Harriet Matilda Pullen

photo by Henry Alaska Dedman

Happy Birthday Mrs. Pullen!
Hattie Smith was born on this day, August 5, 1869 in Hope, Dane County Wisconsin. she married Mr. Pullen in 1880 and the clan moved to La Push Washington.
When the call of gold came, Harriet packed up and came to Skagway where she lived the rest of her life. She saw it all, horses that could not be off-boarded at Dyea – she jumped on their backs and rode them off through the water to the beach. She made pie tins out of flattened cans and started selling pies. With the money she made there she built a hotel that became the pride of Skagway, the Vanderbilts, President Harding and movie stars stayed there.
I first read of her in an article in Reader’s Digest in the 1960’s as one of their “Most Unforgettable Characters”. Quite a lady!
She died on August 8, 1947 in Skagway and is buried near her home on the east side of the railroad tracks.



One Reply to “Harriet Matilda Pullen”

  1. She is also known for her museum she had on display in her hotel and later in Seattle. It was at the auction of her artifacts that my father obtained some of Soapy Smith’s belongings.

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