James Henry Gilpatrick


James Henry Gilpatrick

Helena, Lewis and Clark County, Montana, USA
Death 6 Dec 1960 (aged 88)
Sitka, Sitka Borough, Alaska, USA
Burial Sitka, Sitka Borough, Alaska, USA
Memorial ID 104225526 View Source
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My great grandfather was a carpenter and photographer.

Originally he was a traveling flour salesman and we have many postcards of his trips around the west to the family first in Spokane then West Seattle.

He had a cabinet shop in West Seattle near two of his brothers. When it burned he went to Juneau to work as a carpenter. By 1914 my grandmother Luella and aunt Georgia were there too. Later aunt Josephine and his wife Katherine. I related their move to Sitka under Luella.

James Henry often took carpenter jobs outside of town like Todd in Peril Straits and Hood Bay at canneries. We have a movie of his fish ladder being hoisted into place at a cannery.

He helped rebuilt numbered boards from buildings at the Treadwell mine in Douglas after it closed. The buildings in Sitka he rebuilt were the Murray Apartments at the top of American street and the now gone Bayview Hotel where the McDonald (not hamburgers) is now on Lincoln street. He also worked on the grade school my mother attended where Pacific High School is now located on Lincoln street.

He participated in my grandmother's photo shop by taking pictures and developing film. He specialized in post cards and 7 by 11 inch contact print views. A huge negative size. The shop collection is now at the Sitka Historical Society, fifty years of photographs.

One of the progression of 7 by 11 photographs was published in National Geographic. Later the FBI gave him a bad time about it and the shop was not allowed to sell the view showing the navy base till after the war. For years there were reddish colored postal receipts for photographs ordered during the war and delivered after world war two. All photographs were censored during the war, so some ordered them to be delivered after the end.

He made the living quarters at the back of the photo shop. Now Homeport Eatery on Lincoln street in Sitka.


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