Sarah Crawford Isto - Alaskan author
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Mickey Williamson of Williamson Silver Black Fox Ranch on the Kenai Peninsula holding a prize breeding fox, ca. 1929.
Photo courtesy of Mary Graves Zahn.

Photos copyrighted, not for reproduction

Jule Loftus, Territorial Veterinarian, (far right) with fur farmer George Goshaw (far left) Shishmaref, 1932.
Photo courtesy of Bruce McNaughton.

James Leekley, director of the Alaska Experimental Farm at Petersburg holding a mink.
Photo taken from Agroborealis, October 1970.


Russians transplanted arctic blue foxes from Siberia to Attu Island in 1749, just seven years after Bering's Alaska discovery voyage.

Through the years Alaska's fur farmers raised foxes, mink, marten, otters, chinchilla rabbits, beaver, muskrat, lynx, true chinchillas, European fitch, raccoons and skunks.

In 1930 when the population of Alaska was 60,000, there were more than 700 fur farms in the territory..

As early as 1811, Aleuts warned that foxes were killing off migratory birds which nested in the Aleutians. More than 100 years later the Bureau of Biological Survey came to the same conclusion.