JULIA WILLMA WEBER (b. 1904). Papers; ca. 1890-1901. .25 cu. ft.
Julia Willma Weber, daughter of William John Bunger and Myrtle Ryan Bunger, was born in Nome in 1904. Her mother, Myrtle Ryan, was born in Sangamon County, Illinois, and grew up on a Nebraska farm. During the Klondike Gold Rush, in 1900, she traveled to Alaska by herself, supporting herself as a seamstress, and trekked from Skagway to Dawson on foot. In June, 1903, she married William John Bunger, a mail carrier, in Nome. They had two children, Julia and Lawrence. The family remained in Alaska for over a decade, then moved to California.
The collection consists of a photograph album and a transcript copy of Myrtle Ryan's diary. The photograph album was given to Julia Weber by Dorothy Boche after Boche inherited the album from her family. The album contains 109 photographs and several postcards, primarily from the period 1890-1900. They depict Alaskan villages; Native totems, graveyards, and chiefs; boats; houses; street scenes; and various people. The towns and villages include Afognak, Calder Bay, Cat Island, Chickman River, Dyea, Homer, Howkan, Karta Bay, Kasaan, Ketchikan, Klawok, Kodiak, Mary Island, Shakan, Stikine River, Tuxekan, Valdez, and Wrangell. The diary covers the time period January 1, 1900 to June 1, 1901, and includes Myrtle Ryan's travel to Alaska, her Klondike trip, and her daily life in Nome.
The photograph album was donated to the Consortium Library in 1987, and transferred to the archives. The transcript copy of Myrtle Ryan's diary was presented to the archives by Julia Willma Weber in 1988.