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Betsy Albecker was born in Seattle, Washington in 1945 and was raised in Skagway, Alaska. She is the daughter of well-known Skagway photographer and entrepreneur, Barbara Dedman Kalen, and her ties to the community go back to her grandparents who arrived during the 1898 Gold Rush and ran a number of local businesses. After attending school in Washington and living in other places in Alaska, and coming back every summer to garden at the family homestead property at Nahku Bay, Betsy has been living in Skagway full-time since 2005. Following in her family's footsteps, Betsy has operated a number of local gift shops, including her current endeavor which is a combination gift shop and art gallery. Betsy is an avid gardener at her house in town and at Nahku Bay, and has been active outdoors since childhood, so is a keen observer of the environment and landscape around Skagway.