Island Princess - Mid
Photo Courtesy Tongass Historical Society
Ketchikan's Cruise Ship Industry
A light-hearted look at its origins
by June Allen
Tourists are nothing new to
Ketchikan. These seasonal visitors have been spilling out onto
the downtown docks for more than a century now. They share certain
traits: They're thrilled to find themselves in distant, exotic
Alaska; they find Ketchikan quaint and charming; and, they are
wide-eyed and excited as they board charter fishing boats, or
climb into sightseeing coaches to rumble off over the city's
trestle streets. The basic awe most people feel when seeing our
little town remains constant, even after a century. The things
that have changed over the years are the much larger numbers
of ships and visitors visiting each summer and the numbers of
attractions available to them.
At the turn of the 20th century,
brand new Ketchikan was even then being visited by tourists and
journalists. In The Ladies World Magazine of March 1905, travel
writer Myra Drake Moore described the Ketchikan she visited the
summer of 1904: "[Ketchikan] is the port of entry into Alaska
it and its sister towns of Juneau and Skagway are all very much
alike in architecture, and seem to be 'happen-so's'. Ketchikan,"
she archly wrote, "has accumulated itself."
Ketchikan had already begun
plans to provide facilities for visitors back then. At the time
of Ms. Moore's visit, the city's first two "luxury"
hotels, the 1905 Stedman and 1906 Revilla (on the Ingersoll corner),
were in the planning stages. Their stylish towers would become
landmarks in the First City. The new hostelries catered to ever-increasing
volumes and varieties of visitors as the 20th century rolled
by, from tourists and traveling salesmen to sporting women and
Display ads in the old Ketchikan
Mining Journal from the earliest years of the town's existence
confirm that almost every Ketchikan business - from wallpaper
shop or insurance office to candy store to news store and liquor
store to saloon - advertised "curios" in their businesses
ads. Most curios in those earliest days were rock and ore samples,
Native moccasins and baskets, and picture post cards. - Read
the rest of this story by June Allen...
Saturday - April 17, 2004
Sen. Murkowski Kickoffs Ketchikan Campaign - Senator Lisa
Murkowski (R) kicked off her Ketchikan campaign for the United
States Senate Friday evening with a family event held at the
Alaska Marine Lines Warehouse.
According to information provided
by the Murkowski campaign, Senator Lisa Murkowski filed her 1st
quarter financial report with the Federal Election Commission
(FEC) on April 14, 2004. The campaign raised over $540,000 during
the last three months. The total amount raised for the Senator's
election now nears $2.5 million.