he Roadhouse was built between 1914 and 1917 by teamster brothers Frank and Ed Lee. During the early part of the 1900's goods were brought up the Susitna River on flat bottom boats, offloaded in Talkeetna then hauled out by horse team to the miners and trappers in the Peters and Dutch Hills west of the Susitna River.
The early 20's saw Talkeetna become the encampment of the Alaska Railroad while work was done to connect the line from Seward to Fairbanks. On June 15, 1923 President Harding stopped in Talkeetna on his way to Nenana to pound in the golden spike which completed the rail.
Once the railroad was complete and the miners became fewer in number, people began to visit Talkeetna not to seek their fortune in gold, but to climb mountains, fish, flightsee, mush dogs, ski and marvel at the beauty of the Alaska Range. Even though meals were reportedly served out of the Roadhouse as early as 1918 it wasn't until the cafe, rooms and plumbing were added in the 1940's that the "Roadhouse" designation became official.
Carroll and Verna Close were perhaps the most famous Roadhouse proprietors, owning the business from 1951 until they retired in 1978. During their time here the Roadhouse became famous for heaping plates of no-nonsense, home cooked food. You could order your eggs "any way you want" but they'd come out scrambled every time! The cooking was done on a big wood cook stove and family-style supper was served promptly at 6pm. Carroll was known to put out 47 loaves of bread at a time and we use his old bread pans again today.