March 3, 2016

Skagway, Alaska, circa 1916

Skagway, Alaska
circa 1916
Jeff Smith collection
(Click image to enlarge)

kagway, Alaska
circa 1916

A recent hand-colored postcard I obtained showing Skagway about 1916. I base this date on the location of Soapy Smith saloon on Holly Street (now Sixth). The photo below is large and copied in black and white for ease of viewing, but detail is lacking in some places due to the painting.

Same postcard
Grey scale and enlarged
Jeff Smith collection
(Click image to enlarge)

If you go to Skagway today, and stand in the parking lot of the bank of Alaska on 6th and Broadway, you will be standing where Jeff Smith's Parlor originally stood in 1898. It was moved across the street in 1916 by Martin Itjen, as shown in this postcard. May 6, 2016 is the grand opening of Jeff Smith's Parlor!

"An enterprising showman in Denver is advertising a wax impression of the face of Soapy Smith, the late, who was killed in the boots he wore at Skaguay, Alaska. Great paper signs on the windows of the place where the exhibition is given announce in flaring headlines “Jefferson Randolph Smith, the hero of many encounters.” The show is being given on the ground which Smith himself traversed almost daily previous to getting into his fatal trouble."
Denver Evening Post
Alias Soapy Smith, p. 557.


1791: Congress passes a resolution that creates the U.S. Mint.
1803: The first impeachment trial of a U.S. Judge, John Pickering, begins.
1812: The U.S. Congress passes the first foreign aid bill.
1817: The first commercial steamboat route from Louisville to New Orleans is opened.
1837: US president Andrew Jackson and Congress recognize Republic of Texas. Texas will later become a state, and home to the (“Soapy”) Smith family.
1845: Florida becomes the 27th state.
1845: Congress passes legislation that for the first time overrides a U.S. President’s veto.
1849: The U.S. Department of the Interior is established.
1849: The Gold Coinage Act, which allows the minting of gold coins, is passed by Congress.
1849: Congress creates the territory of Minnesota.
1851: Congress authorizes the 3-cent piece, the smallest U.S. silver coin.
1855: Congress approves $30,000 to test camels for military use.
1857: Congress authorizes the postmaster general to seek bids for an overland stagecoach service to carry mail between the Missouri River and San Francisco.
1857: Fort Abercrombie is established on the west bank of the Red River south of where present day Fargo, North Dakota is. It was named for the commander of the founding party, Lieutenant Colonel John Abercrombie.
1863: Congress authorizes a US mint at Carson City, Nevada.
1863: Idaho Territory is created by Congress. Over 20,000 miners had already arrived to gold fields there.
1863: Free city delivery of mail is authorized by the U.S. Postal Service.
1875: The U.S. Congress authorizes the 20-cent piece. It is only used for 3 years.
1877: Camp Huachuca, Arizona Territory is established to protect the border.
1885: The American Telephone and Telegraph (AT and T) is incorporated in New York as a subsidiary of the American Bell Telephone Company.
1885: The U.S. Post Office offers special delivery for first-class mail.
1894: The Atlantis, the first Greek newspaper in America, is published.
1903: Barney Gilmore, of St. Louis, Missouri, is arrested for spitting.
1903: The U.S. imposes a $2 head tax on immigrants.

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