The history of Nome is as rich as the gold nuggets still discovered across the rugged landscape. Sifting through raw material to uncover historical treasure has been the role of the Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum since it opened in 1967 on Front Street (first known as the Nome Museum.)
Carrie M. McLain arrived in Nome as a young girl in 1905. Over her lifetime, she assembled a rich collection of oral histories, ivory artwork, and historical photos from Nome and the Seward Peninsula. McLain’s founding collection set a precedent for donors with personal connections to Nome and the surrounding region looking to return their treasures and memories.
The museum collection greatly expanded over the past 50 years through generous donations of photographs, artifacts, and archives. Recognizing the critical need for additional space, the City of Nome secured funding to construct the Richard Foster Building that now houses the Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum, Kegoayah Kozga Library, and Katirvik Cultural Center.
The new museum, located in the Richard Foster Building at 7th and Steadman, welcomes visitors with a modern but warm feel, a much larger gallery, temporary exhibit space, and visiting researcher room.
Interactive exhibits feature the natural landscape, Alaska Native artwork, and the town of Nome from its Tent City beginnings to its present-day role as a regional hub. Step inside a miner’s tent, listen to audio recordings in one of Nome’s old telephone booths, and imagine mushing across the tundra as you check out a sled from the 1st Iditarod sled dog race. Relax in the mini-theatre for even more tales from Nome’s early days, and browse the museum’s gift shop for related books, photos and clothing items.
The Richard Foster Building also houses the Kegoayah Kozga Library and Kawerak’s Katirvik Cultural Center, both worth a visit.