Posts made in January, 2011


Posted on Jan 31, 2011 in Medical, Tragedy, White Pass & Yukon Route | 0 comments

On this day, January 31, 1904, Thomas E. Briggs, a White Pass engineer, died of typhoid in Skagway. He was buried in the Gold Rush Cemetery by White Pass at the direction of Superintendent John P. Rogers (not to be confused with President Clifford Rogers). There were various epidemics of Typhoid in both Dawson and Skagway from 1898 through 1904.

1905 directory; Skagway death record;Crisis and Opportunity:Three White Women’s Experiences of the Klondike Gold Rush by Carolyn Moore

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Plane crash at the pass

Posted on Jan 30, 2011 in Tragedy, White Pass & Yukon Route | 4 comments

Very often people ask how they can get to Whitehorse from Skagway and we tell them that there is a bus in the summer, but the road is the only way (the train only runs to Carcross in the summer). It would seem to be a simple thing to fly over the pass and on to Whitehorse, just 110 miles away. However, several pilots have found that the pass is deadly and unforgiving. While it seems to be clear when they take off, once at 3400 feet the fog becomes so thick you cannot see, even on the road. And so that is what happened on this day, January 30, 1935 when Lawrence William Muehleisen, (see earlier blog) the pilot aged 28, and his three passengers hit the side of the mountain. Charles C. Larsen, aged 44, John R. Muralt and Archie King, a White Pass employee, were the other three men who died. Muehleisen and Larsen are buried in the Pioneer Cemetery here in Skagway.

I talked to one old timer recently who said that at the time of this crash, people said that they suspected White Pass of sabotaging the gas tank on this plane because it threatened to undermine the train’s profits. An interesting comment…..

Skagway Death Record; 1910 and 1920 censuses.

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Railroad Accident

Posted on Jan 29, 2011 in Alaska Natives, Tragedy, White Pass & Yukon Route | 0 comments

All that we know about this accident is from the Skagway Death Record which states that John Phillips, a White Pass worker was run over by the train and killed on this day, January 29, 1900. But Minter wrote that two Native American workers were killed that day and he only knew the name of Phillips.
Curiously, in February 1900 another worker, John McAllister was killed, also by falling below the wheels of the train near the White Pass summit and he is buried at Bennett Cemetery. There are also at least four other railroad workers buried at Bennett who died in the construction of the railroad between 1899 and 1900: Andrew Aidukewicz or Ajdukewicz, J. Cumberland, A. Kelly, and William Nelson. It is possible that William Nelson was the other Native American worker killed on January 29 1900 that Minter mentions since there were other Nelsons living in Skagway at the time who were Native. In all that makes at least 6 men who were killed around 1900 while working on the line, winter is a brutal time to be up at the pass.

Minter; Skagway Death Record

P.S. the three things missing from front of AB Hall in yesterday’s pic are:
1. the flagpole, 2. the hanging projecting sign, and 3. the bench.

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AB in 1910

Posted on Jan 28, 2011 in Skagway streets | 0 comments

What three things are missing from the front of AB in this picture that are here today?
Answer tomorrow.

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The Hallelujah Lassies

Posted on Jan 27, 2011 in Dawson, Dyea, Faith and Religion, Women | 0 comments

One of the many religious communities in Skagway during the Gold Rush, the Salvation Army had several people working here. The most famous was General Evangeline Cory Booth who was born on Christmas Day 1865 in London to the founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth. The names of some of the others here were:
Lieut. Emma Matilda Aitken (middle row far right)
Adjutant George Dowell (middle row, second from left)
Ensign Rebecca Ellery (middle row, far left)
Captain John Kenny (top row, second from left)
Ensign Thomas James McGill (top row, second from right)and his wife Laura Aikenhead McGill (not pictured)
Ensign Fred Bloss (top row far right)
Ensign Frank Morris (top row first on left)
Captain John Lecocq (front row)
These were members of the 1898 “Klondike Brigade” of nine Salvation Army soldiers, seven men and two women (well actually three if you include Mrs McGill). The “hallelujah lassies” arrived in May 1898 on the Steamer S.S. “Tees” (see yesterday’s blog) at Skagway and then proceeded to Dyea. They climbed the Chilkoot Pass while it was still deep in snow. Included in their outfit were two folding canoes for the river journey, but before the group could use the canoes, they had to cross the rotting ice of Lake Bennett. It took them three weeks to travel from Skagway to Dawson.

Thornton p 190; The founding of the Salvation Army, 1962;; descendent confirmation

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