Manufacturer: Shenango China
User: Alaska Railroad
Pattern name: McKinley
Distributor for platter and sugar: Greene-Winkler Co. – Seattle, Portland
Date of platter and sugar bowl: circa 1920s
Date of plate: 1920s – early 1950s
Notes: From Wikipedia: "On March 12, 1914, the U.S. Congress agreed to fund construction and operation of an all-weather railroad from Seward to Fairbanks, [Alaska] and purchased the … financially struggling Alaska Northern Railroad. In 1917, it also purchased the Tanana Valley Railroad primarily for its boat docks on the Tanana Valley River.
"On Thanksgiving Day in 1921, the Mount McKinley Park Hotel opened. The hotel was the first thing visitors saw stepping down from the train. The flat-roofed, two-story log building featured exposed balconies, glass windows, and electric lights. Inside were two dozen guest rooms, a shop, a lunch counter, a kitchen, and a storeroom.
"In July 1923, President Warren Harding stopped at the hotel, on a tour of the length of the Alaska Railroad, during which he drove a golden spike signaling its completion at Nenana.
"By the 1930s, there were reports of lice, dirty linen, drafty rooms, and marginal food, which led to the hotel eventually closing. After being abandoned for many years, the hotel was destroyed in 1972 by a fire.
"Ownership of the railroad passed from the federal government to the state of Alaska on January 6, 1985."
In The Official Guide to Railroad Dining Car China by Doug McIntyre, he states: "This is clearly marked as hotel china and yet firsthand reports from the railroad place it aboard dining cars in the later years of passenger service."
White body platter with a green stripe around the outer rim and a wide black band that is filled with green stylized floral vines. The top of the band is broken by the logo for the hotel, which consists of a circular drawing of a mountain and river scene. Across the bottom of the circle is a white ribbon banner with the words "Alaska Railroad" in a black script font. Over the top of the circle in green block letters are the words "Mt. McKinley Park Hotel." To the left and in the black band are the stacked words "United States" and to the right the stacked words "Department Interior" all in green block letters.
Plate photos: Susan Fitzgerald
Sugar bowl photos: Kathy Boger
Author: Ed Phillips