Posts made in March, 2012

The Railroad Restaurant

Posted on Mar 28, 2012 in Bars and Hotels | 0 comments


In the same newspaper was an ad for John William’s “Railroad Restaurant” that had meals from 25 cents and up and that seated 50-60 people. They also had “private rooms” for ladies. The building that housed the restaurant still stands, it is part of the Richter’s store across the street from AB Hall. It was called the John Irving Building:
“British Columbia steamboat pioneer, John Irving, built this two-story false-fronted wood frame structure during the rush to Atlin in 1899. The John Irving Navigation Company, which operated a system of steamboats and a railroad from Bennett to Atlin, had a ticket office on the first floor as did Canadian Pacific Navigation. After the Atlin rush, the building became the Railroad Restaurant. After 1910 the Grand Truck Pacific Railway opened a ticket office for its steamships. In the 1930s the building became a part of Richter’s curio shop, the present occupant.”
Seen above, the 1910 is for the Richter’s Store, as the building is actually a gold rush building.

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“Clearing Out Sale”

Posted on Mar 28, 2012 in Goldrushers, Merchants, Skagway families | 1 comment


posted in the local paper on October 3, 1905:

“I am closing out for cash the following articles:
8 fine dogs – well broken to harness
16 pairs of fine Pennington wool mills woolen blankets
1 large Polar bear skin
1 buggy which would be well suited for a delivery wagon.
These are bargains for those that want them.

William Moore
Moore’s Park.”

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First Tourist, William H. Seward

Posted on Mar 26, 2012 in Explorers and naturalists, Heroes | 0 comments



Today is Seward’s Day and the state and local offices are closed to honor the man who fought, and nearly died to acquire the great land of Alaska. During the Civil War, when funds were scarce and Russia, too, was nearly broke from funding their wars, a great real estate deal presented itself. Although the negotiations took years to complete, the man who had the vision was U.S. Secretary of State, Wiliam H. Seward. Working for President Lincoln, he nearly suffered assasination on the same night that Booth shot Lincoln. Another member of the successionist movement pushed his way into Seward’s home, attacking his family and stabbing Seward several times in the face and neck. Miraculously surviving, Seward was not deterred from his task, and in 1867 not only saw the purchase of Alaska, but he also decided to go see the property.

In June of 1869, after retiring, Seward began his vacation to Alaska with a railroad trip across the country on the – then barely one-month-old – transcontinental railroad. He saw buffalo and Indian camps and visited Brigham Young in Salt Lake City. He then visited Sacramento and San Francisco.

Seward boarded the steamship “Active” as a guest of Ben Holladay (a California businessman) to visit the Chilkats up Lynn Canal. The ship visited Seattle and Victoria B.C. and then arrived in Sitka near the end of July. When they got to Klukwan or the port we now know as Haines, by coincidence, there was a U.S. government survey team also in the area to view a rare total eclipse of the sun. The party had timed its visit with the Chilkats to coincide with the eclipse. The Chilkats referred to tourists as “Boston Men” and assumed that Seward was the “Great Tyee” of the Boston Men. Obviously there had been men from Boston who had visited earlier but they were doing business presumably and were not casual tourists as the Seward party was in 1869.

When Seward returned to Washington D.C. he praised Alaska and said it was impossible to exaggerate Alaska’s physical treasures such as its rivers and its wildlife and noted that its untapped mineral and forest resources will make Alaska a “shipyard for the supply of all nations.” How prophetic!




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Bargain Cruise

Posted on Mar 23, 2012 in Alaska | 1 comment


I saw this on Ebay and was wondering where one could get such a good deal today!
train from San Francisco to Seattle and then cruise to Skagway, then take the train to Carcross with sidetrips to Taku all for $453 for three persons.

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Murderous Assault

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 in Murders, Skagway families | 0 comments


Clyde Bernal Guptill was born October 31, 1874 in Maine. He was working as a steamship agent in Skagway on October 19, 1911 when he was apparently brutally assaulted and robbed. When the assistant, Mr. Berryman went to open the office in the morning he found poor Guptill lying in a pool of blood with a bloody axe lying near. EEEoouuu!
The San Francisco Call reported on October 20 that the physicians did not expect him to survive. Oddly, he had taken in a large amount of money the previous day in ticket sales for the outgoing vessel, but the money was all there intact. Hence, no robbery.
Now oddly there are records of him dying in 1937, 1952 and 1964 in Washington (all of which born in 1874). Which is it?

A typical steamship office in 1910 is seen above. I will go now and check the newspaper archive to see if I can find out more about this new murder.
UPDATE: I checked the local paper for October and November 1911 and found that miraculously Mr. Guptill survived the attack, albeit with a fractured skull. The doctors decided not to operate and remove the bits of skull and just let him rest and recover. Perhaps that is why he survived. His brother, L.L. Guptill from Victoria came to take care of him. The police rounded up the usual suspects including the assistant Berryman, but later released them all, as they all had alibis. I read several weeks ahead and it appeared that they never solved the case. So it appeared as though Mr. Guptill lived on, probably one of those that died later in Washington. HUZZAH!

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