Skagway, Alaska is surely one of the most charming gold rush boom towns in the world.

In 1897, a gold rush to the far reaches of the Klondike kicked off, and legions of determined adventurers would find themselves destined to pass through this remote corner of the world, on their way further north to the gold fields.

In its day, Skagway’s streets have witnessed all of the riveting drama, crimes, struggles and joys of those who once passed through. Today, it still attracts many visitors, who come to see the well-preserved historic gold-rush era buildings.

My name is Marlene and I do research on the Gold Rush in Skagway and the Yukon.

Continue through to find tales of ghosts that inhabit buildings; famous people who passed through; murders only recently uncovered; missing persons; shipwrecks; avalanches; merchants; lovers; orphans and lost souls.

These are their stories.

If you have a story you can contribute, especially letters from the stampeders of the Klondike Gold Rush, or even material from other periods of Skagway’s history, don’t hesitate to contact me at marlene.w.mcc@gmail.com

5 Replies to “About”

  1. Hi, I’m looking for a famous photo of undelivered mail stuck in Alaska, going into the Yukon. It shows a short shed, with one massive skid of mail, 3/4 of it rotted and wet with mud. Do you know where I could get a copy of that? In trying to explain Dominion Day crowds in Dawson, people don’t get the concept of no counter on which to sort mail, no mailboxes, miners moved form one creek to another, so mail would have to chase them, or perhaps didn’t. Thanks.

  2. Hello, Marlene:

    I am a writer who is also fascinated by the history of Skagway. While on a cruise ship, I attended a lecture on the early history of Skagway and asked the lecturer if he knew anything about Jewish pioneers in Skagway. He did not and was not aware of any Jewish history in town. I believe there was a Jewish pioneer population in Dawson, but do you know anything about Jewish pioneers in Skagway? Thank you.

  3. I am looking for clues on my great grandfather, Albert Martin Nicholas, who went to the Yukon looking for gold. He never returned, his family lived in Liverpool, England. Are there any documents or lists of casualties from that time?

  4. According to family lore and a few pieces of evidence, my gr-grandmother, Margaret/Maggie Elizabeth (Best, Lindstrom, Boone, Dillon) moved to Skagway sometime around 1900 with her husband, Willis D. Boone, their two young sons, Willis Valentine & Arthur D. Boone as well as her youngest daughter, Rose. She worked as a “laundress” at the Golden North Hotel. There are many photos of the rooms at the Golden North in family records taken ca 1912. Not long after 1904, Willis applied for Civil War Veteran’s disability and shipped out to a veteran’s hospital in Malibu, Los Angeles County, California where he died in 1922. In the interim, Maggie became involved with George Dillon likely after the death of his wife. George died in 1922. When she returned to the Bellingham area in Washington State, she was known as Grandma Dillon. The name on her grave is Margaret Dillon. I’ve seen no public evidence of her name in relation to Dillon. The question arises, among many, as to whether she was widowed by Boone or by Dillon. Her son, Arthur, was responsible for her final arrangements but was not clear on her history – and obviously, she had a history! From Skagway, both of her sons enlisted and fought in Europe in WWI. Valentine was severely disabled from a mustard gas attack and spent the rest of his life in veteran’s facilities in Washington State. Arthur returned, married and worked at his mother’s chicken farm outside of Ferndale, WA. Known for his erratic behavior he likely suffered PTSD. After graduating from Bellingham Normal School, my grandmother went to Skagway and worked at the Golden North with her mother and youngest sister. This is where her father, John Lindstrom, a miner, introduced her to her husband-to-be, John Engstrom, a fisherman/whaler out of Wrangell. Engstrom’s youngest brother, Adolph Engstrom owned a store there. John Lindstrom had sailed to Skagway from Seattle in 1897 seeking his fortune. He would eventually end up going after gold in the sands of Nome and from there went south to the northern California gold fields and on to mines in Nevada. His & Maggie’s children were farmed out as child labor in private homes and, in the case of their youngest son, to the mills, while they both sought their fortunes in the gold fields.

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