Lucille Hunter

Lucille Hunter

Birth
Michigan, USA
Death 10 Jun 1972 (aged 92–93)
Burial Whitehorse, Yukon Census Division, Yukon, Canada
Plot A-8
Memorial ID 52057389 · View Source
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This is an interesting story of a woman who lived life on her own terms.
Lucille was born in Michigan. At 16 years of age she married Charles Hunter and the
couple headed north in the fall of 1897 to join the Klondike Gold Rush. They chose to
follow the lesser known Stikine Trail into the Yukon. Arriving at Teslin, Lucille was heavy
with child and gave birth to a daughter whom she named for that small community.
The Hunters spent the winter in nearby Atlin, British Columbia and continued on to
Dawson City in the spring of 1898.
Lucille and Charles arrived in the Klondike and staked three claims at Bonanza Creek.
Lucille worked the creek beds alongside her husband in the hunt for the elusive gold
while rearing their daughter Teslin in less than ideal conditions.
A few years later, Charles expanded the family’s mining interests in the Mayo area
and was often there working his silver claims.
On June 2, 1939 Charles died unexpectedly at age 65 leaving Lucille alone with her
grandson, Buster, to carry on mining. (Sometime prior to Charles' death, Teslin died
leaving a child for her parents to raise.) Lucille did not drive so every year she would
walk the 140 miles from Dawson City to Mayo and back to do representation work on
her claims in order to maintain legal ownership.
In 1942, with the Alaska Highway under construction, Lucille and Buster moved to
Whitehorse. To earn a living, Lucille set up a laundry business on Wood Street. She did
the washing while her grandson made the deliveries around town. Some say she picked
this business because it allowed her to do something she loved, ironing.
A few years later Lucille moved to a house on 8th Avenue near Steele Street where
she lived on her own even though her eyesight had failed. She enjoyed entertaining
guests and keeping up to date on world and local affairs via the radio.
Lucille still owned claims on Bonanza Creek, but there was some question of
the ownership lapsing as the claims had not been worked for a number of years.
Commissioner F. H. Collins paid Lucille a visit and attempted to broach the subject of
the delinquent claims several times. Each time, Lucille graciously changed the subject
and engaged the Commissioner in polite discourse on current topics of interest. Finally
he admitted defeat and took his departure.
Lucille’s small home overflowed with stacks of newspapers, magazines, and bundles
of other flammable stuff parked dangerously close to her wood stove and friends worried
about the danger of fire. Living alone she guarded her safety and always locked her
door and reinforced it with a knife stuck through the latch. One fateful night the house
did catch fire and the firemen had a hard time breaking through the security locks to
rescue Lucille whose clothes were ablaze by the time they got to her. Lucille was taken to
Mary House, the Catholic church shelter. She objected strenuously to being undressed,
bathed, and put into clean nightclothes and a real bed with clean sheets.
Lucille spent some time in the hospital to recover from minor burns and later moved
to a small basement apartment in a house off 4th Avenue and Black Street. There she
continued to receive guests and listened to her radio until her death at the age of 93
years.

Source: http://www.tc.gov.yk.ca/publications/whitehorse_cemeteries_wt.pdf

Contributor: Johnny History (49654896)


Inscription

Stikine trail 1898

Gravesite Details Interment date 6/14/1972

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  • Created by: Rod Carty
  • Added: 6 May 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 52057389
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Lucille Hunter (1879–10 Jun 1972), Find a Grave Memorial no. 52057389, citing Grey Mountain Cemetery, Whitehorse, Yukon Census Division, Yukon, Canada ; Maintained by Rod Carty (contributor 47232553) .