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Roslyn: aka Cicely Alaska

Roslyn’s rich history as a productive coal mining town (last mine closed in 1963) is overshadowed by the fact that the town was used as the primary set for the TV show Northern Exposure. Although the show was canceled in 1995, the town still attracts serious Northern Exposure "moose heads". A friendly local told us that the show was hugely popular in Spain and that many Spaniards come to Roslyn looking for familiar sights.

We purchased a crude and confusing handwritten walking tour map and set out to track down the Northern Exposure set locations. Looking down the main drag, we noticed that the totem poles, often seen in exterior shots in the series, had been erected as a prop to cleverly conceal the towns’ telephone poles.

The Roslyn Café mural is easily one the most recognized icons of the show (along with the moose of course). The mural had to be altered to read Roslyn's Café for the opening sequence. In the pilot, as Maurice is showing Joel around, he explains that a hippie passing through town painted the mural and that he was so high on weed he forgot the ‘apostrophe-S’. “I had to squeeze that in myself”. In a later episode we learn that Roslyn and Cicely were the names of the two women who founded the town.

KBHR Radio Station set is the most pristine of the series locations and now occupies a corner of the local furniture store. One can almost hear deejay Chris Stevens giving one of his philosophical musings. The historic building once housed the company store for the town’s coal mines and a statue in front commemorates the “virile” miners.

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