December 18, 2012
Newspaper Clippings from the 1964 Alaska Earthquake at Gwennie’s
Posted by Evelyn Mervine
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:
Geology Word of the Week: G is for Glacial Erratic
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
Plane Views: Anchorage to Nome
Plane Views: Minneapolis to Anchorage
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.
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.
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. This 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:
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.