Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project Home

Harry M. Majors - Clippings, Silver Creek
Harry Majors graciously sent me newspaper clippings related to the winter use of snowshoes and skis in the Silver Creek mining district, above the North Fork Skykomish River, in the 1890s. Some of the clippings also refer to Monte Cristo. On 9/21/2004, Harry wrote:
"After I received your e-mail last week, the thought crept up in my mind to check through my 1890-1893 files for the Silver Creek mines and for the Great Northern construction that went on at that same time --- to see if there might be a reference to the use of skis in the North Cascades that might pre-date the May 1893 Silverton reference that you discovered during your research.

"Nothing turned up for the Great Northern and Stevens Pass area for 1890-1893. However, I did come across several references in The Eye (Snohomish) to the use of 'snow shoes' at Silver Creek, beginning in February 1890 with John Scott --- the miner who founded Galena at the mouth of Silver Creek, and after whom nearby Scott Peak is named."

Snowshoe References

The following clippings refer to the use of snowshoes but not skis:

The Eye, Jan 9, 1892, p. 3, col. 3 - "Christmas at the mines"

This article describes 1891 Christmas festivities at Mineral City and Silver Lake. At Silver Lake a "snowshoe match" was held, won by Ben James. It is uncertain whether Canadian snowshoes or "Norwegian snowshoes" (skis) were used. Since the winner did not have a Scandinavian surname, and no mention of Norwegian snowshoes was made, I suspect they were Canadian snowshoes. Harry Majors believes this is the earliest recorded winter sports event in the Washington Cascades.

The Eye, Feb 23, 1893, p. 2, col. 3 - "The late snow storm caught the editor"

According to Harry Majors, this is a reprint of a short article taken from the Inter-Cascade Miner of Galena, at the mouth of Silver Creek. Therein, the editor of the Galena newspaper describes the winter view from his window:
"The office windows command an extensive view of the business and residence portions of the town [Galena], and the hours of labor are frequently enlivened by the gyrations and lofty tumbling that a man and a pair of able-bodied Norwegian snow-shoes can execute when a slight misunderstanding arises between them. The snow shoes invariably come out on top while the man is buried, head down in the snow."

Return to the Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project home page

Copyright © 2004 Lowell Skoog. All Rights Reserved.
Last Updated: Thu Oct 14 18:25:55 PST 2004