My great-grandfather apparently was a bartender in Wyatt Earp’s saloon in Nome, Alaska. I haven’t been able to confirm that. What happened to Earp’s papers, especially those related to his Gold Rush days?

My great-grandfather apparently was a bartender in Wyatt Earp’s saloon in Nome, Alaska. I haven’t been able to confirm that. What happened to Earp’s papers, especially those related to his Gold Rush days?

Norma Rogers
Vacaville, California

Earp historian Casey Tefertiller tells me that Wyatt’s wife Josie (Sadie) wrote a letter stating the Earps had stored most of their belongings at a relative’s house in San Francisco, California, while they were up north—and those things were later destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire. It is unlikely much from Alaska would have survived.

The late historian John Gilchriese collected Earp artifacts, but most of them went into private hands after he died in 2004. Little, if anything, came from Wyatt’s Alaska period.

You might find something in the Stuart Lake Collection at the Huntington library in suburban Los Angeles. Lake, of course, was Wyatt Earp’s biographer. But that’s a long shot at best.