Alaska or "Seward's Folly" as it was called between its purchase (1867) and statehood (1959), had a group of buildings, just southwest of the
Administration building. The buildings and exhibits cost 50,000 dollars, and was funded by Congress. The main two-storied structure, was 100 x 50 feet and colonial in its style of architecture. Immense totem poles surrounded the buildings two native houses at its sides. Some of these were carved by
the aborigines many years ago, while others have been recently retouched
and decorated by native artists brought here to the Fair. Blooming at the feet of the
giant totems were wild flowers interspersed with shrubs and forest trees indigenous to the country.
The native houses were filled with the handiwork of the Alaskan and Eskimaus. and comprised of costumes, utensils, ornaments and curios of all descriptions.
One item one could find inside was a 8 x 10 foot ceremonial robe made out of feathers from wild eagles.
An important exhibit was a large collection of minerals: gold nuggets, both in quartz and placer, silver, copper (including Alaskan Copper Company), tin, lead and iron. Marble, coal and petroleum were also exhibited.
In addition, the Alaska exhibit featured a grand display of furs (including the Simmon Fur Company), and fishes (especially salmon), grasses, vegetables and berries (illustrating the future-state's production), and of course its ample timber/forestry exhibit. Marble, canned goods, furs, coal, oils, guano, vegetables and fruit, Indian basketry and curios, and mounted specimens of game and fish were showcased.
There was an educational exhibit of public school work, and an art gallery filled with paintings by Alaskan artists.
One of the most impressive and significant exhibits was a gilded cube,
about 3 feet in diameter, representing the size of a block of gold worth
7,200,000 dollars which was the amount paid by the United States to Russia for
Alaska, and beside it, enclosed in a brass railing; a gilded pyramid of
blocks representing the amount of gold taken each year since 1882 from
the Treadwell mine in Alaska. Aggregating 21,800,000 dollars, this sum was
three times the amount paid for Alaska taken from one mine.
An interesting exhibit of Alaskan ethnology included: twenty totem poles, two native houses and one war canoe which was located about the
building. The totem poles came from different places on Prince of Wales
Island and from two different tribes, includimg
the old village of Tuxekan.