Jefferson “Red” Saling

Jeff Saling was born on this day, September 1, 1845 in Missouri. He came from Idaho with his two cousins Erwin Mickey and Wiley Anderson to Skagway. However the avalanche of April 3rd 1898 caught Jeff and he was one of the victims buried in the Slide Cemetery in Dyea.

Over the past 113 years, some of the headboards may have been replaced, but in any event, the headboard is wrong according to one descendant. It reads Jeff Saley from Weiser, Idaho but should instead read Jefferson Saling from Mann Creek Idaho. It would seem that his cousins would have given his home town since they were here, it is unlikely that someone here in 1898 would have come up with a name like Weiser.

The spelling of Saling could have morphed due to the lack of upkeep on the headboard.

So here is a perfect example of how unreliable wooden headboards are.

I have often thought that the descendants should be the keepers of their ancestors’ graves and markers. For the municipality to replace all 700 grave markers in the Gold Rush, Pioneer, and Slide Cemetery would be an expensive and difficult process. Fortunately, the descendant is considering making a new headboard as Marshal Rowan’s great granddaughter did last summer. She replaced it with a beautiful and completely appropriate marble marker which the city workers installed.

Seen above is the current marker.



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