I have often wondered about the telegraph lines seen along the road in various places with the glass insulators. In 1898-99 when the narrow-gauge White Pass & Yukon Route Railway was built, from Skagway through the White Pass to Bennett City near the BC-Yukon border, they also put in the telegraph line. Before construction was completed in July 1899, the Canadian Privy Council approved the extension of the telegraph line to Dawson City and a spur line to Atlin, British Columbia, where a gold strike had occurred the previous year. Construction on the 1,000-kilometre Yukon portion of the Yukon Telegraph line began at Bennett Lake and finished in Dawson City in September 1899 ahead of schedule. Twenty-eight men, four of whom drowned in the Yukon River, completed the work in six months, traveling by waterway and stringing wire at a rate of 10 to 16 kilometres a day. The estimated cost for the project was $135,750. Supplies arrived in Skagway from as far away as Great Britain, including 600 miles of No. 8 (5mm) wire, hundreds of boxes of insulators and side blocks, and provisions for a 100-man workforce. John Franklin Richardson, construction superintendent worked for John Baptiste Charleson the supervisor of construction. J.C. Tache was the chief engineer (seen above in Skagway) and Joseph Gobeil was the private secretary. Even Michael J. Heney helped by supplying pack horses to bring the supplies to the pass. There are lots more really intereting stories about this in the following book: Wires in the Wilderness: The Story of the Yukon Telegraph by Bill Miller
2 Replies to “The Telegraph Line”
Beautiful photo, thanks ! I am the great-grand-daughter of JC Taché (1850-1939) and I was wondering: do you from where this photo comes from ?
I wrote recently a book on JC Taché’s father, doctor Joseph-Charles Taché (1820-1894), in French.
Thanks for answering.
I believe the photo is from the book that I cited in the blog by Miller. I think that I either found it online or borrowed it from the library. You should be able to find it on Alibris.com
Thanks so much for the feedback, do you have any other stories or pictures of JC? – Marlene