Paxson Is Dropped As a Named Landmark On 2022 Google Maps

LOSING IT   Paxson, Eastern End Of The Denali Highway, Is Not Shown As A Community Any More On Basic Google Maps  Location of Paxson on a Go...

LOSING IT  

Paxson, Eastern End Of The Denali Highway, Is Not Shown As A Community Any More
On Basic Google Maps 

Location of Paxson on a Google Map (Arrow & Name By Country Journal) 

Google Points To How Easy It Is To Lose Important Landmarks In Copper Valley 


Twenty years ago, Paxson – which was mainly a lodge and a highway camp – was considered an important landmark and destination in the Copper Valley. 

It was the place where you turned onto the Denali Highway to go berry picking, fishing, camping or hunting in the fall. Paxson Lodge was a warm and welcoming destination. Many locals were familiar with Paxson, making it a yearly ritual to stop in for a burger, fries and coffee. 

Paxson was Cantwell's bookend. The two highway camps – one on the Richardson and the other on the Parks – were separated by a winding gravel road, the Denali Highway, that stretched almost 140 miles across breathtaking wilderness in the shadow of the great Alaska Range.

Paxson is unnamed on this Google Map. 

Paxson wasn't as big as Cantwell, but it had a gas station, people who could help you, food, shelter, a small post office – and a payphone. 

In the intervening years since then, Paxson Lodge, which is now closed, has followed the trail of many Alaskan lodges in the Copper Valley.  

Lots of lodges have burned down. This one didn't. It closed to business, and is now in a state of serious decay. 

With the loss of the lodge as a functioning building, the very idea that there is even a place called "Paxson" is beginning to fade. It's a common issue in Alaska. Many place names, Native and more contemporary, have dropped out and been lost. 

Paxson Lodge, in far better days. (Photo, Country Journal) 

In the Copper Valley, the name of a lodge is often also the name of a "community." And when the lodge disappears, so does the acknowledgement of the settlement around it. 


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