The highlight of our walk around Ketchkian was Creek Street and Dolly’s House, home of one of Ketchikan’s famous ladies of the evening. Creek Street is surely one of the most picturesque streets in North America with its colorful wooden buildings perches on stilts above a roiling creek. Dolly’s House is the building on the right.
I love the Alaskan sense of humor, as you can see in this sign about spawning.
Jann and I couldn’t resist a visit to a brothel museum, though it wasn’t quite what I imagined. Dolly Arthur moved to Ketchikan in 1919 and set up shop on Creek Street, keeping her liquor hidden in a secret closet during prohibition.
For one thing, Dolly was a sole proprietor, not a madam, so the house was fairly small and more like a normal home, except for some of the decorating. I refer specifically to the shower curtain decorated with condoms.
In the early days, prostitution was legal, or you wouldn’t see a sign like this one! Apparently the brothels operated until the later 1950’s.
For $5.00 you can buy a copy of Dolly’s House, an e-book based on interviews with Dolly before her death. Or if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can borrow and read it for free. Apparently Dolly was quite the character and she lived to the ripe old age of 87! We should all live so long.
The last Alaskan port on our Princess Inside Passage Passage cruise was the picturesque town of Ketchikan. As you can see from the photos, we had another cloudy day, and rain started mid-way through our visit.
Jann and I walked from the waterfront to scenic Creek Street to visit Dolly’s House, now a “brother museum”. The house was quite interesting, as was Dolly herself, so I’ll devote a separate blog to that visit.
The rain started while we were inside Dolly’s House, so we sought shelter in several stops along the way where we made last minute purchases. I found some Alaska T-shirts to bring home, one with a graphic of the Northern Lights–viewing the Aurora Borealis some day is still on my bucket list–and another proclaiming Alaska as being “Just North of Normal”. Alaskans seem to pride themselves on being just a little bit different than those of us who live in the Lower 48.
Back at the dock, we stopped to admire the sculpture in the round called The Rock by Dave Rubin. The monument features seven figures from area history: Chief Johnson, plus a fisherman, a miner, a logger, an aviator, a Native woman drumming, and an elegant lady in 1890s clothing and carrying a carpetbag.
We sailed from Ketchikan around noon and spent the rest of the day at sea. That night we had our second formal dinner in the dining room, topped off by the ceremonial procession of the Baked Alaska desserts to the tune of the Tarantella. I’d forgotten how yummy Baked Alaska can be. This isn’t the best photo–it’s a bit blurry–but gives you an idea of what it looks like. I think cruise ships are about the only places where Baked Alaska is still served. Neapolitan ice cream topped off with meringue. What’s not to like?
I’ll close with yet another pretty picture of sunset at sea, this time with a tiny crescent moon visible at the left top.