Marge Gull painting of Paxson’s Roadhouse
This is a painting of the first Paxson’s Roadhouse, 172 miles from Fairbanks (188 miles from Valdez).
In the winter of 1905-06, Alvin Paxson operated a tent-based roadhouse near Isabel Pass, along the section of the old winter-only Valdez-Fairbanks Trail that ran from Gakona to Isabel Pass.
In the summer of 1906 the Alaska Road Commission, working to upgrade the Valdez-Fairbanks Trail to an all-season trail, rerouted the Gakona-Summit Lake section of trail to ascend the Gulkana River instead of the Gakona. Paxson responded by moving his roadhouse a few miles westward, to a sheltered area about three miles South of Summit Lake. His two-story roadhouse became a stop for the Orr Stage Line, and a small community grew up around Paxson’s establishment.
Paxson sold the roadhouse in 1913, and it went through a series of owners. The original roadhouse burned in 1923. A second roadhouse was constructed next door several years later, but that burned in 1957. That the same year a new lodge was built just down the Richardson Highway at the junction of the Richardson and the newly-constructed Denali Highway.
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