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The avalanch. : (McCarthy, Alaska) 1916-1917
Alternative Titles:
  • Avalanche
Place of publication:
McCarthy, Alaska
Geographic coverage:
  • McCarthy, Alaska  |  View more titles from this: City State
M.V. Lattin
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in 1917?
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Aug. 5, 1916)-
  • English
  • Alaska--McCarthy.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01267721
  • McCarthy (Alaska)--Newspapers.
sn 95060040
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The avalanch. August 5, 1916 , Image 1


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The Avalanch

The Avalanch was started on August 5, 1916, by Mart V. Lattin in McCarthy, a company town nearby the Kennecott copper mine. Originally from Wyoming, Lattin had moved to McCarthy in 1911 to be the railway depot agent for the Copper River railroad and he became a strong booster for the town and the area, which he called "the richest mineral belt in Alaska." The Avalanch was one piece of that mission, and Lattin said that the need for a newspaper "had long been felt."

A man of energy and vision, Lattin was also the postmaster, treasurer for the local school, and a member of the territorial council of defense. In a clever move, he distributed several hundred copies of the first issue to mining camps around the Copper River Valley, asking that the residents send him any news they had.

The Avalanch featured many advertisements from local merchants. Lattin remarked in the first issue that there had been more advertising interest than he could accommodate, and he was hoping to enlarge the printing plant and subscribe to the Associated Press. Lattin began including wire news on national and international events in the second issue, but the focus remained on local news around McCarthy, Kennecott, and other mining camps.

Lattin was strongly opposed to outsider influence in Alaska, in matters of business and government, and complained in the September 9, 1916 issue that whenever they needed help it came through some "decrepit outlander." Lattin denounced the "strangle hold" of outside interests on the canneries of Alaska and was emphatic that local individuals should be the ones enforcing and administering laws and duties regarding the fishing industry. He went on in the issue to rail against the appointment of outsiders to these positions, deriding the fact that Alaskans had to "depend on some weakling from the east or south" who gained their job through nepotism. Lattin also complained about the "exorbitant freight rates" which he said in the October 28, 1916, issue were draining the pockets of those who "are doing their best to develop this country".

The Avalanch ceased publication in early 1917, and the press was sold to The McCarthy Weekly News before Lattin moved to Utah in 1918.

Provided by: Alaska State Library Historical Collections