Denali Fireside's lodging accommodations in picturesque Talkeetna, Alaska are located just a short walk from all of the town's many attractions including Mt. McKinley flightseeing, fishing expeditions, riverboat and rafting tours, ATV tours, summer and winter dog sled rides, the Alaska Railroad depot, the Talkeetna airport, museums, restaurants, pubs, and gift shops. History was made in 1959 when Alaska became a State. In that same year, Don Devore's family joined with a hardy group of like-minded Michigan adventurers that trekked over the rugged and historic Alcan (Alaska-Canada Highway) in a "motorized wagon train" to homestead land in Alaska. The Devore family (mom, dad, and 5 kids) staked out land five miles north of Talkeetna at Mile Post 232 on the Alaska Railroad. The group became known as the Alaska 59ers and were considered modern-day Alaska pioneers setting out to tame the Alaska wilderness. In 1959, Talkeetna was an isolated fishing village that catered to local Alaska homesteaders gold miners, trappers, and railroad line crews. In those years, the amenities of the village were few. There was no water and sewer, no paved streets or street lights. The electric power (which was limited and sporadic) was provided by a diesel generator operated by Myron Stevens. Homesteading was tedious hard work and the long harsh winters were grueling. The sun appeared only briefly in the dead of winter and the temperatures often dropped below -30 F. Homesteading was tough but rewarding. Families and friends grew close, helping each other in hard times or sharing what they had. Summers were dedicated to clearing the land, putting up firewood and preserves, planting the garden and canning salmon to carry us through the long winter months. Moose meat and potatoes were dietary staples. Though tough, those years were some of the best years of my life. As a family, we learned self-reliance and survival on the barest of necessities. Our nearest neighbor was four miles down the tracks toward Talkeetna; our mail was thrown from a speeding train. The old homestead cabin is in various stages of disrepair and collapse and is getting quite overgrown. However, it can still be seen from the railroad or by a short five-mile hike up the tracks from Talkeetna. It is one of the only remaining 59er cabins left in Alaska and is one of the most photographed sites along the railroad.