White Alice, Anvil Mountain

White Alice, Anvil Mountain

by | Jun 1, 2019

Anvil Mountain has an elevation of 1,134 feet (345 m) and is located on the Seward Peninsula about 4 miles (6.5 km) north of Nome, Alaska. The local descriptive name was reported in 1899 by D.C. Witherspoon of the U.S. Geological Survey and is taken from the anvil-shaped rock formation on the mountain’s flank.

The White Alice Communications System was a U.S. Air Force telecommunication network with 71 linked radio stations constructed in Alaska during the Cold War. White Alice was conceived in the 1950s when Alaska had only basic telephone communication systems. Construction of the White Alice system began in 1955 and was completed in 1958. The system was designed by Western Electric and was maintained by civilian contractors. The network used large parabolic tropospheric scatter antennas 60 feet (18 m) tall as well as smaller microwave dish antennas to connect remote defense facilities to command and control facilities. In some cases, it was used for civilian telephone calls. The system was advanced for its time but became obsolete within 20 years following the advent of satellite communications. In 1976, the system was leased to RCA Alascom and by the end of the 1970s, most of the system was deactivated.

Anvil Mountain was a tropospheric scatter facility linking Granite Mountain in the Alaska interior to Northeast Cape Air Force Station on Saint Lawrence Island. It was constructed in 1957 and opened on 9 January 1958. It was deactivated in 1978. The main facility was a large equipment and power building that has since been removed. No dormitory was needed because lodging was obtained in Nome. Two parabolic antennas faced Northeast Cape 126 miles (203 km) away and a second set faced Granite Mountain, 136 miles (219 km) away. Read more here and here. Explore more of Anvil Mountain here:

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