"A Place of Belonging has great academic value, both for women’s studies and the study of U.S. history, as it gives detailed accounts of the lives of these five very different women, citing correspondence and including over seventy black and white photos. Personally, I found it interesting and stimulating reading with enough narrative to entertain while documenting these inspiring lives."
—Jen Wilson Lloyd, Feminist Review
A Place of Belonging explores the motivations, resourcefulness, and accomplishments of five women who settled in Fairbanks, Alaska, between 1903 and 1923. Their stories are woven together from the women’s recollections, preserved in letters, memoirs, personal papers, club records, oral histories, and their own published writings. Among this diverse group we meet:
- a woman seeking a fresh start who made the arduous trip to the Klondike and then on to Fairbanks, working as a seamstress and launderer with a dream of opening a grand hotel;
- a Jewish woman, born in Ireland, who supported woman’s sufferage and introduced the Girl Scout program to interior Alaska;
- one of the first practicing female doctors in Alaska, who later became a lawyer and who was also a talented singer and advocate for the arts;
- a member of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, superintendent of schools, and promoter of the Red Cross during World War I; and
- a young woman interested in mining and intent on a professional writing career who authored several books and wrote about Fairbanks life for the newspaper.
All of these amazing women were part of the pioneering spirit in Fairbanks. These insightful biographical portraits are a splendid glimpse into life on the frontier, and include over seventy black and white historical photos, most of which have never before been published.