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Thread: Mystery in Seward?

  1. #1

    Question Mystery in Seward?

    If you boat in Seward you see it every time you come back to the harbor. I finally satisfied my curiosity and touched it, now I am curious again...WHAT THE HECK WAS IT AND WHAT'S IT'S STORY????
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    Member ken210's Avatar
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    Interesting looking house! Maybe I don't pay enough attention but I have never seen that house on the way back in. Where is it?
    Last edited by ken210; 06-29-2009 at 22:43. Reason: spelling

  3. #3

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    Never seen it. But since we're off topic here, what's the story with people getting water from the pipe that sticks out of the roadcut on the left side of the Seward highway just south of Anchorage??

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    Never seen it. But since we're off topic here, what's the story with people getting water from the pipe that sticks out of the roadcut on the left side of the Seward highway just south of Anchorage??
    Springwater! Good stuff.

    As for the house, yeah where is it?
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  5. #5

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    As you face the harbor entrance from the bay, with the town of Seward on your port side, it will be to the starboard side of the following; Harbor, cruise ship-barge/tugs, then the house sitting in the middle of no-mans-land. Actually, it is about a thousand yards or so from the end of the airport runway. When you drive into Seward, look straight down the runway as you go past, you'll see it at the end.
    It sits in the middle of the plains area/shoal area at the end of the bay all alone. You can actually see it from the majority of the beach camping area as you look across the bay.

  6. #6

    Default See the town...

    In this picture you can see the motohomes on the beach and the giant blue machinery at the harbor. If you sat in this kayak and turned your head starboard you would look right at it. (Missed picture of Seals going crazy)
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  7. #7

    Default WW 2 Rellik

    That old house was a gun bunker. If you go inside you will see several cement mounts built into the floor. There are several in the bay area. If you go to the old army dock and hike the trail to Caines head there is the remains of Fort McGilvery. (May not be spelled right) It is cool to see and what a view of the entrance to Ressurection Bay you will have from the old gun turrets. Its a great trip for young kids. A must see.

  8. #8

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    That's the old FAA building from the Seward airport. In the 1964 earthquake the land around Seward dropped several feet. The building had to be abandoned because it floods at high tide. The whole airport had to be rebuilt.

    A lot of people don't realize that Seward got hammered really bad in the '64 quake. The area where the campground is now, along the shore between the harbor and town, was the Alaska railroad yard. In those days, most of the gasoline and other fuel used in Alaska came into the port of Seward and was then shipped on the train for distrubution. When the quake hit there were some full storage tanks there, as well as a bunch of full tank cars waitng for the next train. The quake caused big slivers of the coastline to slide into the bay, taking the tanks with it. The slide pushed the water out, which then came rushing back in as a big wave covered with flaming oil. Then about 25 minutes later, the main Tsunami hit. All told I believe more people died in little ol' Seward than in Anchorage.

    For a more complete description, with lots of incredible pictures go to the library and take a look at USGS Professional Paper 442-E, "Effects of the Earthquake of March 27, 1964, at Seward, Alaska" by Richard Lemke. A not so good copy is also online at:
    http://www.dggs.dnr.state.ak.us/pubs...tation&ID=3881

  9. #9

    Default Thanks excellent info

    I couldn't of put it any better. That quake sent a wave all the way to Cresent City Ca killing people. In 1979 out in the PWSA we found a fishing boat 50 yards up a hill in the trees the the wave!
    Those gun bunkers are very intresting also, I have been in some on the left going out. Never been to far into the caves dug there at Cains Head, which go allthe way into the bay on the back side

  10. #10
    Member Queen of Kings's Avatar
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    Default Great Info

    Thanks for sharing this
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  11. #11

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    I watched a special on TV a while back on the tsunami that hit Seward. An eyewitness said that before the main tsunami hit, water went out from the bay (which would be expected). So much water left that he could see the bottom. I can't even imagine.

  12. #12
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by overthehill View Post
    That's the old FAA building from the Seward airport. In the 1964 earthquake the land around Seward dropped several feet. The building had to be abandoned because it floods at high tide. The whole airport had to be rebuilt.

    http://www.dggs.dnr.state.ak.us/pubs...tation&ID=3881
    According to the historical record here at work (FAA) that is not an FAA building. I don't know what it is, but it was not an FAA building. The FAA has never built a poured concrete structure anywhere in Alaska. The hardest buildings are the VORs and RCO/RTRs out of cinder blocks. Everything else is wood or a metal Butler building for shops.

    Property records for Seward show some leases from the state for navigation aids, but nothing that big in that location.

    Aerial photos from out a plane window in 1947 show a small gravel strip and the tidelands at the head of the bay, and that building is not in the photo. What is near that location are four small round pads on a side road well away from the strip. They look like parking pads for WWII fighters but are way too small compared to pads at other locations. The strip in this photo is now the parking apron for the current airport.

    An aerial from out a plane window in 1962 shows the second gravel strip in place, but it does not go far enough over to show the location of this building. It should be visible though based on what can be seen in the 1986 photo. This second strip is now runway 30 in use today.

    The aerial from 1986 shows that building out on the marsh land near a washed out road that was in use in 1947 and 1962. My guess it was built between 1947 and the quake and after the road washed out was abandoned. Based on its location and the location of the original airport prior to 1964 it was too far away to be associated with the airport. In the 1986 aerial it is right at the end of runway 30 and is within the airfield obstruction zone distances and should not be there.

  13. #13

    Talking Inside pics

    My next home will be concrete, don't have to worry about it falling down if the floor disappears!
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    Member aksheephuntress's Avatar
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    ...I have been told before that it was built in 1917 as someone's house-.....

    -eventually used during WW2 as communications means between the bunkers at Lowell Point-

    -the concrete slabs were poured to hold the communications towers-

    -currently on Fed. land-

    -supposedly had some sort of affiliation with the Jesse Lee home, during the 40's, as well...

    -Lee Pelose at the Seward Museum would know a lot more- he's out to lunch right now-


  15. #15
    Member aksheephuntress's Avatar
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    ...ok...mystery solved....

    -Mr. Pelose returned from lunch....

    -it was built in 1917....but, I was mistaken- never used in WW2 at all-

    it was a power plant used by the Army and Navy in the 20's and '30's....there was a grass fire than occured there in '35...-almost of the wooden structures burned...-what you see has been the part that remained...

    -the concrete slabs for the posts were for the wireless communication-

    -Seward history is interesting....there are 3 historical volumes written by Mary Berry that are excellent reading- lots of awesome pictures, as well- you can buy copies at most Alaska book stores-

    -the cemetaries are fascinating, too- (not as interesting as the Cooper Landing cemetary above the shooting range, though...)
    -I periodically wander around the cemetaries ,here behind the Chamber of Commerce bldg (lots of people do....I'm not the only strange person in Seward)

    -I like to visit Andy Simon's grave there, in the Masonic cemetary....-he held Alaska Guide No. 2....or, he might have shared Guide No. 1 with Hal Waugh- can't remember...he was born on Aug. 10th- what a coincidence...(sheep opener)


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    I remembered this old thread when I ran across Lee Poleske's Bits of History piece on this building. Fills in a bunch more about it with pictures - good stuff.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGa995Xp8DQ

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    Lee Poleske's "Bits of History" videos are a treasure. Bravo!

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Mr. Poleske was my High School History and Photography teacher back in Seward. His collection of photos going back to the '40's as well as his wealth of knowledge concerning the regional history where a treat even to a 17 yr old WAYYYY back when.

    He's a neat individual to be sure.
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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    "Bits of History" is cool. I just spent the afternoon watching most of them on YouTube... good stuff.

  20. #20
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    I call BULL on this one.

    The pipe in the hillside on the Seward Highway is NOT spring water.

    It was driven into the rock to relieve the water pressure that was building up. It was placed there by DOT. it is not spring water and they do recommend that you treat before drinking just like any river or lake water.


    Quote Originally Posted by wildog View Post
    Springwater! Good stuff.

    As for the house, yeah where is it?
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