December 23, 2008

Fatal Duel historical marker

In 1998 I took my daughter to Skagway, Alaska for the centennial observance of Soapy’s death. We were joined by other members of the family. On the afternoon of July 8, the unveiling of plaque commemorating the approximate spot to the entrance of Juneau wharf, where another 60 feet into the bay Soapy met his fate. The plaque was fastened to a large boulder by the city of Skagway.

While browsing the net I came across the site for The Historical Marker Database ( They advertise that they are “an illustrated searchable online catalog of historical information viewed through the filter of roadside and other permanent outdoor markers, monuments, and plaques. It contains photographs, inscription transcriptions, marker locations, maps, additional information and commentary, and links to more information. Anyone can add new markers to the database and update existing marker pages with new photographs, links, information and commentary.”

I performed a search under the keywords, “Soapy Smith” and nothing came up. I was sort of surprised as I had just assumed all such historical plaques put up by cities would be placed on some sort of marker listing but this is not the case. I joined the organization (free) and filled out a basic marker application for acceptance in on December 17, 2008 and five days later it was accepted and published for all to see under the plaques title, FATAL DUEL.

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