While most of us have heard the story of Mollie Walsh and her great admirer Pack jack Newman, I only just read the curious story of the second monument in Seattle. Mollie met Packer Jack in Skagway where he was smitten with her. He once shot a fellow in the legs right on Broadway so that he could not go up and visit Mollie at Log Cabin where she sold pies. Mollie later married Mike Bartlett who murdered her in Seattle in 1902. In 1930 – 28 years after Mollie’s death Newman decided to honor the memory of his “Angel of the White Pass.” He commissioned a bronze sculpture of Mollie to be placed in Skagway.
And here the statue stands today, by a children’s playground that has become known as Mollie Walsh Park.
The inscription, written by the man who lost Mollie to the man who killed her, reads:
ALONE WITHOUT HELP / THIS COURAGEOUS GIRL / RAN A GRUB TENT / DURING THE GOLD RUSH / OF 1897-1898. / SHE FED AND LODGED / THE WILDEST / GOLD CRAZED MEN. / GENERATIONS / SHALL SURELY KNOW / THIS INSPIRING SPIRIT. / MURDERED OCT. 27, / 1902.
Jack Newman was unable to attend the dedication ceremony in Skagway, but sent a message.
“I’m an old man and no longer suited to the scene, for Mollie is still young and will remain forever young, her spirit lingers still reach across the years and play on the slackened strings of my old heart and my heart still sings – MOLLIE! – my heart still sings, but in such sad undertone that none but God and I can hear . . .”
However, his wife, Hannah let her husband know that she was less than thrilled with his tribute to his lost love.
To appease his wife, he quickly placed a dinner-plate-size bronze profile of Hannah on the exterior of the Washington Athletic Club, at Sixth Avenue and Union Street. The inscription:
MRS. HANNAH NEWMAN / WITH COURAGE AND FAITH IN THE / DEVELOPMENT OF OUR CITY OWNED / THIS GROUND FROM PIONEER DAYS / UNTIL THE ERECTION OF THIS BUILDING / 1930
Jack Newman died soon after Mollie’s statue was unveiled in Skagway – on May 4, 1931 of appendicitis. Although Newman had requested that he be buried in Skagway, beside Mollie’s monument, Mrs. Newman had him buried in Seattle. I could not find a photo of Hannah’s bronze on the WAC building on the corner of 6th and Union. If someone would like to photograph it, I will post it, but in the mean time here is a great picture of young Packer Jack. Cute guy!
Georgia Amanda Pineo and Holmes Dewolfe were born in Berwick Nova Scotia but Holmes’s family moved to Port Alberni on Vancouver Island B.C., around 1893. Holmes went to school in Victoria in 1898 and then moved to Atlin.
Holmes and his cousin Georgia fell in love and came to Skagway in 1909 to marry on June 24. The marriage did not last long though, because only a year later, on October 30, 1910 Georgia died at the age of 24. Holmes remarried in 1915 but he too died in Port Alberni, on this day, January 1, 1927 at the age of 43.
Seen above is Port Alberni about 1915 with the Pineo family hardware store on the far left.
The Register, Berwick, Kings Co., Nova Scotia.
Vital Statistics 1909; Family search
Most folks have heard of the April 3, 1898 avalanche and how it swept away 100 people, with about 85 people dying and being buried in the Dyea Slide Cemetery. But have you heard of the strange case of Arthur L. Jappe and his “sweetheart” Vernie Woodward who saved him?
Pierre Berton wrote that when Jappe’s lifeless body was dragged out of the snow, Vernie was beside herself. Now, not being one to stand by and accept things, she worked on him for three hours, moving his arms and legs, pumping on his chest and breathing warm air into his lungs. Smart girl! It worked! Jappe came to – and supposedly uttered her name. We all assumed they lived happily ever after, but no, when I looked into it, I could not find Vernie at all, but I did find Mr. Jappe – and his wife and 5 kids back in New York. Turns out he had gotten married to Katherine Henrietta Reuflei in August of 1897 and had gone to Alaska soon after.
So he must have returned after his notoriety of surviving the avalanche. The Dyea Trail newspaper of the time reported that Jappe feigned ignorance of his relationships with Vernie, but it would seem that after the newspapers blew the story all out of proportion, poor Jappe felt the need to return to New York and do some explaining.
Pierre Berton, The Klondike Fever p 265; Snowstruck: in the Grip of Avalanches by Jill Fredston; familysearch; One Came Late by Allen p 319.Read More
I pieced this love story together last week; you will love it.
In 1865 a young woman came to Victoria from England on the famous “bride ship”. After an unsuccessful marriage she split up with her gold miner husband and in 1873 her husband paid the convent of the Sisters of Saint Ann in Victoria to care for their two little girls. One little girl, Mary Elizabeth Martin was 5 and she spent the next 27 years working for the church, taking vows in 1885 and the name Sister Mary of the Cross. In 1898 Father William Judge, known as the Saint of Dawson needed help caring for the starving and sick men at the hospital he had built in Dawson. The help he requested came in the form of several Sisters of St. Ann and Mary was one of these.
Meanwhile, in Detroit, a young man, Joseph Bettinger attended college and became a doctor, actually a pharmacist there. In 1898 he also heard the call from the North, and like thousands of others decided to head to the Klondike to find his fortune. On April 3, 1898 he found himself near Chilkoot Pass when a terrible avalanche happened, burying at least 100 people, although some were pulled out, as many as 94 died. Dr. Bettinger helped to dig up and take care of the survivors. He then continued on to Dawson where he went to work for Father Judge. In the summer of 1898, the doc told the priest he wanted to become Catholic and so Father Judge asked one of his faithful nuns to instruct the doctor. It was here that Joseph and Mary met and fell in love.
Mary announced that she wanted to leave the order but was counseled by the Mother Superior and the priest not to. She felt strongly about it and took off her habit and called herself Mary Elizabeth Martin. Shunned by the community, she and Joseph went to Tacoma to visit Mary’s mother, now remarried with 8 children. On July 16, 1900 they were married in Tacoma.
The story would have ended with happily every after, but instead the newlyweds decided to go back to Dawson. When they returned they found that Fr. Judge had died – of overwork at the hospital in July of 1899. The new hospital administration and the community still shunned the couple and Joseph found that he did not have a job.
They decide to return south, but being low on funds, Joseph decides to walk to Whitehorse in December of 1900 when the temperatures were 60 below zero. He tells Mary to take the coach a few days later and they would meet up in Skagway or Whitehorse. It is the last time Mary sees her husband.
Temperatures in the Yukon were 60 degrees below zero that month. When Mary arrived in Skagway she looked for Joseph every day but after days turned to weeks, she implored the authorities to look for him. The NWMP found his body 7 miles off the Yukon Trail up the White River (near Stewart and Minto). The report stated he died of exposure. The authorities asked Mary if she wanted his body sent south, but she could not afford the $320 to ship it, so he was buried near Stewart (the river later washed away the graveyard).
Mary returned to Washington and remarried, but never told her family of her past until she lay on her deathbed at the age of 95 in 1959.
The Weekly Ex (SF) Sept 30, 1897; Policing the Plains by MacBeth online book p 111;Once Upon a Wedding; stories of weddings in W. Canada by Nancy Millar; personal communications with Mary’s great granddaughter.Read More
Nicknamed “Fighting Tom,” he was elected to represent Republicans from Skagway and Haines at the 1900 territorial Republican convention in Juneau. He lost his bid to become Alaska’s delegate to the National Republican Convention, but represented Haines as a witness before a U.S. Senate subcommittee investigating conditions in Alaska in the summer of 1903.
Tom Marquam came to Skagway with some lawyer friends in 1897 to follow the gold rush as his father had done in 1849 in California. He met a young woman, possibly a prostitute, here and married her. She died a few years later and he then married another prostitute named Ray Alderman pictured above with President Harding.
In 1923, when it became obvious that Dan Sutherland, Alaska’s delegate to Congress, was at odds with the president and would not escort Harding on his visit, Tom happily volunteered to do it himself, with his bride at his side. Harding, a man of the world with a mistress of his own, appreciated the mayor’s pretty wife. He invited the Marquams to accompany him in his private railroad car, and Tom’s appointment as ambassador seemed assured until Harding died less than three weeks later.
Tom Marquam’s death on November 23, 1931, at age fifty-seven was not well explained. One newspaper reported he had died of a heart attack; another referred to several operations and a long illness. There were rumors that he had been murdered and it was also suggested that he had committed suicide in a fit of depression over the still unsettled charges against him.