Life In Alaska – Itinerary And Job Search (1) – July, 1940

Hotel Hopkins

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

July 13, 1940

Dear “Outsiders”,

Ced Guion

Cedric (Ced) Duryee Guion

This is the first letter I have written to youse since leaving, and, although I have not yet become permanently settled, I can catch you up to me, at least.

I have noted a distinct interest in the two letters we have received from Dad about how far we traveled each day. I shall give you our itinerary, but first will qualify it by admitting that Ced might have told you already. I have left everything to him when it came to writing home while I (blush) have written only to Barbara.

(This is a list of all the places they slept on the trip)

Thursday, June 13, Kane, Pa.

June 14, Draz’s barn, Chagrin Falls, Wisc.

June 15, Grain Field, Walworth, Wisc.

June 16, Peabody Farm, Wisc.

June 17, Frank Peabody’s, St. Paul, Minn.

June 18, Badlands, S. Dak.

June 19, Wildcat, Wyo.

June 20, Gillespie’s, Missoula, Mont.

June 21, Blewett’s Pass, Washington

June 22, Seattle, about noon. Slept on beach first night.

June 23 – 25, YMCA Hotel, Seattle

June 26 – 28, Inland Passage, arrived Ketchikan

June 29, arrived at Juneau 4:30 A.M.

June 30, arrived Cordova

July 1, arrived the Valdez

July 2, arrived Seward, took train to Anchorage.

July 2 – present, Anchorage (2 – 7 at Anchorage Hotel; 7 – present at Hopkins Hotel).

Our first afternoon in Anchorage we found Mr. Stohl who was tersely polite upon learning that we were friends of Rusty, but he said there was nothing for us at the mine but he was sure we could find work in Anchorage. We went to a few of the offices, and learned that new arrivals from  the “outside” (Cheechakos) were not being accepted on the Government’s Air Base project, since there was an ample supply of Alaskans who were looking for work, but it should not be hard to find other employment. We registered at the Employment Office, and were told that the Rail Road was advertising for men, their employees having left to get better wages with the Air Base. So Ced and I went down to the RR office next AM, underwent a physical examination, and were told that we could go to work after the Fourth. In the meantime, we discovered that any man who worked on the RR could not quit for a job on the Air Base, and no man who had quit the RR could return later! It seemed best, then, to post – pone the RR job until we had exhausted the other possibilities.


10 thoughts on “Life In Alaska – Itinerary And Job Search (1) – July, 1940

  1. a gray says:

    The itinerary is interesting. How were they traveling?

    • jaggh53163 says:

      a grey – They drove from Trumbull, CT, near Bridgeport, across the country staying at the houses of relatives or friends, or the countryside. When they reached Seattle, they sold the Wyllis they had driven and bought passage on a ship bound for Anchorage.They expected to find jobs with the Stohl’s waiting for them, but were too late.

      • a gray says:

        It must have been an amazing journey across a country with many dirt and gravel roads. Having driven cross country several times, I think they made very good time on their journey.

        • jaggh53163 says:

          a gray – I agree with you. I have also driven across the country several times, the longest took about two weeks and the shortest, about 65 hours…. that was a trip !!!

          • a gray says:

            Cross county in 65 hours, no matter where you start or end, is a tough trip and not for the faint of heart. Did you do it alone?

            • jaggh53163 says:

              No, I was with my husband. We left Laguna Hills, CA, at midnight and drove 12 hours to the Grand Canyon, spent half of a day there, spent the night on an Indian Reservation and then drove straight through to Syracuse, New York, alternating drivers. When we returned the rental car, the guy checked the bumper barcode, entered the mileage and looked puzzled. He erased it and did it again. Finally he said, “Ma’am, is it possible that you put over 7,000 miles on the car in 14 days? ” I said , “Yes.” The total cost of the rental, with coupons and discounts, was $135. What a DEAL…

  2. Mrs. P says:

    Great itinerary update! So glad they found out about the issues working with the railroad. That would have completely changed their lives.

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Mrs. P. – I was thrilled when I saw it. Originally, Rusty was going to go with them and had told them they could get work at the mine working for the Stohl’s. “… Mr Stohl, who was tersely polite upon learning that we were friends of Rusty’s….” was an interesting look into the character of Rusty.
      I’m glad they held out for jobs that they were interested in. It really didn’t take them long, For Ced, only a matter of two weeks. For Dan, it was slightly longer, but they were both happy with the jobs they ended up with. Ced actually worked at Woodley’s for 6 1/2 years before returning to Trumbull.

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