When I see photos like this entitled “Results of a day’s sport at summit of White Pass”, it is no wonder we do not see mountain goats anywhere near Skagway anymore. This photo taken about 1900 by Case & Draper. The fellow in black looks familiar……
One of the early ships to come to Skagway was the Steamer Mexico in 1894. It was captained by David O. Wallace who had been navigating the Inside Passage at least since 1888 when he piloted the Corona for the Pacific Coast Steamship Company. Then in November of 1888 he took the City of Topeka north.
Wallace was born in Newburgh, Fife, Scotland on January 22, 1853 and went to sea as a boy. He arrived in California in 1870 and his first command was the Idaho. He had also served as seaman on the Santa Cruz, the Los Angeles and the Ancon (until it sank) and later as captain of the City of Topeka.
He died on June 26, 1908 in Seattle at the age of 55.
from Lewis & Dryden’s marine history of the Pacific Northwest; WA death records; familysearch.
McAndrew was born June 29, 1862 in Pennsylvania and graduated from West Point and the Army Staff College and War College. He was said to be a brilliant infantry officer. He was a Captain with the 3rd Infantry when he arrived in Skagway in 1905-6. In 1911 he was promoted to Major and when the Great War broke out he was a Lieutenant Colonel. By May 3, 1918, Major General McAndrew was appointed Chief of Staff of the American Expeditionary Forces in France under General Pershing. He served in that capacity for a year and then retired back to Washington D.C. and died at Walter Reed hospital on April 30, 1922 at the age of 60. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
NY Times May 4, 1918
In 1901, the most secret society in Skagway was the Order of the Midnight Sun which sought to overthrow the Yukon government and make it part of Alaska. It was made up of members of the Arctic Brotherhood another secret society, but one which furthered the interests of its members through brotherhood. Although no lists of Order members is known, the leader was Fred J. Clark, seen above. He was a painter and managed the Burkhard Hotel. Born in February 1871 in Missouri, he died on August 7, 1905 at Soda Springs, near Yakima, Washington and was buried in the Tahoma cemetery. He died at the age of 34 from consumption or tuberculosis.
Loring and Mary Wilkes came to Skagway from Nebraska in the gold rush with their little son Mark Edward. Loring worked as a cook but in 1948 wrote: “Packers on the Dyea Trail” in the Alaska Sportsman (June). His son Mark went to World War One and listed Skagway as his home town.
Mark Edward Wilkes disappeared on this day, November 13, 1918 in France, perhaps near Exermont or Nantillois. Many officers – Majors Murray Davis and Fred A. Cook, Captains Joseph G. Duncan, Edgar Hayden Dale, James C. Kenady all died as well as many Lieutanants, Sergeants, Corporals and privates. Sadly, the Great War in Europe ended on November 11, two days prior to the announcement of the many deaths.
In September and October 1918, the 35th Division was attempting to reach the village of Exermont. The church and town were nearly destroyed near the Chaudron Farm Road by a counter attack of the German Army on September 29, 1918. Seen above are some of the American soldiers in the church there. There is a memorial in the town to the fallen soldiers which is perhaps the only marker that Private Wilkes has since he was listed as MIA. Below is the marker in Skagway which does not bear his name.
Here are three alternative White Pass & Yukon Route modes of travel. The paddlewheel steamer Tutshi is seen here whole before it burned many years ago. On the left is an old White Pass horse drawn wagon. The little Duchess engine which was used over on Lake Atlin is looking alot spiffier here too. These days you are not allowed to climb on top of it and try to pry the pieces off. Kids.
The Duchess was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1878 and John Irving purchased her from the Collieries on Vancouver Island in 1899. She was shipped north on the S.S. Danube and hauled by train to Carcross and then barged to Taku Landing. In 1900 White Pass acquired the interests of the John Irving Navigation Company and the Atlin Short Line Railway. On July 18, 1900 the Duchess pulled the first load across the portage. At $2 fo 4 kilometers it was the most expensive trip in the world. Passengers rode amidst packages and cargo, stamping out cinders and sometimes asked to help push the train the last part over the hill where the grade was 7%. For many years White Pass owned the transportation route from Vancouver all the way to Atlin. The Duchess ran until 1919 when she was replaced by engine no. 51 (one of the two original Baldwin engines built for White Pass.) In 1932 the other engine, no. 52 was brought there.