April 29, 2013

Three possible buildings of Soapy Smith in Skagway, Alaska

Three dark shaded building in the foreground
Drawing by Brenda Wilbee
(Click image to enlarge)

renda Wilbee is a friend of mine who lives in Skagway, Alaska during the summer season and spends the rest of the year in British Columbia, Canada. She penciled the above drawing from a photograph showing 3 black buildings that supposedly belong to Soapy Smith while he was there. “It's inscribed on the photograph itself, 'Soapy Smith's Black Buildings.' I'm going to show some of my images to Phyllis Brown, whose family have been here since the Gold Rush. (She's related to the Rapuzzi's and owns their estate.) She's been helpful with some of the research I'm doing and perhaps can fill me in with more detail about 'what used to be.'"

Brenda apologized for not being able to help me any more than she could, but there is no other known information on these buildings. One day I may come across more information but for now we can only use our imagination. For instance, how many of you imagined that Soapy's fake telegraph office might have been located in one of these 3 buildings?

Fake telegraph office: page 480.

"We falsely interpret the world around us. We ignore evidence that doesn't support our prior beliefs and we convince ourselves we know things we don't. We think we know things we don't know."
— Errol Morris


1813: Rubber is patented by J. F. Hummel.
1852: The first edition of Peter Roget's Thesaurus is published.
1861: Maryland votes against seceding from Union.
1862: New Orleans falls to Union forces during the Civil War.
1879: In Cleveland, Ohio electric arc lights are used for the first time.
1859: The Army's Division of the Pacific establishes its headquarters in San Francisco, California.
1866: A wagon from Confederate Gulch arrives at Fort Benton, Montana Territory with 2.5 tons of gold dust.
1867: The first train arrives in Salinas, Kansas.
1872: Five members of the James-Younger outlaw gang take at least $600 from the Bank of Columbia in Columbia, Kentucky. Bank teller R. A. Martin is shot and killed by both Jesse and Cole, while a customer takes a bullet in the hand that later has to be amputated. All the members of the gang escape without injury.
1878: Texas outlaw, Sam Bass and his gang are found hiding at the home of Jim Murphy near Cove Hollow in Texas and a four-day running gunfight ensures.
1879: In Cleveland, OH, electric arc lights are turned on for the first time.
1913: Gideon Sundback patents an all-purpose zipper. 

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