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The orphanage news letter. [volume] : (Kodiak, Alaska) 1899-1907
Alternative Titles:
  • Orphanage newsletter
Place of publication:
Kodiak, Alaska
Geographic coverage:
  • Kodiak, Alaska  |  View more titles from this: City State
Kodiak Baptist Orphanage
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1899? Ceased in 1907.
  • English
  • Alaska--Kodiak.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01209935
  • Kodiak (Alaska)--Newspapers.
  • Description based on: Vol. 4, no. 2 (Apr. 1903).
  • Published under the auspices of the Woman's American Baptist Home Mission Society.
sn 94050115
Succeeding Titles:
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The orphanage news letter. [volume] March 1, 1900 , Image 1


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The orphanage news letter and The news letter

The orphanage news letter was started in 1899 and was Kodiak's first newspaper. It was published on Wood Island, at the Kodiak Baptist Orphanage, which had been created in 1892 and was run through the Woman's American Baptist Home Mission Society. Curtis Pearre Coe, the superintendent of the orphanage, was the editor of the paper from 1900 until his departure in 1908. In 1907, the title dropped the word Orphanage and simply became The news letter.

In the June 1912 issue, The news letter reported on the massive eruption of the volcano Novarupta, which was confused with Mt. Katmai at the time. The paper described how residents heard sounds that they initially took to be cannon shots. The news letter explained how the sky became covered with strange dark clouds that people initially assumed would bring hail; they were shocked when instead ash rained down from the sky. The wireless station was unable to contact anyone, and the editor said the night was full of "lightning and thunder, earthquakes, blackest darkness and the continuous down-pour of ashes." He also added that "the air was charged with sulphorous [sic] gasses." Ash rained down until it threatened to collapse roofs under the weight of it, and people were forced to brave the storm just to shovel the roofs clear. Lightning struck and burned down the wireless station, just several hundred yards from the orphanage. The clouds were so thick that even though it was normally light all day long in June, everyone had to use lamps throughout the day because visibility was so poor. The people of Wood Island were temporarily moved aboard the USRC Manning for safety. The issue also describes the damage the eruption and ashfall did to livestock and local fishing.

The paper included updates on the orphanage and its activities: holiday celebrations and festivities, personal stories of the children and updates on their crafts and games, details on planting and harvesting, and the state of their livestock. The paper also reported local news including comings and goings, weddings, and baptisms. Issues were typically around 4 pages long and published monthly, although as the publication grew less frequent, the size increased. The news letter was published at least through March of 1922.

Provided by: Alaska State Library Historical Collections