'A' is for Alaska:
Teacher to the Territory

'A' is for Alaska: Teacher to the Territory
A is for Alaska Back Cover

(Larger Image)

About the Book

Just as the Alaska spawning salmon swim upstream, so did this single woman swim against the current of a society that expected her to fit the mold of wife and mother. When this rite of passage eluded Anna Bortel, she did not bemoan her singlehood. Instead, in 1954, this young school teacher drove up the Alaska-Canada Highway from Ohio to Valdez, where snow was measured in feet and an Easter Egg hunt unheard of event.

Her curiosity wasn't quelled. She pushed farther north to an isolated Athabascan village along the Yukon River. Teaching and living in drafty Quonset huts with freezing oil lines at 50 below zero added to her teaching rigors. Discouraged? Yes. Daunted? No.

You'll smile, laugh, and shake your head in amazement as you read these heartwarming, inspiring, and captivating stories of teaching in the Territory of Alaska.

Takes Place In

This book takes place in Ohio (1923-1954), Valdez, AK (1954-1957), and Tanana, AK (1957-1960).

Chapters In The Book and Excerpts
  • Growing into a Schoolteacher
  • North to Alaska (read excerpt)
  • This Territory Called Alaska
  • Puzzle Pieces
  • If God Builds the Foundation
  • The Unwelcome Visitor
  • Romance Arrives
  • Needed: Teachers in the Territory (read excerpt)
  • All I Need is a Break
  • Chocolate Cake Flambe
  • Beware the Blows!
  • Easter Eggs: Boiled or Frozen?
  • A Stepping Stone North
  • Getting Acquainted
  • Making Myself at Home
  • School Bells (read excerpt)
  • The Automatic Flu
  • No Doubt About it - Winter is Here!
  • Christmastime in Tanana
  • Potlatch Celebration
  • Ordinary Village Life
  • An Uncertain Future
  • The Going Gets Tough (read excerpt)
  • The Tough Get Tougher
  • The 49th State
  • Farther North?
  • Breakup
  • A Few More Alaska Experiences
  • Taking it Easy
  • Changes, Chickens, and Conclusions
Tiekel Roadhouse

In the "Romance Arrives" chapter, page 81, you read about Anna and Al's outing to Tiekel Road house. This is what Tiekel road house likes like today. It was purchased in 2007 by Jim and Charlotte Shephard.

Tiekel Roadhouse
Original front of the roadhouse.

Tiekel Roadhouse
A relocated outhouse.

Tiekel Roadhouse
I'm having tea in the Tiekel Roadhouse with Jim and Charlotte, who overwhelmed me with their kindness and generosity while I was in Valdez, AK (July 2012).