Juneau, Alaska: 5[?] March 1898. Large Quarto (ca. 28x21,5 cm or 11 x 8 ½ in). 1 p. Black ink on watermarked wove paper with the printed letterhead of the “Circle City Hotel, Old Time Yukoners.” Extensive printed information about Alaska, its gold mines etc. on verso. The leaf is numbered “3” in manuscript in the left lower corner. Fold marks, several minor splits on folds, otherwise a very good letter.
Rare, interesting printed ephemera from the Klondike Gold Rush. Such examples of Alaskan hotel stationery with the gold rush-related promotional text are very scarce. The printed “Facts concerning Alaska” contains information about Juneau (“…the metropolis of Alaska and the center of all mining operations, both quartz and placer, for the territory. Here all must come to reach the gold fields”); the Yukon River, its course and goldfields, recommendations on “The Time to Arrive Here” (“about the first of February”); the rationale for purchasing an outfit and all supplies in Juneau; and a table of “Fares and Distances to the Mines” (over thirty destinations). The letter by an anonymous traveller to Alaska describes his voyage on board a steamer from Fort Wrangell to Juneau, with interesting notes on the travelling conditions, prospects of construction of a railroad along the Stikine River, steamers transporting soldiers to Dyea and Skagway, etc. Overall an interesting rare relic from the Klondike Gold Rush.
Excerpts from the letter: “Now, my Dear, I will use hotel paper and start in on the trip up where I left off Fort Wrangl and tell Mr. Boynton to stop of at Fort Wrangl for a week and take a look round. For there is going to be a big show for carpenters & contracting there this sumer [sic!]. They couldn’t get lumber enough when I was their [sic!]. If that Stickeen [sic!] railroad comes through it will be the place away ahead of Juneau. <…> Time is one hour slower here than S.F. time. Jack Dalton was in the Cottag [sic!] City [steamship]. He had trouble with the Chief Steward. This morning we left Wrangl and put a terrible pace on him and everybody was glad we will go in a canoe before we will go in Goodall & Perkins boats. They treated every body so mean, left some passengers at Wrangl that will have to wait there for some of their baggage & freight until [sic!] the boat gets back from Sitka even without there [sic!] blankets because they would have to wait till the wharf got cleared.
We left Wrangl Thursday 6.30 am, the narrows this side of their [sic!] is the most dangerous on the trip, some places their [sic!] is only 9 ½ ft of watter [sic!]. At 9:30 we passed the ship Lucille towed by the tugg [sic!] Monarch. The ship was loaded with soldiers bound for Dyea & Skagua. Passed through some floating ice. At 2 p.m. passed the steamer Excelsier [sic!] that left S.F. before we did. <…> Arrived at Juneau at 6:30 p.m., tied up to the Australia, the largest steamer that ever came in here and at 7:30 the Excelsier [sic!] tied up to our boat. The Australia pulled out at three next morning so our boat could get to the wharf. The Australia had seven hundred and fifty on her, she also had soldiers in the Australia and Excelsier, both proceeded to Dyea. We slept that night on the steamer but engaged service at the Hotel that night…”.
Price: $525.00 USD