April 14, 2016

Soapy Smith's saloon fully restored! (pics)

Jeff Smith's Parlor restored

Courtesy of NPS/B. Hayes
(Click image to enlarge)






estoration is complete!
Jeff. Smith's Parlor to open April 30, 2016






     Since December 2008 Soapy Smith fans have awaited the restoration and reopening of one of Skagway, Alaska's most famous buildings; Jeff. Smith's Parlor! The date is April 30, 2016. I had originally planned to attend but a few of life's little "pop quiz's" kept me from going. I would like to try to make up there this summer.
     I have been up to Skagway, Alaska a number of times, the first time in 1977 with my parents, brother, aunts and one uncle. I was 18 years old. Although I was semi-interested in Soapy, that trip forever ingrained him into my life.


(l to r) Soapy, the author, Dorthy Smith (my mother), uncle Joe, aunt Thelma
Author's collection
 (Click image to enlarge)


Seeing the Parlor in 1977 somewhat different from what visitors will see today. First off, it's a whole lot cleaner! Everything has been carefully and lovingly restored. George Rapuzzi won't be giving the tour like he did for us. The old Soapy manikin worked via Ford motor parts built by Martin Itjen before 1941. Visitors opened the front door and Soapy's head turns towards the door and his eyes light up. At the same moment his left arm raises a mug of beer in a toast of welcome, as seen in the photograph above. Visitors today will see the manikin, but it will not operate for fear of further wear and tear.



Courtesy of NPS/B. Hayes
(Click image to enlarge)




(l to r) Thelma Smith, Joe Smith, George Rapuzzi, Dorthy Smith, Soapy
Author's collection
(Click image to enlarge)




Slot machine and artifacts
Courtesy of NPS/B. Hayes
(Click image to enlarge)





Dorthy Smith with slot machine
Author's collection
(Click image to enlarge)


Soapy Smith manikin, 2016
Courtesy of NPS/B. Hayes
(Click image to enlarge)


Soapy Smith manikin, 1977
Author's collection
(Click image to enlarge)




(l to r) Joe Smith, Thelma Smith, Greg Smith, Dorthy Smith, Joy (Smith), Soapy, the author
Author's collection
(Click image to enlarge)


If you plan to visit Skagway and see Jeff Smith's Parlor, do know that you will have to reserve a tour! There are more fantastic photographs of the restored Parlor, the collection within, the artifacts, the manikins (three total), the taxidermy wolf and Two moose lock horns in combat, at the website for the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. A new window will open when you.

 















Restoration of Jeff Smith's Parlor
(Note: this link will open a new window that contains at least 25 posts. They are not in chronological order. Be sure to scroll).  








"When the recording angel makes up his ledger with Jefferson (Soapy) Smith, there will be innumerable works of charity to be recorded in his favor."
Leadville Herald Democrat
Alias Soapy Smith, p. 591.



APRIL 14


1775: The first abolitionist society in the U.S. is organized in Philadelphia with Ben Franklin as president.
1828: The first edition of Noah Webster's dictionary is published under the name American Dictionary of the English Language.
1860: The first Pony Express rider arrives in San Francisco with mail originating in St. Joseph, MO.
1865: President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated in Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln dies the following day.
1873: The “Easter Blizzard,” a three-day storm kills many settlers in Kansas, Nebraska and southern Dakota Territory.
1874: Alferd Packer, the lone survivor of the Packer party, makes it to the Los Pinos Indian Agency, near Sagauche, Colorado Territory. Packer told a story of men quarreling and killing each other and of eating human flesh to survive.
1884: Bob Cahill kills outlaw Buck Linn in El Paso, Texas, over a misunderstanding that Cahill had killed Bill Raynard, a partner of Linn’s. Linn came crashing into the gambling hall firing four poorly aimed shots. Cahill's first shot went through Linn’s stomach and shattered his spinal column and the second lodged in Linn's heart.
1894: First public showing of Thomas Edison's kinetoscope.
1902: James Cash Penney opens his first retail store in Kemmerer, Wyoming. It is called the Golden Rule Store. Later stores would be named J. C. Penney.





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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