In 1893, Captain John Irving of the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company built three boats for his company. The Steamer Tees was built in Stockton-on-Tees in England, and she plied the Inside Passage for 44 years bringing thousands of gold seekers and others to Skagway and Dyea. The Tees was a modern steel hulled, double bottomed freighter with a triple expansion engine, a siren whistle and electric lights. Her top speed was 10 1/2 knots and at 165 feet, had cabin space for 75 people. She came to the west coast in April of 1896 and despite going aground once in 1899, made hundreds of trips north to Alaska. After being acquired by the CPR in 1903 she continued to ply the rough waters off of the rocky coast of Vancouver Island for 10 years. In 1918 she was sent with a crew of divers to salvage the safe off of the Princess Sofia. The safe with $62,000 of bullion was recovered but the Sophia was not able to be salvaged.
Late in life, in the 1930’s she became a tow boat towing scows laden with hog fuel from the Chemainus Sawmills to Port Angeles. In 1937 while towing a barge into Victoria Harbor on a stormy day she was struck by the barge and destroyed.
The ghost of Fannie Hall, a Gold Rush actress who was murdered on the ship in January of 1900 must have gone down with the ship in Victoria Harbor.
The photo above is not the Steamer Tees but is similar.
Frontier Days in British Columbia by Garnet Basque; Klondike Nugget of February 1, 1900.
John Scott ran the Scott Hotel in Carcross 1903. The hotel ran until 1940. He died on this day, August 13, 1920 in Skagway and is buried in the upper Pioneer Cemetery. Above is a flyer from the Skagway Alaskan in 1913.
That makes it look like a great place to stay, wish there was somewhere to stay in Carcross these days, my sources tell me that the Caribou Hotel there that has been renovated since 2004 will reopen next summer. I heard that when the fellow was murdered there in 2004, his head was missing and was later found somewhere else…..oooooohhhhh! I wonder if there will be headless ghosts there, certainly the possibility exists.
Explorenorth.com; Yukon Archives COR 275 f 6
Today a little ghost story told to me yesterday by a visitor from Tok.
Many years ago, this woman, we will call her Mary, inherited a beautiful carved mahogany bed from her family in Pennsylvania. After moving it into her house she started sleeping on it and for a month every night she would have the same nightmare of a woman coming to her and trying to wake her up to go hide, because “he” was coming. After she had hidden she would see the man’s khaki pants and workboots, but never his face. Mary would wake up each night with the same dream.
She finally went to her aunt and told her what was happening. The aunt sighed and said, “I was afraid of that”. The aunt pulled out a big family album and asked Mary to point out the woman if she could. Mary found the woman who had a distinctive “horse-face” and pointed her out. The aunt nodded and said, “Yes, that’s the woman who also would bother other relatives who had slept in the bed”. Apparently, many years ago, there was a man who lived in the house and would come to molest the girl who slept in the bed and the woman would come and try to hide the girl.
After hearing this story, Mary took the bed to the dump and saw it burned because she did not want anyone else to experience this phenomena.
Happy Birthday to George born January 13, 1873 in California, maybe Albany where he had relatives when he registered for the World War One draft. He was a painter and a paperhanger here in Skagway in the 1920’s, and in 1920 he was living at the Golden North Hotel. He died here in 1925, possibly in the Golden North (ghosts anyone?) and is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery.
The picture above is the memorial that used to be at Inspiration Point along the train tracks, dedicated to the pack horses on the trail of ’98. The picture was taken in 1967, I’m not sure if the marker is still there or not.
Bessie and Edwin Gideon built and owned the Caribou Hotel in Carcross (home of Polly the Parrot).
They lived there for many years and Bessie died on October 27, 1933 on the third floor. It is said that she still haunts the hotel (does Polly sit on her shoulder?). The Hotel is undergoing a complete re-modeling after the murder of the latest owner a few years back, and should re-open soon.
Edwin had died in 1925 and is buried in the Carcross Cemetery, supposedly so is Bessie.
Bessie Trusty had married Edwin Wallace Gideon before 1898 according to a Gideon family website.