There was a Native Cemetery in Dyea which was different from the Slide Cemetery.
In the 1970’s, I believe, the cemetery started to wash into the river, so some of the graves were moved over to the area near the Slide Cemetery. The house pictured above must have washed away. The photo must have been taken prior to the October 1898 issue of Munsey’s where it appeared. I do not know who the man pictured was.
Munsey’s Magazine October 1898; NPS records; A.A. Hill book
Corporal Ernest Harris signed up for the NWMP in Regina in 1893 and was sent to the post at Tagish on January 10, 1898. After two winters, he went to Skagway on leave in August 1899. It was paradise compared to Tagish. So, he decided he did not want to go back to Tagish. He became ill on March 15, 1900 so Dr. I.H. Moore did an emergency appendectomy on him. Luckily he survived that, but his NWMP Superiors in Tagish were not amused. So they sent Dr. Pare of the NWMP to Skagway to examine him, which he did, and reported that indeed, poor Harris could not travel.
Supt. Steele wanted him declared a deserter on April 6, 1900, but when he received a letter from Dr. Moore, he relented until May 29th when he said that unless Harris went to Tagish he would call him a deserter. On June 30th Harris finally returned to Bennett and Tagish at which time Steele had him examined by Dr. Pare.
So, in June 1900 Z.T. Wood finally declared him a deserter from August 26, 1899 which would prevent him from receiving pay from that time until 1900. What became of poor Harris, we don’t know, but if given the choice of spending another winter at Tagish or in Skagway, one can certainly sympathize.
library and archives Canada on the NWMP personnel records online.
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.
P.C.H. Primrose was born on October 23, 1864 in Nova Scotia. He applied to the newly formed NWMP in 1885 and was commissioned then.
In 1898, at the outbreak of the Klondike Gold Rush, Primrose was assigned to the Yukon, where he was stationed at the H Division in Tagish. He became superintendent of that division in October 1899, then was transferred to become superintendent of the B Division one month later. In 1901, he was posted to Dawson, where he assumed responsibility for 43 Mounted Policemen and 4 other men at the Whitehorse station. During his time in the Yukon, the main role of the police was guarding people awaiting trials and prisoners serving sentences.
Primrose supervised the 1900 Yukon census, reporting to the Commissioner that the territory’s population was 16,463. On May 13, 1900, he fined 31 “members of the sporting fraternity” $55 each, boosting the territorial treasury. Other activities included more community-oriented tasks, such as firefighting when permitted. He returned to Regina in 1914 and worked in many different capacities including being the 5th Lt. Governor of Alberta. He married and had 4 children and died in Edmonton on March 17, 1937.
He is seen above as a young North West Mounted Officer.
In the RCMP report written by Capt. Steele, he mentions Staff Sergeant James B. Hyles who served in Skagway from August 1897 to May 1898. Steele described it as “one of the most disagreeable detachments in my command. His duties were receiving and forwarding mails and stores, giving information to people entering the Yukon Territory…later working in the pay office at Bennett and discharging the duties of acting Sergeant Major at Tagish.”
Hyles had 15 years of service at that time in the NWMP.
Report of the RCMP 1898.
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