Commercial Yukon Airways Mail from Telegraph Creek

In February 28, 1929, Yukon Airways made a flight from White Horse to Telegraph Creek, BC using the only aircraft it had at the time, an Alexander Eaglerock biplane. Some 356 souvenir first flight covers were carried down to Telegraph Creek on the flight but no mail has been reported from the return trip until this commercial cover appeared.

It was sent by John Frank Callbreath, a well-known resident of Telegraph Creek and the north for many years. Callbreath was part of Callbreath, Grant & Cook, who were merchants that operated in Alaska, BC and the Yukon during the Klondike gold rush. He was also the first postmaster of Telegraph Creek, serving from 1899 to 1905.

The corner card of this cover bears Callbreath’s name as a local Telegraph Creek packing contractor and general merchant and is postmarked on February 28, 1929, which was the day that the Yukon Airways plane arrived. The back of the cover is postmarked at both Atlin, BC and White Horse, Yukon on March 1, 1929 nicely showing the route it took out of Telegraph Creek. It was addressed to the Vancouver Daily Province but there is no Vancouver receiving cancel on the cover to date its arrival.

This is just the second example of commercial Yukon Airways semi-official airmail from or to Telegraph Creek that I have seen. I would welcome hearing of any others.

by Tom Watkins

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