The Tutshi and the Duchess at Carcross

Here are three alternative White Pass & Yukon Route modes of travel.  The paddlewheel steamer Tutshi is seen here whole before it burned many years ago. On the left is an old White Pass horse drawn wagon. The little Duchess engine which was used over on Lake Atlin is looking alot spiffier here too. These days you are not allowed to climb on top of it and try to pry the pieces off. Kids.

The Duchess was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1878 and John Irving purchased her from the Collieries on Vancouver Island in 1899. She was shipped north on the S.S. Danube and hauled by train to Carcross and then barged to Taku Landing. In 1900 White Pass acquired the interests of the John Irving Navigation Company and the Atlin Short Line Railway. On July 18, 1900 the Duchess pulled the first load across the portage. At $2 fo 4 kilometers it was the most expensive trip in the world. Passengers rode amidst packages and cargo, stamping out cinders and sometimes asked to help push the train the last part over the hill where the grade was 7%. For many years White Pass owned the transportation route from Vancouver all the way to Atlin. The Duchess ran until 1919 when she was replaced by engine no. 51 (one of the two original  Baldwin engines built for White Pass.) In 1932 the other engine, no. 52 was brought there.


Ezra Tobey Pope

Ezra T. Pope was born on March 2, 1868 in Sandwich, Massachusetts. He went to Amherst College from 1886-1889. He then worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad from 1890 to 1894 and then became Superintendent of the Northern Pacific wharves in Seattle until 1898 when the gold rush started and he moved north. He became General Agent for the Washington-Alaska Steam Ship Company and Treasurer for the Southeastern Alaska Fish Company. He was purser on the City of Seattle with Hunter as captain and he was also one of the original members of the Arctic Brotherhood and a City Councilman here in Skagway in 1901. His wife Lona Henrietta and sons Ezra Jr. and Augustus must have also been here. They all moved back to Seattle where Ezra and Lona passed away in 1948 and 1920 respectively. The photo above is definitely on Broadway and may be Ezra. It is a snapshot from Ancestry.

Henry Darling

Henry was born on this day, February 27, 1863 in Port Chalmers, New Zealand. His father John Darling founded the Union Steamship Company which ran steamships from New Zealand to Vancouver, later known as the Canadian Australian line. Henry was schooled in London and then apprenticed to John Gwynes, an engineer there. He then went to India and worked for the British India Steam Navigation Company and the British & Burmese Company of British India. In 1891 he came from Glasgow, Scotland, to British Columbia as the superintending engineer in charge of the building of three steamships for the Union Steamship Company.

Around 1899 he became the general manager of the British Yukon Navigation Company, Ltd., organized by the White Pass & Yukon Route. By 1902 he and his family of four sons and two daughters, living in Vancouver, started their own business in wholesale paints, oils and varnishes. Henry Darling must have died in Vancouver April 6, 1926. The photo above was taken in 1925 and contributed by his great grandson Mark Darling.

British Columbia. from the Earliest times to the present vol 4 1914.

some information and photo contributed by Mark Darling, 2018.

more information can be found at:

Shipwrecks anyone?

For those of you interested in shipwrecks, here is a great site for finding what ship sank on this day in history! Seen above is the S.S. Cottage City in Skagway in 1900. It later ran aground on January 26, 1911 in a blinding snowstorm and heavy fog off Quadra Island, Northern British Columbia. Equipped with a radio they were able to send for help and everyone survived but the wooden-hulled ship was lost.

Horses onboard

These poor horses thought they had it bad onboard the steamship – assuming they even made it off the ship at Dyea or Skagway without breaking a leg, the worst was still to come.
This drawing was made from an early photo by Tappan Adney in 1898.

Pierre Humbert

Mr. Pierre Humbert Jr. was a millionaire Boston Banker who had a passion for moving things. So he started the Humbert Transportation Company and the Alaskan and Northwester Railway Company in 1898. He is most famous for transporting 200 cattle from Seattle to Haines to drive to Dawson to feed the starving miners in November 1897.
But even more amusing is the story which appeared in the Evening Times (Washington D.C.) of April 20, 1897 for Cripple Creek, Colorado on April 17.
“There is a report of an SOS which was dropped from an airship. Three crew members, Pierre Humbert of Boston, Massachusetts, C.J. Pillsbury, and C.D. Novina of Paris placed a note in a bottle and threw it at a witness on the ground. The note said that the airship had not been able to land for more than two weeks since landing in Kansas and that they had run out of food. It appeared that they had lost control of their vehicle and did not know whether they would survive the rest of the flight. It was not clear what the observer on the ground was expected to do. There is no report of an airship crashing anywhere in that year, so the final disposition of the crew is unknown.”
Well, obviously they did land and perhaps Mr. Humbert decided he would stick to land-based transportation following this little air adventure.

Minter p 125; Acts of the legislature of WV online; Kansas City Journal Nov 2, 1897;

the Pullen taxi

A nice early photo of Harriet Pullen on her wagon. Imagine being picked up from your cruise ship by this conveyance and transported to your hotel on 7th.

Archie McLean Hawks

Archie McLean Hawks was born in Detroit in 1865 to a family with a long history of law and engineering. In 1886 he came west and worked as a construction engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad in Wyoming and Colorado. He later worked on the bridge in Kansas City and the waterworks in St. Louis. He worked in Arkansas and later Denver on electric railways. In 1891 he went to Tacoma and became the engineer in charge of the Tacoma Light and Water Company. He worked as an engineering consultant for the cities of Vancouver, Victoria and Juneau to supply hydroelectric power for the mines at Treadwell, Perseverence, and Sea Level Tunnel.
Hawks wrote a book called “Enchantment,” that described his 1870 train trip from St. Louis, Mo. to Bristol, R.I.

He is known in Skagway for being the Engineer for the CR&T Tramway which was on the Chilkoot Trail. The Chilkoot Railroad and Transport Company (CR&T) was the largest, most comprehensive, and last of the Chilkoot Trail tramways to be constructed.

At first, they toyed with a horse-drawn tramroad and even a railroad going straight up the Taiya River valley, but financial restraints tempered these plans. The company settled on a wagon road to Canyon City, a two-stage aerial tram system (Canyon City to Sheep Camp and Sheep Camp to Stone Crib), and contracted packing services from Stone Crib to Lake Lindeman. This system enabled the company to be the first to offer an integrated transportation option that would transfer prospectors’ gear from the wharfs of Dyea to Lindeman City.

Construction began in December 1897 and both trams began running by May 1898. While CR&T merged with the Alaska Railroad Transportation Company and the Dyea-Klondike Transportation Company just a month after CR&T opened its trams, its infrastructure was heavily used well into June 1899 when the White Pass and Yukon Route railroad construction reached Lake Bennett in British Columbia effectively rendering CR&T obsolete. Even then, however, CR&T’s freight rates were comparable to those of the railroad and so in 1899 White Pass and Yukon Route purchased the Chilkoot Railroad and Transportation Company’s trams and began dismantling them beginning in January 1900 and finishing by April of the same year.

Archie Hawks died on this day, March 8, 1963 in Santa Barbara at the ripe old age of 98. He is buried in the Madronia Cemetery in Santa Clara County.

A History of the Puget Sound County, 1903 online; Martinsen; California death index; the Winterthur Papers online

John Schyler Killmore

John Killmore was born on this day, February 3, 1873 in Missouri. In 1898 he joined the throngs coming to Dyea where he ran a freighting business from Dyea to Sheep Camp for 4 months. He was successful for a short time, but as business waned he sold his outfit and returned to the Kittitas area of Washington. He married Kate, settled in Ellensburg and farmed until his death in 1959 at the age of 86. Seen above is the farm area in that part of Washington – maybe I’ll retire there too!

Ancestry bio from 1904; Washington state records

Capt. Charles E. Peabody

Love that snappy beard!

Born in Brooklyn New on December 4, 1857, Charles Peabody was from a famous old family that launched the Black Ball Line in 1818 out of a New York pier. He was a stockbroker on Wall Street, temporarily leaving the family’s profession on the sea.
Through family connections he was appointed special agent for the West Coast, where he managed the U.S. Revenue Cutter service. Leaving for the West at age 25 in 1882, he met a Miss Lilly Macaulay on the train.
Lilly’s father was William J. Macaulay, an early day lumber king on Vancouver island. As Charles pursued Lilly over the next few years, his father-in-law liked the cut of his jib and the two, along with Robert Dunsmuir, formed the Victoria Lumber & Manufacturing Co. at Chemainus, British Columbia.
Peabody became business manager and soon married Lilly on May 27, 1891. They made their home in Port Townsend, where Peabody had become prominent in the coal industry, logging operations and the Merchants Bank. Peabody and Oakes became partners in the Pacific Wharf Company there in 1891 and steered it through the financial shoals of the 1893 panic. On January 21, 1895, the partners, along with others, formed the Alaska Steamship Company. They bought the 140-foot steamer Willapa and placed her on the route to Southeastern Alaska in direct competition with the established Pacific Steamship Company. Back at the end of 1897, Charles E. Peabody reorganized the Alaska Steamship Company and his fleet expanded rapidly as the Klondike gold stampede mounted. In 1898 the stockholders formed the Puget Sound Navigation Company [PSN] as an inland water subsidiary.
Captain Peabody came to Alaska and joined the Arctic Brotherhood here in Skagway in 1900.
He also urged Bracket to build the road. He died on this day, August 12, 1926 of appendicitis in Seattle.;