Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Earl Norris

Earl Norris

Earl Norris came to Alaska in 1942 with the Civil Aeronautics Administration which was constructing airfields and navigation facilities around Alaska. He homesteaded just outside Anchorage and built up a small kennel of Alaskan Malamutes. By 1950, Earl was Director of Logistics for the Port of Anchorage. Eventually, as Anchorage expanded, Earl moved out to a homestead in Willow, Alaska where he could expand his kennel and breeding operation. He was a respected dog musher who used his dog team to help with search and rescues during World War II, provided early dog team freighting support for climbing expeditions on Denali, and pioneered the dog route up to the base camp on the North Side of Denali. In 1947, he married his wife, Nancy, and together they operated Howling Dog and Anadyr Kennels, bred Siberian Husky sled dogs, and were successful dog racers. Earl co-founded the Fur Rendezvous World Championship Sled Dog Race in 1946, and with Nancy was influential in forming the Alaska Sled Dog Racing Association and the Siberian Husky Club of Anchorage. The Norrises also were known for their assistance to novice mushers who wanted to winter over in Alaska and learn the craft, and Earl studied the history of sled dog racing, especially in Alaska, and gave seminars that combined history with sled dog training. Earl Norris passed away in October 2001 at the age of eighty-one. For more about Earl Norris, see "Earl and Natalie Norris: Anadyr Siberian Huskies."

Date of Death:
Oct 31, 2001
Earl Norris appears in the following new Jukebox projects: