“There’s something about Haines that encourages people to pursue their passion.”

…oh yeah, the Hammer Museum. Yes, really, it’s in Irene’s brother Ronnie’s old house on Main Street, housing a collection of 1,200 hammers. For $ 2 admission, Carol Pahl will introduce you to every single one. There are wagon pin hammers that did double duty as hitching pins. There are bill poster hammers with magnetic claws. There’s an unwieldy triple claw hammer complete with patent document extolling its “distinguished appearance,” evidently made just for pretty. There are tack hammers and paving hammers and a whale blubber hammer and a Waterford crystal hammer and sugar and salt hammers and gavels and fur stamps and bookbinder’s hammers and cobbler’s hammers and my personal favorite, little wooden drink hammers the flappers of the Roaring Twenties would use to tap the table to applaud shows, including one from the Cotton Club in Harlem. The Hammer Museum got a kind of seal of approval from the local spirits when Dave was digging out a new foundation and excavated an 800-year old Tlingit war club. It’s there, too, right across from a wall of hammers hung next to copies of their patents.

Dana Stabenow. Alaska Traveler (Kindle Locations 2620-2628). Gere Donovan Press.

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