SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


The Stedman Hotel...
By Pamela (Stevens) Dunn


February 22, 2007
Thursday AM

I love it. What a find! I so enjoy learning about people who were friends of my parents. I also enjoy reading about those that came before. My Father graduated from Ketchikan High School then went away to college. He was alone and worked after school for his room and board. He was often made fun of because he had to work and had no time for recreation.

I found his old year book when I moved my parents to Arizona. Kelly Foss also graduated the same year as my Father. They remained friends throughout my Father's life. Kelley, who resides in Seattle, came to my Father's birthday celebration in 1999. He pulled me aside and told me that despite my Father having to work all the time, he still got straight A's. That work ethic remained with him all of his life!

Kelly Foss is also a huge success story from Ketchikan. He still visits and has ties with a church there. He wrote my Mother this Christmas saying he dedicated a park bench to my Father's memory in Anchorage, Alaska.

I also have history on St. John's Church. The Father of my headmistress at Annie Wright School built that church. Miss Jenkins, the headmistress, was born in Ketchikan in 1901 when the church was in charge of the mission hospital. They also built the rectory which was the old Alaska Sportsman Building on Mission. As a matter of fact, that is why the street is called Mission.

Wally Kubley would be another wealth of information. He attended my Father's memorial, but I do not know if he is still alive. His son Larry is my age and I think is still in charge of the Sourdough Bar.

Terry Wanzer is also a history buff. He might be able to be a source of information as well.

Kent Halvorson is very familiar with 1950's Ketchikan and on from a maritime prospective. He and his Father Boyer, were pioneers in shipping containers to Alaska. He and his Father would be an interesting story.

Stan Hewitt and his wife Punkie would be a good source of information. Punkie grew up in Ketchikan and I am sure she has some interesting perspectives. Her Father was in the logging business. I think they still have some sites on Gravina island from his old logging days.

John Daley's family has a rich history with the old spruce mill. Remember the blast of its whistle to indicate 8:00 AM 12:00 noon and 5:00PM? You could set your watch by it and the "Rush Hours" at Howard's Cafe.

Keep up the good work!

Pamela (Stevens) Dunn
Centennial, Colorado

Received February 21, 2007 - Published February 22, 2006

About: My father was the manager of the Stedman Hotel from 1949 to 1952. He was recruited by Limon Ferris from the east coast where he was the general manager for the Sumit Resort. My Father's office was located on the second floor in the room containing cupola room. I remember visiting my Father, Howard Stevens, there. My Mother, Andrea Stevens, thought she had come to the end of the earth as she was a cosmopolitan New Yorker. 1949 was the year that we had record rainfall. Mother thought it would never end. She had my Father rig two swings in the garage of our Main Street home. She also had him place large chalk boards along the wall where the neighborhood children would draw large pictures with colored chalk. She insisted on leaving the garage door open so we could have fresh air while the rain came down outside.

Back to the Stedman, I can remember the swinging doors and a ramp like walkway to the Totem Room. The room always had very low light so I found it a bit scary. Therefore,I always wanted to be accompanied by my Father. I also recall that the Stedman and the Elks Club were the big hot spots for New Year's Eve celebrations. My sister and I couldn't wait to get our hands on the tin noise makers and the bright hats everyone wore to celebrate.My parents would always leave them out on the dining room table for us to bid them a noisy wake up call.


Related Story:

Remembering Gordon Zerbetz and the old Stedman Hotel By JUNE ALLEN - It was well after midnight on a black and rainy Ketchikan, Alaska, night in late August 1964 when Stedman Hotel owner/manager, Gordon Zerbetz himself, welcomed my family and me to his hotel. We Allens, seven of us, were clutching luggage, paper bags and candy wrappers or comic books, and still lurching a little on unaccustomed sea-legs after the long State Ferry journey south from Haines. We had begun our long and tiring adventure in far-to-the-north Fairbanks en route to Ketchikan, our destination.. Our five tired and cranky children were whining and complaining. - More...
Tuesday PM - February 20, 2007



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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska