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Byers and Margeson, Papers and Photographs, ca. 1900

Identifier: PCA 521

Scope and Contents

Photograph album, framed photos, and scrapbook documenting the West Coast performance tour of entertainers Shina Byers, Marge Margeson, Maude Margeson, and Young Norman (Snooks) Margeson. Primarily Juneau and Dawson, ca. 1900.

The collection includes newspaper clippings, photos and playbills from performance venues including the Oberon Concert Hall (Seattle), The Savoy, the Juneau Opera House (Juneau), the Louvre Theatre (Juneau), and the Monte Carlo Dance Hall in Dawson.


  • ca. 1900

Conditions Governing Access

Open to research according to the policies of the Alaska State Library.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical / Historical

This collection represents the story of a group of entertainers; Shina Byers and Maude Margeson, along with her son Norman (Snooks) Margeson, and a variety of other performers who found their way from San Francisco to Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Oregon and Seattle via train and ferry. Possibly due to a fire in the Oberon Theater in Seattle, Byers and Margeson arranged a tour to Alaska and the Yukon Territory, performing in Juneau, Skagway, Lake Bennett and Dawson. Byers and Margeson were billed variously as “The greatest team in the Northwest”, “The Novelty 2”, “The Favorite Vocalists”, and “The Clever Contortionist Dancers”.

Wendell Freres, who traveled with the performers and was a Faro dealer in Dawson, had a connection with Shina Byers, though they were never married.

Shina Byers’ sister was married to J.B. Libby, manager of the Puget Sound Tugboat Company. Libby ran for public office as representative of Jefferson County. This sister, F. Byers, opened a Seattle business called the Delmonico Restaurant.


3 Volumes : Photograph album ; Scrapbook ; 2 studio portraits

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection is the gift of Ted and Diane Freres, Accession # 2009-38. The donation included a travel make-up kit which was transferred to the Alaska State Museum as a study item. Wendell Freres, great uncle to Ted Freres, left the collection in what became the Ted and Diane Freres’ home in Oregon.

Processing Information

Photograph album and scrapbook are un-inventoried.

Finding aid for the Byers and Margeson, Papers and Photographs, ca. 1900
In Progress
Processed by: James Simard, Sept. 2009 ; Revised by: Jacki Swearingen, Apr. 2015 ; ArchivesSpace finding aid by: Sandy Johnston
2019 July
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

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)