George Joseph Rapuzzi Jr.

George Rapuzzi and his wife Teresa Maria came here from Seattle in the Gold Rush. They were both born in Genoa Italy, George in 1857 and Teresa in 1867 but had come to Minnesota in the 1880’s.
When they arrived here in Skagway they started several businesses including the Washington Fruit and Candy Store (located above between the Red Onion and AB hall), a cigar store, a grocery store, and the California Wine House. They and their children and grandchildren stayed here for decades. His sons George and Louis both worked as U.S. Marshals.

George died on this day, June 10, 1926 and is buried in the Skagway Pioneer Cemetery. His wife Teresa died in 1941 and is buried next to him.

In the past two years the “Rapuzzi Collection” was acquired by the Rasmuson Foundation and donated to the Municipality of Skagway which has in turn given parts and some properties to the National Park. Originally thought to be over 450,000 items, the actual number of items now numbers about 3,000. Hmmm. It sure would be nice to actually see some of these items before they are described and locked away in the city and park archives-far from the menacing crowd.



2 Replies to “George Joseph Rapuzzi Jr.”

  1. I agree. I would love to see what the collection actually contains. I always wondered what items of Soapy’s it contains. I remember hearing that one of Soapy Smith’s old grave markers are one of the items.

    In my opinion the most important artifact in the collection to be saved from total destruction has to be Jeff Smith’s Parlor. Sadly they are making it into a “museum about a museum on Soapy Smith.”

    Jeff Smith

  2. Well Jeff, actually the good news on that is that the park is going to delay work on the YMCA building on State Street so that they can work on Soapy’s Parlor sooner. The commissary next to it is in possession of the city now but apparently no one is interested in planning a use for that. It does make good parking for the people next door….

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