December 18, 2012

Newspaper Clippings from the 1964 Alaska Earthquake at Gwennie’s

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

The Anchorage Daily Times with a front-page report on the 1964 Alaska Earthquake.

I’d like to write a few more posts about my visit to Alaska earlier this year. In case you missed them, here are some earlier posts about Alaska:

Off to Alaska…

Geology Word of the Week: G is for Glacial Erratic

Iditarod Start and Finish

A Drive to Salmon Lake, Alaska in Pictures

Nome, Alaska in Pictures: Part I

Nome, Alaska in Pictures: Part II

Nome, Alaska in Pictures: Part III

Monday Geology Picture(s): Garnet Sands in Nome, Alaska

Bering Sea Sunset

Muskoxen Near Nome, Alaska

Plane Views: Anchorage to Nome

Plane Views: Minneapolis to Anchorage

Sledge Island Scenery

And, last but not least…

Whale Carcass on the Beach in Nome, Alaska

Clearly, I’ve already shared a fair amount about the two months I spent in Alaska. However, I still have some more to share! I’ll start out with a post about Anchorage and a very big earthquake.

My husband Jackie and I spent a few days in Anchorage back in July before traveling up to Nome, where we spent the months of August and September doing field work. One day when we were in Anchorage we had lunch at a place called Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant, a place that had been recommended to us by some locals.

Outside of Gwennie's Restaurant.

Gwennie’s is full of kitsch and crazy: taxidermied animals and antlers are strewn about everywhere, and in-between one finds everything from Iditarod posters to stained glass windows depicting gold prospectors. The food is served on cheap plates with cheap cutlery, but it’s pretty good. Both my husband and I enjoyed the reindeer sausage with fries and a large drink since we were dehydrated from running errands all over Anchorage on a beautiful, sunny, warm summer day.

Gold panning themed stained glass.

Jackie and his bear friend.

Wishing pool and more taxidermy.

A bear rug... attacking from above!

Restaurant decorations: antlers, a saw, a sewing machine, and a piano.

Posing next to a muskox head.

Iditarod posters.

Jackie and I enjoyed looking at all of Gwennie’s unusual decorations, most of which had an Alaskan theme. As we were wandering around looking at the various decorations, one of the waitresses suggested that we go over to the bar to take a look at all of the newspaper clippings from the 1964 Alaska earthquake.┬áThis earthquake was enormous, registering 9.2 on the Richter Scale. For reference, that’s the same magnitude as the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake that created the large tsunami that devastated parts of Asia. Jackie and I had heard and read about the 1964 Alaska earthquake before, but seeing the newspaper clippings and pictures really put the earthquake in perspective. The clippings put a human face on the earthquake, which was so destructive that some Alaskan towns never bothered to rebuild but simply were abandoned. Looking at the pictures of the earthquake’s destruction was fascinating, humbling, and awe-inspiring.

Here are some of the earthquake newspaper clippings that we saw at Gwennie’s:

1964 Alsaka earthquake newspaper clippings on the wall of Gwennie's bar.

Another view of some newspaper clippings on the bar wall.

A closer view of a newspaper front page.

Pictures of earthquake destruction in downtown Anchorage.

More pictures of earthquake destruction.

Yet more pictures of earthquake destruction.

More earthquake newspaper clippings on another wall of the bar.

A closer view of more earthquake newspaper clippings.

Even more destruction.

If you’re ever in Anchorage, I highly recommend going to Gwennie’s for a bite to eat and a look around. At least have a drink and take a look at the earthquake newspaper clippings.