two opinions about the old photo taken at frances lake

Much of our history is recorded on old postcards (like the one in this column), magic-lantern slides, stereo-views and photographs, of course. This photo postcard probably dates from the '30s or '40s.

Much of our history is recorded on old postcards (like the one in this column), magic-lantern slides, stereo-views and photographs, of course. This photo postcard probably dates from the ‘30s or ‘40s.

Many thanks to Harlan Inkster and Dan Kemble for the following opinions regarding the history of, and personalities in, the photograph. I find their replies very interesting as they dive more deeply into our own recent past.

Dear Jim:

The photo was taken at Frances Lake, Yukon, around 1923 when Fenley Hunter (third from left) was on an exploration trip from the Stikine River to find a route to the Nahanni River through the Mackenzie Mountains. Hunter was being guided on the trip by Albert Dease (Kaska) and George Ball, owner of the Glenora Guest Ranch, situated downriver of Telegraph Creek, B.C.

They traveled via a small boat with a gas engine and on foot. Their route was Dease River, Liard River then up the Frances River to Frances Lake then overland.

The Yukon Archives has Fenley Hunter’s personal published book of the trip and it shows many more photos.

Side note: Fenley Hunter is the person who named Virginia Falls after his daughter.

Harlan Inkster

Dear Jim:

In a recent Colourful Five Per Cent, you posted a photo of a group of men near Frances Lake. The blond, smiling gentleman at centre I believe to be Dr. Hugh Bostock, late veteran of the esteemed Geological Survey of Canada.

Dr. Bostock explored widely throughout the Yukon for decades. I recommend his book Packtrails of the Yukon in which he gives a detailed description of the wreck of the S.S. Klondike I in 1936.

By the way, Jim, Nancy and I would like to offer our congratulations and complete agreement on your being named Favourite Yukoner by North of Ordinary magazine. What is remarkable is that you now have as many feathers in your cap as Chief Crowfoot. You bear absolutely no trace of the egotism often associated with fame.

Thanks for the efforts, past, present, and future, to showcase and preserve our vibrant history.

Dan Kemble


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