How far back does your memory of Soldotna go? Do you recall the old two-lane Sterling Highway bridge over the Kenai River, before the current one was finished in 2007? How about the one before that, started in 1948, when the Alaska Road Commission was just beginning to push the Sterling Highway on toward Kasilof?
Al Hershberger does. That first bridge is what brought him to Soldotna.
Hershberger, who turns 93 next week, has lived in Soldotna since 1948. He worked as shop foreman for the Alaska Road Commission until 1951 and later had a telephone and electronics store in town for many years. He also had an airplane and a camera and he liked to use them both.
The result is nearly 70 years of photos documenting the development of the Kenai Peninsula. Hershberger a slideshow presentation at the Soldotna Library on Thursday, sharing stories and images of what’s changed from his unique vantage point on history.