Fish, fur, ice and gold tied Alaska to S.F.

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Sarah Palin's unexpected burst onto the national scene has piqued sudden interest in Alaska, but few people know that Northern California and the 49th state have been tied together in hundreds of ways in a relationship going back nearly 200 years.
For much of that time, Alaska, having few people and no industry, was virtually an economic colony of San Francisco.

There was also a literary connection: Alaska and the north country launched the career of Jack London, the author who was born in San Francisco, raised in Oakland and lived in Sonoma's Valley of the Moon.

The first contact between Alaskans and what became the San Francisco Bay Area, came when Russian and Aleut native fur hunters decimated the fur seal population on the Farallon Islands just off the Golden Gate starting about 1810.

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