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The History of the Alaska Highway (Alcan)



Alaska Highway History Books & Videos
Books and videos (DVDs) about the construction of the Alcan and its use in the early years.

Alaska Highway Chronology
A timeline of significant events during planning, construction, and operation of the highway.

Alaska Highway News
Newspaper articles from the early years of the highway.

Alaska Highway Road Reports
Road reports from years past.

Early Alaska Highway Postcards
The Alaska Highway has been a popular subject for postcards since it was built, and we've posted over 80 of them, mostly from the 1940s.

Along the Alaska Highway in 1943
One of the first "tourist" articles about the Alaska Highway, published when it was still a restricted military road.

Alaska Highway 1943
A 1943 ad with a painting of a White dump truck during the Alcan highway construction.

The Peace River Bridge Opens
A newspaper report from September 3, 1943.

Winter Maintenance Problems on the Alaska Highway
This article from Roads and Bridge magazine of November 1943, written by a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, describes many of the unique situations encountered.

Waste along the Alaska Highway during WWII
This article from the Vancouver Sun of July 8, 1944, talks about the appalling amount of material dumped when highway construction crews left.

Alaska Military Highway Road Log, 1945
A mile-by-mile guide to the 1,221 miles of the highway in Canada, dated September 1, 1945.

New Bus Service Opens on Alcan Highway
A newspaper article from September 27, 1945, describing the British Yukon Navigation Company's new Alaska Highway service.

Bus & Motorcoach History: Alaska, the Yukon, & Northern British Columbia
Many of the stories here have an Alaska Highway connection.

Tip for tourists: facilities meager on Alcan Road
An article from The Record-Herald (Washington Court House, Ohio) of Saturday, March 30, 1946.

The Alaska Highway and Whitehorse, Yukon, in 1946
This article from the Great Falls Tribune of April 14, 1946, describes the status of, and conditions along, the Alaska Highway and in Whitehorse.

Driving the Alaska Highway in 1948
A series of 4 pages about a drive from Anchorage to Edmonton includes 38 photos on the Alaska Highway page.

Alaska and the Alaska Highway, 1950
A 24-page brochure published by the American Automobile Association in the Spring of 1950.

Fort Nelson and the Alaska Highway, 1951
This lengthy story, written in 1951 by Mrs. S. E. Warren, tells of her bus trip from Edmonton to Fort Nelson, her life there, and her flight back to Edmonton with CPA.

Alaska Highway, Canadian Section, 1958
A 20-page brochure published by the Canadian Government Travel Bureau.

Alaska 1958
The best historic travel journal we've seen, with 290 of Hubert Priddy's captioned photos showing the Alaska Highway and much more.

Alaska Highway 1967 Celebrations
This 12-page brochure promoted celebrations of the centennial of Canada's Confederation and the purchase of Alaska, and the 25th anniversary of the highway.

Alaska Highway Commemorative Stamps
These stamps were issued in 1992 by the United States Post Office to honor the 50th anniversary of the construction of the "Alcan."

Yukon portion of the Alaska Highway Dedicated to all War Veterans
In the Spring of 2013, signs were installed at each end of the Yukon section of the Alaska Highway, dedicating it to all war veterans.

95th Engineer Regiment - Colored
A brief but very well-illustrated look at the part played in the construction by 3,695 black troops.

388th Engineer Batallion
This excellent site commemorates the members of the 388th, who worked on the Canol Project in 1942-43.

Alaska Highway: Historic Advertising
In the days before the highway was paved, a trip up the Alcan was often used by manufacturers to prove how tough their product was.

Alaska Highway Historic Mileposts
Although there are few signs of the original Alaska Highway, you can keep track of the highway's history with these markers.

The Alcan
From Neal Gosman, a well-illustrated look at highway, particularly the 95th Engineers' part in building it.

Brigadier General James A. O'Connor
A biographical sketch of the commander of the Northwest Service Command from September 1942 onward.

Colonel Joseph P. Glandon, U.S. Army
First commissioned in the Regular Army in October 1920, Col. Glandon was Commander of the Alaska Highway construction project in 1943-1944.

The Charlie Lake Alaska Highway Memorial
On the morning of May 14, 1942, 12 of the 17 soldiers on a pontoon boat crossing Charlie Lake, just north of Fort St. John, drowned after the boat sank.

Certificate of Merit
This Certificate of Merit was awarded to Seibert D. Eberly, Jr., for his work on the construction of the highway in 1942-1943.

Bus & Motorcoach History
Stories of pioneer bus companies in Alaska, the Yukon, and Northern British Columbia.

Historical Construction Equipment Association
This large site has lots of photos, and information available on the machinery that dredged the goldfields of the North, built the Alaska Highway etc.

Lend-Lease
This exceptional Russian site tells the story of the lend-lease aircraft that arrived in Russia primarily via ALSIB through the Yukon and Alaska.

The Kee Bird and the Alcan
Throughout the bitter cold during the construction of the Alaska Highway, crews kept their sense of humour, even inventing an appropriate mascot.

Northern Roadhouses - An Introduction
From tents and dugouts to relatively luxurious 2-storey log buildings, roadhouses were a vital part of life for most early prospectors.


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