It’s that time of year again! This week marks the start of cruise ship season in Alaska. Get used to seeing massive cruise ships in docks and harbors all along the Alaska coastline! Juneau saw its first ship this past Sunday, April 28, and we’re ready to greet more tourists and show the world what’s great about Alaska’s capital city.
One Juneau resident who greeted every ship was a bull terrier named Patsy Ann, deaf since birth, who sensed the oncoming boats and was named the “Official Greeter of Juneau” in 1934. She is even memorialized in a scrapbook here at the Alaska State Library Historical Collections!
Captain Lloyd “Kinky” Bayers, a chronicler of local Juneau history, compiled news items that involved Patsy Ann into an index, cards of which are held at the Research Room of the Alaska State Library.
One news item found by Jacki Swearingen for KTOO Public Media involves a mischievous Patsy Ann laying fresh paw prints on a newly paved sidewalk on South Seward Street. Sadly, it has long since been paved over.
When she passed, the town rallied together and gave her a proper burial at sea, and Captain Bayers wrote the following eulogy:
For more photos of Patsy Ann from Alaska State Library’s Historical Collections, click here.
Special thanks to Jacki Swearingen and the Juneau Douglas City Museum!