Marge Gull painting of Beal’s Cache roadhouse
This is a painting by Marge Gull depicting Beal’s Cache, at approximately 257 miles on the old Valdez-Fairbanks Trail (about 108 miles from Fairbanks). It was located south of Big Delta near Donnelly Dome. In its early days, this section of the trail was located on the west side of Donnelly Dome, as opposed to the modern Richardson Highway, which passes the dome on its east side.
The date of the roadhouse’s establishment, and whether it was first operated by someone named Beal is unknown. By 1915 it was owned and operated by Charley Miller. He built the long, one-story log roadhouse shown in the painting. There is little timber in this area, so Miller hauled logs from Jarvis Creek, eight miles away.
In 1919 Miller sold the roadhouse to John Hajdukovich, who also operated the roadhouse at Big Delta. Beal’s served as a hunting lodge when not in use as a roadhouse, and during the 1920s it operated as a lunch stop during the summer months. By 1928 it had been abandoned.
Genevieve Marguerite (Marge) Gull (who died in 2013) came to Alaska with her husband in 1938, living first in Fairbanks and then Anchorage. She was an amateur painter and painted 49 of the roadhouses along the Valdez-Fairbanks Trail.
I assume that at least some of her paintings were done from photographs since many of the roadhouses disappeared long before Marge came to Alaska. This painting is in the collection of the Valdez Museum. For more of Marge’s roadhouse paintings click here. I’ll be adding more painting periodically.