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Potter Section House

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1929. Mile 115.3 of Seward Hwy., mile 100.6 of Alaska Railroad
  • Potter Section House

Within the Greater Anchorage Area Borough, but 11.7 miles south of the city in a rural setting along Turnagain Arm in Chugach State Park, is the Potter Section House. The plain, one-and-a-half-story house at Potter's Marsh was constructed as a railroad section house, or home to a crew of men charged with maintaining a section of the track. Potter was the site of a construction camp, beginning in 1916, and once the railroad was completed, a section house was located there. This one was built in 1929 according to standard plans that were used at least four times; this is the only building of that design still standing.

The building, which measures 28 feet by 36 feet, has gable-roofed, enclosed entrances in each gable end. Covered with novelty siding, the wood-framed building has exposed rafter ends at the eaves. On the first floor, a large dining room and kitchen, 14 feet by 27 feet, served the crew of six to eight men, who lived on the second floor. The first floor also contained quarters for the foreman and his family, as well as a bathroom, through which were the stairs to the second floor.

The house served its original function until 1978, when it was moved less than a mile to its present site. In 1986, it opened as the visitors' center for Chugach State Park and as a railroad museum. Located between the highway and the railroad tracks, it is accompanied by an outhouse, coal shed, meat cache, and vegetable garden, giving a sense of the place.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Alison K. Hoagland
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Citation

Alison K. Hoagland, "Potter Section House", [Anchorage, Alaska], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/AK-01-SC041.

Print Source

Buildings of Alaska, Alison K. Hoagland. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 107-108.

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