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Guide to the Earl Plumb family papers
1927-1964

Collection number: HMC-1124.
Creators: Plumb, Earl R.
Plumb, Jewel G.
Plumb, Charles G.
Plumb, Frieda “Freddy” Brudelin Borton.
Title: Earl Plumb family papers.
Dates: 1927-1964.
Volume of collection: 0.4 cubic feet. 
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Collection summary: Papers documenting Alaskan residents’ life in McKinley Park, Nenana and Anchorage. Earl Plumb worked for the railroad, rivers steamers on the Tanana, and as a radio operator.

Biographical note:
Earl R. Plumb was born December 28, 1915 to Jewel G. and Charles L. Plumb. Earl and his parents moved to Alaska in 1929 when the Great Deppression hit. The family spent time in Talkeetna before moving to McKinley Park where his father was a mechanic for Tourist Co.. At the age of 15, Earl drove the baggage truck for Tourist Co. Two years later Earl moved to Anchorage to attend Anchorage High School. After school and during the weekends, he worked in the freight department of the Alaska Railroad and when the railroad went on strike he worked as a radio operator for Star Airlines. After Earl graduated from high school in 1936, he continued to work for the railroad. In 1937 he moved to Nenana and worked on the dock and depot. A year later he became a freight clerk and radio operator on the Steamer Nenana. In 1939, Earl enrolled in the National Radio School for a semester. Upon finishing the semester he returned to Nenana and worked as a purser, radio operator, and bonded mail clerk on the Steamer Alice. He also manged gold shipments from Ruby and Manley Hot Springs. In 1940 Earl met his wife, Frieda Borter Brudelin, at a dance in Nenana. They married in Fairbanks on January 25, 1941. After marrying Earl, they moved to Anchorage and lived in a converted garage on Earl’s parents’ lot on 8th and F street. In 1943 Frieda worked for the Federal Communications Commission as a clerk-typist. Earl and Frieda had three children: Laurie, Linda, and Roger. During World War II he was employed by the FCC Radio Intelligence Division at the Anchorage Monitoring Station. After the war he was an electrical wireman and would sell real estate when construction was slow. He retired from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) in 1979. In addition, Earl was pilot and enjoyed flying. In the late 1940s he joined the “Ten Spot Flying Club.”

Collection description:
The majority of the collection is photographs that document Earl Plumb’s life and family in Alaska from the 1930s and 1940s. Subjects of the photographs include Savage River Camp in McKinley Park, the town of Nenana, Nenana Ice Classic, Steamer Nenana, Steamer Alice, Nenana railroad depot and docks, the Plumbs’ Anchorage home, FCC monitoring station in Anchorage, Fire Island, Chelatna Lake, and the 1964 earthquake. Included in the collection is a scrapbook with photographs taken at Savage River camp and Nenana. In addition, the collection contains biographies of Earl and Frieda Plumb collected by the Anchorage Pioneers, copies of port of entry passenger list documenting the Bortons’ arrival in New York, Earl Plumb’s Anchorage High School Yearbook, and Anchorage Daily Times newspaper clipping announcing seniors’ “Sneak Day.”

Arrangement: The collection arrived in no apparent order.

Digitized copies: Digital copies of collection material not available online. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: The Archives owns copyright to materials in the collection created by Earl or Frieda Plumb.

Preferred citation: Earl and Frieda Plumb papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Works used in preparation of inventory:
“Biography of Earl R. Plumb.”  Collected by the Pioneers of Alaska.

“Biography of Frieda Brudelin Plumb.” Collected by the Pioneers of Alaska.

Acquisition note: The collection was presented to the Archives and deed of gift signed by Marlene Bean in 2012.

Processing information: This collection was described by Mariecris Gatlabayan in 2012.

Container list:
Descriptions in quotes refer to information transcribed from envelopes in which the archival materials arrived.


Box/
Folder

Description

Dates

1/1

Biographies of Earl R. Plumb and Frieda Brudelin Plumb, collected by the Pioneers of Alaska.

undated

1/2

The Anchor, Anchorage High School year book, and Anchorage Daily Times article.

1936

1/3

Copies of  immigration and point of entry list.

1929

1/4

“Savage River” photographs. Includes photographs of homestead and camp in McKinley Park.

circa 1929-1930

1/5

“Prospecting Chelatna Lake” photographs.

undated

1/6

“Earl’s family pics. Nenana, Alaska. Sunnie, Ebbie, Hans, and friends” photographs.

undated

1/7

“Frieda Borter. Negatives, mostly Nenana” negatives.

circa 1929-1941

1/8

“Earl’s. Nenana flood pictures.” photographs.

undated

1/9

“Earl Plumb. Radio Room. Victor Rove’s House. Group” photographs. Includes family photos in front of Christmas tree.

circa 1938

1/10

“River Boat Nenana” photographs and negatives.

undated

1/11

“Earl Plumb. 7/22.”

undated

1/12

“W.A. Coghill. Nenana, Alaska. “Up on a couple bikes, Nenana. Gloria, Earl, and I on Alice [Steamer Alice]” negatives.

circa 1939-1940

1/13

“W.A. Coghill. Nenana, Alaska” photographs. Includes photographs of Steamer Nenana.

circa 1939-1940

1/14

Loose photographs. Includes photographs of friends, family, people working on the docks in Nenana, FCC monitoring station and radio room, the Plumbs’ Anchorage home, Frieda engaged in various activities such as skiing, dog mushing, panning for gold and horse ridding, Nenana Ice Pool tripod, and homestead in McKinley Park.

1927-1959

1/15

“‘64 quake” photographs. Photographs of damage to buildings resulting from the 1964 earthquake.

1964

1/16

Family scrapbook containing photographs of Nenana and Savage River camp at McKinley Park.

circa 1929-1933