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Friday, October 10, 2008

Re-creation of Doc McKinley's Dental Office

Last week my friend Sharon drove out to the Dorothy Page Museum in Wasilla, Alaska and sent me these pictures. Within that museum is a recreation of my grandfather's dental office. I didn't actually have any pictures of this installment so it was a great thrill to receive these pictures.

The dedication (pictured above) reads as follows:

Dr Lee L. McKinley


This re-creation of Dr. McKinley's dental office in Butte is dedicated to his efforts in pioneering "Bush" dentistry and his selfless commitment to the people of Alaska.

For over 40 years "The Flying Dentist" faithfully practiced his profession throughout the entire state serving people from all walks of life. It has been said that Dr. McKinley would often render services free of charge for those who's circumstances called upon his generosity.

In the early 1950's, he was also instrumental in adopting legislation that limited the power of the State Dental Board thus allowing more dentists to practice in Alaska.

As a youth, Lee McKinley was one of four sons of an Arkansas meat peddler. It was his fathers faithful devotion to good will and hard work that would eventually create a solid foundation in each boy. Individually the boys sought public service in the fields of dentistry and medicine. All four have become professionals in their respective fields.

From this early beginning, Lee McKinley entered college on probation as he was without a high school diploma. Undaunted by the work that lay ahead, he pressed on to graduate and practice dentistry in Detroit in 1934.

By the mid-forties, Dr. McKinley and family became disenchanged with the city life. With his son Blake and another youngster, Dr. McKinley loaded up a Hudson pickup and started out for Alaska.

Thus began the illustrious service of Dr. Lee McKinley in Alaska.

We are honored to create a tribute to such a fine man that gave so much of himself to the people of Alaska.

(A complete history of Dr. McKinley is available through narrative and video tape in the museum archives)
And here's a bonus photo of the Matanuska Valley from Wasilla

This is my contribution to Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

A little more about Grandpa:

Meanwhile, Back at the Farm
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Ronda's Rants said...

What a great story and what a great man your grandfather was. Thanks for sharing!

Nancy said...

THAT'S SO COOL!!!! How neat that you have some solid history that you can refer to over and over again. :)

Lauren said...

Well it seems that a lot of good things come out of Wasilla!

Sunshine said...

Wow. That is pretty cool!

Susie said...

What an excellent tribute to your grandfather!! And what a great thing to have for your family.

Mama Dawg said...

What a wonderful tribute!

Matt's Miscellany said...

Neat tribute. I love to learn about things like that.

Teri said...

Great photo, and what a wonderful tribute to your grandfather. Most of us are not so lucky to have remembrances like that.

Hope you are doing well.

Nik said...

That's a GREAT tribute!! What a beautiful view too!

mama said...

This was one of the places that Daddy and I went to early in our marriage. Now we need to make a trip up with the kidlets so they can see too. said...

What a wonderful man your grandfather was! Sounds like he helped lots of people. The last picture is beautiful! I have never been to Alaska, but it looks beautiful!

Moose Nuggets said...

The paneling in the recreation is from his actual office located at the Butte (across the street from the farm). The chair, counter, cabinets, and other tools were all from his office as well. Grandpa's Diploma from dental school is on the wall and has the stickers for his State annual licenses around the perimeter. Of note the counter top is asbestos (he used a torch in manufacturing dentures) and the floor made from linoleum/asbestos tiles from the office (we had the same ones in the kitchen of the farm house). I once found a gallon jar of Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) in his office, but never did find out what he used it for.

Moose Nuggets said...

If you look through the door there is a certificate frame on the far wall (3/4 of the way up on the left) and you can see some of the license stickers.

Kelly said...

What a great tribute to your grandfather!! Such a neat family tree you have!

Sharon said...

I was pleasantly surprised to see Judy's grandfather's dental 'office' in the Dorothy Page museum. Too cool. It's been one of those six degrees things. Turned out my mother had dental work from Dr. McKinley. My mother had a beautiful smile too. The Matanuska-Susitna Valley is a very beautiful place.

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