Sights in Talkeetna
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The four restored buildings of the Talkeetna Historical Society Museum are a block south of Main St and houses exhibits on bush pilots and McKinley climbs.
The most solemn way to appreciate the effect of the mountain on Talkeetna is to visit the Cemetery, a restful spot set among tall trees on 2nd St, just off Talkeetna Spur Rd near the airport. Don Sheldon's grave is the most prominent, with the epitaph 'He wagered with the wind and won'. The Mt McKinley Climber's Memorial includes a stone for Ray Genet, despite the fact that his body was never removed from the slopes of Mt Everest.
The most touching sight, however, is a memorial with the names and ages of all the climbers who've died on Mt McKinley and neighboring peaks. Particularly grim was the annus horribilis of 1991, when 11 lives were lost.
Closed in 2005, it would be a travesty if the Fairview Inn failed to reopen. Though not an official museum, it might as well be. Founded in 1923 to serve as the overnight stop between Seward and Fairbanks on the newly constructed Alaska Railroad, the inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Its old plank-floored saloon is classic Alaska: its walls are covered with racks of antlers, various furry critters (including a grizzly on the ceiling) and lots of local memorabilia. One corner holds Talkeetna's only slot machine; another is devoted to President Warren G Harding. When the railroad was finished in 1923, Harding arrived in Alaska and rode the rails to…