Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star, 1930-1939
Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star
Explorer's Guides to Yukon Communities
- May 30, 1930 The steamer Casca makes on May 24, 1930 her first trip of the season as she sails to Dawson.
- August 18, 1933: Klondike Airways Ltd. is awarded the contract for mail service between Whitehorse and Dawson.
- September 22, 1933: Rev. W.A. Geddes is chosen Bishop of the Yukon.
- November 24, 1933: Alan Innes-Taylor is enroute to the South Pole regions with the Byrd Antarctic Expedition.
- January 12, 1934: A fire completely destroys the garage of the Klondike Airways Ltd., the Dawson-Whitehorse mail carrier. The loss includes tools, equipment and freight.
- February 2, 1934 Claire Wernecke is chosen to attend levee at the opening of parliament.
- March 2, 1934 Mrs. W.A. Puckett, a pioneer of the north, passes away in Long Beach, California.
- March 2, 1934 Thomas "Blondie" Mallott, former member of the Northwest Mounted Police, passes away in Tacoma.
- March 23, 1934 Captain William Moore is according to the Whitehorse Star the oldest Alaska and Yukon resident. He has spent over 60 years in Alaska.
- May 25, 1934 William Maher, a resident of Whitehorse since 1899 and Whitehorse's second oldest resident, passes away on May 21, 1934
- June 15, 1934 "Pete" McMillian, well-known Yukon pioneer and manager of the Pioneer and Whitepass Hotels, passes away on May 13, 1933.
- July 6, 1934 The U.S. War Department announces that ten Martin bombers will make a training and photographic flight from Washington, D.C. to Fairbanks, and return. The flight will include a stop in Whitehorse.
- July 6, 1934 Pilot Bob Reeve sets a record in freighting over the last winter season. He transported 88,300 pounds of mining supplies to various points.
- July 13, 1934 On July 5, 1934, a fire in Dawson destroys the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation's machine shop at Bear Creek.
- July 13, 1934 White Pass & Yukon Route enters the commercial aviation business in the Yukon and Alaska Interior with the inauguration of airplane service between Skagway and Fairbanks.
- August 3, 1934 Due to the expanding mining development, thirty dredges are in operation in the Nome district.
- August 24, 1934 Plans for a 2200 mile highway from Seattle to Fairbanks are announced and discussed in the U.S. Congress.
- August 31, 1934 A.T. Taddie is re-elected to the Yukon Council by acclamation.
- September 14, 1934 Ottawa gives green light for the construction of a landing field at Dawson and for the reconditioning of the fields at Whitehorse and Mayo.
- September 21, 1934 The September 19th election for Councillor of the Southern Yukon is won by C.T. Atherton. He has a 4 vote majority over W.L. Phelps.
- September 21, 1934 On September 18, 1934, a disastrous fire reduces Nome to ashes and leaves 400 people homeless. The fire destroyed the business section and practically all of the residential area.
- September 28, 1934 The N.A. Timmins Corporation of Montreal purchases two Carmacks properties each consisting of a number of claims. (see also June 21, 1935)
- November 2, 1934 Archbishop I.O. Stringer passes away October 29, 1934 in Winnipeg.
- November 23, 1934 Pacific Alaska Airways announces to inaugurate in spring 1935 a Juneau-Whitehorse-Fairbanks service. (see also April 6, 1935)
- December 21, 1934 Wilbur D. Greenough, former manager of the Pueblo Mines, passes away on December 20, 1934 in Spokane.
- January 18, 1935 It is announced that illness brought on by his war services may necessitate resignation by George Black, the Yukon's member of parliament.
- February 1, 1935 Four persons are killed in a plane crash 99 miles from Whitehorse on January 30, 1935, the most serious transportation disaster as yet known in the Yukon .
- March 1, 1935 A fire breaks out in the Whitehorse Fire Hall putting the city at great risk.
- April 6, 1935 The landing of the Pacific Alaska Airways 10 passenger Lockheed Electra plane on April 3, 1935 inaugurates the regular flight service between Whitehorse and Fairbanks.
- May 3, 1935 Francis Xavier Laderoute, 95 year old French Canadian from the Yukon, marries Katherine Smithers, 70 of St. Paul, Mineapolis.
- May 24, 1935 A thirty ounce gold nugget, valued at $1,000 is found near Atlin by Allen Morrison, Dan McKay and F. Johnson. This is the fourth big nugget found in the Atlin district since the days of '98.
- June 7, 1935 The steamer Casca opens the new navigation season, leaving Whitehorse on May 31, 1935.
- June 21, 1935 The Timmins Corporation of Montreal stops the development of ore bodies near Carmacks, as the developments had not proved up to expectations.
- July 26, 1935 A fire damages the Canadian Bank of Commerce building.
- August 9, 1935 George and Martha Black move back to Whitehorse from Ottawa.
- October 18, 1935 Martha Black is elected the Yukon Member of Parliament in the October 14 election, defeating J.P. Smith.
- October 18, 1935 White Pass & Yukon Route add an 11 passenger Fairchild seaplane to their air service.
- November 1, 1935 E.J. Hamacher passes away in Whitehorse on October 29, 1935.
- February 7, 1936 A large body of high grade ore is discovered at Carmacks.
- March 13, 1936 Martha Black is the first woman at a Conservative Caucus in the House of Commons. In her first speech before the House of Commons, February 20, 1936, Martha Black makes a plea for a pension for Yukoners.
- March 20, 1036 Dawson is under quarantine, all public meetings and gatherings being banned, due to an outbreak of scarlet fever.
- April 3, 1936 Carl Lykkergard finds in the Atlin mining district a 44 ounce gold nugget worth $1300.
- May 8, 1936: The Dominion government grants in 1936 $70,000 for the Territory. A month later, Ottawa grants an additional $65,000 for improving the roads in Northern Yukon.
- May 22, 1936: Floods of unprecented magnitude cause havoc in the Yukon River Valley from Selwyn to Coffee Creek around May 20th.
- May 22, 1936: The steamer Whitehorse opens the new navigation season.
- June 12, 1936: The steamer Klondike of the B.Y.N. fleet has an accident in the Thirty-Mile River six miles below Hootalinqua. The steamer Whitehorse rushes to help with a rescue crew. On June 19, The Whitehorse Star reports that the Klondike is estimated a total loss.
- June 26, 1936: George Black, former Yukon M.P., resumes his law practice in Whitehorse.
- July 3, 1936: After 29 years in business, the Puckett Hardware store is purchased by Northern Commercial Ltd.
- July 3, 1936 The Mayo Indian village is heavily damaged by flooding. All the residents of the Village had to flee to the high hill across river. The flood current cut away 25 feet of the bank, washed away houses and damaged property.
- July 10, 1936 The steamer Casca hits the wreck of the old steamer Dawson in Rink Rapids on July 9. The Casca sinks very rapidly. All passengers are saved.
- July 17, 1936: The Carcross school and the Scott Hotel are destroyed by fire on July 13.
- August 7, 1936: Officers and enlisted men from Chilkoot Barracks continued their search today for the bodies of Sergeant Oliver Lawliss, his son Dean, and Sergt. Paul McWain, believed drowned in a motorboat tragedy at Dysanki Inlet Sunday night. Read the entire article here.
- August 7, 1936: Fred Webber, deck-hand on the steamer Whitehorse, suffered a painful injury when his leg was broken while he was engaged with the crew in lining the steamer through Hell's Gate on Monday morning. We have reproduced this and several other articles from this issue - see them here.
- September 25, 1936: Starting a short trip down the Yukon River in a canoe at 6 p.m. Monday, Constable J. P. Hartnett, R.C.M.P. officer at Carmacks, and A. R. Hayes, government telegraph operator at that point, had only traveled a short distance when, without warning, the canoe capsized, throwing both men into the swiftly running water. Hayes was rescued, but Hartnett sunk and his body has not been recovered. Read the entire article here.
- September 25, 1936: Bad weather was experienced by pilot Bill Knox, and Operator Bob Gleason of the PAA, who landed their Fairchild plane on the river Monday enroute to Juneau from Fairbanks. Bad weather was experienced most of the way and especially over the White Pass Summit. We have reproduced this and several other brief articles from this issue - see them here.
- September 25, 1936: The Whitehorse Public School is ordered closed for a period of ten days due to an outbreak of scarlet fever.
- October 30, 1936: The Atlin newspaper plant burns down on October 23rd.
- October 30, 1936: Albert F. Zipf, former White Pass traffic manager, dies in Bay City at the age of 62.
- December 4, 1936: Paddy Duncan, Indian of Champagne is charged with the murder of Harton Kane, is sentenced to hang March 23, 1937.
- February 5, 1937: Livingstone Wernecke is picked up at Prince George after he crashed there with his Bellanca plane.
- February 26, 1937: Captain J.E. Hoggan, well known skipper of the B.Y.N. fleet for many years, dies in Mayo on February 15.
- March 5, 1937: The son of George and Martha Black is killed in a car accident.
- March 12, 1937: The Department of Mines and Resources in Ottawa issues of geological map of the Laberge area.
- April 12, 1937: A new era in Yukon's mining industry is ushered in on March 30, 1937 when Everet Wasson, piloting the White Pass Fairchild, delivers miners and equipment to the creeks.
- April 30, 1937: T.C. Richards purchases the Whitehorse Inn and City Café.
- April 30, 1937: Premier T.D. Pattullo announces on April 26, 1937 that the Yukon Territory is to become a part of British Columbia. It is stated that negotiations toward the amalgamation of British Columbia and the Yukon have been quietly proceeding by the Dominion and Provincial governments for some time and the basis of the agreement for the merger is reached. News of the announcement is received "with increduality and righteous indignation" by Yukon citizens.
- May 28, 1937: Navigation on the Yukon river opens May 23, 1937 with the departure of the steamer Nasutlin.
- June 4, 1937: J.J. Elliott opens a branch of his ivory shop at Carcross.
- June 4, 1937 Kate Rockwell Matson, "Klondike Kate", returns to Whitehorse and Dawson.
- June 11, 1937 Whitehorse's new theatre, built by J.R. Alguire, officially opens on June 5th.
- June 25, 1937 It is stated that President Roosevelt is very receptive to a plan to make part of B.C. and the Yukon into an international park and Skagway a free port. It would be the world's first international park.
- July 9, 1937: The first inaugural flight of the United Air Transport mail plane is made which arrives in Whitehorse from Edmonton on July 5th.
- July 9, 1937: Robert Service's mother, Sarah Emily Service, passes away.
- July 16, 1937: Owing to the rapidly increasing air traffic, a new diagonal runway is added to the Whitehorse airfield.
- August 20, 1937: Martha and George Black's eldest son passes away after a prolonged illness.
- November 5, 1937 A new airmail service for Whitehorse - Dawson via Mayo is inaugurated. The contract is awarded to the British Yukon Navigation Co.
- November 12, 1937 The House of Macmillian publishes a book of poems dealing with the north: "Frozen Fires".
- November 26, 1937 A devastating storm strikes the Seward Peninsula at Nome. It not only damages property but also uncovers a new gold area.
- December 3, 1937 Gordon Armstrong is elected president of the Whitehorse Curling Club.
- December 17, 1937 The Junior Board of Trade is organized at Dawson.
- December 31, 1937 The most disastrous fire in years demolishes the Family Theatre at Dawson and the historic D.A.A.A. building.
- January 7, 1938 Northern Airways Company Ltd. is awarded the new airmail contract between Vancouver and Whitehorse. The inaugural flight from Vancouver is made January 8, 1938.
- February 4, 1938: The Board of Trade is re-organized at a meeting on January 27, W.D. MacBride is elected president. Vice president is G.R. Bidlake.
- March 11, 1938: C.J. Rogers is appointed vice-president of the White Pass & Yukon Route company.
- March 18, 1938: Livingston Wernecke arrived in Mayo in a non-stop flight from Prince George, BC, in his Bellanca Skyrocket NC1470, piloted by Charles Gropstis. It was the final leg of a flight from San Francisco.
- March 25, 1938: Work on a new tramway system, the Hector-Elsa wire-rope tramway, will begin as soon as the snow disappears.
- March 25, 1938: A 3-page article describes the progress of aviation in the Yukon over the past 18 years. Read that article here.
- April 1, 1938: Mr. and Mrs. Irving Ray made a record trip in overland travel recently, driving their truck from Mayo to the Lefevbre woodcamp, 17 miles up the river, in one hour and forty minutes.
- April 15, 1938: W.J. Mulvihill is re-elected mayor of Skagway for his fifteenth term.
- May 20, 1938: Northern Commercial Co. purchases John N. Spence grocery business in Dawson.
- May 27, 1938: The navigation season opens with the departure of the streamer Casca for Dawson on May 23, 1938.
- August 5, 1938: The first consignment of air mail to reach Whitehorse direct from Vancouver arrives August 4. The new airmail service contract has been awarded to the Ginger Coote Airways Ltd.
- August 5, 1938: After 30 years, Sam McGee comes back to Whitehorse.
- October 14, 1938 Antoinette Hobbis is Miss Yukon for 1938-39.
October 28, 1938 Leslie Cook of Northern Airways Ltd. makes an emergency flight through blinding snowstorm to pick up an injured miner.
- December 9, 1938 T.C. Richards and E.F. Keobke produce the first gold brick ever to be secured from quartz property in the southern end of the Yukon.
- January 6, 1939 The Canadian Government appoints a five-member Commission to consider the construction of the International highway through British Columbia and Yukon Territory to Alaska.
- January 13, 1939 George Ian MacLean, former gold commissioner in the Yukon, passes away in Vancouver on December 16, 1939.
- February, 3, 1939: Corporal Kirk introduces in Old Crow a novel method of announcing the arrival of mail: when sorting of the mail is completed, Corporal Kirk fires 3 shots upon which the villagers arrive.
- February, 3, 1939: C.J. Rogers has been promoted to Vice President and General Manager of the White Pass and Yukon Route.
- February, 3, 1939: Letters written by George Carmack to his sister and other relatives during the early days on Bonanza Creek have been added to the collection of Judge James Wickersham.
- March 10, 1939: Captain John O'Brien Williams, one of the north's pioneer river captains, passes away on February 26, 1939.
- March 17, 1939: A gold brick weighing 143 ounces and produced from the Laforma Gold Mines is brought to Whitehorse on March 12.
- March 24, 1939: The Yukonia Hotel in Dawson is destroyed by fire on March 16.
- March 31, 1939: The former chief steward on the steamer "Whitehorse", P. Page, passes away on March 24.
- March 31, 1940: "Apple Jimmy" (James Oglow), the famed Dawson Sourdough, retires after being in business on First Avenue in Dawson for 31 years.
- April 7, 1939: The Federal government has under advisement the holding of a plebiscite throughout the Yukon on the question of the proposed annexation of this Territory to British Columbia.
- April 21, 1939: The Chooutla Indian Residential School at Carcross is destroyed by fire on April 17.
- April 21, 1939: The first of three twin-engined, ten-passenger Barkley-Grow planes bought by Yukon Southern Air Transport arrives in Whitehorse.
- April 28, 1939: Saloons may once again be operated throughout Alaska as of June 7.
- May 19, 1939 "No. 71" is the latest acquisition and technology of the White Pass and Yukon Route.
- June 16, 1939 The introduction of buffallo into the territory is suggested. One of the reasons is to provide meat for Indians.
- June 23, 1939: The Alaska Highway appears on several occasions in the news. On June 23, the British Columbia department of public works has 4 routes under closer consideration for the Alaska Highway: one north from Vanderhoof by Finlay Forks up the Finlay River and by the Liard and Pelly. The next route coming this way is to go north from Topley past Bear Lake. A third route is the one north from Hazelton through the the Groundhog country to Dease Lake, Whitehorse and Dawson. The most westerly route would go north from Kitwanga to the Nass River.
The Whitehorse public meeting before British Columbia-Yukon Highway commission votes over-whelmingly in favour of the Alaska Highway project a month later, on July 14. Towards the end of the year (October 13) however, government officials declare that on account of the war the construction of the proposed Alaska Highway will be held up. The financing is not feasible while the war is on.
- July 7, 1939: The WP&YR has been awarded the winter mail contract for the Yukon Territory - "the mail will be forwarded entirely by plane in future."
- July 7, 1939: Herb Gessell died instantly on the Dawson docks when he was crushed by a boiler he was helping move.
- July 14, 1939: "Sensational" gold values are discovered on Tide Lake gold properties near Stewart, BC.
- July 14, 1939: Yukon River steamboat pilot John Gus Nord dies at Haines when the car in which he was a passenger plunges into the Chilkat River. He was 71 years old.
- July 28, 1939: John Henry Hopkins, publisher of Robert Service's early poems, dies in New York at the age of 71.
- July 28, 1939: Another attempt to discover the Northwest Passage is being made by Dr. Homer Flint Kellens.
- August 4, 1939: The steamer Keno was disabled near McQuesten when a drive gear part broke. Two crew members were sent in a small boat to call for help, but while they were gone, a White Pass airplane passing over suspected a problem. The pilot landed on a nearby sandbar, picked up the part and took it to Dawson to be repaired. Within several hours the part had been returned and the boat was again on her way.
- August 18, 1939: John A. Agnew, president of the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation Ltd. at Dawson, died early this month in Trona, California, of pneumonia following a bout of influenza.
- August 25, 1939: Helen Goulter of Carmacks is elected Miss Yukon at the Discovery Day celebration held in Dawson on August 21.
- September 1, 1939: The Yukon Southern's new plane "Yukon Prince" arrived on floats August 30. It came from Edmonton in 6 hours and 25 minutes flying time.
- September 8, 1939: A fire broke out in the beer parlour of the White Pass Hotel but the fire brigade contained it to the beer parlour and adjoining barber shop.
- September 8, 1939: War was declared in Europe on Sunday. Great Britain and France formally declare war on German - Canada will co-operate with them to the greatest extent. In the United States, President Roosevelt invoked the Neutrality Act.
- September 15, 1939: On Sunday, September 10th, 1939, at 7 a. m., Canada formally declared war on Germany. A few hours afterwards it was announced that the U. S.A. Neutrality Act applied to Canada.
- September 15, 1939: The Governor of Alaska, John W. Troy, is resigning as of October 15 due to ill health. Dr. Ernest H. Gruening will assume his position.
- October 6, 1939: Jim Cook, brother of Pilot Les Cook of Northern Airways, was killed on September 16th while making a rifle set to capture a bear which had been robbing his meat cache, when the gun went off. Mrs. Cook made a 300-mile hiking and boat trip from
the head of Ross river, where the Cooks operate a trading post, to Selkirk to send a wire to Les at Atlin.
- October 13, 1939: The White Pass staff at Dawson gathered together last Friday evening at the Arcade Cafe to do homage to Charlie Phillips, who retires from the Company's employ after 37 years, during which time he acted as purser on the boats,
agent at Holy Cross and at Atlin, BC, and lately as assistant cashier and express agent in the Dawson office. He is retiring to his home in Victoria.
- October 20, 1939: The Whitehorse was the last of the river steamers to arrive at her home port. She left Dawson with 79 passengers for the outside and various up-river points and now she is high and dry on the ways along with the rest of the fleet.
- November 3, 1939: John Livingstone Phelps, son of Williard Leroy and Mrs. Phelps was married in Vancouver on October 14th, to Miss Muriel Jean Anderson.
- November 17, 1939: One of the saddest fatalities in the history of Whitehorse occurred on Thursday last. The WP&YR Fairchild plane, piloted by Jesse W. Rice, with
two passengers and a load of mail, left Whitehorse bound for Dawson. It is thought the pilot descended through a layer of fog over Lake Laberge, expected clear air below. However, he dove into the water, and no sign of the aircraft except one bag of mail has been found so far. The passengers killed were Mike McCallion, on his way in to operate the mail service between Dawson and Coffee Creek, and D. H. Anderson, a placer miner on a Dawson-area creek. Read the entire article here.
- December 1, 1939: Captain J. McCann, formerly master of the B. Y. N. Co.'s steamboat
Yukon for many years and one of the most widely known navigators on the Yukon river, died in Seattle on November 8th.
- December 29, 1939: Between 80 and 90 of our Indian people, men, women, children and babies gathered into Christ Church on Wednesday last for the Indian Christmas Tree. Through the generosity of local merchants and residents as well as a personal gift from the Bishop of Yukon, Doctor Geddes, every one present as well as those unable to attend,
received a gift, candy and apple, and in the case of the children, an orange also.
- December 29, 1939: At eight o'clock Christmas morning, Don Murray and Cecil Richards arrived in Whitehorse with the largest shipment of concentrates so far to come from the Laforma Gold Mines at Mt. Freegold near Carmacks. It comprised twenty-one thousand pounds.
Owing to a slight breakdown to the diesel "cat" this load was hauled in by the old five-ton gas "cat" which was considered obsolete. However, all it needed was lots of gasoline to drink and patience on the part of its drivers.
- December 29, 1939: Charlie Taylor of Mayo is quite a hunter. After running down a fox with his car last week, on Tuesday, Charlie spotted a huge golden eagle poised atop the Fire Hall Tower, and nicked the big monarch of the air in the neck. The eagle had a 7-foot wing spread while its talons had a spread of from 7 to 8 inches.
Continue to January 1940