My Grandmother never used the first name Mary and most people never even knew of it.
She and her sister Georgia took the steamer to Juneau about 1914 to join their father James Henry Gilpatrick. Later her younger sister Josephine and her mother Katherine came up.
They were working at a box factory in Suloia Bay in Sergius Narrows between Sitka and Juneau when my grandmother met my grandfather, Robert Claire. The box factory is long gone and made wood boxes for salmon cans before there was cardboard boxes.
Grandmother kept a diary from when she was in high school in Juneau till after she married my grandfather. Her first marriage was to Robert Claire and he was in the navy. Apparently she met him when his ship was near the box factory as she took the mail boat to Sitka two weeks later and never left. Her family followed her a few weeks later and all lived then in Sitka except her middle sister Georgia. I do not find Georgia married Littlepage on findagrave.
Grandmother was mostly known as Luella G. Smith. She hated to have Luella spelled wrong. The G for Gilpatrick. Grandmother never spoke of grandfather Claire so I had a time of it finding anything about him.
In the 1940 census my mother and uncle are listed as Smith and had never any school records correctly as Claire. My uncle found his name wrong when he tried to join the RCAF in the beginning of the war.
Grandmother bought the Photo Shop in 1924 and closed it at the end of 1972. Fifty years of photographs and negatives reside at the Sitka Historical Society.
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