Thursday, August 8, 2013

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 102

 Shrine Island, Alaska


Here is another scenic postcard from Alaska.  This one shows Shrine Island near Juneau and is dated 1949.  No publishing information is available on the card; however, under the handwritten place name the photographers are listed as “Ordway/Neff.” 

Frederick (Fred) K. Ordway (ca 1903-1938) and his wife Laura settled in the Juneau area of Alaska in 1926.  He worked as an electrician for a short period of time before opening his own photo shop—Ordway’s Photo Service.  Ordway was known as “Alaska’s Flying Photographer.”  The Alaska State Library has a collection of 199 of his pictures covering a variety of Alaskan subjects—fishing, whaling, mining, native culture, woodcutting, dog sleds, mountain scenery etc.   Tragically he was killed in a monoplane accident off the coast of Oregon in 1938 at the age of about 35.  He was taking pictures at the time of his death.  His wife, Laura, who was also a photographer and a free lance writer, together with one of their employees, Amy Lou, continued to run the Photo Shop after his death.  Most of the photos taken from 1942 to 1946 with the Ordway credit were actually taken by Amy Lou.  The photograph on the postcard is not dated but it is included in the 199 pictures in the Ordway collection at the Alaska State Library.

Shrine Island was named for the shrine of St. Therese.  The chapel is constructed from local beach stone and is situated in the center of the island.  There are several trails many of hard packed dirt that are wheelchair accessible.  There are also rental cabins available.  Many visitors to the Juneau area are pleased to have the chance to see this lovely spot.  The fishing is excellent here with most of the fish caught King Salmon. 

This Catholic Church was originally built in the 1930s and over the years there have been and continue to be additions and improvements.  In addition to the rental cabins there is also a lodge (1932), a columbarium, (1998), the Merciful Love Labyrinth (2001), the Good Sheppard Grotto and Rosary Trail, and a Pieta statue.  The facility is used as a religious retreat as well as for vacation or recreational stays. 

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