Harold Engelson Sr.

Valdez Alaska

Harold at 18

 

Once, as a child of six, grandpa took me for a walk to the top of a mountain in northern British Columbia. We, my mom and dad and baby brother were living in the abandoned mining town of Pinchi Lake. This was just a bit north of Ft. St. James. Pinchi, was at one time, the largest mercury mine in the British Commonwealth. Getting back to the story; we were sitting on a rock on the edge of the mine's "Glory Hole". The wind was warm and mussing our hair. We sat looking down at the townsite and lake. The sky was blue and thunderclouds were building in the distance. Mosquito hawks were diving and "zeeping" above us. Grandpa began talking about the Klondike and telling me things that would impress a little guy. He told me of his great adventure; how he had lost everything with his partners in a wild ride down a river in a boat that he had built. "Everything was lost but we were all safe. No one drowned." I asked him how much gold he got. "A million dollars!" he said softly with a smile. We sat there together in the sun and wind saying nothing for the longest time.

The following text has been taken from a series of letters and notes that were left in Harold's possession when he died in the year 1958.

Most were letters, that he had written. Some one had collected them and gave them back. I assume this would have been his sister in Minnesota. His handwriting was not good. Most was also written with an indelible pencil. There was a claim map and a map of Valdez and the Copper River.

Valdez was revisited in April/May of 1998.

See the following link: Valdez 1998

The letters continue below:

Minneapolis Minn. Easter Sunday 1897 (Harold was 19 at this time)

Dear Brother:

This letter will surprise you I know. I have been here five days now and am having a fine time. I have been to nearly all the shows and museums. I was in the Bijou Opera House, the finest in town. They played the Showman's Daughter that night. It was fine I tell you. I went over to St. Paul day before yesterday, and yesterday on the street cars. Pretty large towns these are, bigger than Wheaton anyhow, I was over to T. M. Roberts', S. E. Olson's, Plymouth Clothing House, and Donaldson's Glass block store, fine stores I tell you. They are prettiest in the night time, lighted up with electricity of all colors. I have seen so much it would take a book to tell it all.

I am up in the Ames Hotel listening to the Church chimes. They have been going all day. They have been ringing ever since 6 o'clock. It is a bad day, blowing like fury, and it is almost impossible to keep a hat on in the streets.

Well I'll just close now as I am in a great hurry. No telling where I will show up next. I think I will be in Chicago next. I give my love to Nellie, Dora, Adele and Hilda.

From your brother Harold Engelson

 

Wheaton Minn. April 16, 1897

To John Brackin (Harold's brother) written from a bank concerned with Harold Engelson's whereabouts.

Dear Sir:

I write you wishing to know ifyou could inform me of the whereabouts of Harold Engelson who left the town apparently without cause. He had borrowed $20 of me some time last winter, and I hold your note of $30 favor of Harold Engelson. I cannot be sure of his object in leaving as he did unless to see a little of the world. He drew what money he had in our bank before he left and as near as I can find out, he left no debts.

I am yours truly, W. E. Burton Cashier

 

Wheaton Minn. April 27, 1897

To John Brackin.

Dear Sir:

Yours of 21st just received and contents noted. I was in St. Paul and Minneapolis last week and while there learned, from a party that saw Harold, that Harold bummed his way to the cities, then started to take in the sights, taking in operas and other places of amusement and that he then had one dollar left. I was just leaving for home when I learned these facts or I would have hunted him up and tried to ascertain what he intended doing.

Jed came home last week and was telling me he was sure he saw Harold on a train going West, but could hardly believe it was him, as he thought him in Wheaton.

Harold boarded with Willis Major while here. He left Wheaton April 12th, and as far as known walked out of town.

Yours truly, W.E. Burton.

Eau Claire Wis. April 30, 1897

Dear Brother:

I wrote to you while I was in Minneapolis but I didn't get around to send it telling of my experiences in that city. I have been all over since then. I was in Barabas Wis, last Thursday. The Ringling Bros.Show was there so I went to Chicago with them. Stayed there two days, then went to Jolliet Ill. where they were going to show for the first time this season. I went from Jolliet to Elgin and saw that great watch factory there. Then I went to Rockford and from there back to Baraboo and thence I came here. I am going to Lellan next to go to work, for 25 dollars a month, for a couple of months in the woods. Then I will come back to work up here again. So long for this time John,

Harold.

 

Wheaton Minn. September 26, 1897

Dear Sister and Brother:

It is now nearly a year since I have heard from you and I have been wondering how things are over there now. I heard Mrs. Scott say that you got the place without any more difficulty. She says she had such a nice time while she was over visiting and I asked her how that can be when Hilda was sick abed. "Ah" she said, "I enjoyed it immensely any how."

I have been working ever since I returned from my notable journey, trying to relieve my financial embarrassment which that trip put me in. That trip cost me over $80.00, but I will soon make that up. I earned $43.00 in haying, shocking, and stucking, working for Harry Symmes. When we got through stacking, he hired me by the month for $25.00 a month, until he gets through with fall work. So you see I won't be totally "on the hog" this winter either. I will be over there this fall some time to tell you of my travels. I was in eight states and if this pen wasn't quite so horrible I would tell you some of the places I was to. I have been enjoying the best of health all summer and hoping that Hilda is now better. I remain your brother,

Harold.

Gold Fever!

Seattle, Wash. February 24th, 1898

Dear Brother:

I suppose you wonder why I have not written before but that will be answered shortly. We did not arrive here until last night at 7 o'clock. There has been so much that has happened and so much that I have seen that I don't know how to begin to tell you about my travels. Anyway it was the most enjoyable trip that I have yet taken. The only way I can tel1 you of the trip is to copy the notes I have taken in my Diary:

Feb. 16 - I was unavoidably detained from starting today on account of Davidson. He had gone to Wheaton to procure money but could not get it on account of the Banker's absence. (He had gone to Wisconsin to see his father who was very sick.) So Oscar and I went to the Bachelors and had a good time there while we were waiting for Davidson. We were getting very anxious about him.

Feb. 17 - Our anxiousness increases. No news from Davidson yet. We think that perhaps he had given up going. So we sat home at Larson all day waiting for him very impatiently.

Feb. 18 - No news yet from Davidson. We hitched up a team and went to Davidson, but we did not find anything about him yet. So we sent his son Alfred to Wheaton to find out the trouble.

Feb. 19 - At noon Gust Johnson came over He told us that Davidson had returned and that he is ready to start tonight for Seattle. We then hustled around and got ready. About seven o'clock we went to Victor Johnson's place and stayed until 11. We had a great time there. Nearly all the neighbours around there were there to see us off. To our greatest surprise when we should buy our tickets we found that they only cost 25 Dollars to Seattle. (The cost had gone down just four hours before}) A saving of 15 Dollars apiece. The railroad companies are at war with each other. It has at last commenced. At 5:30 we arrived at Grand Forks where we have to wait 18 hours for the Alaska Limited, as it is called. It is an overland train that is' supposed to take us to Seattle in 3 days. ~

Feb. 20 - This is undoubtedly the longest day we have ever passed. This is quite a large city, electrically lighted and all other modern improvements. East Grand Forks is in Minn. and West Grand Forks is in North Dakota with the Red River of the North flowing between them. Lots of quite large steam boats on this river. A large beer house burned up while we were there which was quite exciting, The fire company had quite a time to save the town. At ll:30 we were on the train.

Feb. 21 - We slept all night for we were very tired from staying up so late at night. In the morning we were quite aways in to Dakota. Nice flat country this but the farms seem to be large. A section is the smallest any man has, so there are very few houses, As we get to the western part there is nothing but a bleak and barren wilderness, not a house to be seen for 50 miles. I will now give a short description of our train. It has ten long coaches, the last two ones are first class and the third is the dining car. These are as nice as can be. The forward cars are tourist and second class. There are about 60 men aboard bound for Klondyke and Copper River, the most of them for Copper River. Men of all descriptions, small and weak men, large and strong men, men with money and some that don't have much, and lots of men that don't know anything about Alaska at all and some parties that are well organized and that are well posted on the country. One group of seven comes from Peoria Ill. And have a capital of $15,000.00.

Feb. 22 - In Montana all day. Flat as a floor. Once in a while large cattle ranches and little towns. All the houses are built of logs. Nothing of much interest as it is the same thing, enormous country, flat and not much snow. The cattle live out all winter eating the dead grass. The newsboy on this train tells us that Seattle is so full of people that you can't spit and that you can't get a boat for two or three weeks. It is very discouraging.

Feb. 23 - Riding on the train is the most enjoyable pleasure that any man can have I think. The scenery is beginning to be grand We are going along the Missourri River. The worst of it is at night when we climb the first spur of the Rocky Mountains. We have crossed Montana now and Idaho. At Kalesespell, Montana we stopped to get a cup of coffee but we didn't get any. Imagine, lO¢ a cup and fry cakes 5¢ a piece and cooked eggs 2/5¢. At Spokane,Washington we stopped 15 minutes. This is a very nice town, everything is green here. It is a big town of about 30,000.

Feb. 24 - This is the worst day to take note of, in fact I did not take any on account of the wild scenery which I was outside looking at. Last night we stopped 12 hours on account of a snowslide which had some rocks with it, which broke the rails and bedding for 200 feet. We're climbing the foothills now. This is the wildest and most beautiful scenery as yet, snow capped mountains all around us, thousands of feet high. We are winding our way up and down and through long tunnels. In the afternoon we went over the switchbacks as they are called. We made ten different switches to get over this mountain 7,000 feet high. When we got over the mountains everything was green with trees, grass, and flowers of all kinds. It is quite a change from Minnesota, I tell you. Arrived at Seattle at 5:30. Then we found this hotel and went to bed.

Feb. 25 - My! What a crowd! You can hardly edge your way through and everything you see here is Klondyke or Alaska Outfitting houses. Every store is a great sight I tell you.

There are sharks and thieves all around you everywhere you go.. I lost the rest of our party this morning and I went down to the wharves to price the passage. There are boats and steamers there from all parts of the world. It is a grand sight I tell you, for a person that has never seen it before. I found two boats. Two masted schooners they were. Passage to Copper River costing 50 dollars and freight 13 dollars a ton. I found the party a little while afterwards and showed them these boats, but they were too small. They say they wanted steamers but they cost 70 dollars and 20 dollars a ton, so we can't take them you know. But they say there are other boats that go for 35 dollars to 40 dollars. We will get them. If we know one thing for sure we will get to Alaska some way, but it won't be for a week at least. Everything is cheap in this town anyway on account of the competition.

I suppose you have the photos now give one to Mrs. Torgerson and one to Gust Johnson. I have promised the one and send one or two to Mother. I wish you would send me a letter before I leave Seattle and tell me how everything is and make a list of the things you would like to know.

P.S. Some very discouraging news from Copper River. Three or four parties who have been, report no gold. I will send you a Seattle paper with our names in it tomorrow.

Harold Engelson

Seattle, Washington March 21, 1898

Dear Brother:

Well, at last we are off. We have been waiting nearly a month now to get out of this town but we couldn't do-it. We had purchased tickets on a schooner, "Hera", that was supposed to leave on the 10th but they kept delaying day after day, waiting for more passengers till at last they got the, required number (250).

It has cost me considerable money to lay around here, going to the Opera or Theatre every night. The outfit cost us $50.60 for each man, that is hardware and provisions, and $40.00 for the ticket. I tell you this is a very tough town now, murdering and stealing and bunco men on all sides. There are lots of men that never come any farther than here. They get drunk and get their money stolen from them. I know one man that got $300.00 stolen from him last night in a theatre.

I don't know of any news that would interest you except that there are several new finds on the Copper River and besides we have men on our vessel that have been there before and know positively that there is gold to be found there.

Davidson and Gust were on a drunk last night and had a row. They threatened separation. Davidson would not let himself get buncoed by Gust you know, Gust is one of the darndest liars ever known and Oscar wants to run the gang but he won't do it. Davidson wants me to stick to him and I will do it too. He has over $200.00 with him and he says I will never want for a cent as long as he has one, so it will be alright. I knew all the time there would be trouble but we have it fixed now, so you don't need to worry.

I have bought a pair of heavy shoes, $3.50, and a slicker, $1.50, and a suit of mackinaw pants, vest, and coat, $5.00, so I am fixed alright now.

Please don't tell anybody what I said about the row, please, because there might be trouble at home you know.

I am in a hurry now. The boat is going to leave at 3 o'clock and it is nearly 2 now, so I will have to close this letter. I can't send you any letters now till I reach Valdes, which will take about 15 days. I wonder if I wil1 be seasick. I feel good now and we have had the nicest weather, only two rainy days since we came here and warm - and nice every day. I'm sending you a clipping from a paper here which talks about Copper River. I send my best regards to everybody that asks for me and tell them that my hopes of finding gold are high!

From your brother Harold.

I will keep a diary on the boat and send you a full account of it.

Before leaving Seattle the group of future klondikers purchased a map.

Valdez Map (154K)

Valdez Map Detail of Glacier (111K)

It is the actual map that was carried with them all the way to over the glacier and back out to Skagway and then to the Klondike.

As you can see it well used.

Below is the information from the map

Sketch Map of Route to Copper River via Valdes Pass

Prepared from personal observations, and data furnished by Daniel Sprague, Wm. Ripstein, Louis Bown, Chas. Swanson and Indian Guides

by Samuel J Entriken member of the Peary and Peary relief Expeditions (1892, '93, '94) Mt. St. Elias Expedition, 1897, etc.

Member Philadelphia Geographical Society

Published by Lowman & Hanford Stationery & Printing Company

Seattle Washington, 1898.

The Copper River, frequently misrepresented, follows a crooked, winding course for over 400 miles, emptying into the Gulf of Alaska some 30 miles east of Prince William Sound.The delta is about 30 miles wide. Numerous rapids and canyons with shifting sand bars in its course make the river so difficult of navigation that a boat drawing but three feet of water can make barely 20 miles north of its mouth. A portage along its banks is not practicable because of the numerous glaciers which line its course, and from which icebergs are constantly breaking off. At Baird's canyon, about 40 miles from the mouth, the water is a seething mass of roaring rapids.

A feasible route to the river avoiding the glaciers, rapids and other obstacles leads from Port Valdes. This bay about 30 miles deep, lies in the northern part of Prince William Sound. The trail leads for some 30 miles over the receding glacier at the head of the bay and is passable most of the year; then merging into a river approximately fifteen miles long, the course lies through a lake of about the same length, into which the stream empties and which outlets into Copper river at a point over 100 miles from its mouth.

Those who have tried to follow the course of the outlet of this lake met dangerous rapids. At the northeast corner of this lake a northerly course should be taken to the river next beyond. This, the Konsina, according to the natives, is about a day's journey. The intermediate stretch is a rolling country abounding in gravel banks such as the placer miner is searching for.

Here also are found the interior Indians. Treated kindly they will, contrary to circulating reports, deal with the prospector. Any man with a surplus of soap, tea or sugar may obtain good service from these people if he takes the right course.

Along the trail, excepting the glacier, there is plenty of timber for ordinary purposes. This route is that which for years has been used by the Interior Indians on their semi-annual trips to the coast.

There are now a number of prospectors encamped at Swanport and at Copper City, camps about two miles apart at the beginning of the trail. They expect the snow to become hard and sufficiently firm for traveling by the last of February.

To those who rely upon obtaining native food during the traverse of this route, it should be said that fish and duck are both very plentiful in the regions of the glacier

 

Valdes May 19, 1898

Dear Brother:

To give you a good idea of what we have been doing I will copy some notes from my diary. I wish you would re-write with ink and also revise it as it is in disconnected sentences. I commenced to write notes as soon as we landed in Valdes.

April 14 - Unloading our stuff on the beach all day and hauled it a mile up the trail.

P.S. You see there is no dock or wharf. All our provisions are dumped on the beach and all has to be packed above the high tide. The tide moves 29 feet here.

April 15 - Left the "Hera" in the morning and took four loads up to the top of the first bench, moved 2200 lbs. on the sled. Moved camp in the afternoon to the top of the first bench a distance of six miles from Valdes.

April 16 - We hauled the rest of the stuff to the camp. Davidson and I hauled fifteen 50 lb. sacks on one sled and packed it all up the first bench. It was a hard job as it is uphill all the way from town. In the evening we hauled some to the foot of the second bench.- Axel the sailor is doing the cooking.

April 17 - Woke early and took four sleds, five sacks each to the second bench. Then we took three sleds and got dry wood about three miles off, Gust was taking sacks to the bottom of the third bench in the afternoon. We got all of our goods there and on top of that bench with rope and tackle which was nice and easy. We also got some loads on top of the first bench of the third bench.

April 18 - This day was a hard one, walking up those benches of the third. We worked with four French men and made four pulls of this bench, the rope being 700 feet. We got all the goods except the tent and clothes to the top.

April 19 - Gust and Oscar, Pat and I went with two sled loads of wood to Five Mile Camp. Davidson and Charley went after more wood three miles off. Tom went to town to get more supplies. I had to stay in camp to cook on account of a sore foot, Baked my first baking powder bread and it was good.

April 20 - I am still cooking. The boys all went to Five Mile Camp with four loads. When they came back they reported that we were on the wrong trail! Pat went ahead as our delegate to Twelve Mile Camp, where a meeting was supposed to take place. When he got there, there was no one looking for a meeting but himself, so he had that long tramp for nothing. Somebody was telling a lie.

P.S. This is rather curious in this country, nobody can tell the truth and it is as they say here, "You can't believe anybody, not even yourself when you have snow goggles on"

April 21 - We moved our tents, clothes and equipment from the top of the first bench to the foot of the fourth bench, twelve miles. We used block and tackle up the third and fourth. After that it was all gradual uphill work. Oscar and I with our load were nearly bushed. We were also troubled with snow blindness so we could hardly see. We started at six o'clock in the morning and arrived at Twelve Mile Camp at four o'clock and got everything in good shape by eight o'clock.

P.S. The mosquitoes are here but they are small yet, only once in a while a big one is seen about the size of a canary bird.

April 22 - Tom woke me up at three o'clock to get breakfast. At five they were on the road to the third bench. After four loads they can slide most of the way down. But coming back up with 500 lbs. on a sled is not so easy. They came back at one o'clock pretty well tired out. It was a very hot day.

April 23 - Got breakfast at four. Started after loads the same as yesterday. They came back at one o'clock. They then rested a couple of hours, then started with four sled loads, 150 lbs. on the s1eds, four men, to the foot of the summit, six miles from here, pretty steep all the way. The weather was very warm. I was not feeling well.

April 24 - I was feeling so bad with a heavy cold that I could not get breakfast. The men started off with three sleds but only got as far as Five Mile Camp when they had to return. The wind was blowing a hurricane all day. So there was nothing to do but crawl in your sleeping bag on ice to keep warm.

April 25 - Tom got breakfast. They then went after more loads. Came back at two o'clock. I had dinner ready for them. Vegetable soup, beans, bacon, crackers, bread and coffee. There was a blizzard in the afternoon so they all crawled in on ice to keep warm.

April 26 - They started after the last load this morning. The trail is in very bad shape. It is drifted in by the storm. Gust, Tom and Pat came home at two o'clock but Davidson, Oscar, Axel and Charley didn't come till four. They had been down below the first bench for dinner in a "restaurant". When they came home we hauled all the stuff on top of this (the fourth bench). Tom started cooking this afternoon.

April 27 - A howling blizzard all day so all we had to do was lay under the blankets, keep warm and read. We also had to get up and eat when Tom had it ready.

April 28 - Blizzard same as-yesterday and we still are doing the same "work".

April 29 - Snowing yet, over six feet of snow has fallen. The trail will be hard to break.

April 30 - Same kind of weather. Some men tried to work but soon gave it up.

May 1 - Continued snowing all day, We had to move our sleeping tent on top of the snow over seven- feet higher than before. Big snow slide at the foot of the summit last night, two men killed, several wounded and thousands of dollars worth of goods covered up and destroyed.

This following information was copied from the back of the before mentioned route map to the Copper River This was later turned into the all-american route to the Klondike from the present oil port of Valdes, Alaska. Paper was scarce so every square inch, back and front, was used. The map was written on by their indelible pencil which is purple. The map also had got wet so the pencil showed through to the other side. Besides Harold's notes there was a supply list and some "gin rummy" scores.

HC Engelson continues here:

This Valdes trail is by no means impassable in the right time of year. We got here just in time.

If we had been two weeks later we could not have come this way north with out party. But going light they can go all the year round, the snow was all of fifteen feet deep when we arrived but now it is bare in some places.

(This is in May or June 1898, most likely May 19th)

Game is scarse here. No big game has been shot yet, but there are tracks of bear and moose and there is also a couple of beaver's dams near by. Teal ducks are plentiful but they are very shy. We have only had a couple of them for soup so far.

The weather has been very fine since we got here. Sun is shining every day and the snow is going fast. Larks and other birds are singing and they are tame. There is no night time here, a man can work the whole 24 hours if he can stand it. Just a little dark from 11 to 1 O'clock.

(the following may prove interesting . It is quite difficult to read on the original map)

400 Flour 7.60

75 Beans 1.25

20 R. Oat 50

25 Sugar 1.45

100 Bora1 150

20 salt 20

4 yeast 15

1 bakin 45

lp soda 5

lp pepper 25

25 coffee 400

5 soap 15

1 onion 40

1 candles 150

This map of the glacier is nearly correct although the glacier follows a more winding course then on the map, there are also several other glaciers flowing into it which is nearly as large as the main one. This glacier resembles a mighty frozen river the waterfalls and rapids are called benches which is nearly 2000 feet long. The 4th bench is a long the rapids, the fifth is the summit. The summit is nearly a mile long. this mark # is made to represent camps. That is a collection of tents we call the town. Here some day one camp may contain 100 tents and in a couple of days there may only be two. The people keep pressing forward all the time except when it is snow storms when they lay up some time a week or two.

# camp at the foot of the first bench

## five mile camp we did not stay there we went on

### twelve mile camp which is 14 niles from the first camp

#### foot of the summit camp 6 miles fron 12 mile camp.

# summit

# from here that path was down hill on a second glacier

# first camp in the woods beside the glacier

# Here is where we are now building boats

The enclosed claim map is from a nearby river to Dawson City called 60 mile. Apparently he had two claims in this area both are called "quartz''claims. (map coming)

In the last letters they mention Hunter Creek. The correct name of this creek is Hunker Creek. It is interesting to now that a neighbor of ours in Duncan is now quite wealthy as he is the owner of a mine on Hunker Creek and travels north each year to work his claim. Coral is now manufacturing gold jewellery from his better (bigger nuggets) I have seen a photo of a gold pan containing over 350 ounces of flake gold taken from this claim in one season. Another picture taken at the same time contained another 100 ounces of large gold nuggets. (This was this taken during the last season 1981)

The next letters are from 3 years later and consist of two letters, one to his brother and one to his niece

 

Dawson City May 14, 1902

Dear Brother

I am most discouraged about writing to you. Now it seems that you don't want to answer. This makes the third letter I have sent you now without getting any answer.

Well I have been, and am in the best of health and am getting along first class. I have secured grants for a couple of Mining Claims on Hunter Creek, 58 and 59 below Discovery. Two claims that I think will turn out alright.

The snow is just commencing to bare and the Yukon will soon be navigable. The weather is fine here for three months in the summer. I wish you would answer this letter as I am anxious to hear some news from home. I am not going to bother about writing a long letter as I don't know if you get it (letters) or if you don't care to answer. Hoping that you are all well. I remain your Klondyker,

Harold C. Engelson Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada

P.S, I sent a couple of gold nuggets for Nellie and Dora ln December.- Did you get them? Tell Nellie to write and tell me her school girl troubles

H.C.E.

 

Dawson City, Canada

(portions of a letter dated November 16, 1903)

My dear niece Nelly:

I suppose this will surprise you to get a letter at all from your lazy Klondyke Uncle, that is too lazy to write any letters at all. I sent you two photographs of the mine that I was running. You see me standing in the foreground by the windlass with a light stiff stetson hat on, smooth shaven. I have been so ever since the second year I came here. I am and have been in the last two years in the best of health. I don't think you would know me now if you saw me. I have grown so broad and weigh 180 lbs. and am 5 ft. 10 in. in height, and not a bit of fat either.

I wish you would send me your photo so I would know you if I saw you.

Well your Uncle has not grown rich yet nor is there any immediate-prospect of being so yet for awhile. But as the slang goes (words missing).

I hold five placer claims and two quartz claims

(half letter is missing)

I wonder it you go out in society at all. I went to a ball last Friday and I had a splendid time . There were 60 couples there and I danced every number on the program as I am one of the best dancers in the Yukon. I had no trouble to get partners. Quite a brag aren't I Nellie! It is so tho, just the same as you will find out some time I hope. Do you dance or go to dances yet. It is quite a social place here, dances once or twice a week. And some very nice people go too.

This is what you would call out in the country, 16 miles from Dawson, but every claim (500 feet) has from 10 to 20 people on it. But the ladies are nearly all married ones (miners wives). Well I will stop scribbling. I don't suppose you can read more than half. If you can then you do more than I can . and as to spelling and punctuation it is "out of sight". But if you don't criticize too strongly this time I will answer your next letter as soon as I get it.

From your most loving Uncle Harold C. Engelson Y.T., Dawson, Canada

P.S. I send my love and best wishes to you all. My nephew might be very surprised to know that it is 48 below today. Ha Ha. Have you told him about me yet? Has Dora forgotten me yet? Tell her to write a few lines to me will you please. Tell my dear sister not to worry about me for when I am dead I will write and tell you all about it. "That is tragic isn't it." I hope I won't have to write tho' I would rather come in person. I suppose this will reach you about Christmas time. If so Merry Christmas to you all. You can have my choice of the turkey (part missing),

Did you get those pictures yet, if so, send one to mother in Norway.

I sent it to you to save postage: "you know" (that is a Joke isn't it). Five cents is a lot of money. You wouldn't think so tho' if you saw the amount of money I spend sometimes and I don't drink either.

This concludes what information I have. if anyone can add to this our family would be delighted.
Monte Engelson

The following link, valdez1998. will take you to Valdez 100 years after the visit and climb by H C Engelson.