Concept

Nellie Cashman

Summary
Ellen Cashman (1845 – 4 January 1925) was an Irish nurse, restaurateur, businesswoman and philanthropist in Arizona, Alaska, British Columbia and Yukon. Cashman led a rescue party to miners to the Cassiar Country gold mine in the Cassiar Mountains of British Columbia earning her the nickname "Angel of the Cassiar". In Tombstone, Arizona, Cashman raised money to build the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and did charitable work with the Sisters of St. Joseph. She went to the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush for gold prospecting, working there until 1905. She became nationally known as a frontierswoman, with the Associated Press covering a later trip. In 2006, Cashman was inducted into the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame. Ellen "Nellie" Cashman was born in Midleton, County Cork in the mid 1840s. Some sources give 1844 as her year of birth, while some other research indicates she was the Ellen Cashman baptised on 15 October 1845. Her family lived on Free School Lane (now known as Mc Donaghs Lane). Cashman was brought to the United States around 1850 by her mother, along with her sister Frances (known as Fanny); they settled first in Boston. As an adolescent, Cashman worked as a bellhop in a Boston hotel. In 1865, she and her family moved to San Francisco, California. Cashman left her family home in 1874 for the Cassiar Country in British Columbia. She set up a boarding house for miners at Telegraph Creek, asking for donations to the Sisters of St Anne in return for the services available at her boarding house. Cashman was travelling to Victoria to deliver 500 dollars to the sisters of St. Anne when she heard that a snowstorm had descended on the Cassiar Mountains, stranding and injuring 26 miners, who were also suffering from scurvy. She took charge of a six-man search party and collected food and medicine to take to the stranded miners. Conditions in the Cassiar Mountains were so dangerous that the Canadian Army advised against attempting the rescue. Upon learning of Cashman's expedition, a commander sent his troops to locate her party and bring them to safety.
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