The Skagway News is trying out a new column for the winter. If you have a question about how a thing came to be or if you see something weird in the alleys, give us a call at 983-2354 or e-mail us at skagnews@aptalaska.net, and we’ll sniff around. Here are this issue's installments...



Mark Nadeau honors a bet among three friends that the losers in a weight loss contest run down the street in their underwear, screaming “I’m fat!” Mike Korsmo was the winner, but the other loser, Craig Jennison, declined to run. Dimitra Lavrakas

Origin of 7th Pasture still something of a mystery
Seven Pastures? Seventh Pasture? South Pasture? Which is it?
The debate has long teased our minds, but finally there’s an answer – Seventh Pasture.
Now we turn to why it’s called that. Many Skagway old-timers like Bea Lingle and Barbara Kalen say that there was a Seeman dairy farm next to the H.D. Clark Farm, on what is now the baseball field. From that it was simply dubbed Seventh Pasture.

A close-up of a plat from the Park Service archives shows the Clark and Seeman farms. Courtesy NPS

But Clark Farm expert Charlotte Jewell, who leases the property for her garden next to the ballfield, says differently. Henry Clark used to own the baseball field and to her knowledge it was never called Seventh Pasture during Clark’s stay. But in the 1970s, free-ranging cattle loved to feed at that particular field, so maybe that’s where the name came from, she said.
“The name doesn’t seem to be historical,” said Karl Gurcke, National Park Service historian. “There’s nothing in the historical record that pre-dates the 1980s.”
So the name’s origin is solved and put to rest. But where the name came from – just like the Tootsie Roll, the world may never know. –LUCIE STRAUB