Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jack the Ripper

“Finished building the fence by the road along 18 acre lot this forenoon.  Dragged on the wheat  ground this afternoon.”

Newspaper broadsheet referring to the killer as "Leather Apron", September 1888

"Jack the Ripper" is the best-known name given to an unidentified serial killer who was active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. The name originated in a letter, written by someone claiming to be the murderer, that was disseminated in the media. The letter is widely believed to have been a hoax, and may have been written by a journalist in a deliberate attempt to heighten interest in the story. Other nicknames used for the killer at the time were "The Whitechapel Murderer" and "Leather Apron".

"With the Vigilance Committee in the East End: A Suspicious Character" from The Illustrated London News, 13 October 1888
Attacks ascribed to the Ripper typically involved female prostitutes from the slums whose throats were cut prior to abdominal mutilations. The removal of internal organs from at least three of the victims led to proposals that their killer possessed anatomical or surgical knowledge. Rumors that the murders were connected intensified in September and October 1888, and letters from a writer or writers purporting to be the murderer were received by media outlets and Scotland Yard. The "From Hell" letter, received by George Lusk of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, included half of a preserved human kidney, supposedly from one of the victims. Mainly because of the extraordinarily brutal character of the murders, and because of media treatment of the events, the public came increasingly to believe in a single serial killer known as "Jack the Ripper".

The "From Hell" letter
Extensive newspaper coverage bestowed widespread and enduring international notoriety on the Ripper. An investigation into a series of brutal killings in Whitechapel up to 1891 was unable to connect all the killings conclusively to the murders of 1888, but the legend of Jack the Ripper solidified. As the murders were never solved, the legends surrounding them became a combination of genuine historical research, folklore, and pseudohistory. The term "ripperology" was coined to describe the study and analysis of the Ripper cases. There are now over one hundred theories about the Ripper's identity, and the murders have inspired multiple works of fiction.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Dust Bowl

“Put up some panel fence along the road today.  About three o’clock I went and finished plowing for wheat.  About two hours work.  Pleasant day.”

A farmer and his two sons during a dust storm in Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936. Photo: Arthur Rothstein
The Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936 (in some areas until 1940). The phenomenon was caused by severe drought coupled with decades of extensive farming without crop rotation, fallow fields, cover crops or other techniques to prevent wind erosion. Deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains had displaced the natural deep-rooted grasses that normally kept the soil in place and trapped moisture even during periods of drought and high winds.
During the drought of the 1930s, without natural anchors to keep the soil in place, it dried, turned to dust, and blew away eastward and southward in large dark clouds. At times the clouds blackened the sky reaching all the way to East Coast cities such as New York and Washington, D.C. Much of the soil ended up deposited in the Atlantic Ocean, carried by prevailing winds, which were in part created by the dry and bare soil conditions. These immense dust storms—given names such as "Black Blizzards" and "Black Rollers"—often reduced visibility to a few feet (around a meter). The Dust Bowl affected 100,000,000 acres (400,000 km2), centered on the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and adjacent parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.

A dust storm approaches Stratford, Texas, in 1935
Millions of acres of farmland became useless, and hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes; many of these families (often known as "Okies", since so many came from Oklahoma) migrated to California and other states, where they found economic conditions little better during the Great Depression than those they had left. Owning no land, many became migrant workers who traveled from farm to farm to pick fruit and other crops at starvation wages. Author John Steinbeck later wrote The Grapes of Wrath, which won the Pulitzer Prize, and Of Mice and Men, about such people.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lithograph Buttons

“Rained all night.  Most of the time very hard.  Did not abate until after nine o’clock this morning.  Has been cloudy all day but not much rain since about half past nine.  I made some fence panels and put away the tools in the tools house and sharpened a few stakes for fence.”


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Changing a tire!

“Plowed all day on the barley stubble.  Was very sultry this afternoon.  Cloudy.”

I love pictures showing every day activities.  Think about this picture the next time you have to change a tire.  At least you will not have to hand inflate it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Audrey Hepburn

Hepburn in a screen test for Roman Holiday (1953) which was also used as promotional material

Audrey Hepburn (born Audrey Kathleen Ruston; 4 May 1929 – 20 January 1993) was a British actress and humanitarian. Although modest about her acting ability, Hepburn remains one of the world's most famous actresses of all time, remembered as a film and fashion icon of the twentieth century. Redefining glamour with "elfin" features and a waif-like figure that inspired designs by Hubert de Givenchy, she was inducted in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame, and ranked, by the American Film Institute, as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of American cinema.

Hepburn in a studio publicity portrait for 1957 film Love in the Afternoon

Born in Ixelles, Belgium, Hepburn spent her childhood chiefly in the Netherlands, including German-occupied Arnhem during the Second World War. In Arnhem, she studied ballet before moving to London in 1948 where she continued to train in ballet while working as a photographer's model. Upon deciding to pursue a career in acting, she performed as a chorus girl in various West End musical theatre productions. After appearing in several British films and starring in the 1951 Broadway play Gigi, Hepburn gained instant Hollywood stardom for playing the Academy Award-winning lead role in Roman Holiday (1953). Later performing in Sabrina (1954), The Nun's Story (1959), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Charade (1963), My Fair Lady (1964) and Wait Until Dark (1967), Hepburn became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age who received nominations for Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTAs as well as winning a Tony Award for her theatrical performance in the 1954 Broadway play Ondine. Hepburn remains one of few entertainers who have won Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards.

Hepburn, aged 19, in Dutch in Seven Lessons (1948)

Although she appeared in fewer films as her life went on, Hepburn devoted much of her later life to UNICEF. Her war-time struggles inspired her passion for humanitarian work and, although Hepburn had contributed to the organisation since the 1950s, she worked in some of the most profoundly disadvantaged communities of Africa, South America and Asia in the late eighties and early nineties. In 1992, Hepburn was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.  At the age of 63, Hepburn died of appendiceal cancer at her home in Switzerland.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Only a few days left to receive 15% off your order

“Plowed all day on the barley stubble.”

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Us and Hercules

“I finished dragging the east lot and then went and dragged the two acres up south this forenoon.  Plowed on the barley stubble this afternoon.  Has been a fine day.”

It is always nice to have your picture taken with Hercules.  It should be the goal of everyone!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Burning of Washington!

“Rained all the forenoon and I made a wagon tongue for the heavy wagon.  After dinner, I took it up to have some irons fixed on it and father dragged while I was ….. I got home about 4 and dragged until night.  Ground works very fine.”

Burning of Washington 1814

The Burning of Washington was an incident of the War of 1812 between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the United States of America. On August 24, 1814, a British force occupied Washington, D.C. and set fire to many public buildings following the American defeat at the Battle of Bladensburg. The facilities of the U.S. government, including the White House and U.S. Capitol, were largely destroyed, though strict discipline and the British commander's orders to burn only public buildings are credited with preserving the city's private buildings. This has been the only time since the Revolutionary War that a foreign power has captured and occupied the United States capital

The White House ruins after the conflagration of August 24, 1814. Watercolor by George Munger, displayed at the White House

 Historians assert that the attack was in retaliation for the American burning and looting of York (now Toronto) during the Battle of York in 1813, and the burning down of the buildings of the Legislative Assembly there. The British Army commanders said they chose to attack Washington "on account of the greater political effect likely to result".

The United States Capitol after the burning of Washington, D.C. in the War of 1812. Watercolor and ink depiction from 1814, restored

Governor-General Sir George Prevost of Canada wrote to the Admirals in Bermuda calling for a retaliation for the American sacking of York and requested their permission and support in the form of provision of naval resources. At the time, it was considered against the civilized laws of war to burn a non-military facility and the Americans had not only burned the Parliament but also looted and burned the Governor's mansion, private homes and warehouses

The Burning of Washington forms the background to this portrait of Rear Admiral George Cockburn

Further proof of the intention was that after the limited British burning of some public facilities, the British left. There was no territory that they wanted to occupy, no military facility that they had planned to attack.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The State of Franklin

“I plowed on the barley stubble this forenoon. Mr & Mrs George Blount of Buffalo came and shent the afternoon with me and I took them to the evening train 6:00 pm.”

State of Franklin superimposed over the map of Tennessee

The State of Franklin, known also as the Free Republic of Franklin or the State of Frankland (the latter being the name submitted to the Continental Congress when it considered the territory's application for statehood), was an unrecognized autonomous United States territory created in 1784 from part of the territory west of the Appalachian Mountains that had been offered, by North Carolina, as a cession to the federal government (to help pay off debts related to the American Revolutionary War). Its first capital was Jonesboro. Later, the area legally became, once again, part of North Carolina. Franklin encompassed what ultimately comprised a large share of the Tennessee Eastern Division of the Southwest Territory. Franklin was never admitted into the United States — falling two votes short for admission. The extra-legal state existed for only about four and a half years, ostensibly as a republic, before largely being abandoned.

Replica of the Capitol of the State of Franklin in Greeneville, Tennessee

After the summer of 1785, the government of Franklin (which was by then based in Greeneville), ruled as a "parallel government" running alongside (but not harmoniously with) a re-established North Carolina bureaucracy. The creation of Franklin is novel, in that it resulted from both a cession (an offering from North Carolina to Congress) and a secession (seceding from North Carolina, when its offer was not acted upon, and the original cession was rescinded).

Monday, August 22, 2011

One last day at the beach!

“Worked on the barley stubble this forenoon.  Went to the funeral at Mr. Bovee’s this afternoon.  The day has been a beautiful one and the funeral was very largely attended from this and the adjoining towns.  The event was very sad indeed.  Muuro cow calved last night, nice heifer calf.”

As summer winds down, I thought that I would post one last beach picture.  This might have been considered very Risqué  and sexy for the time. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A boy and his bear.

“Helped Will Holmes thrash wheat until about half past two and went to Mr. Storuel’s about three and helped them until night.”

Note: I find it very interesting that there is no mention of the accident in today's diary entry.  People seemed to move on much quicker then than now!

Posing children with their favorite toy or doll was very popular in Victorian times.  This is the first in a series that I have.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Terrible Accident!

“A terrible accident happened about 10:25 this morning.  Mr & Mrs Bovee & their Daughter Ola, Miss Emma Bowden & Miss Lena Wicks all being killed at the Lehigh crossing as they were coming to church.”

Below, you will find a newspaper account of the accident along with some picture of Le Roy New York.  Please be advised that the Newspaper Account is graphic.

Democrat Chronicle
Rochester, Monroe Co., New York
Aug. 21 1893

Five People Instantly Killed at Oatka Station
Whistles Of No Avail
A Carriage Struck by a Lehigh Valley Train Which Was Flying
Over the Crossing at Sixty Miles an Hour --
Fate of the Bovee Family.

Oatka, N. Y., Aug. 20 - The saddest accident in the history of Le Roy occurred at the Lake street crossing of the Lehigh Valley railroad, about two miles from this village, at the station known as Oatka this morning. L. J. BOVEE, wife and daughter, Miss Olla BOVEE, Miss Emma BOWDEN and Mrs. Nancy WICKES were crossing the tracks on their way to the Presbyterian church when they were struck by a fast train going east, and all were killed instantly. Not one of the party spoke.
    Team No. 614 going east and passing the Oatka station at 10:17 this morning was in charge of J. H. STOWELL, conductor, and BOWMAN, engineer. When some distance west of the crossing the engineer whistled four times, the regular number of whistles for a crossing. Those who saw the accident were D. I. FONDA, station agent and operator, and Lewis BOWEN, who were on the platform of the station. From those people a Democrat and Chronicle correspondent learned the facts of the terrible disaster. Mr. FONDA said Mr. BOVEE and his wife and daughter, and Misses Emma BOWDEN and Nancy WICKS were crossing the tracks when the train whistled. The train was going sixty miles an hour, and just an instant before the train struck the carriage Mr. BOVEE, who was driving, was seen to whip up his team of horses. He failed to get across and the large locomotive struck the carriage, which was a double-covered vehicle, on the forward wheel. One horse was mangled and the other after being struck stood up but soon fell dead.
    The train was stopped within a quarter of a mile and it backed up to where the accident occurred. Several men were on the scene soon after the accident and gathered up the bodies, which were strewn about the track for a long distance. The body of Mr. BOVEE was carried as far east as the station, where it fell from the pilot of the engine. The body of Miss BOWDEN was thrown between the tracks and her head was severed from her body, the wheels apparently having run over the chest. All five of the bodies were nude, their clothing being torn into strings. Pieces of jewelry were picked up along the tracks and the case of Mr. BOVEE's watch was found _ammed and the works of the watch gone. Some idea can be gained from the fact that some teeth were picked up at some distance from where the accident happened. The bodies were placed on the platform where they presented a ghastly sight. The bones of their bodies were crushed and Mr. BOVEE's skull was crushed in and the brains were strewn on the ground.
    Coroner STONE, of Le Roy, was notified and after viewing the remains, ordered them taken to their late home, a short distance from where the accident happened. Miss BOWDEN was the daughter of Samuel BOWDEN, of New York city, and formerly of Le Roy. He arrived in Le Roy Saturday evening, and was a guest at the BOVEE residence. Miss WICKS was stopping with Mr. and Mrs. BOVEE while her mother and sister were at the Catskill mountains.
    When the news of the accident began to spread a large number of people visited the scene where the accident occurred. There is a slight rise in the road, but the track can be seen three-quarters of a mile west. The announcement of the accident was made from the Presbyterian church at the close of the morning services, and a large number of the congregation returned home without stopping for Sabbath school. The carriage in which the unfortunate people were seated was smashed into splinters and parts of the gearing thrown a long distance. Undertakers George G. STEUBER and Henry STEUBER had charge of the remains.
    The accident is the most serious that Le Roy has had and the worst railroad accident since the accident occurring on a crossing of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railroad, about three miles south of Le Roy village some five or six years ago, when Mr. and Mrs. Albert HENDEL were killed. No arrangements have been made for the funeral as yet. Mr. BOVEE was a member of the firm of L. J. BOVEE & Co., dealers in lumber, with their main office at Le Roy. The blame seems to rest on Mr. BOVEE, as the engineer whistled and when he saw the danger repeated the signal. The crossing is a dangerous one, however. When the news of the accident had spread about town the many young friends of Miss BOVEE and Miss BOWDEN were dumbfounded. Miss BOWDEN was a graduate of Ingham university, at Le Roy. Mr. BOVEE was about 60 years of age and owned considerable property, among which is a handsome residence in the northern part of Le Roy township. The accident entirely expunged the family, with the exception of one daughter, who was notified of the accident soon after it happened.
    Mr. BOVEE was born at Attica, N. Y., and is survived by one brother, El_n BOVEE, of Stone Church, and one sister residing at Aurora, N. Y., also one step-brother, Winfield MAPES, of Attica. Mrs. BOVEE was an estimable lady and her tragic death will be mourned by a host of friends. A coroner inquest will probably be held at 10 o'clock Monday morning. The team of horses driven by Mr. BOVEE was quite valuable. All day a large crowd visited the scene of the accident and numbers of relics were carried away. Mr. BOVEE had crossed the same crossing many times and often went to Buffalo over the Lehigh Valley. The accident is the first since the road was built at this point.
    Miss Emma BOWDEN was the youngest daughter of Rev. Samuel BOWDEN who for many years was pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian church in York, Livingston county. After retiring from the pastorate in York. Mr. BOWDEN removed to Le Roy where he lived for about five years during which time he acted as pastor of a church located outside the village. He removed to New York about two years ago. Mrs. Charles A. BOW of New York is a sister of Miss BOWDEN. There are two other sisters living, Miss Margaret and Lillian BOWDEN. The family is quite well known in Western New York.

Le Roy in the 1860s

Map of Le Rey in 1892

The Le Roy Train Station

Friday, August 19, 2011

John Wesley Hardin

“Finished thrashing about 10 o’clock this morning.  Had about 400 bu wheat and 175 bu barley.  Helped Will draw oats this afternoon until about 4 O’clock.”

Ferrotype of John Wesley Hardin

John Wesley Hardin (May 26, 1853—August 19, 1895) was an outlaw and gunfighter of the American Old West. He was born in Bonham, Fannin County, Texas. When Hardin went to prison in 1878, he claimed to have killed 42 men, but considerably fewer killings have been documented as actually attributable to him. Hardin's criminal career resulted not only in the deaths of his victims but also in the deaths of his brother Joe and two cousins who were hanged by a lynch mob seeking revenge for a Hardin killing.

John Selman Sr.
El Paso lawman, John Selman Jr., arrested Hardin's friend, the widow M'Rose (or Mroz), for "brandishing a gun in public." Hardin confronted Selman, and the two men had a verbal dispute. On being told of the argument, John's 56-year-old father, John Selman Sr., a constable, approached Hardin on the afternoon of August 19, 1895, and the two men exchanged words. Later that night, Hardin went to the Acme Saloon, where he began playing dice. Shortly before midnight Selman Sr. walked in and saw Hardin with his back to him, and shot him in the back of the head, killing him instantly. As Hardin's body lay on the floor, Selman fired three more shots into him. Hardin is buried in the historic Concordia Cemetery, located in El Paso Texas.
Selman Sr. was arrested for the murder and stood trial, where he claimed he had fired in self defense. A hung jury resulted in his being released on bond, pending retrial.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Woman's Suffrage Movement

“Got ready for thrashing this forenoon.  Machine came about half past ten and got set up before dinner.  We thrashed out the wheat 270 bushels and 55 bushels from the mow.”

Women's suffragists parade down Fifth Avenue, New York, October 1917, carrying the signatures of a million women

Woman suffrage in the United States was achieved gradually, at state and local levels, during the 19th Century and early 20th Century, culminating in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provided: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 formulated the demand for women's suffrage in the United States of America and after the American Civil War (1861–1865) agitation for the cause became more prominent. In 1869 the proposed Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave the vote to black men, caused controversy as women's suffrage campaigners such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton refused to endorse the amendment, as it did not give the vote to women. Others, such as Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe however argued that if black men were enfranchised, women would achieve their goal. The conflict caused two organisations to emerge, the National Woman Suffrage Association, which campaigned for women's suffrage at a federal level as well as for married women to be given property rights, and the American Woman Suffrage Association, which aimed to secure women's suffrage through state legislation.

U.S. women suffragists demonstrating for the right to vote, February 1913

On January 12, 1915, a suffrage bill was brought before the House of Representatives but was defeated by a vote of 204 to 174. Another bill was brought before the House on January 10, 1918. On the evening before, President Wilson made a strong and widely published appeal to the House to pass the bill. It was passed by two-thirds of the House, with only one vote to spare. The vote was then carried into the Senate. Again President Wilson made an appeal, but on September 30, 1918, the amendment fell two votes short of passage. On February 10, 1919, it was again voted upon, and then it was lost by only one vote.

Political suffrage cartoon that appeared in Judge, March 9, 1917

There was considerable anxiety among politicians of both parties to have the amendment passed and made effective before the general elections of 1920, so the President called a special session of Congress, and a bill, introducing the amendment, was brought before the House again. On May 21, 1919, it was passed, 42 votes more than necessary being obtained. On June 4, 1919, it was brought before the Senate, and after a long discussion it was passed, with 56 ayes and 25 nays. Within a few days, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan ratified the amendment, their legislatures being then in session. Other states followed suit at a regular pace, until the amendment had been ratified by 35 of the necessary 36 state legislatures. After Washington on March 22, 1920, ratification languished for months. Finally, on August 18, 1920, Tennessee narrowly ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, making it the law throughout the United States.
The final states to ratify the 19th Amendment were Georgia, North Carolina, and Louisiana, in 1970 and 1971. South Carolina finally ratified it in 1973, but Mississippi not until 1984.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Robert Service

“Drew two loads of coal this forenoon 3540 & 3600.  After dinner, I went up and 1350# of engine coal and a stick for a wagon tongue of M A Ladd and some Po man & Middlings of G. F Prentice.”

Robert W. Service, c. 1905

Robert William Service (January 16, 1874 – September 11, 1958) was a poet and writer who has often been called "the Bard of the Yukon".
Service is best known for his poems "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee", from his first book, Songs of a Sourdough (1907; also published as The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses). "These humorous tales in verse were considered doggerel by the literary set, yet remain extremely popular to this day." Songs of a Sourdough has sold more than three million copies, making it the most commercially successful book of poetry of the 20th century.
 Robert W. Service was born in Preston, Lancashire, England, the first of ten children. His father, also Robert Service, was a banker from Kilwinning, Scotland who had been transferred to England.
Service moved to Canada at the age of 21 and travelled to Vancouver Island, British Columbia with his Buffalo Bill outfit and dreams of becoming a cowboy.  Down on his luck in 1903, Service was hired by a Canadian Bank of Commerce branch in Victoria, British Columbia, using his Commercial Bank letter of reference. The bank "watched him, gave him a raise, and sent him to Kamloops in the middle of British Columbia. In Victoria he lived over the bank with a hired piano, and dressed for dinner. In Kamloops, horse country, he played polo. In the fall of 1904 the bank sent him to their Whitehorse branch in the Yukon.

Cabin of Robert Service in Dawson City, Yukon (Photo by Hans-Jürgen Hübner)
Yukon period
Whitehorse was a frontier town, less than ten years old. Located on the Yukon River at the Whitehorse Rapids, it had begun in 1897 as a campground for prospectors on their way to Dawson City to join the Klondike Gold Rush. The railroad that Service rode in on had reached Whitehorse only in 1900.
Settling in, "Service dreamed and listened to the stories of the great gold rush." He also "took part in the extremely active Whitehorse social life. As was popular at the time he recited at concerts – things like 'Casey at the Bat' and 'Gunga Din'.
"In 1908, after working for the bank for three years in Whitehorse, he was sent outside on mandatory paid leave for three months, a standard practice for bank employees serving in the Yukon." According to Enid Mallory, he went to Vancouver and looked up Constance MacLean. Now that he was a successful author, she agreed to become engaged to him.
Later Years
Service left Dawson City for good in 1912 From 1912 to 1913 he was a correspondent for the Toronto Star during the Balkan Wars.
In 1913 Service arrived in Paris, where he would live for the next 15 years. He settled in the Latin Quarter, posing as a painter. In June 1913 he married Parisienne Germaine Bougeoin, daughter of a distillery owner, and they purchased a summer home at Lancieux, Côtes-d'Armor, in the Brittany region of France. Thirteen years younger than her husband, Germaine Service lived 31 years following his death, dying at age 102 in 1989.
In the 1920s Service began writing thriller novels. The Poisoned Paradise, A Romance of Monte Carlo (New York, 1922) and The Roughneck. A Tale of Tahiti (New York, 1923) would both be made into silent movies.
Service wrote prolifically during his last years, publishing six books of verse from 1949 to 1955 (with one more appearing posthumously the following year). It was at Service's flat in Monte Carlo that Canadian broadcaster Pierre Berton recorded, over a period of three days, many hours of autobiographical television interview, for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, in the spring of 1958, not long before Service died.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Yukon Gold Rush

“I finished plowing the piece up south this forenoon.  Drew a load of coal this afternoon.  3350#.

Claims Office

The Klondike Gold Rush, sometimes referred to as the Yukon gold rush, was a frenzied gold rush that drew tens of thousands of would-be prospectors from all over the world to the Klondike River near Dawson City, Yukon, Canada after gold was discovered there in 1896. The gold rush lasted only a few years, essentially ending in 1899. In total, about 12,500,000 troy ounces (390,000 kg; 860,000 lb) have been taken from the Klondike area in the century since its discovery.
 By 1898 Dawson City had a population of 30,000, making it the largest Canadian city west of Winnipeg. To cope with the onslaught, the NWMP force of 19 in late 1895 grew to 285 in November 1898. The police kept Dawson a very law-abiding place. In 1898, there were no murders and only a few major thefts; in all, only about 150 arrests were made in the Yukon for serious offenses that year, over half for prostitution. The blue laws were strictly enforced. Saloons and other establishments closed promptly at midnight on Saturday. Anyone caught working on Sunday was liable to be fined or set to chopping firewood for the NWMP.

A Yukon Mining Camp

Life in the Klondike
Prices were high in Dawson that year. A meal that cost 15 cents in Seattle was $2.50 in Dawson and much inferior. Five dollars usually bought a meal of beans, stewed apples, bread and coffee. Supplies were so short that the police would not bother to arrest a man unless he had his own provisions. With currency being in short supply too (and actually commanding a premium), most payments were made in gold dust. In places like saloons, enterprising proprietors found it worth their while to sweep up the floors every day for spilled gold.
High prices were also paid for dogs. They were used as pack-dogs or sled-dogs. A dog could pull the same as a man and much faster. Some were pets from outside, however, the native dogs were best. They showed inbreed with wolves, but were kind and easily handled.

A Miners Tent City

Typhoid broke out in July and was rampant throughout the summer. The town's two small hospitals were filled to capacity. A common disease in Klondike, especially during the winter, was scurvy, a consequence of eating mostly preserved food for months. It struck, among others, the writer Jack London. It could be fatal, but was not in his case.
In the spring of 1899, when the river ice was due to break up, government officials ordered the town's garbage piled out on the ice. At breakup, the Yukon River swallowed some of it and took the rest downstream.

Monday, August 15, 2011

15 percent off through the end of August at The Buttonmonger

“I finished the Piece of plowing by the barn this morning and then went up north to plow about two acres.  Plowed rest of the day up there.”

This and other fabulous antique buttons available at my store:
Use this code "AESQE1583Z" to receive 15% off your order through the end of August.