Literate Kitty

The first feline to arrive in the Fairbanks Camp was owned by Harriet M. Davis, proprietor of the Columbia House Hotel on the corner of First Avenue & Dunkel Street.

Fairbanks Daily Times- July 7, 1910


After having withstood the hardships of a trip over the trail in 1903 and the vicissitudes of life in Fairbanks since that time, Mammiecat has turned up on the missing list.

Ten days ago, when her mistress called her at mealtime she failed to respond and since that time no trace of her has been found.

Mammiecat is a fine black and white cat, of the gentler sex as her name might imply. Unlike most other cats she has a black nose, and this is something by which she can readily be identified. Her owner, Mrs. Davis of the Columbia hotel, is offering a reward for information regarding her whereabouts. Mammiecat was the first cat to come to Fairbanks and has, undoubtedly, and infinite number of descendants, but there is only on Mammiecat and Mrs. Davis intends to find her if it is possible.

The next Day, July 8, 1910:


Yesterday the Times contained a want ad asking for information regarding one Mammiecat, the original pioneer of the feline tribe in Fairbanks, who came over the trail in 1903. Mammiecat, according to the story told by Mrs. Davis, of the Columbia hotel, her owner, had always been a very respectable tabby and had never strayed from home until ten days ago. At that time, she disappeared and hunts all over the neighborhood failed to bring any results. And so, the want ad requesting news of the manner of her taking off was inserted. Little hope was entertained that she still lived.

Yesterday, almost before her owner had been able to read the ad in the morning paper, Mammiecat came home. She wasn’t brought, she just came, acting undoubtedly under the controlling influence exerted by Times want ads. While her owner confesses that she was unaware that the cat was able to read she can account for her reappearance in no other way and is simply congratulating herself on the fact that “the cat came back.”

Note: The Columbia House Hotel was destroyed by fire in 1915. By that time, Harriet Davis had married John Joslin, brother of the famous Falcon Joslin who built the Tanana Mines Railroad here. Harriet was also a member of Pioneer Women of Alaska Fairbanks Igloo No. 3 , the predecessor to today’s Women’s Igloo No. 8. This history nugget has been proudly brought to you by Men’s Igloo No. 4 and Women’s Igloo No. 8 of the Pioneers of Alaska.

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