History As It Happened

"Throughout [their years at Wales, Tom and Ellen Lopp] retain hope while struggling to impart their worldview without disrupting that of Native culture…. That these letters and diaries survive is a wonder; that Kathleen Lopp Smith has done such an admirable job of bringing them to light is a revelation."

-- Publishers Weekly, January 7, 2002



Alaska Historical Society 2002 Pathfinder Award

Presented at the annual conference in Fairbanks, September 20, 2002

 The Citation:

The Pathfinder Award is for an individual or several individuals who have indexed or prepared guides or published materials that have not been accessible. This year the recipients of the award are Kathleen Lopp Smith and Verbeck Smith for Ice Window: Letters from a Bering Strait Village, 1892-1902. The book is a compilation of the letters written by Ellen Lopp who, with her husband Tom, served as missionaries and teachers at Cape Prince of Wales in northwest Alaska. Dorothy Jean Ray wrote "It takes an unusual combination of letter writer and recipients to amass a collection of letters as interesting and valuable as this one . . . Ellen wrote about everyday Native life and celebrations; about visitors from trading and whaling ships and the Revenue Marine cutter Bear; and about the school children. She described the environment, the subsistence quest, and the reindeer herd." This book is a valuable resource for understanding western and northwestern Alaska--the place and the people, Native and non-native--during the late 1800s."


About Ice Window


Cape Prince of Wales


Notes and Comments

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