Monorail Museum Updates

May 10, 2018

I’ve added some “artifacts” to my miniature monorail museum, located in the head car of the former MN Zoo Monorail that I bought a couple years ago.

While I’m trying to keep the monorail mostly original, that big hulking power box in the back of the driver’s cab was just begging to be turned into a display case. A little dremel work and a plexiglass window and it’s much nicer than before! Plus the mice don’t chew on my toy trains now! (Keeping mice out of this thing might be impossible, it even came with some free zoo mice when I first got it 😛 )

The Baron, as a former monorail driver, has moved up to my upper shelf of MN Zoo-related memorabilia. The lower shelf is more general monorail “stuff”, since people keep giving me monorail toys and whatnot that they come across. In addition to the obvious Disney monorail, I managed to find an HO scale Von Roll MkIII model that’s pretty darn close to this one! The MkIII was in the same family as the zoo’s UMI Tourister, just a little more developed and streamlined.

The wall displays document monorail tech, MN zoo history, and other monorail-related tidbits.

And outside the monorail I’ve stuck a “historic marker” for random visitors. Although the train is on private property and not open to the public, we do get some friends and acquaintances stopping by who are curious about it!

 

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Funter Bay History: The Expanded Misadventures of Fred Patrick

May 9, 2018

After writing about Funter Bay resident Fred Patrick and his accident-prone life, I dug a little deeper into the original news articles. My prior information all came from summaries written by historian “Kinky” Bayers. The articles he references are mostly available in the Alaska State Library on microfilm.

An article from October of 1931 gives more detail of Fred Patrick’s shooting of Harold Tipton. Apparently Patrick was a “fox rancher” at the time, and Tipton was the cannery watchman at Funter Bay. Both were partaking in moonshine at a “small gathering” when Patrick decided to air some sort of grievance with a gun.

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I was not able to find a follow-up article with the results of this matter. Whether Fred Patrick spent any time in jail for the incident is uncertain.

Fred shows up again in the news in 1938, when fellow fisherman George Ford sank his boat, and the two went missing briefly.

And Fred again ran into trouble with guns in 1939, this time in Elfin Cove.

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That’s all I’ve found so far on fisherman, fox rancher, careless gun owner, and all-around unlucky fellow Fred Patrick. If I encounter him again in newspaper archives I will continue posting his exploits!


Railbiking

March 27, 2018

I’ve been mildly interested in rail bikes for a while, but too lazy / busy to build one myself. However, when one popped up at a local estate sale I couldn’t pass it up.

Before the safety-conscious railfans jump on me, the track I’m testing this on is fully disconnected from any live rail and is on public land in a city park (The Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary). It’s part of a former industrial spur and was incorporated into the park as a bit of decoration by the designers.

I’m not sure of the origin of this contraption. It’s obviously homemade, but when and by whom are a mystery. The bike has a little side saddle “sidecar” on the outrigger, suitable for a passenger or cargo. The bike itself seems to have been built in England, or at least parts of it were. The nameplate is worn off and everything is pretty rusty! I’m guessing it’s from the 1950s or 60s, but whether it was a hobbyist or a railroad employee who built it, I don’t know.

The bike required a little work to get it going. Namely a new rear wheel, new crank and pedals, reinforced weld, new chain, and some minor adjustments.

It barely fits in the car, and requires the rear hatch to be open. This could get annoying if I want to transport it very far!

My initial tests showed that it does pretty well on abandoned track in decent condition. However, any bends, dents, large gaps, or major bushes on the rail will derail it. It kind of goes through switches in one direction, but tends to fall off the frog going through the other way.

A short (<1min) video of my early test runs can be found here:


Funter Bay History: Young Man’s Draft

November 30, 2017

I’ve previously written about the Old Man’s Draft, a record set from the US Government in which a number of Funter Bay residents and Pribilof Internees are recorded. The companion set was recently published, listing younger men who registered for the draft in WWII. The following are registrations from residents of Funter Bay. As before, the name in parentheses is the person listed as “Person who will always know your address”, if there is no last name in parentheses, it is the same as the man listed in that record. For the older men this was often a spouse, for the younger men it could be a spouse or parent. Some versions of the form specify the relationship, in these cases I’ve made a note of such. Spelling and dates are mostly taken from the registration cards and may have some errors.

Bourdukofsky, Victor (Alexandra) Age 20.
Born 9/28/21, Pribilof Islands AK
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Buterin, Maxim K. (Kapetolina: Wife)
Born 1/31/13, St. Paul Island.
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Clark, David Hans (Mrs. L. E. Dodson, Bremerton WA).
Born 4/20/1925, Bellingham, WA
Employer: P.E. Harris Co, Funter AK

Dorman, Max William (G. G. Brown, Juneau AK).
Born 9/26/1902, Perry IA
Employed as Fisherman

Emanoff, Mamant (Anna: Wife)
Born 9/15/1906, St. Paul Island
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Emanoff, Maxim (Frances: Wife)
Born 11/24/1911, St. Paul Island
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Fratis, David (Alexandra: Wife)
Born 5/15/1910
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Galaktionoff, Aggey (Anfesa: Wife)
Born 11/3/1906, St. Paul Island
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Galaktionoff, Frank Gabriel (Fish & Wildlife Service)
Born 10/24/1910, Dutch Harbor, Unalaska
Employed by Jack Dunn on the cannery boat Wilson
(Likely a Pribiloff evacuee who managed to find work away from the camp)

Galanin, Gavriel (Mrs. Zoya Philemonof)
Born 4/27/1909, Pribiloff Islands, AK
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Galanin, Raphiel (Miss Angelina Merculief: Cousin)
Born 11/21/1913, Pribiloff Islands, AK
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Galanin, Moses (Mr. George Merculief)
Born 3/7/1914, Pribiloff Islands, AK
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Galanin, Laurence (Mr Alexander Galanin: Father)
Born 8/23/1918, St. George Island, AK
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Galanin, Martin (Alexander Galanin: Father)
Born 4/12/1919, St. George Island, AK
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Galanin, Ferman (Alesander Galanin)
Born 6/8/1920, Pribiloff Islands, Alaska
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Gromoff, Elary S. (Elisaveta: Wife)
Born 7/24/1901, St. Paul Island, AK
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Gromoff, Smile V. (Elary S.)
Born 6/30/1924, Pribilof Islands
Employed as Fish buyer by Sandy Stevens of Juneau, AK

Hanson, Xenofont (Agraffina: Wife)
Born 2/9/1919, St. Paul Island, AK
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Hanson, John Jr. (John Hanson, Sr.)
Born 2/4/1920, St. Paul Island, AK
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Hapoff, John (Angelina: Wife)
Born 4/30/1908, Pribilof Island, Alaska.
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Hapoff, Arthur (Parascodia: Mother)
Born 7/6/1920, St. Paul Island, Alaska
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Hellbaum, Richard Godlied (Mrs. Alfred Mockle Lomita of Park, CA)
Born 11/9/1898, Jekoa, WA.
Employer: US Buruea of Fish Wild Life Service (sic)

Hoverson, Carl Marcus (Edward C Johnston of Seattle)
Born 12/6/1901, Hancock Minn.
US Fish & Wildlife Service, Seattle (Funter Alaska)

Kashevarof, Laurence (Julia: Wife)
Born 7/28/1910, Pribiloff Islands, Alaska
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Kashevarof, Valentine (Ludmilla: Wife)
Born 9/5/1912, Pribiloff Island, Alaska
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Kochergin, Peter T. (Helen: Wife)
Born 3/24/1902, St. Paul Island, Alaska
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Kochergin, Victor (Peter)
Born 9/26/1923, Pribilof Islands, Alaska
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Kochutin, Innokenty (Haretina: Wife)
Born 12/7/1903, St. Paul Island, Alaska
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Kochutin, Simeon (Deceased) (Maria G: Half-sister)
Born 2/13/1912, St. Paul Island, Alaska
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Kochutin, Nekifer (Theodore: Father)
Born 2/22/1913, St. Paul Island, Alaska
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Kochutin, Jacob (Olga: Wife)
Born 3/5/1917, St. Paul Island, Alaska
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp

Kochutin, Mekey (Theodore: Father)
Born 8/26/1921, St. Paul Island, Alaska
Employer: USF&WS Evacuation Camp


Funter Bay History: Trolling in 1952

October 12, 2017

The Juneau Douglas City Museum provided this set of 1952 slides showing some commercial fishing at Funter Bay. Trolling doesn’t seem to have changed much since then! This set is from the Carl and Caroline Jensen collection, Accession # 2002.45. http://www.juneau.org/parkrec/museum/v_exhibit/exhibit4/e41293a.htm

Below we see Carl Jensen cleaning fish near the entrance of Funter Bay. A skein of salmon eggs is in his hand. The cannery and some other trollers are barely visible in the background:

These photos were taken near the end of the fish trap era. Traps competed with trollers such as the Jensens, catching fish on a much more destructive industrial scale. Below we see a cannery tender loading a scow from a floating trap:

And another view of a trap (possibly the same one) with a red watchman’s shack. A cannery employee would live at the trap to keep fish pirates from robbing it. Many commercial fishermen hated the traps and would steal fish from them if they got the chance!

Below we see the fishermen parked at the float at Funter Bay in the morning (based on the sun). Carl Jensen is seen picking herring from a net, likely set from the side of the boat overnight. These would be used as the day’s bait.

The herring threaded onto hooks can be seen a bucket below:

Whales, likely bubble-net feeding on small fish:

The lighthouse at Point Retreat, northern end of Admiralty Island:

Sunset at Funter Bay:

Thank you to the JDCM for helping me locate and scan these, and thanks to the Jensen family for donating this great documentation of fishing 60 years ago!


Funter Bay History: A Commemorative Plate

September 15, 2017

This somewhat mysterious artifact rests in the Juneau-Douglas City Museum’s collections. A fancy gold-edged plate or dish with a portrait of five Native Alaskan women from Funter Bay.

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The plate has no indication of when or why it was made, the only marks other than Museum collection numbers being a “Made in Germany” stamp on the bottom.

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The artwork is not attributed on the plate itself, but is clearly based on a 1907 Case & Draper photo from Funter Bay.

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Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Case & Draper Photograph Collection, PCA 39

Whether the plate was commissioned by the Thlinket Packing Co, or by Case & Draper studios, or by someone else, I don’t know. I’m also not sure if it were a one-off product for a company executive or family member, or some mass-produced item sold as a souvenir or offered as advertising material. Such plates with Alaska scenes were sometimes commissioned by companies as advertising, but there is no company name on it.

The JDCM catalog notes that this was donated by Mamie and Marcus Jensen, and used by the Feusi family of Douglas.

I would love to find more information on this curious Funter Bay plate, if anyone knows more they are encouraged to contact me!

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Thanks again to the Juneau-Douglas City Museum for letting me see and photograph this artifact!

 

 


Funter Bay History: Cannery Licenses

September 13, 2017

Earlier this summer I visited the Juneau-Douglas City Museum on a research trip. Among the many interesting pieces in their collections were a set of business license and related paperwork for the Thlinket Packing Co cannery at Funter Bay.

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There are separate application forms in the file for both the cannery and the saltery side of the operation, for the season starting in 1908.

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There are also applications for the 1907 season:

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A letter from the district court in 1908 reminded the Thlinket Packing Co that they had not yet paid their taxes on the 1907 salmon pack:

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These documents are all from the Juneau Douglas City Museum’s collections, Item #2008.21.073, “Application for cannery license for Thlinket Packing & Trading Co.” and 2008.21.075, “Application for saltery license for Thlinket Packing & Trading Company“. Much thanks to Jodi DeBruyne for helping me locate and view these items!