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1000 Americans: Joe Carlson, Joy, Alaska

Joe Carlsson and one of his many granddaughters

Joe Carlson is a wonderful person. Joe and Nancy have adopted about 15 children, which supplemented their 8 ‘homemade’ (their own description) ones. They raised all 23 kids in their homestead, which they built from scratch. He is an entertaining person, which comes in very handy when the tourbuses come in. The sale of souvenirs is his main income, so when the large buses stop in front and a few dozen of mostly grey-haired pensioners on an Alaska tour come in, he switches on his salespitch. he greets all people in their home language, talks about the store, about Alaska, gives away free coffee and sell the souvenirs. 10 minutes later everybody is gone and he switches back to his relaxed mode.

They are a great family and their story is extraordinarily. When you are in the area of Fairbanks, do go up to mile 49,5 and visit Joe and listen to their history. Get a free coffee and a cheap delicious muffin and see what you can build up if you have determination and a free spirit.

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10 Responses to “1000 Americans: Joe Carlson, Joy, Alaska”
  1. ventsy says:

    what up joe it me ventsy i cant beleve your on the internet

  2. don mitchell says:

    i would like to know more about mr. carlson and his large family

  3. don mitchell says:

    i would like to get intouch with joe carlson or cherie curtis could you help if that is possible

  4. Michelle Bertrand says:

    The Carlson’s were close family friends of ours for a long time, but we’ve lost touch through the years. It was wonderful to see this article! Would it be possible to get contact information for them? Thank you.

  5. Peter Hoffmann says:

    I married one of the adopted children named Jade I know live in wisconsin with Jade and my three children. Joe and Nancy will be coming to see us in 3days(nov 13). We love Joe and Nancy.

    • Julie says:

      Hi Peter and Jade, I do not know Jade if you remember me but for a short time I lived with you guys when I was 11 years old. I am also from India and was going to be adopted by the Joe and Nancy Carlson but not sure what happened. Mostly I remember I was very sad and unstable so the adaption agency shifted me back to Denver with the previous Schlater family and they adopted me. I am now 31 years old with a 8 month old baby and we are very happy. If you wish to contact me you are welcome to my email ID is Please say hello to your parents and sisters and brothers for me:). Through my email I can give you my Denver contact information.

      Take care,


  6. Michelle Bertrand says:

    Hi Peter! Jade and I are about the same age, and she and I and her sisters used to hang out together…. actually her brother was my first boyfriend 🙂 Ask her if she remembers the Tillery family? Our families went out to lunch after church nearly every week… Would it be possible to get an email or mailing address for Jade and/or Joe and Nancy? We’d love to reconnect with them. Thanks! Michelle

  7. mike says:

    I wonder if you biked through Panama, we operate a backpackers hostel in david panama near the costa rican border and often host bikers heading south… with a pool and safe bike parking

  8. Angela and Charles lamanno says:

    My husband and I visited Joy Alaska in 1994 and we bought the book about the Carlson family by the name of Joy Abounds just wondering if there was ever a follow up book published
    Would love to hear the rest of the story


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] Los dos mostrados en las fotos fueron fotografiados en el Wilwood General Store, también conocido como Artic Circle Trading Post, en Joy (Alaska), a unas 50 millas (80 km) al norte de Fairbanks [ver en maps]. Allí se establecieron hace años Joe y Nancy Carlson y sus 23 hijos, 18 de ellos adoptados. Aunque leí en algún sitio su historia, la única referencia que he encontrado en internet es en el libro de Arie Uittenbogaard, Cross On Me: A Novel, el cual puede ser consultado on line aquí. también puedes leer una nota sobre Joe aquí. […]

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