Northern Commercial Company – Manley Hot Springs
The shelves of the Northern Commercial Company store in Manley Hot Springs, Alaska have long since been bare of groceries and household goods. Once a bustling community center where neighbors of this close knit community gathered to buy supplies, catch up on the latest gossip, watch the occasional dispensing of justice and send mail to loved ones is now just another forgotten building. Instead of housing items needed to sustain life, it’s seemingly home to items no longer needed or wanted, but saved just in case…
Today a small mercantile steps from the old NC Company building serves the residents of Manley Hot Springs. The NC Co. store in Manley was closed before my first visit in ’84 and yet if I close my eyes, I can still hear the creaking of the front door as it opened and footsteps on the old wooden floor.
The parent and successor company, The Alaska Commercial Company, can trace its roots back to 1776 when Catherine the Great granted trading rights to the Russian-American Trading Company. It was, and remains, the largest rural retailer in Alaska with 30 stores serving thousands of Alaskans.
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