Thursday, October 6, 2011

More Alaska adventures: Skagway & Soapy Smith

Alaska has many colorful characters.
You have to be a little odd and adventurous
to set out for this wild country to stay permanently.

The local joke is that the ratio of men to women
is 4/1. 
So, a woman who is not married has good odds
of finding a husband.
The odds are good: But the goods are ODD.

The gold rushers were driven by the thought of hitting it
rich by finding vast amounts of golden nuggets and they
did not consider the hard, cold place to
which they were coming.

Few people really made any money from the gold.

Fewer than 30 people actually made it out of Alaska
with any riches.
They had to spend all their money to survive.

Only 6 people actually acquired wealth and kept it for
their life time.

Most of the money was made by the men willing to
bring food, horses and the things people could not get once
they made it to Alaska.

One of the men to get rich was Soapy Smith.
He made his fortune cheating people.
He sold rotten cantaloupes for $10.00 to people that
needed the vitamin C.

He sold regular .10 soap to the prospectors for $10.00.

Thus, the name "Soapy".

So many "undesirable" folks came to the Klondike Trail
that soon vigilante groups were formed to keep them out.

That's what happened to Soapy. 
He forced his way into town
and was shot by Frank Reid in 1989.

Soapy was killed by Frank's 30 caliber bullet.
But Frank got shot also.
The Town had a parade that day.
They carried the wounded Frank Reid through Skayway
They took Soapy to the grave yard and buried him just outside the
proper boundaries of the cemetery.
They did not give him a "Christian burial".
because the did not want him near the "Christian dead".

The next 2 photos are for my friend Wanda
of  Moments of Mine.

She finds hearts on so many of her adventures
I found 2 on mine.

Well, I guess that's all for today!
I'll be looking at all of your blogs to see what you have been up to!


  1. We so enjoyed the month we spent traveling all over Alaska in 1997. I enjoyed this post today.

  2. Love your Sparkly Ice Hearts, Donna! The cemetery has a fairy tale quality to it.