Bea Poston Talks About Christmas In Chistochina: "Hard Times" With Homemade Presents

Bea Poston Ran Posty's Trading Post For Many Years   Posty & Bea Poston at Sinona Creek, Chistochina. (Journal file photo) Bea Posto...

Bea Poston Ran Posty's Trading Post For Many Years 

Posty & Bea Poston at Sinona Creek, Chistochina. (Journal file photo)

Bea Poston was born in 1918 in Michigan. 

Before coming to Alaska, and settling on the banks of Sinona Creek in beautiful downtown Chistochina, she was a Battle Creek, Michigan beautician. Bea was one of the first territorial school teachers in Chistochina – a community that, like Copper Center and Gakona lost its local school in the past decades. 

In 1948, Bea and her husband, Posty, started up Posty's Sinona Creek Trading Post, and operated it until they retired in 1981. The Trading Post is now run by Barbara and Ernie Charley, carrying on an Alaskan tradition. 

In this world of thick black spruce and poor soil, the Trading Post along the little creek has always stood out for its trimmed trees, manicured grassy lawns and genuine landscaping. 

Chistochina is a place known for its dog mushing, and Bea was a sprint racer for 30 years, from the 1950s to the 1980s. 

In 1991, Bea told the Country Journal about what Christmas used to be like in Chistochina, for people like her who had come to the Copper Valley from distant communities and had made this faraway spot  their home:

 

 "When I first came here, the whole neighborhood got together. It was mostly old-timers. None of us had any relatives. The settlers that came to the communities, I think we felt close, to be together. They all used to make homemade presents. Everybody cooked up something.

"People would get Christmas trees.They were a small affair. Not like nowadays. I guess it was still hard times. Some people painted pictures. One man whittled out a gun and a knife for his boy to wear. I remember that. 

"When I was small, people at that time used to string cranberries and popcorn. That was many years ago. If you received a book or one doll -- that was many presents. We used to spend a lot of time making handkerchiefs..."

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