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Juneau-Douglas City Museum


MacKinnon

by Jane and Neal MacKinnon
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Lauchlin, known all his life as “Lockie” was born in 1866, at Lake Ainslie, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and died in Juneau in 1946. His wife Martha Maline Lokke was born in Norway in 1870, he community.

His parents, Archibald Neil MacKinnon and Mary MacLeod lived on the family farm at Lake Ainslie, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The family had come over from Scotland during the immigration of 1820. Lockie left home when just a teenager and always said he traveled on foot across Canada, through the Cassiar District before arriving at the Stikine River. Lockie traveled down the Stikine and by boat to Juneau. Early in his mining career, he entered into partnership with George Miller and the two mined the Porcupine area in the early 90’s.

In 1893, Lockie, Jack Horn, John Reed, and another man (probably Miller) formed a party that crossed the Chilkoot Pass from Dyea. They met up with a General Funston who was touring Alaska on behalf of the Smithsonian Institute as a government representative. At the foot of Lake Laberge, they built boats. They sailed down the Yukon River, passed Five Fingers and proceeded down as far as Forty Mile. During the winter of 1895-96, Lockie and Miller erected the Circle City Hotel in Juneau on Third Street between Seward and Franklin. It contained 80 rooms, a bar and dining room and was named for Circle City in the Yukon.

In 1896, Lockie was in Seattle to secure maids for the Hotel. Martha Lokke and a Scandinavian friend were hired and came to Juneau. Martha related in later years that “two weeks later I foolishly married the man.” Lockie’s partner, George Miller, turned to Martha’s friend, just before the ceremony and said, “Let’s us get married.” This may have been one of the first doublering ceremonies in the Territory.

Lockie was one of four discoverers of the Atlin gold fields in 1897. They went in over the snow from Juneau, via the Taku River and Atlin Lake. News of their rich discovery reached the “outside” in August of that year and then the rush for Atlin started. In the winter of ’98, Lockie and Fritz Miller, George’s brother, drove the first herd of cattle over the Chilkoot Pass to Dawson.

Martha and Lockie welcomed their first child in 1897, James Simpson MacKinnon, named in honor of the well-known doctor of the time, James Kidd Simpson. Earlier, Simpson had saved Lockie’s life following an explosion and cave-in at the Ebner Mine. Martha and Lockie welcomed, as legend goes, the “first white twins in the territory” in 1901. John Neil Donald and Thron Rudolph Lokke were born in the family home which was located on a portion of the land on which the MacKinnon Apartments now stands. Rudolph was unable to survive the diphtheria epidemic in 1911. John Neil Donald later changed his name to Donald Lokke MacKinnon.

Following Rudolph’s death, Martha and Lockie returned to Juneau and took over the management of the Zynda Hotel (later renamed the Juneau Hotel) on Main Street. In 1926, the MacKinnons built the apartment house located at Third and Franklin. It was billed as “Juneau’s first modern apartment house.” It was enlarged during the 1960’s and is presently being remodeled once again. The MacKinnons resided continuously in Juneau except for four years at Cleary Creek near Fairbanks and two years in Seattle.

J. Simpson MacKinnon and Hazel Jaeger MacKinnon had one son, James Simpson MacKinnon Jr. nicknamed “Skip.” He married Jane Nelson and her story follows next.

Donald Lokke MacKinnon was married to Alice Caroline Case, who died from tuberculosis in 1939. He then married Ina Maurine Moore in 1940. Donald’s children include: Donald L. MacKinnon Jr., Lorna Dee (Bell) - deceased, J. Allan MacKinnon and Lachlan Moore MacKinnon.

The pioneer MacKinnons resided at the MacKinnon Apartments until their deaths. They were both active in the Juneau community, including memberships at Northern Light Presbyterian Church, Pioneers of Alaska, Elks, Eastern Star and Lockie was a trustee of the Pioneers’ Home in Sitka for many years.

"SKIP" & JANE (NELSON) MACKINNON

Jane was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1924 to Harry and Olive Nelson. Jane’s father had gone to Nome, in the winter of 1933, to start a bush airlines in partnership with Tom Roust of Candle. Harry was an aircraft and engine mechanic who began the flight service with a six-seat Travel Air that needed a fire pot under the engine to get it started during the winter months. Jane arrived in Nome, Alaska, in July 1934, as a 10-year old, traveling 13 days on board the SS Aleutian. Upon arrival, she saw a town where all the wooden buildings seemed to be leaning against each other. Six weeks later, Jane was called home from school to help stuff her family’s belongings into a truck as September winds whipped a fire through the permafrost-skewed buildings, destroying the town and her family’s business as well as their apartment.

After the fire, Jane’s father ordered a “knock down” house from Seattle. A forerunner of the prefab homes of today, it arrived on the last boat to reach Nome. The family moved in just before Christmas. Sixty years later, when Jane visited Nome with four high school friends, the house was still there.

During the summer, Jane would bike out to the field and help pump gas into the plane. After a plane crash in which no one was hurt, Jane’s mother, Olive, convinced her husband, Harry, to go into gold mining instead. Too young to stay in Nome with her older brother and sister, Jane was “banished to the mines.” For a young girl, it wasn’t all that exciting to be around a bunch of old miners at an open-pit placer mine that used water pressure to push gravel through a sluice box. She enjoyed cleaning out the ripples left in the sluice box where the gold was. Her dad sent the gold back to Nome in a moose-hide poke about the size of a bottle. Jane and her mother cooked at the mine.

Jane graduated from Nome High School in 1942, and a year later enrolled at the U. of Alaska at College, but now Fairbanks. She graduated in 1948, with a degree in Business Administration. She met Skip MacKinnon at college and they were married there in June 1947. Skip was from a pioneer Juneau family that still owns Alaska Laundry and Dry Cleaners. After the marriage, they moved to Juneau and had three children: E. Neil (1949), Kathleen “DeeDee” (1950) and John (1952) and now there are eight grandchildren. Skip went into the family business in Juneau and Jane also worked as office manager and accountant in the business, retiring a few years after Skip passed away.

Jane’s two sons, Neil and John, remain in Juneau and Neil manages the laundry business and John is a building contractor and Juneau Assembly member while daughter DeeDee Sund is an accountant living in Seattle.