Alaska, Seward History

Recent flood provides a glimpse into the past.

recent flood waters expose the foundation of an old Seward church

by Brent

The recent flooding that Seward  experienced has uncovered a bit of history.

Knot So Fast Feed and Garden Store, at mile 3.5 of the Seward Highway, was hit hard by food waters. After the water had receeded, the foundation of an old church ( Church of God) was exposed. No  inscription or dates could be found on the remains of the foundation.

An interview with several of Seward’s life long residents provided the following bits of infomation: The church was there around the 1940’s and was gone by 1957. A few seem to remember that the church was a Quonset Hut, probably left over from World War II.


When the Seward Highway was being improved in the early 1950’s,  gravel was taken from an area next to the church. The resulting pit then filled with water. Most have recollections that the proximetry of this new body of water next to the church is how it came by the name Preacher’s Pond.

While many had difficulties remembering the church,  many could recall (some with fondness, or so it seemed) Riley’s Bar that was situated close to where Preacher’s Pond is.  Riley’s burned down sometime between 1953 and 1955.  Local resident Louis “Packy” Dick recalls that you could buy a case of Oly Beer for 12 dollars back then.  Asked about his age at the time, he responed with a laugh and a grin.

The property was held by the Church of God in Anchorage until 1985 when it was sold to Michael Dunn and Carol Souza.  They operated Bored Feet Lumber until Michael’s death in 1990.  The land was then transferred to Michael’s daughter, Elizabeth (Becky) Dunn and is the current home to Knot So Fast Feed and Garden.

Becky provided some additional history regarding  the current building that is home to Knot So Fast. The building was originally constructed as an army barracks in 1954.  After it was no longer needed by the army, it was transfered to the City and was home to the Teen and Youth Center until the SeaLife Center displaced it.  The building was moved from downtown to its current location in 1996.  The building was gutted and reinforecd to withstand, literally, tons of animal feed.  Becky credits this reinforcecment to why the building remained standing during the flood.



  1. Thanks for that bit of history, Brent. It’s important to
    document these things as we find them.

  2. ~in a small town...

    The story about a bar nearby makes sense because when I was a kid
    and we knew people who ran an egg farm on Nash Road, other people
    we met who lived on the land by Preachers Pond (before/after ’64 quake)
    had kids my age and we played by the pond; there was a bit of damaged
    debris with charcoal from a fire & bar stool/table metal frameworks, there.

    A lake at that location always seemed a bit odd to me, given the river
    nearby and likelihood the area would’ve been full of gravel, had it not
    been made by people sometime in the past; a gravel dig explains it.

    That area also had quite a few large EQ cracks in the ground & through
    trees as evidence of the forces at work at nearly every level, 03-27-64.
    Don’t recall how much tidal surging occurred as part of quake wave action
    back then, but I’d have a standby rubbery raft in a well-constructed shed.

    More of these tidbits need to be collected from whatever sources still
    exist to get more of a picture of what else has happened in recent past;
    since geological time won’t remember us unless we record events in it.

    ~in a small town…
    kenai mountains, ak