McNeil Island

Several prisoners from Skagway were sent to McNeil Island, Washington at the turn of the century. There was an article written in the Dawson Daily News of August 14, 1905 that the Alaska Native prisoners were being kept isolated because they were all dying of consumption (tuberculosis) and were resigned to the fact that they would die in prison. The warden of the prison said that in his experience, the Alaskan natives had “a hereditary tuberculosis which was aggravated by the weather and confinement.”
They listed 12 Alaskan natives including the three which had been convicted of the Horton murders: Jim Kishtoo (Williams), Jack Klane (Mark Klanat), and Jim Hanson (Kebeth).
I believe the first two died around 1905 there and Kebeth died August 13, 1905 of consumption at age 28.
Land for the McNeil Island Cemetery was donated by island pioneers, Eric Nyberg and his wife, Martha, and the first of many burials was in October 1905. When the island’s residents were forced to leave in 1936, the cemetery was closed and all remains were exhumed and reburied in cemeteries on the mainland. So the actual resting place of these three is still unknown.

Joseph Chisel

Joe Chisel was a member of the Arctic Brotherhood in 1905 and ran a gambling house and later a General Drug Store in Haines. Seen above is the store he ran with his brother in the 1920’s in Haines. Joe was born on this day, June 6, 1868 in Bavaria Germany
and came to the U.S. with his mother, Frances, in 1869 when he was nine months old. He came to Alaska during the 1897 Gold Rush and changed the spelling of his name to Chisel from Schisel.
His brother Albert was born in Wisconsin (see earlier blog on his untimely death in Haines over a dog.) Joseph died in 1946 in Portland.

family website;

Skagway Hostel Ghost

Skagway’s Alaskan Sojourn Hostel, which is situated in a local gold-rush-era house, recently had a guest report that he felt that his room had been visited by a benign ghost in the night. Although the identity of this ghost is well-known to the owners of the house, and ghost’s descendants in town, I am withholding the name out of respect for the family. Suffice it to say that it was a young man who tragically drowned at a young age in the early 1930s. The present owner of the house says that several years ago, she also saw the ghost calmly descending the stairs, and vanishing before it reached the last step.

Source: Local interview;

Daniel Hachey the shoemaker

Daniel Hachey was born on May 11, 1849 in Bathurst, New Brunswick.
This photo taken by Barley shows Hachey, a cobbler, standing with a shoe and hammer in his hands next to another man in front of his tent store in White Pass City. If your shoe was coming apart, he would be your new best friend.
Poor Daniel died only three years later, of starvation, in Seattle on June 28, 1902 in Seattle.

Washington Death records; familysearch; A Wild Discouraging Mess; Yukon Archives photo.

Heywood Walter Seton-Karr

Mr. Seton-Karr was born on this day, June 2, 1859 in Belgaum, India. He became a famous artist, explorer and “archaeologist” and came to the great Northwest in 1886. He kept a wonderful diary in which he sketched scenes such as the one above of Lynn Canal. It looks like Skagway with the jagged peaks behind.
Seton-Karr “discovered” the Altsehk or Dalton Pass near Haines. He died in 1938 in Paddington, England.

The Alaskan of June 28, 1890; Alaska State Archives.

Charles Kreling

Charles was born on this day, June 1, 1871 in New York. His father, Martin Joseph Kreling, born in Germany, moved the family (wife Barbara and 6 kids), soon after to San Francisco.
In 1877 Mr. Kreling thought that San Francisco needed music. Determined to fill that need, he a gave concerts in a former mansion near the foot of Eddy Street by performers that included a ladies’ orchestra from Vienna. When the craze for Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore swept across America, Alice Oates and company performed it in San Francisco, and soon afterward other comic opera companies appeared on the horizon. Kreling hired various members of these companies and with them founded his own opera company in 1879.
Charles grew up with performers and perhaps that is how he came to know Jauquin Miller who he accompanied in 1897 to the Klondike. Charles was a photographer by trade and took photos of the trail and Dawson, although I have not actually seen any of these photos. Charles Kreling died in 1951 in San Francisco.

Seen above is a photo taken in 1878 of the Tivoli Opera House in the Tenderloin of San Francisco.

cameraworkes directory online; J.Miller site; 1880 SF census; SS deth index