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Juneau-Douglas City Museum

Saviers, Francis & Ruth

by Ruth Posey Saviers

I was born on Halibut Island in Icy Straits in 1934, to Bill and Rose Posey. My mother, Rose, was an early pioneer in fox farming. She leased Halibut Island from the Forest Service after my father Bill was killed logging in a CCC camp. Grandfather Posey and his cousin, Nolan Hamm, built her a small house on the beach. When she married John Makinen, she combined her blue foxes with his foxes, and moved to Hoonah Island.

Growing up on an island in those days was very different and it is hard to explain to kids now what we did when there was no television or movies. I don’t remember ever being bored. The entire island was our playground. Beachcombing always produced something - driftwood in interesting shapes, Japanese glass balls and once a homemade boat made in the shape of a tug. Because Hoonah Island is at the beginning of Gedney Strait and is in the path that many boats take to the fishing grounds, there was always some activity. At times, icebergs would float by on the Icy Straits side of the island and once, my brother Jack and I decided it would be fun to have some ice to eat. Rowing out to the iceberg, we chipped off some ice and proudly came home with it. To our chagrin, this did not delight our mother and we were severely reprimanded!

When I was ten years old we moved to Juneau and began a new and different life in civilization. It was traumatic having to learn hop scotch and to share a school room, rather than having our mother teach us Calvert Correspondence courses at home. Juneau was very small then, but it seemed large to us. When I graduated from high school, I went to college with some other Posey cousins in Searcy, Arkansas, where my father’s family had originated.

I married Francis Saviers in 1954, and I don’t believe that I have suffered a dull moment since. He had a daughter, Faith and we had three children, Dick, Rosalie, and Bob. At this writing, we have fifteen grandchildren.

Boats and boating have been a favorite hobby and we have had several varieties of boats. We started out with a skiff and outboard, progressed to a small Uniflite then to a Sabrecraft. Over the years we have built an 18-foot cabin boat and a riverboat and now we have an airboat that Francis built for moose hunting. Our stories could go on for days about fun and mishaps on the water. We got caught in Taku Inlet in the riverboat in a quick storm and there being no way to turn around, just plowed ahead, with Francis steering and the kids and I bailing water and praying until we were around Pt. Bishop and in calmer waters. Then there was the time we ran out of gas at False Pt. Retreat coming home from fishing at Whitestone. Another boat, also running ahead of the predicted bad weather, floated a can of gas to us and we made it to within 100 feet of the dock at Auke Bay. This was attributed to my wanting to stay to “catch just one more coho” with the result being a low gas tank. I had to accept the blame.

Our retirement years have not been dull either. Francis continues to hunt and fish, our children all live here in Juneau and the grandchildren are always doing something exciting and include us. I have discovered a new hobby - genealogy - and with the help of a computer have had lots of fun tracing both our families.