The Life and Times of John W. Clark of Nushagak, Alaska, 1846-1896

Earliest known photograph of John W. Clark, circa 1870.

The earliest known photograph of John W. Clark, circa 1870.

Photo courtesy of Mr & Mrs Dennis Herrmann and Mr & Mrs Herman Herrmann, Jr

Clark first came to Russian America in 1866 with the Western Union Telegraph Company Russo-American Expedition and in 1868 he became a fur trader in western Alaska. In 1879-1880 Clark became the chief trader for the Alaska Commercial Company at Nushagak and was a founder of the Bristol Bay canned salmon industry in the early 1880s.

Lake Clark, Lake Clark Pass and the village of Clark's Point were all named in honor of Clark.
book cover showing a watercolor painting of a lake and hills, with a small inset photo of a man from the late 1800s.

By John B. Branson
Historian, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

You can view specific book sections as listed below, download the entire book, or email us to request a paperback edition.

Introduction, Glossary, Map of Bristol Bay Region, and a Timeline of Events

Chapter 1 Obscure Roots
Chapter 2 The Western Union Telegraph Company Russo-American Expedition, 1866-1867
Chapter 3 The Alaska Commercial Company and Trading on the Yukon River, 1868-1874
Chapter 4 Clark Trades on the Kuskokwim River, 1874-1878
Chapter 5 Clark Becomes Ensconed on Nushagak Bay, 1879


Chapter 6 The U.S. Signal Service-Smithsonian Years in Nushagak, 1881-1885
Chapter 7 The Demise of Charles McKay and His Legacy of Scientific Inquiry
Chapter 8 The Moravian Missionaries Arrive at Nushagak Bay in 1884, and the Dawn of the Bristol Bay Canned Salmon Industry


Chapter 9 Clark Marries, and Rival Churches Spar, 1887
Chapter 10 Clark and the Bristol Bay Commercial Salmon Industry
Chapter 11 Clark and the Wood River Fish Trap
Chapter 12 The Alaska Commercial Company and Trader Clark
Chapter 13 Clark and the Naming of Lake Clark, 1890-1891

Color Images and Illustrations

Chapter 14 The Last Years of John W. Clark of Nushagak
Chapter 15 Clark's Contribution to Alaska History

Bibliography & Index

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