In late November 1911, a 16-year veteran mail carrier from Alaska came riding into Iowa City on a seven-team dog sled – on wheels! Our souvenir penny-postcard pictures Klondike Bill with his dogs as they pose for pictures on Clinton Street in front of Old Capitol. According to news reports, Bill was in the midst of a four-year, 62,000 mile journey – determined to win a $100,000 wager if he completed his challenge in Washington D.C. by June 1912.
Beginning in Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1908, Bill and his dog team headed north to Nome, in the uncharted wilds of Alaska, before heading eastward through Canada to Quebec. At that point, Bill’s route took him westward, entering back into the States at Sault St. Marie, Michigan, before arriving back in North Dakota. Bill then left Bismark, heading south to Pierre, South Dakota and Des Moines, and from Iowa City, he will head east on a cross-country trek toward Washington D.C.
But wait – was Bill’s story all true? Inquiring minds want to know!
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