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Northern Cemeteries and Graves

A Guide to Skagway, Alaska

The Gold Rush Cemetery at Skagway, Alaska

by Murray Lundberg

The Cemetery at

    The most famous of the 3 cemeteries in Skagway is the Gold Rush Cemetery, which is located at the north end of town, past the White Pass & Yukon Route railway Shops. Records indicate that the first burial here occurred early in 1898. With the exception of 2 families, the cemetery was not used after 1908, when what is now known as the Pioneer Cemetery was opened. A total of 133 gravesites have been located in the Gold Rush Cemetery, but burial records are only available for 60 of them. Those burial records can be read here

    The Gold Rush Cemetery has been a popular stop on tours of Skagway since the 1920s, when tour operator Martin Itjen began bringing clients, and developed trails, handrails, and signs.

The following monuments and graves have been photographed and posted here so far:

Paul Baughman

Died May 30, 1904
Age 5 Yrs.

Mrs. Carolina Hilly

Born in Germany Apr. 1, 1854
Died Sept. 15, 1906
Could she too soon escape this world of pain,
  or could eternal life too soon begin?

Alexander Irvine

Born May 14, 1842
Gateside, Scotland
Died June 12, 1900
Berner's Bay, Alaska

A broad view of the grave area can be seen here.

Martin Itjen
Born Jan. 24, 1870
Died Dec. 3, 1942
Rest in peace

Lucy M. Itjen
Born Jan. 18, 1864
Died Dec. 27, 1946

A close view of the headstone for Martin Itjen can be seen here, and the headstone for Lucy Itjen can be seen here.

Mrs. T. D. McMinn

Died Dec. 10 1900
Age 22

William John Mulvihill

Nellie Susan Mulvihill

A close view of the headstone for William Mulvihill can be seen here, and the headstone for Nellie Mulvihill can be seen here.

Ida Olson

Ida, wife of Charles Olson
Born July 5, 1889
Died June 24, 1908

Clara Amelia Patton

Born May 19, 1875
Died Dec 13, 1904

Frank H. Reid

Died July 20, 1898
Aged 54 yrs
He gave his life for the honor of Skagway

A close view of the inscription can be seen here.

A Hero Not Forgotten

James Mark Rowan

Sept. 24, 1864, Tennessee
Jan. 31, 1898, Skagway
Loving Husband & Father
Deputy US Marshall
Killed in the line of duty
Aged 33 years
He was killed just hours after his only child, James Mark, was born.

On January 31st, 1898 (possibly February 1st), Deputy Marshall Rowan was shot in a Skagway theatre while attempting to resolve a dispute.

Jefferson R. Smith

Died July 8 - 1898
Aged 38 Years

The notorious Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith, king of the frontier con men, was killed in a shoot-out with Frank Reid.

A closer view of the headboard can be seen here.

Ella Wilson

Died May 28, 1898
Age 28 Yrs.

Two of several grave markers for unknown people.

This large sign at the entrance to the cemetery has brief biographies of Jefferson R. Smith, Frank H. Reid, Unknown Man, Ella Wilson, Hazel Achison, William J. Mulvihill, H. C. Parker, Bert & Florence Horton, and Martin Itjen. These biographies are transcribed on the page with the enlarged photo of the sign.

When this photo was taken in November 2009, work was being done to make the entrance to the cemetery safer and more convenient for the large number of visitors that come each year.

The view back towards Skagway in November 2009.

The new cemetery entrance area in October 2011.

New outhouses near the entrance to the cemetery in 2012.

Looking through the cemetery to the White Pass & Yukon Route railway line and the Skagway River in April 2013.