October 4, 2012

Jeff Smith's Parlor restoration: Bob Lyon, part 17

Skagway postcard
(Click image to enlarge)

or the past seven months we here on Soapy's soapbox have been very fortunate to have historian Bob Lyon contribute updates and photographs pertaining to the Jeff Smith's Parlor restoration project, and the Martin Itjen/George Rapuzzi collection. I am sad to report that we will likely soon lose his valuable peeks into the project, however, we are certainly glad to report that it is because Mr. Lyon is moving up the ladder in National Park Service ranks. We wish him all the best of luck in everything he does. In the mean time, here, in his own words, is the latest news. 

Probably won't be anything new until spring. Though park maintenance is continuing to prepare the Parlor, I don't know what's happening with the exhibits. The plan was to put everything back where it was under Itjen and sort of a combination with Rapuzzi. But, the building will end up about 6-8 inches more narrow because of the framing to keep the place from falling down. That's a problem, but there really wasn't any other way to stabilize the building. Considering how many times it's been altered...first by Soapy, then moved and altered by the Fire Dept., then Itjen, then moved and renovated again by Rapuzzi...How much of the building fabric is original? Nobody really knows. Probably not a lot. But certainly some of it.

I took photos for the exhibit designers a year and a half ago. I haven't kept up with how that planning is going. We'd love to get rid of that fence in front, but, damnation, it's historic to the Rapuzzi era. Taking it down would require all kinds of legalities. Could be done, eventually, I hope. I think once the building is done and open again, we'll take a look at that fence.

I'm done here in a year, by the way. My position is a term job and it's over next August. ... Though I know everybody involved and can keep you updated somewhat. I'm moving into a different program next week. Have to say I'm kind of tired of Soapy and his blasted building! I'm kidding, but I won't have much to do with it this next year. The new program may send me to Skagway for other purposes, but we'll see. I'll be off to Denali, maybe Sitka, but I'll be dealing with historic buildings in all the parks in Alaska, instead of focusing on Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

Bob Lyon

Thank you Mr. Bob Lyon
for everything you have shared with us.

Jeff Smith's Parlor restoration

February 4, 2009 (Part 1)
February 19, 2009 (Part 2)  
March 31, 2010 (Part 3)  
August 7, 2010 (Part 4) 
February 11, 2011 (Part 5) 
April 5, 2011 (Part 6)
May 8, 2011 (Part 7)
May 17, 2011 (Part 8)
November 20, 2011 (Part 9)
March 21, 2012 (Part 10)
March 30, 2012 (Part 11)
June 20, 2012 (Part 12)
August 8, 2012 (Part 13)
August 29, 2012 (Part 14)
September 1, 2012 (Part 15)
September 26, 2012 (Part 16)

"When Soapy Smith owned the gamblers in Creede his cognomen was commonplace. Now since he has been chosen to lead the Denver redeemers they call him Sapolio de Smythe. Great it is to be a leader of the republican gang."
Alamosa Leader, circa 1890s


1648: The first volunteer fire department is established in New York City.
1777: Both American and British forces suffer heavy losses during fighting at Germantown, Pennsylvania. The battle is a British victory, but actually serves as a moral boost to Americans.
1856: California outlaw Tom Bell is hung by a posse led by Judge Belt and Robert Price. Bell was an Alabama-born surgeon who had served in the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War. He turned to banditry in 1855.
1860: The Confederacy sign treaties with the Indian tribes of the Seneca, Shawnee, and Cherokee, allowing them to join Confederate forces in battle.
1861: Frederick Remington is born in Canton, New York.
1874: Kiowa Indian leader, Satanta, "the Orator of the Plains," surrenders in Darlington, Texas.
1876: The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas is formally dedicated by Texas Governor, Richard Coke. It is the state's first school of higher education. 
1877: The Nez Perce Indians negotiate their surrender at Bear Paw Mountains, Montana Territory.
1878: John Chisum, famed New Mexico rancher, reports that that 10 to 12 of his horses have been stolen.
1881: Edward Leveaux receives the patent for the player piano.
1882: Frederick Remington moves to a farm Kansas, where he work as a cowboy by day and a painter by night.
1883: Sheriff Bob Paul and a posse shoot and kill Jack Almer, leader of the Red Jack Gang, near Wilcox, Arizona Territory, who was being sought for the August 10 stage robbery and murder of the Wells-Fargo guard.
1893: The first professional football contract is signed by Grant Dibert for the Pittsburgh AC.
1895: The first U.S. Open golf tournament takes place in Newport, Rhode Island. Horace Rawlins, 19-years-old, wins the tournament.
1909: The first airship race in the U.S. takes place in St. Louis, Missouri.

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