While not directly numismatic, this book sounds like a great guide to the history behind many Alaska saloon tokens. Here's what Dick
Hanscom has to say about it in the June 2016 issue of Alaskan Token Collector & Polar Numismatist. -Editor
Along with coins, bullion, tokens, gold nugget jewelry and other Alaskana, we also sell Alaska books, both used and new. I was over to my
book wholesaler today, and picked up a copy of “A Guide to the Notorious Bars of Alaska” (2014, 171 pages) by Doug Vandegraft just so I could peruse
If you are looking for a new way to collect Alaska tokens, this just might be the text book for you. Without doing a comprehensive
survey of the contents of this book, I would estimate that more than 75% of those discussed have had tokens - some old, some modern and
some both. Since this is a travel guide, the bars included were still in business when the book was written.
The book is divided into geographical regions. A brief history of the bar is given, along with its license date (after prohibition).
Just in Fairbanks, there is the Big I (started as the International Hotel, B-29), Mecca Bar, Midnite Mine, Comet Club, Club Manchu, Club
Alaskan and Boatel Bar. All of these have modern tokens, and three can be found on page 42 of this issue of the newsletter.
The book not only hits the cities and towns, but also those highway watering holes and those in towns and villages off the road system.
The author gives a great history of the Hobo Benson's Yukon Inn in Galena, “the only bar along the Yukon River from Tanana to the
Bering Sea (approximately 600 miles).”
If you own any Alaska bar tokens, this book will surely add to your enjoyment. We have these available for $16.95 plus $3.05 first class
postage ($20). Add $7 and I will throw in a Hobo Benson token.
Dick can be reached at: ALASKA RARE COINS, P.O. BOX 72832, FAIRBANKS, ALASKA 99707 -Editor
For more information on the book, see:
A Guide to the Notorious Bars of Alaska (www.notoriousbarsofak.com/)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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