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.
Several years ago while researching my husband’s family I found this story of his many times great grandfather, John Champness Austin. Austin was born on March 27, 1690 in Pembury, Kent England and died in 1759 in Lunnenburg, Halifax County Virginia. How he came to live in Virginia is the story below related by Reed’s great great grand uncle, John Overton Austin (1819-1910):
“I write things that I remember, that my Grandfather and Uncle Wat [Walter] Austin told me, when I was a boy. What I write, I remember well, being 10 or 12 years old. My Great Grandfather was banished from England, to the Colonies, in America for killing a man. The circumstances were about this. The people of England were divided, in their opinion, about witches, hobgoblins, and other scary things that appeared after dark. Some believed there was such things others did not. Grandfather, made fun of those who believed such nonsence [sic].
“One man said he would bet $100.00 dollars that no man could cross a certain old bridge, built on a milldam, that was said to be haunted; that no man could cross that bridge, after dark that he would be scared back, by scary things.
“Now said he, ‘I will bet 100 dollars with any one, who will undertake it.’ Our Great Grandfather was then a young man, and was not afraid of anything. So he took their bet and the money was put up. When the day came there was a crowd on each side of the bridge, to see him cross. He was not allowed to have any weapons but a finger stone in each hand.
“When he got about midway the bridge he saw a white object rise up before him. He stopped near the hobgoblin. He spoke in a loud voice, ‘Who comes there 3 times.’ Not a word was said. The thing stood still. It looked like a man wrapped in a white sheet. It stood in his way. He stepped a few steps nearer, and stopped. Now said he, ‘Man or spirit, or whoever you are, get out of my way. I am going to cross this bridge.’ But the thing stood still. He threw a rock. They heard the rock strike the ghost, and Mr. Ghost fell dead, and young Austin walked by him across the bridge, and won the money.
“The next morning, they found the ghost to be a dead man, wrapped in a white sheet. It caused great excitement. A search was made, and they found, that a gang of men had a den in the old dam making counterfeit money. The discovery of this den, of counterfeiters, pleased the English people so much, that fearing that some of his enemies might seek his life, they put him on a ship and sent him to America, to the English Colonies for safety. ”
Seen above is Pembury England where it all began.
This major flood happened in Skagway in September 1919. This is when the train tracks crossed the Skagway River and ran on the west side of the river and then crossed back to the east side up the way.
“Passenger Trains Between Skagway and Whitehorse Stopped by Flood
Last Friday rain started to fall in torrents in the mountain surrounding Skagway and by the following morning the Skagway river was a raging flood, filled with trees and driftwood, that carried all before it. Four bents were washed out of the railroad bridge near the car shops and eleven bents out of the railroad bridge at four mile post. The weather reached the decking of the first bridge and the driftwood pilling up against it threatened at one time to cause the whole structure to go out, but a flat car with a derrick aboard was put into operation and the trees and logs hoisted over the bridge and dropped into the stream below. The government bridge across the Skagway river at Twenty –Second street was damaged to the extent of having the center span carried away.
At the height of the flood there was a White Pass train stranded between the first and second bridges, but since then the first bridge has been repaired sufficiently to get the train into the yards shops.
After the rain started to fall it continued to pour down almost without cessation until yesterday afternoon, when it commeneed to let up, and the weather was reported to be clearing and river falling.
Section men from Carcross, Pennington, Bennett, Log Cabin, Summit and Glacier were rushed over to Skagway to assist in the work of controlling the flood and are still there.
Yesterday afternoon a telephone message was received here from General Manager II. Wheeler at Skagway, saying that the Skagway river was threatening the track near Boulder and asking that a work train be made up here and rushed over with a load of sacked gravel to use in checking water’s inroads. The train, consist of an engine and three flat cars left here at 7 o’clock this morning to load 500 sacks of gravel at the 98 mile post.
A train was run from Whitehorse Tuesday and the passengers and mail transferred at the washout. They connected with the Princess Alice, which sailed from Skagway Wednesday night. There have been no train since then and it now seems probable there will not be until Saturday or Sunday.
There is a lot of perishable and other freight for the interior now in Skagway which cannot be moved until regular train service is resumed, which will likely be first of next week.
Whitehorse Weekly Star, Friday, September 19, 1919
Major Kinney arrived on the Steamship Elder in 1897. He joined the Arctic Brotherhood and built a bridge over the Taiya River. He had the “Chilkoot Tramway Company” one of several companies that built tramways up the Chilkoot Trail. He later platted the little town of Atlin.
Born on this day, August 26, 1855 in Jacksonville, New Brunswick, Canada he moved around quite a bit. After leaving Alaska he moved to North Bend Oregon.
Sight unseen, Lorenzo singled out Coos Bay as a development plum ripe for the picking. Coos Bay was already a burgeoning seaport with lumber, shipbuilding and fishing as solid economic foundations.
Kinney was fresh from failures in Alaska and Canada, and had no money. Still, Kinney had rich friends and an intense personality plus a persuasive speaking style that readily secured money and credit. From 1902 to 1914, he was Coos Bay’s chief promoter and pitchman or “instigator,” as he preferred to be called. He was a man with a prolific capacity for words and whose name was a household word around Coos Bay. But by any measure, Kinney fit the category “odd.”
According to a posting on genforum, he was something of a rogue and spent time in the Oregon State Mental Hospital: Diagnosis: manic-depression. He died there of pneumonia on Aug. 9, 1920.
The book “Instigator: The Troubled Life of Lorenzo Dow Kinney”, 2008, by Richard and Judith Wagner chronicles Kinney’s life. It reviews his beginning in New Brunswick his time in Virginia, Utah, Alaska, British Columbia and focuses on his years 1902-1914 on the Coos Bay in Oregon where he promoted railroads, streetcars and land.
Picture above is of a Tram on the Chilkoot Trail, possibly his.
1900 census; National Park Service Dyea info; genforum Kinney family; Minter; Oregonlive article by John Terry from October 30, 2009.