Al­bum

Canada's History - - CONTENTS - Sub­mit­ted by cousins Ha­mar Fos­ter of Vic­to­ria and Robert Fos­ter of Courte­nay, Bri­tish Columbia.

A unique Yukon wed­ding aboard a steamer bound for White­horse.

When we found this photo in 2000 in our great-un­cle Frank Fos­ter’s col­lec­tion in the Yukon Archives, we won­dered what was go­ing on. Frank left York­shire, Eng­land, and went north for the Klondike gold rush, stay­ing to prospect, trap, and make a life. He died in Old Crow, Yukon, in 1950.

Frank was an avid pho­tog­ra­pher. Most of his pho­tos were of his Gwich’in fam­ily and friends out on the land, but this one was a mys­tery. Who were these peo­ple, and what were they cel­e­brat­ing?

We re­cently found an is­sue of the White­horse Star, dated June 26, 1925, that had been kept by a fam­ily mem­ber. It con­tains the fol­low­ing no­tice: “Mar­ried: Fos­ter-Ma­son — On the steamer

Casca en­route to White­horse June 22nd, A.R. Fos­ter, of San Fran­cisco and Brad­ford, York­shire, to W. Ma­son, of Fort Yukon, Alaska, Dr. A.E. Hub­bard of Buf­falo, NY, of­fi­ci­at­ing.”

What could this mean? A.R. Fos­ter was not Frank (who had clearly been the pho­tog­ra­pher), and the man on the left has to be great-un­cle Arnie. But Arnie had never mar­ried.

An an­swer came from an el­derly rel­a­tive in Eng­land, who re­mem­bered be­ing told as a child that the mar­riage an­nounce­ment was a hoax! Arnie and W. Ma­son (also a man) de­cided to go through a fake ship­board mar­riage and got the cap­tain to marry them. Any­one who would have known more about the oc­ca­sion is now long dead.

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