Frederick McBain Young was born in October 1863 or 1868 in Montreal. He graduated with a B.A. from Queen’s University and made his way to Nanaimo where he married in 1893. In 1895 he was made a Barrister in Nanaimo. During the gold rush he came north and was in Skagway briefly. He was a friend of John Douglas Stewart who was famously robbed by three of Soapy’s gang members in 1898. Stewart was also from Nanaimo. Young was the first judge of the county court of Atlin, B.C. in 1905. He served 28 years as judge in Prince Rupert county court from 1907. He retired and returned to Vancouver in January 1933, and died in Vancouver on May 31, 1937. Seen above is the Atlin courthouse built in 1900 which Judge Young used.Read More
Fred Harte was born in 1839 in Northern Ireland and came to the Yukon in 1873. His party, with Arthur Harper, George Finch and Kinseller reached Fort Yukon from Canada by way of the Mackenzie, Peel, and Porcupine Rivers through the Chilkoot Pass in 1873. This well documented party is perhaps the first white party to cross the Chilkoot Pass. Harte later worked with McQueston and Mayo. All of these men were trappers who searched for furs but were at the beginning of the mining era when gold was discovered in the Yukon. All of these famous early explorers can have their own story told, but here we are celebrating Fred Hart. He was one of the charter member of the Yukon Order of Pioneers and served as the first Secretary for the Y.O.O.P. He died in November 1898 and is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Dawson. Seen above are some members holding the banner in Dawson.Read More
Jack was born in 1904 in Oregon and came to Skagway around 1929 and worked for White Pass as a boilermaker. He was Mayor of Skagway during World War two. If you have ever visited Oahu, Hawaii and gone to the Dole plantation which is about half way between Honolulu and North Shore, they have a very cute tourist train called the Pineapple Express. It has rails about 24 inches apart. Jack Hoyt built this little tourist railroad in 1969. I don’t know how much of the original train that he built is still running, but it is a favorite tourist attraction still.Read More
W.S. Woolever was born on this day, May 17, 1863. Before heading out for the gold rush, he was a partner in a hardware store in Wallaceburg, Ontario, Canada. He caught gold fever and abandoned his wife Clara (Ayres) and his two daughters, Miriam and Yula. The daughters had a brief reunion with him some years later in Seattle at which time, he gave my grandmother Miriam his gold rush journal. For those interested in his journal is presently at the Wallaceburg museum.
Between 1901 and 1904 Woolever staked gold claims in the Yukon and actually came away with some profits. During his time here in Skagway, he became an active member of the Arctic Brotherhood. Woolever married Paulina Scott Banks after 1905. When Paulina died in 1927 Woolever met Daisy Banks Haner, also a widow in 1926. They married on August 01, 1927 in Whatcom Co., WA.
Winfield Scott Woolever died on May 4, 1945 in Wickersham, Washington at the age of 82. Seen above is his third wife, Daisy with her son Lawrence Haner, born 1912, and taken at their Wickersham, Washington home.
Paulina was not the sister of Robert Bruce Banks who died in the fiery explosion of the Clara Nevada here in Skagway in 1898.
Many thanks to John Martin for the early history in Ontario, and to Beverly Banks Hammer and Malcolm Haner, grandson of Daisy for setting this story correct! As with all family histories, the true stories lie with the family, not all of which are as stalwart as we would hope. I just try to spotlight the goldrushers for their feats here in Skagway and the Klondike!