Seattle based photographer caught many cool images of people coming and going to the Klondike from the docks. Here in this picture from the Elmer A. Rasmuson Library collection at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is a picture taken in July 1899 of nearly $4 Million in gold dust packed into crates. Labeled as the Royal Canadian Force Collection, note the Mountie on the left. Everyone looks sooooo serious!
Wortham was born on August 12, 1873 in Paris, Texas and was the manager of the Clifford Sifton steamer boat on Lake Bennett in 1900. He was a latecomer to the Yukon, arriving in 1900 but was still able to run a business on Lake Bennett then. The Clifford Sifton was built on Lake Bennett during the Gold Rush. Somehow it was later run on the Yukon River, how it got there must have been quite a feat!
Major James Matthew took the above photo of the Clifford Sifton running the Miles Canyon rapids around 1900. This was an extremely dangerous thing to do and only a daredevil would attempt it. The photo below shows it in 1902 on the Yukon River. That photo was taken by M.W. Goetzman.
Wortham died on this day, May 21, 1941 and is buried in Juneau at the Evergreen Cemetery.
Digby Courier June 1900 online; ancestry message board
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….
The Seattle Post Intelligencer sent a man on the “Portland” three days after the historic arrival in Seattle. Samuel P. Weston’s idea was to bring cages filled with carrier pigeons to Skagway and send them south to deliver his reports. Apparently they were all lost on their way south, poor things, they couldn’t make the 1500 mile trip. Seen above is the Portland.
Eccentric Seattle by J. Kingston Pierce, p. 120
Mr. Weimer was born in August 1853 in Ohio. He married Ella J. Tribby in 1879 in Trenton, Iowa and had a son named Howard L.
M.D. K. as he preferred to be called, and Ella were both teachers. In 1897 with so many other goldrushers, M.D.K. came to Alaska and settled in Eagle where he was the editor of the Eagle Reporter in 1898. He returned to Ohio by 1900 and then the family moved to Nebraska and then on to Los Angeles. Their son worked as a linotype printer in Alhambra and married there.
In 1903 he wrote a book called “The True Story of the Alaska Gold Fields” which can be found online for sale. He died on February 2, 1931 in Los Angeles.
In May 2009 ice and floodwaters swept away more than 100 years of history with the destruction of Eagle Village. The small log cabins that had once populated the long-established community known as Ninak’ay to the Han people lay strewn along the banks of the Yukon River. The homes, which had been handed down from one generation to the next, were demolished. But now, three years later, a new village stands three miles away on higher ground, safe from floods. Seen above was one of the destroyed cabins from the gold rush.
familysearch; Yukon the Last Frontier by Melody Webb p. 137; 1900-1940 censuses; Rootsweb database of Iowa cemeteries; Alaska Gold Rush History of Alaska Newspapers; Fairbanks Daily News.