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Complaints about Canadian Development Co.'s
roadhouse service, 1899

Klondike Gold Rush, 1896-1899

The Daily Morning Alaskan (Skagway, Alaska) - Saturday, December 16, 1899.

The Daily Morning Alaskan (Skagway, Alaska) - Saturday, December 16, 1899.

Many Travelers Complain of Canadian Development Co.'s Roadhouse Service, 1899

    The accommodations of the many roadhouses now serving the public on the winter route between Skagway and Dawson, and which are scattered along every 10 to 30 miles, are the source of much comment in the hotels of Skagway by those who have just arrived from the interior.

    On the whole, the houses of the Canadian Development company come in for a great deal of criticism. Nine out of ten travelers complain of the accommodations of that company, some make complaint of the service of individual houses, and others there are who have much praise for private houses and a few for the Canadian Development houses.

    T. A. Tritton, the Nuggett Express messenger who brought the first express matter *hrough this season, arriving this week, says:

    "The Canadian Development company treats its transient patrons with three staples of its stock, namely, beans, bacon and incivility.

    "The service at all houses, save those of the Canadian Development company, is fine. The charge for bunks at the Canadian Development houses is $2 a night, and at other houses $1 a night. The Development company gives blankets while the other places give blankets and robes.

    "Meals are $1 50 cents each at all houses on the trail from Dawson to Caribou, including Canadian Development and other hosteleries.

    "The Brackett Brothers, of Skagway, are going to start a roadhouse between the Development houses, and it will be good for the public that they do so.

    "Roadhouses of the Canadian Development are at the following places: MacKay's, Cormack's, Nordenskiold river, twenty-four miles south of the Nordenskiold river, forty-four miles south from the Nordenskiold, twenty miles north from LaBarge, foot of LaBarge, head of LaBarge, White Horse, Caribou."

    F. B. Freeman, who left Dawson November 23 and has reached Skagway, said at the Golden North:

    "Most of the roadhouses along the Dawson-Skagway trail will furnish a luncheon including cold meats and bread and butter for from 75 cents to a dollar, but the Canadian Development company refuses to give more than bread and butter and cold meat, and would not give a hot drink unless one bought a full meal, paying there-for $1.50, the customary charge of that company.

    "There are enough bunkhouses ind roadhouses between Dawson and Bennett to furnish accommodations to all the travelers and to so accommodate them that no supplies need be carried in making the trip either way. Between Dawson and Selkirk the accommodations in the respective houses are fair and the prevailing prices $1.50 meal, and $1 for a bunk with blankets furnished by the house. I would especially mention the Savoy at Selkirk as being a good house. It is a British-American Corporation house. Its meals are above the average.

    "The accommodations this side of Selkirk are not as good as those beyond. The Canadian Development house charge $1 50 for bunks without blankets and $2 for a bunk with blankets."

    H. Wheeler and Thomas Milton, who arrived during the week, en route to the east, Mr. Milton to St Paul, where he is in business, speaking jointly, said at the Mondamin:

    "It seems to have become popular for travelers to complain of the accommodations of the Canadian Development Company. We believe they complain just because oteers have started the ball rolling and it has come to appear the proper thing. In all the Canadian Development Company's houses we had cold tongue, meat pies, two kinds of fruits, pie, bread and butter, cheese, and on the whole first-class meals. As for the company's sleeping accommodations they are good. The blankets are new and clean, and there are plenty of them. However, they could probably afford to let the beds at a dollar a night.

    "It is to the credit of the Development company that their houses are not back numbers, but are light and airy, and have high roofs and are clean.

    "If there is a general fault at the company's houses it lies in the lack of geniality on the part of the men in charge. They are not, it seems, of that good bonhommie spirit that humors the weary traveler. Thev are not bonifaces, but their accommodations are not lacking.

    "The camps of the Pacific Contract Company, established along the grade of the White Pass road, feed all trayelers who want to dine with them at a dollar a meal, and give good meals. These camps are also going to put in bunks for transients."