Tagish Charley

Tagish Charley or Charlie was born about 1865 in Tagish. He was a noted packer as seen above in this Hegg photo. His native name was Yeil Saagi Yelidoogu Xoonk’I Eesh. His wife was Nadagaat. Tagish Charlie, who later became known as Dawson Charlie, was Skookum Jim’s nephew. Patsy Henderson was Charlie’s brother. He guided early parties, but was not involved in the discovery of gold (that was Kaa Goox). Tagish Charley was a member of the beaver clan.

He drowned in Carcross on November 15, 1905 and is buried there.

Canadianmysteries.ca; Pierre Berton.

Bargain Cruise

I saw this on Ebay and was wondering where one could get such a good deal today!
train from San Francisco to Seattle and then cruise to Skagway, then take the train to Carcross with sidetrips to Taku all for $453 for three persons.

The “Snow King” and the last spike.

Charley Moriarity or Moriarty (otherwise known as the “Snow King”), was the head of the track-laying gang on the White Pass. He was a silent, red-headed Irishman and had a great capacity for working himself, and getting others to work.
Many people have been given credit for putting in the last spike on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad at Carcross on Sunday, July 29, 1900.
In the book “On the White Pass Payroll” Graves describes a list of people attempting to drive the last spike with pathetic results. After all the pomp and ceremony, he states,
“Then everybody cheered and a continuous clicking noise announced that the films yet remaining in their Kodak’s were being used up, and there was a lot of hand-shaking. In the middle of this the corner of my eye caught the “Snow King” sneaking up with a spike puller which he stealthily applied to the dilapidated last spike. Poor thing, it didn’t take much pulling z- it was glad to go, and Charley quietly marked the hole with a piece of chalk for the subsequent attention of his track men. I was rather pleased with the evidence of strict attention to business even in the midst of pleasure.”

Mr. Patsy Henderson

“Kulsin” Koolseen was Tagish Charlie’s youngest brother. He was with George Carmack when the gold was discovered in the Klondike. He was the only original member of the Discovery Party (although he was back at camp at the time of actual discovery) to record the history of the discovery on tape. As a young man, he wanted a white man’s name, so Carmacks gave him one: Patsy Henderson.

He was born in 1879 maybe in Tagish and worked for White Pass as a storyteller in Carcross. He also had a fox ranch in Carcross. In 1950 he wrote “Early days at Caribou Crossing and the Discover of Gold on the Klondike”. He died in 1966 and is buried in the Carcross Cemetery.

Thornton; Duncan Frontier Spirit

Bishops Bompas and Stringer

This photo was taken in 1904 because the baby was born in December 1903. Bishop Bompas was 70 years old and died two years later in Carcross. Bishop Isaac O. Stringer took his place. Minnie Wilson on the far left looks a little naughty especially with Charlotte Selina giving her a firm sidewise look! The gal on his left is Gertrude Alice Bompas, his neice.

from “the Rush for Souls – Missionaries, Mayhem and Memories on the 100th Anniversary of St. Paul’s Pro-Cathedral, Dawson city, and St. Barnabas Church, Moosehide” 2002 by Ken Spotswood. I purchased this book in the Log Cabin Museum in Whitehorse on Monday. I will have other little stories from that in coming blogs.

Tagish Charley

Yeil Saagi Yelidoogu Xoonk’I Eesh. His mother was Nadagaat Tlaa Kaachgaawaa who was sister to Kate Shaaw Tlaa Mason (Mrs. George Carmacks). Tagish Charley’s wife, also named Nadagaat froze to death in a blizzard on the Chilkoot Pass with her infant in 1890, while her husband was leading a party on the trail.

Charley was born about 1865 in Tagish. He guided early parties but was not involved in the discovery of gold.

He drowned in Carcross on November 14, 1905 and is buried in Carcross, his headstone shows him to be of the beaver clan.

Canadianmysteries.ca; Pierre Berton; Jennifer Duncan Frontier Spirit p 69

Daisy Mason

A new photo of the headstone in Carcross Cemetery of Daisy Mason, daughter of Skookum Jim Mason. She studied drama in San Francisco. Later, she had to sell her house to pay for her dad’s funeral. I will post her dad’s headstone tomorrow.

All of the graves in Carcross are surrounded by little white picket fences. Located on the shores of Lake Nares just south of the bridge in Carcross, this cemetery is seldom visited but has some of the most famous people of the Yukon. If you do decide to visit please be respectful as it is a First Nations Historical Site.

photo by Reed McCluskey

Polly the Parrot

Although I have blogged about Polly before with a real picture of her, here is a picture of her gravestone. They claimed she was born in 1850 and died in 1972 but I have a hard time believing that. Since she was just a bird she did not have a birth certificate to prove she was born then, but who knows? She lived in the Carcross Bar/Hotel from 1918 when left there by the owner who died on the Princess Sophia. I talked to some folks who remembered her and said she was green and said naughty things, but they could not remember what exactly…..

photo by Reed McCluskey

Samuel Haughton Graves

Mr. Graves was born in 1852 in Chicago, Illinois. He came to Skagway as the President of White Pass in 1898. He drove the ceremonial golden spike which finished the railroad line from Skagway to Whitehorse. This happened at Carcross on July 29, 1900.
So much has been written of him and his work supervising the 35,000 workers who built the railroad that I would not know where to begin.
Seen above is the administration building that once housed the offices of the White Pass President and staff. Today it is the administration building of the National Park Service. Graves’ office is the corner office overlooking the station and the harbor and is now the park’s Superintendent’s office. The office next to that was the railroad’s chief of operations but is now the park’s chief of administration (my husband, Reed). Some winter evenings when I go over to meet him for our walk home, the office is quiet and yet the ghosts of those great men linger on, I can almost smell the cigar smoke…
Graves died on this day, November 11, 1911 of a heart attack in Ottawa but is buried in the Graceland Cemetery in Chicago.

On the White Pass Payroll by Graves, 1908, Chicago; Minter

John William Scott

John Scott ran the Scott Hotel in Carcross 1903. The hotel ran until 1940. He died on this day, August 13, 1920 in Skagway and is buried in the upper Pioneer Cemetery. Above is a flyer from the Skagway Alaskan in 1913.
That makes it look like a great place to stay, wish there was somewhere to stay in Carcross these days, my sources tell me that the Caribou Hotel there that has been renovated since 2004 will reopen next summer. I heard that when the fellow was murdered there in 2004, his head was missing and was later found somewhere else…..oooooohhhhh! I wonder if there will be headless ghosts there, certainly the possibility exists.

Explorenorth.com; Yukon Archives COR 275 f 6