S.S. Yukon Trip up the Inland Passage photograph album, circa August 1939  PDF

Overview of the Collection

S.S. Yukon Trip up the Inland Passage photograph album
circa August 1939 (inclusive)
57 photographs in 1 album (1 box) ; sizes vary
Collection Number
Photographs of a trip through the Alaskan Inland Passage going north on the S.S. Yukon in 1946
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public. Selections from the collection can be viewed on the Libraries Digital Collections website.


Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

The Alaska Steamship Company operated tours from Seattle to various points in Alaska from 1895-1954. The S.S. Yukon , the steamship the photographer traveled on, was purchaced from the Panama Railroad Company in 1923. The S.S. Yukon sailed from 1924-1946. Stops on the northbound route from Seattle included Ketchikan, Juneau, Seward, Wrangell, Petersburg, Skagway, Sitka, Cordova, Valedez, Kodiak, and Seldovia. The steamships on the southbound route stopped at all the same ports they stopped at on the way north. All steamers had accommodations for 200 passengers. The S.S. Yukon later ran aground near Cape Fairfield on February 4, 1946 during a snowstorm and strong winds.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of one album of photographs and text depicting a trip from Seattle, Washington up the Inland Passage to Alaska by the steamboat S.S. Yukon , including trips on shore and into the interior of Alaska.

The album was created by a woman pictured on page 25, who is possibly the wife of "Allen".

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

The album contains two postcards stamped August 1939, Seattle and Skagaway and are signed by "Irma", the possible creator of the album. One postcard is addressed to Miss Pat Fesler in San Francisco. The handwritten text of the album refers to an Allen, possibly the husband of Irma. With this information an ancestry search was conducted and produced a Irma and Allen Fesler living at 515 East Main, San Francisco with a daughter named Patrice Fesler who was ten years old in 1940. So it is possible that this album was created by Irma Fesler. The weather conditions shown in the photographs also corresponds with the possibility that the images were taken in the summer.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from the collection in digital format

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Container(s) Description Dates
Page item
1 1
Text on page:
"Ever again in my dreaming, I'm sailing the sheltered seas, and hearing the tale of Alaska, told by the whispering trees."
circa August 1939
2 2
Text on page:
"A blast from the steamer's whistle, lines are cast loose and our ship's bow point to north - Alaska bound. A thousand miles there a panorama of mountains, hemmed waterways, wooded hills riding from the water's edge, their green covered slopes etched with waterfalls that tumble down to the sea."
circa August 1939
3 3a circa August 1939
3 3b
At departure, men and women on deck of ship looking at man on dock.
circa August 1939
4 4
Text on page:
"The water is calm and the day is warm and bright."
circa August 1939
5 5a-b
View of water and mountains from ship.
circa August 1939
6 6
Text on page:
"Our first day out we bask in the sun and watch the scenery from deck chairs."
circa August 1939
7 7a
Striped deck chair facing water.
circa August 1939
7 7b circa August 1939
8 8
Text on page:
"Ketchikan is our first port of call. We are up early, (6:30) to get our first glimpse of an Alaskan town. The boat docks and we are anxious to get ashore. This city is one of the most progressive in the north. 1200 fishing vessels market more than a million pounds of fish each year. Here we have our first opportunity to inspect the totem pole which is the tribal emblem of the native. We walked thru the town up to Ketchikan Creek. During spawning season it is alive with salmon flashing and fighting their way up over the falls."
circa August 1939
9 9a
View of Ketchikan
Caption on page: "Ketchikan, Alaska. Many residences are built on slopes of the steep mountain side which climbs upward from the business district."
circa August 1939
9 9b
 Street and buildings in Ketchikan.
Caption on page: "Note the can of salmon on the ["Welcome Visitors"] sign and the boardwalks and streets."
circa August 1939
10 10
Text on page:
"Metlakatla is our second port of call. As we apprach the dock there are hundreds of mud sharks fighting for the refuse from the cannery. We visit the cannery and find it surprisingly immaculate. The fish are brought in on conveyors, cleaned, sliced, packed and cooked by machinery. The town is administered entirely by native Alaska Indians. This is a tribute to Father Duncan who within a generation converted them from aborigines to self-supporting and self-governing citizens following the pursuits of the white man. We visited Father Duncan's house. It is as he has left it."
circa August 1939
11 11
Annette Island Canning Company, Metlakatla.
circa August 1939
12 12
Text on page:
"Wrangell is Alaska's chief 'totem' city. It is beautifully situated on a crescent shaped bay, with towering mountains in the background which are thickly covered with spruce and pine. These pictures were taken at ten p.m."
circa August 1939
13 13a
View of Wrangell, including buildings and docks from water.
circa August 1939
13 13b
View of Wrangell from across water.
circa August 1939
14 14
Text on page:
"These weirdly carved poles, with their strange colors are grotesque reminders of Alaska's past. They are the Indians handcarved family tree. They are symbolic of that which is Alaska. It gives to this rugged land a touch of the magic."
circa August 1939
15 15a circa August 1939
15 15b
Totem pole.
Caption on page: "Alaska Totem"
circa August 1939
16 16
Text on page:
"The boat changes docks and we thought we were being left. Wrangell is the second oldest town in Alaska. It has one of the most beautiful settings of any town in Alaska.Leaving Wrangell we wind through Stikine Strait to enter the narrows. We had to lay over all night on account of low tide and fog."
circa August 1939
17 17a circa August 1939
17 17b
Wrangell Narrows with mountain in background.
Caption on page: "Wrangell Narrows, Alaska"
circa August 1939
18 18
Two boats in Wrangell Narrows
Text on page: "We enter Wrangell Narrows. The twenty-one mile course thru this narrow passage is well marked and lighted."
circa August 1939
19 19
 Wrangell Narrows with ship passing by.
Text on page: "Here the most skillful navigation is required. The channel is as little as 75 yds in width for much of the way."
circa August 1939
20 20 circa August 1939
21 21
 Men and women wearing life vests on deck of boat.
Text on page: "Once a week we have a fire drill. We put on our life vests and go to our debarkation station, while the crew lower the life-boats."
circa August 1939
22 22
Text on page:
"Petersburg is the headquarters of Alaska's shrimp and crab industries. There are many families living in house-boats. It is here our watches are set back an hour - all except Webb's."
circa August 1939
23 23
View of street and buildings (including thePetersburg Press) in Petersburg.
circa August 1939
24 24 circa August 1939
25 25
 Elizabeth and woman on deck of ship.
Text on page: "Allen takes Elizabeth and my picture on our stroll around deck."
circa August 1939
26 26
View of Taku Glacier from Taku Inlet on ship deck.
Text on page: "We enter Taku Inlet for a close-up of the wonder glacier Taku"
circa August 1939
27 27a
Taku Glacier from bow of boat
Text on page: "It is bitterly cold as standing in the bow of the boat as we approach the glacier"
circa August 1939
27 27b
Front of Taku Glacier
Text on page: "The wall of Taku soars two to three hundred feet from the sea"
circa August 1939
28 28
Text on page:
"Our steamship, theYukonat Taku. The blue ice and luster of the glacier is very awe-inspiring. The boat's whistle is blown several times in hope of dislodging ice from the face of the glacier but is unsuccessful. Taku is one of the few living glaciers of the world."
circa August 1939
29 29a
S.S. Yukon at Columbia Glacier, Alaska
Ordway's Photo Service,Juneau, Alaska (PHOTOGRAPHER)
: postcard
Written on verso: Dear Pat: This is a picture of our boat. We have seen lots of these glaciers. They have beautiful flowers up here. I bought a pansy corsage for 10¢- Love - Irma. Addressed to Miss Pat Fesler c/o R.L. Hutchison St. Helena, Calif. U.S.A.
circa August 1939
29 29b
Taku Iceberg, Alaska.
T. Davis (photographer)
circa August 1939
30 30
Text on page:
"Juneau is the capitol of Alaska. It has the largest quartz gold producing mine in the world. It is nestled at the base of two great heavily timbered mountains."
circa August 1939
31 31a-b
Juneau, Alaska
circa August 1939
31 31c
The Nugget Shop storefront in Juneau, Alaska.
circa August 1939
32 32
Text on page:
"We visited the territorial museum in the capitol we saw the native kayak and skin coats which are waterproof."
circa August 1939
33 33a
Governor's Mansion, Juneau, Alaska.
circa August 1939
33 33b
Colman Lumber Company and Juneau Cold Storage, Juneau, Alaska.
circa August 1939
34 34
 Wooden buildings on waterfront at Letnikoff Cove.
Text on page: "Letnikoff Cove is one of our surprise ports of call. Here we find an intensely interesting Indian village with its cannery."
circa August 1939
35 35
 View of village and Indian woman on front porch selling objects to two female visitors, Letnikoff Cove.
Text on page: "The Indians are always anxious to display their wares wherever we go."
circa August 1939
36 36
 Men and women buying items from a native Alaskan woman, Letnikoff Cove.
Text on page: "Here we buy moccasins and purses."
circa August 1939
37 37
Salmon hanging from a wooden rack, Letnikoff Cove
Text on page: "Smoked salmon which the native prepares for his dog food."
circa August 1939
38 38 circa August 1939
39 39
Men and women shopping for items from native Alaskans, Letnikoff Cove.
circa August 1939
40 40
Text on page:
"The scenery is very beautiful as we wind our way up Chilkat Inlet. There is lots of snow on the mountains with glaciers and waterfalls."
circa August 1939
41 41
 View of Ft. Seward or Chilkoot Barracks, near Haines.
Text on page: "Chilkat Barracks is Uncle Sam's most northerly army post."
circa August 1939
42-43 42-43
Text on page:
"Going north we follow a narrow passage to Skagway. To me, this is one of the ghost towns of Alaska. This little town settled in the valley of the Sagway River was the starting point of the trail of '98. The 'Sourdough' drawn by the lure of gold over torturous White Pass, then (page 43) the seething waters of Miles Canyon on down the Yukon to the golden Klondike. Here we saw Soapy Smith's Saloon and Martin's streetcar which is one of the strangest in the world, also the house of Mother Pullen who was a true pioneer of the world. It rained all the time we were there so we were not able to take pictures."
circa August 1939
44 44
Text on page:
"We visited the Blanchard garden with its many beautiful flowers. The thick growth of vegetables and flowers of Alaska is a surprise and a delight. A short way from our steamer's landing we boarded a White Pass and Yukon train to journey over the White Pass to Lake Bennett."
circa August 1939
45 45a circa August 1939
45 45b
Alaska Husky
T. Davis (photographer)
Text on page: "The powerful Husky dog with his great endurance is still used as a method of transportation in the interior and arctic sections especially in winter."
circa August 1939
46 46
Text on page:
"Crossing the Skagway River we ascend mile after mile around gorges and along the brink of deep canyons. The train is a narrow gauge and quite bumpy. Some of the passengers were a little nervous. The building of this railroad was one of the most marvelous engineering feats of history. It crosses and re-crosses the old trail of '98 carring [carrying] the traveler in comfort to the 3,000 ft summit."
circa August 1939
47 47
Mountain view
Text on page: "The scenery is very rugged and awe-inspiring. At the summit the Alaskans have erected a monument to the 3,000 horses that perished on this torturous journey."
circa August 1939
48 48
Alaska dog team
Text on page: "We pass the international boundary which is marked by a huge rock with flags of both US and Canada flying side by side. Here we saw a couple of the Canadian Mounties in their very color uniforms. At Lake Bennett we took pictures of Indian children with their husky dogs."
circa August 1939
49 49a circa August 1939
49 49b
Young girl with dog
Text on page: "Allen in the background"
circa August 1939
50 50
Text on page:
"We leave Skagway en route to Sitka. We return down Lynn Canal and Chatham St. to enter Peril Straight. We wind thru 41 miles of wooded isles and close lying shores. Allen and I went up on the bridge and stood there quietly listening to Captain Glasscock giving commands to the pilot."
circa August 1939
51 51a
Small island with trees
circa August 1939
51 51b
View down river from a boat
circa August 1939
52 52
Text on Page:
"This is the most dangerous channel for any ocean going vessel and also one of the most beautiful. There are many islands covered with trees to the water's edge and small open spaces covered with vivid green grass on which reindeer feed. The water is very calm and everything seems to be gliding past in majestic silence."
circa August 1939
53 53a-b circa August 1939
54 54
Text on page:
"We enter Sitka Harbor and listen to the captain as he gives his orders for the docking of the Yukon. The town has a beautiful setting and one of the most picturesque harbor in the world. It was the first capitol of Alaska."
circa August 1939
55 55
View of Sitka Harbor from theYukon..
circa August 1939
56 56 circa August 1939
57 57
Fishing boats and town of Sitka.
Caption on page: "Sitka's fishing fleet"Text on page: "In Alaska 'silver from the sea' has far surpassed both furs of the Russians and gold of the sour-dough."
circa August 1939
58 58
 Allen in street in front of St. Michael's Cathedral, Sitka.
Caption on page: "Allen in front the Russian Cathedral"
circa August 1939
59 59
Interior of St. Michael's Cathedral, Sitka.
Written on verso: Dear Lois: Expect to be ni Oak either 23 or 24th. Hope we can get together for a visit. We will be at Cait Hotel. Will give you a ring. Irma. Adressed to: Mrs. C.A. Cagswell 3455-Pierce St. San Francisco, California.Text on page: "We visit the Russian Cathedral of St. Michael which was built nearly one hundred years ago. The priceless paintings, icons and embroidered robes were bought from Russia."
circa August 1939
60 60
Text on page:
"We leave Sitka for the open sea, a bad storm and our return to Seattle."
circa August 1939
61 61
View of water from back of boat
circa August 1939
62 62
 Edith knitting and man, Webb, working with paper
Text on page: "The next morning we are back in sheltered waters and everyone is happy. Edith and Webb indulge in their favorite pasttime."
circa August 1939
63 63
Native American village along shoreline
Text on page: "Quaint Indian villages appear among the trees and fishing boats go chugging by."
circa August 1939

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)