After the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour and occupation of two Aleutian Islands, the construction of the Alaska Highway through British Columbia, Yukon and Alaska became an immediate priority. Seventy-five years later, it remains one the world’s greatest road trips, a modern highway that provides access to one of the world’s most spectacular wilderness areas.
Two calendars have been published in celebration of the Alaska Highway’s 75th anniversary.
The Wonderful Women of the Alaska Highway celebrates women with a connection to the Alaska Highway. It’s published by Todd Penney, owner of Dalex Auto Services in Fort Nelson who makes this comment on his website:
“This project was first meant to be a small promotion for Dalex Auto Services and Fort Nelson to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Alaska Highway. We wanted to highlight the contributions of those we felt were previously not represented – the women of the Alaska Highway. The project quickly gained the interest of many people from Mile Zero – Dawson Creek, BC all the way to Delta Junction, Alaska. We are so proud to help promote the recognition of the many women who have meant so much to so many who have experienced the adventure of the ALASKA HIGHWAY.”
In fact, as a result of the strong interest, the calendar was expanded to 25 months!
The cover features a photo of Mary Rose McCulloch at Mile “0” in Dawson Creek.
Inside, her story reads:
Mary Rose Paul was born in Saskatchewan in May of 1930 and married Wally McCulloch in Regina in 1949. They travelled to Dawson Creek by motorbike in 1951, and there they began their family. Wally found work as a Truck Driver and Mary Rose worked as a receptionist for a local Doctor’s office. Born to a Hungarian immigrant father, Mary Rose also worked as an interpreter for the immigration office, which was a busy job in 1955-56. It was the time of the Hungarian Revolution when many immigrants were travelling from Hungary to work on local farms. For this reason, Mary Rose posed for this photo modelling life at Mile Zero of the Alaska Highway…
Another calendar published to celebrate the 75th is named “Miles and Miles of Miles and Miles” and it’s published by North Peace Museum in Fort St John’s.
With photography by Rudy Schubert, a Canadian who enlisted in the US Army and worked on the highway, the calendar features a detailed history of the road’s construction.
“Each month…has a theme and an explanation of that theme,” said Heather Sjoblom, curator of the museum.
“It talks about people mixing in with the community, bridge building, construction on the highway, surveying (and) early tourism,” she said.
The calendar also covers surveying, the Charlie Lake Disaster, opening ceremonies, the impact of the highway on communities and early travel along the highway.
Both calendars are currently available at stops along the Alaska Highway.