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Robert C. Lewis papers

Guide to the Robert C. Lewis papers
circa 1941-1943, 1951
An Alaska Historical Society collection

Collection number: HMC-1026-AHS.
Creator: Lewis, Robert C.
Title: Robert C. Lewis papers.
Dates: circa 1941-1943, 1951.
Volume of collection: 0.2 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Materials in this collection are in English.
Collection summary: Papers and photographs of a soldier who served at Fort Raymond in Seward during World War II.

Biographical note:
Robert C. Lewis was born in Linden, Indiana, in 1916. He grew up in Longview, Washington, and graduated from R.A. Long High School in 1935. Lewis enlisted in the U.S. Army in Tacoma, Washington, in 1941. He came to Seward, Alaska, aboard the USS U.S. Grant in June 1941 with his army unit, Battery E, 205th Coast Artillery (antiaircraft) Battalion. Lewis served at Fort Raymond, the U.S. Army base in Seward. His battalion was re-designated the 420th Coast Artillery (antiaircraft) Battalion in April of 1942. It later left Fort Raymond sometime in 1943-1944. After the war Lewis worked for many years in the construction field for Morris-Knudson. He later returned to Longview, Washington, and worked as a homebuilder and fine finish carpenter. Robert C. Lewis died in a car crash in 1989.

Collection description:
The collection consists of papers and photographs from Robert Lewis’ service in the U.S. Army at Fort Raymond in Seward, Alaska during World War II. The papers include: two issues of the Fort Raymond post newspaper, the Daily Polaris, a certificate of completion from a University of Alaska extension course in mining, notes on combat intelligence, and plans for a trestle bent bridge. The photographs include those of Robert Lewis and Battery E, Fort Raymond, its facilities and troops, and scenery and recreational activities on the Kenai Peninsula and along the Alaska Railroad. Subjects of the photographs also include the tent camp at Fort Raymond next to the Jesse Lee Home; a fire on 4th Avenue in Seward on the night of November 23, 1941; and a railroad trip to Denali National Park and Fairbanks. Other localities depicted in the photographs include Cooper’s Landing, Moose Pass, Russian River Rendezvous, Hope, the Divide Ski Area, and “Alaska Nellie” Lawing’s trophy house and room in Lawing. The photographs also include a group of images of Adak Island and the army base there taken in 1951.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged in the following series:
Series 1: Papers; circa 1941-1943
Series 2: Photographs; circa 1941-1943, 1951

Alternative formats: Copy negatives were made from selected photographs in the collection.

Digitized copies: Select photographs have been digitized and are available on Alaska’s Digital Archives. For information about obtaining copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: The Alaska Historical Society owns copyright to materials created by Robert C. Lewis. The collection contains material not created by Lewis, which may be subject to copyright restrictions.

Preferred citation: Robert C. Lewis papers, Alaska Historical Society collections, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Separated materials: Publications were removed from this collection and some added to the Consortium Library’s Rare Books collection. Please contact Archives and Special Collections for further information.

Acquisition note: This collection was donated to the Alaska Historical Society in 1998 by Cory Graff, Robert Lewis’ step-grandson, and a deed of gift was signed in 1999.  The Historical Society retains ownership of the collection and placed it on deposit in Archives and Special Collections in 1998.

Processing information: This collection was described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 1999. The guide to the collection was converted to current standard by Veronica Denison in 2015.

Container list:
Series 1: Papers; circa 1941-1943. 0.05 cubic feet.

Folder Description Dates
1 Daily Polaris 1942
2 Robert C. Lewis’ certificate of completion for a five week course in geology, mineralogy, and mining at Fort Raymond, from the University of Alaska, School of Mines, Department of Mining Extension 1942 April-May
3 Notes on combat intelligence circa 1941-1943
4 Plan for standard H15 trestle bent bridge with handwritten notes circa 1941-1943

Series 2: Photographs; circa 1941-1943, 1951. 0.15 cubic feet.

Folder Description Dates
5 Soldiers of Battery E, 205th Coast Artillery after setting up antiaircraft guns circa 1941-1943
6 Panorama of Seward in winter circa 1941-1943
7 “Battery ‘E’ Gear Jammers and Grease Monkeys Inc.” Group photo of soldiers in front of club tent; “Indian Witch Garden”; “Army Camp, Seward, Alaska” Fort Raymond tent camp in front of Jesse Lee Home; “U.S.S. U.S. Grant, Seward, Alaska” Army transport ship coming into Seward Harbor; “Midnight in June, Seward, Alaska” Street scene of 4th Avenue from below Arcade Building; Moose cow and calf; “Doyle, Lewis, Van Horn, Perry” Four soldiers on beach; Portrait of soldier in battle dress uniform circa 1941-1943
8 Photo post cards: “F.E. Co. Gold Dredge near Fairbanks”; “Two of a Kind” Native boys on beach; Portrait of native woman in fur coat, Arzada’s photo circa 1941-1943
9 Nature scenes around Resurrection Bay; Men seated next to fireplace, probably in NCO club; Two soldiers with fishing rods and rifle; Light cruiser in Seward Harbor; Seward train depot; Native woman and girl in swimsuits sitting next to lake; Soldiers on ski trip and relaxing in barracks; Four soldiers resting on ski trip; Fort Raymond tent camp in heavy snow with command car in foreground; Carlson House and Store; Sled dogs next to houses in dog lot circa 1941-1943
10 Army base quonset huts and nature scenes at Adak 1951 July-December
11 Men newly enlisted in army; Men in uniform at training base, Battery E, 205th C.A.; Three soldiers at Palmer train depot; Native children fishing from river bank; Natives in parkas with large sled; Piano and wall of “Alaska Nellie” Lawing’s trophy room; Soldiers next to cabin and in cabbage patch; Sled dog on top of dog house; Night scenes of fire on 4th Avenue in Seward; Cross-country ski trip near Seward. People identified in photographs include: Sgt. Molohan, Sgt. Day, and Pvt. Martin A. Doyle 1941-1942
12 Views around Seward; Bayonet drills; Marching band practice; Three men in parkas and snow shirts; Entrance and interior of log NCO Club, 420th C.A.; Russian River Rendezvous log building; Dog pulling man in small sled; Soldier with bearskin stretched on wooden frame; Soldiers constructing road; Soldiers Jones and Heckman in front of tent; Heckman climbing power pole; Multiple exposure prints of soldier; Portrait of Miss Berry outside house doorway; Fort Raymond from Marathon Mountain; Scenery around Seward area; Men at foot of glacier; Model airplane; Men skiing at Divide Ski Area, Chugach National Forest; Railroad trip to Denali National Park: Eklutna, roadhouse, scenery, park buildings, USO building, and drydock facilities at Nenana; Cantwell, Curry Hotel, park hotel (exterior and lounge), park post office, park sled dogs, Horseshoe Lake, and Fairbank scenes including Chena River, riverboat Nenana, and Alaska Railroad Engine No. 1; Men building a log building; Lewis gold panning in stream; Army base scenes of barracks, car, drum major, and band; Portraits of soldiers; Fort Raymond tent camp below Jesse Lee Home; Soldiers in lines and formations; Stan Lyons in front of supply tent; Bridge over river at Cooper’s Landing; “Alaska Nellie” Lawing’s trophy room; Group photo of six men from the Miss. Quartermasters unit; Tents at Fort Raymond in heavy snow; Fort Raymond tent camp from hillside; Capt. Haines, C.O. of Battery E., 205th, C.A.; Training area; Hope Social Hall; Sled dog lot; Moose Pass; Men in front of Russian River Rendezvous building; Cooper’s Landing Store; Parade and foot races on 4th Avenue in Seward. People identified: Tubbs, Burrup, Lewis, Jamison, and Christianson, Lovejoy, Mitchel, Elmer Ross, and Ed Vogel, Druffel, Sgt. Elmer Alter, Sgt. McCreary, Sgt. Amlong, Jerry Van Horn, Herb Singley, Roger Poe, Rothrock circa 1941-1943
13 Mess hall interior; Army band; Individual soldiers at Fort Raymond; Antiaircraft gun. People identified in photographs include: “Alaska Nellie” Lawing, Stan Lyons, Robert Lewis, and Pvt. Pain circa 1941-1943
14 Tourist photo prints from sets: “Alaska Nellie’s” trophy room; ‘The Loop’ Alaska Ry. Mile 58”; Glacier and street scenes; Russian Orthodox church building; “Mt. McKinley (Alt. 20,300 ft.).” “Columbia Glacier, Alaska.” circa 1941-1943
15 Copy negatives undated


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