July 13, 2012

Soapy Smith Wake: Magic Castle, 2012

The kids and I
Soapy Smith Night (Wake) at the Magic Castle 
(left to right) Jefferson R. Smith, Jeff Smith (me), Troy Hall, and Ashley Smith
Hollywood, CA.

aiting for details from the Magic Castle and writers block has kept me from posting here for a few weeks. I hope posting this today will get me out of that rut.

This year's Soapy Smith wake at the Magic Castle (they call it Soapy Smith Night) was fantastic. They just get better every year! It was for me, perhaps the best in the nine years the Castle has been putting them on. Although the event was on a Sunday evening I had twice as many guests on my membership card than in previous years. The problem for me has always been writing about the event afterwards. I get so hyped up and excited before the event, and then when the day finally arrives it's all within a few seemingly shorter hours. It usually takes me a few days to unwind. This year was harder than previous years as I was laid up in bed the following day.

So much fun!
 (Click image to enlarge)

Whit Haydn, the man behind the event tells me there were a total of 420 guests that raised $2,520 for the Dai Vernon Fund. Once again, my friend, Phil Gessert brought in his fantastic gambling collection and set up a gold rush era gambling hall. Actually, the crowd loves the play gambling (with $100 in Soapy money) that the gambling hall was enlarged and separated into two locations on each end of the downstairs room. Guests played roulette, faro, chuck-a-luck, and black-jack. There were also short cons operating around the Castle, such as the shell and pea game, three-card monte, and fast and loose. Once again, prizes were given to the most successful dealer and player. Cheating is not only welcome, but encouraged.

Jeff Smith talks about the history of the wakes
(note the cased grave marker in the background)

(Click image to enlarge)

The Soapy Smith wake at the Magic Castle is one of the few times guests can come in 1890s costume and every year more people come dressed and enter the costume contest. Prizes were given out for the most authentic male and female, the funniest male and female, and always the favorite, sexiest female. This year we also added sexiest male costume. Live period music was provided by Professor Dave Bourne and the Medicine Show Band. Very popular at each annual party is Chef Anton, the two-time national trick shot champion at pool, presented his incredible demonstration of billiards wizardry. The auction of Soapy and magic memorabilia always brings in a lot of money for the charity. Every year or so I clean out the case holding Soapy's 2nd grave marker and donate the larger splinters of wood to Whit Haydn. He picks a nice piece or two and puts them in a nice shadow box. This year the splinter sold for $96 with all the proceeds going to the charity.

Encased sliver from Soapy's grave marker donated
for the charity auction brought a winning bid of $96.00

I spend the evening talking with people and every year I run into people with great stories. This year one of the full-time Castle employees told me she chooses to work every event except for the Soapy Smith Night. It's the one event she attends as a guest, "because it's so much fun." I certainly can't argue with her.

Family member Ginni Dalton gave an eloquent toast this year 

I had the pleasure of having my two children, Ashley and Jefferson, there again. They are hooked. I also had a few first-time family members attend. It was also the first time ever meeting them. They are Shelagh Moriarty and son Aron and Ginny and Russ Dalton. Shelagh brought old photographs of her grandmother and Soapy's son, my grandfather. We will be getting together soon as she has a lot of history regarding the family. Ginny helped me with giving the toast.

More photographs of the event can be seen on Pop's Soapbox

A special thank to Whit "Pop" Haydn, the man behind this event. 
Our family is forever grateful.

1585: A group of 108 English colonists, led by Sir Richard Grenville, reach Roanoke Island, North Carolina.
1754: At the beginning of the French and Indian War, George Washington surrenders the small, circular Fort Necessity in southwestern Pennsylvania to the French.
1787: U.S. Congress, under the Articles of Confederation, enacts the Northwest Ordinance, which establishes the rules for governing the Northwest Territory, for admitting new states to the Union and limiting the expansion of slavery.
1812: The first pawn-broking ordinance is passed in New York City.
1832: U.S. Indian agent and explorer Henry Schoolcraft discovers the source of the Mississippi River. Its 2,552-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico begins at Lake Itasca, Minnesota.
1835: John Ruggles receives patent #1 from the U.S. Patent Office for a traction wheel used in locomotive steam engines. All 9,957 previous patents were not numbered.
1863: Opponents of the Civil War draft riot for three days in New York City, which results in more than 1,000 casualties.
1866: Construction begins on Fort Phil Kearny in Wyoming, between the forks of the Little Piney and Big Piney Creeks. Red Cloud, Ogalala Crazy Horse, Black Shield, and High Backbone of the Minneconjous Indian tribe, seal a pact and over the next six months kill 154 soldiers and settlers in 51 skirmishes.
1867: Lieutenant Goodale and the 23rd Infantry report five Indians killed and two captured on the Malheur, Oregon Territory. One soldier is killed.
1871: The 21st Infantry reports killing fifteen Indians and one soldier killed, Clenega de Los pinos, Arizona Territory.
1872: The 5th Cavalry reports killing four Indians in a battle in the Whetstone Mountains, Arizona Territory.
1875: David Brown patents the first cash-carrier system.
1882: George Hackett, driver of a Wells Fargo stage nine miles outside of Strawberry, California shoots at stage robber Charles Earl Bowles, alias “Black Bart.” The shot scars Bowles forehead, but he escapes into the woods.
1891: William Oliver is swindled for a second time in the Tivoli Club and gets into a fight with bunco man, John Goodfellow.
1896: Philadelphia’s Ed Delahanty became the second major league player to hit four home runs in a single game.
1898: Deputy US Marshal Taylor is officially relieved of duty by US Marshal Shoup after the death of Soapy Smith. Taylor was in Soapy’s pay.
1898: Sheriff Pat Garrett of Dona Ana County, New Mexico and four deputies attempt to arrest Oliver Lee and James Gilliland at Lee’s ranch for murder. The lawmen were greeted with gunfire from Lee and Gilliland. Garrett receives a slight wound in the side and Deputy Kent Kearney is mortally wounded. The lawmen retreat, but both men later surrender. Lee and Gilliand are acquitted of the murder charge. Garrett loses his job as sheriff. Lee returns to ranching and is eventually elected twice to the New Mexico legislature.
1937: Outlaw Emmett Dalton dies. He was a member of the train and bank robbing Dalton Gang in Indian Territory. He survived the ill-fated Dalton raid on two banks in Coffeyville, Kansas, despite receiving 23 gunshot wounds. After serving 14 years in prison for the crime, Dalton capitalized on his notoriety to author books and become an actor in Hollywood. Emmett Dalton died in Los Angeles, California. It is believed that Mary, the wife of bad man Soapy Smith was a cousin to the Daltons.

July 12, 2012

Skagway, Alaska parade July 4, 2012, part 2.

Recruiting volunteers for the Spanish American War in 1898.
Winner of "Most Patriotic Float"
Pictured left to right: Interpretive park rangers Gina Palmer, Historian Karl Gurcke, Bruce Dansby
and Sebastian Selig.
(NPS photo)

ational Park Historian, Bob Lyon sent me a couple of great photographs taken on July 4, 2012 during the Skagway, Alaska annual parade. The float created by the Klondike Goldrush National Historical Park that I posted about on July 6, won "Most Patriotic Float."

The float theme was just as I thought. My first post on July 6 did not contain any pictures of the front of the float so I took a guess. The photo at top shows Soapy (Bruce Dansby) and one of his gang members (Karl Gurcke) signing up volunteers for the Skaguay Military Company. The signed up volunteers then enter the examination tent with their clothes intact. They exit the rear of the tent sans most of their clothing.  

Close up of the rear of the float
"Volunteers" sans clothing after being "examined"
(NPS photo)

The NPS gang before the parade

The Days of 98 Show float won a category prize as well

The beautiful Allison Graham sells garters for Diabetes research

July 6, 2012

1861: Gunman David McCanles, is shot dead by “Wild Bill” Hickok in the Rock Creek station, Nebraska. McCanles had challenged Hickok to fight because Hickok was seeing the same woman he was.
1862: The U.S. Congress authorizes the Medal of Honor.
1864: President Abraham Lincoln witnesses Union forces repell Jubal Early's Confederate army on the outskirts of Washington, DC.
1870: Battle of the Little Wichita River in Texas. Kicking Bird and 100 of his Kiowa fighters battle Captain McLellan and 54 members of the 6th Cavalry. Capt. McLellan had been dispatched to recover the mail from Indians who had attacked a mail coach sixteen miles west of Fort Richardson six days previous.
1876: “Wild Bill” Hickok, age 39, arrives in Deadwood, Dakota Territory.
1882: The Tombstone Epitaph reports that Johnny Ringo is drunk in Galeyville, Arizona Territory.
1893: Deputy Marshal Sherman Russell is shot and killed by Sam Woodward near Muskogee, Indian Territory. It is unknown if Woodward was ever brought to justice.

July 7, 2012

A toast to Soapy Smith's ghost.

uly 8 is a big day for the family and fans of bad man Soapy Smith, aka Jefferson Randolph Smith II. It was on July 8 1898 that Soapy was shot and killed by Frank Reid and Jesse Murphy on Juneau Wharf, Skagway, Alaska. In 1977 my family and I visited Skagway and there, with the cast of the Days of 98 Show, we held the first "wake" over Soapy's grave. This year marks the 114th anniversary of Soapy's death, the 35th anniversary for Skagway's wake, and the 9th anniversary for the Soapy Smith Night (wake) held at the Magic Castle.

I hope you are able to attend one of the events being held across the U.S., but even if you are unable to, I would like to invite all of you join us, no matter where you are, no matter what you might be drinking at the time, to raise your glass at approximately 9:15 p.m. (your time) and drink a toast to this amazing character of the old west.

I enjoyed and wish to share with you what Friends member, Hyam A. Shyster, a magician, had to say today on Facebook.

"The next week for me are officially declared Soapy Smith days and will be dedicated to the memory of the best bad guy you ever wanted to like, Jefferson R. Smith. ... My birthday is July 12 between now and then I will honor Soapy as all my shows will be tributes to him. ... Soapy Smith is one of my hero's and is an icon of American history. I'm glad to honor men like him. Soapy inspired the name Hyam A. Shyster (say the full name to yourself) has also been the inspiration for the type of shows I do."
Thank you very much for that fine offer of tribute Mr. "Shyster." Soapy would be proud.

1754: Kings College (Columbia College) opens in New York City.
1846: U.S. annexation of California is proclaimed at Monterey after the surrender of a Mexican garrison.
1862: The first railroad post office is tested on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad in Missouri.
1867: The 8th Cavalry reports one soldier wounded in action against Indians at Beale's Spring, Arizona Territory.
1875: Indians kill three members of the 7th Infantry near Camp Lewis, Montana Territory.
1876: Jesse and Frank James, Cole, Jim and Bob Younger, Clell Miller, Charlie Pitts, and Bill Chadwell stop and rob the Missouri Pacific train of $15,000 as it slowed to cross an old railroad bridge east of Otterville, Missouri.
1879: Caldwell, Kansas lawman, George Flatt, along with Constable W. C. Kelly, Deputy John Wilson and W. H. Kiser shoot it out with George Wood and Jake Adams in the Occidental Saloon. Flatt is credited with killing the two men.
1885: G. Moore Peters patents the cartridge-loading machine.
1898: The U.S. annexes Hawaii.
1898: Rev. John Sinclair takes a photo of Soapy Smith on his horse. It is the last known photograph of Soapy alive as he is killed in a gunfight the following day.
1898: John Stewart arrives in Skagway with a poke of gold. The following day he will be robbed of his gold by the Soap Gang, which causes a chain reaction leading to Soapy Smith’s death.
1903: A shootout in Parachute, Colorado on July 5 ends in the suicide of a man authorities claim is Harvey Logan, alias “Kid Curry.”

July 6, 2012

Soapy Smith represented again by the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park

"Suckered by Soapy"
The National Park Service parade entry
(photo by Thomas Pickerel)
(Click image to enlarge)

kagway resident photographer, Thomas Pickerel set up his camera on Broadway and 8th to get some great long-range shots of the July 4 parade. He shared them on Facebook and was kind enough to send me larger versions. Thank you Thomas!

This year's parade theme was "volunteerism," and once again the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park was able to work Soapy Smith into their parade entry. When word of the Spanish-American War reached Skagway, Soapy jumped for the cause. There is little doubt that he was a very patriotic man, but there was also big money to be made thanks to President McKinley's offer to financially support military militias that prepared to fight. Original documents and minutes sent to President McKinley and Governor Brady of Alaska pertaining to the newly created Skaguay Military Company clearly show that Soapy was more than willing to create, arm, train, and lead a government authorized company of soldiers, under his command of course. A story created in a Vancouver newspaper in May 1898 told the story of how volunteers were being robbed of their money, and even their clothing, in a fake physical examination set up by Soapy and the gang. Although no actual victims ever came forward with the same story of being robbed, Soapy continued to drill and parade the Company until July 4, 1898. The robbery story was obviously made up but nearly all the Soapy biographers repeated the story as if true. Although my book, Alias Soapy Smith, clearly shows the story the work of fiction, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park used it as the story for their float. I don't mind it, the float concept was humorous and it seemed to work out well. I am sort of surprised that they would cater to fiction when they are so strict about their non-fiction status elsewhere.

Victims of Soapy's fake examination exit without their clothes.
(photo by Thomas Pickerel)
(Click image to enlarge)

The two photographs above show the rear of the Park Service entry as it turns onto Broadway. They are enough to see that the front portion of the float has Soapy signing up fully clothed volunteers to the Skaguay Military Company. The volunteers then enter the tent for their examination, and come out the back side of the tent in their long-johns, representing the robbery of their possessions. I would have loved to have seen it in person.

Signs on the float and carried by Park employees dressed in period garb, read, "STAND WITH US OR AGAINST US," SOAPY PUTS THE TEARS IN VOLUNTEERS," "SUCKERED BY SOAPY," and "UNCLE SOAPY WANTS YOUR MONEY."     

Thomas Pickerel's blog: Skagwaydelta

Last year's entry by the Park Service
July 7, 2011 

Skaguay Military Company: page 486-505.

1699: Pirate, Captain William Kidd, is captured in Boston, Massachusetts and deported back to England.
1777: British forces capture Fort Ticonderoga during the American Revolution.
1854: The Republican Party holds its first convention in Jackson, Mississippi.
1858: Lyman Blake patents the shoe manufacturing machine.
1863: John Bozeman leaves Fort Laramie in present day Wyoming to blaze a trail to the Yellowstone Valley in what will be named the Bozeman Trail.
1869: Nine Indians are killed and ten wounded by cavalry as reported by Lieutenant McCleave in Arizona Territory.
1876: Captain McCaskey of the 20th Infantry receives a communiqué at Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory from General Terry at 2:00 a.m. He summons officers to inform 27 widows. Elizabeth Custer is wakened at 7 a.m. with the news of the deaths of her husband, her brother-in-laws Tom Custer, Boston Custer, and James Calloway, and her nephew Henry Armstrong Reed. Elizabeth then accompanies an officer as he visits 25 other widows.
1885: Louis Pasteur successfully tests his anti-rabies vaccine. The child used in the test later becomes the director of the Pasteur Institute.
1886: The Academy of Music in Denver, Colorado burns down. In addition, the theater, Kinneavy's Saloon (Soapy’s friend), the St. Cloud restaurant, two stores and the Western union office were destroyed. Next door, the hotel Doc Holliday was living in, the Metropolitan, was spared as were the Board of Trade saloon, a warehouse, the German National Bank and Charpiot's restaurant suffered a scorching loss of windows from the heat.

July 4, 2012

1776: The Declaration of Independence, prepared by Thomas Jefferson, is approved and signed by John Hancock, the President of the Continental Congress.
1802: The U.S. Military Academy officially opens at West Point, New York.
1803: The Louisiana Purchase is announced in newspapers. The property is purchased by the U.S. from France for $15 million (or 3 cents an acre). The "Corps of Discovery," led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, begins the exploration of the territory ten months later on May 14, 1804.
1817: Construction begins in New York on the Erie Canal, to connect Lake Erie and the Hudson River.
1845: American writer Henry David Thoreau begins his two-year experiment in simple living at Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts.
1848: In Washington, DC, the cornerstone for the Washington Monument is laid.
1854: Lawman and buffalo hunter Bill Tilghman is born in Ft. Dodge, Iowa.
1855: The first edition of Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman is published in Brooklyn, New York.
1863: The Confederate town of Vicksburg, Massachusetts surrenders to Union General Ulysses S. Grant.
1864: Congress passes the Immigration Act, which allows the railroads, and other companies, to import Chinese laborers to the U.S. due to the shortage created by the Civil War.
1866: The Superintendent of Indian Affairs signs a treaty with the Delaware Indians at their agency in Kansas.
1867: Due to flooding Fort Hays is relocated south of what will become Hays City, Kansas.
1869: In what some believe to be the first rodeo, cowboy Emilne Gardenshire wins the title “champion bronco buster of the plains,” and a new suit in Deer Trail, Colorado Territory.
1870: The first Seminole-Negroes recruited in Texas as U.S. Army scouts by Major Zenas R. Bliss enlisted for 6 months. The organization fought in numerous expeditions against various Indian tribes in Texas. During the Indian Wars, four of the scouts won the Congressional Medal of Honor.
1872: Wild-steer riding is added to the competition at an early rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory.
1874: The 2nd Cavalry and its scouts engage Indians on the Bad Water ranch near the Wind River, Wyoming Territory. Twenty-six Indians are killed and twenty wounded. Four soldiers are killed and six wounded.
1876: Black cowboy Nat Love wins a mustang roping contest and a shooting match in Deadwood, Dakota Territory. In addition to the prize money he is given the alias “Deadwood Dick.”
1878: Outlaw, Billy the Kid and the Regulators have a long-range shootout with rival factions of the Seven Rivers gang at John Chisum's South Spring River ranch in New Mexico Territory. No one is injured.
1880: At an Independence Day horse race in Bisbee, Arizona, George Warren bet his share in the Copper Queen Mine. The horse he bet on lost the race. His share in the mine would later be worth about $20 million dollars.
1881: Virgil Earp becomes the town marshal in Tombstone, Arizona Territory.
1881: The Tuskegee Institute in Alabama opens.
1883: Buffalo Bill Cody presents an early version of his famous Wild West show featuring cowboys, Indians, trick riders, and sharp shooters in North Platte, Nebraska.
1883: Pecos, Texas claims to hold history's first rodeo.
1884: Bullfighting is introduced in America in Dodge City, Kansas.
1884: E. C. Abbott, alias “Teddy Blue,” records that the outfit under the leadership of Granville Stuart, owner of the DHS Ranch, rode to the mouth of the Musselshells and hung Billy Downs and three more at Rocky Point, Montana Territory.
1886: Prescott, Arizona claims to hold history’s first rodeo.
1892: The first double-decked street car service is inaugurated in San Diego, California.
1893: Soapy Smith referees a boxing match in Denver.
1894: After seizing power, Judge Stanford B. Dole declares Hawaii a republic.
1898: Soapy Smith leads the Skaguay Military Company as Captain, in the Independence Day parade, Skagway, Alaska.

July 3, 2012

Soapy says, "Happy July 4!"

Jeff Smith's Parlor
July 4, 2012
(photo by Donna Smith)

onna Smith and Jerry Stainer, Friends of Bad Man Soapy Smith members, took a trip to Skagway, Alaska recently. It's definitely not their first trip there but Donna wanted to send me some photographs of how things are looking, Soapy wise.

The photo at top shows that the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park is once again taking interest in the July 4 festivities by decorating Soapy's saloon in red, white, and blue. Soapy was indeed very patriotic, and in fact, photos of Jeff Smith's Parlor without patriotic bunting draped all over it are on the rare side.

Donna says you can't go to
Skagway without visiting
Soapy Smith's grave.
(photo by Donna Smith)

While in Skagway Donna purchased my book, Alias Soapy Smith at the Skagway News Depot, which had been autographed by me, so they also had the entire cast of the Days of 98 Show autograph it! I thought that was a wonderful idea. Donna and hubby Jerry also took in the Temsco helicopter ride and rode the steam train to Fraser and back again. During the ride they saw two bears. Donna said they even did a little geocaching while they were there. That's a game people play where someone will hide small little prizes and then those with a GPS (global positioning system) application try to find it. My daughter Ashley and her boyfriend just started playing the game. Afterwards Donna told me they saw the play and did the usual tourist shopping in the stores of Skagway.

Thank you very much Donna!

Soapy Smith's Olde Tyme Photo Parlor
A modern business capitalizing on Soapy's name
(photo by Donna Smith)

Donna Smith and Jerry Stainer
April 2, 2011
April 1, 2011 

1775: U.S. Gen. George Washington takes command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1844: U.S. Ambassador Caleb Cushing successfully negotiated a commercial treaty with China that opened five Chinese ports to U.S. merchants and protects the rights of American citizens in China.
1862: Union forces are the victors in a battle with Confederate troops in Locust Grove, Indian Territory.
1863: The Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania ends as a major victory for the Union after three days of fighting.
1865: General Connor arrives in Fort Laramie, Dakota Territory (present day Wyoming), with orders to protect the stagecoaches of the Overland Mail Company from Arapaho Indians.
1867: The 3rd Infantry from Fort Wallace, Kansas, reports one soldier wounded near Goose Creek, Colorado Territory.
1869: Four Indians are killed in a fight with the 8th Cavalry in Hell Canyon, Arizona Territory.
1871: The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Company introduces the first narrow-gauge locomotive. It is called the Montezuma.
1873: Vigilantes lynch a rustler who stole a widow's cow in Phoenix, Arizona Territory.
1876: The steamship Far West begins the journey down the Yellowstone River, Montana Territory, carrying the bodies of George Custer and his men, Reno's wounded, and the horse Comanche.
1876: The first newspaper account of Custer's battle at the Little Bighorn appear in the Bozeman Times, Montana Territory.
1878: A posse under command of J. J. Dolan terrorizes San Patricio, New Mexico Territory, as they search for the Regulators. One of the Regulators is outlaw Billy the Kid.
1878: John Wise flies the first dirigible in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
1880: The publication, Science, goes on sale, with inventor Thomas Edison having provided the principle funding.
1884: E. C. Abbott, alias “Teddy Blue,” records that the outfit, under the leadership of Granville Stuart, hung a rustler between the DHS Ranch and Fort Maginnis, Montana Territory.
1888: Wyatt Earp's second wife, Celia "Mattie" Blaylock, commits suicide in Pinal, Arizona Territory. Mattie had accompanied Wyatt to Tombstone and separated (abandoned) from the lawman after they left Tombstone. She worked as a prostitute.
1890: Idaho becomes the 43rd state of the Union.
1897: G. A. Lancaster files a claim on Eldorado Creek in the Yukon, later to be known as Gold Hill, located in the Klondike, Yukon Territory.
1898: During the Spanish-American War, six Spanish warships in Cuba's Santiago-de-Cuba Harbor attempt to flee by shooting their way through a U.S. blockade. U.S. warships destroy all of the Spanish ships killing more than 350 Spanish seamen. The U.S. loses one sailor in the battle. Newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst maneuvers his steamer close to the action and captures (rescues) 17 Spanish seamen from the water.
1901: Harvey "Kid Curry" Logan, Ben Kilpatrick, “Deaf Charley” Hanks, and an unknown 4th member of the Wild Bunch gang, rob a Great Northern Coast Flyer train near Wagner, Montana, getting away with up to  $65,000, gold watches, and a bolt of silk. After Kilpatrick boarded as a passenger, “Deaf Charley” (or possibly Harvey Logan) snuck onto the coupling between the tender and baggage car, and hijacked the train to a prearranged point where Logan and Kilpatrick then robbed the express car, blowing up the safe with dynamite. Before leaving, the Express Manager asked for a souvenir, and Logan emptied his gun and handed it over, saying, “Thanks for your help.” It is the last recorded Wild Bunch robbery.

July 1, 2012

Soapy Smith to aid Colorado fire victims!

Soapy would be honored and proud!

ust received some amazing news. Dave Elstun, Friends of Bad Man Soapy Smith member and mastermind behind the annual Soapy Wake in Denver, Colorado came up with the brilliant and very humane idea of donating proceeds from this year's event (July 8, 2012) to victims of the Colorado fires that have wreaked havoc on the state and it's occupants.

Dave told me that the idea came to him because of Soapy's history as a charitable man, which he indeed was. I think this is a wonderful way to advertise the Wake, which will hopefully bring in tons of money for the victims. Soapy would be so proud to know that even in the grave, he can still help those in need. The following is from Dave Elstun

The Lumber Baron Inn and Garden's is pleased to announce "Denver's Second Annual Soapy Smith Wake". A special event to raise money for victims of Colorado wildfires. Soapy's Wake takes place at 7:00 PM, Sunday July 8th, 2012 at The Lumber Baron Inn, 2555 W. 37th Ave., in Denver's historic Highlands Neighborhood. The show features the talents of the Three Soapy's, Magician Dave Elstun, Comedian's Darrin Ray and Matt Vander Muelen also featured Lumber Baron Owner and Historian Walter Keller, Songbird of the west Laura Powers and Physical Comedian and Juggler Reid Belstock. Tickets are now on sale at The Lumber Baron Inn (303) 477-8205 for only $15.00 per person. For more information please visit http://www.magicindenver.com/The-MagiCabaret-.html.

Soapy Smith was a scoundrel! He was a Con Man and one of the countries earliest Crime Bosses. Soapy operated In Denver from approximately 1879 to 1889. He was also said to be a large a generous contributor to charities. Soapy Smith is also an important part of the history that creates Denver's unique western character. It is in this spirit that The Lumber Baron Inn is producing "Denver's First Annual Soapy Smith Wake". The Wake is a recreation of and old fashioned Saloon Show just the way Soapy would have liked it. Imagine if in 1890's a group of Soapy's friends had gathered at Denver's infamous Tivoli Club to toast their friend.

Stay tuned as more develops.

1847: The U.S. Post Office issues its first adhesive stamps.
1861: Confederate forces, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John B. Baylor, occupy Mesilla, New Mexico Territory.
1862: President Lincoln signs the Pacific Railroad Act, which authorized the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroads to build the first transcontinental railroad. The two railroads were loaned capital at the rate of $16,000 per mile over prairie land and $48,000 over mountainous terrain. The act also granted them ten sections of public land per mile for the track that linked Omaha, Nebraska and Sacramento, California.
1862: The U.S. Congress establishes the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
1863: A victorious Colonel Williams leads 800 members of the 1st Kansas Colored along with 500 Indians against a force of Texas Confederates lead by Cherokee chief and Confederate general Stand Watie at Cabin Creek, Kansas
1863: The first day of fighting at Gettysburg begins, during the Civil War.
1865: Camp Tyler is established on the South Platte River Road in Colorado. It is later renamed Fort Morgan.
1871: Grayson County, Texas - Richard Johnson, a Texas cowboy who sided with the Lee faction in the bloody Lee-Peacock Feud that raged during the 1860s, shoots and kills Lewis Peacock ending the feud. Johnson was never apprehended for the murder.
1874: The Philadelphia Zoological Society zoo opens the first zoo in the United States.
1875: The 2nd Cavalry reports killing two Indians in a battle at the Little Popo Agie River in Wyoming.
1876: The first news of the Little Bighorn battle reaches Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory when Crow scouts, Speckled Cock and Horned Toad, tell the Indians there of a big fight and of a white leader (Custer) who committed suicide.
1877: Soapy Smith’s mother, Emily Dawson Edmundson, dies in Round Rock, Texas.
1883: The stage running through Black Canyon, Arizona Territory is robbed for the second time in three days.
1887: Gunman and rancher, Clay Allison dies in a freak accident. He was returning from Pecos, Texas, with supplies. Allison toppled from his buckboard he was driving and fell beneath the wheel of the heavily laden wagon. The horses jerked forward and the wheel crushed Allison's head killing him instantly.
1890: Prohibition goes into effect in North Dakota.
1892: The outlaw Dalton Gang stops a train, near Red Rock, Cherokee Strip. They force the express car door open taking $11,000 from the safe.
1893: The first wooden bicycle race track in the U.S. opens in San Francisco, CA.
1898: Theodore Roosevelt and his "Rough Riders" wage a victorious assault on San Juan Hill in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.
1898: U.S. forces attack Spanish troops entrenched at El Caney and on the San Juan heights, east of Santiago-de-Cuba. The Americans win tactical victories, driving the outnumbered Spanish defenders to the outskirts of Santiago.