PERCY HOPE & THE DIRTY SKILLET
THE GOLDFIELD TRILOGY ARRIVES IN HOPE, ALASKA
In 2019, I visited Hope, Alaska, a small town hugging Turnagain Arm on the Kenai Peninsula. This was not my first time to this former gold mining site, but was to become a significant one.
It was during this two-week vacation, visiting my close friends—Tom and Barbara Miller and their sons—Sam and Jack, when inspiration created a story. The tale was told by Jeannine Jabaay, owner of the fabulous Hope City restaurant—The Dirty Skillet. During our conversation over delicious wine and great food, Jeannine shared with me a history of Hope and how it got its name.
“What I know for pretty sure: Even before the Yukon, Hope is the original place that gold was discovered in the north. More than 8,000 folks came to Hope with the dream of finding their fortune in the Six Mile and Resurrection Creeks. Hotels, social halls, banks, restaurants and brothels quickly dotted the small community, with new arrivals coming daily by boat, foot and wagon. But there was no town name. Some township leaders decided that the place would be named after next person off the boat. When Percy Hope stepped foot off the boat, he had no idea that he was about to leave his legacy. Hope, Alaska is named after a young man who wanted to stake his fortune in Alaska. Little else is known about Percy Hope. His name seems to practically disappear from the history books.” ”What I’m not quite as sure of but are gonna say as fact anyways: After landing in town, Percy Hope tried his luck for many months in the waters of the Resurrection Creek and Six Mile Creek. Although he managed to pan a few gold flakes, he never did strike it rich. He did, however, gather enough gold to purchase an old dirty skillet. With that skillet, Percy Hope made his name by providing hearty, heaping, home-style cooked foods for the other prospectors and their families. Percy Hope's legacy lives on here at Dirty Skillet.”
The Bear Creek Lodge & The Dirty Skillet Before Jeannine could finish, an idea for a novel was born and less than a year later, Hope City - The Alaskan Adventures of Percy Hope was published. Curious to know more of Percy’s fabulous adventures, I wrote Cape Nome as its sequel, and just this year I completed the story of this young man’s journey by publishing Denali, the final book in the Goldfield Trilogy.
With three books in hand I returned to Hope, the source of my inspiration, to promote the trilogy with a book signing at the Dirty Skillet.
Attending the signing was the book cover artist for all three novels—Erica Miller. Erica’s artwork provided just the right tone, offering readers a glimpse to the story within. I’m grateful for her contribution to the Goldfield Trilogy.
FYI - Erica will be creating the book cover artwork for my upcoming novel—The Education of Leopold Red Wolf, published winter of 2022.
Neil Perry Gordon & Erica Miller
The book signing was a huge success, not only for selling books, but also for the camaraderie of friends gathering and sharing in this beautiful place—Hope City.
As it’s time to return home, I say farewell to my friends in this charming town of Hope and can’t wait to visit again. In the meantime, if you’d like to read what all the fuss is about, check out my nine novels at NeilPerryGordon.com.