Guide to the Hazel Benshoff letters
Collection number: HMC-0851.
Title: Hazel Benshoff letters.
Volume of collection: 0.02 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Collection summary: Letters to a young woman from a friend touring Alaska in the late 1920s.
Hazel Benshoff was a young woman from Pasadena, California. In 1928 and 1929, she received six different letters from a local friend, named Louise, who traveled to New York City in 1928, and Alaska and the Yukon Territory in 1929. The trip to New York City included a sailing on board the S.S. Olympic. The trip to Alaska started in Wilmington, California, and included stops in San Francisco, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Juneau, Cordova, Seward and Dawson, Yukon Territory. Her probable tour route included steamship travel from Seattle to Seward, the Alaska Railroad to Nenana, and riverboat travel on the Tanana and Yukon Rivers to Dawson, returning via Whitehorse and Skagway aboard the White Pass and Yukon Route railroad.
The collection consists of travel letters received by Pasadena, California, resident Hazel Benshoff from a local friend on trips to New York City, Alaska, and the Yukon Territory in 1928 and 1929. The collection contains six different letters, a postmarked envelope, and a blank piece of letterhead and envelope from the steamship line, N.Y.K. The first letter, dated June 30 and July 1, 1928, is eight pages long and written on letterhead of the White Star Line’s S.S. Olympic. In the letter, Louise describes her activities in New York City and her days aboard the steamship. The second letter, dated June 10, 1929, is four pages long and written on Pacific Steamship Company stationery from aboard the S.S. Ruth Alexander en route from Wilmington to San Francisco, California. In the letter, she describes the beginning of her trip to Alaska. The third letter, dated June 15, 1929, is four pages long and written on the letterhead of the Olympic Hotel in Seattle. In the letter, she describes her stay in Seattle and mentions the recent wreck of the S.S. Aleutian. The fourth and fifth letters, dated June 18-20, 1929, are a total of 10 pages long and written on Alaska Steamship Company letterhead from aboard the S.S. Yukon. In the letters, she describes her trip from Seattle to Seward including stops in Ketchikan, Juneau and Cordova and her viewing of Mendenhall, Childs and Miles glaciers. The sixth letter, dated July 9, 1929, is three pages long and written on White Pass and Yukon Route stationery. In the letter, Louise comments on her riverboat trip on the Yukon River to Dawson, Yukon Territory, and anticipates her return to Pasadena on the 24th of July. The single envelope is on Alaska Steamship Company stationery and postmarked June 16th from Seattle and Seward.
Arrangement: Letters are in chronological order.
Digitized copies: Digital copies of collection material not available online. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.
Rights note: The Archives does not own copyright to this collection.
Preferred citation: Hazel Benshoff letters, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.
Acquisition note: The collection was acquired from an internet auction in 2006.
Processing information: This collection was described by Jeffery Sinnott in 2006. Collection description revised by Mariecris Gatlabayan in 2011.