The saving of Skagway City Hall


I read recently in our local newspaper that the city had quietly decided to purchase the old city hall on 5th Avenue which had been for sale for some time. Like many old buildings it had fallen into disrepair and being in the historic district, it would require extensive work to make it usable as a business, yet would be under many restrictions since it is a historical building. So I am so glad that the city has purchased it and will see that it is preserved in the same manner and with the same care that the Park Service has maintained the other historical buildings downtown. Seen above is the building as photographed by the Park Service, Karl Gurcke, in 2003. Seen below is the only interior photo taken by Hegg in 1898 showing the great leaders of town in discussions. George Brackett is on the far right with the long beard.

Rev. C. W. Ruth


Apparently there were two Reverends named C.W. Ruth. One was Charles W. Ruth and the other was Christian Wismer Ruth.  In the October 3, 1905 edition of the Skagway newspaper (viewable at the NPS library here in town). That article mentions Rev. C.W. Ruth, an evangelist who was preaching at the Peniel Mission. I earlier posted  a picture of a group of evangelists in the Peniel Mission in Skagway and I guessed that one of the men might be the Rev. C. W. Ruth. Christian was born September 1st, 1865, in Hilltown township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  Both his father and mother were devoted and consistent Christians. C. W. Ruth was one of the ten founding fathers of the Church of the Nazarene.  Ruth grew up in Indianapolis, and from an early age was an evangelist for the Holiness Christian Church.  In 1902 Ruth merged the Spokane, Washington holiness churches of the People’s Mission into the Church of the Nazarene.  He was considered a conservative, who also thought unity was the most important issue facing the Church of the Nazarene during the turn of the century. I believe that it was Christian who visited Skagway because he said,  “I traveled more than one hundred and fifty thousand miles filling my engagements, and have labored in thirty-three states and Canada,  among twenty-five different denominations”. Many thanks to Deborah Ruth, a descendent for additional information on C.W. as posted on her blog!