The little Card family was photographed by Winter and Pond, Klondike photographers. There are several different shots of them in Dyea preparing to climb the Chilkoot Pass. Ella Clark Card is holding her son who dies shortly thereafter at Lindemann and is buried there with a little white picket fence around his grave, he was 7 months old. Buried next to him is the baby daughter of Mrs. J.D. McKay who also died in 1897 there at Lindemann. I wonder if the two baby ghosts enjoy each other’s company? If you camp at Lindemann and hear babies crying, don’t be surprised…
Ella and Fred pushed on and she ran the hotel Cecil in Dawson by 1903. Ella died on this day, February 11, in 1927 possibly in Fairbanks.
John Battist Bassett is the packer actually pulling the cart and in front of him is Joe LaPorte.
AK Searchlight June 5, 1897; Wickersham; Two Years in the Klondike.
Happy birthday to Lieutenant Frederick Schwatka born on September 29, 1849 in Galena Illinois, one of the first white men to cross the Chilkoot Trail.
He went to West Point in 1867 and later by studying law and medicine received degrees in both law and medicine. He then served in the military in the Dakota Territory.
In 1878-1880 he made a trek to find the lost Franklin Expedition. He said it was “the longest sledge journey ever made both in regard to time and distance” of eleven months and four days and 2,709 miles. It was the first Arctic expedition on which the whites relied entirely on the same diet as the Inuit.
In 1883, he was sent to reconnoiter the Yukon River by the US Army. Going over the Chilkoot Pass, his party built rafts and floated down the Yukon River to its mouth in the Bering Sea, naming many geographic features along the way. At more than 1,300 miles, it was the longest raft journey that had ever been made. In 1885 he wrote the Report of Military Reconnaissance in Alaska of his trek in 1883.
He died in 1892 at the age of 43 from poisoning or overdose in Portland and is buried in Salem.
On this date in 1897 there was a glacial outburst of the lateral moraine of the glacier near Sheep Camp on the Chilkoot Trail. This caused a tremendous flood which carried 7 people away. Among those drowned were Aaron M. Choynski and his friend Flynn. Aaron was the brother of Joe Choynski, a nationally known prizefighter. Also killed were Mr and Mrs Crockett who ran a restaurant at Sheep Camp and three unknown persons.
In June 2002 there was another glacial outburst of the West Creek Glacier which caused damage in Dyea. A jökulhlaup is a glacial outburst flood, something that happens when a moving glacier forms a dam. Because ice makes a poor dam, being lighter and softer than rock, the water behind the dam eventually breaks through.
On August 27, 1897 it has been written that a Frenchman, unknown name, was tied to a stake, shot and hung as an example to thieves. Although this story cannot be corroborated, it was said that some lynchings did occur on the trail.
In 1897 there were several U.S. Marshals in both Dyea and Skagway, so if this lynching did occur, it was not in town. Despite Skagway’s reputation for lawlessness, this period was mostly in the spring of 1898 when Soapy’s gang gained control.
Story of Lynching found on p165 of Fetherling: The Gold Crusades