It has been raining off and on for several days here in Skagway. Grrrrrrr! So we check the River gauge to see if it will reach flood stage:


When I worked at White Pass I saw in the vault a very old map of town that showed the areas that flooded in 1912, I think. I saw that the creek overflowed and so did the Skagway River, but there were certain houses that did not flood. It was then that the river took out part of the Gold Rush Cemetery. Many graves were washed away and people did not replace the headstones or headboards. When you look at it today you will see a definite earthen bench where it is nearest the railroad tracks. I believe that in that section there were more babies buried, as I know of one, whose descendant in town here told me about. The other graves in that lower section are of babies, so that is my conjecture.

The scene above is from the lower Chilkoot Trail July 14, 2003… Yikes, that’s cold!

Ida May Dillon

Ida May was Marshal Dillon’s daughter. She married Charles Olsen or Olson and on this day, June 24, 1908 she gave birth to a son, Philip E. Olson but unfortunately Ida May died in childbirth. She is buried in the Gold Rush Cemetery and has a delightful grave with a long flower pot on the top that often has wildflowers blooming.
Her son, Philip was adopted by Carl Larson and Edith Feero Larson. Philip stayed in Skagway and was a White Pass employee. His daughter still lives in Skagway part of the year. The Larsons went on to have four more kids, Stewart, Uremia, Ellen and Velma.
I have never heard what became of Charles Olson, his father, perhaps he was too young to care for his son and left town.
Ida May Dillon’s grave is seen just to the left of the new black platform above.

deadly Chamber of Commerce meeting

Henry Clay Parker was one of the members of the Chamber of Commerce meeting in Skagway held on March 28, 1900. During the meeting he had a heart attack and died. What were they discussing?
Mr. Parker was born on this day April 17, 1848 in Illinois and came to Skagway with his wife and son. He worked with Aggers in a business they called appropriately Parker and Aggers, but what they did is a mystery.
His wife had his funeral held in the new Arctic Brotherhood Hall, it was the first funeral held here in the hall. Henry was a member of the AB and apparently also the International Order of Odd Fellows as that is also on his headstone, seen above in the Gold Rush cemetery.

Alaska Weekly 1931 article;Skag death rec;

Isaac S. Mallette

Another of the lost records from the Gold Rush Cemetery. There were actually two Isaac Mallette’s – ours died on this day, March 24, 1899 in Skagway and is buried here. His nephew, I believe, also from Iowa stayed in the Yukon, mining gold and then staked a land claim in Mayo, Yukon in 1912.

Lorene Gordon’s list.

Charles Hilty

Charles was a member of the Yukon Order of Pioneers. He was an early gold rusher coming to Skagway about 1893. He went on to Hunker Creek and Bear Creek, and made gold claims.
He met a nice German lady in Skagway about 1897, Carolina Bernhoeffer. She and her sister Mary (see earlier blog) ran the hotel “New Home Restaurant & Lodging house”. Carolina may not have ever been married. In any event, she went with Charles to the Yukon and was recorded in 1901 living with him there. They must have married soon after. Carolina was known as “Dutch Lena” and ran several hotels including the Hotel Skagway 1898, Bernhofer’s Roadhouse, Klondike 1901, the Travelers Home in Bear Creek in 1904, cook for Rigley & Templin in Council Alaska in 1905, and washer for Cascade Steam Laundry in Fairbanks. Carolina Hilty died in Skagway in 1906 and is buried in the Gold Rush Cemetery. I blogged on her earlier before I found the connection with Charles. I believe there are some errors on the headstone.

Meanwhile, Charles got into a shooting scrap in Tanana, Alaska and the Pioneers advanced him $1000.00 for lawyer fees. He was acquitted and repaid the money. The Yukon Order of Pioneers motto was “do as you would be done by”. It was formed during the Gold Rush era to ensure stampeders’ rights were protected.
Charles Hilty died on this day, December 9, 1920.

Yukon Genealogy site; 1901 Yukon census Volume YRG1 page v76 as posted also on the Yukon Genealogy site; Gold Fields of Alaska online no date.

John Holland

Several decades ago, the city clerk of Skagway went to the Gold Rush Cemetery and wrote down the names on the headboards that were still visible. Some were names of folks not recorded in the death records or on any other list or census. John Holland is one of those. We only know that he was born in December of 1849 and died on April 18, 1899 in Skagway and is buried in plot number 75. My notation for this is just “Lorene’s list” for the lists that Lorene Gordon gave me when I started this project.

So who was John Holland? Perhaps he fled the lower 48 to avoid being confused with this John Holland who invented the submarine, seen above in his fantastic creation in 1898.

“Lorene’s list”

John Albert Baughman

Dr. John Baughman was a Physican and assayer. He was born in Barberton, Ohio on March 10, 1856. I read somewhere that his family was Jewish which would add to my growing list of Jewish families in Skagway in the gold rush, but I cannot find that source again, so just a possibility there.
After graduating from college as a doctor, John Baughman married Mina Barber in Manistique, Michigan on February 25, 1897. Struck with gold fever Dr. Baughman joined the stampede to Dawson in 1897. Expecting to practice medicine there, he found the profession barred from him because he was not a Canadian citizen, so he joined in the search for gold.

Later her returned to Michigan where he brought his wife to Skagway in 1899. Dr. Baughman practiced medicine in Skagway until 1905. Their first son, Paul was born here in 1899 but died in 1904. Their second son born in 1903 also died in 1903 and both are buried in the Gold Rush Cemetery. Their daughter Dorothy, born around 1905 lived a long life and is buried in Juneau.
After leaving Skagway in 1905, the family moved to Seward where Dr. Baughman was a doctor for many years and established the Pioneer Hospital, ministering to a large section of Alaska. While in Seward, he was Game Warden of the Third Division for eight years. He also operated a drug store. The Daily Alaska Empire obituary said he was Alaska’s oldest physician when he died on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1937 in Juneau. He was a life member of the Masonic Order, affiliated with the organization for 45 years. He is buried in the Juneau Evergreen Cemetery.

1902 directory; Juneau Evergreen records; family search; The Daily Alaska Empire–Friday, 26 November 1937-Page 1 & Page 8.

Henry Cross

Henry was born in 1844 in Germany. He shows up in the 1881 census as a miner in the Cassiar District, and then he came to Skagway and worked on the railroad. Unfortunately he got caught between cars and was crushed to death on this day, November 7, 1901 and is buried in the Gold Rush Cemetery. Another White Pass fatality.
Seen above is a great photo of a train accident, though not from Skagway.

Skagway Death Record

Infant Mortality

On September 20, 1900, three babies died, Elias Rudd, Constant Schemich, and one of Kitty Smith’s babies. The only cause of death listed on the Skagway Death Records was for Constant and that was for brain fever. They were buried in the Gold Rush Cemetery. The influenza which spread over the world in 1918 reached Alaska in force in 1919 and 1920.
Then in 1935 on September 20 Leonard A. Sweeney, another newborn, died and is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery. In those days folks had a curious penchant for photographing dead people in their coffins.

Skagway Death Record

Who was John Barring?

Very little is know of John Barring. The Skagway Death Record said he was about 35 years old and from San Francisco. He died on this day, August 18, 1900 and is buried in the Gold Rush Cemetery.

There was a John Barring that was married in 1858 in San Francisco to Margaret Evans. Perhaps those were his parents. Most of the records of births, deaths and marriages in San Francisco were lost in the earthquake and fire in San Francisco in 1906, but a man named Jim W. Faulkinbury has transcribed many of the records from the San Francisco Call newspaper from 1869-1900. Sometimes those records help in tracing families. See his site at:
On that website there is a Bertha Barring (sister?) married in 1894, but unfortunately no mention of John.
Another explanation for our lack of information is that sometimes headboards have been replaced and the faded names were abbreviated by time.

Skagway Death Record; San Francisco Call; Familysearch.