White Pass No. 1

White Pass Lodge No. 1, originally of the Grand Lodge of Washington, first received dispensation to work on November 15, 1900, and was chartered as White Pass Lodge No. 113 on June 12, 1901.

On February 7, 1981, the M.W. Grand Lodge of F. & A.M. of Alaska opened its Constitutional Communication in Ample Form at 10:30 am. Resolutions were adopted and White Pass Lodge was re-chartered by Grand Lodge of Alaska, the charter for the lodge having been assigned a number according to the ages of the lodges, as White Pass Lodge No. 1.

Contact Information
Email: whitepass1ak@gmail.com
Phone: (907) 983-2293

PO Box 412
Skagway, AK 99840

Location & Meetings:

White Pass No. 1 meets the Third Saturday during the months of January, March, May, September, October, and November at 12:00pm.

It is kindly requested that you contact White Pass No. 1 in advance of your visit to Skagway and the Lodge.

We look forward to seeing you!

Skagway, Alaska

“Skagua” was the Tlingit name, which means “the place where the north wind blows.” The first non-native settler was Captain William Moore in 1887. He is credited with being the first white man to use the White Pass route between Skagway and the interior. In August 1896, gold was discovered in the Klondike region. The first boatload of prospectors landed at Skagway the following summer.

By October 1897, according to a Northwest Mounted Police Report, Skagway “had grown from a concourse of tents to a fair-sized town with well laid-out streets and numerous frame buildings, stores, saloons, gambling houses, dance houses and a population of about 20,000.” Five thousand stampeders alone landed in February 1898, according to Customs Office records. Two trails were used by the gold seekers to reach the headwaters of the Yukon River: the 33-mile-long Chilkoot Trail which begins at nearby Dyea, and the 40-mile White Pass Trail beginning at Skagway and paralleled the present-day route of the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway (WP & YR). Thousands of men carried supplies up the Chilkoot Trail, which was too steep for horses, or took the 40-mile White Pass trail to Lake Bennett, where they built boats to float down the Yukon River to Dawson City and the gold fields – some 500 miles away. In 1898, a steam-operated aerial tramway was constructed on the steepest section of the Chilkoot Trail, which eased the burdens of those who were able to pay the fare.

Skagway became the first incorporated city in Alaska in 1900; the population was 3,117. At that time, Skagway was the second-largest settlement in Alaska. Tales of fortune seekers, lawlessness, and Soapy Smith are legendary.

The “Arctic Brotherhood” (labeled AB) was a fraternal society, formed aboard the steam ship, “City of Seattle,” as she steamed up the Lynn Canal towards Skagway in early 1899 with stampeders bound for the Klondike Gold Fields. The fellowship that had brought many together consisted of miners and prospectors from both sides of the international border – “No Boundary Line Here” became their motto. While on the ship, they pledged to leave cabin doors open, to care for sick and destitute comrades, and to prevent cruelty to animals. A truly unique northern order had been born.

The badge was a beer bottle cork and the dues a bottle of beer. Such was the immediate explosion of support given to this fraternal society that they built their own hall in Atlin, British Columbia, which was approximately 160 miles east of Skagway, Alaska. The fraternity flourished, due to the need to support each other and a desperate need by those whose health had buckled on the rails with their arduous journey North.

There was even a room reserved in this Arctic Brotherhood Hall for members of the “White Pass Lodge Masonic Fraternity” in the late 1800’s in Skagway devoted to Masonic fellowship. The Masonic Fraternity continues to flourish in the north lands of Alaska and Canada to this day.

When the gold rush ended in 1900, Skagway might have become a ghost town if not for the railroad construction that began in 1898. The WP & YR was the first major railroad in Alaska, and provided freight, fuel and transportation to Whitehorse, as well as serving several mines in the Yukon. The railroad employed many local residents until 1982, when the last of the large mines closed, and the opening of the South Klondike Highway three years prior left no traffic for the railroad. In 1988, the railroad was re-opened as a summer-only tourist line.

Skagway is located 90 miles northeast of Juneau at the northernmost end of Lynn Canal, located at the head of Taiya Inlet. Skagway is 112 road miles south of Whitehorse, Yukon, and just west of the border with British Columbia. It lies at approximately 59° 27′ N Latitude, 135° 18′ W Longitude (Sec. 11, T028S, R059E, Copper River Meridian). The community is located in the Skagway Recording District. The area encompasses 455 sq. miles of land and 11 sq. miles of water.

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