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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Skagway in Skagway Borough, Alaska — The American West (Northwest)
 

Jeff. Smith’s Parlor

 
 
Jeff. Smith’s Parlor Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 15, 2010
1. Jeff. Smith’s Parlor Marker
Inscription. The building before you is an historical structure known as “Jeff. Smith’s Parlor.” It has recently been acquired by Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, a unit of the National Park Service. Jeff. Smith’s Parlor, a part of the extensive Rapuzzi collection, was very generously donated to Skagway and the National Park Service by the Rasmuson Foundation. It was once the saloon and headquarters for Jefferson Randolf [sic] Smith, better known as “Soapy.” Soapy Smith was Skagway’s most infamous con-man, who lived here throughout the gold rush stampede of 1897-1898. Soapy was killed in a shoot-out by Frank Reid on July 8, 1898, and both are buried in the Gold Rush Cemetery.

In the years following Soapy’s death, this false-front wood-frame building changed hands several times, serving as a restaurant, the Hook & Ladder Truck and Hose shed, and in 1935 was purchased by Skagway resident and tourism promoter, Martin Itjen. Itjen’s reopened the building as Jeff. Smith’s Parlor Museum, and it soon became the highlight of Itjen’s gold rush tours until his death in 1942. George Rapuzzi, a collector of gold rush memorabilia, and Itjen’s long-time friend, took over the museum and moved the building to its present location.

Using historic photographs to guide the process, historic restoration is starting
“Soapy” Smith and several of his gang inside of his parlor, 1898. image. Click for full size.
By Nat. Park Service, n/a
2. “Soapy” Smith and several of his gang inside of his parlor, 1898.
this summer with archaeological excavations, followed by construction of a foundation. Original artifacts and memorabilia from Jeff. Smith’s Parlor Museum will be on display once the restoration is complete.
 
Erected 2010 by National Park Service.
 
Location. 59° 27.242′ N, 135° 19.15′ W. Marker is in Skagway, Alaska, in Skagway Borough. Marker is on 2nd Avenue. Click for map. Jeff. Smith’s Parlor is located between Broadway and State Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Skagway AK 99840, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fatal Duel (within shouting distance of this marker); Arctic Brotherhood Camp Skagway (within shouting distance of this marker); Skagway and White Pass (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Inspector Charles Constantine (about 400 feet away); Skagway Centennial Statue (about 400 feet away); Three Thousand Pack Animals (about 400 feet away); Bank of Alaska (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mollie Walsh (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Skagway.
 
Also see . . .  Alias Soapy Smith. (Submitted on May 31, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
 
Categories. Notable BuildingsNotable Persons
 
Jeff. Smith’s Parlor, draped in festive bunting for July 4th, 1898. image. Click for full size.
By Nat. Park Service, n/a
3. Jeff. Smith’s Parlor, draped in festive bunting for July 4th, 1898.
The date of this picture is in question. The National Park Service notes it was taken on July 4, 1898. The photograph was likely taken about May 1, 1898. The Parlor was decorated differently on July 4.
Jeff. Smith’s Parlor image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 15, 2010
4. Jeff. Smith’s Parlor
Jeff. Smith’s Parlor image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 14, 2010
5. Jeff. Smith’s Parlor
Jeff. Smith’s Parlor, restoration work underway. image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 15, 2010
6. Jeff. Smith’s Parlor, restoration work underway.
Jeff. Smith’s Parlor image. Click for full size.
circa 1970s?
7. Jeff. Smith’s Parlor
Undated photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 1,023 times since then and 27 times this year. Last updated on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.   7. submitted on . • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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