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Florence T. Hatch papers

Guide to the Florence T. Hatch papers
1902-1968, bulk 1910-1914
An Alaska Historical Society collection

Collection number: HMC-1386-AHS.
Creator: Hatch, Florence T.
Title: Florence T. Hatch papers.
Dates: 1902-1968, bulk 1910-1914.
Volume of collection: 0.25 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Materials in this collection are in English.
Collection summary: Letters and photographs of a woman who lived near Juneau in the 1910s.

Biographical note:
Florence T. Hatch (neé Hudson) was born in San Francisco, California in 1880. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley in 1902 with a bachelor’s in Greek and Latin and worked as a teacher until her marriage to Chester “Chet” Hatch in 1910. Chet was employed at Eagle River Mine near Juneau, Alaska, and Florence joined him there after their marriage. Chet may have also worked for the Alaska-Gastineau Mining Company. In 1912, the couple had a son named Chester Hudson “Hud” Hatch. The family returned to California prior to 1920 and had a second son, named Wilson. Both Florence and Chet Hatch died in 1974.

Collection description:
The collection consists of letters written by Florence Hatch, as well as two photograph albums and a folder of loose photographs of the Hatch Family. Five of the letters, written to her parents, were written between August 11 and October 6, 1912, and there are also two partial, undated letters. Subjects of the letters include Hatch’s daily activities, such as sewing, cleaning, decorating her home, cooking, and visiting with friends, as well as her husband, Chester’s work assignments. Two of the letters describe a camping trip to a cabin at Pearl Harbor, near Juneau. Other letters describe trips to the Salmon Creek power house, and a mining camp and Sheep Creek. Hatch was pregnant when she wrote the letters and mentions pregnancy symptoms and gifts people sent for the baby.

The first photograph album contains photographs of the Hatches’ time in Alaska. Most of the photographs are undated, but several are dated to 1910. Subjects of the photographs include scenery; mine buildings; Florence and Chester Hatch with friends; children; people on skis and snowshoes; people hiking; people riding in carriages and sleighs; tracks for a mine tram; several couples standing with a Christmas sign; boats; The Hatches’ first car; and interiors of buildings.

The second album contains some images from Alaska, but most were taken after the Hatch family left the state. The photographs in this album date from 1914 to 1968, though most are undated. Subjects of the photographs include the Hatches and groups of family members, mostly in California; the Salmon Creek Power House; Hud and Wilson “Bill” Hatch; a 1926 trip to Yosemite; the Grand Canyon; and weddings.

The loose photographs primarily depict the family’s life in Alaska, dating from 1911 to 1918, particularly Hud Hatch as baby and young child. Other Subjects include Alaska-Gastineau Mining Company Power House No. 2; the Hatches hiking; and the interior and exterior of the family’s house at 634 Seward Street in Juneau. The photographs also include Florence Hatch’s 1902 college graduation portrait and a photograph that is labeled as the Sierra Mader Chorus in 1965 and is in poor condition.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged by type of material.

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

Rights note: The Alaska Historical Society does not own copyright to the collection.

Preferred citation: Florence T. Hatch papers, Alaska Historical Society collections, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Works used in preparation of inventory:

1920 United States Census, Township 14, Placer, California, digital image s.v. “Florence T. Hatch,” Ancestry.com

“Lawn Wedding Beneath Roses: Hatch-Hudson Nuptials at Niles is Pretty Event Attended by Hundred Guests.” San Francisco Call, June 15, 1910. Newspapers.com.

“Obituary for Florence Hatch (Aged 93).” Sacramento Bee, May 9, 1974. Newspapers.com.

Custodial history: The collection was found in the estate of  Mary Maxine Keller Johnston by her daughter, Barbara Boyd.

Acquisition note: This collection was donated to the Alaska Historical Society in 2021 by Barbara Boyd.  The Historical Society retains ownership of the collection and placed it on deposit in Archives and Special Collections in 2021.

Processing information: This collection was described by Gwen Higgins in 2021.

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