The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix LOG 

Former Seward resident honored by City of Anchorage on 100th


August 4, 2016 | View PDF

Courtesy photo

Alaska's First Lady Donna Walker presents Maude Harris with a flag during a celebration of her 100th birthday recently. A former resident of Seward, Harris was honored by the City of Anchorage last week by having July 30, 2016 declared "Maude Harris Day."

It took a while for it to happen, but former Seward resident Maude Harris did have her day in Anchorage. Literally, she had her own day.

Harris was honored on her 100th birthday by the City of Anchorage by having July 30, 2016 declared "Maude Harris Day." Mayor Ethan Berkowitz presented her with a proclamation during a special ceremony.

"Whereas, Maude being a small business owner, free thinker, family woman, and a loyal friend - with a fierce independent spirit - is a reflection of the growth of Alaska as a territory and a state," Berkowitz read from the proclamation. "Now, therefore, I ... proclaim July 30, 2016 as Maude Harris Day in Anchorage, and encourage all residents to join in celebrating a happy 100th birthday for a woman who has shaped the Alaska we all cherish."

A childhood resident of Seward, Harris was born on Latouche Island in 1916. Latouche Island, which is located east of Seward at the mouth of Prince William Sound, was the site of an early copper mining operation.

Later, her parents, Lars Ludvig "Papoo" and Maude Elizaveta "Mamoo" Larsson relocated to Seward, where they remained for many years.

In 1934, Harris married Faye Gentry "Ted" Wright at the age of 18. The couple moved to an apartment building on "K" Street in Anchorage and had two daughters, Arlene Wright Stephl and Terry Ann Wright Allen. In 1942, Harris began working for Alaska Communication System, a military-run telephone company. A few years later, she purchased Irene's Dress Shop on Government Hill. She operated that business for more than two decades.

Harris' move to Anchorage also proved to be good in other ways, too. Shortly before the 1964 Good Friday earthquake, she had moved into a duplex. That duplex suffered minor damage during the quake and served as her home for more than 50 years.


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