Fort Richardson National Cemetery


Building #997, Davis Highway
P. O. Box 5-498
Fort Richardson, AK 99505
(907) 384-7075
Fort Richardson National Cemetery is located on the Fort Richardson Military Reservation in Anchorage, Alaska. During World War II, 39 acres of Fort Richardson were set aside for use as a temporary burial site where deceased soldiers—regardless of nationality—could be laid to rest. In December 1946, the temporary cemetery at Fort Richardson was made a permanent site. Initially there were two sections in the cemetery. The remains of Allied soldiers were buried within a fenced area referred to as the “Allied Plot.” Japanese soldiers who died in battles for the Aleutian Islands were buried outside the fence in an area designated as the “Enemy Plot.” In July 1953, the 235 Japanese war dead buried at Fort Richardson were disinterred for proper cremation with appropriate Shinto and Buddhist ceremonies, under the supervision of the Japanese Embassy. In May 1981, a group of Japanese citizens in Anchorage had a new marker made to remember the soldiers who, in death, remain far from home.  On May 28, 1984, Fort Richardson Post Cemetery became Fort Richardson National Cemetery under the administration of the National Cemetery System. At the time of the transfer, all but 700 of the 2,000 gravesites had been used or reserved.
Gold Rush Cemetery 2˝-miles northeast of the town center on State St. Follow State until it curves into 23rd Ave a Look for the sign to Soapy's grave across the railroad tracks. A wooden bridge along the tracks leads to the main part of the cemetery, the site of many stampeders' graves and the plots of Reid and Smith.

Known as "Skagway's Boot Hill," the Gold Rush cemetery is Skagway's most famous graveyard. Records indicate that the first burial occurred here early in 1898. With the exception of two famili

es, the cemetery was no longer used after 1908. One hundred and thirty-three gravesites have been located here but burial records are available for only sixty of them.

Buried in the Gold Rush cemetery is con-artist and outlaw by the name of Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith. His gang cheated prospectors, terrorized the town folk, and basically made life in Skagway unpleasant. "Soapy" Smith's life ended when he became a victim of a true wild west-style shoot-out with Frank H. Reid (also buried in this cemetery) on Skagway's Juneau Company wharf in July 1898.


Holtz Bay Cemetery Attu Island Located near Holtz Bay. Remains were removed and buried at Ft. Richardson near Anchorage, AK, or in other locations as designated by their relatives.
Jones Point Cemetery Haines Located off Haines Highway on turn southwest onto Sawmill Road. 
Little Falls Cemetery Attu Island Located near the foot of Gilbert Ridge, to the north and west of the old Navy Base on Attu Island. The ground on Attu known as "Little Falls Cemetery" has been recaptured by the tundra...with no visible signs of it today. Remains were removed and buried at Ft. Richardson near Anchorage, AK, or in other locations as designated by their relatives.
Pioneer Cemetery Skagway Turn right on the gravel road before going onto the bridge across the Skagway River - right at the north end of town, and right past the railway yard. The cemetery is about half a mile, at the end of the road.
Sitka National Cemetery


A - G H - Q R - Z
Box 1065
Geotedic Road
Sitka, AK 99835
Gen. Jefferson C. Davis laid out the cemetery at Sitka in the late 19th century. Most of the interments were soldiers and sailors from the Marine base and Naval hospital. Subsequently, the land was loaned to the U.S. Department of the Interior as a home for indigent prospectors. From 1912 until 1921, the cemetery was practically abandoned and a dense growth of trees and underbrush grew up almost obscuring the site. In 1920, representatives of the Sitka American Legion post wrote to the Secretary of War calling attention to the neglected cemetery and asking for remedial action; they were told no funds were available. In 1921, they appealed to the Secretary of the Navy, who allocated $1,200 toward reconditioning the site.  In June 1924, President Calvin Coolidge signed an executive order designating the site Sitka National Cemetery. Sitka National Cemetery currently encompasses 4.3 acres. 
There is a romantic legend attached to one headstone in the cemetery. During the days of military occupation, a captain and a lieutenant who were close friends both courted a Russian girl named Nadia. When Nadia indicated that she preferred the lieutenant, the captain appeared to accept his loss. Some time later both men left on a hunting trip together. After several hours, the captain staggered back to the village carrying the body of his companion. He said the lieutenant had accidentally shot himself. Subsequently, after trying again to win the heart of Nadia, the captain was found dead with a note under his body. The note explained that he had challenged the lieutenant to a duel and they used the hunting trip as an excuse. He had lost both Nadia and his best friend and no longer had the courage to live. The young lieutenant who died by the hand of his closest friend was one of the first burials at Sitka National Cemetery.
Slide Cemetery

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Dyea Located on a short spur road at Mile 7.4 near Dyea.
Slide Cemetery is where those killed in the April 3, 2898 avalanche are buried. A series of small slides, followed by a massive avalanche in the morning of 3 April, killed seventy-two gold seekers. Another forty-nine people are known to have been caught or buried. Tons of equipment and supplies were lost. Thirteen mules and ten dogs died. Another twelve mules, one dog, Jack, and one ox, Marc Hanna, survived. Two days after the Chilkoot avalanches, Marc Hanna was found under the snow, calmly chewing the bale of hay that had inadvertently saved his life by creating an airspace. Without ceremony, he was put to work hauling the bodies of the less fortunate to this cemetery. Shorty Fisher's sled dog, Jack, survived for eight days under the snow slide and lived to mush again.
No human survivors were found after the first day. Although digging continued, the rescue mission had become a recovery mission. The dead, some frozen in the act of running, were piled on sleds. One string of sleds held seventeen bodies. A Sheep Camp cabin became a storage place for the bodies, while friends and strangers tried to decide what to do with them. Some of the bodies were never identified, and even the number of victims was unclear, ranging from forty-nine to over seventy. So many bodies were buried in the Dyea cemetery that it became know as the Slide Cemetery.
Over the last several decades, maintenance work at the Slide Cemetery was done sporadically to keep the site up. Beginning in 1940 and continuing until the 1960s, groups such as the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Alaska Youth Adult Authority performed major cleanups, erected fences, replaced headboards, and constructed a path to the cemetery.
The graves located along the path outside of the Slide Cemetery were placed at this location in 1979. These graves include members of the Mathews family and other previous long-time residents of Dyea. Prior to 1979 these graves resided in the historic Town Cemetery in Dyea. During the 1970s, the Taiya Dyea. During the 1970s, the Taiya River began washing the cemetery out as it is still doing today. To protect these graves, they were moved to the spot adjacent to the Slide Cemetery.