Walter and Winnifred were twins born in Seattle in 1904, but they were baptised on this day, July 30, 1907 in the little church seen above in Carcross. Their parents were John Wallin and Mamie Emmerson Scott who moved to Carcross about 1903 and bought the Caribou Hotel from Walmsley there. Johns brother, Alfred helped them run it. John also worked as the town’s first postmaster. The hotel was known as the Scott Hotel and it burned in 1936.
Yukon Archives COR 275 f 6; Explorenorth
Tagish-Tlingit packer Jim Mason or Keish which meant “Lone Wolf”, was also known as “Skookum (the Chinook term for strong) Jim” for his feat of carrying 156 pounds of bacon over the pass in a single trip. As a young man he worked as a packer, carrying the equipment and supplies of early prospectors over the mountain passes from the seacoast to the headwaters of the Yukon river. It was while doing this that he met Carmack, and the two formed a partnership that included Dawson Charlie as well.
Skookum Jim, his sister Kate Carmack and her husband George Carmack as well as Dawson Charley discovered gold at Bonanza Creek in the Yukon. This eventually led to THE GOLD RUSH which affected the entire world.
Jim was part of the Carcross Tagish band born in either Carcross or Dyea about 1856. He died on this day, July 11, 1916 in Carcross of a kidney ailment or Bright’s disease at the age of 60.
Johnson book: Canadianmysteries.ca; Gates; Yukon Archives 1087#8
John Smart was born about 1885 in the Carcross area. He was the son of Dawson Charlie, also known as Tagish Charlie or Káa goox. On this day, May 26, 1903 John was run over by the train at Carcross. He is probably buried in the Carcross cemetery with his father who fell off of the Carcross bridge in 1908. Pictured above is Charlie at the far right with family.
Daily Alaskan May 27 1903; Yukon Archives 1087 #8
Kate Mason also known as Nadagaat Tlaa Kaachgaawaa, married George Washington Carmack around 1889, or so she thought. After finding the gold in the Klondike and starting the whole Gold Rush thing, they became very wealthy and moved to Hollister California. Being away from home was not good for Kate or her daughter Gracie, as George left them and married someone else. Long sad story there, written up many places.
Kate returned home and on this day, March 29, 1920 she succumbed to the flu in Carcross and is buried in the little Carcross Cemetery. She was variously reported to have been born in either 1857, 1862 or 1869 in Tagish, perhaps.
Skagway Death Record and Jennifer Duncan in Frontier Spirit; Wikipedia
Bessie and Edwin Gideon built and owned the Caribou Hotel in Carcross (home of Polly the Parrot).
They lived there for many years and Bessie died on October 27, 1933 on the third floor. It is said that she still haunts the hotel (does Polly sit on her shoulder?). The Hotel is undergoing a complete re-modeling after the murder of the latest owner a few years back, and should re-open soon.
Edwin had died in 1925 and is buried in the Carcross Cemetery, supposedly so is Bessie.
Bessie Trusty had married Edwin Wallace Gideon before 1898 according to a Gideon family website.
On October 24, 1918 the Princess Sophia with all 356 human passengers onboard sank after running aground on the rocks at Vanderbilt reef in the Lynn Canal. There were however, two non-human survivors: one was a dog that jumped ship and swam ashore to save itself (very un-Lassie like, surely he could have dragged a couple of women and children ashore with him).
The other survivor is less known: Polly the Parrot.
Now Captain Alexander and his supposed wife left the mine near Atlin to head south for a holiday (like many of us do these days). Along the way he dropped off his parrot, Polly, who he claimed was over 45 years old, at the hotel in Carcross which also had a bar. When the good Captain and “wife” did not return Polly was left in Carcross where he spouted obscenities at the patrons for the next 50 years. When Polly died he was buried in the Carcross cemetery with a little brass plaque near the gate. Over the years people have added little toys to the grave, although I admit I haven’t been there in 2 years.
When the courts were settling the estate of Captain Alexander, his wife and daughter in England set the record straight that they were not with him on the Princess Sophia. Then who was this mysterious woman who drowned? Hmmm, the clot plickens….
In this photo Capt James Alexander is seated in the middle and “Mrs. Alexander” is holding the bird in the doorway.