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The Whitehorse Star, January 14, 1938


Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star, 1930-1939


Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

Explorer's Guides to Yukon Communities



1930

May

  • May 30, 1930: The steamer Casca makes her first trip of the season on May 24th, sailing to Dawson.
[There are no copies online between May 31, 1929 and January 7, 1938]

August

  • August 18, 1933: Klondike Airways Ltd. is awarded the contract for mail service between Whitehorse and Dawson.

September

  • September 22, 1933: Rev. W.A. Geddes is chosen Bishop of the Yukon.

November

  • November 24, 1933: Alan Innes-Taylor is enroute to the South Pole regions with the Byrd Antarctic Expedition.

1934

January

  • 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

  • February 2, 1934: Claire Wernecke is chosen to attend levee at the opening of parliament.

March

  • March 2, 1934: Mrs. W.A. Puckett, a pioneer of the north, died in Long Beach, California.
  • March 2, 1934: Thomas "Blondie" Mallott, former member of the Northwest Mounted Police, died 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

  • May 25, 1934: William Maher, a resident of Whitehorse since 1899 and Whitehorse's second oldest resident, died on May 21st.

June

  • June 15, 1934: "Pete" McMillian, well-known Yukon pioneer and manager of the Pioneer and White Pass Hotels, died on May 13, 1933.

July

  • 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 5th, 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

  • 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

  • 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 18th, a disastrous fire in Nome destroyed the business section and practically all of the residential area, leaving 400 people homeless.
  • September 28, 1934: The N.A. Timmins Corporation of Montreal purchases two Carmacks properties each consisting of a number of claims.

November

  • November 2, 1934: Archbishop I.O. Stringer died October 29, 1934 in Winnipeg.
  • November 23, 1934: Pacific Alaska Airways announces the inauguration of a Juneau-Whitehorse-Fairbanks service in the spring of 1935.

December

  • December 21, 1934: Wilbur D. Greenough, former manager of the Pueblo Mines, died on December 20th in Spokane.

1935

January

  • 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

  • February 1, 1935: Four men were killed when their plane crashed into the American Shed snowshed on the White Pass rail line on January 31st. It was the most serious transportation disaster yet in the Yukon.

March

  • March 1, 1935: A fire breaks out in the Whitehorse Fire Hall putting the city at great risk.

April

  • April 6, 1935: The landing of the Pacific Alaska Airways 10 passenger Lockheed Electra plane on April 3rd inaugurates the regular flight service between Whitehorse and Fairbanks.

May

  • May 3, 1935: Francis Xavier Laderoute, 95 year old French Canadian, 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

  • June 7, 1935: The steamer Casca opens the new navigation season, leaving Whitehorse on May 31st.
  • 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

  • July 26, 1935: A fire damages the Canadian Bank of Commerce building.

August

  • August 9, 1935: George and Martha Black move back to Whitehorse from Ottawa.

October

  • 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

  • November 1, 1935: E.J. Hamacher died in Whitehorse on October 29th.

1936

February

  • February 7, 1936: A large body of high grade ore is discovered at Carmacks.

March

  • 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, on February 20th, she 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

  • April 3, 1936: Carl Lykkergard finds a 44 ounce gold nugget worth $1300 in the Atlin mining district.

May

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 9th. The Casca sinks very rapidly. All passengers are saved.
  • July 17, 1936: The Carcross school and the Scott Hotel were destroyed by fire on July 13th.

August

  • 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

  • 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

  • October 30, 1936: The Atlin newspaper plant burns down on October 23rd.
  • October 30, 1936: Albert F. Zipf, former White Pass traffic manager, diesd in Bay City at the age of 62.

December

  • December 4, 1936: Paddy Duncan, Indian of Champagne, charged with the murder of Harton Kane, is sentenced to hang March 23, 1937.

1937

February

  • 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, died in Mayo on February 15.

March

  • 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

  • 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 CafĂ©.
  • April 30, 1937: Premier T.D. Pattullo announces on April 26th 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

  • May 28, 1937: Navigation on the Yukon river opens May 23, 1937 with the departure of the steamer Nasutlin.

June

  • 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 opened 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

  • 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, died.
  • July 16, 1937: Owing to the rapidly increasing air traffic, a new diagonal runway is added to the Whitehorse airfield.

August

  • August 20, 1937: Martha and George Black's eldest son died after a prolonged illness.

November

  • 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 "Frozen Fires," a book of poems dealing with the north.
  • 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

  • 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.

1938

January

  • January 7, 1938: Northern Airways Company Ltd. is awarded the new airmail contract between Vancouver and Whitehorse. The inaugural flight from Vancouver is to be made tomorrow.
  • January 7, 1938: One of the outstanding. mining deals of the past year was recently consummated by Malcolm A. "Sandy" Smith and his associates. They secured an option on all the holdings of the Discovery Mining Company on Pine Creek, consisting of 15 half-mile leases, together with all their equipment, hydraulic plant, water rights, ditches etc. The ditch is 12 miles long and carries 20,000 miner's inches from Surprise Lake and is the best in British Columbia. Options were also secured on Pince Creek, Gold Run, Spruce Creek and Dominion Creek.
  • January 7, 1938: A full-page ad promotes two new cars for 1938 - the Standard Ford V-8 and the De Luxe Ford V-8 - available through Northern Commercial Co. Among the features on Standard models are a tire lock, one tail light, one windshield wiper, and one sun visor. The De Luxe models include two of each and other features.

  • January 14, 1938: The W. P. and Y. R. Fairchild plane CF-AXZ, with pilot L. A. Vines at the controls, left yesterday morning for Mayo and Dawson with the plane equipped with the Lear radio receiver and transmitter enabling him to keep in communication at all times with the government signalling corps at Whitehorse, Mayo and Dawson. This is the first plane operating in Yukon Territory to be so equipped. Similar equipment is now being installed in the company's other Fairchild plane, CF-AXK.
  • January 14, 1938: Theodore Becker died recently at the Whitehorse General Hospital after a short illness. He has been engaged in mining all his life and with his partner Mr. Cochrane has worked upon claims in the Wheaton country for many years.
  • January 14, 1938: The Fairbanks city council have voted to purchase, at a cost of approximately $7000, an additional 155 acres in order to enlarge its air-port. This is beimg done in the hope that the Federal government of the U. S. A. will develop the field on a major scale.

  • January 21, 1938: Constable Cameron, R.C.M.P. stationed at Selkirk, had the misfortune last Sunday to dislocate his left shoulder. He had been on one of his periodical trips to Carmacks and it was when he started out on his return trip that the accident happened. With his team of five dogs he started out from Carmacks at about noon. Coming to a sharp right-angled turn a little way down the trail the sleigh was over-turned. Efforts were made at Carmacks to put the dislocated shoulder back in place but this could not be effected. An emergency call was put in to Whitehorse and the White Pass plane AXZ, with pilot Rice at the controls, made a special trip with Dr. Hildebrand as passenger. Upon examination it was found necessary to bring Constable Cameron to the Whitehorse General Hospital where he arrived later in the day.
  • January 21, 1938: To the 85 Radio Owners in Whitehorse. If you are interested in a campaign to remedy radio interference in town, you are urgently requested to attend a public meeting to be held in the I. 0. D. E. rooms on Thursday, January 27, 1938 at 8 p.m. sharp.
  • January 21, 1938: The Boeing Aircraft of Canada Ltd. has now under construction for the Canadian government at its Vancouver plant a war plane capable of carrying torpedoes, bombs and a machine gun. It will be of the Blackburn Shark type similar to those now in use by the British navy. The plane is so designed as to be capable of being used either on land or sea and can be catapulted from a ship's deck or fitted with skis.

  • January 28, 1938: The royal mail stage of Klondike Airways Ltd. left town on its northbound trip Tuesday morning with a heavy load of freight drawn by a new "cat." This is the first trip this season that the "cat" has been put into the service.
  • January 28, 1938: Sergt. L. S. Kingston was recently awarded the coveted silver medal of the R. C. M. P. for long service and good conduct. He joined thd Force at Regina in 1912 and took his discharge in 1915 in order to enter the ranks of the C. E. F. for service during the Great War, upon his return to Canada in 1919 he rejoined the Force and has been continuously in the service since that time. He came from Carcross about two years ago to assume charge of the Whitehorse station.
  • January 28, 1938: With an eye to the promotion of Canada's increasing tourist trade, work is being rushed on an important western link in the scenic highway that is soon to span the country from coast to coast. The link in question, known as the "Big Bend" Highway, follows the northern bend of the Columbia River, skirting the north spur of the Selkirk Range and conneeting the towns of Golden and Revelstoke in British Columbia. This is the last section to be completed in the western portion of the highway.

February

  • February 4, 1938: Whilst en route to Ottawa to attend the opening of the Federal parliament, Mrs. George Black, M. P. for the Yukon Territory, asserted at Winnipeg that "the Japanese know the inland passage between the mainland of British Columbia and Vancouver Island better than Canadians." She has been travelling up and down the coast for forty years and claims that where, in the early days, there was one Japanese fishing boat there are hundreds now.
  • February 4, 1938: The Dominion government is considering a proposal to build and maintain a scientific station near the Arctic Archipelago, to allow scientists to delve into the secrets and resources of the north country. The northern end of the Boothia Peninsula is the proposed site of the station as it would be adjacent to the north magnetic pole. Observations would be radioed to the outside world daily in winter and summer, according to plans. Magnetic compasses pointing to the north magnetic pole vary slightly from year to vear and a station in the vicinity would verify this deviation.
  • 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.

  • February 11, 1938: Thomas Keating, Sourdough prospector and miner, was found dead in his cabin at Keno on January 26th last. He was about 65 years of age. During the summer of 1933 he was badly mauled by a big grizzly bear and narrowly escaped with his life whilst he was on a prospecting trip to McNeill Gulch. His injuries necessitated him being confined in the Mayo General Hospital for nearly a year.

March

  • 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

  • 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

  • May 20, 1938: Northern Commercial Co. purchases the 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 23rd.

August

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

1939

January

  • 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, died in Vancouver on December 16th.

February

  • 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.

  • February, 10, 1939: Constable Huxley, R.C.M.P., who has been on a patrol to Little Atlin with an Indian guide, is expected to return to the local barracks any day now.
  • February, 10, 1939: W.P.A. projects in Alaska which have received the approval of the President include $42,000 for Wrangell, Sitka, Saxman and Ketchikan, to be expended in rehabilitating and preserving historic native totem poles from abandonded native villages.

March

  • March 10, 1939: Captain John O'Brien Williams, one of the north's pioneer river captains, died on February 26th.

  • 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, died 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

  • 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

  • May 5, 1939: The Yukonia Hotel at Dawson is being rebuilt under supervision of proprietor Jos. Segbers, onetime willwright, and Ben Porter, Dawson's pioneer carpenter. The job will soon be completed.
  • May 5, 1939: With four barges already at their moorings and the str. Keno and Casca launched, preparations are going ahead in readiness for the opening of this season's operations. A list of officers on the steamers Casca, Tutshi, Klondike, Yukon, Whitehorse, Aksala, Keno, Sibilla and Loon is published.
  • May 5, 1939: That real old-timer, "Apple Jimmy" Oglow, of Dawson, has been so long in business that he finds it now impossible to give it up. A short time ago he announced to all and sundry that he had disposed of his stock and was going to take life easy for the rest of his days. But it hasn't worked out that way. Alexander Pantages, one time friend of the early days, is back at his old stamping ground making preparations for a grand re-opening. Although he can no longer hope to get a dollar apiece for his apples, as in the early days, he is still going to specialize in fruit.

  • May 12, 1939: Last Sunday the Rev. Alexander Anderson commenced his ministry as Rector of Christ Church, Whitehorse. Mr. Anderson comes to Whitehorse with a knowledge of the Yukon. He was in temporary charge of St. Paul's Cathedral, Dawson, for a year, and also of the missionary at Moosehide from 1935 to 1938 inclusive. During the last year in "the old country", he has pleaded the cause of Canadian missions.
  • May 12, 1939: From Juneau comes a report that Rolland Osborne of Matanuska, who is 17 years of age, has captured 54 coyotes up to April 1st Inst and, like "Johnnie Walker", was "still going strong." He was initiated into the art of snaring these predatory animals by Frank Glaser of the Biological Survey. With a bonus of $20 for each animal captured and an average of $10 each for the pelts Osborne's "catch" for this winter has netted him so far $1520.
  • May 12, 1939: NOTICE. The attention of owners of revolvers and automatic pistols is drawn to the new amendment to the Criminal Code which requires all small arms to be registered immediately and every five years thereafter. Owners of small arms are requested to register same as soon as possible with the R.C.M. Police.

  • May 19, 1939: For the first time in its history Canada is acting host to the reigning British Sovereign, H.M. King George VI and his Royal Consort, Queen Elizabeth. The royal tour lasted from May 17 to June 15, covering every Canadian province, the Dominion of Newfoundland, and a few days in the United States, but neither Canadian Territory was visited.
  • May 19, 1939: When the train pulled in on Saturday she was headed by "No. 71", latest word in locomotive engineering and the latest acquisition to the already existing rolling stock of the W.P. & Y.R. That stalwart engineer, Maurice Goding was at the throttle and "Bill" Flynn was on the footplate as fireman. She is similar in design to No. 70 and we understand was assembled and placed on the rails ready for her initial run within eight days of her arrival in Skagway unassembled.
  • May 19, 1939: It is indeed a pleasure to learn that, after a lapse of years, a day school for the education of Indian children in this community is to be commenced on Monday next. The Rev. Alexander Anderson, Rector of Christ Church, is to be highly commended for undertaking this important and necessary work.

June

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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