From Native art to the Birdman

Museum to host series of talks and slide shows on Juneau history

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2002

Juneau's mines and shipwrecks, Native culture, the colorful characters and quirky tales of Juneau's past will be featured in five presentations this month at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum.

"The Great Mines of Juneau" by historian and author David Stone and city museum curator Mary Pat Wyatt will open the series Monday, April 22.

The programs are part of training for museum volunteers, but they are open to the public. Museum staff especially encourages tour guides to take the opportunity to increase their local knowledge on a variety of topics. Discounts are available for tour businesses.

Stone and Wyatt will show slides and discuss the heyday of Juneau's three hard-rock mines: The Treadwell Complex, the Alaska Gastineau and the Alaska Juneau. Some of the flamboyant mining personalities who crafted these innovative and successful mills will be discussed. Wyatt will provide an introduction to the hard-rock mining process with hands-on mining objects and a tour of the city museum's mining gallery.

Scuba diver and underwater photographer and videographer John Lachelt will give a video presentation on the historic shipwreck sites of the Princess Sophia and Princess Kathleen on Wednesday, April 24. He also will share local lore on the wrecks Clara Nevada, Islander and the Princess May.

Historian and educator Linda Daniel will present "Tales of Old Juneau" on Thursday, April 25. She'll talk about the Birdman of Alcatraz, the first cruise ship in Juneau in 1881 and the infamous mid-air collision of a jetliner and a fish above the Juneau airport.

"Native Culture and Its Interpretation" will be presented by historians, linguists and authors Richard and Nora Dauenhauer on Monday, April 29. Topics of discussion include linguistic relationships, social structure, concept of ownership, potlatch, and contemporary and legal issues involving ceremonial objects and stories.

Steve Henrikson of the Alaska State Museum will offer the final presentation, "Exploring Tlingit Art," on Tuesday, April 30. This program will describe the complex world of Tlingit art and its place in traditional culture. Weaving and sculpture, Tlingit painting and carving and its evolution over the last millennium will be illustrated with slides. Contemporary issues such crest ownership, access to materials and repatriation also will be discussed.

All events are 6 to 9 p.m. at the city museum. Each threehour session is $26.25. Space is limited and preregistration is required.

The city museum invites interested people to serve as volunteers in a variety of roles. Most volunteers work 212 hours a week. Volunteers have opportunities to learn more about the history and culture of the greater Juneau area and receive museum benefits. Call 586-3572 or e-mail for more information on the classes and on volunteering.

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