The postcard photo and information was submitted by Angela Carlick and her son Roy.
“Hi Jim,” wrote Roy. “Here is the story about the famous postcard of George Johnston and car, as told by my mother Angela Carlick. She was 16 years old in the photo and now she is 83 years old. She is left of George Johnston. Her sister, Fanny, is standing on the right. George also took them on a tour of his photo studio at his house.”
George Johnston owned the first car in Teslin and, because there were no roads in Teslin, decided to build one himself. He constructed a three-mile-long road, (which was used as part of the Alaska Highway 15 years later) and began charging $1 for the ride. In the photo-postcard it looks as if Angela and Fanny are the official Teslin taxi assistants, caps and all.
In the following letter, Angela Carlick tells us more detailed story information:
photograph with car in Teslin, July 1944
George Johnston is photographed with Angela Tom (Carlick) on the left and Fanny Tom (Morris) on the right.
This story was told by Angela Carlick (Tom) about her picture with George Johnson and his car that was made into a postcard.
“This picture was taken outside of George Johnston’s house in July 1944 at Teslin, Yukon. My dad, Liard Tom, knew Johnston and was a good friend of him and also with a lot of other people in Teslin. Johnston drove down to Lower Post, BC, in July 1944 to pick up Liard Tom and family for a trip to Teslin and Whitehorse, Yukon.
“My family on this trip included my mom Ada, my sister Fanny and my brother Frank. This was the first time I had seen Johnson. My dad understood and could speak the Tlingit language of the Teslin people. He had made many trips with his dog team to Atlin, BC, for food and would travel through Teslin visiting with friends. I remembered there were a lot of army trucks on the road when we drove up from Lower Post, BC, and the bridge at Teslin was made of timber.
“There were a lot of people in Teslin. We would stay in Teslin for about two weeks while my dad was visiting with Johnston. He was also a good trapper and bought the car with his trapping earnings. He would paint his car white for the winter and drive it on the ice of Teslin Lake to his trapping area. Johnston also hired some workers to slash a road for his car to a place called Six Mile Camp somewhere in Teslin.
“Johnson would take us all in his new car to Whitehorse for a trip. Fanny and I would go shopping for new clothes and hats at the stores in Whitehorse.
We went back to Teslin, and Johnson would take this picture of us with his own camera. We were all standing in front of his car by his house in Teslin. Fanny and I were posing with Johnson wearing the new clothes and hats that we bought in Whitehorse. I was 16 years old in that picture. He also took another photograph of us that included my mom and dad, and I think his daughter Dolly. Johnson would drive us back to Lower Post after this visit with Liard Tom.”
Thanks to Julie Cruikshank for information taken from the book Their Own Yukon and also to Angela and Roy Carlick for their help.
Anyone with information about this subject, please write Jim Robb: The Colourful Five Per Cent Scrapbook – Can You Identify? c/o the Yukon News, 211 Wood Street, Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 2E4, or email through the News website, www.yukon-news.com.