It’s a gorgeous blowy spring-like afternoon here. I went for a walk in the cemetery about a mile from where I live, and in wandering about I saw a surprising inscription:

Elisabeth Utke Jorgensen
Scholar, Pioneer, Artist, Adventurer

I looked her up and found a brief biography by Seattle historian Paul Dorpat:

One of the first women to graduate from the University of Copenhagen, Elizabeth Utke immigrated in the early 1890s to the United States, where she found her degrees in logic and mathematics useless. Pursuing two of the few occupations open to her, she attended secretary school while earning her way as a seam­stress with a knack for “fancy work.” She married Carl Jorgensen, a Norwegian sea captain, and the couple toured the West Coast before winding up in Nome, Alaska, during the gold rush in the early 20th century.

In Alaska Elizabeth designed and built shallow draft landing craft that she and her husband operated in a prosperous lighterage (barge) business, moving miners and supplies between the ships they arrived on and the shallow shoreline of Nome. After returning to Seattle and constructing their home overlooking the ravine, the couple raised a family while Elizabeth continued to practice her skills in photography, sewing and watercolors.

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