The interesting thing about this photo of 2 native women and child packing stuff in 1897 at Dyea is the shape of the canoe which is very traditional, yet this one is not that decorative. It one of the few photos of Tlingit children and women at work.
Here is another picture of that dog and his friends at Dyea in the winter of 1897. Is that a horse or a donkey?
I have never heard of Rock Point Bridge on the Chilkoot Trail, it may be up near Finnegans.
During the winter of 1897 these goldrushers were using sleds to transport their stuff up the Chilkoot Trail. The photo is dated December 10, 1897.
This picture taken in the winter of 1897 and processed on December 10, 1897 shows some goldrushers with their dog on the Chilkoot Trail. It looks like a rather large dog, perhaps a lab or cross. I wonder if he made it to Dawson!
Yesterday I attended a lecture at the National Park Service by M.J. Kirchhoff on violence on the trails and the Soapy story. There was also a critical review of Spude’s book which many agreed had many false assumptions and mistakes. Mark agreed that Jeff Smith’s book on Soapy is a very good reference for students and historians.
Mark’s new book is called “Dyea, Alaska – The Rise and Fall of a Klondike Gold Rush Town” printed in 2012 and available at the Skagway News Depot in Skagway. I leafed through it and was amazed at the incredible collection of historic photos of Dyea that have never been published before. Also at their clarity and good descriptions. Here is Michael Gates description: “Kirchhoff is a widely respected historian whose previous works include an excellent biography of Jack Dalton as well as Clondyke: The First Year of the Rush… Kirchhoff tackles the overlooked aspects of Alaska and Yukon history and fills in the gaps in our understanding of the North…. Kirchhoff’s book charts the rapid decline of Dyea, and offers an explanation for the eventual death of this once bustling community, but you will have to read the book to learn the answer.”
I was also very flattered that he twice referred to this blog and my research! Wow, I feel a little light headed here!
There was some interest in numbers of deaths during the 1897-1899 period from various causes, so I will compile that data later today and do a review on that too.
Me looking surprised….
Arthur was the eighth child born to the Richards family in 1859 in Ohio. His older sister, Clara ran the post office in Dyea, a story which I wrote about earlier here. Apparently her two brothers were also here, Arthur and Daniel.
Arthur was appointed by the U.S. Commissioner to be U.S. Marshal for the Dyea District. In a letter he wrote:
“I have been over the trail to the headwaters of the Yukon several times, to arrest men for getting into rows – generally for using guns…The wonder to me is not so much that men die but that any can survive the hardships. So much packing in mud and wading waist deep in ice-cold water, right from the glaciers above. A good many give up their outfits here for what they can get, and return home. ”
One descendent said that family lore has it that Arthur was responsible for laying the first telephone line from Dyea to the top of the Chilcoot Pass. That would have been during the 1897-98 time as there were several tramways built at that time also. They had better communication then than now, even cell phones don’t always work on the trail today.
He also said ” It is a pleasant trip up here from San Francisco except that accommodations are limited, and while the excitement keeps up the ships will be overcrowded. The steamer I came on, the Mexico, sank on her return trip in 200 fathoms of water and everything lost but the passengers.” this would have been in August 1897 because I found the following article:
The Alaska Searchlight of August 14, 1897 reported on the wreck of the Steamer Mexico: “near the end of Dixon Entrance. The steamer was southbound when it ran upon some hidden rocks at 4 o’clock on the morning of the 6 th . The rocks stove a big hole in the bottom of the boat, but luckily there was not freight on board and the bulkhead compartments of the boat kept it afloat for about two hours, when it finally sank in 100 fathoms of water. The shock caused confusion on board and passengers were thrown from their berths. In a few minutes, however the officers quieted down the passengers while the crew quickly launched the boats and every passenger was transferred from the sinking ship. The hand baggage belonging to passengers was taken from the ship and it is reported that the mail was taken off, although it is not definitely known. There were one hundred persons on board….”
1900 census; Daily Alaskan 3/13/1900 (in 2001 Skagway News); Skagway Museum record; CA death rec; Photo and letter courtesy of Diane Richards Design. Information and updates courtesy of Glenn McKinney – many thanks!
Although I have absolutely no record of either Holman or Nurnberg having a store in Dyea, this is how the photo was labeled that sold on ebay recently for $300. If you can blow up the photo note the odd decorations on the sign at the top corners.
There was a Native Cemetery in Dyea which was different from the Slide Cemetery.
In the 1970’s, I believe, the cemetery started to wash into the river, so some of the graves were moved over to the area near the Slide Cemetery. The house pictured above must have washed away. The photo must have been taken prior to the October 1898 issue of Munsey’s where it appeared. I do not know who the man pictured was.
Munsey’s Magazine October 1898; NPS records; A.A. Hill book
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.