21 Aug 1897 Alaska Searchlight

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Alaska Searchlight

Saturday, August 21, 1897

Latest From Dawson - The Birch Party Arrives Here From the Golden Klondike Thursday - Joe Birch, James McKay and Archie Shelp, who left Dawson city, Klondike, on July 29 th , arrived in Juneau Thursday night on the Seaolin. The party were a little over nineteen days from Dawson city to the headwaters of Lake Linderman, making the entire trip from Dawson to Dyea in twenty days. They started from Klondike with ten days' grub, but purchased some on their way out. They came up the river with paddles and a line, each man taking his turn to walk on the bank of the river and pull the boat. No poling was done.

At Lake Le Barge they were stranded for about eighteen hours, but aside for this delay the boys worked twenty hours out of the twenty-four. Mr. Birch reports no extraordinary excitement in the Indian river and Stewart river districts excepting $10 or $15 a day diggings. When he left Dawson there were four steamers up from the mouth, the Beaver, Belle, Weare and another. The quickest time on record that these steamers have made from Klondike to the mouth of the river and return is eighteen days. The steamer Weare on its second trip is to go up as far as Pelly, which would make things a little easier for the miners in obtaining provisions.

At Lake Bennett Rudolph & Co. are turning out boats as fast as the sawmill can cut the lumber, but they will not be more than able to fill all the orders they have ahead by this fall. Orders are received from all parts of the country, New York, Chicago, etc.

Mr. Birch says the Klondike will be full of slush ice by September 25 th and advises all persons who wish to reach Dawson city this summer to start from the Jakes not later than September 10 th . They past the mail carriers August 12 th near Pelley and the canyon. The Birch party made the trip into the Klondike from Juneau in eleven days, but of course they took nothing but sufficient grub and their blankets, hence packs were light. Birch brought out 100 letters. Mr. Birch raised $4,000 by popular subscription in the Yukon to defend his brother William T. Birch.

Letter from Sam Kaufman - Samuel Kaufman, who left here in the spring with merchandise for the Yukon, writes his relatives in this city. The letter is dated Dawson, July 3 rd , and is as follows: "At last we have reached our destination and are opened up and in business. I arrived here on June 23 rd , and found things humming and the excitement is intense. Prices on provisions are very high and they are scarce at that. The steamer is expected here in a day or two with a full cargo of everything. The companies here have orders enough ahead to dispose of their entire stock. It is feared there will be a great scarcity of provisions. It is my intention to leave before the river freezes, perhaps on the Dalton trail or by boat, but we will not go until we dispose of our cargo. So far we have done well; on the other hand the expenses are away up; and that owning to the duty which we would not have had to pay at Circle city made our profits smaller. The town is dead now, all the people having moved here. The excitement here is something intense and it will be still more so next year, as there has been very little work accomplished since last spring. There are quite a few people poling up the river to get provisions before the river freezes. I send you this letter and statement by the Thorp Boys.

Gold dust is taken here at $17 per ounce in trade. Under the expense list you will notice duty $1,350 which will cut a big hole in our profits. The duty on the cigars alone amounted to $140 and on the other goods $510. The duty on cigars is $3 per pound and 25 per cent ad valorem. In our cargo several cases were damaged. The trip was terrible; the mosquitoes kept me awake the whole night, and I hardly think I averaged a single night's sleep the whole trip. All the mosquito netting and veiling would not help, the mosquitoes were bound to crawl in some way or other. On the lakes we had no favorable winds to speak of, and had to row most all of the hundred miles. Our scow was very heavily loaded and we hardly had room for all the men to sit down.

The scenery along the Yukon is magnificent and the fantastic forms of the rocks and banks of the river are very interesting. The current in some places runs-seventy-five miles per hour, but on the average, five miles. Goodbye to all; from your brother, SAM."

Latest from Dawson - Notes - The following notes were taken from a letter received by Joe Jourdan of this city from Frank King, who is well known in this city. The letter is dated Dawson city, July 23 rd .

According to promise, I will drop you a few lines regarding the country. It is all right, in fact the best country in the world to day to make a rise in. I have seen more gold and more money change hands then ever before in the same period of time.

Claims on creeks flowing into the Klondike are so rich as to be almost beyond belief, $300 to $1000 to the pan being of daily occurrence.

I will mention a few Juneauites who have struck it here:

Dick Lowe is worth $100,000.

Jack Smith is worth about $50,000.

Geo. Apple has started in business.

Mr. Pound has a good location on Bonanza creek.

Oscar Ashby and Billy Leak will sell for $150,000.

Drinks 50 cents, baths $1.50, meals $1.50, shave 50 cents.

Bartenders get $300 per month. Wages are $15 per day.

Joe Brant is worth $10,000. He sold a lot to day for $4,500.

Sam Matthews is going out in a few days with a good stake.

I am doing well, painting signs. Have bought a lot, built a cabin and own a half interest in a claim out of which I expect to make a raise this winter.

Kelley, the Juneau teamster, is running a restaurant.

Bert Schuller came in this spring and is taking out $500 a day.

Cornelius Edwards sold his claim for $25,000 and goes out this fall.

Kelley the gambler from Juneau has just won $2,600 at faro bank.

McCauley bought a lot here last fall for $50; it is now worth $10,000.

McCulloch, formerly of the firm of West and McCulloch, has a saloon.

Billy McDonald, Johnny Caldwell, and Tom Nash are tending bar.

Jack Curry is superintending the erection of the large stores for the company.

George Tepler, the barber, has a fine shop and bathhouse built on a scow in the river.

Wentworth and Kelley of Valentine's Jewelry store in Juneau, are mining up the creek.

Fred Card, and Theodore Smith, Juneau restaurant men are running restaurants.

Joe Birch raised $4,000 here in half a day in behalf of his brother. Everybody donated.

An old fellow by the name of Whipple who built the Seattle Kitchen in Juneau sold for $10,000.

Joe, write soon and send in a Juneau paper if you can. Any information you want I will give you.

All the Juneau boys are doing well. One would imagine he was in Juneau by the number of familiar faces he sees.

Gus Bakke and Fred Stevens bought Ash's place and are doing a fine business. They are erecting an opera house which is to cost $12,000.

An old fellow, "Razoo", Billy's partner, who used to chop wood around Juneau, has been offered $60,000 and refused the same for his claims.

Would write more but my time is limited and am writing under difficulties. All Juneau people are making money and doing well. Give my regards to all friends.

Harry Ash left on the last boat for Frisco. He leaves here with $1000,000 sure, and leaves an interest in two claims worth fully that much more in charge of his brother. His saloon business was worth $1,000 a day.

The men sent in by George Rice have arrived and are now busily engaged putting up the brewery. If it had been here six weeks ago he could have cleaned up $1,000 per day. The weather has been intensely hot and beer would have sold better than anything else.

Eggs sold here for $4.50 per dozen; potatoes $1.00 per pound. In restaurants eggs being $1.00 each; bacon 65 cents per pound. All other food articles are cheap, and one is foolish to bring them in from the outside. Cigars are all right. Whiskey sells for $20.00 per gallon.

Latest From Dawson - THE THORP PARTY COMES OUT WITH $18,000 - The Thorp Party Arrives - The Seaolin arrived here from Dyea Sunday morning bring a party of Yukoners. The party was composed of Ed Thorp, who left here last May for Klondike, George Stewart, who accompanied Thorp on the cattle trip last winter, Joe Winterholder, formerly proprietor of Joe's restaurant, Jack Ross of Douglas, and an Indian guide Schwatka. This party is the first to pole up the Yukon this year. They poled up the river to Pelly and then came by way of the Dalton trail which is about 300 miles long. The boys think the trail is the best coming out if your pack is light, as it avoids the rapids and canyon. They traveled with light packs, depending on getting game along the trail, but at times they went pretty hungry. The boys brought out about $18,000 in gold dust, the largest nugget being valued at $70. They did not get the whole sum out of the diggings, a portion being derived from the sale of the cattle. Their claims are on El Dorado creek.

They report the creek-bed placers to be all taken up and prospectors are interesting themselves in bench claims which are being prospected with good results. Claims on the Klondike are not being worked extensively at present as they are deep placers and can only be worked in winter when frozen.

When the Thorp boys left there was a scarcity of provisions, but the steamers were expected daily and no alarm was felt, Pay dirt has been found on the small creeks tributary to Indian river, but nothing very rich

Notes from Skaguay - Miners' meetings are the order of the day.

Notes from Skaguay - The price of packing is 35 cents per pound.

Notes from Skaguay - Ten horses have been reported killed on the trail.

Notes from Skaguay - Several kegs of beer from Juneau were sized and sent back.

Notes from Skaguay - Bacon is selling at 10 cents per pound and flour at 50 cents per sack.

Notes from Skaguay - About thirty-five buildings have gone up in the last few weeks.

Notes from Skaguay - Messrs. Salvin, Boyle and Raphael have arrived at the lakes with their outfits.

Notes from Skaguay - There are between 4,000 and 5,000 miners on the trail from the beach to the summit.

Notes from Skaguay - It is estimated that a wagon road can be built from the beach to the summit for $20,000.

Notes from Skaguay - A sloop full of liquor was seized the other day by the customs officials, the property of F. H. Kane.

Notes from Skaguay - The distance from the beach to the lakes on the trail has been conservatively estimated to be forty miles.

Notes from Skaguay - Bond and Pearce, who are backed with plenty of money, got their five tons of provisions through to the lakes in four weeks. They had horses and hired fourteen men at $5 per day and board.

Notes from Skaguay - Quite a number of mama-boys have lost their grip and are selling their outfits at a sacrifice.

Local Rays - Judge Ostrander left town today for Snettisham to look after his mining property.

Local Rays - The new mill for the Aurora Borealis Mining company is expected to be in full operation in about two weeks.

Local Rays - The Juneau market, at the corner of Third and Franklin street was opened last Wednesday. Ed. Cardinal is the manager.

Local Rays - The Skaguay Wharf and Improvement Co., an organization formed by local capitalists will immediately commence the construction of a wharf at Skaguay. The approach is to be 1,000 feet in length and will extend far enough for the largest vessels to land at low tide.

Local Rays - Joseph Birth who went into the interior about June 1 st , returned to Juneau Friday morning. His party were only nineteen days coming from Dawson to the headwaters of Lake Linderman. While there Mr. Birch succeeding in raising about $4,000 among the miners as a fund for the defense of this brother, William T. Birch. Joe says that times are very lively around Dawson, and that everybody has money. He will probably return to the interior January next.

Local Rays - William Malan returned from a trip to Skaguay Sunday.

Local Rays - C. S. Johnson and son, Francis, came up on the Topeka.

Local Rays - Atty. A. C. Van Doran, has gone to Skaguay to practice law.

Local Rays - Judge Hannum left for Skaguay this week to take in the city of tents.

Local Rays - Prof. S. A. Keller returned on the Topeka after a pleasant trip to Washington, D.C.

Local Rays - Collector of Customs, J. W. Ivey went to Skaguay on the Rustler Tuesday evening.

Local Rays - T. R. Needham and M. J. Williams returned from a three months' prospecting trip to Ketchikan district.

Local Rays - A. G. Bays, deputy marshal of Wrangel, came up on the Topeka with a prisoner fro Sitka jail.

Local Rays - Thomas Marquam has been appointed inspector afloat and has gone to Mary island, where he will be stationed.

Local Rays - R. Hiltz came down from Skaguay last Sunday, bringing a sick man. He returned Wednesday on the Seaolin.

Local Rays - A whist party was given by the Chi-Chaco club in honor of Miss Lewis at the residence of Mr. And Mrs. Pedlar yesterday evening.

Local Rays - Mr. Dawson Crawford and Miss Anna Pape, both of this city, were married Wednesday August 13, 1897, by Rev. J. H. Condit.

Local Rays - William C. Barrett and Miss Sadie Stone, both of Oakland, Cal., were married at the Mission parsonage Monday, Rev. L. F. Jones officiating.

Local Rays - According to the schedule F. W. Hoyt, one of the mail carriers leaves Circle city August 1 st , and may be expected to arrive here in a few days.

Local Rays - E. J. Floyd was appointed deputy collector of customs by Collector J. W. Ivey and went up to Skaguay in company with the latter gentleman on the Rustler.

Local Rays - The funeral of Oliver Price took place Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock from St. Ann's hospital. The services were conducted by the W. H. Seward Post, No. 36, G.A.R.

Local Rays - W. J. Henderson, the proprietor of the Cow Butter store, returned from Skaguay several days ago. Mr. Henderson went clear through the trail and pronounces it to be all right.

Local Rays - William Ester, a Negro, was sentenced by Judge Ostrander last Tuesday to six months in the Sitka jail for stealing a fur cap from an Indian on Front street. Ester came here on the Rosalie, Monday.

Local Rays - The ice cream social given by the Ladies Guild of Trinity church Wednesday evening at the Juneau hotel was immense success. A number of the officers from the U.S.S. Concord were present.

Local Rays - John Peterson of the Montana saloon is at Lake Bennett in the boat building business. He says that the price of boats have gone up from $60 to $150 and they cannot build them fast enough to supply the demand.

Local Rays - Rev. H. Beer and Rev. J. H. Condit will sail Monday on board the Mayflower for Muir Glacier for a two weeks' outing. They are the guests of Rev. A. C. Austin, who is in charge of the Presbyterian mission at Hoonah.

Local Rays - Ed thorp, George Stewart and Joe Winterholder, who came out of the Yukon Sunday, left here on the Geo. E. Starr Monday morning for Seattle. They will return as soon as possible and go into the interior to look after their mining interests.

Local rays - Archie Burns writes from Cassiar bar, seventeen miles from Hootalinqua, on August 16 th , and says he will reach the Klondike with his ten head of cattle all right. Burns took four men with him and will take the cattle down the river on a raft.

Local Rays - E. C. de la Pole will leave on the next trip of the Rustler for Skaguay. Mr. De la Pole's outfit is already over the Skaguay trail, his boat is built at the lake and he expects to be floating down the Yukon within another week. Mrs. De la Pole will accompany her husband to the Klondike

Local Rays - On account of the Klondike excitement the raffle for the F. B. Creese residence on the ridge has been postponed until October 1, when the raffle will take place in Windsor hall. Only one dollar a chance and the lowest number gets a brand new sewing machine. Thickets for sale at the principal stores.

Local Rays - The officers of the Concord extended an invitation to some of the ladies and gentlemen of Juneau to visit the ship this afternoon. Among the visitors were, Mesdames C. S. Hannum, W. C. Pedlar, M. Minnick, Misses R. Riley, J. Sullivan, Edith Bingham, E. Saxman, Messrs. S. A. Keller, Geo. Taylor, W. F. Hanbury.

Douglas Flashes - William Stubbins has opened a shoemaker shop on Front street. His friends are all glad to see him at his old trade.

Douglas Flashes - Arthur Moon, brother of James Moore of this place arrived on the Willamette and will remain here for the present.

Douglas Flashes - Mrs. Curry and two children arrived on the Topeka and will reside in the new cottage recently built by the Sawmill Co.

Douglas Flashes - Mrs. S. Gins has removed to Juneau where she will keep boarders. She will leave for the Klondike early in the spring to join her husband.

Douglas Flashes - Mrs. Archie McDonald departed on the steamer Rosalie for Portland, Oregon, where she will remain with her mother while her husband is in the Klondike.

Douglas Flashes - Mrs. M. H. Lynch and daughter arrived on the Topeka from Haywards, Alameda County, Cal., after an absence of two years. They have gone to housekeeping in one of the Treadwell cottages.

Douglas Flashes - Mr. E. J. N. Ott left on the Topeka for California for a vacation of two months. Rumors have it that he will bring with him a bride when he returns. That cottage on the hillside tells the tale.

Douglas Flashes - Mrs. Omer Patten gave a delightful little party, Thursday evening in honor of Miss L. Swinehart. The evening was spent in playing cards and games after which a very dainty lunch was served. All departed just before twelve declaring they had spent a very enjoyable evening.

Training for the Klondike - Before going to the Klondike it is necessary for the tenderfoot to be specially equipped physically to stand the rigors of the cool atmosphere, hardship and probable hunger. For those who contemplate making the trip to round up all the gold that lies concealed under the Arctic circle the following rules in hygiene are suggested:

Spend two hours a day in the "zero" room of a cold-storage warehouse.

Keep your head cool

If you play cards at all, confine yourself to freeze out.

Give your friends a cold stare when you greet them.

Bathe in water in which ice is floating.

Partake sparingly of the following menu once every other day:


Cutlets of dog

Snowflake muffins

More Ice

Tallowla la mode

Lard frappe

Some more ice

Frosted pine cones

Fricassee of icicle

Chipped iceberg

Sperm candle chilled

Glacier puffs.

After a month of this diet, two more months should be spent in fasting. If at the end of that time you still yearn for sudden wealth you will be in condition to go, barring, of course, accidents and sickness. If you do go, before starting don't forget to take in a sufficient number of coal oil cans in which to convey your wealth.

Canadian Bank for Dawson - It appears that the Canadian government has definitely decided to establish a bank of treasury office at Dawson city. From the plan indicated, it is apparent that the Canadian government expects to be able to compel the miners to bring all their gold to this office, and to take in exchange for it drafts on the treasury at Ottawa. These drafts would, of course, be readily cashed by any banking institution in the Dominion of the United States, and in that respect they will be a very convenient and safe method for miners, either to make remittances to their friends or to send out the value of the gold which they may obtain.

Concerning this move the Vancouver, B.C., Advertiser says: It may be anticipated that, to a very considerable extent, the facilities thereby afforded by the government will be availed of by the miners. It is evident, however, that the government has a motive beyond that of merely affording the miners the facilities usually offered by banks or express companies. Its further object undoubtedly is to facilitate the collection of the royalties of 10 and 20 per cent which it has announced it intends to levy on all gold which is taken out of the rivers and creeks in the Yukon district. This is where the banking scheme is not likely to be generally successful.



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