Tragedy

Walter Goyne the “Going Kid of Alaska”

Posted on Feb 17, 2015 in Animals, Dawson, Dogs, Goldrushers, Mail - Postal, Tragedy | 0 comments

 

 


dog sled

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.”

 fro trapersfestival.com

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A Skagway kid in France 1918

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 in Heroes, Military, Other Communities, Tragedy | 0 comments

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.

http://www.genealogybuff.com/misc/ww1/il-ww1-ago-casualties46.htm

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George S. Black

Posted on Aug 6, 2012 in Dawson, Shipwrecks, Tragedy | 1 comment

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:

http://www.skagwaystories.org/2011/09/george-s-black.html

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Rotary accident

Posted on Mar 2, 2012 in Tragedy, White Pass & Yukon Route | 0 comments


On February 28, 1902 there were two German men pushing a sled north of White Pass along the rail line. The snow was about 3 feet high on each side and apparently one of the men became confused when the train approached and fell in front of the snowplow. The Yukon paper reported his name was Hauser and that he had a wife and kids in Coulee Washington but the Skagway paper reported his name was O. Hauseman and that he had relatives in Oregon. He apparently stayed at the Portland Mizpah Hotel in Skagway before his fateful trip. I could find no record for either name in either Washington or Oregon, so presumably it is screwed up somehow.
Makes you look at that rotary with a little more caution…

Skaguay News March 2, 1902 on microfiche.

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Frank Hawley Darling

Posted on Dec 6, 2011 in Tragedy | 0 comments


On December 5, 1898 there was a snow avalanche at Crater Lake that buried 5 people, among whom were Mrs. Lizzie M. Clay Darling and her husbands two sons who were teenagers. She and Frank Hawley Darling were married on May 23, 1891 when she was 21 years old. Possibly Frank had been married before but I could only find the marriage record for Lizzie.
Frank was born in 1855 in New York and it is possible that he was an artist in California early in his career.
He waited for Lizzie and his sons to arrive at Lake Lindeman, but they never made it. After losing his family he returned to Seattle and worked as a clerk until his death on this day, December 6, 1925 – 27 years and a day after the tragedy.

P.S. Although the newspapers reported that he had two sons that died, the NWMP report stated there were 4 men: Warren, Rouhl, Johnston (Bert Jones), and Harry Shaw as well as Mrs. Darling. She was too young to have two teenage sons even from a previous marriage. If Frank had two other sons, then their names would have been Darling also. I checked the censuses in Washington and did not find that he had been previously married or that he had sons. Furthermore, if he took his wife down to Washington to bury her there, why not take these sons too? So in the end I think the newspapers made up the boys to make a more dramatic story. I have not yet found any information on Warren or Rouhl.

Seen above is the cemetery at Lake Lindeman. Perhaps the boys were buried here, but Lizzie was buried in Edmonds, Washington at the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery.
RCMP report online.

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Edward James Gray

Posted on Nov 30, 2011 in Other Communities, Tragedy | 0 comments


Mr. Gray was born in England in 1855 and came to Lake Bennett from Victoria where his wife was living. He was working on the sawmill when he had an accident, on this day, November 29, 1899 and died. His body was shipped back to Victoria and he lies with so many other gold rush unfortunates at the Ross Bay Cemetery.

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