Captain William Moore

Captain William Moore (HM1DQV)

Location: Skagway, AK 99840 Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon
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Country: United States of America
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N 59° 27.014', W 135° 19.416'

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The Visionary

Captain William Moore first saw the Skagway River Valley and the White Pass in the spring of 1887 when he came with a Canadian survey team to determine the exact position of the 141st meridian separating Alaska and what is now Canada's Yukon. He was so impressed that he returned with his son, Ben, in October 1887 to claim a 160-acre homestead in the Skagway valley. The Moores laid a foundation for a cabin and began construction of a wharf before leaving in November for the winter.

A former steamboat captain on the rivers in Alaska and British Columbia, Moore was an adventurer who had taken part in gold stampedes in North and South America. Like many of men already mining in the north, he believed that gold would be found, and had a vision of Skagway—-with its deep-water harbor and trail through the White Pass—as the gateway to the north. For the next ten years father and son worked intermittently on improvements to their homestead and wharf. Captain Moore's dream almost became a nightmare when thousands of stampeders began to arrive on the Skagway beach in July, 1897. Gold had been discovered a year earlier in the Klondike. Many moved on to the gold fields while others stayed to build a new community. They refused to recognize Moore's homestead claim and litigation began. Eventually the Moores were awarded the land that their improvements were on plus 25 per cent of the assessed value of the lost property. They continued to own Moore Wharf but later sold it to the White Pass and Yukon Route; it became known as the Railroad Dock.

In 1907 the Moores decided to leave Skagway. For 20 years they had pursued a dream and had lived to see a railroad in Skagway. Captain Moore spent his remaining years in Victoria, British Columbia.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 25th, 2014 at 1:15pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)8V E 481651 N 6590232
Decimal Degrees59.45023333, -135.32360000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 59° 27.014', W 135° 19.416'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds59° 27' 0.84" N, 135° 19' 24.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)907
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 314 Broadway, Skagway AK 99840, US
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