After working as a waitress Dolly made her way to Ketchikan where she bought the house for cash. As you wander through taped recordings tell you about her and her home.
A woman of creativity you'll open a door to the "men's room" she created or the trap door for bootleg liquor. Peek into her medicine cabinet but also admire the handmade silk flowers she made to decorate her shower curtain. In those days women of her particular profession advertised as "seamstresses". Read correspondence by and to her. I particularly liked one where a shop was responding to her request for exotic birds.
A strong woman, Dolly stood about 5'10" and weighed over 200 pounds. No shrinking violet in the days of the gold rush. But a "sensitive" woman she made sure there was a special back entrance to her home for her gentlemen visitors who might be uncomfortable knocking at her front door. A pragmatic woman she served liquor by the shot glass and expected her guests to share glasses (who has time to wash dishes?).
I was surprised at the amenities she managed or created for herself and her "guests".
I came away with a real liking for this woman who made her own way and did it well. We are often posed the question of someone from the past we'd like to meet. She's on my list and hopefully she'd be less discrete now because I bet she has some stories to tell.
September 15, 2001
From journal Alaska Autumn