September 7, 2012

The Chilkoot Pass Hotel, Skagway, Alaska

Early Skagway
full of tents and unpainted buildings

he topic of the Chilkoot Pass Hotel in Skagway came up in the post on artifact #49. Not having any information on the hotel I decided to contact my list of private, city and federal Skagway historians to see if they had any knowledge on the business.

Karl Gurcke, with the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, stated that he didn't,

... have a Chilkoot Pass Hotel either but I did find a Chilkoot Hotel in Dyea, It apparently was also named the Chilcoot Hotel or the Chilkoot Tramway Company Hotel. It seems to have changed locations - from River Street above 19th Avenue to near Main Street and 21st Avenue. This is at the far northern end of town. It seemed to have had several different proprietors including Shallcross who owned one of the telephone companies. Seems to be an article in the August 1898 edition of the Dyea Trail.

Bob Lyon, historian with the National Park Service, had no data on the hotel and looked, hoping to find a photograph of the hotel, in the Alaska Digital Archive. Not having any luck he let me know he would also be searching the Yukon archives.

Karl and Bob are two of the several historians I enjoy working with. We always come up with new facts or new questions for each other. I am proud to be working with all of them.

Skagway went through many unrecorded changes in its infancy. Businesses opened and closed, or sold. I will take a logical guess that there was an early hotel in Dyea by the name of Chilkoot Pass, and that they moved over to Skagway, as many businesses did, when Skagway became the main port in the area. At the time of reopening in Skagway they kept the old name, but probably changed it soon enough, but not before Soapy had written James Cronin on April 19, 1898.

It was very common for Soapy to have mail delivered to him while in new camps so I find it hard to imagine that he would get the hotel name and city wrong. The fact that he received Cronin's letter has me believing that, even if for a short time, there was a Chilkoot Pass Hotel in Skagway.


Chilkoot Pass Hotel
September 4, 2012

Chilkoot Pass Hotel: page 503.

"You see, there are gamblers and gamblers. Now, these crap game men only make tin-horn gamblers, for this reason: When a man runs up against one of them he loses his money slowly, but surely. He wins a little occasionally, and becomes fascinated with the game. Then he winds up by becoming a gambler himself. But when they ‘run up’ against me ‘it’s off with them.’ They’re just paralyzed. I take everything they’ve got in short order, and they just throw up their hands and swear they’ll never gamble again—and they don’t. I tell you, I’m a reformer,…"
Denver Evening Post, March 18, 1898.


1813: The nickname "Uncle Sam" is first used as a symbolic reference to the United States. The reference appeared in an editorial in the New York's Troy Post.
1876: The famous failed robbery attempt of the bank in Northfield Minnesota by the James and Younger gang. The Youngers are captured days later with only Frank and Jesse James escaping.
1878: Sam Smith and Joe Bowers raid the ranch of Charles Fritz in Lincoln County, New Mexico scattering 17 horses and 180 head of cattle.
1880: The 4th Cavalry reports one soldier killed and four wounded in a fight with Indians near Fort Cummings, New Mexico Territory.
1880: George Ligowsky is granted a patent for his device that throws clay pigeons for trap shooters.
1881: The James gang makes their last robbery, the Chicago and Alton Railroad in Glendale, Missouri.
1888: Edith Eleanor McLean is the first baby to be placed in an incubator.
1896: A. H. Whiting wins the first automobile race held on a racetrack, held in Cranston, Rhode Island.
1898: Soap Gang member, Joe Palmer, is shot at the Colorado Springs Opera House, the bullet scoring his cheek and taking off the tip of his nose.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for leaving your comment and/or question on my blog. I always read, and will answer all questions left here. Please know that they are greatly appreciated. -Jeff Smith