Document 97: Excerpt from the Diary of F. Hiscock

F. William Hiscock, "The Youkon Trail of Year 1898." Dawson City Museum, Yukon, Canada.
Secondary reproduction without museum permission not permitted.

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Klondike Mining District
Winter 1898

While I was working this claim I had been sinking a shaft and was down about forty feet. It was usual as only one man could work at a time to pick and loosen the frozen earth and where there was a certain amount ready I used to rattle the windlass rope then somebody came and hoisted the dirt with a wooden box on the end of the rope. One day I had hooked the rope to the bucket (as it is called) and called to "hoist". It was dark in the bottom of the hole, and I always made a practise of standing against the wall at the end of the shaft. I heard a yell from the man on the top and at the same time the empty box landed down beside me. Through his carelessness, the hook had missed the handle of the bucket, and if I had not stood close to the end wall, I should surely have been badly injured or killed...

.Another time, when a mate & I were working down below, we had large rock was exposed above us, in the frozen roof. We went in to have lunch and when we returned the large rock had fallen, if we had been there it may have killed one or both of us.

Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest