Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Adele Deville Smith

Adele Deville Smith was interviewed in September 1974 by Neville Jacobs in Anchorage, Alaska. In this excerpt of the interview, she talks about Katalla and Cordova, Alaska, the Copper River Railroad, the influence of the Guggenheim family on the railroads in the area, and the early oil and coal exploration in Katalla. In addition to the railroad, Adele talks about her family history, growing up in Katalla, early oil and coal exploration in Katalla, the Native populations and issues related to segregation, her father’s discovery of the Treadwell Mine, traveling by boat to Cordova and Anchorage, old-timers in Cordova, wreck of the ship Portland, and living in Kodiak.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History H76-29

Project: Railroads of Alaska Project Jukebox
Date of Interview:
Narrator(s): Adele Deville Smith
Interviewer(s): Neville Jacobs
Transcriber: Carol McCue
Location of Interview:
Location of Topic:
Funding Partners:
Alaska State Library, Institute of Museum and Library Services
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
Slideshow
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Sections

Her parents arrive in Alaska and her father's discovery

The town of Katalla

Coal and oil resources in Katalla

Moving the railroad to Cordova and the impact on Katalla

Living in Cordova and meeting her husband

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Transcript

NEVILLE JACOBS: Tell me, you are -- your name is Mrs. Smith --

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Smith, uh hum. NEVILLE JACOBS: but it's a -- it's a lovely first name but it escapes my tongue.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: It's Adele. NEVILLE JACOBS: Adele. Yes.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. NEVILLE JACOBS: And -- but your maiden name --

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Was Deville. Erussard Deville. We had the whole name. He was French, my father was. If you've heard of French Pete, that was my father.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Well, I'm glad you told me. Yes, I -- I have heard that French Pete was your father, but I didn't -- I thought I had never heard it and I didn't know what his real last name was.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Well, it was Pierre, his name, but they called him Pete. And --

NEVILLE JACOBS: Deville? ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: D-e-v-i-l-l-e.

NEVILLE JACOBS: But now, your father, he was -- everybody in Alaska had a nickname --

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, they did then.

NEVILLE JACOBS: -- in the early days. Just that was -- ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yea, they all had nicknames. Everyone that I could remember when I was small had nicknames.

NEVILLE JACOBS: But, now, were you born here in Alaska?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: No. No, I was two years old when we came up. My father had gone back to England and married my mother. And they lived for four years in California, or she did, and then he had come back up here on and off.

NEVILLE JACOBS: What was the story? Now, your father first came into Alaska in the 1870s or something?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Well, 1870, yes. I have it down on paper someplace but I didn't get it out to look up. He came up -- well, he had a schooner of his own, you know, my father. NEVILLE JACOBS: I don't know a thing about him.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yeah. And he brought Jack London up with him one time.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I -- I didn't know that.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yeah. NEVILLE JACOBS: How interesting.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: It was interesting, you know -- NEVILLE JACOBS: Yes.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: -- to hear all those -- what they used to talk about. But he went back and forth, and he went to France, went back to France, and then into London, down to London where my -- he met my mother, you see.

NEVILLE JACOBS: So your mother was English.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, she was from England, and he was from France.

NEVILLE JACOBS: From France. And he brought a schooner up here?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yeah.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I was trying to put -- put the pieces together. Do you know why he sallied forth into the Great World?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Well, he was sort of a -- just an adventurer, you know. He wasn't really looking for fortunes, I don't think, but you know, a lot of men did that, young men, at that time.

NEVILLE JACOBS: [Inaudible], what was it, it's not -- it's not the finding the gold but the looking for it.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. Well, he liked -- he explored and liked to -- he liked Alaska, you know, so he'd come back. He left and came back several times.

NEVILLE JACOBS: And they lived in -- where did they live in California?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Well, I was born in San Francisco, and my two sisters in Santa Cruz. NEVILLE JACOBS: I see.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Then -- well, I think he and Jack London had something in Oakland. They had a -- well, they were in some sort of a business there. And there's Jack London Square there; I suppose you've heard of it. I was born in 1901, so it was before that, you see, when they were -- NEVILLE JACOBS: Yes.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: -- had it. And they -- they didn't have anything.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Where did you grow up in San Francisco, or you grew up here? Did you --

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, I came up when I was two.

NEVILLE JACOBS: See, my mother's a San Franciscan born in 1903. Had you grown up in that area, you would have been acquainted.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. I was born in November 1901. So --

NEVILLE JACOBS: I see.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: And then they came up in 1904, I think, my mother did, and he brought her up then.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I see. Now, he came in -- he discovered what became the Treadwell Mine. Was it the Juneau Tread --

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, it was in Juneau. But my father had the mine and he went back to France to raise the capital. I know this is true, this -- you know, he could get it there. He didn't have the money. And there was a -- he had a gentleman agreement with John Treadwell. And they got it away from him. He wasn't a citizen yet, my father. And I know all of that was true. That part, when he come back, they were already -- had the mine and he didn't get it.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Well, go on and tell me about -- you came to Alaska, then, in -- in 1905 about?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: No, it was 1903 or '4 now. NEVILLE JACOBS: 1903 or '4? As an infant?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. NEVILLE JACOBS: To Cordova, was it? ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: No, to Katalla.

NEVILLE JACOBS: To Katalla? ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yeah. That's where my father had a store, a general store, and started it; and then he went back and got my mother.

NEVILLE JACOBS: This is near Yakutat? ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: No, it's the first stop across the Gulf, when you come over the Gulf in the boats.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Yes. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: And it's -- well, it isn't too far from Cordova but you have to go by plane now; over the Copper River in the boats they used to go.

NEVILLE JACOBS: It was on the other side of the Copper River?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. NEVILLE JACOBS: To the east side? ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes.

NEVILLE JACOBS: And that was originally an Aleut or an Indian village in there?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Oh, there was Indian village when I first went there, yeah. When we -- my mother first went there, yes, with us. But they were looking for -- there was coal mines, they were looking for coal, Guggenheims. And then they started the railroad there, you see, and moved it to Cordova. That's where there -- they found out that --

NEVILLE JACOBS: I see. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: -- Cordova had the best harbor. There's no harbor in Katalla.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I see.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: My father went and spent all the money he did have, which he had considerable right then, he put in breakwaters and spent everything there and then, of course, they moved the town to Cordova and left him without anything. And my mother with all of us. There was six children. And Jack was the seventh, but he wasn't born until six months later, after my father died.

NEVILLE JACOBS: My word. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: I always do think, though, if you're up -- because he was 54, I think, at that time.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Yes. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: And oh, I guess he just didn't think he could start again, maybe. I always think that's what really killed him, you know. The worry over it.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Oh, yes, the strain. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I'm trying to -- I was trying to think of you were -- you were there five, six, seven years, really, there in Katalla?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. Oh, yes. We -- my mother didn't move away. She couldn't after he died. He died in 1911.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I see. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: And then in '15, I -- or '16, 1916, we moved to Cordova.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I see. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: I had gone over there in 1914, though, to go to school -- 1915, I guess, to go to high school. There was no high school in Cordova.

NEVILLE JACOBS: In -- ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: In Katalla, rather.

NEVILLE JACOBS: How many were -- people were left in Katalla after the Guggenheims moved the --

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Railroad. NEVILLE JACOBS: -- the railroad over?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Well, they gradually left, you know. I don't know how many was left at the time, but they all stopped. Some of them hung around for a long time, thought something else would --

NEVILLE JACOBS: Develop. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: -- develop, the oil field, and the oil wells then, because there was coal and oil, and it's all still there. You know. That they haven't touched it. Just closed up everything.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Yes. I've never been on the ground in that area, to --

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: No. NEVILLE JACOBS: -- ramble around. And I've been in Cordova but not the Katalla area. I've just flown by it, I've seen pictures. But the -- the coal seams, as I recall, I've seen some pictures, I think there -- there are -- there are exposed coal seams there.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, there are. And that was high weight coal, they called high weight. It was shiny and black, you know. The big battleships used to come in there, like the -- well, the Maryland come there and the -- they weren't the small boats, there were the large battleships testing that coal years ago. And --

NEVILLE JACOBS: And they never developed that? ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: No, they haven't. And they would hang -- lay out -- you know, there's no harbor, they would be out, you could see them, but they --

NEVILLE JACOBS: The ships would lay offshore?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, quite a ways out. You had to go in small boats to them.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I see. Would they come into Katalla to get the coal?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, they went -- NEVILLE JACOBS: Katalla, you call it. Katalla.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Katalla. K-a-t-a-l-l-a, it is. And, well, I guess -- yeah, they had to come in to get it.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I mean, it was not offshore, it was not -- it was not tideland coal, it wasn't something --

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: No, no, it wasn't. NEVILLE JACOBS: -- that they brought up from the mud flats like they do in Anchor Point or something.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: They -- like you said, it was in layers. You could see it. Now, at up at Mile 7 --

NEVILLE JACOBS: Well, how would they see it -- ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: -- you could see that coal in layers, you know. Shiny.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Did your -- did your dad have a mining operation there at all for the coal?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Not -- no. Not in Katalla. He didn't. Or not oil, either. There was -- also they were looking for oil. Standard Oil had a -- after that, they did work there for a while, you know, and they had a mine -- oil wells.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Oh, they did? They drilled there? ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. And then they capped them, I think, in about 1921 or something. Up until then they produced.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Those were producing wells?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, they are, and they're still there. And I imagine there's just as much oil there as North Slope. I believe there's more. I -- I don't believe much in the North Slope until it gets going. Too many places have closed up and all since I've been in Alaska, you know.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Strange things.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: It is. It's too bad, too. NEVILLE JACOBS: Yes.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Like Cordova, too, was a copper mining. My husband worked on the railroad there, and that was really a good little town, too, you know.

NEVILLE JACOBS: They say that copper just ran out up there --

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Well, they said it at that time. That was before we was -- went to the Second World War. But if they'd have hung on, I heard after that there's -- there's all kind of copper up there. They didn't run out.

NEVILLE JACOBS: You just wonder what pulls the strings behind these -- these big industries that they do close down some operations and move out.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: They move right out, yeah. NEVILLE JACOBS: How nice. How lovely your mother must have been.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: She really was a very -- she was a wonderful woman, my mother was. She didn't do anything to get paid for it, although she had to nurse and do that after my father died, you know. She was from England and didn't know the ways of the United States either. She had only been here a few years.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I know there are differences. There are differences.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: But she loved Alaska, too. I know that she did.

NEVILLE JACOBS: How many people were there in Katalla about that time?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Well, I guess there was --there must have been twenty five or thirty five thousand when they were really busy. There was three banks there. And two paper or in the evening, the Katalla Herald and the Evening Star, I think it was called, there was the two. Governor Strong was there. He was one of the governors, you know. And he had the Herald, the Katalla Herald.

NEVILLE JACOBS: My. You know, I thought I knew something about Alaska, but I am embarrassed, I had no idea.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: People don't even know. They've never heard of Katalla.

NEVILLE JACOBS: No. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: And that's the funny part of it.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I -- I had heard of it -- ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. NEVILLE JACOBS: -- but that was all. That's all. I knew that there was an oil development there, and there had been actual working wells.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. NEVILLE JACOBS: That there was a working field there. That's all I ever knew about it. And that there had been a community of some sort. And I suppose your dad spoke English with a bit of a French accent.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Oh, he did have a real accent, yes.

NEVILLE JACOBS: And -- ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: And my mother, too, with her English accent, so --

NEVILLE JACOBS: Your Eng you're American, your -- your English, of course, is quite American. And you didn't bring through -- ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: We were the first -- NEVILLE JACOBS: -- any of their inflection.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: No. We tried to get her to speak like we were learning in school, and the teacher, I remember the first grade teacher that I had, she said, well, you don't want to do that. Your mother's used perfect English to us. But -- well, she said a soft voice, too, and it was real English, of course. She never lost her accent.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Where -- what happened to your mother?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Oh, she died 12 years ago.

NEVILLE JACOBS: 12 years ago. Here in Anchorage?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: No, in Cordova. NEVILLE JACOBS: Cordova. She remained there?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. NEVILLE JACOBS: So she had seven children --

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. NEVILLE JACOBS: -- and the seventh was born after your father died?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yeah, Jack.

NEVILLE JACOBS: And what happened, the Guggenheim interests moved the railroad? Didn't they start to build railroad there in Katalla?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, they did, they had it built, out to I don't know how far, for quite a few miles, but not all the way to Cordova, you know. And then they decided just to abandon everything. There was a lot of money lost in Katalla that way. Everything put up and built and all these big hotels and different things, a real busy place, and then they just moved everything, you see. People moved over to Cordova.

NEVILLE JACOBS: That's a strange --

DELLE DEVILLE SMITH: That could. NEVILLE JACOBS: -- thing how that city was abandoned.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: It was terrible, really, for people that lost everything, like my father did; and my mother left there, and lots of other people, too. And I was small but I can remember a beautiful hotel that was just -- the Filbert I think they called it. It was just glittering, the whole great, big room with mirrors and all the crystal glass and the things that you don't see anything quite so elaborate these days, you know. Then they -- a big bar they had in there, mahogany, and they moved that to Cordova, Bob Corn (phonetic) brought that in, it's in the Alaska House down there.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Oh, in Cordova? ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. That's -- well, I can remember seeing it. I didn't, of course, patronize things much when I was 9, but --

NEVILLE JACOBS: Not having been there, I'm trying to get a picture. Is it kind of flat? You know, Cordova is built over a hillside.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, it's quite hilly.

NEVILLE JACOBS: But I was thinking over in the back of Cordova when you get onto the river plain, then it's flat. How is it there at Katalla? Is it kind of like a hillside like Cordova? Or is it on a flat --

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: No, it's flat.

NEVILLE JACOBS: It's flat there? ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: But not too far back, there's hills.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Uh hum. Now, I recall vaguely the story of the building of the Copper River Railroad, the big problem of putting the river -- crossing the river and the glacier, and that sort of thing. Did they have any of that problem there at Katalla? Was that --

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, they did have. It was -- they said it would have been too -- you know, they couldn't build very well, those days, like they can now. In Cordova, they built that Copper River Bridge there, the Million Dollar Bridge it was called. And they are just up to that now with a new highway, you know.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Yes. But that's not -- maybe -- maybe that is what stopped the development of the railroad, then.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Well, I can't remember. There was another company went in there called Brunner's, and there was some sort of a war over it.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Oh.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: And their roads are both there, the two roads.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I want to check something. Yeah. Now, I talked to a man who had been up at McCarthy, the Kennicott Mine, and he told me a story that he said there is a whole mountain of copper up there. He says, I've seen it; I know it's there.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. NEVILLE JACOBS: But it was not owned by the Guggenheims, it was owned by another very big New York outfit, but they had to ship their ore out on the -- on the Guggenheim transit system.

DELLE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. NEVILLE JACOBS: So by the time they got there and they had to go to Guggenheim's smelters, and by the time got his check for the ore, he had pennies profit because they -- he sent out tons of ore, but they charged him such exorbitant freight and smelting fees that it didn't pay him to operate the mine, and they defeated him at that.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, I've heard that too.

NEVILLE JACOBS: And -- but now, that wasn't the other company that was building the other railroad. It --

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: In -- it was -- they called it Brunner's.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Brunner's. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: And I really don't know why -- what the trouble was between them. Whoever got there first, I guess, was going to have the right of way. You know, they did things like that.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Yes. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: And I think there was people killed, too, there at that time because they said there was a regular war over it and fighting. There's strange things that have happened up in Alaska that you don't hear about anymore --

NEVILLE JACOBS: No. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: -- but NEVILLE JACOBS: No, you know, you read these Rex Beach, Jack London books and we --

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. NEVILLE JACOBS: -- think, oh, how far out, you know.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: But not really far out either. They really did things like that. And like down in Cordova, they had that -- just like the Boston Tea Party, it was that coal party, they threw coal over; I think it was coal from there, from Katalla.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I don't know about that.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Well, I have a little book someplace that this A Hundred Events That Made Alaska or something.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Yes. Yes. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: It tells about it in there.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I see. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: If you could get that. You know.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Well, now, you didn't see it. You weren't -- that was before your time.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Well, I wasn't in Cordova then. NEVILLE JACOBS: Oh, that was in Cordova?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. NEVILLE JACOBS: Oh, I see. I see.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Oh, I was in Katalla at that time because, you see, my father went there when it first started up in Katalla. He went to look -- he came back from California, he'd lost everything, and he was going to look around there again, in Alaska, so my mother was still there. And then sent for her when he got the place. And we still own the property over there in Katalla, but there's nothing there, you know. The buildings fell down, and --

NEVILLE JACOBS: What a sad thing. How long has it been since you were there?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Well, it's been 50 years.

NEVILLE JACOBS: When you left there in 19 -- ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Well, I left there before that, but I went back about 50 years ago just to look at it. Was there for a while. Couple of weeks. There was still people living there then.

NEVILLE JACOBS: There were? ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. There was still a little Post Office.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Hmm. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: One of my sisters lived there. She was married to somebody who -- up at the oil well, and they was producing oil then. Oh, maybe 52 years ago it was, yes, when I was there.

NEVILLE JACOBS: So they did continue to produce oil into the '20s, then?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, they did. I don't remember exactly when they closed that. It was in the '20s sometime.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Did your dad ever -- ever speak of the -- of the Treadwell Mine? Did he ever mention anything about how he had made the -- the discovery of it?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, he did. He said he was cheated out of it. And I wouldn't -- I can remember the words he used on old John Treadwell. Wasn't very flattering. It wasn't -- I guess it was the truth.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Sure. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: You know. NEVILLE JACOBS: He was no doubt very bitter about that.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, he was.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Well, you -- you moved to Cordova, then, in 1914, '15?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: '18, I think it was. NEVILLE JACOBS: '18? ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Or 1916 my mother -- '16 or '17, yeah.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I see. So you were a young woman, a young lady?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: I was 15. NEVILLE JACOBS: Uh hum.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. Or 15 or 14, I think, that fall to go to school. I went ahead of my mother -- NEVILLE JACOBS: I see.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: -- and family. Then they moved over in 1917. Yes. That's how it was. NEVILLE JACOBS: I see.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: I was staying with some other people. The judge from -- in Cordova, he's Judge Adams and his wife. And I lived with them to go to school.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Well, that was nice. And so you were kind of -- you were familiar with the court -- problems of the court, too.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yeah. He's the one who -- well, he was a -- an engineer, you know. He didn't -- what do you call it when they lay out a city or town?

NEVILLE JACOBS: Oh, a surveyor. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: A surveyor, yes, is what he was, the judge.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I see. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Then was finally a judge there. And he was also here in Anchorage, before that --

NEVILLE JACOBS: Uh hum. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: -- and helped plan this place.

NEVILLE JACOBS: How interesting. But your father passed away in Katalla?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: In 1911, yes.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Uh hum. And with this emphysema problem. But he was still running the sawmill at that time?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. Everything was still --

NEVILLE JACOBS: I mean, he was in -- the -- the town, the people were moving out of the town?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes, they were moving out, but everything was still there, of course, and in good shape yet, too.

NEVILLE JACOBS: But disaster was eminent; it was a terrible heartbreak to him, I think.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: It was because they were going fast. They were getting over to Cordova and locating themselves, you know.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I see. I see. The Guggenheims just announced that they were going to change their location, or what -- what happened?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Well, they decided it would be a better harbor. There was a good harbor there in Cordova, you see, so you had a very good harbor. And easier to take the ore out. It was for the copper, Kennicott Copper Corporation, you know.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Uh hum. And then you went on -- when you went on to school over in Cordova, did you work at all at -- I -- I realize you were going to school, but --

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Well --

NEVILLE JACOBS: It was a difficult period, I am sure. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: When I was 15 and 16 I worked in the bakery in the summer --

NEVILLE JACOBS: Uh hum. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: -- down there. NEVILLE JACOBS: And where did you meet Mr. Smith?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: He was up here in the Service. He came up.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Oh, was he? ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yeah. NEVILLE JACOBS: I see.

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: The First World War, you know.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Yes. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: He was a sergeant, and -- NEVILLE JACOBS: Here in Anchorage?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: In -- in Katalla -- in Cordova, yes.

NEVILLE JACOBS: In Cordova. Was there a military base in Cordova?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yeah. And there was Fort Liscomb in Valdez, you see.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Oh. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: There was -- it was right out of Valdez. It's called Liscomb now, but it was Fort Liscomb.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Yes. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: And he was based there and down at Seward both, and Cordova. They all had little, I don't know, 5 or 600 men there.

NEVILLE JACOBS: A barracks, sort of? ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. NEVILLE JACOBS: I see. So he came to Valdez to Fort Liscomb or to Cordova first?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: He came to Cordova first. NEVILLE JACOBS: And you met him there?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yeah, in 1918. NEVILLE JACOBS: And what happened next?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: He was really young, so was I, but we got married then, you know.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Then he remained in Cordova?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes. As long as there was a railroad there. NEVILLE JACOBS: Oh, he went to work for the Cordova railroad?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: After he got out of Service, yes.

NEVILLE JACOBS: Oh, I see. For the Guggenheims. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Yes --

NEVILLE JACOBS: Or the Kennicott Copper Mine. ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: It was. NEVILLE JACOBS: What did they call the railroad?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: The Copper River Northwestern Railroad.

NEVILLE JACOBS: I see. And what did he do for them?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: Well, he was a train engineer, a fireman, and then engineer. He worked here, too, on this railroad. When it closed over there, you know, we --

NEVILLE JACOBS: I see. When was that that it closed? What was it '40?

ADELE DEVILLE SMITH: In 1938. NEVILLE JACOBS: '38 it was. I see.