Posts made in July, 2012

The Strawberry King

Posted on Jul 30, 2012 in Haines | 0 comments

Charles N. Anway was born May 1, 1857 in Ionia County Michigan and died December 11, 1949 in Juneau. Mostly he lived in Haines and loved to garden.

“Strawberries were the first crop that Anway grew. He got his start from Jack Dalton’s garden at Porcupine (up valley from Haines). Dalton told him that he got the berry from a man named Dixon about twenty years before. This strawberry is without a rival in size or quality and it does well almost everywhere in the valley, as the climate and soil seem well suited for the plant. During the picking season, Anway would hire as many as 20 women and girls. Pickers were paid 5 cents per box, and they could often earn five dollars a day picking as many as 150 crates. The crates sold for $4.50 each so he was grossing about $720 per day. He continued this for about 25 years, shipping berries to Skagway, then north on the train, and also shipping to Juneau when ships were available. Haines became known as the Strawberry Capital of Alaska. In the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle, Anway won a certificate of honor for his “strawberries in glass.” His obituaries called him Alaska’s the “Strawberry King of Alaska”. The community of Haines held an annual “Strawberry Festival” in his honor for many years.”

Rootsweb – Bob Henderson, Haines (Notes by R. T. Edwards).

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James Johnston Hales

Posted on Jul 27, 2012 in Merchants | 0 comments

The Wild Animal Meat Market in Dawson in 1900, James is seen in his butcher’s apron in front of the store.

James Johnston Hales, born in 1870 in Toronto, was the eldest son of John and Ann Hales. He spent his early life in Chatham working in his father’s butcher shop. In 1897 at the age of 27 he went to the Klondike for nearly two years in search of precious gold. Some highlights of his trip – taken from the Chatham newspaper, the Evening Banner, 1899, – include:

“James Hales left Seattle, Washington for Skagway in December 1897 taking some 3000 pounds of meat that he hoped to sell. This made history as it was the first meat transported by horses and packed on men’s backs. He located two miles from the Chilicoot Pass at Lake Lindeman and opened a grocery store, meat market and post office. The shipment of meat didn’t prove very profitable. Most of the people who managed to get that far were short of money and they couldn’t afford to buy meat. Also, they hadn’t got tired of eating pork and beans.”

“On June 15, 1898 he sold his business and bought a 27 foot boat to paddle down the Yukon River where they had to shoot the famous White Horse rapids. After a treacherous and thrill packed trip he arrived in Dawson City on the 30th of June. He spent the next five months prospecting. “My companions and myself just put packs on our backs and went into the gold fields. We lay all night with our packs for pillows wherever night overtook us.” As their boat was number 13706 many prospectors had set out ahead of them. The mosquito plague, black ants, poor diets, and hard work in the Bear Mine on Elderado Creek didn’t stop him from staking several claims. On arrival in Dawson City he opened a butcher business and operated it for ten months serving a population of 20,000 people.”

“The trip from Chatham to the Yukon can now be made in two weeks,” said John Hales in 1897. Today you could make it in one day or two at the most. On his return trip to Chatham he spent a few days in Seattle, arriving home well and hearty, stating that he intended to go back next year, 1899, which he did. “The Klondike is a great place and I like the climate,” said James Johnston Hales in 1899. He brought home a number of gold nuggets which he was very proud of. An exceedingly large and beautiful one of considerable value he gave to his mother Ann Johnston Hales.

His daughter Alice was born in 1900 in Dawson. The Hales family moved to Hayward, California where J.J. also ran a butcher shop until his untimely death in a railroad accident in 1934:

“Apparently Unaware of Approach of Locomotive James Johnston Hales of Cherry Way was killed this morning when his auto was struck by an Western Pacific freight train on the road crossing on Cherry Way. Apparently unaware of the approach, Mr. Hales was thrown from his machine in the impact and died a few minutes later before an ambulance could take him to a hospital. He had a broken leg and arm, a basal fracture of the skull and internal injuries.

It was reported that two cats were supposed to have been in the car with Mr. Hales. They were also killed by the crash.

Mr. Hales’ son Waller H. Hales told investigating officers that his father drove each morning to his butcher shop. He drove for some distance from his home in second gear. That fact may account for his apparent failure to hear the train as there were no skid marks. There were no skid marks or other indications that he tried to avoid the crash according to Capt. L. A. Eike and Officer George of the state highway patrol. Besides the son, Mr Hales is survived by his wife Mrs Laura Hales. He was born in Toronto, Canada. Funeral arrangements await the arrival of a daughter from the east.”

Hayward Daily Review , August 30, 1934; family websites.

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Jonas Peter Hagstrom

Posted on Jul 26, 2012 in Odd People | 0 comments

Jonas Peter Hagstrom was born on April 11, 1871 in Sweden. Although happily married with a daughter, he decided to go to the Yukon to search for gold around 1906. Maria and Elsa stayed in Sweden but he wrote to them during the decades that he lived at Teslin in a little cabin. Here is part of one poem he wrote:

“…for you know tis constant dripping

wears away the hardest stone.

Never slack sublime endeavour,

nor midst cheerless toil despair;

If you’d rise above your fellows

Remember you must “Win and Wear”.

Jonas, or John as he adopted the local name, was found dead in 1941 in his cabin.

Every Trail has a story: Heritage Travel in Canada, by Bob Henderson and James Raffan.

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Cost of freight 1900

Posted on Jul 26, 2012 in White Pass & Yukon Route | 0 comments

In a Northwest Mounted Police Report of 1900, the cost of freight on White Pass from Skagway to Whitehorse was 4 1/2 cents per pound (a distance of 110 miles). It was observed that this was high but certainly not as high as it had been before the railroad was built. Then, by horse, it was 40 cents to $1 a pound.

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Huskies on the White Pass Trail

Posted on Jul 25, 2012 in Dogs | 0 comments

Another entry from Jessop’s diary talked about the sled dogs in 1897 on the White Pass Trail:

“A team of huskies (esquimeau dogs) were on the trail. They differ from the domestic dog. They do not make friends or play among themselves. They have an intelligent look, wide between the eyes, prick ears, have a furry or woolly coat, are very tractable and great little pullers. I think they cost about forty dollars each. When their drivers would call out “Musho” they would make an extra effort as Musho meant Food.”

Seen above is a dog team at Ruby, Alaska in 1916.

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