One interesting story of the Klondyke is the expedition of four nurses from Ottawa. The Victoria Order of Nurses was started by Lady Ishbel Aberdeen, wife of the Governor General in Ottawa. She was heavily involved in the launching and further development of the VON for Canada. Lady Aberdeen had read with interest an appeal from Rev. Robert Dickey of Skagway, Alaska, in the Presbyterian periodical, The Westminster, calling for trained nurses to go to the Klondike. She sent Margaret Payson, Amy Scott, Georgia Powell and Rachel Hanna to Dawson. They were outfitted in “neat brown duck suits with bloomers and hobnail boots”. On May 14, 1898, two hundred men, six women and 60 tons of supplies embarked on the Islander for the Klondyke. They got off at Wrangell and went up the Stikine River the Cassiar Mountains and Fort Selkirk to Dawson. They were accompanied by Mrs. Cortlandt Starnes and Faith Fenton, a reporter.
Their work in Dawson and elsewhere is indescribable. Amy and Goergia left in 1900 and went to Africa to help in the Boer War, although Georgia returned to Dawson and married a mountie. Margaret stayed in Dawson and married a wealthy miner. Rachel also stayed on and then went to Atlin for 14 years.
The picture above shows 5 women onboard the ship in 1898. Faith Fenton is definitely the second from the right as I have several other photos of her that match.
The Right Way On by Olive; The Story of Klondike Nurses online.
One Reply to “Victorian Order of Nurses”
Love the picture. I wonder which one would be Rachel Hanna. I am writing a book, Muskoka Falls: The village. Rachel was born and raise there.