Dumb Alaska Laws


Hoofed Animals on Sidewalks

This Fairbanks ordinance, passed around 1915, forbade hoofed animals from using sidewalks. The law was aimed at early Fairbanks resident Pete Buchholz and his pet moose, name unknown. According to the recollections of Buchholz’s son, captured in a 1940 Fairbanks Daily-Miner article, the elder Buchholz would “lead the moose around town and into various places of business until objection was raised by various people of the town.”

 Some versions of the story say that the city fathers first wanted to bar the feeding of alcohol to moose – Buchholz was said to bring the beast into the saloon – but were unsuccessful. Instead, they opted to ban hooves on sidewalks, effectively barring Buchholz’s moose entry into the tavern. Later, the moose was relocated to a place where it was allowed to roam free, provided it wore a bell and halter, the younger Buchholz said. Those accoutrements notwithstanding, some “very good citizens” thought the moose was wild, “hence the demise of our moose without the benefit of the lawful owners so much as getting a steak from their pet.” Source

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