Dora Ouellet (or Oullette or Owlette) was born during the Gold Rush, on this day, January 5, 1898 faraway in Pringle in Muskoka and Parry Sound, Ontario.
In the 1930s, Alaska Natives in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region near Bethel had the highest rate of Tuberculosis deaths and illness in the entire world. For 20 years, TB scourged the population throughout rural Alaska. By the mid-1940s, it was estimated that 10 percent of the Alaska Native population had active TB. The epidemic lasted into the early 1960s. One in 30 Natives resided in a sanitarium.
In 1945 the U.S. Health Service opened a tuberculosis sanitarium in the army hospital across the river in Skagway. Nurses came from Sisters of St. Ann in Victoria, B.C. It held as many as 90 patients before closing in 1947.
Poor Dora may have been one of the patients here because she died on July 19, 1946. A total of 56 people died in Skagway between 1945 and 1947, though not all by tuberculosis. Most of the deceased were sent back home, but a few were buried here in the Pioneer Cemetery.
Seen above is Vanilla dressed in her very best. She claims to be an Ouellet.
Skagway Death Record; Ontario 1901 and 1911 censuses.