Third Edition - 7:30 p.m.
Skaguay News
 
Skaguay, Alaska, April 4, 1898



ONE HUNDRED DEAD AT THE SCALES.

(Editor's addition: Modern view of the Avalanche Victim's Cemetery, Dyea, Alaska, 2001)

An Avalanche of Snow and Ice Swoops Down Upon the Unfortunate Argonauts

Camped There, Killing and Maiming Scores of Them - 35 Bodies Recovered Up to this Hour.

Death Lurks in the Chilkoot Trail

Work of Recovering Bodies Progressing Slowly - Names of Those Already Recovered From the Debris.

That death and destruction is the portion of those who attempt to enter the interior of Alaska by way of Dyea and the Chilkoot trail was painfully and agonizingly demonstrated at a point above Sheep Camp and between Stone Honse [house?] and The Scales, at midday yesterday when an avalanche of snow bore down from the treacherous mountain side sounding in its descent the death knell to between forty and sixty persons. All of Saturday night snow fell continuously and by yesterday morning twelve inches of the beautiful had been added to the several feet already there. The trail from Canyon City to the summit had been crowded all day Saturday by persons intent on pushing through to the lakes. At 2;30 yesterday morning a small avalanche of snow came down on the trail covering a large amount of freight which had been cached for the night. At noon yesterday, while many were at work endeavoring to extricate their property from the wreck of the previous night, a slide occurred, carrying with it results which will bring sorrow and desolation to many homes far away, where loved ones are to-day fondly thinking of , and perhaps praying for the success and prosperity of husbands, fathers, sons and brothers, little thinking that the mangled remains of those loved ones are buried beneath an avalanche of debris on the trail of the deadly Chilkoot.

Up to 10 o’clock this forenoon the following bodies have been recovered:

C. P. Harrison,  Seattle
W. L. Riley,     “
Gus Zebarth,   “
 --- Stevenson,   “
E. D. Wood,  New York
E. Beck,  Florida
Tom Cullin, Portland
J. Sprague,  Ballard
L. Weidulin,  Kansas City
J. A. Morgan,  Emporia, Kansas
Mrs. A Maxon,  Pennsylvania
---  ---  Grimes,  residence unknown
----- Athens, residence unknown

The work of recovering the bodies is being carried on today, but as additional slides are expected at any time, the work is very slow, as many are afraid to risk their lives by remaining in such a treacherous neighborhood.

The first three on the list had been working the previous night and were asleep in their tents at the time of the disaster. It is not known how many more bodies are in the wreck, but it is feared that there are between twenty-five and forty in addition to those already recovered.

It is reported that great consternation prevails at Dyea, and that there are hundreds of men there who will ship their outfits to the place and enter the interior over the White pass, the only safe and accessible route from salt water to the lakes.

Very Latest --- 6:30 P.M.

At 6:30 o’clock this evening the following telephone message from Sheep Camp to the SKAGUAY NEWS was received:

“Thirteen additional bodies have been recovered, making total number up to 6:30 p.m. thirty-five. The only names of the last thirteen known are:

Thos. Cullendew, Kirkland Or.
Ross Hepgard, Baker City, Or.
Con Geppert, Seattle
D. F. Miller, Vancouver, B. C.

It is confidently believed at Sheep Camp that fully one hundred people were killed in the slide. Not one of the 17 members of the Chilkoot Transportation Co. has yet to be heard from.”

Gus Zeiborth and Con Geppert were well known Seattle sbusiness man, the former a butcher, the latter a dealer in hardware.

The weird work of recovering bodies will be carried on to night in that dark valley of death.



Contributed by: Patrick M. McSherry
Source:
Cohen, Stan. Images of Spanish American War, April-August,1998.  (Missoula: Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., Inc., 1997) 16.
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