Last week, Kentucky Gal blogged about an Alaskan novel she has recently read called Echo, by Bobby Hutchinson. Reading her blog, it brought to mind one of my favorite books about Alaska. It is called A Schoolteacher in Old Alaska, edited by Jane Jacobs.
I've always enjoyed pioneer stories, especially the women's diaries as they headed west in the wagon trains. This story is a little different. It is the diary of Hannah Breece. She was born in Scranton Pennsylvania in 1859. In 1904, at the age of forty-five, she accepted a government post in the territory of Alaska, to teach native school children in their small wilderness schools. In many ways, she was a woman ahead of her time, heading off into the wilderness alone, when most women still worked at home. She taught in Alaska for fifteen years, changing posts several times. She met many interesting people along the way, including gold prospectors, fur traders, tribal chiefs, as well as the many children and several Russian priests.
Hannah never put the book together herself, though she worked on it for many years. Before she died, she handed her diary and the unfinished manuscript to her niece Jane Jacobs. Jane put it aside for many years, but when she picked it up, she realized how unique her aunt's life had been. Determined to make the book the best she could, she traveled to Alaska to visit many of the places her aunt wrote about in her diary.
If you like reading about earlier times, I think you would enjoy this book. I've read it several times and never cease to be amazed at the courage, love and support this kind woman showed to the many people she met.
It is going to be warm here today, supposed to be 72 degrees! I'm looking forward to getting some painting finished and start on my spring cleaning.
Everyone have a great day!