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Ketchikan in Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska — Northwest (North America)
 

June's Café

Circa 1903

— The best chili in town —

 
 
June's Café Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 4, 2021
1. June's Café Marker
Inscription.  In spite of its more respectable Stedman Street address, this building — along with its Creek Street neighbors — was one of the earliest houses of prostitution, built soon after the Town Council banned prostitution to this side of the Creek.

June's Café was established in the early 1930s. Nothing is known about its founder or namesake, nor to what extent prostitution continued in the building. It was purchased by Vivian Inman in the late 1940s. She lived here, operating her little café business until she died in 1999, at the age of eighty-eight.

A well-known and flamboyant personality on the Creek, Vivian's entrepreneurial tenure was the longest of any black American in Ketchikan. Her café was once featured on “Good Morning America.” After that, she promoted her chili as “world famous”.

“June,” as many people thought of her because of the name of her business, was a permanent fixture by the window for nearly half a century, smoking and waiting for customers to come in and enjoy “the best chili in town.”

Captions
(Top) Stedman Street waterfront, June's Café Building at center, circa 1905.
(Bottom)
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The original June's Café, 1930s.
 
Erected by Ketchikan Historic Commission.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArchitectureIndustry & CommerceWomen. A significant historical year for this entry is 1903.
 
Location. 55° 20.475′ N, 131° 38.462′ W. Marker is in Ketchikan, Alaska, in Ketchikan Gateway Borough. Marker is at the intersection of Creek Street and Stedman Street, on the right when traveling north on Creek Street. Creek Street is pedestrian-only. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 203 Stedman Street, Ketchikan AK 99901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Creek Street (a few steps from this marker); Dolly's House (a few steps from this marker); New York Hotel & Café (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lost Frontier (within shouting distance of this marker); Stedman-Thomas Historic District (within shouting distance of this marker); Ohashi's (within shouting distance of this marker); 20 Creek Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Diaz Café (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ketchikan.
 
June's Café Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 4, 2021
2. June's Café Marker
Creek Street image. Click for full size.
via Creek Street Historic Property Survey / public domain, circa 1920
3. Creek Street
The building that would house June's Café for more than 70 years is at far right.
Vivian Inman and her June's Café image. Click for full size.
via Creek Street Historic Property Survey / public domain, circa 1995
4. Vivian Inman and her June's Café
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 17, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 17, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 285 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 17, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Mar. 4, 2024