Dorothy G. Page
(January 23, 1921-November 16, 1989) was best known as "Mother of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race"
, the 1,049-mile (about 1,600 km) dog sled race
across the U.S. state
Page moved from New Mexico
to Alaska in 1960. She became the president of the Wasilla
-Knik Centennial Committee in 1966, and was in charge of coming up with an event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the purchase of Alaska
. In her own words, the self-described "history buff" wanted "a spectacular dog race to wake Alaskans up to what mushers and their dogs had done for Alaska."
Page saw her first dog sled race in 1960. At the time, nearly every household in the rural Alaska Bush
had a team of sled dogs
for transportation. During the 1960s snowmachine
started to replace the dogs, which all but vanished. The historic Iditarod Trail
that passed through both Wasilla and Knik
was an ideal stage. Dog mushing
had been the primary means of communication and transportation in the Bush and Interior by Alaska Natives
for centuries; remained so for the Russian, American, and French Canadian fur trappers
in the 19th century; and reached its peak during the gold rushes
of the late 19th to early 20th centuries.
Page was unable to get the support of a single dog musher until she met Joe Redington
, Senior (the "Father of the Iditarod") at the Willow... Read More