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Today's Northern News: January 1900

Dawson, Yukon Territory

Treasury Department Agent Thinks One is Needed at Nome

    John Shartzer, a special agent of the treasury department, has recommended to the government that life-saving crews be placed along the beach at Cape Nome next summer. His recommendations, he says, if adopted, will save many lives.
    "There is," says Mr. Shartzer, "no life-saving service either at Nome or St. Michael, where there has been more or less loss of life. It is true that revenue cutters patrol the waters off shore, but they are not available for help in case of lives being jeopardized in the surf. When I was at Nome it was not uncommon for small steamers to be cast upon the beach and beaten to pieces.
    "I was aboard a former Yukon steamer that carried 400 people out to the Roanoke at one time. It escaped foundering by the narrowest margin. Four of us were on the hurricane deck when we went alongside the big ship, and the upper works of our craft seemed to swing against the Roanoke and back as though the house of our boat would go by the board, but it did not. Indeed it was a bad mixup, and the groundwork for a great loss of life, which, had it actually occured, could have been materially lessened at least by the efforts of the life-saving crew."

Excellent Time Made By C. D. Co. Teams
No More Back Mail

    Eighteen sacks of mail matter for Dawson, Eagle City and Circle City, coming through from Bennett to Dawson in eight days is the record breaker of the season made Monday evening by the C.D.Co.'s mail courier and dog teams.
    The mail service in and out of Dawson is gradually being reduced to such a perfect system that it is safe to look for it regularly now every week. This excellent service is largely due to the splendid arrangements perfected by the C.D.Co., which has the contract for carrying the mail in and out, and which has in its emply the best experienced men and dog teams that money could procure. The trail, too, has for nearly two months been so very bad with open water, ice and slush that no speed could possible be made, and it has resulted in hanging the mail along the route, both coming in and going out, at various points along the route between here and Bennett. The cold weather of the last three weeks has closed all open water and improved the trail so that today good time can be made over it, which was evidenced by the arrival of 18 sacks of mail Monday evening, which came through from Bennett is eight days, a speed which so far beats the record for this winter.
    Agent Tom A. Davis of the C.D.Co. yesterday checked up the mail sacks with Postmaster Hartman and finds that there are no back mails anywhere on the trail and that everything is up to date.
    In the future, Mr. Davis expressed the belief that the mail will arrive in from 6 to 7 days from Bennett and that a regular weekly service can safely be depended upon.
    The outgoing mail is expected to reach Bennett with the same speed. Nineteen sacks were taken out in two sleigh loads by Tom Cook and Geo. Bell this morning, the two men making the start at 3 o'clock. This mail usually reaches Tulare the first day out, namely 104 miles, and Selkirk the end of the second day, or 180 miles. From there it goes over the C.D.Co.'s cut off from Carmack's to Lake LeBarge, which saves about 80 miles over the old river route. This cut off is now greatly improved, especially in the last two weeks.
    The C.D.Co. has now perfected its system so that it uses dog teams only between Dawson and Selkirk, and horses from Selkirk out to Bennett.
    The incoming mail leaves Bennett every Wednesday morning simultaneously with the outgoing mail from Dawson.
    So much for the transportation of the mail. The public has reason to feel deeply indebted to Postmaster Hartman and his effiecient and obliging corps of clerks, for the extra time one and all put in day and night in order that as little time as possible shall be used for distributing the mail between its arrival and its delivery to the public. This was well illustrated last Saturday night and again Monday evening, or New Year's day. On both occasions the postmaster and his force cheerfully turned out and distributed the mails so that the public received its mail early Sunday and yesterday morning.
    This is enterprise that deserves commendation, and the public has not been slow to recognize and appreciate the good service that is now being given.

Bennett Lake, B.C.

An Enjoyable Event

    Last evening saw the good steamer Clifford Sifton in gay attire. The most largely attended dance of the season was that of last night, for the indefatigable hostesses, Medames Barry and Engelhardt, had extended their kind invitations to nearly all Bennett ; and nearly everybody was represented there.
    The highest credit is due to these ladies for the excellent way in which everything was managed, and for the pains taken to ensure warmth and comfort to all the guests. It was no light matter to transform a steamboat, which has been laid up for weeks, into a palatial ballroom, but this stupendous task proved no obstacle to these estimable ladies, for it was successfully accomplished.
    The long saloon of the boat furnished ample room for all the dancers, while the entrance lobby (or waiting room) was patronized by the lovers of the fragrant weed, and ample accommodations by side tables was provided for those inclined to card playing.
    The dancing programme was a long one, and nicely arranged, beginning with a grand march, led by Mr. and Mrs. Roberts. The cake walk was the most enjoyable event of the evening. The first figures of the "walk" were danced very nicely by Mrs. Engelhardt and Mr. Phelps (fils), followed by the evening's premiers, Messrs. D. Von Cramer and A. Engelhardt, who appeared costumed as a couple of "dead swell coons." Their efforts were loudly appauded.
    The refreshments offered by the fair hostesses were bounteous and graciously served. The lotion department was in capable hands. The celebrated Jenner-Cartmel orchestra (unabridged), on a raised platform, gave general satisfaction, and altogether everyone most thoroughly entered into the spirit of enjoyment, and left regretting the close of such a pleasing event in the history of Bennett.
    Brother Barry is to be complimented on his zealousness in escorting the ladies to the dance. He first of all gave his arm to one lady, and leaving her on board, said he must go in search for more; and when he again reached the boat it was in company of six ladies, thus bringing upon himself the well-earned title of "the beau."

    A train left at 6 o'clock this morning without passengers, and another left Skagway at about the same hour. Both trains convey men to open up and clear the track. The rotary is said to be at Frazier. It is hoped that regular traffic may be resumed early next week.
    About 125 men were put to work yesterday shovelling snow off the railroad track and did good service, making it possible now for anyone to reach the depot. The next train in from Skagway will bring back many snow-bound residents of Bennett.
    Local Postoffice authorities say the mail left Skagway on Friday morning, so we may look for letters about Monday.

Dawson, Yukon Territory, Canada


    We would strongly reiterate the warning to outsiders that they cannot hope to get work in the mines of the Klondike. The supply of labor here is fully up to the demand, and over it. There is, we are told, a great crowd of men preparing to come in over the ice to Dawson with the expectation of securing enough work here to pay their way to Nome, when the navigation of the Yukon is open in the spring.


    We have been waiting to see how the Canadian Development Co. would handle the mail this winter. Now that they have been rushing in a couple of mails per week on us, and have shortened the time from Bennett to Dawson to eight days already, we may fairly congratulate them on the way they have lived up to their contract. Having delivered all arrears of mail they will now give a weekly service creditable to themselves in every way.
    Supt. Davis of this division noting the fact that the last mail came through in eight days, claims that they will deliver it in six days before long. We are quite willing to accept this statement, as when the trail is better, the days longer and the weather less severe - the carrier will certainly make much better time.
    It is indeed highly creditable to the pluck and persistence of the drivers, that they have in spite of the bitter cold weather of December, brought their charges on so rapidly from station to station day and night.
    Neither in the mail service between Bennett and Dawson or in the local post office service, have Dawson people any reason to complain of the treatment they are receiving from the Postmaster-general's department this winter.

Dawson, Y. T.

Distance Traveled by Geo. E. Storey of the Nugget

Left Dawson Sept. 9 for Nome - Rough Weather and Hard Luck - Will Try Again - Long Ice Trip.

    When Geo. E. Storey resumed his old seat at Editor Geo. M. Allen's table at the Nugget mess house Sunday at dinner, he had, since the time previous he had sat at that table, breakfast of Sept. 9, made a round trip of nearly 8000 miles.
[Editor's apology - typesetting of this story was not completed in time for this edition due to a shortage of the required lead, but will be in tomorrow's paper.]

Edmonton, Alberta


    A fire occured at the Hudson's Bay Co. post, when an old building that was being used as a carpentry shop in some way caught fire and destroyed a pair of bobs, some tools and other small truck that will gather in outhouses. The fire occured about midnight when all the better element were in bed. They tumbled out lively but scantily clad and somewhat rattled and were joined by the few who were still in the jungles and snow. The only fire extinguisher out here was thrown on the fire with little success, and to-day we are one land-mark less.
    There was a stereoptican display at the English church mission the other night and a number of the faithful and others attended. The Rev. Geo. Holmes is a fluent Cree talker and to the white people the feature of the display was his explanation in Cree, as that is the language spoken here almost exclusively. His explanations in that language were very helpful to those learning the native tongue.
    As to fur. Not much is being killed around here yet. The weather is all that could be desired, but the natives have not quite got down to bed rock. They still have the price and until they are broke the marten and other fur bearing animals can hold the fort.
    There has been a splendid crop of potatoes here this year, and on the Peace River where they go in for more extensive farming, a large yield is reported.
    Perhaps 200,000 white fish is a fair estimate of the number of fish put up for winter consumption here. They are of a splendid quality, and constitute, with potatoes, the staple diet.
    Three boats are frozen in between here and the Landing. The goods were cached on the bank and the boatmen packed in here. They are at the present writing getting ready to bring the loads up with sleighs. One was a Hudson Bay Co. boat, one Guilleme Desjarlais' and the other in charge of a party of natives who had been out to sell scrip and bring in goods.
    The snow is everywhere in this country and has been for weeks. The water in the lakes disappeared in late November and the entire population, outside of a few "okemous" and a favoured missionary or two, are back to that fare of all fares, "spuds" and whitefish (may the lake never cease to nourish them). The geese and ducks have passed south to a warmer clime and a few roving Klondikers heading in the same direction, have concluded to stay with us during the winter. Our warm reception and the temperature of local diversion was too congenial to resist. "It savors of home" is the way one man put it. And the chance to purchase the ever saleable cigarette made another feel "like an English gentleman," despite has ragged raiment and a body that had not been in touch with water for months. So much for our reputation from the roving Klondiker's standpoint.

The graphics and articles above are genuine and complete, all dating from January 1900.

The Dawson Daily News was dated January 2, 1900
The Bennett Sun was dated January 20, 1900
The Yukon Sun was dated January 2, 1900
The Klondike Nugget was dated January 3, 1900
The Edmonton Bulletin was dated January 1, 1900