Today a ghost town, Curry recalls a bygone era when a rail trip from Anchorage to Fairbanks involved two days of travel and an overnight stay in the hotel. The Curry Hotel was built by the Alaska Railroad in 1923 and was popular enough to have an addition added in 1935. The facilities include a pool and tennis courts. Faster train service eventually caused it to close its doors. It burned to the ground in 1957, claiming three lives. The railroad had bulldozers level the site for the sake of appearance.
Curry was originally called Dead Horse Hill. "It received its name when a team of horses became frightened at seeing a bear, ran away and plunged to their death from the top of a steep hill. The construction camp here was given the same name." [From the autobiography "Alaska Nellie"]. It was later renamed Curry in honor of Charles F. Curry, chairman of the House Committee on Territories and a vocal supporter of the railroad during initial construction.
At this location, the Alaska Railroad must tackle the challenge of a grade that increases to 1.75 percent for the next 30 miles.
Also, check out The
Curry Hotel in the Historical Features section.
Curry Hotel (front)
Curry Hotel (side)
Page created 12/1/99 and last updated 11/10/04