Rowdy Skagway, Sedate Haines; They're History-Rich Alaska Neighbors, 13 Miles Apart by Ferry or Plane, 360 Spectacular Miles by Car

Sunset, May 1990 | Go to article overview

Rowdy Skagway, Sedate Haines; They're History-Rich Alaska Neighbors, 13 Miles Apart by Ferry or Plane, 360 Spectacular Miles by Car


They're history-rich Alaska neighbors, 13 miles apart by ferry or plane, 360 spectacular miles by car

From the start, these two Alaska towns were as different as a dance-hall girl's petticoat and a lieutenant's dress grays. In Skagway, argonauts from five continents stomped muddy streets on their way to the Klondike's gold fields. Across the Lynn Canal, Haines was a bastion of Army tradition; recruits drilled on the parade ground, and inside clapboard houses officers' wives served tea. Even today, Skagway and Haines remain very distinct. Skagway is a popular mix of history and tourist to-do. Haines is quieter, a haven for artists and craftspeople--though increased cruise service is bringing more visitors here, too. Only 13 miles apart by plane or ferry (or 360 spectacular miles by car), the towns exemplify qualities that make Alaska like nowhere else.

"Little better than hell on earth"

"Where are you from?" asks the master of ceremonies at the Skaguay in the Days of '98 Show. "Munich!" someone shouts back. "Sydney!" cries another. Skagway (from the Tlingit Indian Skaguay, perhaps meaning "place of the north wind") has always lured the hopeful from all corners of the globe. When, in 1896, gold was found in the Yukon to the north, Skagway's natural harbor made it a jumping-off place for gold seekers, gold diggers, saloonkeepers, and bunco artists. One Canadian Mountie put it bluntly: Skagway was "little better than hell on earth." Ruling the town with a mix of bonhomie and strongarm tactics was "Soapy" Smith, con man extraordinaire. Soapy would probably recognize Skagway today. Unlike many Western boom towns, it never burned down. And over the last 15 years, private citizens and the National Park Service have restored the gold rush-era buildings. Visit today and you'll find Skagway not hellish but--as Soapy himself could be--charming. However you arrive (see next page), introduce yourself to town at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park headquarters, Second Avenue and Broadway. It's open from 8 to 8 daily; (907) 983-2921. Films and displays recount the gold hunters' trek from Skagway over the Coast Mountains via two nightmarish trails, the White Pass and the Chilkoot. Park Service walking tours lead you up Broadway past landmarks including the Golden North Hotel and the Arctic Brotherhood Hall--the latter a driftwood-faced building that looks to have been built by beavers. You can also see the town by private bus tours (check at hotels) or by livery (just hop aboard on Broadway). Or walk on your own: pick up the pamphlet Footsteps into the Land of Gold at the Skagway Convention and Visitors' Bureau, in City Hall, Seventh Avenue and Spring Street. The bureau can also advise on lodging. Other Skagway highlights: Days of '98 Museum. Housed in Skagway's granite City Hall, the museum contains important gold rush artifacts including mining equipment, household goods, newspapers. At Seventh Avenue and Spring Street, it's open 8 to 6 daily; admission is $2, $1 students; 983-2420. Skaguay in the Days of '98. This garter-snapping production makes a comic melodrama of Soapy Smith's rise and fall. Where else will you hear lyrics like, "It's the tundra that tears my heart asunder/Moonlight, the Yukon, and you"? At the Eagles Hall, on Broadway between Fifth and Sixth avenues, shows start at 9 P.M. daily. Tickets are $10, $5 ages under 12; 983-2545. White Pass and Yukon Railroad. As miners flocked over the White Pass Trail, financiers saw that a railroad might be profitable. To build it, workers dangled from cliffs and braved winter temperatures of -60 [degrees]. Now the narrow-gauge train hauls tourists along its vertginious route, starting the 3-hour round trip daily at 9 and 1:30. Fares are $69 for adults, $34.50 for ages 12 and under. Write to White Pass and Yukon Route, Box 435, Skagway 99840, or call (800) 343-7373 or (907) 983-2217. Chilkoot Trail. This competing route to the gold fields began in Dyea, 8 miles north of Skagway. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Rowdy Skagway, Sedate Haines; They're History-Rich Alaska Neighbors, 13 Miles Apart by Ferry or Plane, 360 Spectacular Miles by Car
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.