Historical Sports: 1922-23 Douglas and Juneau

The 1922-23 Douglas High School girls basketball team lost three of five games to Juneau for the channel championship. Top row, left-to-right: Elizabeth Robertson, Alberta Gallwas, Sophia Anderson, Thelma Wiitanen. Middle l-r: coach Katherine Sickles, Nelma Niemela, Marie Williamson, Beth Anderson. Front l-r: Kathleen McCormick, Emma Garn, Selma Aalto. See daily historical photos on page A2 and in Sports. For more historical photos go to Juneauempire.com. The Juneau Empire is celebrating a "Century of the Empire" and is encouraging readers to submit old photos, comments or information on the areas rich history.

The season stretched a little later back in the days of basketball dresses past the knees (has anyone noticed that our boys’ trunks have reached that mark?) and the cross-channel championship sometimes went into May.


In 1922-23 the Douglas and Juneau girl’s high school teams played a three-game series at the season’s end to determine who could wear the linens proudly.

Game one, on April 25 saw the island girls win 19-15 over JHS.

According to old archives, some said it was the best game ever played between the two squads at A. B. Hall. The girls played an even game in the first half and into the second until the Juneau guard work fell down.

The forwards of both teams, Della Lundstrom and Eva Tripp of Juneau, and Kathleen McCormick and Selma Aalto of Douglas played fast and effective games. There was fine passing from centers Ruth Krugness of JHS and Emma Garn.

Juneau would prevail over the “D.H.S. Demons” (as the J-Bird school paper referred to their channel neighbors) by winning the next two games. In game two the score was 26-19 and was close until the final quarter as Lundstrom starred.

In game three it was a tight 18-16 win which gave the Juneau girls the basketball cup. In this game both sides fought hard and up till the final whistle it was anybody’s game. Krugness kept the ball at the JHS baskets most of the time and their guards played well.

Juneau’s team included Della Lundstrom, Tripp, Florence Koskey, Krugness, Dora Lundstrom, Frances Messerschmidt, Lynda Pademeister, Alice Case, Lillian Perelle and coach (Miss) Emma Ueland.

Douglas included Elizabeth Robertson, Alberta Gallwas, Sophia Anderson, Thelma Wiitanen, Nelma Niemela, Marie Williamson, Beth Anderson, McCormick, Garn, Aalto and coach Katherine Sickles. Grace Kleinschmidt, Mary Wilson, Ellen Sorri, Dorothy Kleinschmidt and Miriam McBride had also tried out for the team.

Before that final game of the series, both teams and their coaches held a meeting and decided to leave the championship of the channel a tie on account of both teams being so evenly matched, each having won two games out of the four played to determine the championship.

The Juneau girls, by taking two out of three games in the meet, won the cup emblematic of the championship of Southeastern Alaska. Douglas won the cup the previous season. When Juneau won the game after the meeting they decided to keep it themselves and claim the title.

The Juneau boys team that season included Johnnie Janiksela, Ettore “Scat” Scataglini, Harry Ellingen, George “Stonewall” White, Jacob “Pinky” Britt, Jim Barragar, Leonard “Honky” Holmquist, Robert “Bus” Orme and coach Howard G. Hughes.

The Douglas boys team featured Albert Garn, Ragnar Kronquist, Jimmy Manning, George Valeson, Glen Graves, Arne Vesoja, Leslie Cashen, Tom Cashen and coach Joe Garn.

The Douglas Huskies won the channel bragging rights with JHS that season, winning 27-24 and then a week later 18-10. JHS won a third game on March 2 by the tally of 23-21 and felt like their jinx had been lifted. However, a brutal final game saw the Huskies prevail 36-6 after JHS’ captain and two guards were removed from the list of those eligible to play.

Some interesting news from that year included:

Nov. 24, 1922 - The Gastineau Channel 81-foot ferryboat Flossie, originally built for the Juneau Ferry and Navigation Company in 1898 and after some sea service sold to the Army and renamed Peterson, has again been sold. Now it belongs to Wilson & Sylvester Sawmill Company at Wrangell and will tow logs and lumber barges.

Jan. 29, 1923 - Dr. Robert Simpson purchased the Leader Store building on Lower Front Street and moved his Nugget Shop there from the Seward Building at Front and Franklin. The Leader Store will move across Front Street to the Brunswick Building at the corner of Ferry Way.

Feb. 16 - Much of the machinery from Alaska Gastineau Mining Company at Thane was bought by Argentina firm Corporation Minera de Famatima. The company owns copper, gold and silver mines high in the Andes. Machinery shipped from Thane included six tube mills, gyrating crushers, rolls and screens.

Feb. 27 - Details for establishing a tourist camp near the mouth of the Taku River were given to members of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce by Dr. H. C. Devighne, head of the Taku River Trading Company. The camp was to be in operation by summer and would initially consist of one large log building and 15 tents. That camp became known as the Taku Lodge.

May 5 - The seaplane Northbird made its first commercial flight in the Juneau area. Previous flights were for sightseeing or pleasure. This flight carried two passengers on the first leg of a long trip through the Territory. Pilot Roy Jones flew Max Humphrey and George Langer to Sitka in a time of one hour and 22 minutes. Humphrey represented Hills Brothers Coffee and Langer was the Alaska representative for the U. S. Rubber Company.

May 30 - The Alaska Gastineau Mining Company store at Thane closed and the stock was disposed of to local merchants, according to E. Gastonguay, manager of the company. The stock was mostly groceries. The store had opened in 1914 with the first milling operations at Thane.

May 31 - Three shifts were put on at the Ready Bullion mill by lessees Anderson and Swarva. This is the first time three shifts have worked since the mill was closed down the previous fall by Treadwell Company. Only 30 stamps are in operation but more were expected to be added until all 150 are dropping.

And add by Geo. F. Forrest, the Alaska agent for Klim milk (the purest milk) said that the best brands of milk will shortly be raised to 20 cents per can straight, but use Klim and get milk for 16 cents per quart. A demonstration was set for Britt’s Front Street Store. Klim is absolutely pure! We will pay $100.00 to anybody proving the contrary. It is easy to digest, unexcelled for children and convalescents. Ask your doctor, he knows.

An add by The Gallwas General Merchants read “Boost... and the world boosts with you. Knock... and you are on the shelf. Remember that Satan was kicked out of heaven when he began knocking his home town store.”

An add by the Juneau Dairy stated “More cream in every bottle of our milk. And our motto is Absolute Cleanliness.”

A ditty add by Marshall & Newman Co., who provide plumbers, steam fitters and sheet metal workers read, “Three O’clock in the morning, When the Taku is playing a tune, Remember our plumbers are sleeping, But they’ll be there next day before noon.”


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