Two weeks after Kennicott died, Frank Ketchum who was appointed by Kennicott to carry on the exploration, left Nulato with LeBarge and continued up the Yukon. Ketchum was from St. Johns, New Brunswick, Canada and was one of the few original white explorers of the Yukon. He served on the expedition with Kennicott who we met yesterday and is pictured above with Michael LeBarge and the English artist Frederick Whymper (middle). Some records say that Ketchum came to Dyea in 1865 with George R. Adams, it is quite possible as these guys seemed to be everywhere in Alaska and the Yukon. They were made of tougher stuff, methinks.
Adams: Life on the Yukon; Buckley: “Journal of the U.S. Russo-American Telegraph Expedition 1865-67, microfilm at UAF;
Robert Kennicott was born in New Orleans on November 13, 1835. In April 1859, supported by the Smithsonian Institution, the Audubon Society of Chicago, and the Hudson’s Bay Company, he set off on an expedition to collect natural history specimens in the subarctic boreal forests of northwestern Canada in what is now the Mackenzie and Yukon river valleys and in the Arctic tundra beyond. Hudson’s Bay Company fur traders in the area liked him and so Kennicott encouraged them to collect and send natural history specimens and First Nations artifacts to the Smithsonian. He returned to Washington at the end on 1862. With the Civil War in full play in 1862-64, Robert and his younger brother lived in the Smithsonian Castle along with Edward Drinker Cope and other noted naturalists.
He traveled across the Unalakleet portage to Nulato over the winter of 1865-1866 with Charles Pease and 2 Canadians, Frank Ketchum and Michael Lebarge.
In 1866, Kennicott failed to reach Fort Yukon, where he expected to meet another party from the Frazer River. One story says that this failure so preyed on his mind that he took a dose of strychnine. Other reports state that he died of a heart attack, but in any event we know he died on May 13, 1866. His remains were returned to the Kennicott Family plot in Glenview, Illinois at The Grove, which is a National Historic Landmark.
To commemorate his efforts on behalf of science, the Kennicott Glacier, Kennicott Valley, Motor Vessel Kennicott, and the Kennicott River were named after him.
Alaska and its Resources by William Healey Dall; The Dyea Trail January 19, 1898; Wikipedia.
Corporal Ernest Harris signed up for the NWMP in Regina in 1893 and was sent to the post at Tagish on January 10, 1898. After two winters, he went to Skagway on leave in August 1899. It was paradise compared to Tagish. So, he decided he did not want to go back to Tagish. He became ill on March 15, 1900 so Dr. I.H. Moore did an emergency appendectomy on him. Luckily he survived that, but his NWMP Superiors in Tagish were not amused. So they sent Dr. Pare of the NWMP to Skagway to examine him, which he did, and reported that indeed, poor Harris could not travel.
Supt. Steele wanted him declared a deserter on April 6, 1900, but when he received a letter from Dr. Moore, he relented until May 29th when he said that unless Harris went to Tagish he would call him a deserter. On June 30th Harris finally returned to Bennett and Tagish at which time Steele had him examined by Dr. Pare.
So, in June 1900 Z.T. Wood finally declared him a deserter from August 26, 1899 which would prevent him from receiving pay from that time until 1900. What became of poor Harris, we don’t know, but if given the choice of spending another winter at Tagish or in Skagway, one can certainly sympathize.
library and archives Canada on the NWMP personnel records online.
Though I do not know the owner of the Glacier Hotel in Dyea, here is a nice picture of it, with lots of stuff in the foreground.
The first Postmaster (then called Postmistress) was appointed in 1897 in Dyea by President McKinley. That, curiously was a 51 year old woman who came up to Alaska from Boise, Idaho. Clara and her brothers Daniel and Arthur Allen Richards were from a large family. The 8 kids were all born in Middleburg, Ohio to their farmer father and mother, but they had moved to Idaho sometime in the late 1800’s. When the three siblings got to Dyea, Arthur Allen was appointed Deputy Marshal and Daniel was involved in some business.
The real story here was the scandal involving the Dyea post office. While Clara no doubt was working as hard as she could, the post office was a 14X20 cabin that by all accounts was deplorable. On most days the line stretched far and away with 300-400 men hoping to send and receive mail. Clara’s rule was that no man could ask for mail for any more that 2 people. So if a guy came down to get mail for his 8 companions, it would take him all day to get mail. The amount of mail going North from Seattle was stupendous: 8 steamers full per month docked in Dyea. One steamer alone carried 4000 pieces of mail.
Some men wrote to the Postmaster General in Washington that her volunteers were charging 10 cents a letter to patrons. Clara was accused of slackness and inefficiency as well as graft. It was charged that Clara knew about this, but she countered that it was impossible to do the job without additional funds and assistance from government officials in Washington. So the line stretched for hundreds of feet every day. Seen above is the Dyea post office, but I could not find a photo of Clara.
Clara Richards never married and died on December 28, 1928 at the age of 81 in Boise. She is buried in the Morris Hill Cemetery.
Jackson Family website; familysearch; a Marcuse letter of July 6, 1901 called the “Weekly Philatelic Era”; Klondike Saga: The Chronicle of a Minnesota Gold Mining Company By Carl Ludwig Lokke
So this photo was taken on Broadway while they were laying track down the street. Behind you can see the Hotel Rosalie, which I thought was on 4th, but then I recall it was moved there later. Hard to keep track of all the buildings in Skagway as they often grew feet and moved themselves.
So everytime I look at this it seems to SHOUT AT ME!!! The new Junior Ranger center is here – a nice activity for kids. It is on the corner of Broadway and 4th and open Monday-Friday 10-noon and 1-3 p.m.
A researcher just emailed to me this wonderful photo of two Moore family members on the Railroad dock. Note the lettering on the back of the seat that says “Moore’s park” and the dogs pulling the little wagon. I remember seeing other photos of this wagon, but this is the first time I’ve seen this photo. I think that the boy is James Bernard Moore Jr. known as “Benny”. He worked for Columbia Motion Pictures in L.A. and died there in 1960. He was born in 1891 which would have made him about 7 in 1898 which would match the photo. I would assume his dad is driving the wagon, also named James Bernard Moore.
The Reverend Glenk was born on June 2, 1874 in Fort Hunter, New York. He received his Ph. B. at New York University in 1897, his M.A. in 1899, his B.D. at Drew Theological Seminary in 1900 the same year he entered the Puget Sound Conference. He was a professor at Puget Sound University in 1901-1903. During this time he married Phydelia Rebecca Treat on this day, July 11, 1901.
They then went to Alaska in 1903 and by 1905 he was preaching at the Methodist Church here in Skagway. His daughter Esther was born in 1906 presumably here in Skagway, but for sure in Alaska. She joined her sister, Charlotte who was born in 1905 in Bellingham. The Glenks moved back to Bellingham and by 1921 John was working for the State Department of Highways as a statistician. Later they moved to Vancouver Washington where they died in 1956 and 1958.
Seen above is the St. Saviours Episcopal Church in 1906. Perhaps they are pictured in the group.
Alumni Record of Drew Theological Seminary; Washington records; local newspaper.
Coulson was born in 1839 in Indiana. He was the Captain of the McCulloch which was built in 1897 and was Admiral Dewey’s dispatch boat at Manila. On the night of April 30, 1898 Dewey was sneaking into Manila Harbor under cover of darkness. The Spanish garrison at Corregidor caught sight of them and the shots fired at the McCulloch were the first of the Spanish American war. The McCulloch was in the Revenue Cutter Service founded in 1789 by Alexander Hamilton to collect revenue, aid in the customs revenue laws, render assistance to vessels in distress, guard the seals and fisheries, prevent sales of arms and liquor to Indians, supervise lighthouse service, aid in the coast survey and do scientific research. The McCulloch had two rapid fire guns and two magazine guns (taken in Manila from the Reina Cristina a Spanish warship). Anyway, Coulson, seen above on the McCulloch was responsible for all of this and more, on the west coast and would stop at Skagway occasionally. He was made an honorary member of the Arctic Brotherhood here. He died on September 24, 1918 in Berkeley, California.