scene at the station will never be forgotten by those
who witnessed it. Sadly and slowly the argonauts
found their way through town to the Great Northern
sleeper that had been standing at the Main Street
crossing for two days, a grim reminder that good bye
time must soon come, causing many a heart throb and
many an eye to fill as they caught sight of its sombre
outlines down the street. Hundreds of men, women and
children gathered on the platform, crowded the tracks
and stood on box cars. It was a silent crowd.
Here a woman stood weeping...., yonder a strong young
man gulped back his tears as he talked to his
brother... A white haired father with blanched
face, stood aloof, nursing his sorrow alone and
looking with mute agony through the car window at his
strong young son, the hero of his old age, who was
going to a far away new land to work out his destiny.
He might never come back.... Here was a truck
full of grips, each containing within the tightly
drawn straps its own little story of love. In
them were presents, not to be opened until Christmas
morning..... Then the hoarse whistle sounded.
The good-byes had all been said. Passengers
looked out the windows of the train and asked
wonderingly if war had been declared, if we were
sending a regiment to Cuba. It was a veritable
war scene. The agony was finally ended and the
big red sleeper was coupled on and whisked away....
They left for St. Paul via Hannibal and from St. Paul
will go to Seattle...At Seattle they will embark for
St. Michael, where their steamer, "The City of
Paris" awaits them. The trip will be exclusively
by water from Seattle to Dawson..... There will
be none of the walking and pass climbing that the
advance party were compelled to do. They will
arrive at Dawson about July first, their trip of 8,000
miles be made in something like 80 days. Their boat is
120 feet long, 20 feet wide and capable of carrying
100 passengers and several tons of freight.
...The crew will separate at Dawson, leaving one or
two men in charge of their stock of goods while the
rest prospect. The contract binds all to stay
for three years, but one man will be sent back this
winter, probably T. C. Bassett. They carry with
them a stock of goods of all descriptions among which
are 20,000 cigars made by C. G. Goetz of Paris.
These cigars it is expected, will be sold at 75 cents
apiece. ... They take with them also a saw mill,
but have abandoned the dredging scheme as
impracticable. It is not probable that the good will
be sold at Dawson, but possibly at new camps.
The boat will be tied up during the winter, and the
boys went well prepared for the long Alaska winters.
They took books without number and tobacco in enormous
quantities, besides a sure preventative for the bite
of the Alaskan mosquitoes. Each man has a big 38 colt
revolver, besides the boat's arsenal, and in fact the
Mo. Alaska Gold Co. is well prepared for operations
both offensive and defensive. Capt. Talbott of
Brunswick captain and John Parsons of Paris who used
to ply between the Yukon country and San Francisco,
will be engineer.....
passengers will be taken for the trip from St.
Michaels to Dawson and the boat may make the trip
twice before the freeze. Each of the boys wore
his money about his waist. Here they are, the youngest
being 23, and the oldest 64:
C.R. Buerk, T. J. Murphy, Abe Hill, T. G. Bassett,
Less Dry, M. R. Rodes, W.W. Allen, J. H. Davis, Rube
J. T. Dewey, DeWitt
R. H. Wright, Ed Powers, Santa
J .R. Gordon, C. W. Brooks, Moberly
J. M. Pfaff, St.
J. E. Jones, Trenton
Monroe Beagles, High
Ed Crigler, Chrismen, Ill.
D.C. Bassey, Brunswick
(Courtesy of Kathleen