Steamer Tees

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.

Kathleen Eloisa Rockwell

Happy Birthday to “Klondike Kate” born on October 4, 1876 in Junction City, Kansas. She came to Skagway about 1899 and worked here and in Bennett before going to Dawson.

When Kate first came to Alaska she was not well known. She was just another actress. What made Kate famous was her flame dance. For this dance she would come on stage wearing an elaborate dress covered in red sequins and an enormous cape. She took off the cape revealing a cane that was attached to more than 200 yards of red chiffon. She began leaping and twirling with the chiffon until she looked like fire dancing around. At the end she would dramatically drop to the floor. The miners loved it. She was a hit and was named “The Flame of the Yukon.”

Klondike Kate traveled all over, doing her dancing routines. She boasted later of wearing $1500 Paris gowns and bracelets of purest gold. It was said she mesmerized the men she entertained.

Many books have been written about her including Klondike Kate The Queen of the Yukon and the Last and Mightiest Frontier Gold Rush by Ellis Lucia.
She died in her sleep in 1957 in Sweet Home Oregon.