Ketchikan in Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska — The American West (Northwest)
Dolly Arthur… one of the Creek’s longest “working” residents
This house was the home of Dolly Arthur, Ketchikan’s most famous “sporting woman.” From 1919 through the 1940s, it was also her place of business.
Dolly, whose given name was Thelma Copeland, had already practiced her trade in Vancouver, Juneau, Petersburg and at the other end of Creek Street when she finally settled here at #24. She lived in the house until 1973, when ill health and failing eyesight required her to move into a nursing home.
Looking back on her career shortly before her death at age eighty-eight, she said:
”I guess men thought I was fun and attractive, because I always seemed to have more friends than the other girls on Creek Street. I could never get along with other girls, you know – but I never had any trouble getting along with men.”
Erected by Ketchikan Historic Commission.
Location. 55° 20.484′ N, 131° 38.469′ W. Marker is in Ketchikan, Alaska, in Ketchikan Gateway Borough. Marker can be reached from Creek Street (Alaska Route 7) north of Stedman Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is mounted
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Creek Street (a few steps from this marker); 20 Creek Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Chief Johnson Totem Pole (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Chief Kyan Totem Pole (about 600 feet away).
More about this marker. Creek Street is actually an elevated boardwalk rather than a street (pedestrian traffic only)
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Dolly’s House Museum.
(includes pictures of Dolly) Thelma Dolly Copeland was born in Clear Lake, now McCall Idaho, October 5, 1888. (Submitted on December 30, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Ketchikan Alaska – Dolly’s House.
Dolly left her family home in rural Idaho at age 13, living in Montana and Vancouver BC before making her way to Alaska. By her late teens she realized she could make more money from the attention of men than she could working as a waitress. In 1919 she wound up in Alaska, having discovered a way she could make a significant amount of money for that era. Dolly didn’t close her door for (Submitted on December 30, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Dolly Arthur: now Ketchikan's poster girl.
Dolly's house was not only her business but also her longtime home. Her claim to present fame was simply because of the more than 50 years she spent on Creek Street. She bought the house in 1919 and was still living there, alone, in the early '70s. She became the last of the former ladies of the line to remain in residence on the creek until her death, which was 20 years after the red-light district was finally closed for good in 1954. (Submitted on December 30, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Additional keywords. prostitution
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Women •
Credits. This page was last revised on July 25, 2018. This page originally submitted on December 30, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 118 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 30, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.