Alaska Film Archives

[Jeanie of Alaska – original reel 1]
[Jeanie of Alaska – original reel 1]
This film includes scenes of Bud and Connie Helmericks traveling with their young daughter, Jeanie, throughout northern Alaska. The date of 1952 was confirmed by Jean (Jeanie Helmericks) Aspen in 2015. Detailed summary information was provided by the filmmakers. According to these notes, the films include scenes of Bud, Connie, and their daughter Jeanie (just turned two years old) walking toward their airplane; an airport in Montana; the family en route to Alaska; scenes from Takahula Lake, including the Helmericks’ log cabin home in the Brooks Range (Jeanie had never seen it before); Connie lifting Jeanie out of an airplane; Jeanie’s first view of the Arctic following a five-day flight from the U.S.; Jeanie wearing a factory-made brown alpaca parka with a hood; the next day, Jean on her tiny snowshoes watching her daddy cut a hole through the four-foot ice of the lake; Ice-fishing; Connie in rubber boots carrying Jean through water to get out on the lake ice in May; Bud gassing up the airplane; ice on Takahula Lake getting slushy and treacherous, and so they must go north because the airplane’s landing field on the frozen lake is disappearing; arriving at the still-frozen Arctic Ocean, 300 miles directly north of the cabin; Bud setting up an Explorers Club flag on a staff; pitching a tent and making a polar camp; Jean watching from a gas can seat dressed in a new caribou fur parka; a dog team driven by a friend arriving from the shore by arrangement; Jean walking on her snowshoes; hunting seals; Jean helping her mother fetch a bucket of snow for melting; on sunny days, camp gear and bedding hung out over the airplane to dry out the dampness of living on the salt ice; Connie hanging child’s diapers to dry on the airplane prop; Bud stalking and killing a polar bear; Jean and her toy seal; ice getting dangerous; on shore again after two months; Oliktok Point, on the north coast of Alaska, changing the landing gear for summer flight; inside a tent – Nannie, Martha, and George; a summer evening on the Koyukuk River and an aerial view; a trading post at Hughes for mail and supplies; over the Brooks Range; a sunset rainbow over Takahula Lake in summertime; building a dock and steps to the cabin; planting a garden; Bud hanging moose antlers up on a gable; Connie and Jeanie paddling through the waters of Takahula Lake in a seven-foot homemade kayak, which was very tippy; on the Arctic coast in summer - the Helmericks family camping with a tent; mosquitos on Bud’s back; Point Barrow - a tractor pushing off a boat; two views of the polar ice pack as it looks in summer; a walrus hunt; a bull walrus charging the boat; and a walrus being harpooned and butchered.
[Our Alaskan Winter – original reel 2]
[Our Alaskan Winter – original reel 2]
Detailed summary information was provided by the filmmakers, Bud and Connie Helmericks. According to these notes, this film includes scenes of travel by dogsled while hunting for seals.Polar bear tracks. Connie comes up to her dead polar bear — shot from the tent at 1 a.m. in late May — feasting (not shown) followed immediately after butchering. Seal meat goes into a modern pressure cooker. Apiak serves the dogs their meal. A starving seal has lost its diving hole and can’t find the ocean — carried in a sack on the sled to the nearest seal hole and it finally dove down into the ocean. On shore after two months at sea. A summer tent. Lydia, Nannie, and George. Saying goodbye. Home to a cabin at Takahula Lake. Unloading cargo from Hughes, the trading post (100 miles away), at the new dock at Takahula Lake. Bud cuts a moose hide into strips and makes chairs. Connie casts for pike at a tent camp at nearby Iniakuk Lake. Broken airplane tail — Bud fixes it by taking off part of the tail and then fortunately it flew okay. Connie catches a grayling. Geese migrating. Grizzly bears, moose, and other animals. Roasting caribou ribs. Connie uses the little yellow kayak on Takahula Lake before winter. Ice pans float down the adjacent Alatna River. Arrigetch Peaks rising above the house. Bud and Connie, in full winter dress, are prepared for winter again. Connie reads contentedly by the blazing hearth.
[We Live in the Arctic - Reel 1]
[We Live in the Arctic - Reel 1]
Detailed summary information for this film was provided by the filmmakers, Bud and Connie Helmericks – see a film archivist for full information. According to these notes, this film includes scenes of a Cessna 140 (the “Arctic Tern”) taking off from Tucson, Arizona; aerial views enroute to Alaska; Grand Prairie, Alberta; aerial views of Hughes, Alaska; Brooks Range mountains; landing at Takahula Lake; Connie and Bud at their log cabin at Takahula Lake; snowshoeing and seeing a “snow doughnut” that has rolled down from the mountain; Bud splitting wood and Connie collecting water; ice fishing on Takahula Lake while sunbathing; planting a garden; Connie climbing Takahula Peak; kayaking on the Alatna River; an airplane flight 300 miles north to the Arctic Ocean; cooking a meal of caribou and cornmeal along the Arctic Ocean; the village of Paulatuk in Canada; Royal Canadian Mounted Police at Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island; a power schooner (the “Tudlik”) traveling from Banks Land; Inuit hunters cooking caribou in northern Canada; Lakes Peter and Schrader in Alaska; and the filmmakers, Bud and Connie.