Lodge History


If there are ever history books written about Midway on the Talachulitna, the Miller’s and Talaheim would be deemed as one of the area’s first settlers.

But we weren’t alone. There were five other plots of land up for sale in the 1970’s before State of Alaska deemed the area as a restricted park.

Trapper Jim and his family were the first homesteaders in the area. In fact, if it weren’t for Jim, Talaheim wouldn’t be where it is today. Jim was the first to show Mark the initial acre of land, stating “this might be a nice little spot for a fishing lodge.”

Today, Jim and his wife Jolayne spend their summers Midway on the Tal, just two bends down from Talaheim. They welcome our guests into their craftsman log cabin and share Jim’s hand crafted wooden bowls.

Next to Trapper Jim’s property lie four other lots, each occupied by fellow pioneers we proudly call family.

There’s Gary and Marsha who come from Wisconsin every year to enjoy retirement, and Dick and Nancy who fly in from Anchorage for the weekends to do the same. Then there’s Frank who guides for Talaheim, and Alan who used to guide for Talaheim, but now brings his family up from Georgia for a few weeks during the summer.

We’re a tight knit bunch, and have been for decades. We’ve raised our families here. We’ve created more history together than could ever fit in a textbook.

Yes, maybe the history books will state that Talachulitna means “River of Blood” to Alaska’s original Athabaskan people. But the only blood shed that’s occurred in our waters in the last four decades are that of fish. And even then, we do our best to limit this.

We are the keepers of this beautiful land and the reason it remains pristine. And that’s something we don’t take for granted.

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It took three years to chop and peel enough logs to build the main lodge, but with a crew of six, just three months to construct it.
Most supplies arrive in a small aircraft, such as a Cessna or Beaver, but when hauling large items, such as a couch or tractor, these get slung out by helicopter. We have an on-site band sawmill that supplies us with most of our lumber.
In the early days we operated off of a diesel generator and every morning at 6am we’d start it and by 10pm we’d shut it off. But now we’ve got solar panels, inverters, and sixteen very large and heavy batteries which means Talaheim has 24 hour electricity. Even though our backup is still the diesel generator, it only kicks on for a few hours each day.


What a great place. What a great fishing experience. What great guides, staff, guides and pilots! Too bad time does not stop here. I’ll be back with my two boys within a few years, so please keep Talaheim running.
When I see the lifetime of effort into building this home, I am humbled. What a fantastic way of life to look back on. Mark, it was a privilege to share your time and see your way of life. The good Lord could be kinder to us with his weather. You really do earn every nickel! Thanks a million.
Barry & Betty