Cost of freight 1900

In a Northwest Mounted Police Report of 1900, the cost of freight on White Pass from Skagway to Whitehorse was 4 1/2 cents per pound (a distance of 110 miles). It was observed that this was high but certainly not as high as it had been before the railroad was built. Then, by horse, it was 40 cents to $1 a pound.

William Arter

William Arter was born on July 20, 1882, the oldest of eleven children in Bagthorp, Norfolk, England. In 1901 he was working on board the HMS Jupiter in Gibralter. He jumped ship in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1905. In 1914 he was living in Skagway and met Caroline Louella Sundeen (born July 25, 1894) and they went to Whitehorse and were married in May, 1914. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Railway Car-Men in 1915 and was working for White Pass doing car repair. He and Carrie had 5 children and moved to Tacoma.

By 1918 he was a railroad car inspector in Seattle when he registered for the army. He lost one brother in World War One and one brother in World War Two. Although Carrie died at a young age in 1937 in Tacoma, William lived to be 88 and died on April 6, 1970 while residing at Olympia, Washington.

Seen above is the train on Broadway looking south, a Dedman’s photo.

1915 dir; colonist newp in Victoria 1916 mentions his bro KIA in France; Railway Carmens Journal #20 online; 1900 census; 1910 census; Dawson Daily news for June 1, 1914.

Rosalie Hotel from behind

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.

Jack Hoyt

Jack was born in 1904 in Oregon and came to Skagway around 1929 and worked for White Pass as a boilermaker. He was Mayor of Skagway during World War two. If you have ever visited Oahu, Hawaii and gone to the Dole plantation which is about half way between Honolulu and North Shore, they have a very cute tourist train called the Pineapple Express. It has rails about 24 inches apart. Jack Hoyt built this little tourist railroad in 1969. I don’t know how much of the original train that he built is still running, but it is a favorite tourist attraction still.

The Telegraph Line

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

Albert B. Towne

Albert was born on June 7, 1842 in New York. In the Civil War he was a private in the Ohio Infantry from May 1861 to August 21, 1861. After that he eventually ended up in Skagway Alaska where he worked for White Pass as a wharf baggageman and later as a foreman. There were a few Civil War vets in Skagway in those years. They must have had some good stories to tell.
Albert stayed here until about 1914 when at age 72 he moved to Snohomish where he died, on this day, April 16, 1914, and is buried in the GAR cemetery there. His death certificate said he was working as a painter then.

1905 and 1915 directories; rootsweb and civil war vets of Washington online.

Bridge Builders

This Barley photo shows the bridge builders enjoying lunch near the bridge and tunnel. Records show that John “Nels” Hansen, Carl Arthur Larson and James McDonald were bridge foremen then. Daniel McDougall, James Cavanaugh Sturgill (brother of Garland Sturgill) and George Brown were other bridge carpenters. They built the 19A bridge well, it survives to this day, but is not the bridge that the train crosses over now, that is a newer bridge.

Rotary accident

On February 28, 1902 there were two German men pushing a sled north of White Pass along the rail line. The snow was about 3 feet high on each side and apparently one of the men became confused when the train approached and fell in front of the snowplow. The Yukon paper reported his name was Hauser and that he had a wife and kids in Coulee Washington but the Skagway paper reported his name was O. Hauseman and that he had relatives in Oregon. He apparently stayed at the Portland Mizpah Hotel in Skagway before his fateful trip. I could find no record for either name in either Washington or Oregon, so presumably it is screwed up somehow.
Makes you look at that rotary with a little more caution…

Skaguay News March 2, 1902 on microfiche.

Engine No. 59

Built in Philadelphia, engine No. 59 was a Baldwin 4-6-0 purchased new in 1900. This ten-wheeler had a long-boiler that had substantially more heating surface area. The grates and fireboxes were relatively small, however. It was scrapped in 1941.;


This photo of men working on the railroad line says Dedman Studio Skagway, but it looks like it is alongside the Yukon River with the Steamships. My guess it is Whitehorse, or possibly Carcross.