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Frances Muncaster Photograph Collection, ca. 1860-1950s

Identifier: PCA 202

Scope and Contents

Photographs include mining and life with Tom Noyes at Candle and Nome, also her life with Bill Muncaster, in McCarthy and Haines whom she married in 1919. Family members and various views of Frances including her early years in the theater are also included.


  • circa 1860-1950s



Conditions Governing Access

The collection is available for viewing, however, the photographs may not be photocopied.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be discussed with the Librarian. Photocopying does not constitute permission to publish.

Biographical Note

Frances Noyes Muncaster was born Arabelle Frances Patchen in Saint Paul, MN in 1874. She married Samuel G. Allen in 1892, at 18 but left him in 1895 and went East, acquiring some success as a theatre actress. Thomas Clarke Noyes fell in love with her after seeing her on stage and they were married in 1897. Settling in Candle, Alaska, Tom established the T.C. Noyes Banking Co. and became associated with the mining industry. In about 1905, they adopted a five-year old half-Native girl, Bonnie. A financial disaster closed the banking operation in 1910, but not before Frances mushed a dog team across the Seward Peninsula with $10,000 of her own money to try and save it. Soon after the bank closed they moved to Tongass Is., near Ketchikan.

Thomas Noyes died in 1916, and in 1919, Frances married Bill Muncaster. They owned a cabin near Haines but spent much of their time traveling, camping and hunting throughout Alaska. She staked her own mining claims in Squaw Creek, B.C., and for the next 10-12 years, she and Bill mined them in the summers and traveled winters. Frances prospected until her death, Oct. 28, 1952. Her husband, Bill, died Feb. 6, 1968.

William Muncaster wanted to see historically important material preserved. Much of the collection belonged to Frances Muncaster and was acquired during her marriage to Tom Noyes (1897-1916). [From: Inventory of the Frances Noyes Muncaster Papers, 1850-1952, Louetta Ward.]


4 folders : 122 black and white photographs

Language of Materials



Following the death of his uncle, William Muncaster, Austin Simonds donated the Muncaster collection of personal papers and photographs to the Alaska Historical Library in 1968.

Existence and Location of Copies

Photographs digitized and available for viewing via Alaska's Digital Archives: 001, 027, 029, 047-048, 052-054, 058, 062-063, 066-067, 078, 082-084, 119

Related Materials


Processing Information

The photographs are numbered, sleeved in Mylar and stored in archival folders and box.

Frances Muncaster Photograph Collection, ca. 1860-1950s
Processed by: Staff. ArchivesSpace Finding Aid by: Freya Anderson, May 2019. Inventory added by: Jacki Swearingen
2022 January
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Alaska State Library - Historical Collections Finding Aids Repository

PO Box 110571
Juneau AK 99811-0571 US
907-465-2151 (Fax)