Wednesday, March 27, 2024

My Great Grandparents FRANK R BROWN & MARY ETTA KENNEDY: An Archive of Photos from the Apollo Mine, Unga Island, Alaska PART TWO

 Here is a continuation of my archive of photos from the Apollo Mine, Unga Island, Alaska. This part of the collection is circa 1904-1920s. Some originals are in my possession, but some are copies of postcards.

Tea Party, Mine Superintendant's house, before 1904. Participants identified on back of photo, left to right: Mrs Otto Carlson,  Mrs Hastings, Mrs George Mahon Sr,  Mrs Kyle the doctor's wife; Mrs George Mahon Jr; standing behind: my great grandmother MARY ETTA KENNEDY BROWN, and sitting in front, Mabel Hawthorne Cowell, MARY ETTA' niece from California.  My grandmother RUBY grew up in this house.

 The Apollo & Sitka Mines, circa 1905; postcard, photo possibly by Thwaites? The large white house on left was the mine Superintendent's house.

Village of Unga, on Delaroff Harbor. postcard, photo by Thwaites.

The Steamship "DORA" which brought mail & supplies to Unga Island and many other ports on the Westward Run.  John E Thwaites worked on board and took hundreds of photographs of Alaska and its inhabitants. My great grandparents & grandparents knew him. My grandparents, RUBY BOLTON BROWN & R B MARTINE,  who was working as an appraiser, first met on board the "DORA" in 1913. They were married in California in 1915. In my collection, source unknown.

Schooner "Alice" owned by Pete Larsen.  Thwaites postcard, copy of original. 1905-1910

Delaroff Development Company 1914. FRANK R BROWN (standing far right) and partners leased the Apollo Mine in order to work the tailings. While the endeavor looked promising for a few years, the company had difficulty finding male workers in 1917 because of WWI, and they went out of business. Others in photo are unidentified. Original in my collection

Picnic on Agate Beach, Unga Island, 1917. FRANK R BROWN on far left; all others are unidentified. Original in my collection.

The Sloop "GLADYS", owned by Capt ZIMERO MOORE. In 1913, my grandmother RUBY sailed with Capt MOORE, a Mr PARR and her father FRANK R BROWN on a cruise along the Alaska Peninsula. The men were prospecting and conducting cyanide tests. It was the last time my grandmother ever visited Unga Island, as she was married in 1915.

This is the last photo I have of great grandfather FRANK R BROWN, late in life,  at the Apollo Mine on Unga Island. I believe it was taken in the late 1920s or early 1930s.  I do have other photos taken in Seattle and California, but no others in Alaska.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2024   

My Great Grandparents FRANK R BROWN & MARY ETTA KENNEDY: An Archive of Photos from the Apollo Mine, Unga Island Alaska PART ONE

 My maternal grandmother RUBY BOLTON BROWN, was born 17 July 1892 in Alameda, California, but was raised at the Apollo Mine on Unga Island,(Shumagin/Aleutian Islands), Alaska from 1892 until 1904. Her sister GLADYS BROWN was born 18 July 1889 at Unalaska (Aleutian Islands), Alaska, and GENEVIEVE BROWN was born March 1894 in the Superintendant's house at the Apollo Mine on Unga Island. 

FRANK RICARD (RICKARD) BROWN, their father, was hired by the Alaska Commercial Company to prospect, build & act as foreman at the Apollo Mine. He arrived at the mine in 1887, and his wife MARY ETTA (KENNEDY) BROWN  & daughter EMMA, who had been living in Bodie, California, joined him in the spring of 1888.  He later became Superintendent of the Apollo & Sitka Mine, until its closure in 1904; in 1914 he formed a business to work the tailings, which failed when he was unable to obtain workers because of WWI.  FRANK continued to go up to Unga Island every summer until his death in 1939.

Here are some of the photos in my family archive. Most of the originals are in my possession. 

Earliest photo in my possession: FRANK R BROWN and his dog "Kitty" 1888 Apollo Mine, Unga Island, Alaska ("Kitty" is mentioned in his diary) 

The opening of the Apollo Mine 1891 Unga Island, Alaska. This photo is not in my collection, and I don't know the source or who owns it; I came across it while researching the Apollo Mine. My great grandmother MARY ETTA (KENNEDY) BROWN is the 3rd seated woman from left, in tan coat and black hat; my great grandfather FRANK R BROWN is the 3rd man from left, standing, tan coat, black hat and black mustache. Unfortunately I have not been able to identify the others in this photos. 

GLADYS BROWN (top left, standing); RUBY BROWN (sitting left), GENEVIEVE BROWN (sitting left of RUBY. Photo taken at the Apollo Mine, Unga Island Alaska Spring of 1895. Source unknown, photocopy of original. I have not been able to identify the other five girls in the photograph. 

FRANK R BROWN & MARY ETTA KENNEDY and their daughters, taken at the Apollo Mine probably Summer, 1895. Sadly, EMMA took her own life Nov 7, 1895. See my previous blogpost for story.

The AC Company purchased a Baldwin 0-6-0 Steam locomotive in 1897 to move ore from the Apollo & Sitka Mine to Delaroff harbor and the village of Unga, a distance of about two miles.  From there,  it would be loaded on ships. I only had a photocopy of this image, but with photo enhancement tools now available, I was finally able to see the faces clearly.  My great grandmother MARY ETTA (KENNEDY) BROWN is the woman in the white blouse, and the child in front of her is my grandmother RUBY BOLTON BROWN. My great grandfather FRANK R BROWN is the man at far left, with the black mustache. Others in the photo have not been identified.

My grandmother RUBY BOLTON BROWN with CHARLIE & MATTIE FLETCHER, on a beach, Unga Island, Alaska, about 1899. When FRANK & family moved into the Mine Superintendent's house, it was so large that the FLETCHER family, moved in also. Mrs FLETCHER served as school teacher for the children who lived at the mine.


Unga Island Fourth of July Celebration, circa 1900. My great grandmother MARY ETTA (KENNEDY) BROWN is seated, near top of photo, dead center, in the round hat & tan coat. I believe two of her daughters are standing behind her, but can't see the faces clearly. All others are unidentified.


Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2024