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Fort St. Michael

1874 to 1886, 1897 to 1923

Name of Ski Area: Fort St Michael
Location: St. Michael, on the western coast of Alaska.  Southeast across Norton Sound from Nome.  On the coast to the southwest of Unalakleet and northeast of Kotlik.
Type of Area: Ski Trails
Dates of Operation: 1900 to 1923
Who Built It?: U.S. Army
Elevation:

~50'

Facilities: Fort St. Michael, a U.S. Army outpost that supported a regiment of over 100 troops.
History: As the gold rush to Alaska gained momentum at the tail end of the 1890's, the U.S. Army arrived to help maintain order.   Posts were established at Fort Seward (Haines), Fort Liscum (Valdez), Fort Egbert (Eagle), Fort Gibbon (Tanana), Fort St. Michael (St. Michael), and Fort Davis (Nome).

Soldiers at these posts used skis for drills, patrols, recreation and for hunting for food.  

Originally Russians had a fort at Saint Michael called Redoubt St. Michael, or Mikhailovski Redoubt. The U.S. Army occupied Saint Michael during the periods of 1874 - 1886, and 1897 - 1923.

Sources of Information:

Dave Brann

~  PHOTOS  ~

This picture shows the St. Michael Army post sometime in the early 1900's.  This would have been a good place to learn how to ski - no trees to run into and no hills to fall down.

(click on this image to expand it)

[Photo credit:  Library of Congress, William F. C. Jepson]

LOC_FortStMichael_Early1930s_skiers.jpg (77742 bytes)

~  MAPS  ~

This large scale topo shows where St. Michael is on the west coast of Alaska - way out by itself between Unalakleet to the northeast and Kotlik to the southwest.

(click on this map to expand it)

topo_fortstmichael.jpg (93762 bytes)

A zoomed in topo view shows the area around the St. Michael, the site of the former Fort St. Michael.

(click on this map to expand it)

topo_zoom_fortstmichael.jpg (122635 bytes)

Research Correspondence 

 

 

 

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