Harry Phillips came to Skagway in 1898 and opened the Peerless Saloon on 4th Avenue mid block, south side, between Broadway and State which is now a small residence off of the alley. The Peerless only was in business for about a year and then Harry moved to Dawson and opened the Office Bar and Saloon with his wife Annie. By 1901 he was 34 and she was 27 but they had no kids. Perhaps he met her in Skagway or Dawson. After that, I can find no trace of them, perhaps they moved back down south (they were both born in the U.S.) In the photo above he would be the proud owner, but which one is he? any guesses?
1901 Dawson census; Catherine Spude, The Mascot Saloon, NPS; Alaska Digital Archives;
Certainly all of Goyne family members deserve their own posting, but I will start with the most famous – Walter James Goyne. Born on May 29, 1897 in Pendleton Oregon, as a baby, he was taken to Skagway in 1898. His father, Francis (Frank) took his whole family to Skagway – wife Hattie, his son Hillary born 1895 Oregon, Ida Evaline born 1888 in Tillamook Oregon, Mabel Florence born 1893 in Tillamook Oregon, Stella Grace born 1896 in Tillamook Oregon, not to mention his Dad, William, born 1838 in Ontario. So, with all the kids, wife and dad in tow, they made it to Skagway to find that Hattie was pregnant again. She bore son Lynn on August 28, 1899 in Skagway. Hattie and the kids moved to Dawson to be with dad in 1900. Another sister, Nugget was born in Dawson in 1901. Dad Frank had been delivering the Dawson Daily News on a 300-mile run in 1904. Although Lynn and his dad Frank stayed in Alaska, Hattie and the kids moved back to Oregon where she divorced Frank and remarried in 1909.
Walter caught the dog mushing bug from his dad and participated in dog sled races elsewhere. He won the Hudon Bay dog sled race in Manitoba due in large part to the harness he was using for his dog team. After the race, the 1920 census has him listed in Fall Lake, Minnesota. Walter was a guest celebrity in Luverne, Minnesota in 1920 when the Palace Theater was showing the movie “Carmen of the Klondike”. Walter drowned when he and dogs went through thin ice on Moose Lake in Manitoba. Below is the grisly obituary from the local newspaper:
|FAMOUS DOG RACER FROZEN IN ICE
DOG TEAM STILL HITCHED TO SLED AND THE MAN STILL SITTING UPRIGHTSearching parties have found the body of Walter Goyne, famous American dog derby racer, who was drowned, Nov. 15 when he went through the ice on Moose lake with his dog team.
Through the transparent ice the body could be seen in eight feet of water sitting bolt upright on the sled, partly covered by an eiderdown robe. stretched out in front in perfect alignment were the nine racing dogs.
The provincial police who investigated the accident, said they believed Goyne was traveling at racing speed toward shore in an effort to escape thin ice, when he plunged through and under heavier ice, where escape was impossible.
Of eleven loose dogs that were following Goyne and his racing team, two perished with their master and their bodies were found close to the team. Goyne’s dogs were considered among the best in the north country. and much was expected of the in the 1922 derby.Goyne, Walter (15 Nov 1922)Star Valley Independent
| Here is a further story about the race history:
The first annual race, in 1916 was formulated by Grant Rice, editor of The Pas Herald of the era. In the race of 1920, Walter Goyne, who was born in Ruby, Alaska, made history when he came out of the frozen hinterland of Alaska to compete in the early Le Pas Dog Derby. When Mr. Goyne arrived in The Pas that day many years ago, he discovered that all the local mushers were using an old style toboggan for racing, with their dogs hitched in tandem style. Goyne brought with him the famous Alaskan dog sled with his dogs hitched in the now famous Alaskan hitch, that is, dogs are two abreast with the leader centering the team in front. Northern Manitobans of that era were quite skeptical of Goyne’s sled and “new” hitch and in fact gave him little chance of winning that race of 1920. But when the race was over, and Goyne had won by an easy margin, the skeptics were forced to eat humble pie. Today Goyne’s Alaskan hitch and sled is being used by all famous mushers in Northern Manitoba, the East and the St. Paul Winter Carnival whose dog races date back to 1889.
The race of 1920 which Goyne won with ease, will always be remembered as one the Northland’s greatest. Consider the fact that Goyne had a crippled foot which forced him to ride on the sleigh more than his rivals thought best in a long grueling non stop race. You see unlike today’s race, which is broken up into three daily laps, in Goyne’s time it was 140 miles to Cranberry Portage or Flin Flon and back non-stop.
Another item Goyne introduced to the North was the parka. Before he came to The Pas, the parka was unheard of. It was while visiting at the home of Mrs. E. W. Bridges that the parka was first introduced as the only type of winter clothing to adequately protect the upper part of the body from the freezing winds of the Northland. Mrs. Bridges took Goyne’s parka and using it as a model she made smaller replicas for her own children, one of whom later made a great name for himself in dog racing in The Pas derbies and those staged in the east. His name, Earl Bridges. Today the parka is a standard part of every northerner’s winter wardrobe.
After Goyne’s first big win in 1920, he had one ambition, namely to win the race three times thus receiving the Derby Cup. In 1921, he entered again but was forced out when his 13 year old lead dog failed him. Ironically that was his last race locally. In the fall of 1922 Walter Goyne drowned in Moose Lake. The man who found Goyne’s body was another well know Northern figure, the late Tom Lamb of The Pas. When Goyne’s body arrived at The Pas, The Pas Herald records the incident as follows: “It was a silent procession up Fischer Avenue..and many town dogs fell in with Goyne’s pups. Not a bark or growl was heard, it seemed as if the four footed animals understood the meaning of procession.”
There are some wonderful posts today under Pringle’s earlier post by descendants. Many thanks! I am so happy to be able to host comments and stories of the heroes of the Gold Rush and certainly the Rev. Pringle was one.
This photo is from the Dawson City Museum and Historical Society Collection and is available from the Yukon Archives for a few dollars. I have always wondered what her story was, certainly she laughs with her wrinkled dress as if she doesn’t have a care. Laugh on Lady – worthy of a bard’s ballad.
Another Skagway Sleuth sent me this nice photo of the grave of George S. Black buried in Fairbanks at Birch Hill Cemetery, plot: Pioneer 2, tier: 2 , row: 7.
Here is the previous story in the blog on him:
Mr. W. Thibaudeau was a French Canadian engineer who came to Skagway in 1898 and helped Frank Reid to plat out the town of Skagway. He later went to Dawson where he was appointed the Territorial Engineer. I was amazed to see the map of the Dawson area roads, it looks like an ant hill of trails. Thibaudeau also did this map and signed it in December 1901.
There is a wonderful story about Rebecca and Solomon Schuldenfrei. Their great great granddaughter tells it best and you can read it in its entirety by following the link below.
“Rebecca Schuldenfrei was born in 1863 near Krakow in the Austro-Hungarian empire. At a young age she immigrated to America and lived most of her life in New York. In 1897 her husband, Solomon decided to set out to the Klondike with a business partner in search of gold. As the trip rapidly approached, the partner decided he could not leave his business and backed out. Becci, concerned that her husband was not tough enough for the wilds of the Yukon, would not let him go off alone and decided to come along. The couple had three children and, in a move very uncommon to mothers of her day, Rebecca left them in the care of her sister and joined her husband as a partner on his adventure. Having never lived outside a city, both Sol and Becci had no way of knowing what kind of dangers they faced. They went for practical reasons: Sol’s business had not been very successful, but they must have had some sense of adventure or else they would not have taken all the risks they did. Most of what is known about Rebecca Schuldenfrei comes from the numerous letters she wrote to her sister and her children during the entire trip. Where these letters are quoted, her spelling and grammar is used. Whether what she says is completely accurate or whether it was appropriately filtered for her readers is unknown. What the letters definitely show is an incredible journey of a urban woman in the wilderness of the Yukon.
All the knowledge Becci and Sol could have had of the Yukon was gained from newspapers and stories. They brought what they guessed they would need, but they had no sure way of telling. They were outfitted by a company known as Cooper & Levy. Mrs. Cooper, wife of one of the owners, came out to the shop to see “the lady who goes to Klondike in a silk skirt” (Sept. 5, 1897). Becci was gaining a reputation. Sol had to be talked into buying a gun as the couple knew nothing about handling weapons. They had to buy a year’s worth of supplies which would end up costing them hundreds of dollars to transport. However, due to the enormous inflation in the Klondike, the more supplies one brought, the better.”
The one curious fact that I had from a different source was that Sol paid the Indian guides $700 to pack their canoe with Rebecca inside of it, over the Chilkoot Pass. What a guy!!!
“Having practically no money when they arrived, Becci decided to open a restaurant for a few months until her husband could get a claim. On October 19, Becci wrote, “Just at present things do not look so bright here as they are pictured in the newspapers…this beautiful Klondike is only good for very strong and hardworking miners, as any one, who is not brought up from childhood to the hardest kind of labor, is of no earthly use here.”
They are pictured above.
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.
“Swiftwater Bill” Gates, or Charles H. Gates was born in 1855 in Minerva New York. He was working as a boatman in Idaho in 1896 when he decided to go to Alaska. He and some partners leased “Thirteen El Dorado” which later paid out and made him a millionaire. Enjoying his new wealth, he would walk the streets of Dawson in top hat, white shirt and jacket (and said to bathe in champagne). He apparently loved women and gambling. He had the hots for Miss Gussie Lamore in Dawson and offered her her weight in gold to marry him. She however spurned him, and was seen in the restaurant with a new boyfriend ordering fried eggs – the most expensive item on the menu. So, to get even, Bill bought up all the eggs in Dawson and fed them to dogs, in another version fed them to the other dance hall girls. Miss Gussie loved eggs and so he hoped to get her attention. Apparently it worked as she offered to meet him in San Francisco and marry him (despite already being married). He married her younger sister, Grace, then divorced her and remarried and divorced several times in the next few years.
Swiftwater Bill was known to be at the gold fields of Nome, Alaska at the same time as William H. Gates I, grandfather of the Microsoft founder. However, despite the similarity in name and coincidences of geography, there is no apparent family relationship between “Swiftwater Bill” and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
In any event, some versions say that in 1933 he went to Peru and was mining silver there, when on this date, February 13, 1933 he died in mysterious circumstances, perhaps murder…..another account says he was murdered on February 21, 1937 and still another that he died of pneumonia following surgery back in Neillsville, Clark County, Wisconsin on February 13, 1933.
In any event, he certainly lived an exciting life.
Seen above with Joe Boyle-left, “Swiftwater Bill” on the right.
Source: Neillsville Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 16 Feb. 1933 obituary of “Swiftwater Bill” Gates.
Emilie Fortin was born on January 4, 1872 in Saint-Joseph-d’Alma, Quebec. When she was fifteen, her family emigrated to Cohoes, New York where she met Nolasque Tremblay whom she married on December 11, 1893. In 1894 she claimed to be the first white woman to have crossed the Chilkoot Pass, but was actually the fourth after Bell Healy, “Dutch Kate” Wilson, and Bridget Mannion who we met yesterday.
The couple spent the winter in Miller Creek in a little log cabin. That year, Émilie decided to invite the miners to share their Christmas dinner. On the menu was stuffed rabbit, roast caribou, boiled brown beans, King Oscar sardines, dried potatoes, butter and sourdough bread and prune pudding. Her reputation quickly spread throughout the Yukon. In the spring, Émilie and her husband made a garden on the roof of their cabin and harvested an abundance of radishes and lettuce. After a trip south, they came back by the Chilkoot pass in the middle of the Gold Rush. In 1906, they travelled in Europe for four months. Until 1913, Mr. and Mrs. Tremblay walked from one mining claim to another in the Klondike. Later, they settled in Dawson. She opened a women’s clothes store that is now an historic building.
Émilie Tremblay was a very courageous woman who distinguished herself by her social involvement and her devotion to others. She was the founder of the Ladies of the Golden North, President of the Yukon Women Pioneers and a life member of the Daughters of the Empire. The numerous medals that she received and some of her souvenirs were placed in the Saguenay Museum in Quebec. She was godmother to 25 children in addition to raising the daughter of her sister who was a widow with 9 children to feed. Émilie kept open house for travellers, missionaries and widows. Msgr Bunoz called Émilie the “mother of the Klondike missionnairies”. During the war, Émilie knitted 263 pairs of socks for soldiers, in addition to the ones she gave as gifts.
Her husband Jack died in 1935 so she visited her family and friends in Quebec and the United States.
She spent the last years of her life in a retirement home in Victoria, B.C.
Émilie Tremblay died on April 22, 1949, at the age of 77. In 1985, to commemorate her exceptional devotion to others, the authorities named the first francophone school in the Yukon École Émilie-Tremblay.
She is seen above.
Yukon Government website celebrating women in the Yukon; franco.ca; Gates; Acadian roots.com