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No place like Fairbanks

Ever wonder why a man would leave his home and extended family to come live in a place like Fairbanks, Alaska? The following letter was published in the local newspaper and is an entertaining account of why one man did it:

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner November 30, 1916

RE: A Dance

Friend Sammy,

I suppose you are very much surprised to hear that I am in Alaska, but I am here just the same. This place is called Fairbanks. It was not named after the actor, but was taken from the Latin word “Fair” meaning Nice, and “Banks” meaning a place where you lay something away. So Fairbanks means a nice place to be laid away. They have a beautiful cemetery here. Right handy to the lumber mill so you don’t have to go far for a coffin. It is a nice place here. Nice and hot in the summer and nice and cold in the winter.

And I’ll also bet you want to know why I came here. Well, I will tell you. You know that girl Becky that I was engaged to? Well I bought for her a diamond ring on the installation plan, you know, a dollar down and a dollar every time they catch me. Well, anyhow, I found out later that she was going out with another fellow, so I said to myself, why should I pay installations on a ring that I haven’t got, that I bought for a girl, that I ain’t got neither, too.

So I went to the installation company, and told them to go to her, and get the ring back, which they must have did, because the next day I met her brother in the street, and he is a great big fellow, and he said “Why for, did you do such a dirty trick?” Well anyhow, to make a long story fit a little place, after I got out of the hospital, I decided to come to Alaska.

They have a lodge here called the Lady Mooses, (these are not real animals) it’s an auxiliary from the men’s lodge. You see the men got tired of hearing their women folk talk so much so they kidded them into forming a lodge of their own, and now the women can talk their heads off and we men don’t have to listen to them. Swell idea, ain’t it?

Well, anyhow these Lady Mooses are going to have a dance next Saturday. A masquerade dance. I hear that the bootleggers are going to come dressed like gentlemen, the politicians are going to try and look honest. It’s gonna be a real swell affair. No common people will be allowed in unless they can pay their dollar and a half.

The dance is gonna be held at the Moose Hall, and the reason for that is this: They have a balcony there where everybody can go and talk about everybody else. And therefore, everybody will be there.

Tomorrow I will write and tell you more about he dance again, and I will also tell you about the town. I have to stop now because I have a terrible headache and my stomach hurts.

Hoping you are the same, I remain respectfully yours,

A Man Moose

Note: As you can see, this letter is a really a unique way to advertise the big dance at the Moose Hall. It is also interesting to point out that the “Man Moose” who wrote the letter was still single at the time of the writing. He sure gave everyone plenty of balcony fodder for added entertainment at the dance. This skidoo of a 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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