1903 Yukon Nuggets
Princess of the Yukon
It seems during those tumultuous years of 1898-1899, the Klondike Nugget newspaper didn't miss a story. So it's no surprise that the paper gave considerable coverage to the Princess of the Yukon.
Margie Newman was just nine years old, but on stage she carried herself as a poised adult. After a charity performance for hospitals, editor Gene Allen of the Klondike Nugget wrote:
"Little Margie was the sweetest and as clever a child as it has ever been our privilege of hearing." The newspaper marvelled at the singing talents of the youngster. One member of the audience even wrote a poem about her: "God Bless you little Margie, for you made us better men. God Bless you little Margie, for you take us home again."
And so she did few weeks later in another benefit concert. Dressed in Scottish costume, she wowed the crowd with her rendition of Annie Laurie and her skill in dancing the highland fling. The governor, a Colonel Day, who was in the audience proposed a toast. "To little Margie the Princess of the Yukon, and dearest to the hearts of every man, woman and child in the Yukon".
The Nugget said that most children would have been confused by all the attention, but in her reply to the toast, Margie Newman said "Ladies and gentlemen, I didn't come to make a speech, but to thank you one and all".
Margie's stage performances, other than the charity benefit concerts, were for the benefit of her family. She and her two brothers, Willie and George, were child stage performers, who counted on cash donations to help the Newman family survive in the expensive city.
Finally, as with many who sought their fortune in the Klondike, the family left Dawson. Whether little Margie, the Princess of the Yukon, ever became a star of stage, screen and radio outside is unknown. For the Klondike Nugget, Dawson's little paper that had all the news, went out of business in 1903.
A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin.