Heywood Walter Seton-Karr

Mr. Seton-Karr was born on this day, June 2, 1859 in Belgaum, India. He became a famous artist, explorer and “archaeologist” and came to the great Northwest in 1886. He kept a wonderful diary in which he sketched scenes such as the one above of Lynn Canal. It looks like Skagway with the jagged peaks behind.
Seton-Karr “discovered” the Altsehk or Dalton Pass near Haines. He died in 1938 in Paddington, England.

The Alaskan of June 28, 1890; Alaska State Archives.

Max Kollm

Max Kollm was born in 1854 in Germany. He was a member of the Arctic Brotherhood in 1900 here in Skagway. As an artist, one day he noticed that in the spring there appeared in the snow on the mountain above town, the letters “A” and “B”. He brought this apparition to the notice of the National Geographical Society who named it Mt. Arctic Brother. Today we just call it AB Mountain. Max may also have designed the logo for the Arctic Brotherhood.

Max moved on from Skagway and he left Dawson for Fairbanks in 1909. The picture above is an example of his work as a pyrographist done in 1909!
Pyrography has a long history as a decorative technique outside the United States and became a popular hobby in America in the early 1900s with the availability of pyrographic kits and materials. Alaskans adapted the technique to burn images onto moose hide and birch bark. They used pyrography to decorate personal and household items, create vacation mementos, illustrate Alaskan scenes, commemorate events, and honor organizations.
He and his wife Sophie lived in Seattle in 1910 and he was still working as an artist, but then in oil. Sophie died in San Francisco in 1955 but Max does not show up on any death indexes.

Woodcarver online magazine article on Pyrograffitti; Alaska Weekly 1931 article.

Winnifred Marion Telfer

Happy Birthday to Winnifred Telfer born on this day, August 9, 1919 in Skagway. Her mother, Mary Peterson, was the matron of the White Pass Hospital since 1915 when she met Eric Telfer. Eric was an accountant for White Pass. They married in November 1917. Eric took lots of pictures in the years the family lived here and Winnifred donated them to the Canadian Archives. Some photos were of hockey teams, the one above is of the women’s curling team in 1922, Mary Telfer may be in this picture. The family moved south in 1930.

Winnifred stayed in British Columbia most of her life and became a famous artist.

Archives Canada – Eric Telfer fonds. census.

Richard Dick

Last year, September 25, 2008 Richard Dick passed away. He lived in Skagway for 60 years and many who live here miss him. An accomplished carver and artist, like many Skagwegians, had worked for White Pass and as a fisherman. Born in Angoon in 1925 he died in Anchorage.