Marge Gull painting of Black Rapids Roadhouse
This painting shows Black Rapids Roadhouse, which was one of the most important and longest-operating roadhouses along the Valdez-Fairbanks Trail. The remains of the roadhouse are still visible at Mile 227.5 of the Richardson Highway. It is right across the highway from the Delta River and Black Rapids Glacier.
Black Rapids Roadhouse, begun in about 1903, was one of the earliest roadhouses along the section of trail between Gakona and Fairbanks. Started in a tent, it quickly grew into a string of cabins linked together end-to-end. The roadhouse operations adapted to the changing conditions along the trail, and later to those along the highway. It finally closed in 1993.
New owners bought the property in 1999 and built a new lodge on the ridge behind the decaying roadhouse. They tore down irreparable portions of the old roadhouse and stabilized its oldest section, and were able to get the roadhouse added to the National Register of Historic Places.
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. I’ll be adding more paintings periodically. For more of Marge’s paintings follow this link