Trove of old Alaska photos for auction in Great Britain - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, September 23, 2021
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Trove of old Alaska photos for auction in Great Britain

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An old album of photos of interest to collectors of Alaskana has turned up at the auction house of Elstob & Elstob in the town of Ripon, North Yorkshire, England.

The album contains black and white photos of Nome and the surrounding area during the gold rush, all taken by Frank Nowell, a well-known Alaska photographer and miner of that era.

Nowell traveled to Alaska in 1886 to start a dairy farm, and made it to Nome during the gold rush of 1900, where he chronicled the towns that sprung up overnight, preserving a record of the businesses and the people of the era, with a special eye for the Native population of Eskimos. Nowell was also involved in mining in the Juneau-Berner’s Bay Area, where his father had started several mines.

[Read more about Nowell’s history in Alaska at the University of Washington Library.]

How the 25 photos made it to England in a classic black-paper album is anyone’s guess, but the auction house expects the album is affordable and will go for as much as $150 US dollars.

You can track the bidding on this piece of Alaskana at the auction house’s web page.

Donations Welcome


Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Love that photo of Native Alaskans in the jalopy. Thanks, Suzanne.

  • Anyone know what make and model of car that is? Year?

  • I checked their site, the collection has been sold for £1900

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