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Joe Ensley letters

Guide to the Joe Ensley letters
1929, 1933

Collection number: HMC-0671.
Creator: Ensley, Joe.
Title: Joe Ensley letters.
Dates: 1929, 1933.
Volume of collection: 0.01 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials in English.
Collection summary: Letters from laborer and gold miner living in Fairbanks and Circle Hots Springs.

Biographical note:
Joe Ensley was a laborer living in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1929. In 1933, he worked as a gold miner, living at Circle Hot Springs, Alaska.

Collection description:
The collection consists of three single-page letters by Joe Ensley written in 1929 and 1933. The first letter with envelope was written from Fairbanks on November 3, 1929, to Ensley’s Son Sam, an electrician on the Cable Ship Dellwood in the Philippines. In the handwritten letter, Ensley mentions receiving Sam’s letters and pictures from England, having moved with his wife to a new residence, and a recent trip he took to Big Delta to repair a stuck tram used to cross the Tanana River. Ensley also writes of the weather in Fairbanks and of starting work shortly at the local court house. The second letter, typed on Circle Hot Springs letterhead, is dated February 22nd and written to a “Miss Lydelle.” In the letter, Ensley comments on the temperature, which was around 50 degrees below zero, and the arrival that day of an airplane from Fairbanks carrying freight and passengers. The airplane made stops at Circle Hot Springs, Circle City, and Fort Yukon, picking up mail and passengers along the way. The letterhead reads, “Circle Hot Springs, The Karlsbad of the North, Circle Springs, Alaska.” On the reverse of the letterhead is a poem entitled, “Rheumatism.” The third letter, typed and dated September 12, 1933 from Circle Hot Springs, is from Ensley to his children. In the letter, he comments on the changing seasons and that he will be closing down placer mining operations about 20 miles from the hot springs soon. He also mentions a visit from his wife to the mine, that there was a shortage of water that summer to do hydraulic mining, and that the mine superintendent wants him to come to Fairbanks to work for a few months after mining operations shut down there. He also comments on a delay in mail delivery due to a grounding of the steamship Aleutian.

Arrangement: Letters are in chronological order.

Digitized copies: This collection has not been digitized. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: Copyright to these materials is not held by Archives and Special Collections.

Preferred citation: Joe Ensley letters, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Acquisition note: This collection was purchased by the Archives at internet auction between 2004 and 2006.

Processing information: This collection was described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 2006.

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