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Iditarod 4th Avenue Webcam

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History of the Iditarod

• At the turn of the 20th century The Iditarod Trail was used as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward and Knik to the interior mining camps at Flat, Ophir, Ruby and beyond
• Mail and supplies went in, gold came out - all via dog sled in the winter
• Gold mining began to wane, people went back to where they had come from, and the trail was used less and less
• Airplanes ( in the 1920's) signaled the beginning of the end of dog team travel in interior Alaska
• In 1925, part of the trail became a life saving highway as diphtheria threatened Nome and life-saving serum was taken by dog teams in relays from Nenana to Nome
• The late Dorothy G Page and the late Joe Redington, Sr. organized a short distance race in 1967 to commemorate the early use of the trail and the dog teams. That race was part of Alaska's Centennial celebration that year.
• After a second short race in 1969, the first "long distance" Iditarod (from Anchorage to Nome) ran in 1973, the first of what has been 36 sled dog races along this trail.
• Congress declared the Iditarod Trail a National Historic Trail in 1978.

• Thousands of volunteers from Anchorage to Nome who make it all happen.

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