Along with the centennial celebration for Alaska’s largest city, the Alaska Railroad is celebrating its 100th birthday. Anchorage historian and author Charles Wohlforth is writing the history of Anchorage for the centennial. Part of that work will include why and how the federal government got in to the railroad business in Alaska. The idea was to wrestle control of resources away from the “Alaska syndicate,” a private railroad and coal monopoly run by the wealthy Guggenheim and Morgan families.
Wohlforth told APRN’s Lori Townsend it was a political dust up that started in the Roosevelt administration and continued on through Taft and Woodrow Wilson.