Divide Creek couple went north to Alaska | PostIndependent.com

Divide Creek couple went north to Alaska

Willa Soncarty
Registrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum
Photo Courtesy Frontier Historical SocietyThis photo shows Sadie and Arthur Reynolds about 1900, possibly at their ranch at Divide Creek near New Castle. In 1906, when Sadie was 32 and Arthur was 36, the couple left their Divide Creek homestead to gold mine in Alaska. They never returned to the area.

Gold fever came in the autumn of 1906 to the home of Arthur and Sadie Reynolds. The desire was so strong that it prompted the couple to sell their belongings and their Divide Creek property near New Castle, and to give up years of ranching. Arthur and Sadie left all they had known for a chance at riches in Alaska and the Yukon territory.

In Seattle on June 12, 1907, the Reynoldses boarded a steamer, the Humboldt, destined for Circle City, Alaska. By July 21, the couple had made their way to Nation, a tiny community located on the Yukon River near the mouth of Fourth of July Creek. Their cabin, known as the “Reynolds Roadhouse,” was completed that November, and soon afterward the couple took in boarders.

Arthur staked a mining claim. Days were spent heating the frozen ground in the effort to sink mine shafts. In addition to prospecting, hunting, food preparation and storage, cabin and equipment repair, and sewing, long travel to get mail and supplies filled the Reynoldses’ days. The couple, along with friends, found time to explore the Alaskan and Canadian rivers and took additional prospecting trips.

Sadie, her health in decline, left Alaska in 1921. Arthur, however, remained. He sold his mining claim, and in 1928 settled on Sam Creek, a Yukon River tributary. As time passed he became more reclusive, spending his days hunting, trapping, processing meat, repairing his cabin, and tending to his sled dogs.

Arthur Reynolds never returned to Colorado. In November 1950, his frozen body was found near his cabin. Foul play was suspected in his death but never proven. He was buried on the banks of Sam Creek.

“Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Summer hours are 1-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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