Dubbed Alaska’s Johnny Appleseed, Charlie Anway first moved north chasing gold during the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898. He later homesteaded along the Chilkat River near Haines and started a fruit farm. He grew apples and sweet cherries and developed his own early pink-skinned potato that he named the Early Anway.
His first crop was strawberries. Anway strawberries were huge. According to the Haines Sheldon Museum, the strawberries averaged 12-15 berries per quart and the largest berries measured seven inches in circumference. “This strawberry is without a rival in size or quality,” wrote Anway’s biographer Robert E. Henderson. Anway shipped his strawberries to Juneau and Skagway, where they could be transported north by train. Haines gained a reputation as the strawberry capital of Alaska, and overseeing it all was Anway, the strawberry king.