KODIAK — The Kodiak Daily Mirror and Baranov Museum have produced a book about the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake and how it changed life throughout the Kodiak archipelago.
The book, “9.2: Kodiak and the world’s second-largest earthquake,” tells stories from Kodiak on March 27, 1964 and the days that followed.
The 144-page book has nine chapters detailing the earthquake, the effects of the tsunami around Alaska, Kodiak before the tsunami, the disaster, reconstruction, and the effects on Ouzinkie, Kaguyak, Old Harbor and Afognak.
Kodiak Daily Mirror editor James Brooks worked with Baranov Museum archivist Alice Ryser to find old photos from Kodiak before and after the event. The museum has binders of photos on display, but Brooks said they tried to avoid those in favor of using never-before-published photos.
“We picked out photos and combed through ones that seemed appropriate,” he said. “The goal wasn’t just to pick good photos, it was also to pick photos that haven’t previously been published before.”
The longest part of the process was doing the research, and the book took eight months to finish in total.
“We took reports and things that had been written after the disaster and with that talked to people involved to tell the stories of survivors and people who had died during the disaster,” Brooks said. “We covered what happened in the villages that were affected by the tsunami and earthquake.”
The newspaper decided to produce the book after asking how to honor the anniversary of the major event that forever changed Kodiak.
“The newspaper came up with the idea, and it was a question of what do we want to do for the 50th anniversary of the earthquake,” Brooks said. “It’s important to remember.”
This isn’t the first book the newspaper has put together about the earthquake and tsunami. Fifty years ago, the Kodiak Daily Mirror created a book that featured 30 to 50 photographs from the disaster, and donated all of the proceeds to reconstruction efforts.
“If you care about Kodiak’s history, this is a way to help preserve it and support that it remains a part of Kodiak’s history,” Brooks said. “If you forget, it doesn’t exist anymore.”
People who read the book and have their own stories to share are encouraged to reach out to the newspaper or museum.
“If people have stories that aren’t included in the book, get in touch because the newspaper is interested in that and in preserving those stories and memories,” Brooks said.
Books are $39.95, and can be preordered by contacting the Daily Mirror at 486-3227. The books are expected to arrive in Kodiak by the second week of December.