It was not long before heavy machinery for powering sternwheel riverboats under construction at Lake Bennett and Whitehorse were being transported by raw horsepower and beefed up wagons – some transporters provided with eight wheels to support the load.
This was frontier commerce conducted by mackinaw-clad businessmen and cursing teamsters – the whole relentless enterprise fueled by bacon and beans, bags of oats, bales of hay, and illegal beer. The work was relentless, the weather unforgiving, the pay twenty-five cents an hour.
This was the way it was until the White Pass Railway was completed in the summer of 1900. But to this day the hundreds of horses that died in harness are still remembered as tragic heroes of the Trail of ’98.