I’ve been to the Alaskan towns of Valdez and Cordova recently, located in beautiful Prince William Sound. There’s nothing more lovely than mountains cascading into the sea. Both towns were named by Spanish explorers, but they are all-Alaskan in their history and lifestyles.
Valdez is a fishing and tourism town, plus the terminus for the oil pipeline. Back in the day, Valdez had a lot of gold rush traffic, as part of the All-American Route to the Klondike, and there were several other strikes nearby. Valdez was also the site of the beginning of the trail to Fairbanks that dog teams and stage lines used on a regular basis near the turn of the century.
Cordova is one of the traditional homes of the Eyak Native Alaskan people. The Kennecott copper mine prompted the founding of the town of Cordova. Nearby is the famous Million-Dollar Bridge, finished in 1911 for the railway. Currently, Cordova is a fishing town with some fun celebrations, including the world-famous Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival every May.
So many great little towns in Alaska, so many places where history intersects with contemporary life. I can’t imagine running out of book ideas–these two towns could provide concepts for series of their own. Maybe they will someday.