Promoting Skagway, Alaska the Itjen way

"Come up and see me sometime."
This was the invitation.
I put my street car on the boat
And sailed for the Movie Station."

-Martin Itjen

Martin Itjen was the premier tour director of Skagway, Alaska in the early 1900s. He substantiallly helped to promote Skagway's role in the Klondike gold rush of the 1890's.

Two of Martin's more well-known roles were operating the Skagway Streetcar and opening a museum dedicated to Klondike personality Soapy Smith.

A postcard from the era shows Martin, just outside of the Skagway graveyard where Soapy Smith's grave lies, showing off the world's largest nugget, chained to a tree with a huge chain. In reality, it was just a huge bolder Martin had painted gold.

These double sided cards featuring the Skagway Streetcar and the indomiitable duo of Itjen and Mae West were used to promote Skagway.

The letters are contemporary recommendations and reviews from Martin's Hollywood tour.

2011 Bob Wieking. All rights reserved