Special Picture # 304 – Rusty Huerlin – Influenza Epidemic in Alaska Conquered – 1945

The following article was printed in the Wilkes-Barre Record, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Monday, February 19, 1945.


Special Picture # 302 – Rusty Huerlin – End of the Trail – Tribute to A Pioneer – February, 1960

The following piece was printed in the column, On The Inside”, printed in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (Fairbanks, Alaska) on February 3, 1960.

TRIBUTE TO A PIONEER – Rusty Heurlin of Berry, Alaska, has written an open letter to the citizens of Valdez, proposing that Mt. Sugar Loaf be named after the late Anthony J. Dimond.

He suggests this mountain for its gentle slopes and balance in simple contour, which made it one of the most photographed peaks of the early days and perhaps even yet.

Also, he says, if a play on words would not be objectionable, this mountain is quite similar in shape to that of a diamond when reflected into the Bay of Valdez.

“As there are many other such named mountains (as Sugar Loaf) the world over, little controversy should arise from the change …” Rusty says.

“At any rate we trust that the last request of Art Lutro’s will be honored to help perpetuate for all time the name of Anthony Dimond.”

Lutro, the late Grand President of the Grand Igloo of the Pioneers of Alaska, proposed recently that an “unnamed peak” be honored with Dimond’s name. His request has been presented to the Board of Geographic Names of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Heurlin, who was an early resident of Valdez and next-door neighbor of Dimond, recalls his qualities of greatness and what he meant to fellow Alaskans. “Towering above all was a simplicity that was greatness in itself.”

Dimond was long a territorial delegate in Congress and later a federal judge.


END OF THE TRAIL – Rusty has also written this tribute to an old friend:

The going had been rough in places and the pack heavy but the uncomplaining Sourdough stuck to his lonely trail. At times the sleet pained his eyes, and it was hard to see when friends passed him as they hurried on their way. At the end of the day a light appeared around the bend of a river. Was it home, he wondered, or was he lost? He wasn’t sure until he arrived there, and not even then until the cabin door opened. He got out of his snowshoes. Old friends helped him with his pack. They called him into the cabin fragrant with wood smoke,,, happy with light and laughter and the warmth of those companions of old who had passed him on the way.

It was the End of the Trail for another sourdough. This time a man known throughout Alaska and Yukon Territory,  – big, good-natured, helpful and friendly Art Lutro, Grand President of the Alaska Pioneers.


Check out this video :  https://vimeo.com/91885957

I appears that the request of Art Lutro and Rusty Heurlin was honored as there is a Mt. Dimond near Valdez, Alaska.

Tomorrow, I will begin a week of letters written in July, 1942. Both Lad and Dan are serving Uncle Sam and receiving training.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 298 – Rusty Huerlin – ‘Lady Known as Lou’ Comes to Town – 1960

This picture and the story appeared in the Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News – Miner on Friday, November 4, 1960. I found it in a pile of newspaper clippings Grandpa saved. Across the top, Rusty added a note: “a very poor representation, am sitting some 25 feet in front of it.Will send you a color shot of it _____.

‘Lady known as Lou’ Comes to Town

by Kay J. Kennedy, News-Miner Staff Writer

“Lou” and her crew of fascinating,fictional characters out of Robert W. Service’s “Shooting of Dan McGrew” came to town the other day.

They stayed at the Travelers Inn where they were seen by visitors to the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce convention. This week they all moved out again, but they’ll always be together.

Lou (“That lady that’s known as Lou”) is the central figure in a love (and art composition) triangle in a 5-by-9-foot oil painting by C. (Rusty) Heurlin, one of Alaska’s best known artists.

He re-created the tense, dramatic moment in the poem when the “kid from the creeks” is playing the piano. Seated in the card game is McGrew studying the kid. Lou stands between them. An overhead lamp, which is not shown, throws a circle of light which encompasses the figure at the piano and casts interesting shadows. Subtle cigar smoke drifts across the canvas until you can almost smell it.

You have a feeling that the clicking of glasses and chips suddenly stopped as the music rose.The red velvet of Lou’s dress is vivid, encasing an uncensored womanly shape.

This painting, which is different from anything Heurlin has done previously, has been a gestating in his subconscious creative mind for many years. It may be his silent answer to those who have pegged him strictly an ice and snow artist, a master of hollow Arctic light, a painter of Eskimos, Arctic seas and whale hunts.

There are three parts in the painting – any one of them could stand alone as a complete composition. One is the “kid from the creeks” at the piano. Lou herself, is a splendid portrait. McGrew and the men around the green felt gaming table are done in a dark and sinister pallet.

Authentic Touches

Subdued nudes on the walls, the old Dawson City piano, a potted palm popular in that day, together with other authentic touches make you feel you could walk into the picture.

It may be that “Lou” will take her place in Alaska art history as Heurlin’s masterpiece.

Current comment indicates that the painting will pick up a following – even more than the infamous Lady Lou  herself.



Friends – Rusty Writes to Ced – Pictures From Their Trek Around Alaska – Dec., 1943


Palmer, Alaska

Dec. 21, 1943

Dear Ced,

The enclosed line will perhaps make you feel more welcome at the lovely home of the Stoll’s in Seattle and you will see there the beautiful Sylvia. – No kidd’n now – be sure to make it so you can spend three or four days with her. If you do I’ll wager you will never get over it. She is a knock out — brilliant, tall and queenly and nothing that I could say in her favor would be flattering. This I clipped from a letter from Walter whose business address is 609 Coleman Bldg., — Alaska Pacific Mining Co. — home address is Larkhurst, 4204 or something like that. Get in touch with him as soon as you arrive in Seattle.

Hear that Walt Gronhert (?) Is trying to get helicopter agency in Alaska when, or to be set for such business, when war is over. Why don’t you look into that for yourself? Perhaps after the next war the Zep (Zeppelin?) will come out in gala colors and competition for our outdated mode of air travel — Sikorsky’s Helicopter. (Ced actually went to work for Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford after he returned from Alaska in late 1946.)

Eggs in the valley are now $1.50 per doz.

Saw Bob Schottler (?) on street enroute to Barrow – again to follow info — one of Governor’s (Alaska’s Governor Ernest Gruening) eskimos discovered while on our trip. Bob said Governor was anxious to get name of my Eskimo sketch. When he showed pictures to President Roos- (President Roosevelt) in Washington President asked what was her name. He could only say Lottie, said one in his party fell for her and he could find out easily enough. Bob said pictures Governor took of her were knockouts. One that I took of the governor with Bob’s camera and which I had some job of posing G.G. (Governor Gruening) also was shown to President Roosevelt and G.G. is very proud of it. I had him clamber into a hunk of preserved ice about 5 miles out of Pt. Hope. He, as I remember, is looking out over the pack ice and pictures looked swell in Bob’s Graflex finder. Will be anxious to see it.

Guess I’ll stay here over the holidays and skip all the excitement down there. Hogans and Danford’s and _______’s  have invited me for Xmas dinner. Schafer has made two trips to town with his small truck and sold 24 small Xmas trees cut from my rabbit patch. He got $121.00 for the two loads and will make two more trips. That boy is smart.

We are over the hump tonight.

Love to all and don’t forget Seattle — Rusty


Special Picture # 269 – Rusty Heurlin – Somewhere in Alaska


Rusty Heurlin – taken in Alaska @ 1945


Here’s looking at you………. cock-eyed


Tomorrow, another Special Picture.

On Monday I’ll begin posting a week of letters written in 1942.Dan has been drafted and is at Basic Training. Lad and Dick are both working at Producto in Bridgeport, anxious about their own status in the draft. Dave is in high school and keeping Grandpa company at the old Homestead in Trumbull.

Judy Guion



Trumbull – Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians and other Bits and Pieces – March, 1942

Charlie Hall

Hi Ghost –

Yep. I met your friend Larry Sieck today – Nice guy – Says he planned to come “over” and see you this spring vacation – but since we have no spring vacation – yellow fever epidemic – he’s going to wait till next summer. Me likewise, darn it.

By the way, doesn’t ghost mean spook?

Tell R.P.G. (Dick) I’m expecting a letter any month now –

Farmboy Hall

This is a postcard, mailed March 1st from Ames, Iowa,  to Lad from Charlie Hall, one of the neighborhood boys, and a good friend of Dick’s.


Trumbull, Conn., March 8, 1942

Dear Boys:

For one solid hour I have been listening to Jim Smith who came in just as I started to write you, and he has practically denuded my mind of any ideas I had to start with in the way of raw material for this my weekly news sheet.

I shall try to get back into running condition by discussing the weather – – a perfectly safe topic with which to get by the sensor – – except of course in a radio broadcast. And that gives me a lead off. I noticed an article in the paper recently to the effect that Gilbert and Sullivan operas were playing in New York, and knowing Dave’s enthusiasm for such, recalling my own boyhood days when my father took me to the big city to see a real show and realizing that Dave has been very helpful in working at the office in a real spirit of cooperation, it seemed a good opportunity for me to get back at him by taking in a performance sometime during the week when he had no school on account of the mid-year vacation. So we ups and decides to see the Mikado on Friday. It so happened that on that same day Dave had been invited to attend rehearsal for radio broadcasting at W.I.C.C. (Bridgeport Radio station) and in calling up to tell them he could not attend, they suggested he might, while in New York, like to take in a real broadcast at Radio City. Accordingly, he was given a card of introduction, which, when duly presented, got us into an hour’s performance with Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians – – 15 minutes of the regular Chesterfield broadcast and 45 minutes of his own. It was very interesting and quite enjoyable. Then Gilbert and Sullivan and then home where Lad met us at Bridgeport. Home and to bed.


But to get back to the weather. It has been like an April day, the thermometer in the shade registering about 60. The sun, while not brilliant, was warm. I got out the deck chair from the cellar for Aunt Betty and she spent about two hours on the cement terrace enjoying the first promise of summer. She and the birds have been quite chummy lately. A piece of suet hung on the lilac bush just outside the kitchen window (the one looking out toward the barn)  (near where the cellar door used to be that Rusty burst out of one night after sitting around the alcove fireplace and getting a dose of monoxide gas poisoning)  was what started the whole thing. This proved to be so popular with our little feathered friends that it was followed by scattered crumbs, etc., until we have quite a number of regular visitors, among them some pretty little slate gray birds which Dan or Rusty could probably identify if they were here.

Dick Guion

Dick still has not been able to get his car. The holdup has been caused by the fact that before he could obtain his registration, he had to show his birth certificate (a new rule I suppose because of the war, registration of aliens, etc.) I told him to write to Mount Vernon and the answer came back that they had no record of anyone by that name, the records being in the name of Lawrence Guion on that date born in the Mount Vernon hospital. To make the necessary change I had to make out a formal request which I mailed back to them Saturday. Perhaps it will come through Tuesday of next week. We had not registered Dan’s car so he has been using mine nights. And, one day last week, he reported one of my tires blew out. That, with the present tire situation, is a major calamity. So, I have filed a formal request to the tire rationing board for permission to buy two new tires, but I have little hope of their granting the request. They are pretty damn tough.

Page 2      3/1/42

Dave Guion

There was a special service at the church this afternoon under the auspices of the American Legion. The Choir sang and I understand Dan’s name was mentioned along with that of other Trumbull boys who had joined the colors. Tonight the Young People’s Society, of which Dave is still president, meets here at 7:30.

The Wardens turned amateur plumbers last week to relieve a stopped up toilet caused by Skipper having deposited with great gusto and cleverness four husky clothespins in the toilet bowl so lodged that the whole business had to be taken out, turned upside down and flushed with a hose before the necessary result was achieved.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Dan Guion

Dan, my boy, what is the latest dope on your income tax? I don’t know what the dope is on the situation where a boy is in the service, but in view of the fact that it is a tax on last year’s income when you were not in the service, it would seem to me to be the safest course to file your tax before the March 15th deadline and not take the chance of any violation of law with fine, etc. The Government, you know, permits quarterly payments on your tax.

Cedric (Ced) Duryee Guion

Ced Guion

Ced, I am beginning to think you have turned into the fabled glacier worm and that not until the glacier melts will we hear from you again. The last letter from you, believe it or not, was last year – – date, December 28th, and while Rusty has pinch hit for you a couple of times, which letters have been most welcome, it would be most welcome to try to read your scrawly handwriting again. There will undoubtedly be no lack of news material and we are living in hopes.

Rusty - Rusty at his painting cabin - 1979 (2)

Rusty Huerlin

Rusty, old scout, let not your literary efforts cease. Look at me and take heart how one poor benighted soul can reel off scads of paper and run one word after another without saying anything at all. Surely you can do better than that!

Aunt Betty Duryee

Aunt Betty Duryee

And now Aunt Betty is wiggling her foot back and forth as she sits by my side reading, which is a sure sign that it is time for me to go out and get her some supper.

A letter from Dan reports progress. He has been made acting corporal – – it didn’t take the General in command long to find out what these Guion boys are made of. Yes sir, he remarked to Dan, the ranks are not the place for a Guion except as a place to start from. He almost made a sharpshooter’s rating, but he happened to think of Barbara just as he pulled the trigger and missed. Ah, love!

There goes Aunt Betty’s foot again. I must stop. So long.


Tomorrow and Sunday, I’ll be posting Special Pictures.

On Monday, I’ll begin a week of letters on the subject of Lad’s upcoming wedding to Marian Irwin.

Judy Guion



Trumbull – Dear Cuthbut – News From Rusty and Business is Slow – February, 1942

pp pic 1

Trumbull, Conn., February 15, 1942

Dear Cathbut:

A surprise in the mail – – a letter from Magnus instead of Cedric; another surprise – – no letter at all from Dan. I have an idea that the Army caught up with him. In his last letter home he bemoans the fact that so far they had taught him only those things he had previously learned; now maybe the top sarg. Is showing him a few new tricks that make him want to hit the hay instead of bothering to write the folks back home. Incidentally, in the December, 1941 issue of Scientific American there is an article on how they train engineers at Ft. Belvoir. I have just finished reading it. As to Rusty’s letter, containing as it does real he- man stuff that would not make suitable reading forthe Aunt Betty’s and Barbara’s, it has been read only by the male members of the family, the circuit being completed by my sending it herewith to Ft. Belvoir, hoping it will get past the YMCA sensor. Rusty makes one revealing statement in his letter which may clear up some of the mystery that his been obscure since last December, which is the last time we have heard from Ced. He said something about cleaning out cabin. Now we have heard that their intention was to leave Rose Walsh’s but because of Rusty’s need for light a cabin did not seem indicated. However, it looks as though a cabin was finally decided upon but where it is, how big, how furnished and other pertinent details might still form the subject of a very interesting letter, n’est pas?

To Rusty, in his own right, and as a pinch-hitter for runaway Ced, I send best St. Valentine’s Day greetings and thanks for his typically Rustorian letter. No matter how fortune may buffet this veteran of many wars, his sense of humor remains unquenchable, one of the things, incidentally, we love him for. I sometimes wonder if the true measure of a man is not the number of heart aches he conceals under a smiling outside. Our Rusty stacks up high on this basis. So did Lincoln and so did another whose birthday also we commemorate this month in the inner quietness of our being.

Eb Joy sold out his station to Vernon Pert, and leaves with some Boy Scouts for a few days and then to Florida for a few weeks and then he enlists with a ski troop corps.

Business (it’s a shame to call it that) for the last few weeks has been terrible, one or two orders a day totaling four or five dollars. At this rate we are getting nowhere fast. I don’t know whether this is the new order and will be permanent or whether it is just a phase of readjustment from “business as usual” to a full wartime basis, but if it is not the latter and things don’t pick up soon, I will lose money more slowly by quitting work altogether and seeking some other job on a salary basis.

One day this week we had an air raid drill. Mantle’s house was supposedly bombed and Bob Shadick had two ribs broken. I helped as did also Dave, Ives, Reynolds, Laufer, etc., direct traffic so that they would not pile up on the main road and prevent fire apparatus and ambulance getting through. Evidently we did our job O.K. as we were congratulated by the judges on the result.

Dick registers tomorrow, Lad is deferred until April, Ced, per last news until this month, and Dan is in but silent. Dave is out but not silent. As for me, I just write letters which occasionally elicit an answer. During the interim I remain, yours truly,


The rest of the week will be filled with letters written by Grandpa in the early months of 1942, filled wit news of the boys anf local Trumbull news.

Judy Guion