Kitchikan – history, shopping, salmon within easy reach of Alaska Ferry dock

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Ketchikan, the southeastern most city in Alaska, offers history, shopping, kayaking all within easy reach of Alaska Ferry dock.

This historic city sits at the entrance to the famed Alaska Inside Passage and has long been a popular destination with RVers because it is a year-round port-of-call for the Alaska Marine Highway System (1-800-642-0066).

During Ketchikan’s “rough-and-tumble Prohibition days, Creek Street … actually a boardwalk built over the water … was the red-light district, a hot-bed of bars and brothels. Today it is the heart of the city’s shopping and arts scene.”

Read more about this “Gold Rush” community I posted on RVShortStops.com.

— Text Julianne G. Crane

Photo: Notorious Creek Street, in historic Ketchikan. (Julianne G. Crane)

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  • Gene:
    Thank you for these fascinating insights into culture of Ketchikan and its “Ladies of the Line”

  • Gene Fisher

    Ketchican Creek is referred to as a “place where both fish and fishermen cane to spawn.”

    Most of the original building on Creek Street were one story duplexes, each side having two bedrooms. Two “girls” could live and work in each side of the duplex for a total of four. “Cribs,” were buildings housing more than four ladies were prohibited.

    These ladies were refereed to by polite society as “Ladies of the Line” because there was an imaginary line drawn across town over which these ladies dare not cross lest they be seen and offend the sensibility of the townspeople. On Wednesdays the ladies were allowed to cross the line, coming into town to shop. Some of owners of theses shop were also owners of the businesses that employed these ladies.

    A number of ladies of the line are buried in the local cemetery, There are epitaphs on their headstones that refer to them as “soiled doves.”

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