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Bearfoot Guides: Outbuildings (Small Historic Cabins) Near Existing Alaska Roadhouses Give Glimpse Into The Past

When the larger, original lodge, burned down, this Tolsona cabin remained.
Tolsona Lake Lodge is now a modern roadhouse -- with an original cabin displayed nearby.

Modern Roadhouses & Lodges In Alaska Often Still Have Cabins From The "Old" Original Roadhouse Nearby

Small cabins are still out on the road, near lodges.
Original small log roadhouse at Eureka Lodge.
Alaska's roadhouses and lodges were originally tents, or small, hastily-built cabins, located along the Gold Rush, trapping and freighting trails that connected major destinations (such as Knik, Fairbanks, Seward and Nome) to each other.

As the roadhouses grew, lodge-owners established two-story, larger buildings. But the original cabins stayed on the property.

Due to the problems of operating wood stoves -- combined with long distances, lack of a population, and extreme isolation -- a vast majority of Alaska's original roadhouses have burned to the ground.

Yet, as you travel Alaska, you can still find modern gas stations and roadhouses with some of the smaller, original lodge log cabins nearby. For a long time, these original cabins were pretty much ignored by the owners of the modern lodge, or used for storage.

But today, they are attracting more attention, and lodge owners sometimes put them on display, by adding a placard -- such as Eureka Roadhouse did (right) -- or placing them adjacent to the current lodge, as at Tolsona Lake Resort. The Tolsona cabin still has scorch marks on the logs, a relic of the original Tolsona Lodge burning down. Both of these small log cabins are located on the Glenn Highway, and both places were used extensively as hunting camps.

Extreme Alaska Tip: ORIGINAL LOG CABINS AT LODGES When you pull up to a gas station, or hotel that's out in the middle of nowhere on one of Alaska's roads, check around for small cabins either beside or behind the place, and ask the owners about their history.

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  1. Alaska covered with snow wow. Totally amazing. I love the pictures. Thanks for sharing the history and extreme Alaska tip. I am sure this will help out many of us.



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