The Village of Solomon was originally settled by Eskimos of the Fish River Tribe, and was noted on the map as "Erok" in 1900. The original site was at the mouth of the Solomon River Delta, where it became a miners camp and later moved to the present location on Jerusalem Hill. The gold rush of 1899-1900 brought thousands of people to the Solomon area. By 1904 Solomon had seven Saloons, a Post Office, a ferry dock, and between 3 and 7 big land dredges along the Solomon River. It was also the terminus of the Council City and Solomon River Railroad that serviced miners from Solomon to Council. In 1913 the Railroad was washed out by storms and in 1918 the flu epidemic struck. In 1940 the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) built a school, but it was shut down in 1956 in a cost saving effort. The Post Office shut down in 1958. Families relocated to Nome or Anchorage so their children could continue their education. Pete Curran operated the Roadhouse until the 1970s and it served as a checkpoint for the Iditarod sled dog race, during its first few years.
The Village of Solomon’s (VOS) is a federally recognized tribe under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1993. The Solomon Traditional Council is the governing body of the Village of Solomon. The primary purpose of the Village of Solomon is to design and implement programs to increase the quality of life and well-being of its tribal membership.
Solomon is located on the west bank of the Solomon River, one mile north of the Norton Sound, 34 miles east of Nome on the Nome-Council Highway. It lies at 64.560830 North Latitude and -164.43917 West Longitude. Solomon is located in the Cape Nome Recording District. The climate is both continental and maritime. Summers are short, wet and mild. Winters are cold and windy. The temperatures range from -30 to 56 degrees. There's also a 1,150 ft. long and 35 ft. wide dirt/gravel airstrip which is not useable as a runway and was abandoned.
In 2010, the Village of Solomon tribal membership and Solomon Native Corporation together completed their Local Economic Development Plan (LEDP) with the help of Kawerak, Inc. An update of the LEDP was completed in 2016 that will serve as a guide through the year 2020. With this plan, the Solomon Traditional Council created a list of 11 village priorities that will be re-prioritized every year for the next five years. The first LEDP was written in 1998 and had not been updated until 2010.
The VOS’ Environmental Plan was created to assist the Tribe of Solomon, Environmental Coordinator, Kawerak, Solomon Native Corporation and other various entities to better identify and find solutions, as well as to build capacity to start addressing the Environmental Issues in and around Solomon, Alaska.
Solomon Roadhouse History
The building is known as "The Old Store" or "The Solomon Roadhouse" or simply "Curran's". The building was actually salvaged from the abandoned boom town known as Dickson by a man named Billy Rowe. Rowe used it as his horse barn, he used his horses to haul mining equipment, he moved all those dredges with the horse team from town. He was known to keep as many as 26 horses in the old barn. According to Ray Pederson, they used 40 horses to move the Roadhouse from Dickson to Solomon.
It was the late 1930's when Pete Curran, Sr. purchased Billy Rowe's horse barn.
After Curran bought the house, he had quite a bit of refurbishing to do before he was going to be able to transform the horse barn into a roadhouse. When Billy Rowe had it, it was just a one story building with an open entry to dump the hay. Curran hired Ernie Berg and Pete Curran, Jr. to build the second floor, then he sold groceries and rented rooms. He also rented rooms to military during World War II. He sold all groceries and clothes, food, shoe packs, fuel, coal. He was known to barter with people, he had to because people didn't have money. Curran also bought gold from local miners. His business was entirely run by family. Curran passed away in 1957 and the store was shut down the following year. His son Pete Curran, Jr. continued to operate the roadhouse until him and his family packed up and moved to Nome in 1958.
The Solomon Roadhouse used to be a checkpoint on the Iditarod Trail from the first race in 1973-1976. The checkpoint was then moved 13 miles west to Safety Roadhouse. It was added to the National Historical Registrar in 1980.