Letter from Alaska

As printed in the August 26, 1898 Skidmore Standard on page 1:

Letter from Alaska
Canyon Creek, Alaska:  July 24, 1898
Canyon Creek is about half way between Seven Mile and the lake and 45 miles from Valdez.  Some parties have been working a claim here for quite a while; they are working a sluice box and no one but themselves can tell whether they are getting any gold or not.  It is thought to be a scheme of the navigation company, and that the men are hired to boom the country.  I have seen several parties who have been up the Gulch prospecting but did not find any color – color is a miners term for gold.

Claims are staked along each side of the gulch for five or six miles.  Mr. Fuller, George and I, with another party of four were out prospecting last week, gone five days, found nothing but mosquitoes, swamps, brush and snow drifts, that is quite a combination but there are plenty of each here.

The lakes and streams are full of Salmon and Trout.  We have had all the fish we could eat for the last three weeks.

It has rained every day for the last week or ten days, but does not rain hard.

People are still leaving this country.  Those who leave are called “Pilgrims.”  When we hear a fellow talks about going  we say his feet are getting cold.  I don’t know when my feet will get cold as they keep pretty warm a la Jerry Simpson.

Currants here are as large as gooseberries at home.  They are not quite ripe yet.

I think I am about 20 pounds heavier than when I left home.

Last letter I received was dated June 9th and have not got any papers yet.

James Skidmore.

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