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Moose Pass miner. [volume] : (Moose Pass, Alaska) 1938-194?
Place of publication:
Moose Pass, Alaska
Geographic coverage:
  • Moose Pass, Alaska  |  View more titles from this: City State
L.H. Allen
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1938.
Monthly <Mar. 10, 1942->
  • English
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 2 (Nov. 12, 1938).
sn 95060010
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Moose Pass miner. [volume] January 14, 1939 , Image 1


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Moose Pass miner

The Moose Pass miner was started by Lois Hudson Allen, a veteran newspaper journalist from Colorado, in 1938. Cherry Lyon Jones wrote in Remarkable Alaska women that Allen had been diagnosed with breast cancer and decided to leave Colorado and travel elsewhere to avoid burdening her family. After deciding to move to Alaska, Allen asked then-governor John Troy what city needed a newspaper most and was told to go to Skagway, where she started the Skagway Cheechako. After 18 months, she left and moved to Moose Pass, which had a population of less than 100 at the time. She began publishing the Moose Pass miner in November 1938, using a typewriter and a mimeograph press.

The miner was largely a social paper with a focus on comings and goings, recreational items, and news about the sewing club, of which Allen was a member. She agreed with the territorial delegate, Anthony Dimond, that roads and airfields were sorely needed in Alaska, and she argued for their importance. Allen also wrote about the necessity of more people moving to Alaska and urged residents to be welcoming to visitors. The content of the newspaper changed dramatically in its final months with the United States' entry into World War II. The front pages were increasingly filled with war reports and maps of the conflict's different theaters.

According to the August 4, 1948 issue of The Seward polaris & Kenai Peninsula-Aleutian chain news, the miner was so popular in Moose Pass that there was often a "line waiting for the issues as they came off the press." The article quoted Allen who attributed the success of the miner to her editorials and explained that it was important to "have the courage to take sides on a question. Lots of people may then hate you, but they always read what you have to say." Despite its popularity, the paper was never financially sustainable, and Allen had to take on additional jobs to make ends meet. World War II drew many Moose Pass residents toward the bigger cities, further shrinking the town. In 1942, Allen left Moose Pass and temporarily became the editor for The Valley Settler before taking a teaching position in the town of Ninilchik later in the year.

Provided by: Alaska State Library Historical Collections