From Hazleton, BC to New York by Dogsled – Barriere Star Journal
The following was originally published in 1991 by The Western Producer, a Canadian agricultural publication. It was featured in The Times by Birch Island resident Shannon Allen, daughter of author Cecille Carroll. An editor’s note at the start of the two-part series reads: The following story details Sammy and Paddy Carroll’s dog sledding ride through Canada and the United States during the Depression. It is narrated by their daughter, Cecille Carroll. Here is Part Two, the first can be read on the Barriere Star Journal website at: From Hazelton, BC to New York City by Dogsled
Sammy and Paddy Carroll were now halfway through their dogsled ride. They left Canada behind, crossing the United States border at Nouyes, Minnesota, on November 17, 1936. Road traffic was much heavier and the places they visited were much more crowded. Auto companies started paying them to spend time in their business, as the dog team attracted thousands of people.
After a fairly easy month of life and a lot more change in their pockets, they reached Madison, Wisconsin. The dogs had now understood the euphoria of the event. They knew what a sensation they made wherever they went, and they loved the action and routine of being encountered by a police motorcycle escort outside of the big cities.
The traction was easy on the tire mounted sled, they could feel the excitement in the air and they were the basis of this melodrama.
In no time at all, these nifty animals have adapted remarkably to heavy traffic. They obeyed orders and trusted their masters completely.
The animals caused little problem for the Carrolls during the trip; one broke off and killed 20 chickens in half an hour in Saskatchewan. And another time, they took off after a gopher who had the temerity to run right under their nose. Any dog ââwho dared to face these noble beasts, masters of their own business, would be quickly dispatched. Once or twice a fiery little animal approached the Old Wolf, who caught it in a flash and casually tossed it over its shoulder at the rest of the team.
These animals quickly developed a strange sense of movement, which Paddy said had avoided many accidents; he was also convinced that animals had a sixth sense. Old Wolf, in particular, had mastered the intrigues of traffic lights. It stopped when the light turned orange or red.
They sleighed through Minnesota, visiting the Twin Cities there, meeting with the mayors, receiving the key to the cities, and standing for charities. the Minneapolis Star announced their presence on November 17, 1936.
the Wisconsin State Journal reported their celebrated arrival in Madison on Friday, December 18, 1936.
the Toledo Ohio News-Bee reports that they were in that city on March 19, 1937. Pennsylvania was next, then Illinois, stopping in Chicago for a week where they attended a Red Cross rally with the child star of Jane Withers cinema.
May 24 saw them in Baltimore, Maryland, and by mid-June they had arrived in New Jersey. They then traveled to Washington, DC and New York.
Spareribs gave birth to five puppies in Maryland. It was quite a task looking after the puppies while they were traveling, but they just stopped more often when it was mealtime.
The now famous transcontinental dog team was on the front page of every newspaper on the way. The word of their arrival preceded them in every town and village. Schools would be closed and people would crowd around them by the hundreds.
June 29, 1937, The New York Times wrote: âKeeping a family of six stocked with shoes may seem like hard work for some people, but it’s nothing compared to keeping a family of six Alaskan huskies in shoes. Since Mr. and Mrs. PJ Carroll left their home near the Alaskan border, the six-dog team has worn 5,000 shoes.
âMr. and Mrs. Carroll arrived in New York City late Saturday evening via the Staten Island ferry. Mr. Carroll, tall, in straight boots, wearing a shiny mackinaw-effect plaid flannel shirt, walked beside the cart. sled, shouting instructions to Wolf, the lead husky.
âOn the sled, hoisted on three rubber wheels, sat Mrs. Carroll, a tall, well-built Canadian, with brown hair and cheeks still delicate and rosy from the northern winters. Like her husband, she was dressed in pants and a shirt. But she said she had a dress for special occasions. Huskies have proven to be extremely gentle, despite there being an eighth of pure Alaskan buffalo in their lineage. They are stocky, with the soft, dreamy Newfoundland eyes.
âAny of these dogs,â Mr. Carroll said, can and did kill a deer unaided. A pair of them can kill a caribou, and they can smash an ordinary police dog with one blow. âI have to keep the dogs away from them, it’s the only danger in town. They won’t attack unless the other dog attacks first. The wolf here weighs 110 pounds.
A Staten Island, NY newspaper reported the following on the front page on Friday June 25, 1937: âA team of dogs pulling a sled on wheels nears the end of a 5,000 mile journey from British Columbia. A Canadian couple have their first view of the ocean from the island.
“Paddy rolled a cigarette between his fingers, lighted it quietly, blew a cloud of smoke into the sun, and narrowed his eyes as he gazed out over Wolfes Pond where a flight of seagulls flew into the sky. the lower part of the bay. A middle-aged man, dressed in a bright orange rodeo shirt and dark woolen breeches, that was a strange figure, setting there in the gum and pine-oak grove on the edge of the small Lake. He was a bit of the North Country transplanted to the outskirts of the big city.
âThe incongruity of his presence there was accentuated by the presence of a strange device. An Alaskan dog sled, mounted on three rubber wheels, with a pair of Hudson Bay snowshoes strapped to the side, and a team of six malamutes staked in the brush.
The Carrolls were treated royally throughout their time in New York City, and Old Wolf the lead dog was raised on top of the RCA building and obligingly howled a real wolf howl over the radio station, giving the whole country audience a unique thrill.
It was a great day for the little cavalcade from the north; no other dog had been allowed to climb to the top of this austere building, which at the time was the tallest structure in the world. But then, Wolf had certainly deserved singular recognition and honor after such a heroic journey as the undisputed leader of the team.
By this time, the Carrolls had abandoned their original plan to rush to Halifax. As enjoyable as the trip was, it had taken its toll on the mushers and the dogs. Additionally, the Carrolls had two young daughters, 11-year-old Patricia and 7-year-old Cecille, back in British Columbia, whom they had not seen in over a year and a half. It was a long-awaited family reunion.
Paddy staked high-grade copper ore on Babine Lake in 1938, and he clung to the belief that one day there would be a large mine there. He would be 75 when the prognosis finally came true. Granby Mining Corporation eventually bought its claims and also ceded shares in the company to it. Today, as he had imagined so long ago, there is a high-grade copper ore mine and a pretty modern town called Granisle that overlooks the beautiful expanse of Lake Babine; a beautiful tribute to a man of great visions.
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