Jack Dalton had a very long and very interesting life. He was described by a woman in Haines as “a dapper, well-dressed, ladies man”. He is best known for opening up the “Dalton Trail” out of Haines.
He ran a hotel in Haines in 1896 and later arrested Jack Wade for murder, but also was himself jailed for shooting a shopkeeper McGinnis. He was later acquitted.
He was mentioned in the 1903 AK Boundary Tribunal by Don-a-wak, chief of the Chilkat Indians. In 1886, Jack signed on as roustabout and camp cook with the Schwatka-New York Times expedition to climb Mt. St. Elias. The party began their ascent at tidewater in Icy Bay on July 17, 1886. They traversed rugged terrain for twenty-five to thirty days, crossed fast coastal rivers, and reached an elevation of about 5,700-feet before Schwatka’s health failed, which terminated the first recorded attempt on the difficult mountain.
Dalton is featured in the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame Foundation website.
Born in 1856 in Michigan, he died in San Francisco on December 15, 1944.