the area where she had fallen as soon as the weather cleared five days later, and found her alive and mostly well, despite being famished and walking with a limp. She healed quickly and went on to live a long and happy life, sharing many adventures with John Baker. This clip includes aerial views of the landscape, moose, and a remote ski landing strip. John Baker filmed the sequence during the late 1960s and added narration in about 2000 (Color/Sound/16mm film). This sequence contains excerpts from AAF-16367 from the John Baker collection held by the Alaska Film Archives, a unit of the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives Department in the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks. For more information please contact the Alaska Film Archives.

postheadericon Snowshoeing in Deep Snow Country

When the snow is deep..your just not able to walk unless you have on your snowshoes. In this short video John shows just how important these shoes are…..


If you enjoy learning about the way things use to be done.. you may enjoy this book called
The lost Ways. Just take a look at the Table of Content for an idea of all this book has to offer.

Next up in this series of videos is Flying with Queenie

John Baker demonstrates why snowshoes are necessary in deep snow country in Southcentral Alaska, while his dog Queenie follows along. John Baker filmed the sequence during the late 1960s and added narration in about 2000 (Color/Sound/16mm film). This sequence contains excerpts from AAF-16367 from the John Baker collection held by the Alaska Film Archives, a unit of the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives Department in the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks. For more information please contact the Alaska Film Archives.

postheadericon Building an Alaskan Log Cabin

Shortly after graduating from high school John Baker set off for Alaska… I suppose it had always been a dream of him to go where few had gone before him.. Back in the early 50s there was not much in Alaska except wide open space..

My grandfather who was a welder, rigged John’s flatbed truck to be able to haul a small hut with him when he went to explore that wide open space.

During his time in Alaska he filmed lots of his adventures….I am posting them here for all to see. These videos are from the John Baker collection held by the Alaska Film Archives. I hope you enjoy them.

The first video in the series in about building a log cabin in Alaska… Just watching this made my back ache from all of the physical labor that went into building this cabin…..

If you enjoy learning about the way things use to be done.. you may enjoy this book called
The lost Ways. Just take a look at the Table of Content for an idea of all this book has to offer.

Next up in this series of videos is Snowshoeing in Deep Snow Country

John Baker narrates a film in which he builds a log cabin from the ground up in the northern Southcentral region of Alaska. He and his trapping partner Gene Lanzaro clear a site for the cabin, burn brush, peel and cut notches in logs, builds walls, install the roof and a window, assemble a chimney for the stove, collect water from a nearby creek, and haul firewood with help from John’s dog Queenie. John Baker filmed the sequence in 1965 and added narration in about 2000 (Color/Sound/16mm film). This sequence contains excerpts from AAF-16367 from the John Baker collection held by the Alaska Film Archives, a unit of the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives Department in the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks. For more information please contact the Alaska Film Archives.

postheadericon My Great Grandmothers Old Wood Burning Stove

How would you change your lifestyle to start making the switch to living off the land?…Now I am not talking about changing over night.. but a progression of things you would do over time to make the switch…Remember…. It is always good to plan ahead.

I think the first thing I would do is put in a wood burning stove inside my house…This would help with heat and also for cooking…I often see those beautiful old stoves. Some use gas.. but the ones I am referring to are like my Great Grandmother had at “The Farm”…. it was a beauty… it was big and black it had a huge oven as well as several burners…. on the top there was a warming oven….. off to the side there was a box of kindling…. and not to far from the house, was the wood pile… That pile  always had stacks and stacks of wood. I don’t ever recall ever seeing anyone ever chopping wood… It must be like the magic table that hubbies piles HIGH at night and in the morning as if by magic it is all cleaned off and ready for him to restock it again… or does that only happen at my house?

I remember spending many days at “The Farm”.. especially during the summer months when there was no school…. there was no in door plumbing.. but it didn’t matter.. because at night we got to pee in a bucket… is that cool or what?

When it would be time to go to bed… we went up a tiny very steep staircase the creaked with every step we took. Of course we had the pee bucket in hand too…. There were 4 bedrooms up stairs and not a one of them had a closet… isn’t that wild?… One of the beds had a feather ticked mattress. Doesn’t that sound soft?.. well it was NOT .. it was as hard as a rock.

This wonderful place called “The Farm”.. was where my Grandfather grew up… When he got married he set up housekeeping about a half mile from his homestead.. Just across a huge field the way the crow flies… My father probably spent more time at “The Farm” than he did at his own house. After all he had my Great Grandma and my Aunt Nellie (My grandfathers sister) to spoil him.

Life seemed so much simpler back then… But I remember having no power for 5 days and about went nuts having to haul water and cook on a little camp stove… Thank goodness it was summer time and we didn’t have to worry about not having heat….

I swear if I ever run across a stove like that I am going to buy it.. and then think about a place to put it in my house…..That would be the first thing I would do in my quest to get back to basics

Learning lost ways is something we all should be doing.. even if we never have to put that information to use… I am certain it would be valuable to know…. There is a lot of good information in a book I am reading called The Lost Ways….It covers many different subjects, you can see the Table of Content Here.

I am off to search for an old stove .. just like my Great Grandma had…. I can almost smell her bread baking in the oven.

postheadericon Table of Content.. The Lost Ways


I have been reading a book that I have found to be very interesting. It is all about learning lost ways. You just never know when you might need to know how to do things without all of the modern day help such  computers, cell phone… and simple things we take for granted such a running water and of course electricity…

I can not imagine what life was like before Facebook.. but I bet life went on without me watching videos or knowing what my friends are up to on a daily basis. I always said that I must of had a clean house before Facebook.. but those who know me.. know that certainly was not true….

Knowing how your grandparents, or their parents lived is not only interesting to learn about but it is also a good thing to know. Learning lost ways can be very valuable information. Now I am by no means a prepper… but I have always thought it would be a good thing to know how people lived 150-200 years ago. I for one love watching old westerns… Just think of the struggles those people must of endured.

The people that joined up with a wagon train to take them to California must of been brave souls. I can not begin to imagine what they must of thought when they first saw the Rocky Mountains and knew they were going to go Over them!….Grit.. they had grit and courage.

Being able to live off the land using skills that your great grandparent knew might come in handy. The book I am reading, The Lost Ways is all about how things use to be done. Just take a look at the Table of Content for this book. It covers a very wide range of topics.. My copy has over 400 pages. I must admit I could care less about the chapters about guns and knives.. but those are a couple of the ones that my dad really enjoyed. Yes.. I got him a copy too. My dad is 86 years old..He loves reading it.

Learning lost ways is something that we all should know how to do… and the book The Lost Ways teaches them to you.