BUILDINGS WITHIN THE SKAGWAY HISTORIC DISTRICT
BUILDINGS WITHIN THE SKAGWAY HISTORIC DISTRICT
The entire town of Skagway is included in the Skagway and White Pass National Historic Landmark. This landmark designation is commemorative in nature, and it provides a review period for all federal activities and allows for federal historic preservation incentives for owners of all historic properties in Skagway.
In the core of the town, however, is the Skagway Historic District. This area includes all of the buildings protected by the City of Skagway's historic district ordinance as well as the public law creating Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Property ownership is mixed, public and private.
The following information is provided for persons interested in specific buildings in the Skagway Historic District. Following the 1910 and 1979 maps of the city is a list of historic structures in this district. Each of these structures is identified by a letter and a block number that are keyed to the 1979 map, the Broadway streetscapes in the preceding text, and the "capsule histories" included in this appendix.
The brief histories of each structure were compiled from historic photographs, newspapers, and other sources. Individuals interested in elaborating on these thumbnail sketches for building compatible structures, restoring historic buildings, or collecting historical material for specific buildings can use the accompanying Research Guide. Source documents can be found at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park office, the City of Skagway's Magistrates' Office, and the Alaska Historical Library in Juneau.
The number and letter given with each building show its location on the 1979 map. The letter identifies the building, and the number refers to the block on which it stands. Thus, building 34 A, the Red Onion Saloon, is building A on block 34.37 A United Transportation Union Hall
37 B Jeff Smith's Parlor
37 C Martin Itjen Residence
37 D Army Barracks
37 E Log Cabin
34 A Red Onion Saloon
34 B Washington Fruit Store
34 C Washington & Alaska Steamship Company Office
34 D Arctic Brotherhood Hall
34 E Alaska Steamship Co. Office
34 F Golden North Hotel
34 G Miners Hotel
34 H Red Light District Crib
27 A Idaho Saloon
27 B D. Lucci Grocery
27 C E.A. Hegg Photographer Studio
27 D Pantheon Saloon
27 D1 Pioneer Paints and Wallpaper Store
27 E Capt. Carroll & Co. Mercantile, Masonic Hall
27 F Unknown office/residence
27 G James A. Nettles Tin Shop
27 H Unknown shop
27 I Stable
1 A, B, C Theater/supermarket
1 D Restaurant
1 E Principal Barber Shop
1 F Seattle Hotel, Frye-Bruhn Meat Market
1 G D. Goldberg Cigar Store
1 H Morelli Building
1 I, J Slettevold Building
1 L Residence
1 M Quonset hut
1 N Capt. William Moore Block
8 A YMCA Gym and Reading Room
8 B Meyer Building
2 A Residence
2 B House of Rich
2 C Board of Trade Gambling Saloon
2 D Tanner Building
2 E Elk's Hall
2 F Tanner residence
2 G City Hall
2 H, I Corrington's Gift Shop
2 J Broadway Station Restaurant
3 A, B, C, D National Bank of Alaska Building
3 E Gutfeld residence
3 F Apartments
36 A White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad Depot
36 B White Pass & Yukon Route General Offices
35 A Hot Scotch Saloon
35 B John Irving Building
35 C Richter's Jewelry & Curio Shop
35 D Verbauwhede Cigar Store & Confectionery
35 E Boas Tailor & Furrier Shop
35 F Hern Liquor Store
35 G Pacific Clipper Line Office
35 H Mascot Saloon
35 I U.S. Customs Office
35 J, K, M Klondike Hotel
35 L Alaska Liquor Store Warehouse
26 A Keller's Drug Store & Curio Shop
26 B B. A. Whalen Curio Shop
26 C Sourdough inn
26 D Igloo Bar
26 E Lynch & Kennedy Dry Goods & Habberdashery
26 F, G, H Trail Inn, Pack Train Saloon
26 I Sourdough Inn
26 J, K Klondike Hotel
25 A Peterson & Co. Genl. Mercantile
25 B American Tailor Shop, Skagway News Depot
25 C Keelar the Money King Store
25 D Bowman Barber Shop
25 E Boss Bakery
25 F St. James Hotel
25 G National Guard Armory
25 H Warehouse
25 I, J, K Warehouses
24 A Kirmse's Jewelry Store
24 B Eagles' Hall
24 C Moore's Cabin
24 D Ben Moore residence
24 E Garage
24 F Peniel Mission
24 G Wynn-Johnson residence
23 A Nome Saloon
23 B American Legion Hall
23 C McCabe College, Federal Court House
23 D Pullen House
23 E Moore Office Building
23 F Residence
22 A Selmer residence
22 B Shelly residence
UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION HALL
Built in 1940 as the union hall for United Transportation Union Local 1787, this one-and-a-half-story wood frame structure is presently the curio shop of Richard Dick, a Tlingit Indian.
JEFF SMITH'S PARLOR
Initially constructed as the office of the short-lived First Bank of Skaguay, this false-fronted, single-story, wood frame building became the saloon of the infamous con man, Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith. After the gunfight which caused his death on July 8, 1898, the saloon became a restaurant called Clancy's and, later, the Sans Sauci. In 1935 Martin Itjen, a tour guide, moved the building across Sixth Avenue onto the south side and re-opened it as Jeff Smith's Parlor Museum. Itjen retained the integrity of the parlor's interior and exterior design; only the illuminated exterior sign and the cornice board are missing today. In 1964 the museum was moved again, this time by George Rapuzzi who moved it to the south side of Second Avenue, near Broadway. Although two additions have been attached to the rear, this landmark structure still retains its 1898 appearance.
MARTIN ITJEN RESIDENCE
David J. Rich, a painter and hardware store owner, built his modest home on the edge of the Moore's wharf approach in 1901 and 1902. The single-story, T-shaped residence still contains mouldings, window sashes, and other finishings obtained from a local sawmill and sash and door factory. Martin Itjen purchased the house from Rich in 1921. Itjen added two portholes as front windows, attracting the attention of tourists. From their door, Martin and Lucy Itjen greeted people passing by and sold rides on the Skagway "Street Car" to such attractions as Jeff Smith's Parlor Museum and the Gold Rush Cemetery. After the relocation of the railroad behind the house in 1946, and after the Itjens' deaths, the house was moved off the right of way. In 1978 the National Park Service acquired the Itjen house and moved the building to the south of Second Avenue on Broadway, 300 feet west of its original site. Restoration is in progress.
During World War II the construction of the strategic Alcan Highway required the United States Army to move men and supplies into the interior via Skagway. These barracks were built for soldiers in the 770th Railway Operating Battalion of the Military Railway Service. George Rapuzzi presently uses the frame structure as a warehouse.
Local tradition states that this 15-by-20-foot log cabin with shingle roof was built by stampeders awaiting the spring breakup before heading for the Klondike. Originally located near the White Pass Trail (southwest corner of Tenth and Main in Skagway), the vacant cabin was moved to the south side of Second Avenue in 1976. Westours owns the structure.
RED ONION SALOON
A Seattle saloon man, Peter Lawson, built the Red Onion during the fall of 1898 and opened it as Skagway's largest dance hall and saloon. Upstairs was a brothel, a higher class parlor than the adjacent cribs on Yokohama Row and Paradise Alley. After the gold rush era, the two-story, wood frame structure was moved from the southeast corner of Sixth Avenue and State to Second Avenue and Broadway. This move in 1914 required that the facade be placed onto the building's rear which then became the front of the saloon. After local prohibition in 1916, the saloon closed. The exterior has remained unchanged. J. Wrentmore, the present owner who operates the Red Onion bar, the 1898 curio shop, and the Brothel Museum, is currently restoring the structure.
WASHINGTON FRUIT STORE
George Rapuzzi, Sr., moved his fruit and confectionery business from Sixth Avenue to this false-fronted two-story wood frame store on lower Broadway shortly after its completion in 1899. The Rapuzzi family lived upstairs and operated the business until the 1940s. The structure retains its original exterior appearance although an early 1900 wood canopy over the boardwalk has been removed. Members of the Rapuzzi family are still active residents of Skagway and the store has become a storage and display space for the adjacent Trail Bench curio shop.
WASHINGTON & ALASKA STEAMSHIP COMPANY OFFICE
In October 1900, an agent for the Tacoma-based Washington and Alaska Steamship Company, E. T. Pope, contracted to have a ticket office built on the lower end of Broadway near the railroad depot. The delicate-looking two-story office with second-floor bay windows was completed by the end of the year, but the steamship company went out of business as gold rush traffic waned. In the summer of 1902 the building became the ticket office for the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Canadian Pacific ticket office remained open until the advent of World War II. The building was later re-opened as the Trail Bench curio shop by J. Knapp who took up residence in the upstairs apartment. The building retains its original appearance.
ARCTIC BROTHERHOOD HALL
The Arctic Brotherhood Hall was the first hall built for the fraternal order of the Arctic Brotherhood, formed during the Klondike gold rush in February of 1899. The hall was erected between June and August of 1899, and in 1900 the brothers added a facade of driftwood and sticks shaped into a mosaic of letters, gold pan, and square patterns a unique example of Victorian rustic architecture. The Brotherhood's membership declined as Skagway's economy waned. In July 1923 President Warren Gamaliel Harding became the last initiated member of Camp Skagway Number 1, Arctic Brotherhood. A B Hall, now owned by the City of Skagway, retains its original exterior appearance. The interior paint schemes were changed, a stairway was removed, and the furnishings were moved to the city museum.
ALASKA STEAMSHIP COMPANY OFFICE
The Alaska Steamship Company prospered and expanded during the Klondike gold rush. In 1900 the company built a one-story, wood frame, false-fronted ticket office on lower Broadway with an attached residence at the rear of the building. The company operated the office until the depression in the 1930s. The Shamrock Music Box, a curio shop and music store, now occupies the historic office.
GOLDEN NORTH HOTEL
The Klondike Trading Company built the two-story, wood, business block with an onion-domed corner tower at Third Avenue and State early in 1898. After the Klondike stampede, the building was rented by the army as barracks until 1904. George Dedman and Edward Foreman, proprietors of the Golden North Hotel, purchased the Klondike Trading Company building and in 1908 had it moved one block to the southwest corner of Third and Broadway. They added a third floor, raised the corner dome another story, and refitted the structure as a hotel, Skagway's largest. The Golden North Hotel continues in business; the descendents of George Dedman operate Dedman's Photo Shop in Skagway.
Originally built on the northwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Broadway in September of 1897 as the Miners Hotel, this building today serves as the two-story residence and beauty salon of K. Kieth. In 1899 after the passing of the gold rush, the two-story, false-fronted, wood frame structure was moved to its present site on Second Avenue. John Williams later operated the hotel as the St. James Lodging House, a flop-house near the wharf. The hotel retains its overall configuration, although remodelling has removed the false front, covered the wood siding with aluminum, and modernized the interior.
RED LIGHT DISTRICT CRIB
Skagway's Red Light District lined Seventh Avenue between State and Broadway from 1900 until moral trends dictated its removal from the business district. The vacated structures were moved to other parts of Skagway, leaving the locality devoid of buildings today. Three of the cribs were moved to Third Avenue, west of the Golden North Hotel, and were remodelled as residences which continue to be used today.
An April 29, 1898, photograph shows the single-story false-fronted wood frame Idaho Saloon under construction. A series of owners operated the saloon during the gold rush, but between 1899 and 1905 Robert C. Smith, operator of Skagway Brewing Company, gave the building much of its present appearance. After the failure of Smith's brewery, the saloon became a restaurant. In recent years, seasonal businesses in the building have included a restaurant and a curio shop.
D. LUCCI GROCERY
During the height of the Klondike stampede, between February and April of 1898, an Italian fruit dealer, one D. Lucci, built this single-story false-fronted wood frame structure. Three years later, Lucci moved out and the new owners remodelled the facade with a plate-glass front. The building's exterior has changed little since then. It is presently the Sweetooth Saloon, a restaurant.
E. A. HEGG PHOTOGRAPHER STUDIO
The two shacks, which were united with a false front to become the studio of photographer E. A. Hegg, were built during the stampede to claim lots in nascent Skagway (August through September 1897). Hegg opened his shop and advertised in the first issue of the Skagway News on October 15, 1897. In February 1899 Hegg expanded the studio and built bay windows on the front. The studio remained open through 1901, but Hegg moved on to photograph other gold stampedes. After a number of alterations, including a stucco covering and changes in use, the building is again a photographer's studio: Dedman's Photo Shop, operated by Barbara Dedman Kalen, a Skagway native.
The Pantheon Saloon is a hodgepodge of structures that date back to September 1897; the present configuration is a result of remodelling in 1903 and later new construction. The story-and-a-half false front has touches of Victorian rustic architecture with its stick-and-stone ornamentation and tree columns. In 1898 the building was a flophouse until D. C. Brownell added a false front to the shack and opened a hardware store. H. B. "Tuck" Flaherty and John F. Anderson acquired the vacant building in 1903 and, after extensive remodelling, opened the Pantheon Saloon. Around 1905 Anderson added the rear two-story addition. The building retains much of its exterior appearance, although the interior was remodelled as a restaurant, and, lately, as a curio shop. The National Park Service acquired the building in 1977.
PIONEER PAINTS and WALLPAPER STORE
C. A. Fasel arrived with the first wave of stampeders in August 1897. By the spring of 1898 his paint and wallpaper business had expanded enough for him to erect a substantial two-story false-fronted business on Broadway south of Fourth Avenue. Today parts of his 1898 paint shop the north wall, foundation, and parts of the south wall are included in the 1940s addition to the adjacent Pantheon Saloon. The false front dates from the 1940s and the interior appearance is that of a 1950s to 1970s bakery. The National Park Service acquired the building in 1977.
CAPTAIN JAMES CARROLL & COMPANY MERCANTILE, MASONIC LODGE
Captain James A. Carroll's voyages into Alaskan waters predate the gold rush by 30 years. He maneuvered the first cruise ship into Glacier Bay and on July 27, 1897, unloaded the first stampeders at Skagway Bay. In 1898 he opened a branch of his Seattle store in Skagway. Between January 9 and 24, 1899, he had a two-story wood frame, false-fronted store erected on Fourth Avenue west of Broadway. The upstairs was rented to the Skagway Lodge Number 113, F and AM, the oldest Masonic Lodge in Alaska. In 1907 Captain Carroll, then over 70 years old, sold the store to the Masons. The Masons added onto the west end of the building in order to create the square hall required for lodge functions. The Masons continue to maintain the building and the first floor is rented as store space.
The wood frame, false-fronted 10-by-20-foot house on Fourth Avenue has an unknown origin. Local tradition states that before its move to the present site in the 1950s, the building stood near Sixth Avenue and the word "Printing" was legible on it. This suggests its use as a newspaper office or printing office possibly for the short-lived Budget or Guide newspapers. Its length suggests a rear living quarters. Since the 1950s, the structure has served as a residence. A compatible addition was completed in 1981.
JAMES A. NETTLES TIN SHOP
Plumber James A. Nettles arrived in Skagway in 1898 and by 1902 he and his partner, Cortes Ford, expanded into the Fife-Alaska building on Fourth Avenue. Nettles moved his single-story, wood-frame-fronted tin shop to the rear of the building. For two decades Nettles Hardware & Plumbing served the needs of Skagway. A fire in the 1930s destroyed the store front, but the rear tin shop was saved. It is presently used as a workshop and for storage.
Between 1908 and 1914 this single-story gable-roofed wood frame building was moved and attached to the rear of the Idaho Saloon (27 A). Its previous use is unknown, although its size suggests use as a small shop on Fifth or Sixth avenues. In 1978 it was used as a bunkhouse.
The date of construction and original use are unknown. The building may have been moved to its present site from another location.
The structure was built in the early 1940s to house a supermarket, theater, and store rental space. Now owned by M. Kalstrom, the building contains the Igloo Liquor Store, a market, National Park Service offices, and Door Knob Curios.
The Northern Lights Restaurant was built in the 1960s.
PRINCIPAL BARBER SHOP
James D. Stinebaugh arrived in Skagway in 1897 and opened a barber shop on Sixth Avenue. As the business district shifted to Broadway, Stinebaugh followed the move. In 1907 he built this one-story false-fronted structure to be "the most modern and best appointed tonsorial establishment and bath house in Southeastern Alaska." A rear false-front entry allowed patrons to enter by either side of the building. The building, which became the barber shop of Oscar Selmer, Sr., has changed little; the interior still contains the mirror and barber's counter. In recent years the store has been rented as a dress shop and drug store. G. Choate is restoring the structure.
SEATTLE HOTEL, FRYE-BRUHN MEAT MARKET
The Seattle Hotel, a two-and-a-half-story false-fronted wood frame structure standing on Fifth Avenue, was built in the winter of 1897 for stampeders waiting to cross White Pass. In December 1897 the agent of the Seattle-based Frye-Bruhn Meat Company bought the hotel and refitted its first floor for the company's Skagway market. By 1900 the meat market had taken over the building, using it through the 1930s. The exterior has been stripped of its ornamentation, but the building's overall configuration has been retained. It is presently used as an office for the Lynn Canal News and as the Fifth Avenue Bunkhouse. Restoration is in progress.
D. GOLDBERG CIGAR STORE
In 1897-1898 D. Goldberg sold cigars and confections from his small wood frame store on Fifth Avenue until the gold rush to Porcupine, north of Haines, drew him away. The building has changed little since then. In 1979 the National Park Service moved the structure to Broadway, north of Fifth Avenue, where restoration is in progress.
The Porcupine Trading Post food co-op and a seasonal curio shop occupy the false-fronted Morelli Building.
The Klothes Rush Laundry and a residence occupy the two-story Slettevold Building.
The brick chimney, window sash, and other features of this single-story residence suggest a pre-1900 construction date. The building was moved to the site in the 1920s. It is presently a residence.
This quonset hut is one of six remaining in Skagway. The huts were built throughout the town when the army constructed the Alcan Highway during World War II.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM MOORE BLOCK
Captain Moore, Skagway's first white settler, built the Moore business block in 1897, a decade after his arrival. Anticipating a gold rush into the interior, he and his partners built a wharf, a sawmill, and several other structures as well as the business block which provided a hotel, store space, a bank, and law offices through 1899. It was the center for all of Captain Moore's Alaska and Northwest Trading Company business. The hotel also provided office space for the Skagway Chamber of Commerce, for Captain Richardson who was the officer in charge of constructing Fort William Seward (Chilcoot Barracks), and the Alaska Road Commission. The building later became a hotel called the Portland House. This two-story wood frame structure retains its original configuration and false front, although remodelling in the 1930s replaced the ornamental facade with gray asbestos siding. It is presently vacant.
YMCA GYMNASIUM and READING ROOM
Skagway's active YMCA contracted with builder G. N. Hensley to construct this story-and-a-half wood frame gymnasium. The structure contained a gym, baths, handball court, photo darkroom, and reading room. In 1902 butcher Herman Meyer bought the building and, after moving it to State, remodelled it as a meat locker. By 1903 Meyer had moved to Valdez. George Rapuzzi presently owns the building and uses it for storage.
Stampeder Herman Meyer arrived from Seattle in 1897 and opened a butcher shop in a tent. His Arctic Meat Company prospered, and in 1899 he built the story-and-a-half Meyer Building to house his butcher shop and a store rental space used by the Brown Shoe Company. In 1900 his Arctic Telephone Company opened a switchboard in it as well. The building was to have been two stories high with a corner tower but was never finished. The base of the corner tower on the structure's northeast corner gives the building a unique appearance. By 1903 Meyer's businesses had failed, and he moved to Valdez. George Rapuzzi presently owns the building and uses it for storage.
This residence was destroyed by fire in August 1973.
HOUSE OF RICH
In 1906 David Rich, a painter and wallpaper hanger, opened a shop in a single-story building on Fifth Avenue. He remodelled the original structure into a two-story wood frame shop called the House of Rich and operated it until the 1920s. Later remodellings covered the first floor's glass store front and the wood frame exterior. It presently houses Fairway Fast Freight on the first floor and a residence on the second.
BOARD OF TRADE GAMBLING SALOON
Lee Guthrie arrived from San Francisco among the first stampeders and opened a gambling hall and saloon. In 1898 he built the two-story french-plate-glass-facaded, wood frame Board of Trade gambling saloon. It was filled with roulette wheels, gaming tables, and card tables all of them illegal. In 1898-1899 the gambling den temporarily became N. K. Wilson's and later Britt's drugstore while Guthrie opened a saloon and billiard hall in an adjacent structure. The drugstore moved out and the Board of Trade restaurant moved in, operating until 1908. The building was purchased for use as the army's cable communication office and was moved from Sixth to Fifth Avenue, its present site, where it operated through 1910; then the building was acquired by the city. After use as Skagway's city hall, the structure was given to the Women's Club for offices and a library in the 1920s. In 1979 the library was moved to a new facility, and the building returned to city ownership. The false front has been covered with asbestos shingles.
The Tanner Building, built in the winter of 1899-1900, retains its exterior and much of its interior appearance. M. M. "Si" Tanner, the town sheriff during the turbulent years of 1898 through 1900, built this two-story wood frame structure for first-floor store rental space, upstairs offices, and rear rooms for a sheriff's office and jail. Druggist N. K. Wilson and, later, William Britt rented store space. In 1902 Tanner opened a sporting goods shop and in 1906 converted the entire building into his hardware store. Tanner Hardware operated for 30 years. In 1936 the jail was remodelled as a cold storage locker for Herbert Riewe's Skagway Cash Store. Riewe's grocery business has since moved to Broadway, and the Tanner Building is used for storage.
ELK'S MEETING HALL
After the ornate Elk's Hall on Sixth Avenue was destroyed by fire, this structure was built for the Skagway B.P.O.E. Lodge. A new west facade was added in 1979.
"Si" Tanner built this one-story residence. Shingles cover its original wood siding.
Built in 1897, this one-and-a-half story log structure was covered with drop siding in December 1901. It retains its 1901 appearance. The structure served as Skagway's first city hall and jail. Some of the major events associated with the building include the detention of "Soapy" Smith's gang, after the vigilantes captured them in July 1898, and the meeting of the federal land appraisers to transfer the railroad right of way to the White Pass & Yukon Route. In 1901 lawyer John G. Price acquired the structure, remodelling it as his law office. Previously, lawyer Price had been sent to Washington, D.C., to defend the rights of Skagway's residents against the Moore Townsite Company and to serve as the unofficial delegate to Congress for the unorganized territory of Alaska. The building is presently used as a residence.
CORRINGTON'S GIFT SHOP
Dennis Corrington built the two-story gift shop, museum of Eskimo art, and residence in 1975 and (the south half) in 1977.
BROADWAY STATION RESTAURANT
Kurt Koster constructed this pizza parlor in the spring of 1979, using two vintage 1899 box cars.
NATIONAL BANK OF ALASKA BUILDING
The National Bank of Alaska, organized in 1914 with home offices in Skagway, built this one-story concrete structure in 1916. The bank continues to use the building which also includes store rental spaces. The post office has occupied the north store space since the 1910s.
Using materials from an 1897-1898 false-front building, Max Gutfeld, operator of the Vienna Bakery on Broadway, built this residence in 1918. In the 1920s a rear wing was added by moving the vacant Ross-Higgins warehouse (built in 1901) from Fourth and Main to the present site. The Skagway Inn presently operates in the enlarged building.
The single-story rental apartments were built in the 1960s.
WHITE PASS & YUKON ROUTE RAILROAD DEPOT
The construction of the White Pass & Yukon Route railroad began in May of 1898 and, by the fall, lumber arrived for the construction of the two-story wood frame depot. By December 1898 the railroad offices opened on the second floor and the ticket office, waiting room, and baggage room opened on the first. After the completion of the adjacent railroad general offices, the depot was remodelled, with additions connecting the building's front and rear with the general offices. The depot was acquired by the National Park Service. Restoration is in progress.
WHITE PASS & YUKON ROUTE GENERAL OFFICES
Seattle architect Henry Dozier designed the ornate two-story, wood frame railroad offices. The structure was built in 1900 and opened with the company's offices on the second floor; its traffic department occupied an office in the west half of the first story, and local express companies shared the east half. Gold from the Klondike passed through the Wells Fargo office on the first floor. During World War II the depot and general office became headquarters for the 770th Railway Operating Battalion which was charged with providing supplies for the construction of the Alcan highway in the interior. In 1969 the building was acquired by the National Park Foundation and transferred to the National Park Service. Restoration is now in progress.
HOT SCOTCH SALOON
John Anderson, a Seattle saloon man, built this one-story wood frame structure in the fall of 1898 across the street from the depot. The building was divided between his Hot Scotch Saloon and some rental space. The first renters were the Bennett Lake and Klondike Navigation Company's steamboat ticket office. By 1901 the Pacific Coast Steamship Company bought the structure and remodelled it as its Skagway ticket office, operating until the 1930s. In 1973 the Alaska Liquor Store opened in the building.
JOHN IRVING BUILDING
British Columbia steamboat pioneer, John Irving, built this two-story false-fronted wood frame structure during the rush to Atlin in 1899. The John Irving Navigation Company, which operated a system of steamboats and a railroad from Bennett to Atlin, had a ticket office on the first floor as did Canadian Pacific Navigation. After the Atlin rush, the building became the Railroad Restaurant. After 1910 the Grand Truck Pacific Railway opened a ticket office for its steamships. In the 1930s the building became a part of Richter's curio shop, the present occupant.
RICHTER'S JEWELRY & CURIO SHOP
With the increase in tourist business during the 1920s, E. H. Richter built a wood frame false-fronted structure in 1929. In 1972 he built a one-story addition to the north. Richter's Curio Shop still operates here.
VERBAUWHEDE CIGAR STORE and CONFECTIONERY
Fredrick and Nathalie Verbauwhede moved their store and confectionery to the first floor of the new false-fronted wooden structure in 1899; the second floor was used as a residence. In 1901-1902 single-story additions were attached to the rear of the store. After a series of uses as barber, gun, and curio shops, the building became the Alaska Transfer Company express office. The National Park Service acquired the building in 1977. Restoration is now in progress.
BOAS TAILOR and FURRIER SHOP
Stampeder Herman Boas built his two-story false-fronted residence and shop in the fall of 1899. The tailor and fur business operated here until 1903, then a series of small businesses used the building until 1908 when H.D. Kirmse acquired the structure. It became the Kirmse's lower Broadway curio shop. In 1927 the building was moved a block further south to its present site and was remodelled. In 1978 Jack Kirmse sold the building to the National Park Service. Restoration is now in progress.
HERN LIQUOR STORE
Perry Hern built the two-story addition to his drug store in 1937. The upstairs area was used as part of his residence and the first floor became a post-prohibition liquor store. The National Park Service is preserving the building.
PACIFIC CLIPPER LINE OFFICE
The Seattle-based Pacific Clipper Line built a two-story office in July 1898. The company secured the transportation contract for hauling railroad supplies north; they prospered and expanded. The PCL later became the Admiral Line. In 1904 the building was sold and became a part of the adjacent Mascot Saloon and later the Hern Drug Store. In 1974 the National Park Service acquired the building. Restoration is now in progress.
The Mascot Saloon began in the corner of the two-story structure built by the San Francisco-based Northern Trading and Transportation Company. In 1899 saloon owner Albert Rienert bought the building and began expanding the Mascot Saloon to its present configuration. In 1916 prohibition closed the saloon and Perry Hern acquired the complex for his Skagway Drug Store which operated into the 1940s. In 1974 the National Park Service acquired the building. Restoration is now in progress.
U.S. CUSTOMS OFFICE
The Skagway customs office played a secondary role until the Dyea subport proved too isolated. In 1899 the staff at Skagway was increased and a single-story wood-framed false-fronted structure was erected adjacent to the railroad depot. The customs building was built by the railroad and leased to the government. In 1969, with the construction of the new depot, the customs staff was moved to the present site. The United Transportation Union Local 1787 acquired the building for use as its meeting hall.
The Klondike Hotel, owned by Westours, acquired the Gold Rush Motel (35 J) built in the 1970s at the corner of Spring and Second. Westours constructed a two-story unit (35 K) in 1977 across from the main hotel's lobby on Third Avenue. A third unit (35 M) was built in the spring of 1980 at the corner of Third Avenue and Spring Street.
ALASKA LIQUOR STORE WAREHOUSE
The two-story warehouse of the Alaska Liquor Store was built in 1978.
KELLER'S DRUG STORE and CURIO SHOP
The original use of the ornate one-story building is unknown. Photographs taken in 1898 show it on the north side of Fourth Avenue. By 1912 stampeder Louis Keller had moved the building to its present site. Doctor Keller opened a drugstore and sold curios on the side. Keller's Curio Shop, now owned by the Kalen family, still occupies the building. Restoration is in progress.
B.A. WHALEN CURIO SHOP
Two false-fronted buildings were placed back to back to create an addition to Keller's Drug Store. The two structures may have been on the lot when Doctor Keller moved the corner structure to the site; he probably arranged them to acquire more store space. The two shops appear on photographs as early as 1899. At that time B.A. Whalen operated a curio shop, Skagway's first, in what is now the east building. Whalen knew the tourist trade, and he closed his shop in the winter to work in Los Angeles and then returned in the spring. In 1910 Jack Puch, a taxidermist, moved into the building. By 1912 Doctor Keller had acquired the buildings, rearranged them, and established his drugstore and curio shop.
The Sourdough Inn was destroyed by fire July 18, 1979.
The Igloo Bar was destroyed by fire July 18, 1979.
LYNCH & KENNEDY DRY GOODS & HABERDASHERY
Fred Patten and Chris Shea, Skagway businessmen and saloon owners, led the drive to build a new Skagway in 1908 by moving businesses to Broadway and erecting new structures, or at least new facades. Mayor Shea proposed building the Trail Inn complex which included store rental space. Haberdashers Henry Lynch and John Kennedy agreed to rent the space. During the summer an army barracks on Sixth Avenue, built in 1900 as part of Camp Skagway, was moved to Broadway. The two-story wood frame barracks was remodelled with a wider first floor and a new three-story false front matching the Trail Inn. Lynch and Kennedy opened in September 1908. The National Park Service acquired the vacant building in 1977. Restoration is now in progress.
TRAIL INN and PACK TRAIN SALOON
The Trail Inn symbolized the new Skagway that businessmen desired to create during the brief period of prosperity in 1908. Fred Patten and Chris Shea, owners of the Pack Train Saloon, led the drive to move businesses to Broadway and to erect new structures or new facades. Contractor Patten saw to the inn's design and the moving of an old army barracks, built around 1904 as part of Camp Skagway on Sixth Avenue, to a new location at the southeast corner of Fourth and Broadway. The wood frame two-and-a-half-story barracks was sawed in half; the two pieces were placed perpendicular to Broadway and a new three-story false front was placed on the north and west walls; a tower adorned the corner. In June 1908 Mayor Chris Shea opened the Trail Inn and Saloon with a grand feast. Prosperity was short lived, however, and the complex passed through the hands of several owners. After prohibition, the building was reopened as the Pack Train bar, the name it retains. The Brenna Family is restoring the landmark structure.
On July 18, 1979, a fire destroyed all but the south wing of the Sourdough Inn. The Klondike Hotel, owned by Westours, has acquired the property.
The Klondike Hotel, owned by Westours, constructed 1970s these units in the 1960s and 1970s.
PETERSON & COMPANY GENERAL MERCANTILE
H. O. Peterson and his two sons, Alfred and Frank, arrived from Minneapolis in 1898 and opened a mercantile. As business expanded, Peterson & Company decided to build a new store on the northeast corner of Fourth and State. During the fall of 1900, a two-story wood frame merchandise store measuring 30 feet by 75 feet was erected. The company moved into the first floor by November 3. The second floor was rented as office space to the proposed Chilkoot Pass Railroad. In 1902 Peterson & Company closed their mercantile; seven years later L.A. Harrison moved the structure to the northwest corner of Fourth and Broadway and opened his clothing and dry goods store. Skagway Hardware and Skagway Air Service, owned by Ben Lingle, occupy the building today.
AMERICAN TAILOR SHOP, SKAGWAY NEWS DEPOT
The present furniture shop of the Skagway Hardware store is made up of three altered historic structures and additions. The north 10-by-30-foot area was the American Tailor Shop operated by George Mohl from about 1900 through the 1910s. The building originally may have been the Rookery Restaurant built in 1897. A 15-by-25-foot area in the south part of the furniture store was used by the Skagway News Depot, a circulating library, and stenographer's office run by Mrs. E. E. Shorthill and Mrs. Elizabeth Harrison from 1898 through 1909. L. A. Harrison joined the business in 1902. The shop sold all types of goods bicycles, dry goods, and stationery. In 1909 Harrison expanded to the adjacent two-story corner building. The building was rented out. A third historic structure within the present furniture store complex appears to be a 10-by-15-foot gable-roofed structure moved to the rear of the Skagway News Depot prior to 1908. The unique wooden chimney and the use of board and batten suggest an early date of construction. The building's original location or use is unknown. It may have been an 1897 business structure moved to the rear of a lot after its usefulness passed. The three structures have been greatly altered.
KEELAR THE MONEY KING STORE
Flamboyant merchant Frank Truman Keelar arrived from Oakland, California, in 1898 to open a jewelry and pawn shop and an optician's office. He also speculated in real estate, acquiring lots on Broadway. In 1903 he moved his business to this shed-roofed structure. A nearly two-story facade with a glass front was attached to the one-story building. In 1905 Keelar's adopted son, J. Ikuta, took over the business and operated his Totem Jewelry store. The building is presently the liquor store department of Malcom Moe's Frontier Bar.
BOWMAN BARBER SHOP
A stampeder known only as Mr. Latimer built a one-story wood frame flophouse and short order restaurant in September 1897, naming it the Waldorf Hotel. By the spring of 1898 the hotel was sold to the Allen Brothers who operated a hardware store here until 1903 when H. C. Bowman remodelled the building as his barber shop and residence. Around 1905 Bowman placed a new false front on the building. The second floor of the false front remains unchanged, but the first floor corner entry and glass front have been covered. Malcom Moe's Frontier Bar has been in the building since the 1940s.
Frank Brackett, son of the wagon-road builder George Brackett, constructed a one-story false-fronted building for his Brackett Trading Post in the fall of 1897. In 1898 Boss baker, Steve Baur, moved into the building. He sold the business to Fred Ronkendorf who remodelled the building in February 1902, enlarging its interior to include an ice cream parlor and restaurant as well as the bakery. The present story-and-a-half false front was placed on the building in 1902. In 1906 grocers Prosper H. Ganty and Andrew Frandson acquired the building. The grocery remained in business until the 1930s. A fire during World War II destroyed all but the front 20 feet. The National Park Service acquired the building in 1978 and on October 2, 1979, moved it to its present location on Broadway between Fifth and Sixth avenues. Restoration is now in progress.
ST. JAMES HOTEL
Completed in January 1898, the St. James advertized itself as the only fireproof hotel in Alaska its sides were covered with corrugated metal. The hotel served as headquarters for packer J. H. Brooks and reputedly was where contractor Michael Heney and Sir Thomas Tancrede agreed to see to the organization and construction of a railroad over White Pass. The hotel was moved in 1909 from its original site on the northwest corner of Fourth and State to its present location on Fourth Avenue east of Broadway. The Skagway Hardware Store uses the building for storage.
NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY
The White Pass & Yukon Route railway company built this wood frame structure as a warehouse. In 1899 the Skagway unit of the Alaska National Guard remodelled the warehouse as a meeting hall and armory. Today, Skagway Hardware uses the building for storage.
The structure appears in early photographs, but its historic use is unknown. It is presently used for storage.
The storage buildings appear to have been built after World War II.
KIRMSE JEWELRY STORE
Stampeder Herman Kirmse opened his Pioneer Jewelry Store on Sixth Avenue during the fall of 1897. After several moves he purchased this two-story wood frame store at Fifth and Broadway (built in 1899) in 1903 and remodelled the structure that winter. In February 1904 he opened Kirmse's Jewelry Store and moved his residence to the second floor. In 1906 he expanded into the adjacent structure (formerly A. Laska's Cigar Factory) and remodelled it with a glass front. The Kirmse's curio shop retains this appearance. Jack Kirmse operated the family store until 1977 when he sold the business.
The Eagles' Hall is composed of two 1898 hotels the Mondamin Hotel and the Pacific Hotel with a facade built in 1916. Skagway Aerie No. 25, Fraternal Order of Eagles, was instituted in June 1899. Three years later the Order purchased the Pacific Hotel on Fifth Avenue near Main. In 1916 the Mondamin Hotel had been moved from the northwest corner to the southeast corner of Sixth and Broadway and, around 1920, part of the Pacific Hotel was moved to the rear of the Mondamin Hotel. The false front was added by contractor P. W. Snyder. The bay-windowed front still remains visible. The Eagles acquired the structure, remodelled it as a theater/hall, and now present a "Days of 98" show every summer, Alaska's longest running show.
Captain William Moore and his son J. Bernard "Ben" built their log cabin during November 1887 and May through June 1888. The cabin served as proof of the Moores' homestead rights to the 160 acres they claimed in Skagway Valley. The cabin was not a year-round residence until 1897 when Ben Moore and family moved in. They built the Moore house directly in front of the cabin, and during 1900 Ben moved the cabin 50 feet west to make way for additions to the house. The Moores, and later the Kirmse family, preserved the cabin as a memorial to the pioneers Captain William and Ben Moore. Jack Kirmse sold the cabin to the National Park Service in 1979.
BEN MOORE RESIDENCE
When Ben Moore arrived with his family in the summer of 1897, the pressing need for housing prompted him to build a story-and-a-half residence directly in front of the Moore cabin. During 1898 and 1899 the house was expanded and in 1900 the cabin was moved to make way for a rear addition. The Moore family lived in the house until 1906. In 1914 the Kirmses acquired the house and made slight alterations. Jack Kirmse sold the house to the National Park Service in 1977.
When the humanitarian Peniel missionaries arrived in Skagway, they opened a gospel hall. In 1900 local support funded the construction of the two-story false-fronted hall on Sixth Avenue. Mrs. Victoria Yorba, who served as missionary in charge, resided with her assistants on the building's second floor until around 1910. Doctor Clayton Polly remodelled the mission into a first-floor residence and second-floor office and apartment in 1937. The National Park Service acquired the building in 1978. Restoration is in progress.
Charles E. Wynn-Johnson arrived from Victoria in 1897 as the representative of Victoria and London investors backing Captain William Moore's wharf and sawmill. Wynn-Johnson retained a residence in Victoria, but he built his two-story Skagway residence around 1905 for his visiting family. With the transfer of the wharf and mill site to the White Pass & Yukon Route in 1913, the house was sold to Harriet Pullen and moved 100 feet north to its present location. It became an annex to the Pullen House. It is in a deteriorated condition.
Built in the fall of 1899, the two-story Nome Saloon was one of the many that lined Sixth Avenue. The Nome had a dance hail and gambling room besides the bar. An addition was built in the spring of 1900, and the false front was extended to house a variety theater. The following September the owners of the Commerce Saloon, Frank Payne and William Peterson, bought out the Nome's owners and remodelled the resort as the enlarged Commerce Saloon. Patsy Renwick, a well known gold rush gambler, had charge of the tables. Increased enforcement of Alaska's laws closed the gambling hall and finally the saloon. The building is presently a restaurant.
AMERICAN LEGION HALL
McCABE COLLEGE, FEDERAL COURT HOUSE
McCabe College, a Methodist college headed by Dr. Lamont Gordon, was Alaska's first institution of higher education. The building was constructed with the intention of housing the college and church, but the school operated for only two terms when the building was sold to the federal government for use as a court house. The district court was held in the building until the 1950s. The building presently houses City Hall and the Days of 98 museum.
The famed Pullen House was built by Captain William Moore during the winter of 1899-1900. In 1901 he leased his three-story mansion to stampeder Harriet Pullen, who opened a boarding house and tourist resort which she expanded into Alaska's best-known hotel. In the 1920s she added the old Fifth Avenue Hotel to the building's north end and constructed an enclosed porch on the west. In 1923 President Warren G. Harding gave a brief speech in front of the house. An attraction of the Pullen House was its museum and collection of gold rush and Native artifacts. Harriet Pullen died in 1947 and the hotel closed a decade later. The museum was auctioned off. The hotel is in a ruinous condition.
MOORE OFFICE BUILDING
Captain Moore built his two-story bay-windowed office building on State Street near Fifth in 1898. He rented the first floor to a general merchandise firm and moved into the second floor. In July 1903 he moved the office building to his lot, known as Moore Park, adjacent to the Pullen House. He used the structure as a private residence. After his death in 1909 the building became an annex to the Pullen House. Olaf Dale remodelled the structure into two apartments in 1936. The building is presently vacant.
The construction date and original use of this structure is unknown. It appears in pre-1910 photographs.
In the 1910s, Skagway barber Oscar Selmer, Sr., set up his residence in a building he had moved from lower Main Street to its present location. Its date of construction or original use is unknown. Oscar Selmer, Jr., is the current resident.
White Pass & Yukon Route railroad conductor Calvin Shelly and his family lived in this residence during the 1900s and 1910s. Its original use or date of construction is unknown.
Last Updated: 06-Aug-2009