Alaska's Year Round Playground-taken from the Big Lake Chamber of Commerce-
Big Lake lies at the western end of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, for many centuries the home of the Dena'ina Indians of Cook Inlet in South Central Alaska. Building a sophisticated maritime culture, the Dena'ina also hunted, trapped and traded. In 1834, the Russians established a mission at Knik, just a few miles south of Big Lake on Cook Inlet, converting the Indians to Christianity and trading with them and through them with the Indians in the Interior. Contact with "civilization" was disastrous for the Dena'ina, however, as smallpox ravaged their numbers.
Homesteading continued and in the 1950's, Big Lake took on the aspect of a small community with a quonset hut school, gas station and general store, a church and several marinas, lodges and bars serving the visitors to the lake. Electricity came in 1953 and telephones in 1955. Activities based on Big Lake ranged from summertime features such as a regatta with speed boat races and Miss Alaska contest, sail boat races and excellent fishing to wintertime sports involving dog mushing, snowmobiling and ice fishing. By the year 2000, Big Lake has grown to around 2000 people, but the essence of the town remains centered on recreation on the lake, both summer and winter.
Located approximately 60 road miles or 15 minutes by plane north of Anchorage, Big Lake is far enough away from the Big City to offer the peace and quiet of country life, yet close enough to provide all the necessary and desired amenities and a great place to do business.
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