This Case and Draper photo of the train in 1905 shows how much of the landscape was “scalped” for building and firewood. I don’t know exactly where this was, somewhere on the other side of the pass in Canada.
Mr. Edwin Ridd was born in 1860 in Dover England and ran the Hastings Sawmill in Atlin in 1906. As a lumberman he regularly must have cut down trees and cut them up for lumber and firewood. And so, it is perhaps karmic that on this day, December 18, 1906 he was hit by a falling limb from a tree and killed. He is buried in the Atlin cemetery.
In honor of Ridd and his run in with the avenging tree, we decided not to go out and murder a young tree and drag it into the house this year. Or maybe it is just in respect of the ancient Celtic Druid beliefs that everything in the universe is alive. Whatever, we will still observe the ancient Druid rituals of hanging the mistletoe over the doorway and call it good.
Atlin 2011 newspaper.
Harry was born in Washington the youngest son to Charles and Joanna Ask who were from Norway and had lived in Minnesota and Washington. Charles and Joanna came to Skagway in the gold rush about 1898 and stayed for many years running a mercantile and grocery store: “Ask and sons General Merchandise”. The store was still running in the 1930’s.
Harry was born on this day, May 8, 1894 and was only 4 when he came to Skagway with his family.
I have seen his name on one of the little plaques under the Mountain Ash trees that were planted along Broadway several years ago. How those little trees survive is a mystery to me, but then how people survived here for decades is as much a mystery. I believe that the family all moved back to Washington in the 1930’s.
The photo above is from Broadway looking south at the harbor. The trees on the right are the commemorative trees, Harry Ask’s is one of these.