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    Northern Alaska Geographical Items

    Encyclopedia Arctica 12: Alaska, Geography and General




    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0004                                                                                                                  
    EA-Geography: Alaska

    (Stefansson Library Research Staff)


    NORTHERN ALASKA GEOGRAPHICAL ITEMS

           

    Icy Cape to International Boundary



    (Place names arranged geographically)

           

            Folder (1): A - B

            Folder (2): C - L

    Folder (3): M - Y



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0005                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    75 wds. July, 1949 ADMIRALTY BAY, ALASKA


            ADMIRALTY BAY, northern Alaska, is the southern extension of the head

    of Dease Inlet, an arm of the [ ?] Polar Sea. It lies about thirty

    miles east of Point Barrow and was so named by the British Admiralty in 1856.

            This bay has not yet been thoroughly surveyed. McTavish and Wright

    Points, with Kikiktak, Tiny, and Oarlock Islands midway between, mark the

    entrance from Dease Inlet. The Inaru, Meade, Topagoruk, and Chipp Rivers

    (q.v.) flow into Admiralty Bay.

            References:

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. 2d. ed. Washington, 1906.

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska. Alaska. Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, 1947.

            VS Guidebook for Alaska. Guidebook for Alaska.



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0006                                                                                                                  
    40 wds. Ruby Collins

    July, 1949 ASINIAK POINT, ALASKA


            ASINIAK POINT, northwestern Alaska, projects into Peard Bay, an arm of the Polar Sea,

    south of the broken sandbar leading out to Point Franklin and north of the

    mouth of the Kugrua River, which drains into the head of Peard Bay.



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0007                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    June, 1949 ATANIK, ALASKA


            100 wds

            ATANIK, a small Eskimo settlement on the coast of the Polar Sea,

    northern Alaska, lies between Point Belcher and Point Franklin and only a few

    miles south of Peard Bay.

            This tiny village had a population of 19 in 1939. The long winter

    trail which skirts most of the arctic coast of Alaska, connecting Seward

    Peninsula towns and Kotzebue with Barrow (q.v.), is represented as stopping at

    Atanik. It reappears, however, on the other side of Peard Bay, so that it

    may be assumed that travelers find their own way across the Bay from Atanik

    to the coastwise trail on the other side which leads northeastward to Barrow.

            Sources:

            Tewkesbury's Who's Who in Alaska Tewkesbury's Who's Who in Alaska . 1947 ed. Seattle, Juneau, 1947.

            Aeronautical Chart Aeronautical Chart No.63



    001      |      Vol_XII-0008                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    June, 1949 AVAK INLET, ALASKA


            130 wds

            AVAK INLET is a shallow, many-fingered inlet emptying into Kasegaluk

    La b g oon (q.v.) somewhat south and east of Icy Cape (q.v.) on the arctic t

    coast of Alaska. The Avak River debouches into the head of the Inlet. This

    small stream rises on the lake-strewn coastal plain and flows northwestward

    for about thirty miles before entering the Inlet. (For a general description

    of the terrain, flora, and fauna of this part of Alaska, see article on the

    Kokolik River.)

            Akoliakatat Pass, a few miles east of the mouth of Avak Inlet, breaks

    the long sand spit which forms the seaward side of Ka s egaluk Lagoon. Between

    one and two fathom can be carried through this Pass, but the approach is

    endangered by Blossom Shoals (q.v.), which, according to recent reports ,

    would appear to be spreading.

            References:

    U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska. Part II Alaska. Part II . 5th (1947) ed. Washington, D.C., 1947. Aeronautical Chart No.64.

    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0009                                                                                                                  

            7,310 words

    Ruby Collins

    July, 1949 BARROW, ALASKA


            Proofed 19 Jy 49

    may need polishing

            BARROW (71° 17′ N.Lat., 156° 47′ W.Long.), a post office and

    settlement about eight or nine miles southwest of Point Barrow (q.v.), the

    most northerly point of land in Alaska, is itself the most northerly community

    with a permanent white population. In recent years, Utkiavi, on Cape Smyth,

    has been considered part of Barrow, being separated from it only by a lagoon.

    Ever since 1884, Utkiavi has been an important trading post, most of that time

    centering around a well-stocked store run by Charles D. Brower. For hundreds

    of years before that, however, the Eskimos of Point Barrow traded with other

    natives from as far south as Icy Cape and the Kobuk River valley and from as

    far east as the Mackenzie River. So extensive were these trading trips under–

    taken by the Eskimos before the arrival of the white man at Point Barrow, that

    guns sold by the Russians to the Diomede natives and goods sold to the Hudson

    Bay tribes stood a chance of ultimately being owned by a Barrow whale hunter.

    Geography Barrow faces the Polar Sea, but south of the settlement stretches

    the broad, lake-strewn coastal plain which borders all of northern Alaska.

    Connecting these lakes and marshes and forming an intricate pattern on the

    face of the plain is the northern drainage of the Brooks Range (q.v.). Hun–

    dreds of streams flow down from the Range, some northwestward, like the

    Utukok (q.v.), some almost directly northward, like the Meade (q.v.), and some

    northeastward, like the Colville (q.v.).

            As these streams approach the sea, the gradient becomes so slight

    as to be indistinguishable to the unaided eye. The drainage, therefore,

    becomes confused, and the number of tiny lakes interconnected with riverlets

    and creeks increases, until the entire region is transformed into an enormous

    [ ?] marshland. Grasses, mosses, lichens, and brightly colored flowers

    blanket this plain from the first few days of spring in June to sometime in

            25

    002      |      Vol_XII-0010                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, ALASKA

    September. Travel across this terrain is next to impossible during the

    summer. The long hours of sunlight thaw the ground to d epths of one to two

    feet, but beneath this layer of soft gravel and vegetable matter, the ground

    remains permanently frozen from one year to the next. The summer overland

    traveler finds not only that his route is def el le cted by the many lakes and

    streams in his path, but also that at every step he sinks knee deep or deeper

    into the partly-thawed surface of the marshland. Stefansson reports that many

    of the lakes are wadable, averaging one foot or less in depth and varying this

    depth hardly more than an inch or so throughout their extent. But progress by

    foot is so slow and laborious as to be impracticable.

            In winter, on the other hand, this enormous plain is transformed

    into the most perfect type of terrain for sledging. Ground, streams, and

    lakes are frozen over, many of the more shallow waters being immobilized into

    masses of solid ice. Under these circumstances a man with a good dog team and

    sufficient basic supplies may travel at will in this country, averaging forty

    or more miles a day.

            Considering these conditions, it is not surprising the the earliest

    explorers and traders to this region, most all of whom arrived by boat during the

    short season of navigation, kept to the waterw a ys for the duration of their

    stay. Nor is it surprising that here the airplane is of much greater significance

    in the transportation of men and supplies than it is anywhere in the United

    States.

            Navigation Barrow may be reached by ship for only about one month o r a little

    more each year; that is from sometime [ ?] in August

    until mid- or late September. Although the pack ice does not usually move

    down upon Barrow until the latter part of September, vessels plan to leave

    by about September 10. For the duration of the winter the pack is a constant

            25

    003      |      Vol_XII-0011                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, ALASKA

    threat to navigation all the way from Icy Cape to Point Barrow. A complete

    month of safe, open navigation in this region is considered a good year. (See

    Point Barrow, Alaska article.)

            There are no harbors for seagoing vessels anywhere between Cape

    Lisburne, far down the northwestern coast of Alaska, and the mouth of the

    Colville River, over a hundred miles ea st of Barrow. The water is so shoal

    along this enormous stretch of shoreline that large vessels must stand off in

    open, unprotected roadsteads while their cargoes are lightered ashore. This

    situation, of course, obtains at Barrow and is another reason for the importance

    of air freight into this region.

            Geology With the discovery of oil seepage in addition to the coal deposits

    already known to exist on the northwestern coast of Alaska, the

    U.S. Navy developed a particular interest in this part of the Territory.

            It is coincidental that as early as 1886 Captain (then Ensign)

    W.L. Howard, a member of Stoney's naval expedition to the Kobuk River, traveled

    to Barrow by way of the Colville, Ikpikpuk, and Chipp Rivers and brought back

    a specimen believed to be petroleum residuum from the upper Colville region.

    Although this is the only evidence of petroleum ever to come out of the southern

    part of the present Petroleum Reserve No.4, it is remarkable that the first

    evidence of oil in this entire region should have been discovered by a member

    of the U.S. Navy, which department now controls the petroleum resources of

    most of northern Alaska.

            Naval Petroleum Reserve No.4 was established on February 27, 1923.

    It extends from Icy Cape to the mouth of the Colville, and from the crest of

    the Brooks Range, northward to the highest watermark on the shores of the Polar

    Sea. The Reserve totals about 35,000 square miles.

            The Executive Order establishing this Reserve read in part as

    follows: "The reservation hereby established shall be for oil and gas only and

    shall not interfere with the use of the lands or waters within the area

            26



    004      |      Vol_XII-0012                                                                                                                  

            BARROW, ALASKA

    indicated for any legal purpose not inconsistent therewith." The staking of

    mining claims is not permitted.

            The Reserve was the result of a long line of reports concerning

    the coal and oil possibilities of this region. In 1901, F.C. Schrader,

    the first geologist to visit this part of Alaska, together with W.J. Peters,

    a topographic engineer, explored the John, Anaktuvuk, and Colville Rivers.

    They followed the shoreline westward from the Colville to Point Barrow, and

    thence southward to beyond Wainwright Inlet. Arthur J. Collier, of the U.S.

    Geological Survey, made a geological reconnaissance of the Cape Lisburne coal

    deposits in 1904, and E. de K. Leffingwell, also of the Survey, examined the

    coast in the v icinity of Point Barrow in the course of his exploration of the

    Canning River region. Leffingwell's investigations covered the years 1906-1914

    and included the first mention of petroleum in the vicinity of Dease Inlet. In

    1921, while working for a private company, Harry A. Campbell reported oil

    seepages near Cape Simpson, and that same year two groups of oil claims were

    staked near that Cape. It was only two years after this that the Executive

    Order establishing the Naval Reserve was signed.

            Paige comments: "As the bedrock source of the oil was unknown,

    the boundaries of the reserve were so drawn as to include the complete geologic

    section from the Arctic Mountain watershed on the south to the shores of the

    Polar Sea on the north, a distance of some 200 miles. East and west it

    measures nearly 300 miles."

            The 1946 report of the Alaska Commissioner of Mines reflects the

    present attitude toward federal control of the resources of such a large section

    of the Territory. "Very little information," he wrote, "has been published

    on the results of the exploratory drilling program being conducted by the

    U.S. Navy in its petroleum reserve on the Arctic slope. The fact that a large

    appropriation has been made for the work indicates that a serious attempt is

    to be made to evaluate the potential petroleum resources of this region. Should

    a producing field be brought in it would be of considerable importance to the 28

    005      |      Vol_XII-0013                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, ALASKA

    Territory. The Secretary of the Interior has recently liberalized the leasing

    regulations on oil lands to permit the control by groups of individuals or

    corporations of much larger areas than hereto f ore, which should result in

    renewed interest in exploring some of the other promising structures in Alaska."

            Later in the same report he criticizes the prohibition on staking

    mining claims in the Reserve. "The regulation," he remarks, "seems not to be

    in the best interests of the Territory and should be amended to permit prospec–

    ting and location of mining claims under the mining laws. Provisions for loca–

    tion of [ ?] claims and mining, similar to those in effect within Glacier Bay

    National Monument and Mt. McKinley Nati [ ?] nal Park, might be adaptable. Meager

    information available on the Brooks Rnage indicates the possible presence of

    valuable mineral occurrences. Prospectors willing to explore this little-known

    region should be entitled to locate and hold any valuable mineral deposits dis–

    covered. Prospecting and mining in the mountainous section would in no way

    interfere with the exploratory program of the Navy Department, which is being

    conducted in the flatter and foothill sections of the region."

            In July, 1949, the government issued a report on the work of the

    Petroleum Reserve. "The world's largest oil claim" has, according to this

    report, produced a honey-colored oil that swells like gasoline and pour s at

    ࢤ70° F. Although no oil in commercial quantities has yet been found, the

    Navy has already planned pipelines, highways, and a possible railroad to link

    any future fields with the interior of Alaska and the ice-free coast of the

    southeastern part of the Territory.

            The Navy has also assayed other resources of this vast region.

    Estimating Alaska's coal reserves at 110,000,000,000 tons, the department con–

    siders that the construction of at least one synthetic gas and oil plant may

    be justified. It made certain suggestions as to the use of lignite dust in

    agriculture. If snow-covered fields were to be spr [ ?] ad with black coal dust,

            27

    006      |      Vol_XII-0014                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, ALASKA

    for instance, thawing would be considerably accelerated and planting dates

    advanced as much as fourteen days. It was further suggested that lignite dust

    might be spread over the crops during the growing season so [ ?] as to increase

    the absorption of heat by the soil and thereby stimulate growth of the crops.

    The report also urged the immediate construction of a cement plant with an

    initial capacity of 350,000 barrels.

            Barrow stands at the apex of the Petroleum Reserve like the fixed

    point of a pendulum. If one were to conceive of a rod extending from Barrow to

    Icy Cape, a distance of some 150 miles, and were to swing this enormous pendulum

    eastward and northward until it once again met the P o lar Sea, in the vicinity of

    the mouth of the Colville, the area covered would all fall well within the

    Reserve and would, in fact, omit quite a bit of the southern section.

            From extremely ancient times Barrow has been the home of a large group great

    many of Eskimos who lived entirely from the products of the sea except for the

    reindeer skins which they used for clothing and the berries they gathered on

    the [ ?] marshlands. Elson, of the Beechey expedition of 1826, commanded

    a barge trip northward from Point Franklin. He found the number of inhabitants

    " to increase in numbers as he advanced to the northward." Beechey's report of

    this trip goes on to say, "On the eastern side of the point [ Barrow ] there was

    a village, larger than any we had before seen, consisting entirely of yourts.

    The natives [ ?] , on seeing us anchor, came down opposite the boat in great numbers,

    but seemed very doubtful whether to treat us as friends or enemies. We made

    signs of friendship to them; and a couple of baidars reluctantly ventured off

    and accepted a few beads and some tobacco, which on their return to the shore

    induced several others to visit us. These people were clothed like the

    Esquimaux we had seen on the other parts of the coast: their implements were

    also the same, except that we thought they were more particular in constructing

    the bow, the spring of which was strengthened with whalebone."

            27



    007      |      Vol_XII-0015                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, ALASKA

            Of the Point itself, he remarks: "This point is the termination

    to a spit of land, which on examination from the boat's mast-head seemed to

    jut out several miles from the more regular coast line. The width of the neck

    did not exceed a mile and a half, and apparently in some places less. The

    extremity was broader than any other part, had several small lakes of water on

    it, which were frozen over, and the village before spoken of is situated on its

    eastern shore."

            The account of this dangerous voyage in an open boat contains much

    information concerning the movement of ice, the direction, speed, and strength

    of the current which sets around Point Barrow, and the effect of the wind on

    both. Naturally, all these factors had more effect on Elson's small boat than

    they do on the large, powered craft of today.

            Elson learned from sad experience that the pack responds quickly

    to the direction of the prevailing wind. More than once his tiny boat was in

    imminent danger of being crushed when a northerly or northwesterly wind drove

    the pack swiftly toward shore. [ ?] Several times he was saved by a last–

    minute shift of the wind to the east or southeast.

            Jarvis, in discussing the disposition of the whaling vessels

    caught in the ice in 1897, gives a notable description of the movement of

    the pack in the vicinity of Barrow.

            'The heavy crushings of the 'ridge' are c ua au sed by the ice first

    grounding and piling up as it comes closer to the shore. This ridge forms a

    barrier to the pack outside and generally is solidly anchored by December or

    January. Attached to this and extending some miles offshore is what is known

    as the floe, or, locally, 'flaw.' Even in the winter, when the wind blows off

    the land the pack drifts off, and a lead of open water is made outside the

    'floe.' There is always a slight current in this lead running to the north,

    unless the wind is strong enough to stop and turn it. In the late spring and

            25

    008      |      Vol_XII-0016                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, ALASKA

    summer this northerly current increases at time s to 2 and 3 knots, but the

    strength of it must be more or less local and confined close to the land, as

    evidenced by the drift of the Navarch .

            "This vessel caught in the pack off Icy Cape in the latter part of

    July, 1897, gradually worked offshore and to the northward, passed Point Barrow

    in August, and during September was about 100 miles east of that point, and about

    20 miles from the land. In October, she returned to a position about 40 miles

    east of Point Barrow, and then in November disappeared. Her next appearance,

    in the latter part of January, was at [ ?] Refuge Inlet, about 20 miles to

    the south of Barrow Point Barrow, and going off from there she appeared again

    in February only 4 or 5 miles from the Point. Thus f o r six months she had been

    drifting back and forth within a distance of 250 miles with Point Barrow in the

    center, and all the time fast in the pack ice. This could not have happened if

    there was a continuous currant in one direction. It would seem also that the

    strength of the current is close to the land, and while offshore there is a

    slight drift [ ?] to the north in summer. In the winter season, however,

    the ice is moved about almost wholly by the wind."

            Thomas Simpson approached Barrow from the east in August of 1837,

    He, too, found great numbers of Eskimos not only on the Point but also everywhere

    on the spit. Contrary to Elson's experience, he reported these natives to be

    friendly and curious, but by no means hostile.

            Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, [ ?] the waters off Barrow began to be visited

    every year by the whaling fleets. In the course of time, many of these whaling

    captains became thoroughly experienced in the hazards of navigation in the Polar

    Sea, but this knowledge did not always save them from being caught in the pack

    and frozen in for the winter. Many ships were crushed in the ice and their

    crews lost or deposited close enough to shore so that they could walk to

    safety. The Eskimos became accustomed to sharing their food, clothing, and

    shelter with these shipwrecked whalers.

            26



    009      |      Vol_XII-0017                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, ALASKA

            It was just such a crew that the U.S. Revenue Steamer Corwin

    res uc cu ed in August, 1881, the whaler Daniel Webster having been crushed off Barrow

    and her crew deposited within safe walking distance from shore.

            In November, 1897, Captain Francis Tuttle was placed in command of

    the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear with orders to rescue the crews of eight whaling

    vessels reported to have been caught cuahgt in the ice off Point Barrow. Because of

    the lateness of the season, it was, of course, impossible for the Bear to sail

    D d irectly to Barrow. The Bear ship having been brought as far north as the ice

    would permit, Lieut. D.H. Jarvis was put in charge of an overland relief expedi–

    tion. J arvis received 292 reindeer from W.W. Lopp at Cape Prince of Wales and

    another 133 deer from Artisarlook, at Point Rodney. From other sources Jarvis

    raised the total head to 448 deer. It was his plan to drive these deer to

    Point Barrow where they could be used to supplement the food supply there, and

    his plan succeeded.

            "In coming from Cape Prince of Wales," Jarvis wrote, "the deer had

    traveled over 700 miles in fifty-five days, counting all the delays from storms

    and preparations, and Artisarlook's herd had come 100 miles farther, from

    Point Rodney."

            This overland, mid-winter trek remains one of the most remarkable

    res uc cu e operations ever attempted in Alaska. Its success is a credit not only

    to Jarvis, but also to Lopp and the several Eskimos who aided him in the actual

    driving of the reindeer, and to the hospitality of the Barrow Eskimos and the

    generosity of Charles Browers, owner of the supply station at Cape Smyth.

            While on his way to Barrow, Jarvis saw large flocks of ptarmigan,

    an occasional raven, and several arctic owls. With his arrival and the subse–

    quent coming of spring, snowbirds, eider ducks, geese, jagers, owls, and loons

    appeared in ever increasing numbers. These game birds were shot for food and

    their eggs gathered in June. On the first of July the male eiders began their

    flight southward. During the first ten days of this migration, two natives and

            27

    010      |      Vol_XII-0018                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, ALASKA

    two white men established a shooting station in its path and bagged 1,100 birds.

    Since the supply of fish [ ?] had given out several weeks previously, these

    ducks supplied the final answer to the food problem at Barrow for the spring of

    1898. The relief ships arrived during the month of August.

            The picture one gets of the village of Barrow during this winter

    is, of course, somewhat abnormal. The Eskimos remained in the village proper

    while the whalers were quartered outside it, some crews having come ashore and

    others having remained on board their ice-bound ships. The Eskimos had, from

    the beginning, shared their food, clothing, and what fuel they had with the

    shipwrecked men and had suffered much in consequence of this generosity. They

    continued to hunt and fish throughout the crisis, dividing their catch among the

    enormously increased population. It is particularly noticeable, [ ?]

    from Jarvis' account, that they did all this naturally and without complaint.

    After his arrival, Jarvis had disciplinary troubles with some of the crew

    members, but none with the Eskimos. The impression one gets of the whole affair

    is of a hard-working, capable, and philosophical people making the best of a

    trying situation, going about their regular activities as methodically as condi–

    tions allowed, and finding fault with hardly anything.

            According to Schrader and Peters, about a dozen white men lived

    at Barrow in 1901, and, if the population of Nuwuk were also included, an

    additional 623 Eskimos. Schrader mentions the mission school and the Cape

    Smyth Whaling and Trading Company in charge of Charles "Brauer." "The keepers

    of the post," he continues, "engage to some degree in whaling, in which they

    employ the natives. Early in April the whaling parties proceed by dog sled

    10 or more miles out over the ice to the open sea, where they pursue their

    calling in open skin boats.

            "Point Barrow [ by which he intends Barrow ] is almost annually

    visited by vessels of the United States Revenue Services and by various whaling

    vessels. Ten of the latter are reported to have called there during the summer

            28

    011      |      Vol_XII-0019                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, ALASKA

    of 1901. Whaling in this part of the Arctic Ocean has been carried on with

    varying success by [ ?] everal companies during the la [ ?] t half century, but is now

    reported to be on the decline. The pursuit is hazardous, as the vessels are

    often caught in the icepack.

            "In 1901 effort was being made by a Japanese to establish a small

    trading post at the mouth of Staines River, near the one hundred and forty-sixth

    meridian."

            According to the 1920 Census Nuwuk had a population of about 94

    and Utkiavi, at Cape Smyth, had about 322, the majority of which were Eskimos.

    This latter figure doubtless includes Barrow. The drop in population may be

    attributed to the depletion of the supply of whales and walrus in the nearby

    waters of the Polar Sea as a result of intensive hunting by white men during

    the last half of the nineteenth century.

            During the 1920's Barrow received three winter mails by dog sled

    and one water-borne summer mail from Nome each year. A Coast Guard cutter and

    a trading vessel from Liebes & Co., San Francisco, the principle owners of the

    trading posts in this vicinity, also called once a year.

            The arrival of the airship Norge in the spring of 1926, carrying

    Nobile, Amundsen, and Ellsworth (q.v. [ ?] ), marked the opening of a series of

    airborne visitors to Barrow. Since this date most of the exploration in

    this area has been by air. In the summer of 1931 the Lindberghs flew from

    New York to Tokyo, stopping at Barrow on the way. On August 15, 1935, Wiley

    Post and Will Rogers crashed near Barrow.

            On August 12, 1937, Sigismund Levane [ ?] sky and his crew left Moscow

    in a huge four-motor plane on a proposed flight to Fairbanks. Th [ ?] r last radio

    message reported them over the North Pole. They were not heard from again, and

    one of the most concerted and extended searches ever carried on by air began.

    It lasted a full year.

            With Barrow as a main winter base (summer operations were conducted

            23

    012      |      Vol_XII-0020                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, ALASKA

    from Aklavik, Canada) Sir Hubert Wilkins and his companions flew a total

    mileage of 45,550 miles, of which some 33,970 miles were north of the Arctic

    Circle. He used a Consolidated flying boat for summer work, and a Lockhead

    Electra skiplane in the winter. As with the Franklin Search expeditio [ ?] s of the

    mi d -nineteenth century, more was learned about arctic flying in the course of

    the Levanevsky Search than ever would have been learned in many years of normal

    arctic flying.

            Of the situation as it was then, Wilkins said: "Operation from

    Point Barrow in winter called for special attention. Landings were made on the

    lagoon which is situated between the houses of the village [ i.e., between

    Cape Smyth and Barrow ] . This lagoon might afford a fifteen hundred yard

    take off, but it is liable to be rough surfaced with ridges in a variety of

    directions. At Barrow it was found that the salt laden hoar frost loaded on

    the metal surfaced machine and, if not frequently removed, formed a solid

    crust of opaque ice, difficult to observe without close inspection. Such

    coatings of ice, even though they might be only a fraction of an inch in

    thickness, offer great dangers to the operation of air craft, especially in

    the take off. Heavy deposits of hoar frost also accumulated on the instruments

    in the cockpit of the machine and on the inside of the walls of the fuselage

    at Point Barrow. Constant attention and cleaning, however, enabled us to

    avoid any serious consequences of these deposits.

            "It frequently happens that a stretch of smooth sea ice is to be

    found opposite the village and outside the shore pressure ridge at Barrow.

    This might afford a temporary resting place for planes and a take-off ground,

    but machines left there for any lengthy period would not be safe from being

    carried off by the ice pack or from the crushing of the ice which might take

    place at any season of the year."

            A Navy base was established about six miles below Point Barrow in

    1944. Fresh water for the base is obtained from the small lake nearby, and,

            27

    013      |      Vol_XII-0021                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, ALASKA

    in case of emergency, supplies can be purchased here. In connection with the

    W w ork of this base, Dr. Shelesnyak writes: "The experience of the Navy, chiefly

    of the Bureau of Yards and Docks and the Naval Petroleum Reserve No.4 in the

    years since 1944 while engaged in petroleum exploration in the Point Barrow

    region, can be considered one of the highest types and the most advanced of

    scientific exploration of the Arctic. This group has been engaged in actual

    exploration and has maintained an all year round operating schedule that is not

    only pioneering, but actually leads the way in establishing a pattern for Arctic

    colonization."

            The Office of Naval Research (formerly the temporary Office of

    Research and Inventions) was permanently established and approved on August 1,

    1946. That same summer an arctic program of research was initiated and an

    Arctic Scientific Station established at Point Barrow. Here it was proposed

    to build a laboratory where "civilian scientists under contract with the

    Navy Department could conduct investigations of physical and biological

    phenomena related to the environment."

            "By the summer of 1947," Dr. Shelesnyak continues, "two teams of

    scientists, one from Swarthmore Colle [ ?] e and one from Cornell Univer [ ?] ity were

    under way conducting a year's study on the biological aspects of the Arctic,

    especially those related to the metabolism of warm blooded animals including

    man. The establishment of this scientific station by the Navy is the signal

    achievement and is the first laboratory to be established in the North American

    Arctic for the single purpose of pursuing basic scientific investigations."

            In March, 1948, Laurence Irving, the Scientific Director of the

    station, reported that the Office of Naval Research had two laboratories at

    Barrow, one doing work in the Natural Sciences and the other designated for the

    Physical Sciences.

            "These laboratories," Irving wrote, "receive local maintenance and

    supplies from the Bureau of Yards and Docks through the Arctic Contractors

            26

    014      |      Vol_XII-0022                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, ALASKA

    [ Naval Petroleum Reserve No.4 ] , who operate the base camp. Lodging and food

    for personnel, common cold-weather clothing, local transportation, and native

    technical assistance are also provided through the Arctic Contractors."

            All this activity in and around Barrow has tended to increase the

    population. According to the 1939 Census, Barrow had 363 permanent residents,

    but a 1947 estimate increased this to 575.

            One of the three general stores in the town is managed by the

    Eskimos under the Alaska Native Service. There are also an Alaska Native

    Service school, a fourth class post office, a Presbyterian mission, and two

    licensed fur dealers in the town. As would be expected, several officials re–

    side in Barrow. A U.S. Commissioner has an office there; the Weather Bureau

    a recording station; the Alaska Communication System (U.S. Army) a telegraph and

    radiotelephone station; and the federal government a twenty-bed hospital for

    the natives. Arctic Contractors, Inc., who are developing the Petroleum

    Reserve , maintain a camp at Barrow. The Coast Guard still pays the settlement

    an annual visit, and a few trading vessels call at Barrow during the season

    of navigation.

            In August, 1947, the camp set up by Arctic Contractors, Inc. con–

    sisted of seventy-two buildings, mostly of the quonset type. These buildings

    included living quarters for about two hundred men, warehouses, machine shops, a

    radio and weather building, a carpenter shop, power plant, laboratory, under–

    ground food storage refrigerator, magnetometer buildings, cleaning plant,

    hos p ital, and recreation hall. Quonset quarters for the wives of a few

    employees were in the process of construction.

            Operating headquarters for Arctic Contractors are at Fairbanks,

    where all personnel and supplies to be shipped in by air are cleared before

    entering the Reserve. Administration and purchasing headquarters are at Seattle.

            Air support is continuous throughout the year. Noel and Sigurd Wien,

    015      |      Vol_XII-0023                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, ALASKA

    owners and operators of Wien Alaska Airlines, both famous Alaska bush pilots

    with twenty years' experience, cover a daily schedule, known as the "line haul,"

    north from Fairbanks to Umiat and Barrow. There is a 5,200-foot airstrip

    at Barrow. Equipment and supplies are brought from Seattle to Fairbanks by

    the Naval Air Transport Service.

            Every August tons of supplies are brought in to Barr ow by Navy

    ships. The program called for 22,000 tons to be landed from four A.K.A. Navy

    vessels and one ice-breaker during August of 1947. Surplus Army and Navy

    landing barges and some pontoon barges are used in this operation, but perhaps

    the most useful machine is the Army weasel. The weasel is an amphibious

    tractor-like vehicle which will cross the tundra or [ ?] crawl out of the sea

    and up onto the ice or vice versa.

            Tractors as well as weasels can be used for winter land transpor–

    tation and small planes make short runs between the various camps in the

    Reserve. From February to late May tractor trains are used to deliver large

    shipments of supplies deposited at Barrow for use in other parts of the

    Reserve.

            A news item in the Alaska Weekly for July 8, 1949 shows how this

    mechanized equipment imported by the Navy may be used to lighten the work of

    the Barrow Eskimos.

            Since the supply of fresh water is restricted, the natives still

    depend on ice which has lost its saltiness through crytalization for their

    water supply. Navy Seabees at Barrow watched a group of Eskimo [ ?] men cutting

    ice into blocks with handsaws and dragging the blocks out of the water with

    a leather thong. The Seabees offered their help. They set to work cutting

    ice with a motor-driven, circular blade timber saw mounted on wheels,

    pulled the cakes out of the water with a weasel and slid the cakes ashore on

    bent-pipe skids. In one eight-hour day they had cut and store d forty tons of

    ice, which is considerably more than a hard-working Eskimo could produce

            25

    016      |      Vol_XII-0024                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, ALASKA

    in eighty days.

            According to a July 15, 1949, item, eleven naval vessels were to take

    part in the Barrow supply operations that summer. Known officially as

    Operation Barex 49, these ships would deliver supplies for the estimated 500

    men attached to the Reserve at Barrow, for the many more farther in the

    Interior of the Territory, and for the naval Air Force personnel and instal–

    lations on Barter Island, 280 miles east of Point Barrow. An icebreaker was

    scheduled to leave on July 19, to be followed on July 26 by the supply vessels.

    All ships planned to r endezvous at Point Lay before continuing on to Barrow.

    The sc he dule required landing of all supplies accomplished in one week.

    Continuous reports from planes equipped with radar would keep the unloading

    parties informed as to the direction of the wind and the position of the

    pack.

            The following chart [ ?] outlines the climate at Barrow. Although the

    low reading of ࢤ48° F. may seem very cold to some residents of the temperate

    zone, it by no means approaches the extreme winter temperatures to be ex–

    perienced in the interior of arctic Alaska. The climate of Barrow is marine

    and is regulated by the proximity of the Polar Sea. The humidity is high

    the year around, and the sky generally overcast. On the other hand, the sun

    is above the horizon twenty-four hours a day during the summer months,

    so that there is considerably more light than the average of one "clear" day

    in thirty or thirty-one would seem to imply.



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0025                                                                                                                  

            Barrow Weather Report - 1947 T = Trace

           

    Temp. of the Air Mean Relative Humidity Total Precipitation in Inches Wind Clear Days Cloudy and Partly Cloudy Days Snow fall Total in Inches
    Maximum Velocity Aver. Hourly Velocity MPH Prevailing Direction.
    Max. Date Min. Date MPH Direct.
    Jan 24° 1 sb ࢤ48° 24 [ ?] 100 0.07 40 W.SW 9.6 W 12 19 0.8
    Feb. 18 ࢤ47° 3 100 0.04 46 E 13.8 E 7 21 0.4
    Mar. 20 ࢤ40 5 99 0.36 24 NE 8.0 NE 10 21 4.1
    Apr. 27° 12 ࢤ26° 2 98 0.10 30 NE 9.4 E 11 19 1.3
    May 36° 24 ࢤ11° 1 97 0.06 35 E 13.7 E 6 25 0.6
    June 41° 24 21° 2 96 0.11 25 NE 11.3 E 1 29 T
    July 61° 16 29° 6 92 0.09 30 E 11.3 E 1 30 T
    Aug. 60° 25 25° 18 92 0.46 35 NW 11.4 W 1 30 T
    Sept 41° 3 20° 30 92 0.06 32 W 13 NE 0 30 0.7
    Oct. 29° 6 ࢤ6° 29 94 0.43 34 E 13 E 0 31 7.9
    Nov. 25° 30 ࢤ12° 26 93 0.16 36 E 14 NE 1 29 3.5
    Dec. 12° 27 ࢤ23° 30 92 0.09 29 NE 14.3 NE 1 30 0.6



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0026                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, ALASKA


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Alaska, Dept. of Mines. Report of the Commissioner of Mines for the

    Biennium ended December 31, 1946.
    Report of the Commissioner of Mines for the

    Biennium ended December 31, 1946.
    Juneau, (1947)

    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska, Geographic Dictionary of Alaska, 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

    (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin No.299)

    Beechey, Capt. F.W. Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's

    Strait...in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28.
    Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's

    Strait...in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28.
    London, 1831. 2v.

    Colby, Merle. Guide to Alaska, last american frontier. Guide to Alaska, last american frontier. N.Y., 1942.

    Hooper, Capt. C.L. Report of the Cruise of the U.S. Revenue Steamer Thomas

    Corwin, in the Arctic Ocean, 1881.
    Washington, 1884.

    Irving, Laurence. " Arctic Research at Point Barrow, Alaska. " SCIENCE,

    March 19, 1948, Vol.107, No.2777, pp.284-286.

    Paige, Sidney (and others). Reconnaissance of the Point Barrow Region, Alaska.

    Washington, 1925.
    Reconnaissance of the Point Barrow Region, Alaska.

    Washington, 1925.
    (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin 772)

    Pilgrim, Mariette Shaw. Alaska, its history, resources, geography, and

    government.
    Alaska, its history, resources, geography, and

    government.
    Caldwell, Idaho, Caxton printers, 1939.

    Shelesnyak, M.C. Arctic Research Laboratory, Office of Naval Research, Point

    Barrow, Alaska.
    Arctic Research Laboratory, Office of Naval Research, Point

    Barrow, Alaska.
    SCIENCE, March 19, 1948, Vol.107, No.2777,

    p.283.

    Simpson, Thomas. Narrative of the Discoveries on the North Coast of America...

    during the years 1836-39.
    Narrative of the Discoveries on the North Coast of America...

    during the years 1836-39.
    London, 1843.

    Tewkesbury's Who's Who in Alaska and Alaska Business Index. Tewkesbury's Who's Who in Alaska and Alaska Business Index. 1947 ed.

    Seattle, Wash., 1947

    U.S. Treasury Department. Report of the Cruise of the U.S. Revenue Cutter

    Bear and the Overland Expedition for the Relief of the

    Whalers in the Arctic Ocean, from November 27, 1897, to

    September 13, 1898.
    Report of the Cruise of the U.S. Revenue Cutter

    Bear and the Overland Expedition for the Relief of the

    Whalers in the Arctic Ocean, from November 27, 1897, to

    September 13, 1898.
    Washington, 1899.

    Willson, C.O. "Full-scale exploration under way by Navy in Arctic Alaska;

    Climate major factor in determining exploration work in Northern

    Alaska;Seeking Arctic Oil." Oil and Gas Journal , August 9, 16,

    23, 1947.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0027                                                                                                                  

            1,050 words

    Ruby Collins

    July, 1949 BARROW, POINT, ALASKA


            BARROW, POINT (71° 23′ N.Lat., 156° 21′ W.Long.), the northern–

    most point of land in Alaska, was so named by Beechey in September, 1826, after

    Sir John Barrow. In 1837, Dease and Simpson called it Cape North as well as

    Point Barrow. Nuwuk (q.v.), the Eskimo settlement on the Point, is the native

    word for "tip" or "point." The town of Barrow, which has recently been thought

    of as including Utkiavi k , the trading post on Cape Smyth, is on the mainland

    about eight or nine miles southwest of Point Barrow.

            Captain C.L. Hooper in his report on the second voyage of the

    Corwin remarks: "Point Barrow is the most northern point of the United States,

    and lacks only 25 miles of being the most northern portion of the continent (a

    point of land called Boothia Promontory, in longitude 95° west, lies a few miles

    farther north). Point Barrow is a low sand spit which makes out to the northward

    about 8 miles from the regular coast-line, which terminates at Cape Smyth, thence

    turning to the eastward and extending about the same distance forms a bay named by

    Beechey, Elson Bay, after one of the officers of the Blossom. This bay is too

    shallow to be of any value, being navigable only for vessels of very light draught

    Navigation Point Barrow is open to navigation only about one month out of

    every twelve, that is from some time in August to about mid-September.

    Most vessels plan to leave the area by September 10.

            Captain Hooper gives careful directions as to navigations of

    the shallow waters surrounding the point. "To the north of the point," he wrote,

    "lying nearly parallel with the shore, and from 1 to 2 miles distant, is a shoal

    with only 2 fathoms of water on it, possibly less in places. It is probably 3

    miles long from east to west, and 1 mile in breadth. The space between the

    shoal and the point affords excellent anchorage out of the way of the drift–

    ice which sets past the point. Small pieces from the southward are constantly

    starting off shore, and being carried northward by the current, so that an

    002      |      Vol_XII-0028                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, POINT, ALASKA

    anchorage on the west side of the point is not always safe or comfortable.

    A vessel running for this anchorage from the southward should round the point

    within one half a mile, keeping the lead going and not getting inside of 3

    fathoms; the anchorage is in 3 1/2 and 4 fathoms. Vessels going eastward of

    the point should not 'shut in' the west shore of the point nearer than 2 1/2

    miles; and in hauling around the lead should be kept going, and care taken to keep

    outside of 4 fathoms, which will clear the shoal. In approaching from the

    north keep outside of 4 fathoms until the coast-line to the south is open to

    the westward of the point, when the end of the point may be run for with safety

    until past the shoal."

            The ice endangering these waters is of two basic types. The

    first, known as the ice barrier, is made up of large icebergs which have been

    grounded about one-half a mile offshore. This barrier extends all the way

    from Point Franklin, over fifty miles to the southward, to about two miles beyond

    Point Barrow. The second type is called the pack because it is impenetrable

    to ships. The pack lies outside the barrier ice, and is estimated to cover

    from 60% to 80% of the Polar Mediterranean. The pack [ ?] drifts back and forth

    with currents in the ocean and with the direction of the prevailing wind.

    There is often open water both between the barrier and the shore and between the

    barrier and the pack.

            The barrier has been known to break up and drift seaward before

    strong offshore winds. During this process, openings of leads may [ ?] appear

    in the barrier, through which, with a shift again to an onshore wind, small

    icebergs can drift. Since these smaller bergs have a more shallow draft than

    the ice which forms the barrier, they have been known to fill the inshore

    water completely, stopping all navigation there. If the barrier remains

    unbroken, however, it serves as a protection from the pack ice, which also

    drifts with the currents and the prevailing winds. The amount of ice off

    003      |      Vol_XII-0029                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, POINT, ALASKA

    Point Barrow varies from year to year. Sometimes the pack is never out of

    sight from September to July, and sometimes it drifts far to sea and over the

    horizon, where it may stay for weeks on end.

            When the inshore water is free of ice, a current, with an

    estimated strength of between three and four knots, flows in a northeasterly

    direction past the west side of Point Barrow sandspit. Along the east side

    of the spit a current flows in a northwesterly direction, with an estimated

    strength of one knot. Judging from the movement of icebergs, there seems to

    be an eddy centered several miles northeast of the Point where these two

    currents meet. For many years the current on the west side of the spit has

    been used as an indication of whether or not open water extends north of

    Point Franklin. Whaling captains learned that inshore ice north of Point

    Franklin reduced the strength of the current and lowered the temperature of the

    water even that distance south.

            In general it may be said that, during the months of July,

    August, and September, navigation is sometimes possible outside the barrier.

    Navigation inside the barrier is feasible, but pilots should take soundings

    frequently, since old channels are constantly being filled in and new ones formed

    by the gouging action of floating icebergs.

            Vessels drawing twenty-four feet or less can round Point Barrow

    easily by keeping a little less than one mile offshore. Navigation eastward

    from the Point is not recommended although, if an easterly passage must be

    attempted, August is the safest month. In southerly weather, ships can

    anchor just east of the Point as close to the shore as their draft permits with

    good holding bottom.

            A survey conducted from May to August of 1945 reported the

    prevailing winds to be westerly, although winds blew from all directions [ ?]

    with equal force. The strongest winds did not exceed forty-five miles per hour.

    More than half of this time fog was present and rain and snow fell at various

    004      |      Vol_XII-0030                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, POINT, ALASKA

    times all summer.

            During this particular season, the pack was never completely

    out of sight, opening to the westward only to close to the eastward and vice

    versa. Large icebergs floated about in the open water all the time. Some

    of these, which rose thirty to fifty feet above the sea, grounded at the

    five-fathom curve and remained in place a week, until a wind shift dislodged

    them.

            The mean rise and fall of the tide at Point Barrow is only about

    half a foot. The weather station there is one of the oldest in the Territory.

    From 1881 to 1883 it was commanded by Major P.H. Ray, of the U.S. Engineer

    Corps, who is famous for his dog team reconnaissance trip of the Meade River.

            For a general description of this part of Alaska, see article

    on Barrow, Alaska.



    005      |      Vol_XII-0031                                                                                                                  
    BARROW, POINT, ALASKA

            REFERENCES

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Hooper, C.L. Report of the Cruise of the U.S. Revenue Steamer Thomas Corwin Report of the Cruise of the U.S. Revenue Steamer Thomas Corwin ,

    in the Arctic Ocean, 1881. Washington, G.P.O., 1884. in the Arctic Ocean, 1881. Washington, G.P.O., 1884.

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska Alaska . Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, G.P.O., 1947.

            VS Guidebook for Alaska Guidebook for Alaska .



    001      |      Vol_XII-0032                                                                                                                  

            540 wds

    Ruby Collins

    May, 1949 BEAUFORT, CAPE, ALASKA


            BEAUFORT, CAPE, on the arctic coast of Alaska, at 69° N.Lat.,

    164° W.Long., is a dark mountain coming down directly to the shores of the

    Polar Sea. There is no break in the coast at this Cape, which is the

    most northerly extension of high land on the coast of Alaska. The mountains

    at Beaufort trend inland while the coast continues low.

            While writing of the conditions under which he named this point,

    Beechey gives a good description of the country in the vicinity of Cape

    Beaufort.

            "The wind was light, and we made so little progress that on the

    9th [ August, 1826 ] Cape Lisburn was still in sight. Before it was

    entirely lost I landed at a small cape, which I named Cape Beaufort, in

    compliment to Captain Beaufort, the present hydrograp h er to the Admiralty.

    The land northward was low and swampy, covered with moss and long grass,

    which produced all the plants we had met with to the southward, and two

    or three besides. Cape Beaufort is composed of sandstone, enclosing bits

    of petrified wood and rushes, and is traversed by narrow veins of coal

    lying in an E.N.E. and W.S.W. direction. That at the surface was dry

    and bad, but some pieces which had been thrown up by the burrowing of a

    small animal, probably the ermine, burned very well.



    002      |      Vol_XII-0033                                                                                                                  
    BEAUFORT, CAPE, ALASKA

            "Cape Beaufort is situated in the depth of a great bay, formed

    between Cape Lisburn and Icy Cape, and is the last point where the hills

    come close down to the sea, by reason of the coast line curving to the

    northward, while the range of hills continues its former direction. From

    the rugged mountains of limestone and flint at Cape Lisburn, there is an

    uniform descent to the rounded hills of sandstone at Cape Beaufort just

    described. The range is, however, broken by extensive valleys, intersected

    by lakes and rivers. Some of these lakes border upon the sea, and in the

    summer months are accessible to baidars, or even large boats; but as soon

    as the current from the beds of thawing snow inland ceases, the sea throws

    up a bar across the mouths of them, and they cannot be entered. The

    beach, at the places where we landed was shingle and mud, the country

    mossy and swampy, and infested with [ ?] moskitos. We noticed recent

    tracks of wolves, and some cloven-footed animals, and saw several ptarmigans,

    ortolans, and a lark. Very little drift wood had found its way upon this

    part of the coast."



    003      |      Vol_XII-0034                                                                                                                  
    Beaufort, Cape, Alaska

            According to the U.S. Coast Pilot, the wide bite extending from

    Cape Lisburne (q.v.) to Cape Beaufort is relatively shallow, but with a

    regular bottom, so that ships may rest at anchor within two miles of

    shore anywhere along this stretch of coast. The water directly off Cape

    Beaufort is more shallow than elsewhere, however. Fresh water may be

    obtained from any of the several streams which enter the Polar Sea in this

    vicinity and Elliott reports coal near Cape Beaufort in a ridge some 300

    feet high.



    004      |      Vol_XII-0035                                                                                                                  
    BEAUFORT, CAPE, ALASKA

            Although it does not show up on charts for this part of the

    arctic coast of Alaska, the indentation eastward of the Cape is reported

    to be fairly deep, offering good shelter from westerly and southwesterly

    storms.

            References:

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Beechey, Capt. F.W. Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's

    Strait...in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28.
    Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's

    Strait...in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28.
    London, 1831. 2v.

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska Alaska . Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, 1947.



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0036                                                                                                                  

            105 wds.

    Ruby Collins

    July, 1949 BEECHEY POINT, ALASKA


            BEECHEY POINT projects into the Polar Sea from the arctic coast of

    Alaska about midway between the mouths of the Colville and the Sagavanirktok

    Rivers. The most easterly of the Jones Island stand a few miles to sea and

    directly in front of Beechey Point. In 1837, Dease and Simpson named this point after

    a hummock of land seen by Sir John Franklin from Return Island in 1826.

    Simpson remarks, however, that his Beechey Point could not be seen from Return

    Island "in any state of the atmosphere," because both rise only 30 or 40

    feet above sea level and are 12 miles distant from each other.

            Recent maps show a town on this point which had a reported population

    of 12 in 1947.

            References:

    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Simpson, Thomas. Narrative of the discoveries on the north coast of the

    Polar Sea, in the years 1825, 1826, and 1827
    Narrative of the discoveries on the north coast of the

    Polar Sea, in the years 1825, 1826, and 1827
    . London, Murray, 1828.

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska. Part II Alaska. Part II . 5th (1947) ed. Washington, 1947.

            VS Guidebook for Alaska VS Guidebook for Alaska .



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0037                                                                                                                  

            140 wds

    Ruby Collins

    June, 1949 BELCHER, POINT, ALASKA


            BELCHER, POINT (70° 48′ N.Lat., 159° 23′ W.Long.) is a blunt

    promontory, about midway between Point Franklin and Wainwright (q.v.), northern

    Alaska, on the coast of the Polar Sea. The coast in this vicinity again

    is a shingle beach, with lagoons inside, back of which lie rolling hills.

    These hills are higher than any other land that can be seen northeast of Cape

    Beaufort. North of the Point the coast continues in a low sand beach to

    Point Franklin.

            The water is shoal for several miles off Point Pt. Belcher. Recent

    maps show no streams cutting the coastline in the immediate vicinity of the

    Point although tiny Sinaruruk River enters the sea about nine miles south of it.

    the Point. This stream should not be confused with the Sinaru which enters the

    Polar Sea about half-way between Point Franklin and Barrow, just north of

    71° N.Lat.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0038                                                                                                                  

            920 wds.

    Ruby Collins

    June, 1949 BLOSSOM SHOALS, ALASKA


            BLOSSOM SHOALS are a number of ridges parallel with the coast extending

    six to eight miles off Icy Cape on the arctic coast of Alaska. These shoals

    are greater in extent than shown on charts, and, from the grounding of vessels

    and observation, appear to be spreading.

            According to the U.S. Coast Pilot the bottom becomes lumpy and the sound–

    ings irregular upon approaching these shoals. Vessels are advised to give them

    a wide berth, and to round Icy Cape outside the 12 fathom limit.

            In 1930, Pederson, captain of the trading vessel Patterson , reported a

    good channel through the Shoals about two miles off Icy Cape. The Coast Guard

    cutter Northland surveyed a channel with depths of 5 to 9 fathoms, parallel to

    the west side of Icy Cape, and about 2.5 miles off. This would appear to be

    the same channel reported by Captain Pederson. The Coast Guard also reports

    two shallow spots, one with 3 fathom about two miles from the point of the

    Cape, and another with 2 1/2 fathom about 2 miles from the same point . of the Cape.

    These two danger ous points spots are inshore of the channel. This channel is of par–

    ticular importance to vessels caught north of the Shoals by ice setting onto

    their outer edge.

            Blossom Shoals form the approximate southern limits of the inshore ice

    during the July-September season for navigation. The ice moves inshore and

    offshore with the winds. As the shoals form a salient at this part of the

    coast, open water may extend north and south of them but access from one open–

    water area to the other may be blocked by ice on the other side of the shoals.

            In summer, the pack ice frequently lies only a few miles offshore between

    Icy Cape and Point Barrow, and is likely to close in at any time. A northeast

    wind, although it blows directly along the shore, keeps the ice clear of the

    shore to and past Point Barrow. Heavy ice, when close inshore, appears to stop

    the surface current, nearly or quite, and lowers the temperature to about 36°F.



    002      |      Vol_XII-0039                                                                                                                  
    BLOSSOM SHOALS, ALASKA

            or less. It was considered by the Yankee whaling ships that a vessel working

    up the shore might readily tell if ice was on Point Barrow by watching the set

    of the current and the temperature of the water. If the ice was clear of the

    shore, the current would be setting northward from 1 to 3 knots, with a tempera–

    ture of about 40° F.

            It was a whaler and Revenue Cutter rule that a vessel going northward of

    Icy Cape should sight the ice pack frequently, keeping close watch of its

    movements, and in the event of its starting inshore should get south of Blossom

    Shoals as soon as possible. Several whaling and trading vessels, and Stefans–

    son's ship the Karluk , are on record as having been caught in the ice off Point

    Barrow, some of them to be carried helpless, beset in the pack, along the shore

    to Barrow, where they usually continued [ ?] orth from the Point, to be freed

    usually when from ten to thirty miles north of the Point.

            The preceding information is mainly from the Coast Pilot and is, therefore,

    based on a great deal of seafaring experience [ ?] ; but nevertheless it requires

    comment. The Pilot goes to the extreme of saying that the pack ice "seldom

    moves more than a few miles offshore between Icy Cape and Point Barrow," which

    would seem an oversata overstatement. For there are sometime periods

    sometimes periods of weeks at a time when no ice can be seen from the land and

    when in all probability the open water along shore extends far beyond the

    horizon. On the other hand, I i t is true, however, that there are summers when the ice scar [ ?] cely

    ever leaves the beach and when the best chance of getting along is to use a

    ship of very shallow draft that can take [ ?] advantage of heavy cakes having

    been so grounded offshore that they fend the pack away.

            On this same coastal stretch the ice may "go abroad" in winter far beyond

    the horizon; but at that season it is rare if it stays away more than a few

    days. At such times, of course, it leaves a strip of fast ice along the shore.

    This varies in width at different places and at different times from a few

    003      |      Vol_XII-0040                                                                                                                  
    BLOSSOM SHOALS, ALASKA

    hundred yards to several miles. There have been cases when [ ?] in winter the

    ice was broken right along the beach at some points so that the width of the

    shore ice was only a few yards.

            Beechey, who named Blossom Shoals after his ship in August of 1826,

    described them as follows: "We passed along the land in about eight fathoms

    water until near Icy Cape, when we came rather suddenly into three fathoms and

    three quarters, but immediately deepened the soundings again to seven: the

    next cast, however, was four fathoms; and not knowing how soon we might have

    less, the ship was immediately brought to an anchor. Upon examination with the

    boats, several successive banks were found at about three quarters of a mile

    apart, lying parallel with the coast line. Upon the outer ones, there were only

    three and a half or four fathoms, and upon the inner bank, which had hitherto

    escaped notice from being under the sun, so little water that the sea broke

    constantly over it. Between the sh [ ?] als there were nine and ten fathoms, with

    very irregular casts. These shoals lie immediately off Icy Cape where the

    land takes an abrupt turn to the eastward, and are probably the effect of a

    large river, which here empties itself into the sea; though they may be

    occasioned by heavy ice grounding off the point, and being fixed to the bottom,

    as we found our anchor had so firm a hold, that in attempting to weigh it

    the chain cable broke, after enduring a very heavy strain."



    004      |      Vol_XII-0041                                                                                                                  
    BLOSSOM SHOALS, ALASKA


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. 2d ed. Washington, D.C., 1906.

    Beechey, F.W. Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's Strait...

    in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28.
    Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's Strait...

    in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28.
    London, 1831. 2v.

    U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska. Alaska. Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, D.C., 1947.

    VS Guidebook for Alaska. VS Guidebook for Alaska.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0042                                                                                                                  

            310 wds

    Ruby Collins

    January, 1950 BRITISH MOUNTAINS, ALASKA


            BRITISH MOUNTAINS, arctic Alaska, rise treeless and partly

    snow-covered sixty or more miles west of the 141st meridian, the Alaska-Canada

    boundary, and extend for an equal distance east of the boundary. The name

    British Mountains was adopted by the International Boundary Commission for

    the crest line on the 141st meridian. Leffingwell extends the name to cover

    "the northern portion of the Arctic Range between the boundary line and the

    Jago River, where the Romanzof Mountains begin." This demarcation would seem

    to omit the Richardson Mountains (q.v.), which appear on most recent maps

    as separating the British Mountains from the coastal plain, thereby making

    up part of the international boundary. Leffingwell continues: "The writer

    has applied the term British Mountains to the portion of the Arctic

    Mountains l y ing east of the Romanzofs and north of the Yukon-Arctic divide.

    The mountains which Franklin discovered from Point Griffin were undoubtedly

    the higher snow-clad granite mountains about the headwaters of Okpilak

    River [ just southeast of the Romanzofs ] ."

            On July 21, 1826, Sir John Franklin climbed Mount Con i bear o (Conybeare) ,

    near the mouth of the Malcolm River some twenty miles east of the boundary

    and about eight miles inland. In Franklin's words, the view from this 800-foot elevation

    "possessed the charm of novelty, and attracted particular regard. We commanded

    a prospect of three ranges of mountains lying parallel to the Buckland

    chain [ in Canada ] , but of less altitude. The view was bounded by a fourth range

    of high-peaked mountains, for the most part covered with snow. This distant

    range was afterwards distinguished by the name of the British Chain."

            On the Alaska w s ide of the boundary, the British Mountains

    enclose the headwaters of the Kongakut River, and on the Canadian side the

    002      |      Vol_XII-0043                                                                                                                  
    BRITISH MOUNTAINS, ALASKA

    entire course of the tributaries to the upper Firth River an d part of the

    Firth itself. There are doubtless a great many unnamed streams in this

    section of Alaska; but, and since [ ?] they are almost entirely unexplored, little is known in detail of the entire region of

    the British Mountains. since [ ?] they are almost entirely unexplored,

            Franklin, John. Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar

    Sea, in the Years 1825, 1826, and 1827
    Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar

    Sea, in the Years 1825, 1826, and 1827
    . London, Murray, 1828,

    p.134.

            Leffingwell, E. de K. The Canning River Region, Northern Alaska The Canning River Region, Northern Alaska . Wash.,

    D.C., G.P.O., 1919. U.S. Geol. Surv., Prof.pa Prof.pa . 109.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0044                                                                                                                  

            3,050 wds

    Ruby Collins

    May, 1949 BROOKS RANGE, ALASKA


            THE BROOKS RANGE traverses northern Alaska like an enormous backbone,

    forming the divide between the river s flowing southward to the Yukon and

    southwestward to Kotzebue Sound, and those flowing northward into the Polar

    Sea. The southern drainage system, which includes the Porcupine, Chandalar,

    Koyukuk, Kobuk, and Noatak Rivers, are discusses separately. We are concern–

    ed here with the rivers flowing northward from the Range.

            Although the Brooks Range is spoken of as a unit, it consists of

    several individual mountain groups, some of which have separate names.

    The De Long, Baird, Schwatka, Melville, and Endicott Mountains, as well as

    the Mulgrave, Igichuk, and Lisburne Hills are, for instance, all part of

    the Range. The Schwatka Mountains lie between the head of the Kobuk and the

    Alatna Rivers; the Melville Mountains between the Colville and the country

    east of the Alatna; and the Endicott Mountains more towards Canada. The

    Mulgrave Hills separate the lower Noatak from the coast; the Igichuk Hills

    form the lower gorge of the Noatak; and the Lisburne Hills extend southeast–

    ward from Cape Lisburne. In addition, Leffingwell's map of the Canning

    River region shows the Franklin, Romanzof, Shublik, and Sadlerochit

    groups north of the Endicotts.

            Compared with other ranges, the Brooks is relatively low. Its

    sculpture has produced ragged mountain masses interrupted by steeply trenched

    or glacially opened out valleys. Throughout its extent from the International

    Boundary, on the ea st, to the Colville River, the greatest heights are Mount

    Michelson, 9,239 feet, and Mount Chamberlain, 9,131 feet. From the Colville

    westward to the Polar Sea, the highest peak, around 8,400 feet, is near the

    head of the Noatak River. It forms part of a high ridge west of the Alatna,

    where many elevations of over 7,000 feet were recorded. An 8,000-foot

            25

    002      |      Vol_XII-0045                                                                                                                  
    BROOKS RANGE, ALASKA

    peak was mapped in the upper part of the Noatak about seven miles southwest

    of the mouth of Portage Creek. A 7,600-foot peak was recorded at the head of

    one of the tributaries of the Chandler River near 68° 15′ N.Lat., 153° 15′

    W.Long. There are peaks between 7,000 and 7,400 feet near the head of the

    Chandler.

            In the vicinity of the Aniuk, a tributary to the Noatak at about 158°

    W.Long., and west of this point, no peaks as high as 5,000 feet were recorded

    though there are probably some of that height or greater in the unsurveyed re–

    gion between the Noatak and the Kobuk west of the mouth of the Aniuk.

            The average height of the summit of the Brooks Range from the

    meridian of the headwaters of the Aniuk eastward to the Colville region is

    probably between 6,000 and 7,000 feet. From the Aniuk westward the highest

    parts of the range probably have an average elevation between 3,500 and 4,500

    feet, and in the extreme western part near the coast the highest peaks stand

    less than 3,000 feet above the sea.

            Speaking for the range west of meridian 150°, Smith and Mertie report

    that while glaciers were formerly extensive they are uncommon now. In all

    the region traversed by the Geological Survey party only three glaciers were

    seen, none of them more than two miles long. Two were near the high peaks

    at the head of the mappe d portion of the Noatak, the other at the head of the

    valley that comes into the Alatna River from the west a short distance down–

    stream from the Kutuk, or Pish River. The almost entire absence of glaciers

    is in marked contrast with the situation 500 miles or more to the south in

    the mountains of the Alaska Range.

            Leffingwell found that near meridian 146° there were no proper

    glaciers in the [ ?] 5,000-6,000-foot mountains visible from the

    coast, but that there were glaciers of some size a little farther south,

            24



    003      |      Vol_XII-0046                                                                                                                  
    BROOKS RANGE, ALASKA

            where the peaks run up beyond 9,000 feet. He considers that over a large

    part of the arctic plain of Alaska there is as yet no evidence of past

    glaciation. Smith and other members of the Alaska Division of the Geological

    Survey are in agreement.

            Passes The height of the peaks and ridges makes the range seem a formi–

    dable barrier to travel; but there are many gaps at lower eleva–

    tions by which passage of the mountains can be made with reasonable facility.

            From the Alatna River there is a good route, much used in the past, by

    way of Helpme jack Creek and thence across a pass at less than 1,200 feet to the

    upper Kobuk. A route by way of the Alatna River to the Noatak is afforded by

    a small tributary to the Alatna from the west about twenty-five miles (air

    line) above the mouth of the Unakserak, thence across a pass at less than

    3,400 feet, and so down Portage Creek, a tributary of the Noatak. Between the

    Kobuk and Noatak, passes across the mountains probably occur at the heads of

    many of the larger valleys, but the only ones that are definitely known to have

    been used are those from the Ambler and Redstone to the Cutler River and the

    route southward by the Ipmiluik River (which probably leads either to the

    head of the Kogoluktuk or to that of the Ambler River), and one at the head of

    Squirrel River over which pack horses are said to have been driven into the

    Noatak Basin. The elevations of the routes between the Kobuk and the

    Noatak are not known, but probably they do not stand much above 3,000 feet.

            There are several good routes north to the arctic coastal plain.

    One of these is by way of John River to the Anaktuvuk, across a 2,200-foot pass;

    another by way of the Alatna River and its tributary Unakserak to the Killik,

    across a pass at 3,800 feet; a third by way of the side streams of the Noatak

    to streams tributary to the Colville across passes that, at the heads of the

    Aniuk and Nimiuktuk stand between 2,200 and 3,800 feet. There are other

            26

    004      |      Vol_XII-0047                                                                                                                  
    BROOKS RANGE, ALASKA

    routes by way of the Kugururok, a tributary of the Noatak, to the Utukok

    across a pass about 2,600 feet high; by way of another pass at the head of this

    same river to the Kokolik; and by way of the Kivalina River across a pass at

    about 1,300 feet to the Kukpuk River and thence by another pass at 1,400 feet

    to the Kukpowruk.

            Victor Shaw, in the Alaska Sportsman for November, 1937, says of the

    John pass that the river is swift with a stiff gradient and a rocky bed. In

    the spring, canoe travel averages five to seven miles a day, so that during

    high water, it takes several weeks to make the pass from Bettles, where there

    is a portage of two or three miles to Chandler Lake. Game consists chiefly

    of white goat, caribou, ptarmigan, and waterfowl, with grayling in the streams.

    Coarse gold has been found in creek gravels on the arctic side, and Shaw

    concludes that the formation is probably an extension of the auriferous sedi–

    mentary schists and slates of the upper Koyukuk region.

            Smith and Mertie's farthest [ ?] east was 150° W.Long. Information

    on passes east of that point, and going from north to south, is derived

    from Leffingwell, from Eskimo report, and from the observations of Dr. R.M.

    Anderson of the Stefansson-Anderson 1808-12 expedition.

            Generally speaking, the coast Eskimos and the more experience d white

    men think sledge passes can be found, and certainly passes for a man with pack

    dogs, at the head of practically any river, provided it heads well into the

    mountains.

            Listing the rivers from west to east, there is no information about a

    [ ?] Kuparuk pass. That at the head of the Sagavinirktok is considered

    bad. Sledges do go through it, however, and the river has other qualities

    which make it at least a moderately desirable route. For, of its 200-mile

    length, an umiak could, in early summer, probably be tracked 100 to 150 miles,

            25

    005      |      Vol_XII-0048                                                                                                                  
    BROOKS RANGE, ALASKA

    and there is abundant wood for camping purposes the whole way. In winter

    the same stream will be a sledge route, with the excessive curves cut off by

    climbing upon the higher land and travelling parallel.

            Neither Leffingwell nor Stefansson was able to obtain much information

    from natives about the Shaviovik pass. They vaguely believed there was one

    and that it was rather difficult.

            During the winter of 1908-9, Anderson and his party of Eskimos crossed

    easily with sledges and moderate loads through the pass of the south fork of

    the Hulahula. Their chief difficulty was with sand bars over which they had

    to pull sledges. There are pretty good willows on the north side of this

    river and willows and spruce on the south.

            One of the worst rivers, by common report, is the Okpilak, for it

    rises in some of the high mountains that run up towards 9,000 feet and there–

    fore contain glaciers. This applies to both the eastern and western tribu–

    taries which form the river.

            The local Eskimos in Stefansson's time (1907-14) were uninformed about

    passes from the Jago River; but this was natural, for they were not the

    original natives and were superstitious about the river.

            The Aichilik River passes are said to be difficult. There are many

    glaciers, the mountains are jagged, and there are few willows to burn.

            The pass up the Turner River is frequently used by Eskimos, Indians,

    and whites. It is considered easy and is practically a beaten road. Its main

    disadvantage is occasional flooding.

            The rivers which we have not mentioned are those which head short of

    the mountains or in their outskirts, so that they do not suggest themselves

    as routes between the Yukon basin and the arctic coast.

            However, it is sometimes a good idea in crossing these northern moun–

    tains to forget all about rivers and to go over mountains which seem neither

    jagged nor high and where the slope looks good from seaward. This is how the

            25

    006      |      Vol_XII-0049                                                                                                                  
    BROOKS RANGE, ALASKA

    party crossed which, in early April, were carrying Stefansson south from

    Herschel Island to Fort Yukon when he was convalescent from typhoid fever

    in 1918. They did not follow river valleys except occasionally and yet made

    a good crossing into the valley of the Old Crow.

            The Brooks Range reaches to the coast in only three places: for

    about 25 or 30 miles south of Cape Lisburne; at Cape Thompson, and again at

    Cape Seppings.

            At all three of these points steep, unscalable cliffs rise directly

    out of the sea to height of from 500 to 1,000 feet. Depths up to twenty

    fathoms, deep water for this part of the Polar Sea, will be found directly

    off or close to these cliffs, but such depths do not make these waters truly

    safe for navigation. Strong winds flow over the cliffs, and there are no

    harbors, only an abundance of drifting ice, strong currents, and fog.

            From Cape Lisburne northward to Cape Sabine the land is lower and

    loses the rugged character of that to the south. The hills are rounded and

    rolling, regular in outline, and sloping toward the sea. Toward Cape Sabine

    the land becomes a series of ridges and valleys running inland: both terminate

    at the coast in bluffs.

            Arctic Coastal North of the Brooks Ranger there is a plateau, known

    Plain as the Arctic Coastal Plain, which does not reach quite

    to the sea. It is a triangular prairie with its apex at Point Barrow, about a

    hundred miles north of its base. From mountain foothills in the south the

    land slopes northward down to 200 feet on the plateau and as the coast is

    approached changes to very low land. Heading inland, by sledge in wirter or

    pack animals in summer, from the coast the plain is so nearly level that in

    most places it is not possible to determine offhand whether you are going

    uphill or down. The rivers are all sluggish near the coast, but thirty or

            24

    007      |      Vol_XII-0050                                                                                                                  
    BROOKS RANGE, ALASKA

    forty miles inland most of them run between fairly high banks, which shows

    that the land does slope up, even though almost imperceptibly, toward the

    foothills.

            From Oliktok, just east of the Colville, or about midway of the

    arctic coast of Alaska, the mountains are probably about 80 miles inland.

    As one proceeds eastward, they become visible from near the mouth of the

    Kuparuk. Continuing eastward they are nearer the sea and higher so that at

    Demarcation Point, only a few miles from the International Boundary, they are

    only some six or eight miles from the sea. The highest, as said, are above

    9,000 feet and contain a few small glaciers.

            On the entire coastal plain, from sea to mountains, there are the

    lake multitudes which characterize all non-mountainous northern lands.

    Stefansson has hunted over this plain different years, in winter. Neither

    he, nor anyone who could help it, has hunted in summer in this area, for the

    lakes make progress afoot difficult and tedious. It is often necessary to

    walk five miles to gain one. What seems to be an isthmus between two lakes

    will frequently turn out to be a peninsula, making it necessary to retrace

    many steps. However, frequently these lakes are so shallow that with knee [ ?]

    boots they can be waded. Stefansson has sometimes waded across lakes more than

    a mile in diameter, finding the depth varying only by a few inches. In a

    summer crossing of such lakes there may be first a foot of water, then

    beneath it a foot of mud through which the traveler sinks at every step to

    the level of permanent frost.

            The most striking characteristic of this plain is the uniformity of its

    landscape. Except for minor details, its appearance is everywhere the same;

    prominent landmarks are rare or absent.

            Of this region in winter Leffingwell says: The heavy deposits of ice

            24

    008      |      Vol_XII-0051                                                                                                                  
    BROOKS RANGE, ALASKA

    that are formed over the flood plains of arctic rivers have been described

    in many of the recent reports upon Alaska. Middendorff, however, first

    described and explained this phenomenon in the middle of the last century, after

    several years of observation in northern Siberia. The writer can add very

    little either to his description or his explanation.

            "Deposits of this kind of ice are called 'glaciers' by miners and even

    by some geologists. 'Flood ice' has also been used, but does not convey the

    proper impression. Middendorff introduced the term aufeis, and the writer

    has adopted it for this report.

            "The process of formation of aufeis is as follows: During the winter

    the flow of the rivers is locally impeded by the formation of anchor and

    frazil ice, or the shoal places may freeze solidly to the bottom. The water

    coming from the upper stretches of the river, being thus impeded, will rise

    and flood the adjacent land. When the river is entirely frozen over, as is

    the rule in the Arctic, the hydraulic pressure is sufficient to bulge up and

    fracture the ice at weak places. The escaping water is soon coated with ice,

    and the flow is gradually restricted by freezing, until sufficient hydraulic

    pressure is set up to enable the water to burst through again. This flooding

    and freezing goes on all winter, or at least until the winter flow of water

    is so reduced that it can pass through the gravels beneath the ice. Thus a

    deposit of ice may be built up, much after the manner of an alluvial deposit.

            "If the winter flow is sufficient the aufeis may reach a considerable

    thickness, so that it may override the ordinary banks of the river and

    spread out over the whole flood plain. The greatest deposit seen by the

    writer was about a mile wide and 3 or 4 miles long. The thickness in the

    last part of June was about 12 feet.

            "In autumn the river is covered with thick ice before the flow is

    retarded sufficiently to set up hydraulic pressure. Acting under this pressure

            26

    009      |      Vol_XII-0052                                                                                                                  
    BROOKS RANGE, ALASKA

    the water forces up the domes and ridges of ice, which are a conspicuous

    feature of aufeis deposits. These elevations are as a rule less than 10 feet

    high; about 15 feet is the maximum. As a rule their shape is oblong, though

    ridges over a hundred feet long have been noted. There is invariably a

    fracture along the crest of the mounds, whence water occasionally flows. The

    writer has never seen these mounds in the process of formation, but early in

    November the Canning was dotted with them. The natives say that they have

    seen them rising early in the autumn, accompanied by an outflow of water.

    The prospector Arey confirms this report.

            "After this first process of formation of the mounds the water escapes

    more quietly. As soon as the newly flooded area is frozen over hydraulic

    pressure is again set up, but it has only a few inches of ice to fracture.

    Consequently there is but slight disturbance of the surface.

            "With the advent of warm weather the flooding water, no longer freez–

    ing, covers the whole deposit of aufeis. Soon the drainage is concentrated

    into troughs, which have been melted along the lines of greatest flow.

    As these troughs are cut downward those most favorably situated grow at

    the expense of the neighboring streams, until by the time the actual river

    bed is reached the water is concentrated into one or two streams flowing at

    the bottom of ice canyons...

            "The ice is gradually undermined by the river, so that large blocks

    break off with loud reports and fall into the water. Navigation at this time

    would be very dangerous, for there is danger from falling ice and of being

    swept under the ice by the current. All of the ice within reach of the

    river is cut cut before the summer is over, but that upon the high bars

    may remain until September or may possibly last over a second winter. By

    the 1st of July the aufeis of the Canning was removed from the stretch north

    of the mountains; a week earlier that near the forks was almost intact.

            26

    010      |      Vol_XII-0053                                                                                                                  
    BROOKS RANGE, ALASKA

    The mounds often remain some weeks after the thinner deposits have

    melted away.

            "Okpilak River contained very little aufeis. There was a steep valley

    train of ice that had been built out a couple of hundred yards from the

    lower end of the West Fork Glacier. A similar deposit floored the bottom

    of a valley that stretches eastward from Mount Michelson. At the time of

    the writer's visit the Hulahula had two areas of aufeis outside of the

    mountains, and within the mountains as far as the forks most of its floor was

    covered with ice. Sadlerochit River had one area of aufeis north of the

    mountains, but above this there were only a few patches confined to the side

    streams. On the Canning aufeis occurs nearly everywhere from the forks to

    the coast, the greatest development being near the forks and below Shublik

    Springs."

            Names The names of the various mountain groups included in the Brooks

    Range have been assigned at different times by several different

    explorers.

            The De Long Mountains, for instance, were so identified by Stoney,

    in 1886, in honor of George Washington De Long, like Stoney a member of

    the U.S. Navy, who headed the fated voyage of the Jeanette in 1879. Stoney

    also named the Baird Mountains after Professor Spencer F. Baird, then

    Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and the Schwatka Mountains, probably

    in honor of Lieut. Frederick Schwatka.

            The Endicott Mountains, however, were named by Henry T. Allen, of

    the U.S. Army, in 1885, probably after William C. Endicott, then Secretary

    of War.

            In 1778, Cook called a point between the Noatak and the sea "Mulgrave,"

    but Beechey, having approached closer to shore and seen that the hills were

            22

    011      |      Vol_XII-0054                                                                                                                  
    BROOKS RANGE, ALASKA

    farther inland and of greater extent than Cook had supposed, called them

    the Mulgrave Range. Since they are now recognized to be only a minor group

    in the Brooks Range, they have more recently been reduced to the status of

    "Hills."

            Cape Lisburne was discovered and named by Cook in 1778, but it was

    Collier, in 1904, who named the highlands extending southwestward from this

    Cape the Lisburne Hills.

            (See separate articles for the history of the names of individual

    rivers, towns, and coastal points in this part of Alaska.)



    012      |      Vol_XII-0055                                                                                                                  
    BROOKS RANGE, ALASKA


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

    Leffingwell, E. de K. Canning River Region, Northern Alaska Canning River Region, Northern Alaska . Washington,

    1919. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)

    Smith, P.S. & Mertie, J.B., jr. Geology and Mineral Resources of North

    Geology and Mineral Resources of North

    western Alaska western Alaska . Washington, 1930. (U.S. Geological Survey.

    Bulletin Bulletin 815)

    U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska Alaska . Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, 1947.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0056                                                                                                                  

            230

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 BROWNLOW POINT, ALASKA


            BROWNLOW POINT, on the arctic coast of Alaska, is the western entrance

    point to Camden Bay. Only about two miles of water separates this point from the

    eastern end of Flaxman Island.

            Landing at Brownlow Point during his August, 1826, attempt to complete the

    northwest passage, Franklin saw that the "bay" to the southwest (in reality

    the [ ?] mouth of the Staines River (q.v.)) was strewed with stone and that

    his only chance of making progress was to sail northwestward again toward the

    ice. After struggling through heavy floe ice, he came upon Flaxman Island.

    Shoal water defeated his attempt to sail along the south shore of the island,

    and the ice was solidly packed against the north shore. Such experiences as

    this very well indicate the unusual amount and persistence of the ice of the

    north coast of Alaska during the 1826 season.

            Leffingwell, who spent the years 1906-1914 in this part of Alaska, notes

    that Brownlow Point is one of the best fishing spots along the coast. Using

    four gill nets of 2 1/2-inch mesh, he caught more than 300 fish there in about

    18 hours. His catch had an average weight of 1 1/2 pounds.

            A narrow line of sandbars and reefs extends southeastward from Brownlow

    Point into Camden Bay. The point itself is low and the mainland to the west

    of it curves sharply southward to the mouth of the Staines River. This

    stream is really the western embouchure of the Canning River (q.v.), another

    branch of which drains into Camden Bay several miles southeast of Brownlow

    Point.



    002      |      Vol_XII-0057                                                                                                                  
    BROWNLOW POINT, ALASKA

    R. J. COLLINS - Photographer

    20 MAIN STREET

    MILLER FALLS - MASSACHUSETTS

    TELEPHONE 2861

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Baker, Marcus. Geographic dictionary of Alaska Geographic dictionary of Alaska , 2d ed. [ ?] Washington, D.C.,

    G.P.O., 1906.

    Franklin, John. Narrative of a second expedition to the shores of the Polar

    Sea in the years 1825, 1826, and 1827
    Narrative of a second expedition to the shores of the Polar

    Sea in the years 1825, 1826, and 1827
    . London, Murray, 1828.

    Leffingwell, E. de K. Canning River region, northern Alaska Canning River region, northern Alaska , Washington, D.C.,

    G.P.O., 1919. U.S. Geological Survey, Professional paper Professional paper 109).

    U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska Alaska , Part II, 5th (1947) ed., Washington, D.C., G.P.O.,

    1947.



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0058                                                                                                                  
    EA-Geography: Alaska

    (Stefansson Library Research Staff)


           

    NORTHERN ALASKA GEOGRAPHICAL ITEMS

           

    Icy Cape to Int [ ?] rnational Boundary

    (Place names arranged geographically)

            Folder (1): A - B

            Folder (2): C - L

            Folder (3): M - Y



    001      |      Vol_XII-0059                                                                                                                  

            1980

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 CANNING RIVER, ALASKA


            CANNING RIVER, one of the major streams in arctic Alaska, enters the Polar

    Sea by two distributaries slightly north of 70° N.Lat., and between 145° and 146°

    W.Long. The eastern and larger distributary retains the name of the main stream

    and flows into the western end of Camden Bay. The smaller, western distribu–

    tary enters the sea just south of Brownlow Point, some 10 (airline) miles west

    of the main mouth of the river. This western branch is also known as the

    Staines River (q.v.), although this name has been dropped from some recent maps

    of the region.

            According to Leffingwell, who studied the entire Canning River region

    between the years 1906 and 1914, the Canni [ ?] g is about 120 miles long. The pros–

    pector, [ ?] S.J. Marsh, had previously recorded the length as 180 miles, but

    Leffingwell feels this is an exaggeration.

            The headwaters of the Canning rise in the Brooks Range among 7,000-foot

    peaks. The two streams which later join to form the Canning both rise close

    to each other and across the divide from the Junjik and East Chandalar

    Rivers in the Yukon River (q.v.) system.

            The larger and more easterly fork is considered part of the main river,

    but the smaller and more westerly is known as Marsh Fork. After flowing north–

    ward for about 50 miles, these two streams converge at a [ ?] point about 70 miles

    from the coast. Mount Salisbury, 6900 feet, rises about 12 miles off to the

    southwest of this junction. Leffingwell reports that the ice cap on this peak

    may discharge small glaciers into the Canning River system.

            This part of the Canning valley is open and trough-shaped, with slopes

    rising on both sides to heights of about 3000 feet. Below the forks, the river

    flows to the northwest through a flat basin a mile or so wide. For about 7

    miles, as it skirts the western edge of the Franklin Mountains, the river

    002      |      Vol_XII-0060                                                                                                                  
    CANNING RIVER, ALASKA

    suddenly narrows and plunges through a rocky gorge not more than 100 feet

    wide and some 50 feet deep.

            North of the Franklin Mountains the basin again opens up. Across a

    low area extending eastward from this part of the Canning river flow Eagle and Cache

    Creeks, the first named tributaries of the Canning. West of this same stretch

    the basin rises about 1000 feet to meet the Anaktuvuk Plateau.

            At this point the Canning passes Shublik Springs, which gush out of

    the Shublik Mountains at an elevation of some 400 feet above the river , and then

    join to form the torrent which breaks through the east bank of the river a few

    miles below Cache Creek. Leffingwell reports that these springs continue to

    flow all winter. He found the June temperature of one of them to be 43° F.

    and the torrent to be impassable on foot.

            A few miles farther downstream the river passes around Shublik Island

    and within a few miles of Mt. Copleston and then, after skirting the western

    end of the Shublik and Sadlerochit Mountains, it enters the upland plateau.

    The mountains withdraw from the west side of the river, and a bluff perhaps 100

    feet high follows along the east side to within 20 miles of the coast. Below

    this point the Canning only slightly incises the face of the coastal plain

    and splits about 15 miles from the sea into the two distributaries previously

    mentioned.

            Climate Leffingwell gives a good account of the weather in the Canning River

    Region. Until about January 20 the sun is not visible, but the nights

    are clearer during this particular month than at any other time of year.

    February is usually marked by warmer weather and storms. Maximum February

    temperature recorded by Leffingwell was 43.5° F. March he considers the most

    unpleasant month of the year. Temperatures drop and high winds are common.

    By April the sun is strong enough so strong that goggles must be worn against

    003      |      Vol_XII-0061                                                                                                                  
    CANNING RIVER, ALASKA

    snow blindness. The first part of April is apt to be cold, but a sudden rise

    in temperatures toward the end of the month is the earliest sign of spring.

    Leffingwell is of the opinion that more snow falls during April and May than

    at any other time of year.

            Snow buntings, geese, ducks, and sea gulls return in May, and there

    is light enough to travel by night. Toward the end of May the Canning River

    breaks up, flooding the sea ice at its mouth. River water drains into the

    ocean through the many cracks in the sea ice. The sunshine is now sufficient

    to soften the snow during the day, although it hardens again each night;

    T t ravel is therefore easiest after midnight. The mountains lose most of their

    snow during May and, by the end of the month, it is no longer possible to sled

    along the river basins.

            June weather is clear and warm. Pools of water from melting snow

    appear on the ice floes and the snow slowly melts from the coastal plain.

    River water eats away the sea ice, and shoal waters are free of ice. It is

    now possible to travel short distances along the coast in a small boat.

    Travel by water improves during July. At some time during that month an

    easterly gale may be expected to drive the ice out of the lagoon west of

    Flaxman Island. At about the same time the weather becomes generally windy,

    and rainy, skies are overcast and fog is frequent. The stars are not usually

    visible again until the last of August. The sea is freest from ice during

    August. Navigation s continues to be possible for the first three weeks of

    September, although new ice may form at any time thereafter. Land pools and

    shoal waters will crust over with ice several times before it forms permanently.

            Toward the end of September the ground is already covered with snow,

    but the sea ice, although formed, is not yet strong enough to support a man,

    and yet is already too thick for boat travel. These conditions suspend all

    004      |      Vol_XII-0062                                                                                                                  
    CANNING RIVER, ALASKA

    travel for about a week. Coastal travel is once more possible by mid-October,

    but the winter storms have already begun. Leffingwell records gales with tem–

    peratures down to ࢤ5° F. for late October, and adds that November and December

    are also stormy. The sun sets for the winter about November 20, but the 6

    hours of twilight which persist until its reappearance make night travel

    possible.

            Vegetation The entire course of the Canning River lies well beyond

    the tree line. On the upper river, within the mountains,

    a few small willows , perhaps 12 or 15 feet high , will be found appear , and farther

    downstream scattered patches of cottonwood. Some of these seem very tall

    because of the unrelieved flatness of the surrounding countryside, but they

    do not measure more than 25 feet high, at the greatest. Leffingwell found no

    evergreen trees north of the Brooks Range divide. According to members of the

    U.S. Geological Survey who have traveled with horses in the Canning region,

    the grasses of the river bars and the plains are [ ?] sufficient

    throughout the summer to sustain the strength of pack animals so long as they

    are not over-worked.

            Animal Life Caribou were once extremely numerous everywhere over the

    arctic coastal plain of Alaska, but, during the last few

    years of Leffingwell's stay, their numbers were greatly reduced and have not been

    replenished. Leffingwell reports a few Dall sheep near the headwaters of the

    Canning, but no other large game. Eider ducks, black brant, white-fronted

    geese, and ptarmigan are all fairly numerous in the Canning region. Although

    certain spots are more favorable than others, fishing is generally successful

    all along the coast during July and August, and the larger rivers, such as the

    005      |      Vol_XII-0063                                                                                                                  
    CANNING RIVER, ALASKA

    Canning, are well-stocked at all times of year. The best season for river fish–

    ing, however, is just before the fall freeze-up when the water is low and the

    deeper pools are approachable by wading. Eskimos who fish in the river during

    the winter usually catch enough to keep them going from day to day. Grayling

    are found in the rivers, the salmon trout both in the rivers and along the

    coast and the whitefish only in the sea.

            According to Leffingwell, the white fox is the most valuable fur–

    bearing animal in this part of Alaska. Working continuously a trapper will

    secure between 50 and 100 skins a season, although fluctuations in the fox

    population are very great from one year to the next.

            Exploration Although Franklin had named the Canning in 1826 while passing through

    Camden Bay, he did not explore the river. It was not until Collinson was from in

    frozen in near Flaxman Island during the winter of 153/54 that was a white man

    investigated the Canning region. Going ashore on July 5, 1854, Collinson

    discovered that the Staine s River was really another mouth of the Canning.

    In 1901, the prospector, H.T. (Ned) Arey, sledded from Pt. Barrow to the Canning

    and wintered in that region for eleven years. He was the first white man to

    study the region in detail, the first to enter the Canning and the first to

    collect native maps of the vicinity. S.J. Marsh, another prospector, went up

    the east or main fork of the Canning farther than Leffingwell's upper camp.

    Leffingwell's report reviews the history of the exploration of the Canning

    region, and brings all pre-existing information concerning it into focus with his

    own detailed study of the entire region. Although his main interest is geologic

    and geographic, he includes aspects many other aspects as well, all based

    upon his own 1906-1914 experiences in the field.



    006      |      Vol_XII-0064                                                                                                                  
    CANNING RIVER, ALASKA

            Ice A kind of ice sometimes called "glaciers" and sometimes "flood ice"

    is formed over the flood plains of the rivers of arctic Alaska every

    winter. Leffingwell prefers the term "aufeis" for this phenomenon.

            Extended low temperatures and the shallowness of the lower reaches of

    the streams contribute to the formation of aufies. For some distance up from

    the mouth of a river anchor or frazil ice may form, or the stream may freeze

    solidly to the bottom. At the same time, water continues to arrive from the

    upper river through channels which its greater velocity has cut under the

    layer of surface ice which covers the entire river. The hydraulic pressure

    created by this means increases until it is able to break through the surface

    ice. Large quantities of water escape and spread out over the frozen surface

    of the river. Very soon this water is transformed into ice, and the break

    in the surface ice also refreezes, but never to the strength of the unfractured

    sections. The same fractures bursts open again and again all winter long, until

    the flow of water beneath is so slight that it can pass through the gravels of

    the river bottom. Repetitions of this process sometimes cause the aufeis to

    overflow the river banks and to spread out over the flood plain. The greatest

    deposit seen by Leffingwell was in June and measured about 1 mile wide, 3 or 4

    miles long, and about 12 inches thick.

            Before actually breaking through the surface ice, the water always

    forces domes and ridges in it. These are usually oblong and about 10 feet

    high, although Leffingwell records one 15 feet high. The first fracturing of

    these domes, which is always lengthwise of the crest, is explosive, but there–

    after the water escapes more quietly.

            With spring the river floods and large amounts of water flow through

    the domes and out over the aufeis, forming troughs and channels in the surface

    of the ice and finally working its way back to the river bed.



    007      |      Vol_XII-0065                                                                                                                  
    CANNING RIVER, ALASKA

            With the continuing warmer weather and the flooding of the river, the

    ice directly over the river bed it cut away from underneath. Large blocks

    of ice break off and fall into the water. Before the end of summer, all the

    ice within reach of the river water is cut away, but that which has formed high

    on the bars may persist until September of even until the following year.

    Aufeis is formed almost everywhere on the Canning, but is greatest near the forks

    and below Shublik Springs.

            Mineral Resources In view of the fact that it is now proposed to extend the

    boundary of Naval Petroleum Reserve No.4 eastward toward

    the Canning River, it is interesting to note that Leffingwell mentions a

    seepage of oil and some coal outcrops in the western part of the arctic slope

    of the Canning River region. He also mentions a few colors of gold in the

    stre a ms of the region, but adds that the isolation of the area, the severity

    of the climate, the absence of fuel, and the problems of transportation would

    probably be sufficient to discourage most prospectors from working the region.

            Name On the morning of August 5, 1826, when Sir John Franklin was approaching

    the mouth of the Canning from the east, he was "much teased

    by the boat's repeatedly touching the ground." However shallow Camden Bay had

    proved to be, Franklin found even less water off the mouth of the large river

    which he named "in honour of the late Mr. Canning." Franklin further notes

    that the water of the bay was perfectly fresh 3 miles from the land and that the

    ice was much more loose abre a st of the mouth of the river than it had been

    elsewhere along the coast.



    008      |      Vol_XII-0066                                                                                                                  
    CANNING RIVER, ALASKA


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Baker, Marcus. Geographic dictionary of Alaska Geographic dictionary of Alaska , 2d ed. Washington, D.C.,

    1906.

    Leffingwell, E. de K. Canning River region, northern Alaska Canning River region, northern Alaska . Washington,

    D.C., 1919. U.S. Geological Survey, Professional paper Professional paper 109.

    U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska Alaska , Part II, 5th (1947) ed. Washington, D.C., 1947.

    Willson, C.O. "Full-scale exploration under way by Navy in arctic Alaska,"

    Oil and Gas Journal Oil and Gas Journal , August 9, 1947.

    ----. "Airborne, surface, and subsurface facilities used in seeking arctic

    oil," Oil and Gas Journal Oil and Gas Journal , August 23, 1947.



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0067                                                                                                                  

            80 wds

    Ruby Collins

    January, 1950 CHAMBERLIN, MOUNT, ALASKA


            CHAMBERLIN (CHAMBERLAIN), MOUNT (69° 17′ N.Lat., 144° 51′

    W.Long.), arctic Alaska, was named by Leffingwell after Professor T.C.

    Chamberlin. For some reason the name appears in its alternate form on a

    great many recent maps.

            Mount Chamberlin rises to 9,131 feet a few miles south of

    Lakes Peters and Schrader at the headwaters of the Sadlerochit River.

    Leffingwell shows it as the most prominent peak in the Franklin Mountains,

    its double, ice-clad summit towering 3,000 feet above the neighboring

    mountains.

    Leffingwell, E. de K. The Canning River Region, Northern Alaska. Wash., D.C.,

    D.P.O., 1919, p.50. U.S.Geol.Surv., Prof.pa. 109.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0068                                                                                                                  

            515 wds

    Ruby Collins

    July, 1949 CHIPP RIVER, ALASKA


            CHIPP RIVER, northern Alaska, the modern name for the stream known

    to the Eskimos as the Ikpikpung, flows into the Polar Sea by way of Admiralty

    Bay, an extension of Dease Inlet (q.v.). Three other streams, the Inaru,

    Meade, and Topagoruk, also enter the head of Admiralty Bay.

            Because of the low and almost perfectly flat nature of the surrounding

    countryside, and the resultant confusion in the drainage, there has been [ ?]

    some doubt both as to the name and the course of the Chipp River.

            In the early spring of 1883, Lieut. P.H. Ray made a trip to the Meade

    River and some of its neighboring streams. He reported the Chipp as the

    Ikpikpung. Three years later, in May and June of 1886, Ensign W.L. Howard,

    of Stoney's naval expedition to the Kobuk River, traveled down the Ikpikpuk

    and the Chipp on his way to Point Barrow. It was Stoney who named the Chipp

    in honor of Lieut. Charles Winans Chipp, U.S.N., who [ ?] perished

    on the De Long expedition of 1881.

            According to most recent maps the Chipp is a western branch of a

    larger river, the Ikpikpuk, which flows more directly northward and empties

    into the head of Smith Bay, the next large depression in the north coast of

    Alaska east of Admiralty Bay.

            Howard describes the upper Chipp River country as being low, flat,

    and sandy. Only occasional mounds of sand and a growth of stubble relieved

    the monotony of the landscape. At first the Chipp was only about 100 yards

    wide, but soon increased this to 500 yards, remaining shoal and filled with

    sand spits and sand islands. Game was scarce having remained farther in the

    interior. The river banks were so low as to be scarcely perceptible, causing

    the stream to overflow onto the plain during periods of high water.

            "Passed [ ?] through two lakes," the report reads, "made by the river

    widening over the tundra; the first nearly circular and about a mile in diameter;

    the second, half a mile further on, was about five miles in diameter. Both

    were very shallow (the boats grounded in the larger) and were full of

    002      |      Vol_XII-0069                                                                                                                  
    CHIPP RIVER, ALASKA

    sand-spits and islands. The surrounding country was level and a network

    of ponds and lakes of all sizes, with the river winding in and out among them

    connecting a great many."

            At about this point in his trip Howard and his Eskimo companions met a

    group of Point Barrow Eskimos who were on their way to the Colville and the

    Mackenzie Rivers to trade. They had with them dogs and sleds as well as

    boats and were carrying the boats on the sleds over the marshlands until

    they should meet open water. "The trip from Point Barrow to Mackenzie River

    and return occupies two years. They communicate [ ?] and trade with the [ ?]

    Hudson Bay natives, and the latter sometimes visit Point Barrow, and some of

    them visited us at this camp."

            So extensive was this brisk [ ?]

    pre-white trade among the Eskimos that products of the Hudson Bay natives

    far to the east or those of the Diomede or Cape Prince of Wales tribes,

    to the southwest in Bering Strait, might finally come into the possession

    of a Point Barrow Eskimo. The report of the Howard trip mentions the

    considerable trading which went on at the mouth of the Chipp. The inland,

    Kobuk River natives exchanging all kinds of furs for the rifles, cartridges,

    caps, lead, and tobacco which the coast Eskimos had acquired in abundance

    from the white man.

            43

    12

    [ T ?] 6

    43

    516



    003      |      Vol_XII-0070                                                                                                                  
    CHIPP RIVER, ALASKA

            References

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Stoney, George M. Naval Explorations in Alaska. Naval Explorations in Alaska. Annapolis, Md., United States

    Naval Institute, 1900.

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska Alaska . Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, 1947.

            VS Guidebook for Alaska. Guidebook for Alaska.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0071                                                                                                                  

            3,020 wds

    Ruby Collins

    August, 1949 COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA


            COLVILLE RIVER, northern Alaska, the master waterway in the drainage of

    the arctic slope of the Brooks Range, has a basin of about 30,000 square miles

    and is distinguished not only for its size but also for the fact that, contrary

    to the many other streams in this drainage system, it flows almost directly east–

    ward for hundreds of miles before turning northward to Harrison Bay.

            Smith and Mertie point out that although the Colville has been thought

    of as the northern boundary of the Brooks Range province, the main stream lies

    entirely within the arctic plateau, and is ten to seventy miles from the true

    northern front of the range all the way from its head to within 75 miles of the

    mouth.

            The Colville runs parallel to the trend of the rock formations in the

    Brooks Range. This fact offers one possible explanation for the westward extension

    of the river. It probably cut headward by eroding a belt of weak rock, thus

    capturing a great many northward-flowing streams which had cut their valleys across

    the structure of the rocks. It is possible that the Killik, Etviuk, Kuna, Kiligwa,

    and all the other early tributaries of the Colville might have been captured in

    this manner.

            Smith and Mertie suggest further that, since this process began, certain

    modifications have taken place in the valley formations surrounding the upper

    Colville which may in the future give the advantage to other streams.

            According to observations made on the early Colville on May 30, 1925,

    in the vicinity of 69° N.Lat., 160° W.Long., Disappointment Creek, a tributary

    to the Utukok (q.v.), stands a good chance of recapturing some of the water

    from the Colville and its early tributaries. The Colville here is flowing at an

    approximate elevation of 2,000 feet and only a few hundred yards south of the

    summit of the divide separating it from the headwaters of Disappointment Creek.

    002      |      Vol_XII-0072                                                                                                                  
    COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA

    The divide stands only 110 feet above the Colville, and the distance between the

    2,000-foot contour on the two sides of the divide is less than half a mile. From

    this point the Colville drops 200 feet in an airline distance of 26 miles, or

    considerably less than 10 feet per mile, but Disappointment Creek drops 600 feet

    in an airline distance of 7 miles, or almost 90 feet per mile. Given [ ?] normal

    erosion of the two sides of this divide, Disappointment Creek may be expected to

    recapture from the Colville some of the water which that river took from the

    Utukok conturies ago.

            Measuring from the head of its most westerly tributary, the Colville

    is 275 [ ?] airline miles long, but, since the river makes several large-scale

    bends and numberless smaller meanders, its actual length would be several times

    this distance.

            Storm, Meridian, Reynard, and Nuka Creeks, the first four tributaries

    to the Colville, rise in the vicinity of Thunder Mountain and Lake Noluk near the

    southern boundary of Naval Petroleum Reserve No.4 and 160° W. Long. All these

    streams enter from the south. The main stream begins a few miles west of the

    mouth of Storm Creek and receives a few small, unnamed affluents from the east

    side of Meat Mountain. Several tributaries to the Utukok drain from the west

    side of this mountain. Disappointment Creek rises at about 69° N.Lat., 160°

    W.Long., and flows northward into the Utukok.

            From this point the Colville continues eastward, crossing and recrossing

    69° N. Lat. but never deviating far from it. Between 159° and 156° W.Long., the

    Colville receives the Kiligwa, Kuna, Ipnavik, and Etivluk Rivers from the south,

    and Grayling Creek from the north. This part of the river runs between the Brooks

    Range and a low group of low hills known as Lookout Ridge. North of this ridge,

    but also parallel to it, is the eastward-flowing Awuna, the next important

    003      |      Vol_XII-0073                                                                                                                  
    COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA

    tributary to the Colville.

            Between 156° and 154° W.Long., the Colville receives the Kucher,

    Kurupa, and Aupuk from the south. This section of the Colville is only a few

    miles from the Kigalik River and Maybe Creek, the two streams which join to form

    the Ikpikpuk. In the spring of 1886, Ensign W.L. Howard, of Lieutenant G.M.

    Stoney's naval expedition to the Kobuk River, reached Barrow by leaving the

    Colville here, crossing the low divide to the rendezvous village of Kigalik and

    then continuing down the Ikpikpuk and the Chipp to the Polar Sea. This was the

    regular route used by the inland Eskimos on their annual trading trips to the

    north coast of Alaska.

            A few miles east of 154° W.Long., the Colville swings northeastward

    away from 69° N.Lat. and starts its tortuous 75-mile journey across the coastal

    plain to Harrison Bay. The Killik River, the first stream to enter this part of

    the Colville, is one of its major tributaries and comes in from the south.

            The Killik rises deep in the Brooks Range in the vicinity of 68° N.

    Lat., 155° W. Long., and takes a generally northeasterly course to the Colville.

    Its chief tributaries are April and Easter Creeks, in the upper section, and

    Chandler River, about 20 miles (airline) from the mouth.

            The Chandler is about 45 miles (airline) long and drains from a lake

    by the same name. Chandler Lake appears on recent maps in dotted outline but

    is reported to be about 10 miles long and one and one-half miles wide at the

    greatest. It is large enough for pontoon planes in summer and ski planes in

    winter to land and take off after five or six hours at bush flying speed out

    of Fairbanks or about one hour from Wiseman.

            Chandler River became widely known when coarse gold was found on it.

    in the summer of 1935. G. Stanley Herbert, while prospecting this area, found

    one tract about 24 miles square that showed high-grade quartz gold throughout.

    004      |      Vol_XII-0074                                                                                                                  
    COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA

    He also traced out one vein outcrop of high-grade silver ore for over 3 miles.

    The region was then uninhabited except by roving Eskimo hunters. No development

    of these ore deposits has ever been reported, probably because of the ban on

    staking mining claims in Naval Petroleum Reserve No.4., in which Herbert's dis–

    coveries lie. A request that this ban be removed appeared in the annual report

    of the Governor of Alaska for 1948. (Sea Barrow, Alaska, article.)

            Farther downstream, Ninuluk and Prince Creeks enter the Colville from

    the south and north respectively. The headwaters of the Prince are only a few

    miles from those of Maybe Creek, in the Ikpikpuk system.

            Perhaps 28 (airline) miles below Prince Creek, the Colville swings

    north and, at the same time, receives a large unnamed tributary from the south.

            The Anaktuvuk, the largest tributary of the Colville, enters a few

    miles below this [ ?] stream, and also from the south. It rises in a narrow

    valley in the Brooks Range guarded by 5000-foot peaks. Alapah Mountain, 8500

    feet, is hearby. Some maps show it draining from tiny Eleanor Lake. Anaktuvuk

    Pass, 2400 feet, leads to the headwaters of the John River, a tributary of the

    Koyukuk. This pass is only a few miles from where the range falls off to the

    plateau on the north, and the Anaktuvuk very soon finds its way out of the

    mountains. The intermontane part of the valley is wide, with abrupt walls, and

    about 15 miles long. The river descends 200 feet in this distance, passing

    [ ?]

    [ ?]

    through several small lakes, including Cache Lake, and receiving a tributary

    from Stuver Mountain.

            After leaving the mountains the Anaktuvuk enters a broad basin about

    40 miles in length, which has been incised in the Anaktuvuk Plateau, where it

    receives several tributaries. Below this basin there is a small canyon and then

    005      |      Vol_XII-0075                                                                                                                  
    COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA

    the valley broadens to a width of two or three miles. Both above and in the canyon,

    the Anaktuvuk has many rapids and the bed is strewn with glacial boulders.

    Farther downstream the current is between 2 and 6 miles per hour. Below the

    canyon, Willow Creek and Nanushuk River enter from the east, and the Tuluga

    comes in from the west. The Anaktuvuk is about 100 (airline) miles long.

            Perhaps 40 (airline) miles below the Anaktuvuk, the Colville bends

    eastward for about 10 miles and then turns northeastward for perhaps 30 more

    miles before entering Harrison Bay. The Itkillik enters from the east about

    25 (airline) miles up from the mouth.

            The Itkillik is over 150 (airline) miles long. It rises in the

    Brooks Range in the vicinity of 68° 05′ N.Lat., 150° 30′ W.Long. and takes a

    generally northerly and northwesterly course to the Colville. For its first 30

    miles it is over-shadowed by towering 7,000- and 8,000-foot peaks, but thereafter

    works down the mountain plateau and so to the low, flat, lake-strewn coastal

    plain. Its upper sections are relatively straight, but the coastal section,

    because of the inadequacy of the drainage, is braided, tortuous, and extremely

    meandering.

            The Colville enters Harrison Bay about 40 miles east of Cape Halkett

    between 150° and 151° W.Long. The enormous delta is conventionally mapped as

    about 20 miles wide, with a 15-mile radius and 5 or 6 mouths, but, like most

    large deltas, it is really indefinite as to its eastern and western boundaries.

            The channels shift every year so that even the relatively recent air

    survey map of the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey is neither accurate nor complete.

    It is probable that during some years the best channel for boats has been the

    one called Main Channel, or the second most easterly one on the U.S.C. & G.S.

    map 9400; but when Stefansson was there on several occasions between 1907 and

    1914, a better channel seemed to be the one most easterly, past Oliktok Point.

    006      |      Vol_XII-0076                                                                                                                  
    COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA

    From his own experience and from native report, Stefansson believes that a boat

    drawing 5 or 6 feet could probably navigate both the most easterly and the most

    westerly branches of the delta to the mouth of the Utkillik, and do doubt, some

    distance beyond.

            The Colville d elta is composed of innumerable low islands which are

    constantly merging and regrouping from year to year. On their seaward sides they

    [ ?] pass gradually into marshes, mud flats, bars, and finally shoals

    which are continuous with the ever-deepening ocean floor. Sand dunes, some 60

    or more feet high, appear on the islands at the head of the delta.

            Schrader suggests that the "Pelly Mountains," noted and named by Dease

    and Simpson in 1837, during their trip westward to Barrow along the north coast of

    Alaska, may have been sand dunes similar to these at the head of the Colville

    delta but a little farther west. Other explorers have never been able to find the

    Pelly Mountains. Schrader goes on to explain that, under certain conditions of

    light along this coast, refraction causes low objects to be enormously exaggerated

    in the vertical scale. This, in combination with the generally unrelieved

    flatness of the surrounding countryside, may explain why Dease and Simpson mis–

    took a group of sand dunes for a mountain chain.

            To the landward side the islands of the delta are fairly heavily

    covered with "willow," which means small growth alders, willows, and several other

    species. They are twig size near the seaward edges of the delta and may be 10

    or more feet in height on the landward side. In addition to growing willow, the

    delta islands have fuel both as drift willow from the Colville itself and as

    ordinary seaborne driftwood from the Mackenzie and other rivers.

            The freshening influence of the Colville extends 12 or 14 miles

    into Harrison Bay. The delta water is often fresh enough for cooking purposes

    as far east as Oliktok Point, westward some distance beyond the most westerly

    007      |      Vol_XII-0077                                                                                                                  
    COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA

    channel shown on the map, and seaward a few miles beyond the delta edge. But

    the "tide" which rises some hours before the advent of a westerly gale, and

    which may run to five or even six feet, may carry salt water up the delta channels

    not merely to what is mapped as the head of the delta but perhaps 10 or more

    miles farther still.

            The appearance and character of this extensive river changes with the

    terrain through which is flows. Above Prince Creek the current is so strong that

    little or no progress upstream can be made by rowing, and it is likewise impos–

    sible, because of the current, to effect a crossing that holds to a direct line.

    The early tributaries, especially those from the Brooks Range or south side of

    the river, are swift, but those from the Lookout Ridge or north side are relatively

    sluggish. This is particularly true of the Awuna and Prince Creek.

            [ ?]

            Between the mouth of the Anaktuvuk and Ocean Point, about 10 miles

    upstream from the delta, the current is 3 to 4 miles per hour, but below this

    point the current is slack, although the river is deeper than the channels

    through the delta.

            Canoe navigation is possible from the mouth to a considerable distance

    up Storm Creek, near the head of the Colville; for the entire length of the

    Anaktuvuk, and the Etivluk; and for the greater part of Prince, Killik, Chandler,

    and Awuna Rivers. Above the Killik, the Colville usually follows a single, fairly

    deep channel, so that it could probably be traversed by shallow-draft launches

    as far as the Nuka River. From the mouth of the Killik to the Prince, the

    Colville splits up into several channels which are frequently interrupted by

    sand bars so that travel, even by canoe, is difficult during periods of low water.

    Below the Prince to the head of the delta, the river again becomes [ ?] deeper

    and would probably accomodate a small river steamboat.



    008      |      Vol_XII-0078                                                                                                                  
    COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA

            [ ?] continuous line of bold, steep-faced bluffs walls the west side of

    the river all the way from the mouth of the Anaktuvuk to Ocean Point, 40 miles

    farther south. These bluffs descend gradually from a height of 200 feet in the

    south to about 80 feet at Ocean Point, where the river turns eastward away from

    them.

            Schrader's explanation for this formation is that the Colville has

    migrated laterally westward across what he calls the Colville Flats, down-cutting

    into the torrains composing the plain so extensively that the west side of the

    river is banked with these high bluffs and the east wide is an expanse of low,

    abandoned flats laid waste by the river.

            The Colville Flats form a triangle covering probably 2,000 square

    miles and extending northeastward from the mouth of the Anaktuvuk, as an apex, to

    the coast, where they include the Colville delta and attain a maximum width of

    50 or 60 miles. Shallow ponds and lakes are everywhere strewn about these flats,

    and the dead level is relieved only by occasional mounds of gravel rising perhaps

    10 to 40 feet above the surface.

            Schrader suggests that the Colville once entered the ocean through

    Gwydyr Bay (q.v.), some 30 or 40 miles east of the present delta, or even through

    Prudhoe Bay (q.v.), still further east, and that it has migrated westward to

    its present position, eating away at the bluffs on the west and leaving behind,

    on the east, a desolated flat.

            Willows more than four or five feet high begin to be found approximately

    20 miles away from that sea water which in summer is constantly cooled by drifting

    ice. Near the mouth of the Itkillik some of the willows are 15 and even 20 feet

    high. By native report there are some spruce trees toward the head of the

    Itkillik; but one of Stefansson's companions of his third expedition, Aarnout

    Castel, who, subsequent to 1930, lived on the Colville above the mouth of the

    Itkillik, told Stefansson verbally (1935) that he was sure there were no spruce.

    009      |      Vol_XII-0079                                                                                                                  
    COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA

    However, he said this made little difference as willows, good for fuel and

    suitable for [ ?] native-style house building, were everywhere abundant.

            In pre-white times the Colville was one of the chief meeting and

    trading places where goods originally brought from Siberia by the Port Clarence

    people would find their way through Kotzebue Sound to Eskimos on the north

    coast of Alaska, and as far east as the Mackenzie delta. Inland Eskimos from

    the upper Kobuk, Noatak, and Colville Rivers used the Colville Valley to reach

    the arctic coast of Alaska. In the spring they would follow the caribou north–

    ward to the edge of the mountains, wait for the ice to break, and then sail

    all the way downstream. Those go [ ?] ng to the Mackenzie followed the Colville

    to its mouth, and those going to Barrow left the upper Colville, crossing Look–

    out Ridge and sailing down the Ikpikpuk and the Chipp. The return trip was made

    by water to the head of navigation where the boats were cached until the following

    year. Wood for these boats was either brought across the divide from the

    timbered valleys of the southerly and westerly flowing rivers or else was obtained

    as driftwood on the coast.

            Although, as Brooks points out, the Colville Valley supported a large

    native population in pre-white times, it was by and large nomadic so that few

    permanent settlements grew up along the river. Rendezvous points might buzz

    with activity every spring, but they would be almost deserted at all other times

    of year.

            Since the beginning of intscnvie intensive development work on the development of in Naval

    Petroleum Reserve No.4, however, Umiat (q.v.), about half way between Prince

    Creek and the Anaktuvuk has been the site of continuous year-round activity.

    (See also Barrow, Alaska, article.)

            There are a few landing fields in the valley, one called Colville

    010      |      Vol_XII-0080                                                                                                                  
    COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA

    Bar, at the mouth of the Killik, and another on Chandler Lake, but no information

    as to their facilities is available. Chandler Lake has an emergency seaplane

    anchorage near the south end.

            Dease and Simpson named this magnificent river, the Colville, on July

    24, 1837. "Coasting along [ Harrison Bay ] ...for eight miles," Simpson wrote,

    "the beach preserved the same low character, consisting of mud and gravel; the

    soundings nowhere exceeding seven or eight feet on a bottom of gravel and sand.

    At length, at 9 A.M., the water shoaled to from one to two feet, and, after

    seeking in vain for a deeper channel, we were obliged to stand out to sea. We,

    [ ?] however, had the satisfaction of tracing the land to the bottom of the bay,

    into which a very large river falls; for the water, even at the distance of three

    leagues to seaward, was perfectly fresh. We called it Colville River, as a mark of

    our respect for Andrew Colville, Esquire, of the Hudson's Bay Company." Although

    his written account gives the name as [ ?] "Colvile", it appears on Simpson's map

    as "Colville", which spelling has been retained.



    011      |      Vol_XII-0081                                                                                                                  
    COLVILLE RIVER, ALASKA

            References

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic dictionary of Alaska. Geographic dictionary of Alaska. 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Brooks, Alfred H. Geography and geology of Alaska; a summary of existing Geography and geology of Alaska; a summary of existing

    knowledge. knowledge. Washington, 1906. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Professional

    Paper Paper , No.45)

            Schrader, F.C. Reconnaissance in northern Alaska Reconnaissance in northern Alaska . Washington, 1904.

    (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper No.20)

            Simpson, Thomas. Narrative of the discoverios on the north coast of America. Narrative of the discoverios on the north coast of America. ..

    during the years 1836-39. during the years 1836-39. London, Bentley, 1843.

            Smith, P.S., and Mertie, J.B., Jr. Geology and mineral resources of northwestern Geology and mineral resources of northwestern

    Alaska. Alaska. Washington, 1930. (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin 815)

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska. Part I Alaska. Part I I. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, 1947.

            VS Guidebook for Alaska. VS Guidebook for Alaska.



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0082                                                                                                                  

            55 wds

    Ruby Collins

    January, 1950 COPLESTON, MOUNT, ALASKA


            COPLESTON, MOUNT, a peak of unreported elevation at the

    west end of the Shubelik Mountains, arctic Alaska, was named by Sir John

    Franklin after Dr. Copleston, provost of Oriel College. Franklin called

    the group rising just south of Mount Copleston the "Rocky Mountains," but

    these have since been renamed in honor of the explorer himself.

            Leffingwell, E. de K. The Canning River Region, Northern Alaska The Canning River Region, Northern Alaska . Wash.,

    D.C., G.P.O., 1919. U.S. Geol.Surv., Prof.pa Prof.pa . 109.

            U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Chart Chart 9400.



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0083                                                                                                                  

            205 wds

    Ruby Collins

    May, 1949 CORWIN BLUFF, ALASKA


            CORWIN BLUFF, between Cape Lisburne and Cape Sabine on the arctic

    coast of Alaska, near 165° W.Long., is a headland two hundred feet high,

    projecting only slightly beyond the regular coastline and interrupting

    the continuity of the beach for only a few hundred yards. Collier, who

    investigated coal possibilities here in 1906, says that the development of

    the coal beds at Corwin Bluff would be easy because of their perfect regu–

    larity. He sa w no reason why mines developed in this way could not be

    worked all winter.

            Coal mined and cached in winter would be available for shipment in

    summer if piled on the level ground above the cliffs or at places near

    sea level where the cliffs are lower and snowdrifts do not form. There are

    at least two such places convenient to Corwin Bluff, with good beaches before

    them for landing. Collier believes lightering would be best, which can

    probably be done more easily at Corwin Bluff than at Nome because ships can

    anchor near shore.

            Corwin Bluff lies only a few miles west of Thetis Creek (q.v.),

    beyond which another coal deposit is known to exist. Both these deposits

    have for many years been used by the Eskimos living in this region and by

    the whaling and Coast Guard vessels sailing these waters.

            References:

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Smith, P.S. & Mertie, J.B., jr. Geology and Mineral Resources of North- Geology and Mineral Resources of North-

    western Alaska western Alaska . Washington, 1930. (U.S. Geological Survey,

    Bulletin 815 Bulletin 815 )

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska. Alaska. Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, 1947.

            17



    001      |      Vol_XII-0084                                                                                                                  

            420 wds

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 CROSS ISLAND, ALASKA


            CROSS ISLAND, in the Polar Sea, about 12 miles off the arctic

    coast of Alaska, belongs in a chain of low sand islets and shoals stretching

    from about 146° to 150° W.Long., a distance of some 100 miles. These islands

    lie, in general, from 4 to 7 miles offshore, although Cross Island is more nearly

    10 miles off. From east to west the island chain contains Flaxman Island,

    near the mouth of the Canning River, the Maguire, Stockton, and McClure Islands,

    Cross Island, and the Midway, Return, and Jones Islands. The most westerly of the

    Jones group, Thetis Island, lies off the mouth of the Colville River, in Harrison

    Bay. Between these islands and the mainland stretches the inland waterway

    known as Simpson Lagoon.

            Cross Island was so named in 1889 by Charles H. Stockton, of the

    USS Thetis , for the wooden cross erected there by whalers.

            The islands making up this chain are of two kinds. Some are nearly

    barren, low sandbars; others are somewhat higher and prairie-like. The Spy

    Islands, at the west end of the Jones group, are mainly gravel, though with some

    vegetation. Beginning with Leavitt Island, of the Jones group, there are sever–

    al that are comparatively big and grass-covered. In the more easterly part of

    the chain the only island with much grass is F laxman. Proof that vegetation

    is slow to take root is given by Leffingwell who notes that, although the cross

    on Cross Island was erected before Stockton visited it in 1889, the gravel was

    still bare at its base in 1914.

            The gravel islands are heaps of earth on which there was a lot of

    driftwood until the introduction of wood-burning stoves, just before 1900.

    Thereafter, most of the wood was collected and burned as fast as it beached.

    Cross Island is more talked about than all the rest combined. This is because it

    happens so often that ships from the west are held up there by ice pressing

    in from seaward. Small ships may enter the lagoon at Cross Island and proceed

    eastward; or they may anchor behind the island and wait for a change of wind or

    002      |      Vol_XII-0085                                                                                                                  
    CROSS ISLAND, ALASKA

    current to move the ice.

            Because of the tongue of ice which often forms there, Cross Island

    is identified in the U.S. Coast Pilot as one of the most difficult places along

    this coast. The channel between the island and the mainland has depths from

    6 to 12 feet, but both this channel and the entrances between the islands

    appear to be shoaling. At one time U u p to 18 feet [ ?] could be carried through Newport Entrance,

    between McClure and Stockton Islands, but less water was found in 1944.

            Vessels may enter past pole Island, about midway of the chain,

    steering for a small inshore group of islands until in mid-channel. They can

    then follow the mainland, coming out near the Return Islands. The entrance

    channel is said to be marked by a pole on the island.

            Sources:

            VS Guidebook for Alaska Guidebook for Alaska

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska Alaska . Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington,D.C., 1947.

            Stockton, Charles H. "The Arctic Cruise of the U.S.S. Thetis in the

    Summer and Autumn of 1889." National Geographic [ ?] Magazine National Geographic [ ?] Magazine ,

    Vol. II, No.3, 1890, pp.171-198.



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0086                                                                                                                  

            100 wds

    Ruby Collins

    January, 1950 DAVIDSON MOUNTAINS, ALASKA


            DAVIDSON MOUNTAINS, arctic Alaska, run approximately parallel

    to the shores of the Polar Sea, [ ?] but separated from it by the British

    and Richardson Mountains. They stretch northwest-southeast between the

    basin of the Old Crow River and the Romanzof Mountains and are bounded on the

    south by the Endicott Range.

            The Davidson Mountains form part of the Yukon-Arctic divide between the

    Yukon and arctic drainage systems . From the south side of the range flow

    the Coleen and Sheenjek Rivers, both of which enter the Porcupine, one of

    the major tributaries to the Yukon. The northern flank of the range

    sends small tributary waters into the Kongakut and Firth Rivers, both of

    which flow northward to the Polar Sea.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0087                                                                                                                  

            930 words

    Ruby Collins

    July, 1949 DEASE INLET, ALASKA


            DEASE INLET, an arm of the Polar Sea, cuts southward into the north

    coast of Alaska from the eastern end of Elson Lagoon (q.v.) between Christie

    Point and Tangent Point. Igalik Island, one of the [ ?]

    Plover group , which stretches eastward from Point Barrow sandspit to form the

    northern boundary of Elson Lagoon, lies directly in the entrance to Dease

    Inlet.

            [ ?] From midway between Christie and Tange nt Points the Inlet

    extends about 15 miles in a southwesterly direction. Its width varies from

    about five to about 15 miles, and its depth from about 6 to 8 feet, except

    near the beach where it is extremely shallow. The southern end of the Inlet

    is marked by McTavish and Wright Points, on the west and east shores respec–

    tively, and by Kikiktak, Tiny, and Oarlock Islands midway of the five of six

    miles of water separating these two points.

            South of these islands the Inlet merges into Admiralty Bay (q.v.) which

    is shorter and comparatively wider than the Inlet proper.

            The best entrances into Dease Inlet are by way of Elson Lagoon and

    Sanigaruak Pass. Small boats can pass near Tangent Point, but this entrance

    is not recommended for any except light draft vessels.

            A survey of Dease Inlet made in 1945 reports that the winter ice did

    not break up in Elson Lagoon until July 28, and that it started forming

    again on September 13. The survey launches had difficulty in getting out of

    the Inlet on September 15, by which time both the inlet and the lagoon were

    covered with one inch of ice. During the winter , ice forms on these two

    bodies of water to a thickness of 6 to 10 feet.

            Dease Inlet and several of the local promontories were named by

    Thomas Simpson in August, 1837, during his trip westward to Barrow along

    the north coast of Alaska. "The land, which so far had led north-westerly,"

    he wrote, "soon turned sharply off to S.S.W., forming an acute angle, well

    002      |      Vol_XII-0088                                                                                                                  
    DEASE INLET, ALASKA [ ?]

    termed Point Tange n t. The gravel reefs here separate from the muddy beach,

    and stretch, as I found on our return, in a direct line of eleven miles to

    Boat Extreme, enclosing the singularly shaped bay, of which we had now com–

    pleted the tecious circuit, and on which I conferred the approppiate title of

    Fatigue Bay...After travelling about ten miles, and wading through many a salt

    creek, the waters of which wer e at the freezing temperature, the land, to our

    dismay, turned off to the eastward of south, and a boundless inlet lay before

    us. Almost at the same instant, to our inexpressible joy, we described four

    Esquimaux tents, at no great distance, with figures running about. We immediate–

    ly directed our steps towards them; but, on our approach, the women and

    children threw themselves into their canoes, and pushed off from the shore...

    The men were absent, hunting, with the exception of one infirm individual,

    who, sitting under a reversed canoe, was tranquilly engaged in weaving a fine

    whalebone net. Being unable to make his escape with the rest, he was in

    an agony of fear; and, when I first went up to him, with impotent hand he made

    a thrust at me with his long knife. He was, however, soon convinced of our

    good intentions; and his first request was for tobacco, of which we found men,

    women, and even children inordinately fond...Our new friends forthwith brought

    us some fresh venison; and, concluding, not without reason, that we were very

    hungry, they presented, as a particular delicacy, a savoury dish of choice

    pieces steeped in seal-oil. Great was their surprise when we declined their

    favourite mess; and their curiosity in scrutinizing the dress, persons,

    and complexions of the first white men they had ever behld, seemed insatiable.

    They shewed us, with evident satisf ca ac tion, their winter store of oil,

    secured in seal-skin bags buried in the frozen earth. Some of their reindeer

    robes, ivory dishes, and other trifles were purchase; and I exchanged the

    003      |      Vol_XII-0089                                                                                                                  
    DEASE INLET, ALASKA

    tin pan, which constituted my whole table service, for a platter made out of

    a mammoth tusk!...Confidence being now fully established, I told them that I

    required one of their comiaks, or large family canoes, to take us two or three

    days' journey--or sleeps, as they term it--to the westward; after which we

    should return. These skin boats float in half a foot of water...They acceded

    to my demand, without a scruple...Scarcely had we left the shore when a strong

    north-eas t wind sprung up from seaward, bringing back the cold [ ?] dense

    fog. We could not see a hundred yards ahead, but steered due west, by

    compass, across the inlet, which at this narrowest part proved to be five

    miles wide. I had much gratification in naming it Dease Inlet, as a mark

    of esteem for my worthy colleague. The waves ran high on the passage, but

    our new craft surmounted them with wonderful buoyancy. The coast we

    attained was from ten to fifteen feet high, and the ground was solidly frozen

    within two inches of the surface. Not a morsel of drift wood was to be found

    in this land of desolation; but we followed the example of the natives, and

    made our tiny fire of the roots of the d warf willow, between three upright

    pieces of turf. Our oomiak turned to windward, and proppe d up with the

    paddles, formed a good shelter; and under it we stowed ourselves snugly away

    for the night...We breakfasted at the northern point of land, on a gravel

    reef, where some drift wood had been washed up...It afforded me unfeigned

    pleasure to call t h is point after Chief Factor Christie [ of the Hudson's

    Bay Company ] , a warm personal friend, and also a zealous promoter of the

    interests of the expedition. Lofty icebergs appeared to seaward; dark–

    coloured seals were sporting among the masses in-shore; and one of [ ?]

    those gelatinous substances called by sailors 'sea-blubber' was, for the first

    time, seen floating in Dease Inlet. From Point Christie the low coast, con–

    sisting of mud and sand, with a facing of ice, again turns westward."



    004      |      Vol_XII-0090                                                                                                                  
    DEASE INLET, ALASKA

            References

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Simpson, Thomas. Narrative of the Discoveries in the North Coast of

    America; effected by the Officers of the Hudson's Bay Company during

    the years 1836-39
    Narrative of the Discoveries in the North Coast of

    America; effected by the Officers of the Hudson's Bay Company during

    the years 1836-39
    . London, Bentley, 1843.

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska Alaska . Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, 1947.

            VS Guidebook for Alaska Guidebook for Alaska .



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0091                                                                                                                  

            95 words

    Ruby Collins

    July, 1949 DOCTOR ISLAND, ALASKA


            DOCTOR ISLAND [ ?] a [ ?] small, low, sandy island in the Polar Sea

    just east of Point Barrow (q.v.), the most northerly point of land in

    Alaska, has been identified with Crescent or Martin Island, which names

    appear on British Admiralty charts of the mid-nineteenth century. The

    Eskimo name for Doctor Island is Il-liut-kak. Eastward from Doctor Island

    stretches the chain of the Plover group (q.v.) to form the northern boundary

    of Elson Lagoon (q.v.). For descriptions of the land and sea conditions

    governing life in this part of Alaska, see articles on Point Barrow and

    Barrow.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0092                                                                                                                  

            170

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 DUCK ISLAND, ALASKA


            DUCK ISLAND, between Prudhoe and Foggy Island Bays on the arctic

    [ ?] coast of Alaska, is a small, silt island in the delta of the

    Sagavanirktok River. It was identified and named by Leffingwell during his

    reconnaissance of the Canning River country between the years 1906 and 1914.

            The Pacific eider duck builds its nest only on islands fringing a

    coastline. A few of these nests will be found on almost every member one of the

    island chain starting with Flaxman Island, off the mouth of the Canning

    River, and continuing westward to the Jones Islands, near the mouth of the

    Colville. The Pacific [ ?] eider has favorite nesting places, however, and

    Duck Island is one of these. According to native report, hundreds of Pacific

    eiders collect on Duck Island each year, and the Eskimos have been known to

    gather 300 to 400 eggs during a single raid on the island. Leffingwell

    remarks that too frequent raiding causes the birds to abandon a location,

    so that the Pacific eider may have left Duck Island since Leffingwell

    reported the situation there in 1914.

            Source:

    Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River Region, Northern Alaska Canning River Region, Northern Alaska . Washington,

    D.C., 1919. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)

    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0093                                                                                                                  

            70 words

    Ruby Collins

    May, 1949 DYER, CAPE, ALASKA


            DYER, CAPE, on the arctic coast of Alaska, between Point Hope

    and Cape Lisburne, was named by Beechey in 1827. The Eskimo name,

    Kapaloa (Capaloa) is still retained by the small creek which enters the

    ocean in a falls on the south side of Cape Dyer. Collier recorded this

    name for the creek in 1904. There was once a native village with the

    same name on the Cape, but it [ ?] is now abandoned.

            References:

    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0094                                                                                                                  

            550 words

    Ruby Collins

    July, 1949 ELSON LAGOON, ALASKA


            ELSON LAGOON, northern Alaska, is separated from the Polar Sea by

    Point Barrow sandspit on the west, the Plover Islands on the north, and

    the mainland on the south. It may be entered either by way of channels

    between the Plover Islands or from the east by way of the wide opening

    opposite Christie Point and the entrance to Dease Inlet.

            Beechey named this lagoon in September, 1826, "in compliment to

    Master Thomas Elson," of the Royal Navy, the member of Beechey's party who

    commanded a barge trip from Point Franklin northward along the coast of

    Alaska to Point Barrow and then southward into the Lagoon. The work of

    Elson and his companions, which proceeded despite the almost constant threat danger of

    being crushed by the ice or carried away by the strong northeasterly current

    which sweeps up the west side of Point Barrow sandspit, produced the first

    accurate map of this section of the Alaska coastline.

            According to the Admiralty charts, the Eskimo name for this lagoon

    is Tasuk, meaning "enclosed water", i.e. a bay.

            Elson Lagoon [ ?] is from

    two to five miles wide, about sixteen miles long, and uniformly from eight

    to ten feet deep. The important navigable entrances to the Lagoon are

    Eluitkak Pass, at the north, Ekilukruak Entrance, in the center, and Dease

    Inlet, at the southeast. When using this latter entrance vessels can avoid

    shoal water by keeping to the mainland (southern) side of the Lagoon.

            Eluitkak Pass, between the eastern end of Point Barrow sandspit and

    Doctor Island, the first of the [ ?] Plover Island, is the main

    westerly entrance to the Lagoon. The Eskimo name means "something wrong

    with the pass." Ekilukruak Entrance, between Deadmans and Tapkaluk Islands,

    [ ?] farther east in the [ ?] Plover group, means "big, wide."

            Moore Channel, which appears on some maps, is reported to lead

    002      |      Vol_XII-0095                                                                                                                  
    ELSONLAGOON, ALASKA

    past some small, sandy islands just east of Point Barrow into Port Moore.

    The Admiralty assigned this name in 1853 in honor of Commander Thomas E.L.

    Moore, R.N. The Eskimo name has been variously reported as Ik-ke-ra-luk

    and Ikiraaluk.

            Brandt Point projects into the southern part of the Lagoon a few miles

    from the base of Point Barrow sandspit. Scott Point is a promontory on the

    southern shore about midway between Brandt and Christie Points. Iko Bay

    indents the southern shore a few miles east of Scott Point.

            Many small streams drain the marshes south of the Lagoon and flow

    northward into it, but none of them is named on recent maps.

            The climate is arctic, characterized by short, cool summers, long,

    cold winters and a low annual precipitation. Although the surrounding

    countryside is treeless, the entire coastal plain south of the Lagoon is

    covered with lichens , and mosses, grasses, and a great [ ?] ariety of flowers

    during the short growing season. The large herds of reindeer which have been

    [ ?] maintained in this area attest to the value of this terrain as pasture

    land. The native population is mostly marine in culture, depending on

    products of the sea for their food and fuel, but they have always dressed in

    reindeer skins, which are obtained by regular hunting trips into the interior,

    or by trade with the inland Eskimos.

            For a general description of this part of Alaska and a history of

    its exploration, see article on Barrow, Alaska.



    003      |      Vol_XII-0096                                                                                                                  
    ELSON LAGOON

            References

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Paige, Sidney, & Foran, W.T. Reconnaissance of the Point Barrow

    Region, Alaska
    Reconnaissance of the Point Barrow

    Region, Alaska
    . Washington, 1925. (U.S. Geological Survey.

    Bulletin Bulletin 772)

            Smith, Philip S., and Mertie, J.B., Jr. Geology and Mineral Resources

    of Northwestern Alaska
    Geology and Mineral Resources

    of Northwestern Alaska
    . Washington, 1930. (U.S. Geological

    Survey. Bulletin Bulletin 815)



    001      |      Vol_XII-0097                                                                                                                  

            960 wds

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 FLAXMAN ISLAND, ALASKA


            FLAXMAN ISLAND in the Polar Sea, is the most easterly of the chain of

    low, sand and gravel islands which skirts the arctic coast of Alaska all the

    way from the mouth of the Canning westward to the mouth of the Colville River,

    a distance of over 100 miles. Flaxman Island lies slightly northwest of the

    Canning River delta. Reading Leffingwell's map from east to west the other

    members of this long island chain include Mary Sachs Island, the Maguire,

    Stockton, McClure, Midway, Return, and Jones Islands.

            Generally speaking the north coast of Alaska is sinking, which means

    not only that the sea flows in over the land because the levels are changing,

    but also that the sea has a chance to attack with its waves this year places

    that were not accessible last. Flaxman Island, Leavitt Island and the rest of

    the prairie group are subject to this pressure.

            A geological formation has been named after this island because of the

    frequency of its exposure there. The Flaxman formation is a deposit of

    foreign glacial till, sometimes containing glacial ice. This formation is

    often exposed all along the arctic coast of Alaska, but is never found inland.

            The till is made up of clay, boulders, gravel, and sands. Where

    the clay is not mixed with muck and sand it is a dark blue-gray color. The

    boulders are a particularly noticeable characteristic of this formation and

    range from 10 feet in diameter to less than 2 feet. Many of them have the

    rubbed and worn look of the ordinary glacial boulder, but some are angular

    and shattered by frost. Quartzites are the most conspicuous and numerous

    kind of rock in this formation, and are commonly pink, red, or purple, and

    banded, cross-bedded or conglomeratic. Dark greenstones are frequent although

    pink and red granites are more noticeable. Leffingwell found no sandstones,

    limestones, or metamorphic rocks among the Flaxman rocks, these being restricted

    to the till of the mountains in the interior. [ ?]

            Leffingwell does not think that the ice underneath the Flaxman

    formation is entirely glacial nor that the whole of Flaxman Island is underlain

    by it.



    002      |      Vol_XII-0098                                                                                                                  
    FLAXMAN ISLAND, ALASKA

            As a whole, except for the glacial ice possibly contained in it, the

    Flaxman formation is a thin surface layer. The boulder clay is somewhat less

    than 3 feet thick at the greatest, and the boulders themselves are mostly super–

    ficial. Leffingwell found evidence of this formation not only on the islands

    off this coast, but also along the coast itself, although these evidences were

    not continuous and did not extend more than a mile inland. The mouth of the

    Canning, Shaviovik, and Sagavanirktok Rivers showed typical deposits, and the

    coastline all the way to and beyond Barrow revealed the formation in certain

    places.

            Leffingwell reports that the ice in the la g oon west of Flaxman Island

    usually breaks up and floats westward before an east gale sometime before the

    middle of July. Ice outside the island chain, however, does not usually move

    until much later. At about this same time raw winds begin to blow and the

    days become foggy and cloudy. Drizzling rains are frequent, but heavy rains

    are uncommon. The skies clear somewhat in August, and the stars once more are

    visible.

            Sailing eastward from Pt. Barrow [ ?] in the Enterprise ,

    Collinson sighted Flaxman Island [ ?] about August 5, 1851, but passed on

    beyond Herschel Island into British territory where he spent two winters.

    In 1853, returning westward, he again sighted Flaxman Island on September 14.

    Ice forced him into shoal water abreast of the island, and, being hemmed in

    by heavy ice, he tied up to a floe grounded in 7 1/2 fathoms. In this position,

    on September 26, the Enterprise was frozen in for the winter. The ensuing

    ten months were spent in charting the coast and the interior. On July 15,

    1854, the ice began to break up, and Collinson set sa i l for Point Barrow, which

    he reached on August 8.

            A shoal area is reported to exist about 25 miles northeast ward of

    Flaxman Island and northwest of Camden Bay, but no definite information con-

    003      |      Vol_XII-0099                                                                                                                  
    FLAXMAN ISLAND, ALASKA

    cerning it is available. In 1944 its existence was reported as doubtful,

    although it still appeared on charts of the region.

            White whales, walrus, and bearded seal are seldom g seen in the

    vicinity of Flaxman Island, but the small Point Barrow seal is abundant. White–

    fronted geese migrate past Flaxman Island on their way westward to their breed–

    ing grounds near Harrison Bay.

            Summer travel between Flaxman Island and Barrow is almost exclusively

    by boat. In average weather, the trip can be made in a native canoe in about

    10 days, and by whaleboat or other powered vessel in from 3 to 5 days. When the

    ocean is frozen, the trip along the coast and over frozen bays can be made by

    dog sled, but, in recent years, the airplane has to a large extent replaced

    other methods of travel. There are now no permanent settlements on Flaxman

    Island.

            Mikkelsen described Flaxman in 1906 as being four miles long and

    three-fourths of a mile wide. According to Stefansson, who was in this area from

    1913 to 1918, it is probably less than half a mile wide now, and very likely

    sections have been cut off the ends, or perhaps there has been a channel made

    through it. A few years hence, Flaxman Island may be two or three tiny islets;

    a few score years hence it may be nothing but a series of gravel bars, like

    Cross Island.

            But even on a sinking coast there are building processes, though

    temporary. Sandbars may be made somewhat higher by one of the sea's activities,

    particularly by the ploughing up of the bottom through ice under pressure, and

    the shoving of the scooped up material against or upon the sandbars. As said,

    it can happen, too, and often does, that one gap in the island chain may be

    filled up this year so as to be impassable, while another has [ ?]

    deepened so much that craft can get in with double the draft of last year.

            In his description of Flaxman Island, Mikkelsen reports that its

    east end is about 35 feet high. Only Leavitt Island of the Jones group is as

    004      |      Vol_XII-0100                                                                                                                  
    FLAXMAN ISLAND, ALASKA

    high as that, only Barter Island is higher. The mainland shore is frequently

    only five or six feet high, and, at times, slopes right down to sea level.

            Sources:

            Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River Region, Northern Alaska. Canning River Region, Northern Alaska. Washington,

    D.C., 1919. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)

            Franklin, John. Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar

    Sea, in the years 1825, 1826, and 1827
    Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar

    Sea, in the years 1825, 1826, and 1827
    . London, Murray, 1828.

            VS Guidebook for Alaska. Guidebook for Alaska.

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska. Alaska. Part II. 5th(1947)ed. Washington,D.C., 1947.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0101                                                                                                                  

            410

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 FOGGY ISLAND, ALASKA


            FOGGY ISLAND, a gravel island on the east side of the Sagavanirktok

    River delta, on the arctic coast of Alaska, was named by Sir John Franklin

    during his August, 1826, attempt to complete the northwest passage.

            The fog, which had tormented and delayed Franklin ever since he had

    cleared Demarcation Point, reached an extreme state of density and persistence

    at Foggy Island. The expedition was delayed at "this dreary place" [ ?] or some

    time. Attempts to sail westward from the island were defeated by the [ ?]

    shallowness of the delta channels and by the persistence of the fog.

            "Fog is," Franklin wrote, "of all others, the most hazardous state

    of the atmosphere for navigation in an icy sea, especially when it is accom–

    panied by strong breezes, but particularly so for boats where the shore is

    unapproachable. If caught by a gale, a heavy swell, or drifting ice, the

    result must be their wreck, or the throwing the provisions overboard to

    lighten them, so as to proceed into shoal water. Many large pieces of ice were

    seen on the borders of the shallow water; and from the lowness of the tempera–

    ture, we concluded that the main body was at no great distance. We had also

    passed through a stream of perfectly fresh water, which we supposed was poured

    out from a large river [ ?] in the immediate vicinity,

    [ this would be the Sagavanirktok River ] but the fog prevented our seeing

    its outlet. . . The obstinate continuance of fog forms another material differ–

    ence between this season and the same period of 1821. . . As an instance of the

    illusion occasioned by the fog, I may mention that our hunters sallied forth,

    on more than one occasion, to fire at what they supposed to be deer, on the

    bank about one hundred yards from the tents, which, to their surprise, took

    wing, and proved to be cranes and geese."

            Between August 16 and 18, Franklin beat his way a few miles farther

    westward to the Return Islands, which he called Return Reef, but was there

    forced to turn back.



    002      |      Vol_XII-0102                                                                                                                  
    FOGGY ISLAND, ALASKA

            The other islands in the Sagavanirktok delta, Howe Island for

    instance, are composed of silt. [ ?]

            [ ?] Foggy Island, however, is composed of glacial drift.

    According to Leffingwell, Foggy Island may have been formed by the grounding

    and subsequent wasting away of a large iceberg. Only a deposit of drift

    would then remain to ma [ ?] k its former position. Leffingwell suggests that

    some of the ice found below the surgace of Foggy Island may be the last

    remnants of the iceberg that carried the boulders, gravel, and till, of which

    the island is composed, along the arctic coast of Alaska to the mouth of

    the Sagavanirktok River, and there laid them down.

            Sources:

            Franklin, John. Narrative of a second Expedition to the Shores of the

    Polar Sea in the years 1825, 1826, and 1827
    Narrative of a second Expedition to the Shores of the

    Polar Sea in the years 1825, 1826, and 1827
    . London, Murray, 1828.

            Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River Region, northern Alaska Canning River Region, northern Alaska .

    Washington, D.C., G.P.O., 1919. (U.S. Geological Survey.

    Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)



    003      |      Vol_XII-0103                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 FOGGY ISLAND BAY, ALASKA


            FOGGY ISLAND BAY opens into the Polar Sea between Point Brower,

    on the north end of Foggy Island, and Lion Point, on Tigvariak Island. It

    receives the waters of three arctic Alaska rivers: the Sagavanirktok, the

    Kadleroshilik, and the Shaviovik. Only one branch of the southern distribu–

    tary of the Sagavanirktok flows into this bay, the others veering northward

    and [ ?] debouching directly into the Polar Sea.

            Foggy Island Bay is generally shoal, having from three to six feet

    near the shore and gradually deepening to eighteen or more feet outside the

    entrance. There is a very shallow channel with only about 1 1/2 feet of water

    between the mouths of the Shaviovik River and Tigvariak Island which leads

    into Mikkelsen Bay (q.v.)

            Source:

    Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River Region, Northern Alaska Canning River Region, Northern Alaska . Washington,

    D.C., 1919. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)

    001      |      Vol_XII-0104                                                                                                                  

            540 wds

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 FRANKLIN MOUNTAINS,ALASKA

    Revised January, 1950


            FRANKLIN MOUNTAINS rise abruptly from the coastal plateau of

    arctic Alaska between the Hulahula and the Sagavanirktok River (q.v.) just

    south of 70° N. Lat., and between 144° and 148° W.Long.

            Thomas Simpson and P.W. Dease arrived at the mouth of the

    Sagavanirktok River about June 20, 1837. Looking southeastward they saw the

    Franklin Mountains. Simpson wrote: "The portion of the Rocky Mountains

    [ the Brooks Range ] visible from the coast does not terminate, as conjectured by

    Sir John Franklin, with the Romanzoff chain. After a brief interval, another

    chain commences, less lofty perhaps, but equally picturesque; which, in

    honour of the distinguished officer whose discoverie s we were following up,

    we named the Franklin Range. . . In the afternoon [ of the 22nd ] we enjoyed a

    distinct view of the Franklin Mountains, extending from S.E. to S.W. by S. (true),

    the central and highest peak bearing S. by E. about twenty miles distant. They

    were still partially covered with snow; and the whole range presents a

    precipitous front to the coast."

            C. H. Stockton in command of the U.S.S. [ ?] Thetis

    mentions these mountains in his account of a trip along the north coast of

    Alaska in 1889. "As we ran from off Lion Reef to Camden Bay," he wrote, "we

    sighted the beautiful ranges of mountains close to the coast known as the

    Franklin and Romanzoff mountains, making an agreeable change in the topography

    of the shore, which had been low and monotonously flat since leaving Point

    Hope and the vicinity of Cape Lisburne [ in northwestern Alaska, south of Point

    Barrow ] ."

            Leffingwell somewhat revises the position of these mountains.

    From Simpson's report it might be assumed that they lie mostly west of the

    002      |      Vol_XII-0105                                                                                                                  
    FRANKLING MOUNTANS

    Canning, but Leffingwell places them mostly east of the Canning. Both the

    southern and western boundaries he reports as indefinite, then adds, "on

    the northeast the Franklin Mountains end definitely against the higher

    Romanzof Mountains. . . [ and ] on the southeast border they appear to merge

    into the British Mountains." There are some mountains between the Canning

    and the Saganavirktok Rivers, but these are lower and farther from the coast

    than those east of the Canning. Many maps identify this westerly group

    as the Franklin Mountains, but Leffingwell feels that the main mass of the

    range lies eastward from the Canning and marks his map accordingly.

            Leffingwell, who Having spent the years 1906 to 1914 in northern Alaska, Leffingwell

    gives the first detailed description of the Franklin Mountains. The northern

    boundary (that facing the Polar Sea) is steep, rising 3,000 feet above the rolling

    upland. The southern boundary merges into the Brooks Range to form the Yukon–

    Arctic divide and is, therefore, less well-defined. On the northeast they

    002      |      Vol_XII-0106                                                                                                                  
    FRANKLIN MOUNTAINS, ALASKA

    end definitely against the higher Romanzof Mountains (q.v.), but on the southeast

    they seem to merge into the British Mountains.

            The northern front of the Franklin Mountains average about 5,000

    feet above sea level, but between the forks of the Sadlerochit River , they rise to

    7,000 feet. Mt. Salisbury, 6900 feet, west of the upper Canning and perhaps 60

    miles from the coast , is double-peaked. Mt. Chamberlin, 9131 feet, some 35 miles

    northeast of Salisbury and south [ ?] of Peters and Schrader Lakes belong properly

    to the Romanzof Mountains. Except from the headwaters of the Sadlerochit River,

    very vew peaks are distinguishable in the Franklin Mountains, but the abruptness

    with which they rise above the unrelieved flatness of the coastal plain makes

    them memorable. Many of the higher peaks are snow-covered the year around,

    although those visible from the coast are not usually so.



    003      |      Vol_XII-0107                                                                                                                  
    FRANKLIN MOUNTAINS, ALASKA


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Baker, Mar [ ?] us. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, D.C.,

    G.P.O., 1906.

    Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River Region, northern Alaska . Washington,

    D.C., G.P.O., 1919. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper 109)

    Simpson, Thomas. Narrative of the [ ?] Discoveries on the north coast Narrative of the [ ?] Discoveries on the north coast

    of America. . . during the years 1836-39 of America. . . during the years 1836-39 . London, Bentley, 1843.

    Stockton, Charles H. "Arctic Cruise of the U.S.S. Thetis in the Summer and

    Autumn of 1889." National Geographic Magazine National Geographic Magazine , II,3, 1890,

    p.171-198.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0108                                                                                                                  

            200 wds

    Ruby Collins

    June, 1949 FRANKLIN POINT, ALASKA


            FRANKLIN POINT, on the arctic coast of Alaska, somewhat north of

    the midway point between Icy Cape and Point Barrow, is one of the highest spots

    on the sand bar stretching northward from Point Belc [ ?] er. At Point Franklin this

    sandbank turns abruptly eastward toward the mainland, outcropping again in a

    broken chain known as the Seahorse Islands. In this way the bank partially

    encloses a large lagoon which may be considered part of Peard Bay (q.v.), which

    lies immediately south of Point Franklin.

            The Point itself is a very small sand island with a few hummocks

    on it, but it is so tiny and far removed from the Seahorse group as to be

    difficult to make out.

            Openings between these islands are usually very shallow and always

    changing. The greatest changes would seem to occur between Point Franklin and

    Peard Bay, immediately to the south of the Point where only a narrow strip of

    sand appears above water to indicate the existence of this extensive sand bar.

            Northward and northeastward from Point Franklin, a shoal extends

    several miles out to sea, so that vessels rounding the Point should give it a

    berth of at least four or five miles.

            Beechey named this point in 1826 after Sir John Franklin, for whom

    he was looking throughout t his voyage up the coast of Alaska.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0109                                                                                                                  

            265

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 GWYDYR BAY, ALASKA


            GWYDYR BAY, an arm of the Polar Sea, indents the arctic coast of

    Alaska in the vicinity of 149° W. Long., and receives the Kuparuk (q.v.), the

    only large river between the Colville and the Sagavanirktok (q.v.). The entrance

    to Gwydyr Bay is shoal and partially cut off from [ ?] open sea by the Return

    Islands (q.v.).

            On August 26, 1826, after being storm-bound for seven days, Sir John

    Franklin was able to make astronomical bearings and to trace the shores of this

    bay around to the western entrance point, which he named after his Lieutenant

    (afterward Captain) George Back, R.N. Leffingwell gives Point Storkersen

    as the eastern entrance point to Gwydyr Bay. From Back Point, Franklin saw

    a hummock of land to the westward which he named after his friend, Captain

    Frederic William Beechey, who was at that very time awaiting Franklin's

    arrival in Kotzebue Sound. Franklin had intended to complete the westward

    passage [ ?] and to meet Beechey somewhere south

    of Barrow on the northwest coast of Alaska. Heavy ice, fog, and violent

    storms, however, so delayed Franklin, that he was unable to procede byond

    beyond Gwydyr Bay and Return Islands. His Beechey Point, which appears on

    current maps, is probably the same as Point Berens, named by Dease and Simpson

    in 1837.

            Simpson describes Gwydyr Bay as protected by a chain of gravel reefs

    (Return Islands). [ ?]

    By July 24, when he was in the bay, the ice was hard aground on the seaward

    side of the reef. Gwydyr Bay is extremely shoal, carrying only one-quarter

    to one fathom, but this was sufficient for Simpson's small boat and is like–

    wise sufficient for the skin boats which the Eskimos have for centuries used

    along this coast.



    002      |      Vol_XII-0110                                                                                                                  
    GWYDYR BAY, ALASKA

            Sources

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, D.C., 1906.

            Franklin, Sir John. Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the

    Polar Sea in the years 1825, 1826,and 1827
    Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the

    Polar Sea in the years 1825, 1826,and 1827
    . London, Murray, 1828.

            Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River Region, Northern Alaska Canning River Region, Northern Alaska . Washington,

    D.C., 1919. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)

            Simpson, Thomas. Narrative of the Discoveries on the north coast of

    America. . . during the years 1836-39.
    Narrative of the Discoveries on the north coast of

    America. . . during the years 1836-39.
    London, Bentley, 1843.

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska Alaska . Part II. 5th(1947) ed. Washington, D.C., 1947.

    VS Guidebook for Alaska Guidebook for Alaska .



    001      |      Vol_XII-0111                                                                                                                  

            165 words

    Ruby Collins

    July, 1949 HALKETT,CAPE, ALASKA


            HALKETT, CAPE (70° 46′ N.Lat., 152° 18′ W.Long.) well over one

    hundred miles east of Point Barrow on the north coast of Alaska, is the western

    entrance to Harrison Bay, an arm of the Polar Sea.

            The water close in to the north side of the Cape is shoal, but

    it is reported that a landing can be made south of the island at the Cape. There

    is a trading post on the Cape which, in 1939, had a population of 31.

            Dease and Simpson named this Cape in July, 1837, in honor of one

    of the directors of the Hudson's Bay Company. Of his observations in this

    vicinity, Simpson wrote: "The land trended north-east, for eight miles, to a

    small island, separated from the mainland by a channel too shallow for boats.

    This island appeared to be a favorite resort of the natives in the spring,

    for we found a spot where baidars had been built, and picked up an antler out

    asunder with a saw. . . This remarkable point was named Cape Halkett, in compliment

    to one of the Company's Directors. It terminates the great bay, which, from

    Point Berens, is forty-three geographical, or fifty statute miles, in beadth.

    [ Harrison Bay ] ."

            VS Guidebook for Alaska Guidebook for Alaska

            References:

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Simpson, Thomas. Narrative of the Discoveries on the North Coast of America Narrative of the Discoveries on the North Coast of America ;

    effected by the Officers of the Hudson's Bay Company during the effected by the Officers of the Hudson's Bay Company during the

    years 1836-39 years 1836-39 . London, Bentley, 1843.

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska Alaska . Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, 1947.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0112                                                                                                                  

            845 wds.

    Ruby Collins

    August, 1949 HARRISON BAY, ALASKA


            HARRISON BAY, one of the widest indentations in the north coast of Alaska

    between Point Barrow and the Alaska-Canada boundary, is marked by Cape Halkett,

    on the west, and by Oliktok Point, on the east. The distance between these two

    points is about 57 miles. From a line drawn across the entrance, Harrison Bay

    is about 20 miles deep, at the greatest.

            Dease and Simpson named this Bay in July, 1837, while on their way

    westward to Point Barrow along the north coast of Alaska. Of it Simpson wrote:

    "On this spacious basin, which receives the waters of two noble rivers, we con–

    ferred the name of Harrison Bay, in honour of the Deputy Governor of the

    [ Hudson's Bay ] Company, whose attention has long been sedulously directed to the

    moral and religious improvement of the natives of the Indian country."

            The "two noble rivers" are the Colville and the Itkillik (q.v.), the

    former being the longest and most extensive waterway in all of northern Alaska.

    The lower ten or fifteen miles of these two streams join and enter the head of

    the Bay in an enormous, triangular delta, the base of which projects several

    miles into the Bay proper.

            The shoreline is irregular. From Cape Halkett it veers southwestward

    for a little over ten miles, past the mouth of Garry Creek and to within a few

    miles of the eastern end of Teshekpuk Lake (q.v.). This large lake occupies most

    of the peninsular separating Harrison from Smith Bay, the next more westerly

    indentation of the coast (q.v.).

            Following an exhausting twenty-five-hour trip across the shoals of Harrison Bay, in July, 1837,

    Dease and Simpson named the Garry "after Nicholas Garry, Esquire,

    whose name has long been associated with Arctic research,"

    They found the mouth

    of the Garry to be a mile wide and its banks thickly covered with driftwood,

    apparently deposited there by the river.

            From this point the shore of the Bay proceeds eastward for well over

    fifteen miles to A ti garu Point. Midway of this section a narrow finger of water leads

    002      |      Vol_XII-0113                                                                                                                  
    HARRISON BAY, ALASKA

    westward into the mainland to the mouth of a small stream known as the Kogru

    River. This short stream rises in a tiny lake very close to the eastern end of

    Lake Teshekpuk, and flows eastward into Harrison Bay. Off the mouth of this

    river is Saktuina Island.

            Dease and Simpson reported the country backing this part of the Bay as

    plains masked with short grass and moss, perfect pasture land for the large

    herds of reindeer which they saw. The coastline itself was composed of banks of

    frozen mud about 10 to 15 feet high.

            From their camp at Point Comfort, near the mouth of the Garry, members

    of the party again saw the "Pelly Mountains," lying to the southeast between them

    and the mouth of the Colville. Simpson had first noted these mountains when

    approaching Harrison Bay from the east and named them "in honour of the public–

    spirited Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company." Subsequent travelers to this

    region have never found any mountains near the south shore of Harrison Bay.

    Schrader, of the U.S. Geological Survey, suggests that Simpson and all his com–

    panions were deluded by a group of sand dunes in this area which, by comparison

    with the perfectly flat expanses on every side, acquired considerably stature

    in the eyes of these weary travelers. Schrader further explains that under

    certain conditions of light on the north coast of Alaska, all objects are

    magnified in the vertical scale. These two facts together make it possible to

    understand how Simpson might have named some forty-foot sand dunes the Pelly

    Mountains.

            From Atigaru Point the shoreline bends southwestward and then eastward

    again to meet the Colville-Itkillik delta. The main channel through this delta

    is the most easterly but one . From here the shore of the Bay curves northeastward

    to Oliktok Point.

            Pacific Shoal (q.v.), in the northwestern part of the Bay, lies about

    8 miles east of Cape Halkett, and tiny Thetis Island, the first of the Jones

    003      |      Vol_XII-0114                                                                                                                  
    HARRISON BAY, ALASKA

    group (q.v.), lies a few miles northwest of Oliktok Point.

            It is particularly with reference to Harrison Bay that the whaling

    captains of the nineteenth century emphasized what they considered a rule, that

    the number of fathoms shown when they cast the lead gave the approximate mileage

    from the coast. On this stretch they said it was important to sound frequently

    and not to go within the 10-fathom line except very cautiously. There has been

    reported and recorded on charts a 10-fathom sounding 40 miles from shore (near

    71° 50′ N.Lat., 151° W.Long.), but this would be a small shoal, and the

    10-fathom line is no doubt frequelty frequently at a distance of no more than 10 to 15 miles

    from the coast. It was a whaler rule that land must never be visible from the

    bridge while a ship was crossing Harrison Bay.

            For the winter c ro ssing of this Bay the shoalness is convenient, for,

    when anyone attempts to make a sledge course direct from Cape Halkett to Oliktok

    Point, he does not usually have to swing much coastward to avoid rough ice.

    This means that pressure ice here grounds normally along about the 8 or 10-fathom

    depth.

            No doubt a good deal of pressure ice takes ground, especially in middle

    and late winter, much farther to seaward than the direct line from Halkett to

    Oliktok or even from Halkett to the Jones Islands; for ordinarily the shore floe

    is farther offshore opposite Harrison Bay than at most other points on the north

    coast of Alaska.



    004      |      Vol_XII-0115                                                                                                                  
    HARRISON BAY, ALASKA

            References

            Baker, Marcus, Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River region northern Alaska Canning River region northern Alaska . Washington,

    1919. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)

            Schrader, Frank Charles. Reconnaissance in northern Alaska Reconnaissance in northern Alaska . Washington, 1904.

    (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional paper Professional paper No.20)

            Simpson, Thomas. Narrative of the discoveries on the north coast of America Narrative of the discoveries on the north coast of America . . .

    during the years 1836-39 during the years 1836-39 . London, Bentley, 1843.

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska. Part II Alaska. Part II . 5th (1947) ed. Washington, 1947.

            VS Guidebook for Alaska VS Guidebook for Alaska .



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0116                                                                                                                  

            45

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 HOPSON POINT, ALASKA


            HOPSON POINT is a low promontory on the arctic coast of Alaska in

    the vicinity of 70° 10′ N.Lat., 146° 30′ W.Long., which appears on Leffingwell's

    map of the Canning River region. Alaska Island, one of the Maguire group (q.v.),

    lies a few miles off from this point.

            Source:

    Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River Region, northern Alaska Canning River Region, northern Alaska . Washington

    D.C., G.P.O., 1919. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)

    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0117                                                                                                                  

            60

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 HOWE ISLAND, ALASKA


            HOWE ISLAND, off the arctic coast of Alaska between Prudhoe and

    Foggy Island Bays, is a conspicuous silt island in the delta of the

    Sagavanirktok River (q.v.). Leffingwell, in 1914, estimated it to be

    30 feet high at the eastern end. Anxiety Point, at that same end, was named

    by Sir John Franklin during his August, 1826, attempt to complete the north–

    west passage.

            Sources:

            Franklin, John. Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar

    Sea, in the years 1825, 1826, and 1827.
    Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar

    Sea, in the years 1825, 1826, and 1827.
    London, Murray, 1828.

            Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River Region, northern Alaska. Canning River Region, northern Alaska. Washington,

    D.C., 1919. (U.S. Geological Survey, Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)



    001      |      Vol_XII-0118                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    June, 1949 ICY CAPE, ALASKA


            465wds

            ICY CAPE, about midway between Point Franklin and Cape Beaufort on the

    arctic coast of Alaska, is a low, flat point on the sandspit forming the

    seaward side of Kasegaluk Lagoon.

            The small Eskimo village of Akeonik lies on the mainland just opposite

    Icy Cape and the Avak River empties into Avak Inlet (q.v.) south of the Cape.

            The report of the 1924 Geological Survey expedition describes another

    settlement at Icy Cape as being situated on the low headland that forms

    it. According to the Survey, the Bureau of Education maintained a school in

    this village for many years, but, since the enrollment was less than a dozen

    children through this period and schools were badly needed in other more

    thickly populated sections of the Territory, this Icy Cape school was finally

    closed.

            The Geological Survey found that the town had one or two other good

    houses [ ?] in addition to the schoolhouse and several sod houses which

    the Eskimos had built. In 1924, about forty natives lived in the Icy Cape

    settlement at least part of the year, and a branch of one of the Wainwright

    stores carried a small stock of supplies. At that time several thousand rein–

    deer, owned cooperatively by the small community, were pastured on the main–

    land with a semi-permanent camp for the herders at [ ?] Akeonik. Although

    this town does not appear in the 1939 Census, it is without any doubt still

    in existence.

            The water off Icy Cape is shoal, offering only 2 1/2 or 3 fathom

    directly offshore. Blossom Shoal s (q.v.), which is reported to be spreading,

    lies directly off Icy Cape and presents a major hazard to pilots in these

    waters.

            The meridian of Icy Cape forms the western boundary of U.S. Naval

    Petroleum Reserve No.4 (q.v.)



    002      |      Vol_XII-0119                                                                                                                  
    ICY CAPE, ALASKA

            Cook named this Cape in 1778 ; H h e was followed, in August of 1826, by Beechey.

            "This cape, the farthest point reached by Captain Cook," Beechey wrote,

    "was at the time of its discovery very much encumbered with ice, whence it

    received its name; none, however, was now visible. The cape is very low,

    and has a large lake at the back of it, which receives the water of a con–

    siderable river, and communicates with the sea through a narrow channel much

    encumbered with shoals. There are several winter habitations of the

    Esquimaux upon the cape, which were afterwards visited by Lieutenant Belcher.

    The main land on both sides of Icy Cape, from Wainwright Inlet on one side to

    Cape Beaufort on the other, is flat, and covered with swampy moss. It

    presents a line of low mud cliffs, between which and a shingly beach that

    every where forms the coast-line there is a succession of narrow lakes capable

    of being navigated by baidars or small boats. Off here we saw a great many

    black whales--more than I remember ever to have seen, even in Baffin's Bay."



    003      |      Vol_XII-0120                                                                                                                  
    ICY CAPE, ALAK SKA


    [ ?] BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. 2d Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. 2d ed. Washington, D.C., 1906.

    Beechey, F.W. Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's Strait. . . Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's Strait. . .

    in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28. in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28. London, 1831. 2v.

    Smith, P.S. & Mertie, J.B., Jr. Geology and Mineral Resources of Northwestern

    Alaska.
    Geology and Mineral Resources of Northwestern

    Alaska.
    Was ington, D.C., 1930. (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin 815)

    Tewkesbury's Who's Who in Alaska and Alaska Business Index. Tewkesbury's Who's Who in Alaska and Alaska Business Index. Juneau, Alaska, 1947.

    U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska. Part II Alaska. Part II . 5th (1947) ed. Washington, D.C., 1947.

    VS Guidebook for Alaska.

    Aeronautical Chart No.64

    U.S.C. & G.S. Chart No.9400.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0121                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    July, 1949 IKPIKPUK RIVER, ALASKA


            790wards

            IKPIKPUK RIVER is the major tributary to Smith Bay, an arm of the

    Polar Sea on the north coast of Alaska between Point Barrow and Harrison Bay (q.v.)

            This river is formed by the junction of Kigalik River and Maybe

    Creek at about 69° 23′ N.Lat., 154° 35′ W.Long. The Kigalik flows eastward

    for about 50 miles (airline) through the northern foothills of the Brooks Range,

    and Maybe Creek takes a similar route in a westerly direction to its junction

    with the Kigalik.

            A camp named after the Kigalik was the rendezvous village visited

    by Ensign Howard, of the Stoney expedition, in May, 1886, while on hi [ ?] way to

    Point Barrow from Fort Cosmos on the Kobuk River. Here Howard found thirty

    tents and 150 natives, [ ?] all preparing for their

    annual trading trip to Point Barrow. Collected here were eighteen seal skin

    umiaks and twenty deerskin kayaks. Everyone was busy, the men making new boat

    frames, the women tanning skins and making clothing. These were all interior

    Eskimos going to trade their deerskin clothing and certain other objects for

    the marine products , guns & ammunition available from the Barrow Eskimos.

            Howard climbed the highest hill (which proved to be only 500 feet

    high) separating the Kigalik from the Colville (q.v.) and noted that the Ikpikpuk

    was "tortuous in the extreme, bending and doubling upon itself in a remarkable

    manner."

            Below the mouths of the Kigalik and Maybe Creek, the general dire [ ?]

    tion of the Ikpikpuk is determined by the northward slope of the plateau north

    of the Brooks Range, but this, like the other streams in the northern drainage

    system, has so deeply incised its course that the floor of the upper Ikpikpuk

    stands several [ ?] hundred feet below the uplands. Many of the side streams

    entering the main river have also eroded their courses along the east-west

    trend of the weeker belts of rock. This is particularly true of the Kigalik

    and of Maybe Creek. Such a drainage pattern has been classified as trellised.



    002      |      Vol_XII-0122                                                                                                                  
    IKPIKPUK RIVER, ALASKA

            From its point of origin the Ikpikpuk continues in a generally

    northerly direction receiving Titulak River from the west and Price River from

    the east, within the first thirty-five miles (airline) of its tortuous course.

    Perhaps another thirty-five miles (airline) below Price River, the west fork

    of the Ikpikpuk, known as the Ikpikpung or Chipp River (q.v.), branches off on

    its way to the head of Admiralty Bay (q.v.). The more easterly and main fork

    of the Ikpikpuk continues for another thirty-five miles (airline) to the head

    of Smith Bay which it enters by way of a considerable delta.

            Miguakiak River, which rises in Teshekpuk Lake, enters an eastern

    channel of the lower Ikpikpuk. Teshekpuk Lake occupies a considerable portion

    of the peninsula separating Smith Bay from Harrison Bay, the next large bay to

    the east. tThe Miguakiak, I i ts main outlet, is perhaps thirty or forty miles

    long.

            The entire length of the Ikpikpuk is navigable by canoe. In the

    opinion of the 1926 Geological Survey party it might also be navigated by shallow–

    draft [ ?] launches.

            Although its airline length is only a little over 100 miles, the

    actual length of this stream could easily be twice this distance. The

    "bending and doubling" noticed by Howard increases as the river approaches the

    sea. From the mouth of the Titulak to Smith Bay, the Ikpikpuk works a snake–

    like course across fifty miles of lake-strewn marsh and grassland which charac–

    terizes the coastal plain of this part of Alaska. The surrounding countryside,

    although it actually slopes slightly down toward the sea, appears to be perfectly

    flat for as far as the eye can see.

            "Perhaps the most striking characteristic of the coastal plain,"

    wrote Smith and Mertie, "is the uniformity and monotony of its landscapes.

    Except for minute minor details, its appearance is everywhere the same. Its

    slope is so slight that to the unaided eye it appears to stretch away to the

    horizon as an endless flat. Prominent landmarks are entirely absent. Owing

    003      |      Vol_XII-0123                                                                                                                  
    RIVER

    IKPIKPUK Alaska


    to its [ ?] featurelessness even minor elevations such as sand dune 10 feet

    high appear to be notable prominences; in fact, it is said that one of the

    earlier explorers reported a range of mountains east of the Colville where

    subsequent explorations have proved that only low sand dune s exist. Over these

    plains the winds sweep with unbroken severity, and the traveler caught in the

    sudden storms that are common in the winter finds it next to impossible to get

    any natural shelter. In the summer the poorly drained tracts of upland afford

    only spongy footing, which makes travel laborious and slow, and lakes and deep

    sloughs necessitate circuitous deviations from direct courses."

            The banks banks of the lower Ikpikpuk are only a few feet above

    the level of the water so that, during times of high water in the spring, it

    overflows its banks and floods much of the surrounding countryside. As would

    be expected, this part of the river is shallow and the current [ ?] slow.

            The only settlement on the Ikpikpuk, according to recent maps,

    is Valley of Willows about ten miles below the junction of the Kigalik and

    Maybe Creek.



    004      |      Vol_XII-0124                                                                                                                  
    IKPIKPUK RIVER, ALASKA

            References

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alask Geographic Dictionary of Alask a. 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Smith, Philip S., and Mertie, J.B., JR. Geology and Mineral Resources of Geology and Mineral Resources of

    Northwestern Alaska. Northwestern Alaska. Washington, G.P.O., 1930. (U.S. GEOlogical

    Survey. Bulletin Bulletin 815)

            Stoney, George M. Naval Explorations in Alaska Naval Explorations in Alaska . Annapolis, Md., United

    States Naval Institute, 1900.

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska Alaska . Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, 1947.

            VS Guidebook for Alaska. Guidebook for Alaska.



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0125                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    July, 1949 INARU RIVER, ALASKA


            130words

            INARU RIVER, northern Alaska, joins the Meade River (q.v.) from

    the west only a few miles above the point where the Meade debouches into

    Admiralty Bay, an extension of Dease Inlet and the P l o Sea.

            The Inaru is about sixty miles long and flows in a generally

    northeasterly direction, roughly parallel to the coastline of Alaska between

    Peard Bay and Barrow (q.v.). The headwaters of the Inaru may be reached by an

    easy portage of only about ten miles from Peard Bay.

            The Inaru is so meandering, narrow, and steeply banked as to have

    remind some explorers of an artificial ditch. The current is sluggish, and the

    entire river is navigable by canoe.

            On his way to the Meade River in March, 1883, Lieutenant P.H.

    Ray crossed the Inaru, which he called the Kuahroo . The name appears in this

    form on some early U.S. Coast Guard maps of the region.

            References:

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Smith, Philip S., and Mertie, J.B., Jr. Geology and Mineral Resources of Geology and Mineral Resources of

    northwestern Alaska. northwestern Alaska. Washington, 1930. (U.S. Geological Survey.

    Bulletin 8 Bulletin 8 15)

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska. Alaska. Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, 1947.

            VS Guidebook for Alaska Guidebook for Alaska .



    001      |      Vol_XII-0126                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 JONES ISLANDS, ALASKA


            960wds

            JONES ISLANDS, also called Thetis Islands, in the Polar Sea, off

    the arctic coast of Alaska, are a chain of small, low sand islands extending from

    the Colville River delta eastward for about 25 miles to Return islands. They

    stand several miles offshore from Oliktok, Milne, and Beechey Points, for forming part

    of the northern boundary of Simpson Lagoon.

            Travel ing westward, Dease and Simpson came upon this group of islands

    in July, 1837, and named them for Rev. David T. Jones, "the faithful and eloquent

    minister at Red Rivers."

            Capt. Robert McClure, of the Investigator , stopped at the Jones

    Islands on August 11, 1850. It was on this trip that McClure, although defeated prevented

    by the ice from sailing it himself, completed the surveying work on the north–

    west passage. He found the shores of Jones Islands stre wed with driftwood.

    During the afternoon of the 11th, about 30 Eskimos came out in skin boats and

    traded f ish and ducks for tobacco. One of these Eskimos had a gun which he had

    obtained from the Russian Fur Company.

            "Their surprise, of course," wrote McClure, "was very great, par–

    ticularly at the size of our handkerchiefs (the sails); the whale boats attracted

    their attention, and they asked if trees grew in our country sufficiently large

    to make them. . .As a fair specimen of the observation of these people and their

    aptitude for trade, the following may be taken. Seeing that we cut the tobacco

    into pieces to give in exchange for their fish (salmon trout), they began to do

    the same with the fish; this, however, we would not admit, so they were obliged

    to come to our terms."

            To these natives McClure entrusted a despatch which they were to

    deliver to the Russian trading post on the Colville River, whence it would

    ultimately reach the Admiralty Office in London.

            C.H. Stockton renamed the Jones group after his ship the Thetis ,

    in which he sailed eastward along the north coast of Alaska during the summer of



    002      |      Vol_XII-0127                                                                                                                  
    JONES ISLANDS, ALASKA

            1889. Most recent charts continue to call these the Jones Islands, although the

    most westerly, off the mouth of the Colville and Point Oliktok, is identified as

    Thetis Island. From west to east the Jones group includes Thetis, Spy, Leavitt,

    Bertoncini, Bodfish, and Cottle Islands. The largest was reported in 1940 to be

    about 3 miles in length.

            When Stefansson first saw these islands, in 1907, the longest of them,

    the one named by Leffingwell Leavitt Island, after Captain George B. Leavitt of

    Portland, Maine, was at least 6 miles long. All islands along the north coast

    of Alaska east of Barrow are being rapidly destroyed by the sea. In his Hunters

    of the Great North,
    when speaking of his stay among the Jones Islands the summer

    of 1907, Stefansson writes: "The Eskimos had told me that in prehistoric times

    (before the memory of the fathers of the old men living) there had been a big

    Eskimo settlement on one of the Jones Islands which lay in a row parallel to the

    coast a few miles offshore. . . .This [ ?] island was a little bigger thatn Flaxman.

    I say was , designedly; for it and all the other islands are growing smaller year

    by year.

            "It seems the north coast of Alaska is sinking gradually. So long

    as the sea ice remains in winter and spring, nothing happens to the injury of the

    islands. But when the ice goes away, as it does nearly every summer, and when a

    gale comes from the open sea, the waves will undermine the cliffs of the islands at

    a great rate, so that the coa s tline sometimes recedes as much as a hundred y ards

    in a single summer. When the early whalers came to the north coast of Alaska,

    Flaxman Island was probably some eight or ten miles long. It is now no more than

    half that long and less than half as wide as it used to be. The Eskimos said

    that similarly the ocean was rapidly cutting away the sites of the villages on the

    Jones Islands and that all sorts of ancient implements and other relics were being

    003      |      Vol_XII-0128                                                                                                                  
    JONES ISL [ ?] NDS, ALASKA

    washed away by the sea.

            "The island containing the house ruins was a low, rolling prairie. . .

    There was a great abundance of driftwood on the north coast and we erected a com–

    fortable camp near the ruins. As I had been told, the sea was cutting this

    island and it appeared as if half the village site was already gone. I found

    awash on the beach a number of carvings of bone and ivory and a number of weapons

    and implements of bone and wood. These differed in some respects but not funda–

    mentally from those that were in use by the Eskimos when the whites first came

    to the country. The houses had all fallen and looked superficially merely like

    so many mounds. I found on investigation that the ground plan had been similar

    to that of the houses not in use along the coast. In my opinion this village was

    inhabited no more than two or three centuries ago."

            None of the Jones Islands is more than 20 or 30 feet above sea level.

    Spy Island is really two or three closely connected sand spits forming a semi–

    circle, the result of the action of waves and ice. Westerly winds drive five–

    and six-foot "tides" against the northern and northwestern shores of these

    islands, leaving behind a considerable amount of driftwood. Easterly winds

    raise the water only slightly, so that the wood left by easterly winds is

    carried away during westerly storms, but the reverse is never possible.

            The west end of Spy Island is highest and broadest and encloses a

    lagoon of salt or brackish water which freezes over later than corresponding

    bodies of water on the mainland coast, although it is only about one foot dee p .

    The vegetation on these islands is of the type found on dry, sandy ground.

            Leffingwell erected a beacon on Thetis Island in April, 1910, as an

    aid to navigating the shallow waters of Harrison Bay. "This island," he ex–

    plained, "is the first place picked up in crossing Harrison Bay from the west,

    and it is important that it should be recognizable."



    004      |      Vol_XII-0129                                                                                                                  
    JONES ISLANDS, ALASKA

            Stefansson, and the hunting party which left the Karluk before she

    was beset, arrived at Thetis Island (which Stefansson calls Amauliktok ) on

    September 2, 1913. "Inside this island chain," Stefansson writes, "we found the

    ice young and rotten, so that crossing to the mainland was not practicable and we

    camped for the night, using for cooking and warmth our sheet-iron stove, and drift

    wood which in this district is abundant. [ ?]

            "The name of this sandspit is typical in the sense that an Eskimo

    place name is frequently found, when translated literally into English, to be

    the equivalent not of a word but rather of a sentence of ours. Thus

    Amauliktok means 'he killed a Pacific eider.'"



    005      |      Vol_XII-0130                                                                                                                  
    JONES ISLANDS, ALASKA


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, D.C., 1906.

    Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River Region, Northern Alaska Canning River Region, Northern Alaska . Washington,D.C.

    1919. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)

    McClure, Robert. "Proceedings of Captain M'Clure of Her Majesty's Ship

    "Investigator," in search of the Expedition of Sir John Franklin,

    from Au ust 1850 to April 1853, and reporting the Discovery of

    the North West Passage." (Great Britain. Admiralty. Papers Papers

    Relative to the Recent Arctic Expeditions. Relative to the Recent Arctic Expeditions. London, 1854. No.V)

    Simpson, Thomas Narrative of the Discoveries on the North Coast of the Narrative of the Discoveries on the North Coast of the

    Polar Sea, in the years 1825, 1826, and 1827 Polar Sea, in the years 1825, 1826, and 1827 . London, Muarray, 1828.

    Stefansson, Vilhjalmur. Friendly Arctic. Friendly Arctic. New ed. N.Y., Macmillan, 1943.

    Stefansson, Vilhjalmur. Hunters of the Great North Hunters of the Great North . N.Y., Harcourt, 1922.

    Stefansson, Vilhjalmur. Guidebook for Alaska Guidebook for Alaska .

    U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska Alaska . Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, D.C., 1947.



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0131                                                                                                                  

            85

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 KADLEROSHILIK RIVER, ALASKA


            KADLEROSHILIK RIVER, arctic Alaska, rises between the Franklin

    Mountains and the Sagavanirktok River and flows in a generally northeasterly

    direction into Foggy Island Bay, a shallow arm of the Polar Sea.

            The fanlike upper drainage of the Kadleroshilik system originates

    in part in the foothills of the Brooks Range, about 45 miles inland, and in part

    in the many lakes and marshes strewn over the coastal plain. For its last 25

    or 30 miles the Kadleroshilik follows a well-defined channel, entering the bay

    at about 70° 12′ N.Lat., 147° 35′ W.Long.

            Source:

    U.S. C&GS. World Aeronautical Chart World Aeronautical Chart (63) Brooks Range, Alaska.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0132                                                                                                                  

            490 wds

    Ruby Collins

    May, 1949 KA S EGALUK LAGOON, ALASKA


            KASEGALUK LAGOON, off the arctic coast of Alaska, starts about

    ten miles north of Cape Beaufort (q.v.) and stretches northward without

    a break past Point Lay and Icy Cape (q.v.) to within a few miles of

    Wainwright Inlet (q.v.). Separating this lagoon from the ocean is a

    narrow strip of sand beach, elevated but a few feet above the water,

    with several small, shallow openings through it south of Icy Cape, and

    two considerable openings north of that cape. The land on the inside of

    the lagoon is generally low; but, in coasting along, some small bluffs

    with low, rolling land back of them can be seen in places.

            South of Icy Cape the lagoon has three rivers emptying into it,

    the Kukpowruk, Kokolik, and Utukok (q.v.), and its whole ex tent is

    filled with flats and bars that make it scarcely navigable even for native

    skin canoes. North of Icy Cape the water in the lagoon is deeper.

    Through an opening about 10 to 12 miles from the Cape, 8 feet of water can

    be carried safely, with 2 to 3 fathoms inside. The channel is close to

    the sand spit on the south side of the entrance.

    References:VS Guide Book for Alaska; U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska. Pt.II,1947.

    002      |      Vol_XII-0133                                                                                                                  
    KASEGALUK LAGOON, ALASKA

            While in charge of the overland relief expedition to Barrow

    in 1898, Jarvis (q.v.) passed Kasegaluk Lagoon. His diary for March 14

    reads in part as follows: "We now came to the lagoon that stretches along

    this coast for a distance of more than 100 miles, about 5 to 10 miles wide,

    and separated from the sea by a narrow [ ?] sand spit with four openings

    in the entire length. Three large rivers empty into the lagoon south of

    Icy Cape. About 15 miles below Point Lay is the mouth of Kookpowruk

    [ Kukpowruk ] , a large stream nearly 100 miles long. Its source is to the

    south of the Meade River Mountains, and it runs in a general northeasterly

    direction. The Kokolik, the shortest of the three, rises on the north side

    of the mountains, its mouth being just back of Point Lay. The largest

    and farthest north is the Ootookok [ Utukok ] . Its head waters are near

    a branch of the Noatok and almost directly south of Icy Cape, and its mouth

    is in the lagoon, about 15 miles south of the cape. Before the wild deer

    were driven from this part of the country there were large [ ?]

    settlements on these rivers, and the natives from Kotzebue Sound often

    made the passage up the Noatok and down the Ootookok in the spring, to trade

    with the people on the northern coast.

            "Along the shores of the lagoon, near the mouths of the rivers,

    the land is marshy and low, gradually rising to rolling hills until the

    Meade River Mountains are reached. The southern part of the lagoon is

    shallow and filled with bars, but the northern half is wider and has

    depths of 3 fathoms in places, and through the two openings from 8 to 10

    feet can be carried. There are only a few small streams emptying into

    the northern half, and the land back of the lagoon is generally higher

    than along the southern half."



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0134                                                                                                                  

            120 wds

    Ruby Collins

    January, 1950 KATAKTURUK RIVER, ALASKA


            KATAKTURUK RIVER, arctic Alaska, rises in the Shubelik

    Mountains in the vicinity of 69° 33′ N.Lat., and 145° 30′ W.Long. and

    flows northeastward through the Sadlerochit Mountains (q.v.) and across

    some twenty miles of coastal plain to the Polar Sea. The mouth of the

    Katakturuk is double, opening into Simpson Cove, midway of Camden Bay, which

    in turn is an arm of the sea.

            Leffingwell, who spent the years 1906-1914 in this part

    of Alaska, found two exposures of ground ice on the east mouth of the

    Katakturuk. He thinks these were probably formed where when hydraulic pressure

    had bulged up the frozen turf. Leffingwell was one of the first to make a

    study of ground ice in Alaska. Those interested in this subject are

    referred to his detailed study of the Canning River region.

    Leffingwell, E. de K. The Canning River Region, Northern Alaska. The Canning River Region, Northern Alaska. Wash.,

    D.C., G.P.O., 1919. U.S.Geol.Surv., Prof.pa. Prof.pa. 109.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0135                                                                                                                  

            45

    Ruby Collins

    June, 1949 KILIMANTAVIE, ALASKA


            KILIMANTAVIE is a small Eskimo village at the extreme northern end of

    Kasegaluk Lagoon on the arctic coast of Alaska, about fifteen miles south

    of Wainwright (q.v.).

            According to Murdock this name means "sling." It has been variously

    reported throughout the years as Kilametagag-miut, by Tikhmenief in 1861;

    as Kolumakturook, by Petrof in 1880; and as Kilimantavie by Jarvis in the

    late nineteenth century.

            Recent maps show no river in the immediate vicinity of the village

    and the surrounding countryside is perfectly flat. The settlement does

    not appear in the 1939 Census, so that no estimate of its present size can

    be made.

            The long winter trail which skirts the arctic coast of Alaska passes

    through Kilimantavie on its way southward to Kotzebue and Seward Peninsula

    and northward to Barrow.

            References:

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Smith, P.S. & Mertie, J.B., Jr. Geology and Mineral Resources of North Geology and Mineral Resources of North

    western Alaska western Alaska . Washington, 1930. (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin 815)

            Aeronautical Chart No.64



    001      |      Vol_XII-0136                                                                                                                  

            1,235 wds.

    Ruby Collins

    June, 1949 KOKOLIK RIVER, ALASKA


            THE KOKOLIK RIVER is a meandering stream which flows into Kasegaluk

    Lagoon at about 69° 45′ N.Lat., in the vicinity of Point Lay, on the arctic

    coast of Alaska. This river is the second more northerly tributary to the

    lagoon, its mouth lying between those of the Kukpowruk and Utukok Rivers (q.v.).

            The Kokolik rises in the Brooks Range, its headwaters draining

    from Tingmerkpuk and Poko Mountains near 68° 30′ N.Lat., 162° W.Long. For

    about 50 or 60 miles the rivers flows almost directly northward, through a

    narrow valley in the midst of the mountains. At about 69° 12′ N.Lat., it

    veers northeastward of 162° W.Long. finally curving northwestward, recrossing

    this same meridian, and continuing in a sinuous but generally westerly direc–

    tion to Kasegaluk Lagoon. The Kokolik is about 120 (airline) miles long, but,

    because of its numberless meanders both great and small, is without doubt

    actually at least half again that length.

            The only named tributaries to this river enter early in its course

    long before the stream has found its way out of the mountains. These are:

    the Tingmerkpuk River, from the west, and Iligaruk Creek, from the east. A

    great many other streams enter all along its course, but they are not identi–

    fied on recent maps.

            For the final half of its course, the Kokolik escapes completely

    from the mountains and crosses the low, lake-strewn coastal plain. The

    surrounding countryside here is almost perfectly flat with a resulting

    confusion of drainage systems, so that the course chosen by the Kokolik is

    particularly tortuous for these last 60 or more miles.

            The Kokolik is navigable by canoe for a considerable part of its

    length. During the winter, of course, it freezes over early in September,

    remaining frozen until the last of May or early June. The spring break-up

    002      |      Vol_XII-0137                                                                                                                  
    KOKOLIK RIVER, ALASKA

    is often accompanied by sudden, sharp rises of the water-level at different

    points along the stream. These are c au sed by the damming of blocks of ice

    at a point below the flood area. Smith and Mertie reported just such a rise

    in the water on June 4, 1926. On June 5, however, the Geological Survey

    party set out downstream in canoes, which they were able to use to the mouth

    of the Kokolik. The highest water came on June 8, after which date no more

    ice was seen in the river.

            Vegetation The entire course of the Kokolik is above the spruce line,

    and even the scrub willo w growing along the banks are small and

    so thinly scattered that the places where they are sufficiently abundant for

    camp uses are many miles apart. This paucity of firewood, particularly in

    the regions where driftwood from the sea is unavailable, reduces causes the natives

    living in these regions to spend ing at least half of their time in a never–

    ending search for fuel. They often travel ten or more miles by dog team on

    these fuelling trips, but even so get only enough for their most basic needs.

            Blueberries, salmonberries, currents, and cranberries grow along

    al l most everywhere on the arctic coastal plain. The blueberries in this region

    are slow, ripening in the fall. The natives often allow them to freeze on

    the bushes and to be covered with the winter snows. They are then gathered

    in the spring. Howard mentions this technique and adds that the berries

    treated in this manner were particularly delicious. The Salmonberry ripens

    in late July.

            The Eskimos of this region also eat something which they call

    "mashu", which is the root of a knotweed belonging to the genus Polygonum.

    This root is eaten raw and boiled and is reported to taste much like sweet

    potato.

            The most striking characteristic of what is otherwise a severe and

    unrelieved country is the great variety and brilliance of the many kinds of

    003      |      Vol_XII-0138                                                                                                                  
    KOKOLIK RIVER, ALASKA

    flowers which bloom from early spring to fall over the arctic plain section

    of the Kokolik and all the other coastal rivers of northern Alaska. The

    first to show are large pu r ple and white anemones, and these are followed by

    a wide variety of blooms belonging to the poppy, mustard, saxifrage, rose,

    and aster families.

            Animal Life Mountain sheep have been reported in the upper Kokolik region al–

    though constant hunting has reduced their numbers, and they are now

    found only in the most inaccessible sections. The U.S. Geological Survey

    party of 1924 saw caribou in the hills bordering the upper Kokolik, and, at

    the same point, one good-sized brown bear. One possible explanation for

    this party's seeing so few bear is that their visit coincided with

    [ ?] during the period of hibernation. This same party saw many red, cross,

    and black foxes, in the interior, but no white foxes. Rabbits were not as

    numerous near this stream as near those either farther northeast or farther

    south. One wolverine was killed in the May 15 camp on the upper Kokolik.

            Ptarmigan, snow-white in winter and brown in summer, were found

    in flocks of hundreds. Ducks and geese were next most abundant and one lone

    swan was seen. Hawks and owls also live in the Kokolik region.

            Many different kinds of fish, especially tomcod along the coast and

    grayling in the smaller inland streams, were reported, as well as some whitefish

    in the same streams as contained the grayling.

            The so-called 'incidental' wild life of these regions are is often

    more apparent to the traveller than the larger animals considered above.

    For instance, in the summer the air is alive with swarms of mosquitoes

    and flies as well as with less troublesome and much more beautiful dragon–

    flies and butterflies. Arthur Gibson, of the Canadian Arctic Expedition,

    1913-1918, listed thirteen families, 62 genera, and 114 species of

    Lepidoptera alone, for almost exactly the same kind of country as [ ?] is

    004      |      Vol_XII-0139                                                                                                                  
    KOKOLIK RIVER, ALASKA

    presently under consideration. From the middle of July to the middle of

    August, unless the [ ?] weather is stormy, mosquitoes range over this coastal

    plain in such h ordes that outdoor work is maddening. Veils and gloves are

    essential for it. Even the caribon reindeer, rubbing their heads against the brush and are tormented so badly that they cannot

    graze in peace, and but wander about looking for a breeze which might blow the

    insects away. By the end of this

    mosquitoe-ridden month they are noticeably thinner from interrupted grazing

    and loss of sleep. Mosquitoes are apt not to be so numerous along the coast where

    there is almost always a breeze off the water, which drives the insects to

    take shelter in the vegetation inland. However, an offshore breeze will

    bring them back in swarms.

            All along the coast the beaches are strewn with the remains of

    crabs, starfish, jelly fish, and many different kinds of molluses--proof

    enough of the abundance of marine life in these waters.

            There are no named settlements along the Kokolik River except for

    Kokolik itself at the mouth. This small Eskimo village was not reported in

    the 1939 Census, so that [ ?] its present size is unknown.

            The long winter trail which skirts the arctic coast of Alaska,

    lead s ing southward to Kotzebue and Seward Peninsula and northwa rd to Barrow, runs

    passes along the narrow sandspit which forms the seaward side of Kasegaluk

    Lagoon, thereby passing within a mile or two of the mouth of the Kokolik.



    005      |      Vol_XII-0140                                                                                                                  
    KOKOLIK RIVER, ALASKA

            References

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Smith, P.S. & Mertie, J.B., Jr. Geology and Mineral Resources of Northwestern Geology and Mineral Resources of Northwestern

    Alaska Alaska . Washington, 1930. (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin 815)

            VS Guidebook for Alaska VS Guidebook for Alaska

            Aeronautical Chart Aeronautical Chart No.64



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0141                                                                                                                  

            40 wds

    Ruby Collins

    January, 1950 Konganevik Point, Alaska


            K ONGANEVIK POINT (70° 02′ N.Lat., 145° 10′ W.Long.) on the

    north coast of Alaska projects into the west side of Camden Bay about midway

    between the mouth of the Tamayariak and Katakturuk Rivers. The name sometimes

    appears as Kanganeyik Kanganeyik , but Konganevik is more generally accepted.



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0142                                                                                                                  

            90 wds

    Ruby Collins

    June, 1949 KUGRUA RIVER, ALASKA


            KUGRUA RIVER empties into Peard Bay, an extension of the Polar Sea

    on the arctic coast of Alaska, about midway between Icy Cape and Point Barrow.

            The [ ?] Kugrua heads in a low divide westward from the head–

    waters of the Inaru River (q.v.) and flows in a generally northwesterly

    direction for about thirty miles (airline) to the head of Peard Bay. The

    entire course of this river lies on the lake-strewn, coastal plain which

    borders all of northern Alaska. It receives several small tributaries, but

    none of these is named on recent maps.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0143                                                                                                                  

            1730 wds.

    Ruby Collins

    June, 1949 KUK RIVER, ALASKA


            KUK RIVER (meaning River River!) is the name given to the lower segment

    of a system of waterways formed by the j oining of several long rivers which may

    be considered as tributaries to Wainwright Inlet (q.v.) on the arctic coast of

    Alaska, at about 70° 30′ N. Lat., 160° W.Long.

            The Kuk itself is only about thirty-four miles long, but it is between

    four and five miles wide in places. Its two major affluents, the Kaolak and

    Avalik Rivers (q.v.) , join to form the Kuk at about 70° 08′ N.Lat., 159° 41′

    W.Long., after which the Kuk proceeds in a northwesterly direction to the

    Inlet. About thirteen miles below this junction, the Kuk receives the Omalik

    from the east. A few miles farther downstream the Ivisaruk and the Altakrok

    come in from the west and the Kungok from the east. Karmuk Point marks the

    southern side of the entrance into Waiwright Inlet, and, although there is a

    small promontory on the north side of the entrance, it is not named on recent

    charts.

            The Avalik rises on the north side of a relatively low divide north of the

    B r ooks Range, from the other side of which drain the headwaters of the Meade

    River. The entire course of the Avalik may be said to lie on the [ ?]

    broad coastal plain which skirts this part of Alaska. The Geological Survey

    party of 1924 ascended this river in canoes to about 69° 55′ N. Lat., 157°55′

    W.Long. In this vicinity the highest land was about 250 feet above sea level.

    Throughout this distance the river was so shallow that the bottoms were prac–

    tically worn out of the boats from scraping over bars.

            [ ?]

            This same Geological Survey party found a great deal of bone and mammoth

    ivory on these bars in the Avalik. The tusks ranged from five feet to only a

    few inches in length and most of the teeth were small. Even more interesting

    were the skulls of horses, one in an almost perfect state of preservation , which

    002      |      Vol_XII-0144                                                                                                                  
    KUK RIVER, ALASKA

    were found in the bars. Upon later examination these were reported to be

    [ ?] he remains of a Pleistocene horse. Musk ox skulls were also found in this

    neighborhood, some of them lying unburied on the surface of the ground, in a

    bleached but perfect condition.

            The Survey also observed the living fauna of the region. Some caribou

    were seen, even though the party passed th [ ?] ough the region in the summer when

    the large herds break up into smaller family groups. Red, cross, and black

    foxes were seen in almost all parts of the interior, but no white foxes.

    Rabbits were numerous throughout the lowland areas, and some lynx, marten,

    muskrat, and squirrel were seen, A a lthough these were more numerous south

    of the Range, along the Kobuk, Alatna, and Noatak Rivers, than they were in

    the region presently under consideration. A great many kinds of birds inhabit

    this section including ptarmigan, ducks, geese, and swans.

            With the arrival of spring several kinds of land birds appear. Canadian

    jays or camp robbins, snow birds, ravens, crows, and many other species were

    the constant companions of the 1924 Geological Survey party. Next most common

    were the hawks, owls, and eagles.

            Grayling is the principal fish to be found in the smaller inland streams,

    and are everywhere numerous enough to be relied on for food.

            In almost every respect the country surrounding the entire course of the

    Avalik is similar to the lowland sections of the Kokolik, to which article

    the reader is referred for more information on the vegetation and climate of

    the this Avalik region.

            The 1924 expedition covered only thirty or so miles of the Avalik, but

    the river measures about fifty (airline) miles in length. Its actual length

    is probably considerably more than this. A great many streams, all unnamed

    in present-day maps, enter the Avalik both from the north and the south. The

    only named tributary is the Ketik River, which enters from the south only a

    003      |      Vol_XII-0145                                                                                                                  
    KUK RIVER, ALASKA

    few miles above the mouth of the Kaolik, the other main fork of the Kuk River.

            The Ketik is much longer than is indicated on Smith and Mertie's map

    of 1924. It rises across the low divide which sends tributaries southward

    into Carbon Creek, one of the early affluents of the Utukok. From this point

    the Ketik flows northward for about fifty-five (ailine) miles to the Avalik.

            The Kaolak rises in a relatively low divide only a few miles from the

    Utukok at a point several miles below Elusive Creek, on that river. The

    Kaolak then continues with remarkable directness, considering the flatness of

    the surrounding country, in a northeasterly direction to the Kuk. This river

    is somewhat shorter than the Avalik, being perhaps forty (airline) miles long.

            As has already been mentioned, these three rivers are almost completely

    contained in the broad, flat, lake-studded marsh and grassland which is the

    coastal plain of this part of Alaska. This entire area is well above the

    spruce line; and only small scrub willow grow along the banks of these streams, and

    E e ven this [ ?] growth is so scanty as to be unreliable as a source of fuel.

    In winter the streams are completely frozen over, the smaller ones being solid

    ice to the very bottom. In the summer, on the other hand, the frost in the

    ground thaws to a depth of from one to two feet, turning the entire country–

    side into an enormous bog, hundreds of square miles in extent. Hoardes of

    flies and mosquitoes bread in this mammoth bog, making the life of the summer

    visitor to this region a misery. Strong, tightly-fitting head nets, gloves,

    long sleeves and pants legs are indispensible to traveling across this terrain

    in the summer. Wherever possible, it is advisable to keep to the waterways,

    since travel by boat is much more comfortable and much faster than it is

    overland by foot.

            It should be added that from the earliest days of spring, this same

    enormous marshland is covered with a brightly-colored carpet of gaudy,

    short-stemmed blossoms. These do a great deal toward relieving the monotony

    004      |      Vol_XII-0146                                                                                                                  
    KUK RIVER, ALASKA

    of the landscape and toward diverting the visitor's attention from whatever

    troubles he may meet in his travels.

            The Geological Survey party of 1924 found broad tracks of

    sandstone and shale containing numerous thick beds of coal bordering almost

    the entire course of the Kaolik and Avalik Rivers. The only places where

    this condition was found not to exist was for a distance of about ten miles

    up from their junction with the Kuk River.

            Kuk River was first reported by the Coast Survey in 1869 as the

    Kook . Since then, it has also been written Kok and Koo . On a Hydrographic

    Chart dated 1892, there were two rivers, the Koo and the Kee , and, near [ ?]

    Point Collie at their mouths, a village called Koogmute , "river people."

    Kuk is now the generally accepted spelling for the name.

            The two small villages of Kangik, at the junction of the Avalik and the

    Kaolak, and Anaktuk, just a few miles below this point, appear on recent maps

    but not in Baker's Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . It would appear, there–

    fore, that these two settlements have grown up since 1906 when the second

    edition of the Dictionary appeared. Neither of these towns was included in

    the 1939 Census, so that there is no way of estimating their presents size.

            There are no settlements on the Kuk itself, probably because of its

    proximity to Wainwright (q.v.), one of the major towns on the arctic coast

    of Alaska, just above Wainwright Inlet.

            However, the main landing strip for Wainwright lies on Karmuk Point,

    the southern entrance point to the Inlet.

            Of the coal in this region, Smith and Mertie wrote: "Coal beds in the

    vicinity of Wainwright are said to have been known to the whites in 1889, and

    since that time they have been mined in a small way and in primitive fashion to

    supply local needs. The coal beds are more or less continuous from a

    locality a short distance southeast of K armuk Point throughout the valleys of

    005      |      Vol_XII-0147                                                                                                                  
    KUK RIVER, ALASKA

    the Kuk River and its tributaries the Avalik and Kaolak Rivers. The thickest

    and most accessible beds seen, however, crop out along the east side of the

    Kuk River between points 8 miles and 20 miles south of Wainwright. The coal

    lies practically horizontal with very gentle [ ?] warpings, so that

    apparently it is everywhere under a relatively thin cover. Openings to get

    out the coal have been made at three places in the shore bluffs...

            "The coal is evidently of subbituminous rank and of less heating value than

    the other coals so far described. This lower quality is believed to be due to

    the lesser folding that the beds have undergone and not to an original differ–

    ence in the beds themselves.

            "A few hundred tons of coal has been taken from these beds on the Kuk

    and used locally. The coal that has been taken is, of course, of the poorest

    quality, as it is more or less weathered and mixed with surface debris. No

    real mining has been practiced. The natives simply gopher out from the surface

    the coal within reach of their picks and shovels, so that nowhere are the ex–

    cavations more than 4 or 5 feet underground. The roof is a fairly heavy sand–

    stone, which disintegrates rather rapidly on exposed surface but probably is

    firmer underground. No timber is used, and the roof is strengthened by leaving

    a considerable thickness of coal next to the sandstone. The coal is sacked

    in bags containing 90 to 100 pounds of coal and is brought to Wainwright by

    the natives in their skin boats during the summer or by dog team in the winter...

            " The current price paid by the traders for this coal at Wainwright is

    about 75 cents a sack, but even at that price it does not supplant imported

    coal, which sells for more than twice as much.

            "Farther south, toward the headwaters of the tributaries of the Kuk, no

    thick beds of coal were recognized. On the Kaolak River Foran found only

    thin beds exposed, though the presence of considerable amounts of coal on the

    bars suggested that there were probably other beds which were concealed by the

    006      |      Vol_XII-0148                                                                                                                  
    KUK RIVER, ALASKA

    slumped banks or moss-covered stretches. On the Avalik River three small coal

    beds were seen a short distance above Kungik. Of these the lower two were

    less than 1 foot thick, but the upper one, which, however, was only poorly

    exposed, was at least 3 feet thick. Still farther up that stream other coal

    beds were recognized at a number of places, practically as far east as the

    stream was traversed, but none of them seemed to be of great enough thickness

    to be mined, and it was the geologist's impression that in the eastern part

    of the valley practically n one of the beds was more th an 1 foot thick."



    007      |      Vol_XII-0149                                                                                                                  
    [ ?] KUK RIVER,

    ALASKA



    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

    Smith, P.S. & Mertie, J.B., Jr. Geology and Mineral Resources of North Geology and Mineral Resources of North

    western Alaska western Alaska . Washington, 1930. (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin 815)

    United States Coast Pilot. Alaska Alaska . Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington,

    1947.

    VS Guidebook for Alaska.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0150                                                                                                                  

            195

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 KUPARUK RIVER, ALASKA


            KUPARUK RIVER, northern Alaska, enters the Polar Sea by way

    of Gwydyr Bay (q.v.) forty or fifty miles east of the Colville River (q.v.).

    This is probably the same stream which Baker identifies as the Kupowra , which

    name he says was reported in 1903 by S.J. Marsh, a prospector. Marsh, himself,

    wrote it Koopowra . Leffingwell records this discovery as the joint work of

    Marsh and another prospector, F.G. Carter.

            Leffingwell believes that the Kuparuk heads in a lake near

    the north front of the Brooks Range perhaps 120 (airline) miles from the sea.

    A recent map shows a large, unnamed tributary coming in from the southwest

    only about 30 miles from the mouth. The major portion of the Kuparuk lies

    on the broad, flat, lake-strewn coastal plain which borders all of this

    part of Alaska. Because of the inadequacy of the drainage, the river follows

    a braided, meandering course and would measure, in actual travelling distance,

    many miles longer than the airline distance from head to mouth.

            Leffingwell reports that the Kuparuk delta is about equal in

    size to that of the Canning River (q.v.) and that the stream is navigable

    for only a very few miles. There is very little wood for fuel along its banks.

            Sources:

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, D.C., 1906.

            Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River Region, Northern Alaska Canning River Region, Northern Alaska . Washington,

    D.C., 1919. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)



    001      |      Vol_XII-0151                                                                                                                  

            275 wds.

    Ruby Collins

    May, 1949 KUKPOWRUK RIVER, ALASKA


            KUKPOWRUK RIVER, northern Alaska, flows into the south end of

    Kasegaluk Lagoon (q.v.) a few miles south of Point Lay, on the shores

    of the Polar Sea, at about 69° 36′ N.Lat., 163° W.Long. Its Eskimo

    name was first published in 1890 as Koopoowrook, but the present form is

    now generally used.

            The headwaters of this river would seem to rise in the De Long

    Mountains somewhere between Mount Kelly (2,800 feet) and Tingmerkpuk

    Mountain (3,600 feet) near 68° N.Lat., 163° W.Long. The river then

    flows almost directly northward for some ninety or more miles to Kasegaluk

    Lagoon. For about two-thirds of its course the Kukpowruk works its way out

    of the mountains and the scattered foothills north of the De Long group,

    finally entering upon the lake-strewn coastal plain.

            Although its course is direct when considered over-all, it is sinuous

    in detail. The Kukpowruk receives several tributaries, the more westerly

    of which seem to rise near the headwaters of the Kukpuk (q.v.), the main

    tributary to Marryatt Inlet, and the more easterly across divides in the

    vicinity of Tingmerkpuk and Poko Mountains which separate the Kukpowruk system

    from that of the next more northerly tributary to Kaegaluk Lagoon, the

    Kokolik (q.v. [ ?] .

            U.S. Geological Survey parties have found considerable quantities

    of coal near the mouth of the Kukpowruk where the bed-rock is folded.

    Farther upstream thirteen mineable beds were found, all three or more feet

    thick, and innumerable deposits three feet or less thick. It is felt that

    great quantities of coal , which could be reavealed by excavation. underlie this entire area, even where it is not

    now exposed



    002      |      Vol_XII-0152                                                                                                                  
    KUKPOWRUK RIVER, ALASKA


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. 2d ed. Washington,

    1906.

    Paige, Sidney, & Foran, W.T. Reconnaissance of the Point Barrow Region,

    Alaska
    Reconnaissance of the Point Barrow Region,

    Alaska
    . Washington, 1925. (U.S. Geological Ssurvey. Bulletin 772)

    Smith, P.S. & Mertie, J.B., jr. Geology and Mineral Resources of North–

    western Alaska.
    Geology and Mineral Resources of North–

    western Alaska.
    Washington, 1930. (U.S. Geological Survey.

    Bulletin Bulletin 815)



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0153                                                                                                                  

            125 words

    Ruby Collins

    June, 1949 LAY , POINT, ALASKA


            LAY, POINT on the arctic coast of Alaska about midway between

    Cape Beaufort and Icy Cape, opposite the mouth of the Kokolik River, is

    a slight bend in the narrow sandspit forming the seaward side of Kasegaluk

    Lagoon. Beechey named this Point in 1826 after his naturalist, George

    Tradescant Lay.

            The Eskimo village at Point Lay had a population of 117 in 1939,

    a general store run cooperatively by the natives, and an Alaska Native

    Service school. The school had an enrollment of 44, in 1940, It has been

    reported that good coal is available about three miles up the Kokolik River.

            The long winter trail which skirts the arctic coast of Alaska

    passes through Point Lay on its way southward to Kotzebue and Seward

    Peninsula and northward to Barrow.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0154                                                                                                                  

            215 wds

    Ruby Collins

    May, 1949 LISBURNE, CAPE, ALASKA


            LISBURNE, CAPE (68° 52′ N.Lat., 166° 17′ W.Long.) is a bare, dark

    mountain, 849 feet high, on the arctic coast of Alaska, north of Point Hope

    (q.v.) and south of Icy Cape (q.v.). The Cape is rugged, rising steeply from

    the water , and is easily recognized by the many pinnacles and scattered rocks

    near the summit.

            The coastline turns abruptly eastward at Cape Lisburne, and, although

    there are no outlying rocks, a ridge extends perhaps six miles northeastward

    from the Cape. Thirty feet of water will be found over this ridge for several

    mi [ ?] es offshore. Violent and gusty winds spill off this Cape, so that, [ ?]

    with an offshore wind, vessels should keep clear of the Cape. Birds nest

    in great numbers in the rocks forming Cape Lisburne, and sailors, travelling

    this route in the summer, have reported the air dark with their wings.

            Eastward from the Cape, the coast becomes lower losing [ ?] ll of its

    rugged character, the hills becoming regular and rounded and sloping gradually

    down to the sea. Approaching Cape Sabine (q.v.), the next named promontory,

    the land is a series of ridges with valleys running inland from the water's

    edge.

            Cook discovered and named Cape Lisburne on August 21, 1778. It has

    erroneously been called Lisburn, or Lisbon. The Eskimo name Wevok (q.v.)

    is still used for the small native village on the Cape.

            References:

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska Alaska . Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, 1947.



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0155                                                                                                                  
    EA-Geography: Alaska

    (Stefansson Library Research Staff)


           

    NORTHERN ALASKA GEOGRAPHICAL ITEMS

           

    Icy Cape to Int [ ?] rnational Boundary



    (Place names arranged geographically)

            Folder (1): A - B

    Folder (2): C - L

    ✓ Folder (3): M - Y



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0156                                                                                                                  

            200

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 MCCLURE ISLANDS, ALASKA


            THE MCCLURE ISLANDS, in the Polar Sea off the arctic coast of Alaska,

    just northeast of Foggy Island Bay and the mouth of the Sagavanirktok River,

    are composed of five small, low, sandy islands hardly more than thirty or

    forty feet above the level of the water.

            Leffingwell named these islands after Captain Robert McClure, R.N.,

    of whom Leffingwell writes: "The shoals he met off Yarborough Inlet were un–

    doubtedly the Midways. He was thus the discoverer of the long chain of

    islands that extend from the Midways to Flaxman Island, and his name has been

    given by the writer to the first group east of Cross Island, as those first

    seen by him have already been named the Midways."

            Yarborough, or as it is now called, Yarboro Inlet, one of the

    important entrances into the lagoon formed by this island chain, runs between

    the McClure group and Cross Island.

            Reading Leffingwall's map from west to east the McClure group is

    made up of Narwhal, Jeanette, and Karluk Islands, and Islands No.20 and 19.

            Leffingwell named the first three islands after the famous whaling

    ships whipas which helped him during his exploration of the Canning River region,

    1906-1914. At that time Capt. George Leavitt commanded the Narwhal , Capt.

    John Bertoncini the K Jeannette , and Capt. Steven Cottle the Karluk.

    Sources: Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River Region, northern Alaska. Canning River Region, northern Alaska. Washington,

    D.C., 1919. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)

    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0157                                                                                                                  

            50 wds

    Ruby Collins

    July, 1949 MACKAY INLET, ALASKA


            MACKAY INLET, Polar Sea, indents the north coast of Alaska immediately

    east of Dease Inlet and behind Tanget Point. During their trip westward along

    the coast to Barrow in 1837, Dease and Simpson named this small, shallow inlet

    after James M'Kay, one of their guides, M'Kay had, three years previously,

    served with Sir George Back (q.v.).

            References:

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Simpson, Thomas. Narrative of the Discoveries on the North Coast of America; Narrative of the Discoveries on the North Coast of America;

    effected by the Officers of the Hudson's Bay Company during the effected by the Officers of the Hudson's Bay Company during the

    years 1836-39. years 1836-39. London, Bentley, 1843.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0158                                                                                                                  

            310

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 MAGUIRE ISLANDS, ALASKA


            THE MAGUIRE ISLANDS, in the Polar Sea northwest of the mouth of the

    Canning River, are part of the chain of low, sand and gravel islands which

    skirts the arctic coast of Alaska all the way from the mouth of the Canning

    westward to the mouth of the Colville River, a distance of over 100 miles.

    Other members of this chain are the Jones, Return, Midway, McClure, and

    Stockton Islands west of the Maguires, and Mary Sachs and Flaxman Island,

    east of the Maguires. Challenge Entrance separates the Maguire group from

    Stockton Islands, and Mary Sachs Entrance separates the Maguires from tiny

    Mary Sachs Island. These two channels lead from the Polar Sea into Simpson the

    inland passage or l L agoon , which separat es ing this long island chain from the mainland.

            Reading Leffingwell's map from west to east, the Maguire group con–

    tains Challenge, Alaska, Duchess, North Star, and Islands No.6 and 3.

    Four prominences on the mainland correspond almost exactly with the position

    of the first four of these islands, namely: Points Gordon, Hopson, Sweeney,

    and Thomson. Depths in the l [ ?] goon vary from twelve to six feet. Slight

    as these depths are, they have for centuries proved sufficient for the

    extremely light-draft skin boats in which the Eskimos sail these waters.

            The first four islands in the group were named by Leffingwell,

    during his 1906-1914 reconnaissance of the Canning River region, after

    whalers and other types of vessels which had sailed this part of the Polar Sea.

            According to Stefansson and Leffingwell, all these islands are

    rapidly being eroded and cut up by the action of the waves and the gouging

    and piling effects of grounded ice. (See Jones Islands and Flaxman Island

    articles.) Some of the islands mentioned and located by earlier explorers have

    now been reduced to reefs and shoals or have disappeared entirely.

    Boulder Island, mentioned by Franklin in 1826, has since been completely

    submerged.



    002      |      Vol_XII-0159                                                                                                                  
    MAGUIRE ISLANDS, ALASKA

            Sources

            Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River Region, northern Alaska. Canning River Region, northern Alaska.

    Washington, D.C., [ ?] 1919. (U.S. Geological Survey.

    Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)

            Stefansson, Vilhjalmur. Guidebook for Arctic Alaska. Guidebook for Arctic Alaska.



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0160                                                                                                                  

            120

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 MARY SACHS ISLAND, ALASKA


            MARY SACHS ISLAND, in the Polar Sea, is, except for Flaxman Island,

    the most easterly of the chain of low, sand and gravel islands which skirts the

    arctic coast of Alaska all the way from the mouth of the Canning westward to the

    mouth of the Colville River, a distance of over 100 miles. This island chain

    includes the Jones, Return, Midway, McClure, Stockton, and Maguire Islands west

    of Mary Sachs Island, and Flaxman Island at the eastern end of the chain.

            Mary Sachs Entrance separates that island from the Maguire group,

    but there is no boat channel between Mary Sachs and Flaxman Island. Mary Sachs

    Entrance leads from the Polar Sea into Simpson [ ?] l L agoon which separates this

    long island chain from the mainland. Mary Sachs Island is named for the tender

    on Stefansson's Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-1918.

            Sources:

            Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River Region, northern Alaska. Canning River Region, northern Alaska. Washington,

    D.C., 1919. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)

            Stefansson, Vilhjalmur. Guidebook for Arctic Alaska Guidebook for Arctic Alaska .



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0161                                                                                                                  

            140 wds

    Ruby Collins

    June, 1949 MAUDHEIM, ALASKA


            MAUDHEIM, ALASKA, northern Alaska, on the coast of the Polar Sea, was established

    about three miles southeast of Wainwright (q.v.) by Dr. Roald Amundsen, during

    1922 and 1923. Amundsen, who was then investigating northern flying conditions, needed such a

    base while preparing for his proposed flight over the North Pole in a heavier

    than air machine. The site of this camp, near the entrance to Wainwright

    Inlet, had certain advantage over the situation of Wainwright itself.

            Small boats could take shelter in the Inlet and still be near Maudheim, where–

    as the roadstead at Wainwright is completely unprotected. The site was, in

    general, less swampy than that of Wainwright, and it was nearer the coal beds

    on the north side of the Inlet, as well as to the route into the interior by

    way of the Kuk River.

            After Amundsen's departure, the buildings were [ ?] taken over by a trading company

    for [ ?] a warehouse.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0162                                                                                                                  
    1,045 words Ruby Collins

    July, 1949 MEADE RIVER, ALASKA


            MEADE RIVER, one of the longest and most important rivers in [ ?]

    northern Alaska, flows into the head of Admiralty Bay, an extension of

    Dease Inlet and the Polar Sea. Three other rivers, the Inaru, Topagoruk,

    and Chipp, also enter the head of this Bay.

            The Meade would appear to rise in the northern foothills of the Brooks

    Range at about 69° 30′ N.Lat., 157° 30′ W.Long, across the divide from the

    headwaters of the Colville (q.v.), which in this part of its course flows

    eastward and parallel with the Range. For about fifty-five (airline) miles

    the Meade flows almost directly northward. Having achieved the broad,

    flat coastal plain which borders all of this part of Alaska, the Meade then

    veers first northwestward and then northeastward for a final seventy (airline)

    miles to its many-channeled entrance into Admiralty Bay. The lower Meade

    is [ ?] meandering and [ ?] ortuous. No exact record of the length of this

    river has ever been made, but it could easily, because of the numberless

    bends and twists in its lower section, be as much as twice the airline length.

    The Geological Survey party of 1926 turned back several miles north of 70°

    N.Lat. after covering 125 measured miles of the Meade R r iver. [ ?]

    [ ?]

            A few miles above the mouth of the Meade, the Inaru River (q.v.)

    enters from the west. The only other named tributary is the Nigiaktuvik,

    which also flows in from the west at about the point where the Meade turns

    northeastward.

            Throughout its length during periods of low water, the Meade occupies

    only about one-half of its channel. About one hundred miles up from the

    mouth the channel is between five and six hundred feet wide and the current

    averages between three and five miles per hour. Forty miles from the delta

    the channel has widened to between 1200 and 1500 feet, and at the delta

    the main channel is 2,000 feet wide in som e places and the distributaries



    002      |      Vol_XII-0163                                                                                                                  
    MEADE RIVER, ALASKA

            about 500 feet wide. This part of the river flows at a rate of about 2 or 3

    miles per hou r . Tides effect the Meade for 30 or more miles upstream.

            In the course of their report, Paige and Foran give the following

    description of the Meade River country:

            "The coastal plain rises gradually to the south and on Meade

    River 85 miles inland stands about 100 feet above sea. Here the

    river bottom is incised to a depth of 60 feet. Along the lower

    reaches of the river much of the land is swampy and is flooded

    during high-water stages. The plain is dotted by innumerable lakes.

    Farther inland the rivers are cut deeper and the swamps are not

    so abundant. The coastal swamps are not continuous but are

    separated by dry areas, affording hard ground. It is these dry

    areas that furnish the reindeer pastures so abundantly utilized

    in regions adjacent to Wainwright and Barrow."

            March 28, 1883, Lieutenant P.H. Ray left the base of the U.S. Army

    Signal Corps expedition, which was then in its second winter at Cape Smyth,

    traveled by sledge and with Eskimo companions southwest along the coast 20

    miles to the Sinaru and then struck inland directly south for his proposed

    exploration of the upper Meade River. He found the terrain s at first so

    flat that for miles there was no landmark at all and he gained the impression

    that most of the country was lakes. Gradually, however, the land assumed a

    rolling character, and when the party struck Meade River, apparently near

    70° 35′ N.Lat., 157° 15′ W.Long., he found it flowing through a valley

    about one and one-half miles wide "with bold bluff on either hand from 40

    to 60 feet high."

            Tracing the river south, they found it meandering so that they could

    not afford the level and comaratively easy going of the ice but preferred

    to ascend the banks and travel parallel to the stream's general course, which

    was a little west of south. At 70° 37′ N.Lat., 157° 11′ W.Long., they

    passed "a big bluff which is a noted landmark among the natives and known

    as Nuasuknan." It rises from 50 to 75 feet and is visible for many miles

    around.



    003      |      Vol_XII-0164                                                                                                                  
    MEADE RIVER, ALASKA

            After perhaps ten miles travel south from this landmark the country

    became more rolling and broken so that when they struck the river the banks

    were one hundred feet high and "showed excessive layers of turf and sand

    where the action of the river had cut them away during the freshets in the

    summer." They found some fossil ivory (no doubt mammoth). Arctic willows

    skirted the bank but no driftwood of any size was seen.

            The Ray comments on the scarcity of drift willow shows that he had

    adopted the point of view of the local Eskimos. Usually when Eskimos

    traverse the rivers of northern Alaska, even where the local "willows" (the

    common northern name for willows, alders, etc.) are [ ?] 15 or 20 feet high

    and abundant, they will depend for fuel mainly on the drift willows which

    have come from higher up and are lodged on sandbars. These are usually

    dry in winter and are less bother to find and use. It is possible to burn

    green willows in sheet-iron camping stoves and in camp fires but they are

    more trouble to work up and two or three times as many must be used. The very

    small d warf birch burns well if the twigs are twisted into bundles.

            By Ray's map, his farthest south was about 69° 50′ N.Lat., 157° 45′

    W.Long. Here he climbed from the Meade River to the summit of a bluff which

    was 175 feet above the river and could see on the sky line mountains

    running nearly east and west about fifty miles away. From the break of

    the country, he concluded that Meade River has its source in that range

    so he named them Meade Mountains, evidently part of the Brooks Range.

            Along the route, Ray found ruins of several winter huts and the

    natives told him that three generations before the region was inhabited by a

    people who lived by hunting and fishing and did not come to the coast. By

    1927 Smith and Mertie found no traces of this settlement.

            The only village on the Meade River now is the small Eskimo settlement

    of Atkasuk, near 70° 30′ N.Lat., 157° 30′ W.Long. Near this site the

    004      |      Vol_XII-0165                                                                                                                  
    MEADE RIVER, ALASKA

    1926 Geological Survey party found an outcrop of coal indicating a large,

    nearby horizontal , underground bed perhaps three feet thick. The coal of

    the Meade region, however, although similar to that on Wainwright Inlet (q.v.),

    proved on analysis to be of subbituminous rank.

            Paige and Foran felt that, although these deposits were of considerable

    use to the local Eskimos, they would not warrant removal by barge to the

    coast, [ ?] lying as they did over thirty miles upriver from Admiralty

    Bay, a body of water not much frequented by coal-burning vessels. Equally

    large and higher-grade deposits had already been located on the northwest

    coast of Alaska between Cape Lisburne and Barrow. These deposits have been

    used for centuries by the Eskimos and , since the mid-nineteenth century , by

    whaling vessels sailing these waters.



    005      |      Vol_XII-0166                                                                                                                  
    MEADE RIVER, ALASKA

            References

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Paige, Sidney (and others) Reconnaissance of the Point Barrow Region Reconnaissance of the Point Barrow Region ,

    Alaska Alaska . Washington, G.P.O., 1925. (U.S. Geological Survey.

    Bulletin Bulletin 772)

            U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska Alaska . Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, 1947.

            VS Guidebook for Alaska Guidebook for Alaska .



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0167                                                                                                                  
    55 wds Ruby Collins

    January, 1950 MICHELSON, MOUNT, ALASKA


            MICHELSON, MOUNT, a glacier-clad peak in the Romanzof

    Mountains of northern Alaska,rises to 9,239 feet. It is about midway

    between the upper reaches of the Hulahula and Okpilak Rivers in the vicinity

    of 69° 20′ N.Lat., 144° 20′ W.Long. During his 1906-1914 expedition,

    Leffingwell observed this peak. He reports that it was named after

    Professor A.A. Michelson.

            Leffingwell, E. de K. The Canning River Region, Northern Alaska. The Canning River Region, Northern Alaska. Wash., D.C.,

    G.P.O., 1919, p.97/ U.S.Geol.Surv., Prof.pa Prof.pa . 109.

            U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey. Chart Chart 9400.

            U.S. Army Air Forces. World Aeroanutical Chart World Aeroanutical Chart [ ?] No.63.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0168                                                                                                                  

            2 [ ?]

    Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 MIDWAY ISLANDS, ALASKA


            THE MIDWAY ISLANDS, a group of three small islands in the Polar

    Sea off the arctic coast of Alaska, belong to a chain of low, sand islets and

    shoals stretching from about 146° to 150° W.Long., a distance of some 100 miles.

    These islands lie, in general, from 4 to 7 miles offshore and contain, from

    east to west, Flaxman Island, near the mouth of the Canning River, the Maguire,

    Stockton, and McClure Islands, Cross Island, and the Midway, Return, and Jones

    Islands. The most westerly of the Jones group. Thetis Island, lies off the

    mouth of the Colville River in Harrison Bay.

            Simpson Lagoon, the "inland passage" formed by these islands, is

    extremely shoal but will accomodate the skin boats of the Eskimos in which a ton

    of load means only a few inches of draft. The Eskimos have for centuries used this lagoon for

    centuries for their spring and summer trading trips, since the outlying island

    chain and the shallowness of the water serve to protect the lagoon from the

    heaviest ice. Simpson Lagoon is only 3 to 5 miles wide at the ends, but widens

    in the middle in the vicinity of the Midways and Cross Island, to about 10 or 12

    miles.

            The most westerly and largest of the Midways is known as Reindeer

    Island, and the most easterly is Argo Island. The middle and smallest member is

    not named on Leffingwell's map.

            Reindeer Island was named by Leffingwell after the whale ship of

    that name which was wrecked in the vicinity, and Argo Island was named for the

    yawl, Argo. Argo Shoals lie southest of the island.



    002      |      Vol_XII-0169                                                                                                                  
    MIDWAY ISLANDS, ALASKA

            Sources:

            Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River Regions, Northern Alaska Canning River Regions, Northern Alaska . Washington,

    D.C., 1919. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)

            VS Guidebook for Alaska Guidebook for Alaska



    001      |      Vol_XII-0170                                                                                                                  
    240 Ruby Collins

    September, 1949 MIKKELSEN BAY, ALASKA


            MIKKELSEN BAY, an arm of the Polar Sea, indents the arctic coast

    of Alaska between Harrison and Camden Bays. Tigvariak Island and the mud flats

    at the mouth of the Shaviovik River may be said to separate this bay from Foggy

    Island Bay, immediately to the west. Reliance Point, on Tigvariak Island, and

    Point Bullen, on the mainland, are the western and eastern entrance points to

    Mikkelsen Bay. These two points are about seven miles apart,and the bay indents

    the shoreline to a depth of about four miles.

            During his reconnaissance of the Canning River region, 1906-1914,

    Leffingwell named this bay after Captain Ejnar Mikkelsen, with whom he had shared

    command of the first year's work of the Anglo-American Polar Expedition.

            Mikkelsen Bay is shoal throughout, having a greatest depth of per–

    haps 18 feet and carrying only 2 feet or less near shore on the southwestern side.

    Recent maps show three unnamed streams flowing into the bay. Across a shallow

    lagoon from the entrance to the bay lie the Stockton Islands (q.v.), one group

    in the chain of sand and gravel islands which stretches all the way from the

    mouth of the Canning to the Colville River. From east to west some other members of

    this island chain are Flaxman Island, the Maguire, McClure, Midway, and Jones

    Islands. Although these small, low islands are only a few feet above [ ?]

    [ ?] sea level, they serve to protect the lagoon between them

    and the mainland (Simpson Lagoon) from the worst attacks of the pack ice. The Eskimos, whose large

    skin boats will float several ton in a few inches of water, have used this inland

    waterway for centuries.

            Sources:

            Leffingwell, Ernest de K. Canning River Region, northern Alaska Canning River Region, northern Alaska . Washington,

    D.C., 1919. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper 109)



    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0171                                                                                                                  

            85 wds.

    Ruby Collins

    July, 1949 MILNE POINT, ALASKA


            MILNE POINT projects into the Polar Sea from the arctic coast of

    Alaska about midway between the mouths of the Colville and Kuparuk Rivers.

    Dease and Simpson named this promontory during their trip westward along the

    coast to Point Barrow, in July, 1837. Pingok Island, on e of the Jones group,

    stands several miles to sea and directly in front of Milne Point. The water

    off the Point is shoal, carrying only from one to one and one-quarter fathom,

    but this is sufficient for the extremely light-draft skin boats of the