Historic Moments are written by the Valdez Museum and produced by KVAK Radio in Valdez, Alaska. To listen to a historic moment, just click play below. If you would like to save a copy of the file, send us a message and we will happily email it to you.

Maritime History

Since its founding, Valdez has been a port city on Prince William Sound. Ocean shipping and travel experiences throughout our history have run from uneventful to delightful to frightening. These historic moments share some interesting stories and facts about Valdez’s maritime history.

Cape Hinchinbrook Lighthouse

Hear about the history of the lighthouse that marks the entrance to Prince William Sound.


Learn about the history of containerized shipping.

The Ameria

The wreck of the Ameria lead to the identification of a hazard to navigation. Hear the story of this event.

The Cruise Ship Prinsendam

In October of 1980, 519 people were rescued from the sinking cruise ship Prinsendam. Hear about the valiant efforts to save the passengers and crew.

The F/V Perry

The Fishing Vessel Perry sat¬†outside the Valdez Museum on wooden blocking for many years. She hasn’t seen water in years, but she has many stories to tell of her time in Prince William Sound.

The S/S Chitina

Learn about how the steamship Chitina was transported over land from Valdez to the Copper River.

The S/S Mariposa

On August 23, 1912, the Steamship Mariposa rammed into the Valdez dock. Hear more about this dangerous event.

The S/S Olympia

On December 11, 1910, the steamship Olympia ran aground in Prince William Sound. Learn more about this tale of survival.

Fort Liscum

Fort Liscum, a U.S. Army fort, existed across the bay from Valdez from 1900-1922. The following historic moments explore the history of the fort and the people who lived and worked there.

Part I

Learn about the purpose of Fort Liscum, when it was built, and who built it.

Part II

Hear about the types and sizes of the buildings that formed the fort.

Part III

Learn about life as a soldier at Fort Liscum.

Part IV

Hear memories shared with the museum by people who lived at Fort Liscum.


During the past several years Valdez has become increasingly aware of security. To many people in Valdez today, the increased military presence and the focus on security seems new. These historic moments focus on the many ways that the military and war have contributed to the history of Valdez.

Operation Snowball

Until 1949 the Richardson Highway was closed in winter. It was the onset of the Cold War, that provided an impetus to keep the highway open, thus promoting Operation Snowball – a joint military and contractor operation to keep the highway open in winter.

Ski Patrol

The February 1943 expedition across the Valdez and Klutina Glaciers.

The Cold War in Valdez

Hear about how the Cold War affected Valdez.

World War I

Learn about the impact of World War I on the community of Valdez.

World War II

Learn about Valdez’s role in World War II.