Gastineau Channel Memories


This site presents the Web version of Gastineau Channel Memories 1880-1959. This book, published in 2001 and now out of print, was the first volume (Volume I) in a series on local history, prepared under the direction of the Pioneer Book Committee. Production of the book was supported by a large group of individuals and firms.

Volume II, still in print, was issued in 2004 and Volume III was published in 2008.

Volume I consists of 290 articles covering 350 families. Some are documentary in style; some are in the oral history tradition. But all of them provide an important viewpoint on our community’s history.

Putting the Gastineau Channel Memories 1880-1959 on the web is part of the Juneau-Douglas City Museum’s long-term objective of making available digital documents and images on the history of the Juneau-Douglas area.

There are two ways to use this site:

  • Browse Families: Look at the list of families and pull up text and photos about their life on the Channel.
  • Search the Book: a full-text search of the entire book that will give you a list of the Family Stories that contain your search terms.
Gastineau Channel Memories Cover


  • Alaska Historical Library – Photographs
  • Jack Hermle – Cover Photograph
  • Dave Fremming – Project Consultant
  • Mike Blackwell – Project Consultant
  • Judge Thomas B. Stewart – Research Consultant
  • Media – Juneau Empire, Capital City Weekly, KTOO, KINY, Alaskan Southeaster Magazine, Senior Voice
  • Capital Copy
  • Juneau-Douglas Picnic in Seattle
  • Gastineau Channel Historical Society – Public programs and articles in the Gastineau Heritage News
  • Typists – Betty Miller, Jean Kline, Beth Bellflower, Cindy Dau
  • Proof Readers – Mary Lewis, Betty Miller, Alma Harris, Shirley Carlson
  • Interviewers – Dee Williams, Jeannette McLeod, Marie Darlin, Agnes McAndrews
  • Mr. and Mrs. Bob Renkert of Anchorage – for their advice based on the Anchorage publication, Fond Memories
  • Typesetting and layout – Dee Dunivan
  • Fireweed Place – Committee meeting space


  • Doreen and Ted Merrell
  • David Benton
  • Paul Emerson
  • Barbara Hulk
  • Mike Blackwell
  • Thompson


  • Alaska Electric Light and Power Co.
  • Alaska Litho
  • Bartlett Regional Hospital
  • Evergreen Ford
  • Faulkner, Banfield, Boochever and Doogan
  • First National Bank of Anchorage
  • Gross Theaters
  • Harri Plumbing Heating
  • Taku Oil

The committee wishes to give special recognition to Janet Ruotsala who served as a Chairperson and our Finance Chair for most of this project.


  • Marie Hanna Darlin
  • Janet Ruotsala
  • Betty West Miller


  • Leo “Bud” Jones
  • Mary Sofoulis Lewis*
  • Leonard Lowell*
  • Agnes Tubbs McAndrews
  • Jeannette Doucette McLeod
  • Lazzette Shearer Ohman*
  • Katherine Messershcmidt Shaw
  • Mary Ann Welp
  • Daisy “Dee” Williams

*deceased since initial publication in 2001

Gastineau Channel Memories Committee Members

L-R Standing: Jeannette McLeod, Mary Ann Welp, Janet Ruotsala, Kathrine Shaw, Marie Darlin, Betty Miller, Dee Williams, Lazzette Ohman L-R Sitting: Leo Jones, Mary Lewis, Agnes McAndrews, Leonard Lowell

Cover photograph – delete Jack, insert John F. Hermle, Jr.

Page 72 BURFORD Paragraph 3, lines 6 and 7 – Bert Caro was married to a lady named .Pete,. who worked as a legal secretary for Bert Faulkner.

Page 110 DANNER Add: As a teenager I took violin lessons from Professor Stumpf and then from the well known instructor Willis Nowell and later played for five years in the Juneau Symphony under Cliff Berg.

Page 129 DeROUX Last paragraph, line 7 – . . .Roy married Frances . . .

Page 155 FIELD Title line – delete William, insert Walter D. Field

Page 164 FROMHOLZ Title line – delete Gustaf & Hulda – insert Bill

Page 236 HURLOCK First paragraph, last line – . . .original home town of Baltimore, Maryland.

Page 271 KASSNER Paragraph 3, line 5 – add . . .Department of Transportation,

Paragraph 6, line 3 – add . . .returned to Alaska in August 1949, Paragraph 7, line 4 – add . . .returned to Juneau and married Ivan .Bud. Womack. Paragraph 7, line 6 – add . . .They now live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Page 277 KENDALL First paragraph, line 1 – My parents and grandparents were western Nebraska .Sand Hill. homesteaders. . .

Page 336 METCALFE Last paragraph omitted – add: Nadine attended Juneau High School. While in high school she worked one summer for the George Brothers Grocery store, and in her senior year worked after school for the Territorial Treasurer.s office. She graduated in 1943 and attended the University of Alaska in Fairbanks for one year. Following school she worked for the Alaska Communications System and for the Territorial and State Legislatures in various capacities (Chief Clerk, and Administrative Assistant to both finance committees). Nadine also worked as supervisor of Elections for Southeast Alaska. She devoted after-hours time, over a period of about three years, to editing the minutes of the Alaska Constitutional Convention. Nadine has four children; Donna, James (Jim), Janet and Anne, three of whom still reside in Alaska. Nadine lived for many years in Juneau, five in Homer and then in Anchorage with her husband, Robert E. Price. Nadine died in April 2003.

Page 420 POPEJOY First paragraph line 3 – delete Seward, insert Main . . .

Page 448 ROBERTSON/EASTAUGH Paragraph 2 – omitted from .Statehood & the Constitutional Convention. Add: At the 1955 constitutional convention, Delegate R. E. .Bob. Robertson approved of statehood but wanted Juneau named the capital in the body of the constitution, not just in the schedule of transitional measures. (In 1962, the Alaska Supreme Court held that because the state capital reference was only a transitional measure, the capital could be changed by statute or initiative.) Bob also believed that the initiative process the Constitution proposed was too easy to implement, and because initiatives can.t be easily corrected, bad law could result. He also opposed a provision submitting an ordinance to the voters on whether to abolish fish traps. Arguing unsuccessfully to change the three items, Bob submitted a letter of resignation to convention President William Egan three days before the convention concluded and returned to Juneau. Believing the resignation wouldn’t be effective unless all of the delegates accepted it, Egan did not distribute copies of the letter. The convention concluded without Bob Robertson.s vote. In 1960, Bob was persuaded to sign the constitution, which he did happily, finally making it a unanimous vote.

Page 464 SCOTT Photo caption – delete Earl, insert Ralph Beistline . . .

Page 475 SNOW/JENNE Second page, next to last paragraph omitted. Add: Joe Snow went to Bremerton in 1937 to do defense work. There, he and his wife, Gertrude (Jorgenson) Snow, lost their little daughter, Sharon. They had another child, Mike. After their divorce, Gertrude and Mike returned to Juneau where she married Ken Millard. After World War II naval service in the Pacific, Joe married Saxon Heath of Ketchikan and they moved back to Juneau. They had three children.Damon, Sandy (Fleek), and Linda Snow, all reared in Juneau. They later divorced. Joe worked as an administrator for the U.S. Veterans Administration, retiring with 33 years of service. He was an avid baseball player and fan. He died in Juneau on April 2, 1998.

page 177 GOLDSTEIN: paragraph 1 change Isadora to Isadore. Same in para 4.