Walter was born in 1873 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Although he was an accountant, he and his brother came west and were working on the ship Islander in 1898. Walter contracted pneumonia while onboard and had to disembark in Skagway where he died in the Hotel Rosalie, on this day, April 8, 1898. His remains were taken to Victoria where he was buried.
The Hotel Rosalie was located on the corner of Broadway and Bond (4th). It was a one room hotel where patrons curled up in corners. The building changed hands pretty soon after the Gold Rush and became Brownell’s Hardware Store. Then in 1903 Mr. John Anderson bought it and transformed it into the Pantheon Saloon. Charles Walker, who had done such a grand job of decorating the AB Hall, was hired to do the same with the saloon. Today you can see some of his artwork (restored by the Park Service) on the front of the Pantheon. In past years the Pantheon was leased to jewelers as part of the Klondike Gold Rush NHP’s leaseback program, but like many other businesses on Broadway this summer, it has gone vacant and will be used for meetings/training again this summer.
Several years ago, I worked in this building and I can say I never saw or felt the ghost of poor Mr. Chestnut, perhaps he just wanted out of here. Seen above is the building – labeled Hardware Store. The photo was taken at midnight in June by Barley.
Skagway Death Record; Victoria Daily Colonist April 15, 1898.