February 13, 2012

A new photo of Soapy Smith?

Pacific Hotel & Sample Room
Skagway, Alaska 1898

My friend Gary "Gritscafe" on eBay has been selling Alaskan artifacts that were found in Keller’s Drug Store of Skagway, Alaska among a Case and Draper collection that is dated from the late 1800's to the early 1900's. The building that Keller used for the Drug Store was originally the Case and Draper Photo Studio. Some of the items he has found were related to Soapy Smith and I have show cased them here.

The photograph at the top is a nice original 4 1/4" by 6 1/2" sepia photo of the Pacific Hotel and Sample Room of Skagway, Alaska. There are 8 men posing for the picture. Gary writes that one of the men looks like Soapy Smith? What do you think?

Gary was kind enough to send me an enlarged digital copy of the photograph so that I could have a look at the man who may be Soapy. I gave him the following opinion.
Hi, Gary.
Thanks for the opportunity to look at the photograph closer. I can't really say one way or the other. It could be him, and it may not be. The man in the photograph is wearing what looks like a derby. The only known photographs of Soapy in Skagway show him wearing a light colored, wide brimmed sombrero style hat that was common with many of the stampeders. Did he have different hats? We don't know. His clothes in the known photographs were the standard dark business suit style. I hope this helps.
Time and again, Gary has proven himself to be an honest man. This sale is no exception. He is not saying this IS Soapy, but merely saying it "looks like Soapy." I admire that. The photograph is up for auction as of this post and you can find it HERE.

Gary "Gritscafe"
April 1, 2010, October 26, 2009, December 22, 2008


Jeff Smith


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