Pre-1887 – Skagua, as it is known by the Tlingit, meaning windy place, is used by Chilkoots and Chilkats for hunting and fishing. A few of these Native Americans settle in the quieter areas of Smuggler’s Cove, Nahku Bay and Dyea, head of the Chilkoot trail, a centuries-old Indian trading route becoming popular with early prospectors heading into the Yukon. In the 1880s, U.S. Navy and Army patrols establish federal presence in the area.
Taku River Tlingit Place Names
When you visit a place in our vast province or country, do you think about how that place was named? Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps the place had a name before European explorers and settlers arrived and gave it an English name. Many areas in our province had names before European newcomers renamed the places that were already known to Indigenous peoples.
In the most northwestern area of British Columbia, the Indigenous peoples are the Taku River Tlingit. The Taku River Tlingit are Tlingit peoples whose territory extends between British Columbia, Southern Yukon, and Southern Alaska. The word Tlingit can be translated to mean People of the Tides. Taku River Tlingit The Taku River Tlingit Place Names Map, http://www.trt.geolive.ca has been created to bring awareness to the traditional Taku River Tlingit place names in the northwestern area of British Columbia.
1931 – St. Pius X Mission is established in Skagway under the wing of beloved Father G. Edgar Gallant, who will operate the school for Native children from all over Alaska for almost 30 years.
Gold was discovered near Dawson in the Klondike in 1896, and the town of Skagway was founded in 1897 by Captain William Moore. With the influx of miners and prospectors heading for the Klondike, Skagway quickly became the most populated town in Alaska, with a population of 3,117 in 1900.
The first priest to visit Skagway was Father Paul Bougis SJ, from Douglas, Alaska (near Juneau). He arrived in the fall of 1897 and offered Mass in the homes of Catholic families that fall and the following spring. In August, 1898, Father Philibert Turnell SJ came to Skagway and established a mission. He made temporary arrangements to use the school for Sunday Masses, and his first Mass was offered on September 8, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Three months later the Catholic community purchased a large empty store, converting it into a church and naming it St. Mark’s. The church was filled to capacity for the first Mass which was offered on Christmas Eve, 1898.
In March of 1918, Father Edgar Gallant was the first priest to be ordained in Alaska. His first assignment was Skagway, where he was to serve until 1959. Father Gallant’s first goal was to improve St. Mark’s Church. In 1932, with help from the Catholic Extension Society, he built St. Pius X Mission Boarding School for Native children. The school stood on the site of the present Garden City R.V. Park and was staffed by the Sisters of St. Ann of British Columbia. In November of 1946, the school burned to the ground, but was soon rebuilt and operated until 1959.
Posted on Mar 16, 2010 in Alaska Natives
Father Sulzman came to Skagway in 1931 when Monsignor Gallant established the Saint Pius X Mission Home for Native children who were either orphans or from destitute families, staffed by the Sisters of Saint Ann. (That statement is pure propaganda…Trace)
The Mission was rebuilt in 1946, and operated until the 1960s.
Sulzman was born on this day, March 16, 1906 in Waterford New York and when he left here he joined the army and served as a chaplain in World War 2. He died in 1966 in Matanuska Alaska.
[from the Hugh F. McColl webpage at genealogy.com; and the oblatvs.blogspot]