Historic Roadhouse

Historic RoadhouseThe Rapids Roadhouse, variously know as Black Rapids Roadhouse or Rapids Hunting Lodge, opened at least by 1904 to serve travelers on the new Valdez-Fairbanks Trail.

Roadhouses could be found along all Alaska trails in the first quarter of the twentieth century. Along the 386-mile Valdez-Fairbanks Trail, which at the time was Alaska’s principal travel corridor, roadhouses were typically spaced a day’s travel between each other. Of the more than thirty roadhouses that operated along the route between 1902 and 1923, Rapids Roadhouse is one of only a few that survives.

The Alaska Road Commission improved the Valdez-Fairbanks trail over the years and renamed it the Richardson Road. In 1923, when the Alaska Railroad offered an alternative year-round route connecting interior Alaska with an ice-free port on the south-central coast, traffic on the road declined.

Rapids Roadhouse continued to operate until 1993, although its peak years had been during the first decades of the twentieth century. Because of this, the period of significance is ended in 1923.

Mary Hansen with siberain huskies

Rapids in 1940.jpg