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Dot Lake Community Chapel, Alaska


This History of Dot Lake, Alaska

    In 1947, Fred Vogel ventured north from the Lower 48 states to the Last Frontier - the Great Land of Alaska. Being attracted to the Dot Lake area, he places bids on several cabins formerly used by the Alaska Highway construction crews. He hoped to get at least one of the cabins, but ended up with all of them. By the time Fred's wife and 5-month-old daughter arrived, he had one of the cabins fixed up as their home.

    The only settlers at Dot Lake at this time were Peter Charles and his family, who were trapping in the area. Soon two more of the old road-camp cabins had been restored and given to other families who moved in, and Dot Lake became a village.

    During this time, Stanley Buck and his wife Thelma occasionally visited Dot Lake and held worship services in one of three village homes. Mr. Buck was a foreman for the Alaska Road Commission but made time to spread the gospel. As time passed, more people became converted, and a larger meeting place was needed. After the present Dot Lake Lodge was built, its front room was often used for this purpose. Honoring that tradition, thus far all owners of the lodge have chosen to not sell alcohol.

    On January 1, 1949, construction of the present Dot Lake Community Chapel was started. It was built on skids, with plans to move it to a location beside the lake when it was completed. The work was carried on by many willing hands - some cut lumber and drove nails, expecting only their meals and lodging in return. Others gave financial assistance. After several weeks, the chapel was complete and moved to its present location.

    It is interesting to note that Mr. Fred Vogel was mot yet a true believer in Christ as was his wife, but was desirous that Dot Lake be a Christian community and strongly promoted the idea of achurch for his neighbors. Yet it was his land on which the church was placed and it was he who was the builder-in-charge. It was on February 16, 1950 that Mr. Vogel, under the ministry of Rev. Harry Bates who was a saefty engineer for the Road Commission, heard God's call for him and totally surrendered and committed his life to the Master. He was the first convert in the chapel after it was moved to its present lakeside location. This momentous decision on the part of Mr. Vogel has led him and his loving, dedicated, Christian wife, "Jackie", to many parts of the world with the message of the Cross.
    The combined efforts of the Vogels and the Bucks persuaded the Department of Education to consider helping in the education of the local children. It was finally agreed that if local families furnished the building and the desks, the Department of Education would provide the teacher and textbooks. In 19522, Alsa Frank Gavin became dot Lake's first schoolteacher.

    The first school building was later returned to the Vogels, who now make it their home. The front part of the parsonage which sits behind the chapel is that first school house.

    Today, services continue to be held in the Dot Lake Community Chapel every Sunday by either Fred Vogel or volunteer ministers or laymen.