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Origin of the Tenakee Historical Collection

"Porches," watercolor by Terry Kennedy, reproduced with permission.In 1984 two Tenakee women, Vicki Wisenbaugh and Jane Weiss, recognized the need to begin preserving the history of Tenakee Springs. In the following years they taped several oral-history interviews with long-time residents. During the same period, the late Bob Pegues was also collecting materials to write a history of the Superior Cannery which operated from 1916 to 1959. 

In 2002 Vicki and John Wisenbaugh and Bob joined efforts, set up a non-profit organization called the Tenakee Historical Collection, and spread information in the Tenakee community asking people to join them. Membership included a new quarterly publication of Tenakee history, The Store Door. Now in its tenth year, it has a paid circulation of about 95 members.

Legacies, Bequests, Grants
When Bob Pegues died in 2011, he left his collected materials as well as a generous bequest to the THC.  In 2012 the Pegues family donated another generous gift to the bathhouse restoration project in Bob’s memory.

Jackie Heinricher and Guy Thornburgh, the present owners of Snyder Mercantile, donated the many stacks, boxes and piles of Tenakee miscellany that had accumulated in the second floor of the building during the decades since the hotel operation there had ceased. Jackie and Guy are also leasing the store annex to the THC for $1 per month.
 

Tenakee Trail, mid-1920sTHC Officers
       President Vicki Wisenbaugh
       Vice-President Rachel Myron
       Secretary Beret Barnes

THC Board of Directors 
       Carlene Allred
       Linda Perine
       Brooke Elgie

Museum Director
       Teresa Hura

 

Vicki Wisenbaugh came to Tenakee in 1982 to operate the Tenakee Tavern and Inn. She met and married a crab fisherman, had a daughter, and has been here since. She is retired from the Alaska Marine highway, has worked in a wide variety of jobs, and is currently employed at the Tenakee Post Office. She and her husband John enjoy their new grandson Raymond and adventures with their young dog Pickles. Vicki is a founding member of the Tenakee Historical Collection.

Rachel Myron first came to Tenakee Springs in 1983 and fell in love with the inlet and the town, it's history and it's people.  In 1994 she bought a remote property here hoping to someday build and live an off-grid life, but lacked a key ingredient - a partner with a similar ambition and the requisite skills.  In 96 she met Steve Lewis, who had the requisite skills but no property. Voila--the perfect match.  Through years of hard work, Steve and Rachel have realized their dream of an off-grid home built mainly of Tongass lumber, accessible by boat or a five mile hike on the beautiful East Tenakee Trail.   Rachel has a degree in anthropology and is a certified teacher and interpretive guide. She currently works as an Archeologist for the Tongass National Forest on a permanent seasonal basis. 

Beret Barnes has made Tenakee Springs her home since 1982 and has been a member of THC since 2002.  Since 2003 She has served as secretary/treasurer and works as Chief Purser of the Alaska state ferry M/V Malaspina. She lives with her husband Ken Wheeler, who fashions exquisite hand-made wooden products and serves as Tenakee’s fuel manager. In between all these jobs, they are building an inn on the property where they live with their two cats, Puzzle and Eric, in west Tenakee.

Carlene Allred and her husband Kevin have lived in Tenakee Springs since 2008. They are the parents of five children reared in Alaska. Carlene enjoys boating, oil painting, hiking, and creating and performing music. Carlene and Kevin are avid cavers, exploring and mapping. Carlene writes and produces The Alaska Caver.

Linda Perine came to Tenakee Springs in 1989 with her husband Stan Moberly. They contribute their time and resources to various projects in Tenakee and attend city council meetings to stay informed of community needs. Their two sons visit during the summer and they enjoy watching their granddaughter Charleigh experience the beauty and fun of Tenakee. Linda was a stewardess for West Coast Airlines, was schooled as a radiological technologist, volunteered for the Seattle Symphony Women’s Association, and worked in the Heart Catheter Laboratory at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Brooke Elgie and his wife Wendy Stern arrived in Tenakee from Puget Sound in 2001. Both have been active in Tenakee civic affairs ever since. Brooke has been on the bathhouse committee for most of that time and has also served on the city council. For five years he was manager of the community’s electric utility. He has been a professional photographer and a mental health counselor. He is now a writer, sailor and small-boat builder.

Teresa DeFazio Hura arrived in Tenakee Springs in the summer of 1979 to teach school and soon after married Washington contractor Larry Hura.  They built their cabin in Tenakee and for the last 33 years have made their home here and in Haines.  They raised their children, Nik and Lyndsey, while spending summers in Tenakee and winters in Haines, where Teresa taught in the native village of Klukwan for 17 years.  After retiring from teaching, Teresa has been enjoying traveling, hiking, gardening, crafting, volunteering, and friends.  She is looking forward to the challenge of sharing the fascinating history of Tenakee as director of the new Tenakee Springs Museum.

Non-Profit Status
The Tenakee Historical Collection is incorporated as an Alaska 501(c)(3)  tax-exempt corporation.


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