SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Creek Street History
By Robert Patton


February 03, 2006

I read your account of the history of Creek St. with great interest, but was surprised to read that prostitution ended in 1953. I arrived in Ketchikan in 1956 after several weeks fishing for salmon on a seiner out of Petersburg. I reached Ketchikan with less than $30, having experienced the worst season for salmon in many years.

I was working my way down the coast on a fish buyer operated by a cannery. I was only 17 and had little experience with the seamier side of life so I received stories from other crew members with a grain of salt. Creek St., they said, was lined with brothels. I expressed my doubt and was told that all I had to do was look up the boardwalk and I would see the girls leaning out of windows actively soliciting business.

I had to see this for myself and see it I did. If the city fathers had cleaned up the area three years before, they were not very good at follow up. Just as I had been told, the girls were very much in evidence. I admit that I didn't patronize any of the establishments, but I saw the women and it was pretty clear what they were up to.

Robert Patton
E-mail: bob[at]
St. Johnsbury, VT - USA

About:Robert Patton is a writer who saw Creek Street in 1956.



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Ketchikan, Alaska