As I was daydreaming on my flight back from Juneau to Seattle this past Friday evening, I couldn’t help but think how fortunate we are for our then Secretary of State, William Henry Seward (1801 - 1872). Seward racked up many accomplishments. He graduated from Union College in 1820 with high honors and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1821. He served as New York’s 12th Governor then became US Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and later President Andrew Johnson.
On the night of Lincoln’s assassination Seward survived an attempt on his own life. The Russian Crown was strapped for cash at the time and huge loans were due. They wanted to offset the Brits, their territorial competitors, so they planned to sell this useless wilderness to the United States.
William Seward finally settled the lengthy negotiations for roughly 2 cents an acre after an all nighter that finally ended at 4:30 am. American popular opinion was split about 50/50 and many deemed the purchase, “Seward’s Folly.” In 1865 who'd settle this wilderness? We were having enough of a challenge trying to settle the west coast. Well, as you know, in 1896 gold was discovered in the Klondike, Yukon, and in Juneau and the rush north was on. Over 100,000 prospectors headed north and the rest is history!
Alyeska (Alaska), the “great land”, is an Aleut word. It means “the object towards which the action of the sea is directed.” The history of the Aleut in Alaska is more than 7,000 years. Alaska is larger than Texas, California, and Montana combined and has a coastline longer than all the other US states combined.
As a recent visitor, I was totally blown away by it’s grandeur and beauty even if only from the air and my two short visits to Anchorage and Juneau. Thank you, William Seward!
Just outside of Juneau, Alaska on the afternoon of June 20, 2013 from Seattle flying north over Kupreanof Island up Stephens Passage by Admiralty Island.
Coming in for a landing, that’s the Juneau airport off in the distance on the right.
Downtown Juneau, Alaska from my room on the 5th floor at the Westmark Baranof Hotel.
Another shot from my hotel room. Juneau is cradled between the water and right upside to the Mountains.
Juneau is a port of call and it's June! There's a lot of people in town via the cruise ships.
The Volendam... In the summer season she sails the Inside Passage to Alaska. In winter she sails out of Australia and New Zealand.
Hats off and a big shout out to my friends and coworkers at First American Title, Alaska. Terry Bryan, State Title Manager, and Deb Moore, State Sales Manager. It's early Friday evening and we're done with our day teaching clock hour classes. We've been on a dead run for two days and have flights to catch to get back home.
We only had a little over an hour so we headed for the wharf and hungout at Twisted Fish Company Alaska Grill on the waterfront to enjoy the sunshine and a few refreshments. What a cool place and I want to do a great big shout to Kate, our server. What an angel! We told her we only had a little time and where flying out. Of course, it's Friday evening with two cruise ships in port and they're slammed crazy busy! She totally worked miracles, leterally ran from our table to the kitchen to place our order, and made sure we were well taken care of so we could enjoy our short visit.
Thanks again Terry and Deb for being so on top of everything and making everything happen. Your Alaska team is absolutely wonderufl to work with and again, thanks for inviting me up to Juneau to teach Real Estate in the Social Age... I had so much fun with Juneau's real estate pro's that attended the class.
Needless to say, I haven't been all that productive this weekend. Kind of a quiet couple of days at home being domestic. You know, fun stuff like laundry, grocery shopping, and getting ready for next week.