The Red Onion/Senate/Seattle/Totem Saloon
By Catherine Holder Spude
These are the research notes that I gathered about the saloon that was originally located at the southeast corner of State and Sixth Avenues, the heart of Skagway's saloon district during the gold rush era. Local tradition hold that the name of the saloon at that location was the Red Onion. Very little could be found about the Red Onion due to the fact that only a few issues of the Skagway newspapers from the gold rush era survive.
From Catherine Holder Spude, Saloons, Prostitutes, and Temperance in Territorial Alaska, (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 2015), p. 275: “A photograph dating to spring 1898 shows a sign on the building at the northeast corner of Sixth and State declaring the Red Onion Saloon. This building had only one story and does not appear to resemble the first story of the building that is now known as the Red Onion. Whether this Red Onion is the one mentioned by Stroller White (DeArmond, Robert N., ed., “Stroller” White: Klondike Newsman,Skagway, Alaska: Lynn Canal, 1990) or a previous business is not yet known. There was no Red Onion Saloon in Skagway in April 1898, when customs officials arrested 75 owners of saloons in Dyea and 30 in Skagway for allegedly smuggling liquor into Alaska. A Mr. Matthews owned a business of the same name in Dyea at the time. Dyea’s population was beginning to decline as the Brackett Road over the White Pass was completed and the White Pass and Yukon Route railroad began construction. Skagway, on the other hand, was thriving. It seems likely that the business that was in Dyea closed down and moved to Skagway (US Commissioner's Records, Alaska State Archives, Vol. I [OS569], 363). The Red Onion is a listing of the establishment in the 1899 business directory for the community, owned at the time by Peter C. Lawson and O. Frick (Skagway Business Directory, 1899, 143). The information for this directory was collected in the fall of 1898, and Stroller White remembered the saloon’s presence in the community during the summer of that year.” Note: White mentioned that there was an alley next to the Red Onion (p. 5); that there was a “lady bartender” at the Red Onion who eloped with a prominent businessman (p. 61); and that the employees of the Red Onion were regarded as lesser than those at the Board of Trade or the Peerless, but better than those at the Hungry Pup or the House of Hootch (p. 35).
The following are the notes I made of newspaper articles, and deed and tax records from Skagway.
August 2, 1897: Lot 7 Block 3 was claimed by C. F Rind and William Winn. He filed the claim on January 24, 1898 (Skagway Lot Locations, Alaska State Archives, Record Group 202, Vol. 19, p. 149). I looked at the deed indexes for 1897-1910, and could not find a record of a sale of property by either of these individuals. The 1900 taxes were paid by A. A. Anderson, who then owned a hardware store on that lot.
August 10, 1897: Block 2, lot 6 claimed by Charles B. Sperry (Skagway Lot Locations, Alaska State Archives, Record Group 202, Vol. 19, p. 7). Records of Sperry's sales in 1898 and 1899 are so poorly reproduced that I cannot follow the chain of title. The 1900 taxes were paid by Fred Ronkendorf, who owned the building at that time.
1899: The Red Onion, 348 6th Ave, Peter C. Lawson & O. Frick (1899 BD p. 143). Peter C. Lawson sold some property to William Achison sometime in 1898 or 1899 (Skagway Deeds, Book 1, p. 467), but the page of microfilm is so light, it can’t be read to see what the property was. However William and Edward Achison ran laundries in Skagway on 13th Ave, so that might be the property under consideration. Interestingly enough, the German Bakery owned by Fred Ronkendorf was at 347 Sixth Avenue in the 1899 business directory. Photographs show the German Bakery on the north side of Sixth, which indicates that the even numbered addresses were on the south side of the street, and the odd numbers were on the north side of the street.
July 1, 1899: Sixteen out of the 89 saloons in Skagway applied for and were granted liquor licenses under the new "high license" law (Daily Alaskan, January 1, 1900, p. 7). They included: Clancy's Theater; the Commerce; the Board of Trade; the First and Last Chance; the Fifth Avenue Hotel; the Idaho; the Mascot; the Monogram; the Pack Train; Rainier; the Reception; the Seattle; and the Senate. The remainder of the saloons closed their doors.
September 23, 1900: The WTCU filed a protest against the Reception, Senate, Seattle and Fifth Avenue saloons for being located within 400 feet of the Presbyterian Church. The criminal code passed on March 3, 1899, which dictated that licenses must be obtained by saloon owners, stated that licenses could not be issued to any place of business within 400 feet of a church or school. It excepted businesses in operation before the school or church was built or occupied. It also stipulated that the front entrance of the business be the measuring point to be in compliance. Measurements on the plat map suggest that the Reception is 120 feet from the church, the Fifth Avenue bar is 335 feet, and the Seattle and Senate saloons are at 400 feet. The filing has angered a lot of businessmen, who state that as condensed as the business district is, it is impossible to have a saloon at all that is more than 400 feet from a church or school. Protests have also been made that “the Skagway saloon men have ever been most liberal contributors to the building funds of churches and schools in the city.” A similar protest filed before Judge Johnson last year was ignored (The Daily Alaskan, “No Saloons,” page 4).
September 26, 1900: The judge has decided not to hear the protest over the four saloons within 400 feet of the Presbyterian church until after all of the jury cases have been heard in this session of the court. In the meantime, some business men are putting pressure on the WTCU to withdraw its protest, which will probably take the form of a petition. At the request of the proprietors of the Seattle and Senate saloons, the city engineer measured the distance from the Church to their front doors, finding them to be 409 ½ feet away. When the Fifth Avenue bar got its license last year, the side door in the rear of the saloon was called the entrance, but that has since been changed (The Daily Alaskan, “Protests Will Not Be Heard For Days,” page 1).
March 30, 1901: Another jab at Carrie Nation in the editorial pages. He suggests that a history of the hatchet would be a best seller (The Daily Alaskan, “Evolution of the Hatchet,” page 2). Later in the paper, the Senate Saloon carried an ad with two hatchets, asking “Have you had a Carrie Nation Cocktail at the Senate?” (The Daily Alaskan, page 3).
February 27, 1901: Fred Ronkendorf paid the 1900 taxes on the west 20 feet of lot 6, Block 2, with improvements, for a total of $25.00 (City of Skagway Historical Records, Volume 36, Assessment Book, 1900). This on the southeast corner of State and Sixth, and was the original location of the Red Onion Saloon, which was moved in 1914 to the northwest corner of Broadway and Second (Spude 1983: 143). In 1904 (which see), this building was rented from Ronkendorf to house the Totem Saloon.
June 23, 1901: A. Reinert donates $5 to the Fourth of July celebration fund. The saloon keepers are almost unanimous in their support: Lee Guthrie (The Board of Trade Saloon) donated $30, Payne and Peterson (The Commerce) donated $25, Matlock and Smith (The Idaho Saloon) $20, Herman Grimm $15, Charles Saake (The City Brewery, the Louvre and Rainier saloons) $15, the Monogram $5, F. B. McDonald (The Commissary) $10, Frank Rokendorf (unnamed saloon). Over $1000 total is raised (The Daily Alaskan, “Patriotic Skagway Will Celebrate,” page 3).
August 2, 1901: The U. S. Marshal closed the Senate Saloon this morning, in response to a suit brought by W. F. Matlock [the Skagway Brewery]. “Nobody supposed that Sam Roberts, the genial proprietor, was not as prosperous as his jolly countenance seemed to indicate” (The Daily Alaskan, “The Senate Closed,” page 1).
August 31, 1901: Herman Grimm is opening the new Seattle Saloon tonight. He has taken over the property of Sam Roberts, who used to run the Senate Saloon at Sixth and State. Grimm has taken on a long lease for the property, and made extensive improvements.” The varnished linoleum floor has every appearance of polished tile flooring, and the bar fixtures, the large French plate mirrors, draperies, etc., are the finest quality.” As before, “the saloon will be run on the same principle that characterized the old ‘Seattle’ – it will be ‘for gentlemen only’; no gambling; no boxes; no women.” He is disappointed that his grand orchestral instrument had not arrived for the grand opening. This instrument is described in detail (The Daily Alaskan, “Orchestral Palace,” page 1).
September 18, 1901: Herman Grimm is having a grand opening of the “Seattle Music Hall” tonight. He will have one long table placed all along one wall “on which will be spread all of the delicacies obtainable in Skagway’s markets.” He is baking two dozen of his finest Plymouth Rocks, several turkeys, three dozen ptarmigans, and “some nice goat meat,” presumably from a hunting expedition by Dr. Hall and Joe Smith. Also “some little side dish delicacies, such as celery, olives, frogs’ legs, pate de fois gras, oysters on the half shell, and of course, limburger cheese.” He intends to have a number of extra waiters to serve customers promptly (The Daily Alaskan, “Grand Opening,” page 3).
November 16, 1901: The Seattle Saloon will feature a venison feast this evening. Chris Mertz and Al McGillis have been hunting and “returned with much game.” John Jorgensen, manager of the Seattle says they will also be serving “all of the seasonal dishes” (The Daily Alaskan, “Feast at the Seattle Tonight,” page 1).
November 23, 1901: Herman Grimm will kill three dozen of his finest chickens for a feast for his patrons tonight. They will be “roasted to a turn” (The Daily Alaskan, “Supper at the Seattle Tonight,” page 1).
December 24, 1901: The Monogram, Seattle and Board of Trade all run special ads for Christmas eve and Christmas day on the front page of the paper. They are disguised as stories. The Monogram advertises its brands of liquor, probably for gift purchases. The Seattle will host a pork barbeque at 11:00 pm, and Santa will give out gifts. The Board of Trade will have punches, Tom and Jerrys and egg-nog on Christmas day (The Daily Alaskan, “The Monogram,” “At the Seattle,” and “Will Keep Open House,” page 1).
January 23, 1902: A man took Antone Stander’s coat from the Seattle saloon last night. He claims it was an accident (The Daily Alaskan, “Toney’s Coat,” page 1).
February 2, 1902 (Sunday): There were three drunken men taken to the jail last night. “Liverpool Jack, the longshoreman, was on a howling drunk, and undertook the job of cleaning out the Board of Trade… Another man whooped loudly against the peace and dignity of the Seattle corner.” A third man had to be manacled to the floor, as the jail is overcrowded. There are now twelve prisoners in the jail. “The contemplated cages at the court house are badly needed” (The Daily Alaskan, “Loud Jags” and “Overcrowded,” page 1).
February 20, 1902: The Seattle saloon advertises that it will buy wine bottles for 20 cents per dozen (The Daily Alaskan, “Bottles Wanted,” page 1).
April 11, 1902: “Chris Merz, the popular bar tender of the Seattle saloon, has been remembered by his old employer, Capt. Ruhstaller, of the famous brewery in Sacramento, with a keg of the Captain’s work famous Gilt Edge bock beer. Chris will tap the choice brew for the edification of his many friends, Saturday night (The Daily Alaskan, “Remembered by Employer,” page 4).
June 3, 1902: Herman Grimm is giving a send-off to Frank Wilson, a long-time employee of the Seattle Saloon. Wilson is off to the Klondike. “A splendid lunch, consisting of a yearling cub bear, chickens and all the vegetables on the market, will be served and there will be free beer from 8 o’clock till 10 in the evening (The Daily Alaskan, “Honestly Rewarded,” page 4).
June 28, 1902: Chris Merz, bartender at the Seattle Saloon, was recently presented with 10 barrels of beer from his old employer while visiting Sacramento, California. He has put it on tap, and will be serving free Sacramento steam beer from 10:00 am to noon and 7:00 to 8:00 pm (The Daily Alaskan, “Free Beer,” page 4).
June 13, 1902: The nominees for city council and the school board were chosen in less than 30 minutes last night at the convention. Those that came by late missed it all. Ten names were put forth, with apparently no discussion [a fixed election?]. None of the names include any of the saloon owners. A convention committee for the next year was also appointed, including the editor of the Daily Alaskan, John Troy (The Daily Alaskan, “City Campaign is Under Full Headway,” page 1). The editor comments that all ten candidates would be good ones. He claims “They include men from different portions of the town and representing nearly every line of business in the city” (The Daily Alaskan, page 3). That’s not really true. Stuart Coburn was manager of Lilly Brothers, a dry-goods store; Luke McGrath was a foreman for the railroad; John Kalem owned a grocery store; J. A. Nettles ran a plumbing business; J. H. Kelly was agent for the Pacific Coast Shipping and Storage Company; H. L. Johnson was deputy inspector of U. S. Customs; F. Ronkendorf ran the Boss Bakery; C. L. Andrews was deputy collector of U. S. Customs; and P. E. Kern was a jeweler (1902 Directory; Polk 1903). None were saloon owners. Both the 1902 and 1903 directories give no business or occupation for F. M. Woodruff. Lee Guthrie heavily pushed him to run for city council the previous year, and he may have been the only candidate that would look out after the interests of the liquor dealers, and tangentially, the prostitutes.
August 9, 1902: The day bartender at the Seattle Saloon, John Jorgenson, is celebrating his birthday today. The Seattle will serve a lunch of two roast shoats, greens and other trimmings from 10:30, and free beer will be served from noon to 12:30 (The Daily Alaskan, “Celebrates Birthday,” page 1).
August 23, 1902: The day bartender at the Seattle Saloon is leaving Skagway to go into business in Fresno, California (The Daily Alaskan, “August 23, 1902,” page 4).
August 26, 1902: Herman Grimm donated “sufficient liquid refreshment to last …to Seattle” for a party of three Skagwayans going south. Included in the party was John Jorgenson, his late day bartender (The Daily Alaskan, “Three Citizens Depart,” page 1).
September 6, 1902: Herman Grimm will celebrate his birthday, which was on the 3rd, tonight. He will serve a roast shoat that was raised in Skagway, at 8:30 sharp this evening (The Daily Alaskan, “Big Time,” page 4). An advertisement below that announcement reminds people that “The Seattle saloon is a gentleman’s resort and not a gambling joint. You can’t lose your money there (The Daily Alaskan, “Can’t Lose Your Money,” page 4).
October 30, 1902: “Herman Grimm yesterday had raised to the corner of his building to the second story a three sided glass sign of elaborate design with the words, “Seattle, $5,000 Orchestrian” (The Daily Alaskan, “Fine Corner Sign,” page 2).
November 6, 1902: The Hans Club will meet at the Seattle Saloon tonight to elect its officers (The Daily Alaskan, “Hans Club Election,” page 2).
November 22, 1902: The Hans Club met at the Boss Bakery last night. Mayer McGee presented the members with a mountain goat that was roasted by Fred Ronkendorf, owner of the Boss Bakery. “The Hans Club is a social organization composed of some of the choice spirits of the city. One of the features of the club is the custom of giving game banquets and promoting social fellowship among the members. Eleven men are listed as attending the meeting, including H. Kirmse and Chris Mertz (The Daily Alaskan, “Have Feed,” page 3).
December 20, 1902: “The Seattle saloon must continue to remain in the lead and as a result will draw for its patronage the famous Seattle Bohemian beer at 10 cents a glass – and no lie – commencing tonight. A hearty lunch which will include Walker’s famous clam chowder and roast chicken will be also served” (The Daily Alaskan, “Must Lead,” page 1).
March 10, 1903: Chris Merz has recovered and “will soon be again at his station behind the Seattle bar” (The Daily Alaskan, “Best Yet,” page 1).
June 5(?), 1903: James Burgess was arrested for stealing a $5 gold piece from August Bohm at the Mascot Saloon. Bohm, after being paid for a mining claim, then buying provisions, had left the purse with the gold piece in the safe-keeping of the barkeeper at the Mascot [unfortunately, unnamed]. When he retrieved it the next morning, he showed the purse off to Burgess. Bohm accused Burgess of substituting a penny for the gold piece, then going to the Seattle Saloon, where he bought some drinks with the gold. Burgess spent the night in jail, and has demanded a jury trial (The Daily Alaskan, “Neat Trick,” page ). Interesting….the barkeeper is not suspected.
June 6, 1903: James Burgess was convicted of stealing the $5 gold piece. Judge Rogers sentenced him to 50 days in jail (The Daily Alaskan, “Must Do Time,” page 1).
July 19, 1903: Saloons forced to close on Sundays, “in response to the notice recently served upon them at the instance of the United States district attorney.” Five saloons closed: the Seattle, the Monogram, the Pantheon, the Mascot and the Last Chance (The Daily Alaskan, page 1; Spude and Snow 1981: 11).
August 2, 1903: On September 1, Herman Grimm will move the Seattle Saloon to its old place of business. The Rokendorf building now occupied by Grimm will open as a new saloon when he moves out (The Daily Alaskan, “Will Move,” page 4).
August 8, 1903: The building now occupied by the Seattle Saloon, at Sixth and State, will be opened as the Totem Saloon next month. It will be managed by James E. Fitzpatrick. “It is the purpose of those who are to open the Totem to make it a first class resort” (The Daily Alaskan, August 8, 1903, “New Saloon on First,” page 4).
August 27, 1903: “The Totem saloon will be open and ready for business in the building now occupied by Herman Grimm, on the 5th of next month” (The Daily Alaskan, “Opening Date Announced,” page 1).
September 5, 1903: “The Totem saloon will open for business tonight at the corner of State street and Sixth avenue, in the Ronkendorf building…A first class swell lunch will be served and the best Skagway beer will be on tap. The place will be under the management of James Fitzpatrick, one of themost popular and competent men in his line in the North. It is the purpose of the manager of the Totem to keep only first class goods. The very best of wines, liquors and cigars will be served to patrons of the bar” (The Daily Alaskan, “Will Open,” page 4).
September 6, 1903: The opening of the Totem saloon last night brought out a great reception. The Boss Bakery served lunch. They treated The Daily Alaskan staff to a midnight supper (The Daily Alaskan, September 6, 1903 “Was Great,” page 2).
September 12, 1903: Merchants have donated prizes to the Field Day scheduled for the Eighth Infantry. They include: 2 pounds of Durham tobacco by E. E. McDonald; 50 cigars by the Totem Saloon; 25 cigars by Gage and Smith; a bottle of DeWar’s Scotch by the Idaho Liquor House; two bottles of port wine by the Monogram Liquor House; two bottles of wine by the Mascot Saloon; 24 bottles of wine by Herman Grimm; a barrel of beer by Herman Barthel, and a dozen bottles of beer by the Pantheon. Many other merchants donated items as well (The Daily Alaskan, “,” page ).
September 15, 1903: First month a placard ad appears for the Totem saloon, with “Skagway Bottled Beer $2.00 per dozen, delivered to any place in the city” (The Daily Alaskan, “The Totem,” page 3).
September 24, 1903: Mr. Shearer will be installing a hot water heating plant in the Ronkendorf building occupied by the Totem Saloon (The Daily Alaskan, “Will Install Heating Plant,” page 1).
October 8, 1903: “An Angelus attachment has been added to the fine piano at the Totem saloon” (The Daily Alaskan, “Totem Has Angelus,” page 1).
November 15, 1903: Placard ad: “At the ‘Totem’ Hot Tomato Buillion, Hot Beef Tea, Hot Claim (sic) Bullion, Hot Chicken Broth, Pop Corn Jim’s Famous Oyster Cocktail, James Fitzpatrick, Mgr.” (The Daily Alaskan, page 2).
December 25, 1903: The Mascot offers “an exceptionally fine Christmas lunch for today, including clam chowder and other delicacies. Tom and Jerry and punch will, moreover, be freely served to the patrons of the house (The Daily Alaskan, “Good Cheer at Mascot,” page 3). The Totem Saloon promises a Tom and Jerry “to all who will call” (The Daily Alaskan, “Totem Saloon Will Dispense,” page 2). The Board of Trade Saloon offers free Tom and Jerry and champagne punch throughout the day (The Daily Alaskan, “Time Honored Custom,” page 3). The Pantheon will distribute Tom and Jerry “to all the friends, patrons and visitors of the house. A good lunch will be, moreover, provided” (The Daily Alaskan, “Hospitality of the Pantheon,” page 4). The Monogram Liquor House promises that their pure wines cost less than tea or coffee, but nothing special is free for the day (The Daily Alaskan, “To Wine Drinkers,” page 3). The Seattle Saloon is entirely absent from the day’s issue. Tom and Jerry drinks, according to _________, are a concoction of cream, egg, sugar and liquor, and may be the 1903 version of eggnog.
March 16, 1904: “The Totem saloon will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow in an appropriate manner. Irish punch will be served, and the house will be trimmed with Irish decorations. There will be Irish songs and Irish music. An Irish lunch will be served in the evening. James Emmett Fitzpatrick will be master of ceremonies” (The Daily Alaskan, “Will Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” page 2).
March 17, 1904: “James Emmett Fitzpatrick, of The Totem saloon, expects every true Irishman to come to The Totem tonight and take a drink with him. Provided, the Irishman must be able to show his pedigree” (The Daily Alaskan, “Irishmen Invited,” page 3).
March 26, 1904: On this Saturday, the Totem and Seattle saloons suddenly advertise free lunches. These had had not mentioned for some time. The Totem advertises that their lunches are free all day and night, and they serve their famous clam chowder. The Seattle will feature “clams, sardines, calves’ feet jelly, anchovies and other good things to eat” (The Daily Alaskan, “Nice Lunch at Totem,” “At the Seattle Tonight,” page 4). Both saloons continue to offer free lunches on a daily basis throughout the rest of the year.
May 7, 1904: Fred Ronkendorf sold the Totem corner yesterday. He repurchased the Boss Bakery property from A. E. Lachapelle. “Mr. Ronkendorf is Skagway’s pioneer baker” (The Daily Alaskan, “In Charge,” page 1). J. C. Phelps made the purchase for about $5000, which included the land, the Totem building, the stock of liquors, the fixtures and the business. He intends to give a grand opening tonight (The Daily Alaskan, “Sale Made,” page 1). The lunch will include “roast turkey, roast chicken, salads and other good things to eat.” Phelps also promises that musicians on their way to the interior will entertain (The Daily Alaskan, “Big Opening,” page 4). Ronkendorf paid the 1900 taxes on the western 20 feet of lot 6, block 2 (City of Skagway Historical Records, Volume 36, Assessment Book, 1900), which was the original location of the Red Onion Saloon (Spude 1983: 143).
June 15, 1904: The Totem resumes its ads for free lunches “all day and night” (The Daily Alaskan, unnamed advertisement, page 2).
July 15, 1904: The Totem Saloon announces an “entire change in the menu” for tonight. The lunch is to start at 9:00 (The Daily Alaskan, “Good Things to Eat,” page 1).
August 6, 1904: An ad for the Skagway Brewery lists the Skagway saloons that carry their product. They are the Totem, the Board of Trade, the Pack Train, the Monogram, the Pantheon and the Idaho. “No other kind of beer can be found [in] Haines, and it is sold at Dawson, Eale, Rampart and Fairbanks” (The Daily Alaskan, “Takes Lead,” page 4). By my count, I’m almost positive that the Mascot is the only saloon in Skagway that does not sell the product of the Skagway Brewery. Does the Horseshoe still exist?
September 30, 1904: “The Totem saloon has been re-papered and otherwise improved in its interior appearance” (The Daily Alaskan, “Totem Saloon Improved,” page 2).
October 14, 1904: “Elmer Chamberlains’s and Popcorn Jim’s famous Olympia oyster cocktails are now served at the Totem saloon” (The Daily Alaskan, “Oyster Cocktails,” page 1).
November 5, 1904: The Totem saloon advertises “venison stew and all the delicacies the market affords” (The Daily Alaskan, “Venison Stew at the Totem,” page 1).
November 7, 1904: The Daily Alaska has made arrangements with several saloons in town to display the general election results tomorrow night. They will be available at the following: The Board of Trade, the Totem, the Pantheon, the Idaho Liquor House, and the Monogram Liquor House. Bulletins will be posted every half-hour until after midnight. The newspaper will also issue a special edition at midnight containing reports of the election (The Daily Alaskan, “Skagway Will Receive the Election Returns,” page 1).
November 16, 1904: “Ptarmigan stew will be served at the Totem tonight. The first of the season. The Totem is always first” (The Daily Alaskan, “Ptarmigan Stew at Totem,” page 1).
November 25, 1904: The Totem Saloon advertises three gift packages, consisting of mixed liquors and cigars (The Daily Alaskan, “No Raffle,” page 1). This ad continues through December.
December 15, 1904: The following saloons placed ads in the Daily Alaskan: The Totem, Jack Phelps, proprietor; The Pantheon, Sullivan and Flaherty; The Seattle, Rainier Beer at 10 cents a glass; The Monogram, Bloom and Korach, free delivery, advertising liquors by the gallon; The Idaho Liquor House, private rooms for families, with special attention to orders for family use, the “pioneer family liquor store of Skagway, established 1897; The Skagway Brewery, which never mentions its own name, but asks if you patronize home industry, and saying that their bottled beer is only $2.00 (quantity not detailed); The Board of Trade Saloon, Lee Guthrie, proprietor, billiard parlor, reading and writing room, spacious club room, “largest and best appointed resort for gentlemen in the North”; the Mascot, bulk or case goods at wholesale prices” (The Daily Alaskan, pages 2-4 ).
December 24, 1904: The Board of Trade, the Totem, the Monogram, and the Pantheon place one-time ads inviting their patrons for special celebrations on Christmas. The Board of Trade mentions its usual free Tom and Jerry and champagne punch; the Pantheon promises Tom and Jerry, punch and lunch, but doesn’t say its free. The Totem sends holiday greetings and says that lunch will be served. The Monogram expresses holiday greetings only (The Daily Alaskan, “Board of Trade Greets Friends,” “Good Cheer at Totem,” “Christmas at the Pantheon,” and “Greeting of Season,” page 1). The other saloons run their usual ads only. There is no Christmas day paper in the microfilm roll.
January 31, 1905: “The ownership of the Totem saloon passes today from J. C. Phelps to Mrs. Orise Rokendorf. The instruments of conveyance have been signed. Mr. Phelps will remain in possession of the property as manager” (The Daily Alaskan, “Totem Saloon Changes Hands,” page 4).
March 1, 1905: The Totem has been closed for some time due to the ill health of Jack Phelps, the manager. However, it will be opened tonight (The Daily Alaskan, “Totem Opens Tonight,” page 1).
March 7, 1905: “Rabbit stew will be served at the Totem saloon tonight, free. All invited” (The Daily Alaskan, “At the Totem,” page 1).
July 19, 1905: John L. Gage & Co. will move the Totem saloon from its present location to lower Broadway, where it will occupy the Verbauwehe building recently purchased by J. D. Stinebaugh. The latter is being prepared for occupancy by W. T. Myrick.” DA, p. 1.
August 2, 1905: “Tomorrow the case of Ronkendorf against Gage & Co. will be tried.” DA, p. 4.
August 5, 1905: The jury decided for the defense in the case of Ronkendorf against Gage & Co. A motion for a new trial will be heard in Juneau. DA, p. 4.