Martin G. Itjen

Martin Itjen died on this day December 3, 1942 in Skagway. Born in 1870 in Germany, Martin was a showman who promoted Skagway in many ways. He arrived in Skagway in 1898 as a stampeder. He later worked as a White Pass laborer, he owned a transfer business, was an entertainer, owned the Bay View House hotel, and was even an undertaker.

In 1935, as a great publicity stunt, Martin took his “street car” to Hollywood to promote Skagway tourism. He called on big screen starlet, Mae West, to “come up and visit him sometime.” His image of standing in front of his bus with Mae West is the most famous image.

He is buried in the gold rush cemetery next to a large gold-painted boulder which is chained down.

A fellow bloggist has lots more info on Martin’s family:



3 Replies to “Martin G. Itjen”

  1. Do you have any info on Don Woodin? He was a talent promoter who was the agent for Martin Itjen who set up personal appearances for Martin Itjen at theaters during his 1935 West Coast promotion tour.

    Thanks for any help.

    Lynn Thrasher

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