Snowshoes

FROM OUR PAGES:

A historic photo feature in the May-June issue focuses on snowshoes, those wonderful wood-and-webbing contraptions which made walking on snow possible for the early travelers in the north country. Some great photos were published, but there were a few delightful photos we didn’t have space to include, so we’re sharing them here:

Billy Mitchell snowshoes

Leiutenant William “Billy” Mitchell on snowshoes dressed in traditional native American clothing. According to “Billy Mitchell’s war with the Navy: the interwar rivalry over air power,” Mitchell was in Alaska 1901-1903. Creator: United States Army Signal Corps UAF-1996-3-6

Simon mending snowshoes Eagle

Simon Paneak mending snowshoes, Eagle. uaa-hmc-0059-17
Clarence Leroy Andrews papers, 1892-1946. UAA-HMC-0059
Clarence Leroy Andrews papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

smiling man w:snowshoes

Smiling man with snowshoes. John Sigler Photograph Collection, UAF-2004-111-78
“A young man smiles while holding baggage and snowshoes. This photo comes from an envelope labeled ‘UAF negatives from 1950-51.'”

Snowshoe girl 1906

The Snow-Shoe Girl (Sla-Gun). Copyright 1906. ASL-P39-0061.
Case and Draper Photographs, 1898-1920. ASL-PCA-39.
Full-length studio portrait of a young Native woman sitting in fringed robe and beaded slippers, holding a pair of snow shoes.

horse wearing snowshoes

Horses Wearing Snowshoes at Hyder, Alaska.
Alaska State Library ASL-Hyder-2

Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 3.19.45 PM

Man, woman, and child with dog team, sled, snowshoes.
ASL-P208-097
Alaska Lantern Slides Collection, ca. 1894- [ongoing]. ASL-PCA-208

Edward deGroffs

Sergei (George) Kostromitinoff, Sitka, 1889. ASL-P243-1-116
Michael Z. Vinokouroff Photograph Collection, ca. 1880’s-1970’s. PCA 243
DescriptionFull face, full length portrait, wearing fur parka and boots, holding snowshoes.
Photographed by Edward DeGroff, 1860-1910

 

3 thoughts on “Snowshoes

  1. Mike Huhndorf

    Excellent piece! Brings back memories! I grew up using snowshoes for any number of purposes, particularly getting wood or going ice fishing. Before the snow machine, they were a staple of homestead life. My dad knew how to make them along with dog sleds.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Henry Birk Albert

    Like impacts of climate change on cold and snow…cultural changes, western education and economies have left Alaska with one active Native snowshoe craftsman: my father, George Albert of Ruby and his older peer, George ‘Butch” Yaska of Hughes, both Koyukon Athabascan snowshoe masters. As for me, I am a history major in my third year in college. Perhaps a nephew may take up this sustainable art before it is lost.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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