The Life and Times of John W. Clark of Nushagak, Alaska, 1846-1896
"Eureka . . . spread out before us, was the great white expanse of Lake Clark. For so I named this beautiful expanse of water, in honor of my traveling companion. Clark and I shook hands in mutual congratulations, and our boys formed a smiling group in spite of their sore trials." -A.B. Schanz, 1891
Despite having Lake Clark, Lake Clark Pass, and Clark's Point named after him, John W. Clark remained an enigma for over a century, seemingly lost to the annuls of time. Now for the first time, park historian John Branson sheds light on the park's namesake in this biography of a pioneer of nineteenth century western Alaska.
Though his early years remain largely obscure, his adult life offers a fascinating glimpse into nineteenth century Alaska as it emerged from the control of Russia and became part of the United States. Clark was a participant of many important enterprises in western Alaska, beginning by at least the summer of 1866 in St. Michael. He was one of the first permanent Euroamerican residents of Alaska, the first permanent English-speaking resident in the Bristol Bay region, and one of the very first resident "snow-birds" of Alaska.
Author: John Branson, historian for Lake Clark National Park & Preserve