Dillon Wallace:  Explorer, Writer and Father Figure

By Allison Catmur, April, 2005

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Wallace as a Boy

Dillon Wallace was born June 24th, 1863, in Craigsville, New York.  His parents, Dillon Wallace Sr. and Rachel Ann Ferguson, had five children in total.  Their eldest daughter, Annie, was born in 1862, one year before Dillon Jr.  In 1869, they gave birth to another daughter, Ruth, but she died at the age of ten.  Another girl, Jessie, was born in 1871, and their last child, a boy, died as a baby.  Dillon Wallace Sr. started his career as a teacher, and later worked as a journalist on the staff of the New York Tribune.  He eventually settled into a career as a lawyer and insurance broker. 

When Dillon was four years old, his family moved to Ridgebury, a farming village east of the Hudson River where they lived in a farmhouse at the base of a hill.  It was here that Dillon started his studies - attending the local one-room school when he was not needed on the farm. 

Dillon developed a fondness for the great outdoors during his time in Ridgebury.  At the age of nine, Dillon would explore the fields and woodlands near his home and, armed with an old shotgun, he loved to accompany his grandfather on hunting excursions.  He loved finding his own way along unfamiliar trails, and dreamt of exploration and adventure. 

His young life was to become increasingly difficult.  Before Dillon had completed his basic schooling, his father fell ill and died.  His mother died shortly after, leaving him and his sister to raise their little sister Jessie and to fend for themselves.  This meant that at age 17, Dillon was forced to leave school and find work. 

A Man of Many Trades

When looking for a job, Wallace seized the first opportunity that came his way - a job as a miller in Florida, New York.  In his free time at the mill, Wallace continued his studies on his own.  He became interested in telegraphy and in 1883, and at the age of twenty, he got a job as a telegrapher on the Massachusetts railroad.  While working as a telegrapher, he was based at a lonely station where he again found free time to devote to his self-education.  He studied Greek and Latin, as well as Mathematics, English Literature, History, Bookkeeping and Stenography.  He prepared himself for the study of law and succeeded in passing the entrance exams at the New York Law School.  He moved to New York City in 1888 and, after securing a clerical position with the American Leather Company which enabled him to finance his way through school, enrolled in law school in 1892.

Wallace graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1896, and was admitted to the New York bar in 1897.  After graduation, he completed his clerkship in the offices of Colonel Asa Bird Gardiner (who later became the district attorney in New York County), General James M. Varnum, and Bainsbridge Colby (who later became President Woodrow Wilson's secretary of state).  He then joined the law firm of McLaughlan & Stern as a junior partner. 

Young Love, Heartbreak, and a Burgeoning Friendship

Working at the law firm enabled Dillon to regain some of the free time that so far had been taken up with studying.  He began to devote this time to making excursions into the New York and New England countryside, thereby renewing his passion for outdoor adventure. 

Around this time, Wallace fell in love with a woman by the name of Jennie E. Currie.  They married in 1897, but Jennie fell sick with Tuberculosis shortly after.  Her health deteriorated, and she ended up at the Staten Island Infirmary.  It was here that Wallace met Leonidas Hubbard, who was also a patient at the Infirmary, recovering from Typhoid.  Hubbard watched Wallace stand by in despair as his young bride died a slow death.  This experience was extremely painful for Wallace, and in his state of grief he found solace in the friendship he developed with Hubbard.  Although they had many differences - Wallace, at forty, was ten years older than Hubbard and was not as impulsive as his new friend - they did hold a strong love of nature in common.  They would spend weekends in the woods hiking and camping together.  They had met during hard times, and the time out in nature together was a time of healing for each man.

Hubbard at that time was employed as assistant editor of Outing, a popular nature magazine.  He was inspired by recent Arctic and Antarctic expeditions that had gained international acclaim by explorers including Fridtjof Nansen, Otto Sverdrup, and Roald Amundsen, as well as the American Robert Peary.  These adventurers were celebrated in American society at that time, and their experiences considered "character-building".  On a snow shoeing outing with Wallace in the Shawangunk Mountains one day, Hubbard shared his own dream of embarking on a similar expedition into one of the remaining unexplored Northern frontiers - Labrador.  Wallace accepted Hubbard's invitation to join him on this expedition, a decision that would change his life forever. 

The Labrador Expedition of 1903: The "Plighted Troth"

Wallace and Hubbard spent the next year preparing for their great adventure.  Funding for the expedition came from Casper Whitney, the publisher of Outing Magazine.  They purchased their canoe and other gear in New York City, except for a gill net for fishing which they planned to pick up at a Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) store once in Labrador.  With help from S. A. King, the manager of a HBC store in Missanabie, Ontario, they hired George Elson as a guide and general assistant.  Elson, a Scots-Cree from James Bay, was known in his area for his skills as a woodsman.  His experience, however, was limited to the James Bay region and he possessed no significant knowledge of the Eastern region of Labrador. 

Hubbard's plan was to travel from Northwest River over Grand Lake to the Naskaupi River and on to Lake Michikamau.  From here, the party would cross the height of land and head north along George River to Indian House Lake, where they hoped to witness the annual caribou hunt of the Naskaupi Indians which customarily took place in late September.  Finally, they would continue on to their destination - the HBC George River post on Ungava Bay. 

On June 20th, 1903, the Hubbard expedition left New York on board the steamer Sylvia en route to Newfoundland.  Hubbard's wife, Mina, had decided to accompany them for this first leg of their journey - at least as far as their first stop in Labrador.  Along the way, they were held up a few days in St. John's awaiting Virginia Lake - the vessel of the Reid-Newfoundland Steamship Company that would take them to Labrador.  Eventually, they were on their way, and on July 4th, they reached Labrador. 

Their first stop in Labrador was at Battle Harbour, where Mina said her farewells.  The expedition team then made its way on to Hamilton Inlet, making stopovers first at Indian Harbour and then at Rigolet.  They discussed their planned trip with the locals they met, the "Livyeres" ("live-heres" or permanent settlers on the coast) and the "Eskimos" (Inuit), but only a few of these people knew the interior country well.  Meanwhile, the "Indians" (at that time, the Montagnais or the Naskaupi, now the Innu) who lived and hunted on the interior barren grounds of Labrador, had not been to the coast in months.  As a result, the expedition team did not get much more information about the route they planned to take.  The map they had - made by Mr. A. P. Low of the Canadian Geological Survey - would have to suffice, even though the placement of some of the Rivers indicated on this map had been based merely on hearsay.  Another disappointment was that they failed to find the gill net they had hoped to purchase at the HBC store in Rigolet.  Upon arrival in Northwest River on July 14th, they were still without a fishing net, and had to settle for a worn net that required mending.

On the morning of July 15th, the team left Northwest River and entered the wilderness.  They had brought along only the essentials, anticipating success in hunting and fishing for sustenance.  With only partial information of the route that lay ahead and a rough map of the area, they made their way over Grand Lake.  On the second day, shortly after lunch, the party found what they thought was the Naskaupi River.  This would prove to be their fatal mistake - the river they entered was in fact the Susan, as they had passed the barely discernible entrance to the Naskaupi River five miles earlier.  Yet they had no reason at that time to doubt that this was the River they sought, and on they paddled.

The waters of the Susan were rough, and progress was slow.  Several tough portages were necessary, and with Hubbard suffering from diarrhoea, not to mention the extra time occupied by making side-trips to scout the path ahead due to an unreliable map, they only covered eighty miles in fifteen days.  They had also consumed a good portion of their food by this time, and facing a scarcity of game, they had to begin rationing.  Their feet were sore and their spirits low.  On the last day of July they decided to leave the Susan River valley.  They made their way over Goose Creek, Mountaineer and Elson Lakes, before happening onto the Beaver River.  Unbeknownst to them at that time, they had actually stumbled upon an old Indian trail to Lake Michikamau.  It had been abandoned after 1891, believed to be unlucky or even haunted, as starvation had claimed the lives of the last band of Indians who attempted to travel the route. 

At the end of the Beaver River they found themselves portaging between a series of lakes and bogs.  At this point they were faced with the prospect of portaging Northwards over land in hopes of reaching Lake Michikamau.  Their diets had consisted mainly of fish up to this point, and with their food rations seriously depleted and the uncertainty of success at finding game, leaving the waterways that had provided them with their main source of sustenance seemed risky.  Hubbard was feeling sick again, the mosquitos and blackflies were almost unbearable, and their clothes and moccasins were seriously deteriorating.  Nevertheless, they stuck with their motto:  "Michikamau or Bust" - and continued Northward.  The names they gave to the geographical features they encountered give us insight into their emotions and experiences along the way: first they crossed Lake Hope, then Lost Trail, Lake Disappointment, and finally Windbound Lake. 

Signs of winter were becoming increasingly apparent as the days grew shorter and the men worried that they might be too late to witness the caribou hunt at Lake Michikamau.  The terrain had changed - they had reached the barren grounds.  Hubbard was sick again, and his naturally slender build meant he was growing weaker faster than the other two men.  He had begun to express some fear to Wallace, who also had reservations.  For sustenance, they ate boiled fish along with the water it was cooked in, and mixed into this a spoonful of flour for each man.

On September the 8th the team reached the Northwest side of Windbound Lake where Hubbard and Elson scaled a mountain hoping to catch a glimpse of Lake Michikamau in the distance.  Much to their excitement, they did spot the lake in the distance.  For the next four days, they searched for a waterway connecting the two lakes.  On the evening of September 11th, they set up camp on a small rocky island in the lake.  The next morning, they were greeted by a strong gale that blew rain and snow against their tent.  They were stormbound on the island for many days, with very little food, and felt the worst pangs of hunger that they would experience on the entire trip.  On September 12th, Hubbard approached the other men with the prospect of turning back.  They decided this was the safest thing to do, as the weather might prevent them from travelling by canoe on Lake Michikamau and up the George River even if they did reach it.  Furthermore, as the winter drew in, the likelihood of meeting up with the Naskaupi at Michikamau was growing dim as the caribou had probably already migrated through that area.  On the 21st of September the weather improved, enabling them to cross the lake and embark on their "race for life" back over the trail to Northwest River. 

As they made their way back, they tried to hunt and fish with limited success.  They were all extremely weak, with their skin stretched over their bones and their eyes sunken into their faces.  Despite reducing their burdens by discarding all unnecessary items from their packs, it took them longer than it had on the way up to cover the same distance, and the portages took all the strength they could muster.  Hubbard's condition was becoming grave, and he was having trouble keeping up with the others and with his share of the work at camp, although his courage never seemed to waver.  Hubbard insisted on following the route that they knew along the Susan River Valley back to Grand Lake, in spite of Wallace's dread of the valley and Elson's vivid dream about the larger Beaver River leading them to their destination.  They abandoned their canoe at the spot where they had first entered the Beaver River and again made their way along the Susan Valley. 

On October 17th, Hubbard informed his companions that he could go no further.  It was decided that the others would go on without him; Wallace would look for an old cache of flour they had left along the trail and bring it back to Hubbard, while Elson would push on to Grand Lake in search for help.  They left Hubbard the next morning, amid tearful goodbyes. 

After two days on the trail, Wallace and Elson found the cache they had left behind, but the flour was completely rotten.  Nevertheless, they were thankful.  The next day Wallace began the trek back to the camp where they had left Hubbard, and Elson continued on in search of the winter cabin of Donald Blake, which they knew was located on Grand River. 

Wallace never made it back to the camp where they had left Hubbard, although he came very close.  He was delirious with starvation and fatigue, and having problems with his eyes and feet.  Elson had better luck - he managed to reach the Blake cabin, where he found Mrs. Blake, her baby, and another young woman there.  They took Elson in immediately, who was in a manic state.  After warming up and gorging himself on much-needed food, he tried to turn around to go and find the friends that he had left behind.  Mrs. Blake insisted that he wait for her husband who would launch the rescue mission.  Blake and his brother Gilbert soon showed up and Elson described as best he could the location of their last camp.  Mr. Blake was sure that the location Elson described was along the Susan River, for the first time giving a member of the Hubbard team an indication of the fatal error they had made. 

A rescue party of four men - Donald and Gilbert Blake, Allen Goudie and Duncan McLean - was quickly launched.  On October 30th, they came upon Wallace collapsed in the snow.  It had been 10 days since he had bid his farewell to Elson.  While one of the men stayed with Wallace, the other three continued on to find Hubbard.  They eventually found the camp, but Hubbard had not survived.  His body was wrapped in blankets, in the tent whose opening he had fastened with pins from the inside to keep out the harsh weather. 

Wallace at first refused to leave the wilderness without Hubbard's body.  The men insisted that it would be impossible at this time of year, and finally he acquiesced.  The men took Wallace out of the woods by canoe and they reached Blake's cabin on November 2nd.  Wallace spent the next few months recuperating from his ordeal at Kenemish lumber camp, twelve miles from Northwest River.  He had weighed 170 pounds at the start of their trip, and after he was taken out of the woods he was a mere 95 pounds.  His feet were frostbitten and gangrenous, and he was tended to by a doctor who felt that they might have to be amputated and that he should travel home to get the proper medical attention or risk death.  Wallace refused to listen to this advice - he would not leave Labrador without Hubbard's body.  He felt it was his duty to bring the body back to New York. 

Against all odds, Wallace gradually began to recover his strength.  By February he was relearning to walk.  At the end of the month, he was able to return to Northwest River and from there he arranged for an expedition to go into the wilderness to recover Hubbard's body.  Elson was part of this expedition, and much to the surprise and admiration of the other men, he was able to locate things they had left behind even buried under the deep snow.  One of the objects Wallace had asked Elson to recover was their canoe, but Elson had refused, annoyed at Wallace's insistence on the matter.  Elson had felt an allegiance to Hubbard, and now that he was gone, he did not wish to answer to Wallace. 

The recovery team was successful, returning to Northwest River with Hubbard's body tied onto a komatik.  On April 22nd, with Hubbard's body in a pine coffin, Wallace and Elson began the trip south to Battle Harbour by dogsled, where they would travel by steamer all the way back to New York.  They arrived in New York on May 20th, 1904.

A Deal with Mrs. Hubbard

In keeping with the promise he had made to Hubbard to write a book about their trip into the Labrador wilderness, Wallace struck a deal with Hubbard's widow whereby she agreed to provide some financial support for the editing of the book and also granted Wallace rights to Hubbard's travel journals, maps and photographs.  Mina was eager for Wallace's book to be published, as she anticipated that it would provide a true account of what had happened on their ill-fated excursion.  She had been angered by the newspaper and magazine reports that she felt were ruining her late husband's reputation by portraying him as incompetent and nave.  Wallace's book, The Lure of the Labrador Wild, was published in 1905 and became an instant best-seller.   He had dedicated the book to Hubbard, and saw it as a tribute to the memory of his dear friend.  He travelled to Mina's home to hand deliver a copy of his book to her, and she immersed herself in it immediately. 

Mina's reaction to the book was not what Wallace had expected.  She was dissatisfied with his portrayal of her husband in the book, feeling that his emphasis on her husband's mistakes and the descriptions of his physical and emotional weakness did not assuage the representations that had abounded in the media.  She felt that Wallace had been disloyal to her husband, trying to steal the limelight.  There were rumours that she questioned whether every effort had been made to save her husband, afraid that her husband had been abandoned in the wilderness.  The book created a rift between her and Wallace, one which would never be bridged. 

When Mina learned that Wallace was planning to return to Labrador to complete the expedition, she felt compelled to launch her own expedition in the name of her husband. She felt that this would place the credit where she felt in was due - in the hands of her late husband.  These separate expeditions set the stage for the media hype over "rival expeditions" being launched, and a "race to the finish". 

The Labrador Expeditions of 1905: A Race to the Finish?

Mina Hubbard kept her expedition plans very secretive.  Meanwhile, Wallace went about planning his own trip, securing funding once again from the publisher of Outing where he was now employed as staff.  It was only when both expeditions were en route to Labrador that he found out about Mina's plans, as both teams found themselves on board the same ship bound for Labrador.  They tried as much as possible to avoid each other.

Mina was travelling with Elson, whom Wallace had also attempted to hire, but his request had been declined.  Speculation as to why Elson chose to accompany Mina instead of Wallace fuelled yet more gossip.  Elson brought along two other men to accompany Mina on her expedition: Job Chapies, a Cree from the Hudson's Bay region of Quebec; and Joseph Iserhoff, of Russian and Cree descent, from James Bay.  Elson also had plans to approach Duncan McLean of Northwest River to accompany them. 

Wallace, meanwhile, had hired Peter Stevens, an Ojibwa from Minnesota, to take Elson's place on the expedition.  His intention was to conduct a scientific survey of the region they would cross, and to help with this he invited George Richards, a geology student from Columbia University, and Clifford Easton, a Forestry graduate, to accompany them.  Then there was Leigh Stanton, an experienced woodsman whom Wallace had met during his convalescence at the Kenemish lumber camp a few years prior.  After arriving in Northwest River, Wallace also managed to recruit Duncan McLean before Elson had a chance to approach him.  Instead, Elson engaged Gilbert Blake to accompany his team. 

The Wallace expedition left Northwest River after supper on June 26th, while Mina's team departed the next day.  Although they were aiming for the same destination, each team had slightly different motivations for their trips.  Mina saw her trip as a race to the finish - she wanted credit for being the first to explore the Naskaupi and George Rivers.  Her team took enough provisions to ensure that hunting would not be necessary, which freed up some time on the trail.  Wallace's team, on the other hand, planned on hunting to supplement their food supply and taking their time to ensure a comprehensive scientific study of the region.

There were two routes that could be chosen for the journey.  At the point where the Red Wine and Naskaupi Rivers converge, one could opt to continue along the rapids of the Naskaupi or to embark on an overland route following the old Innu portage.  Locals differed in their opinions regarding which route was preferable.  The overland route consisted of a difficult portage but offered a way of bypassing the precarious rapids.  Mina's team arrived at this point first, and so were the first to make a decision regarding which route to follow, which greatly influenced Wallace's choice shortly thereafter.  With the critical element of timing setting the pace for their journey, Mina's team had paddled throughout the first night, stopping only for a quick nap without setting up their tents.  Meanwhile, Wallace's team had set up camp along the shore of the Grand Lake that same night.  It was one day after their departure - on June 28th - that Mina's team overtook the other team.  Mina decided to continue along the route that she felt her husband would have chosen - straight up the rapids of the Naskaupi.  When Wallace's team reached the same point, they noticed the tracks of Mina's team which indicated to them which route she had chosen.  The element of timing was not so critical for Wallace's team, and given that they wanted to conduct thorough research and avoid the possibility of an awkward encounter with Mina along the way, Wallace ultimately chose to follow the old Innu Portage route. 

Wallace's team reached Lake Michikamau on September 3rd.  At this point it was decided that Richards, Stanton and Stevens would return to Northwest River with the specimens they had collected and the notes they had recorded up to that point.  The group split up the next day, with Wallace and Easton continuing North without a guide. 

On September 19th, the two men had an interesting and friendly encounter with a hunting party of Montagnais.  The hunters invited them to their base camp, an invitation that Wallace and Easton gladly accepted.  At the camp, their visit was treated as an occasion for a holiday, with everyone assisting them and entertaining them.  Several men squeezed into their tent that evening, and others congregated around the entrance.  They then shared stories, making every effort to communicate despite the language barrier.  Wallace treated everyone to hot tea and offered tobacco to the leader of the hunting party they had encountered.  In return, they received gifts of smoked meat and fat, as well as a cured caribou tongue.  The visit was short, much to the disappointment of the Montagnais, and they bid farewell to their new friends the next day, but not before receiving repeated warning of rough water ahead on their route.  Despite these warnings, they chose to continue along their planned route.  However, they might have been wise to heed the words of warning, as they had a close encounter when their canoe overturned in the very rapids they had been warned of.  They narrowly escaped the ordeal, albeit with fewer provisions, and finally arrived at the HBC George River post on the Ungava Bay on October 16th.  Although Mina's team had arrived six weeks earlier - on August 28th - Wallace and Easton became the first white men to cross the peninsula without the aid of Indian guides or assistants.   Furthermore, they did not stop once they reached the post.  The possibility of being stranded at the post all winter along with Mina and the members of her expedition, or even the prospect of travelling back by steamer with the "rival" team, seemed to spurn the men to depart again not long after their arrival.

From the George River post, Wallace and Easton decided to continue on to Fort Chimo with three Inuit men who were travelling there in a small boat.  They would have another close call before making it to their destination.  Their progress was impeded by pack ice, and they had to abandon the small boat and revert to hiking overland.  After the third day, a winter storm came up and they were forced to cache their provisions and travel unencumbered to a nearby shelter to avoid perishing of exposure.  They made it to the shelter, where Wallace and Easton waited while the Eskimo men made their way onwards to seek help.  Six days later, they were rescued by two Eskimo men accompanied by the manager of the HBC Whale River post, Job Edmunds.  Travelling by snowshoe and dogsled, they all returned to Whale River.  Wallace and Easton spent some time recuperating there, and then outfitted themselves for winter travel to Fort Chimo. 

They reached Fort Chimo on November 28th, remaining there until January, at which time they embarked on their return journey.  Their trip took them through George River, across the Torngat mountains (which they accomplished with help from Inuit that they hired), and back to Northwest River where they met up with their friend Stanton.  On March 6th, they once again departed Northwest River and made their way south along the coast and then into Quebec, arriving at Natashquan on April 17th, 1906.  From here, they were able to secure transportation back to New York.  This time, Wallace had travelled a total of 1000 miles through the interior of Labrador and another 2000 miles along the coast by dogsled, a trip that he describes in his book The Long Labrador Trail. 

The Pen and the Saddle

After his second expedition to Labrador, Wallace had grown fond of his adventurous lifestyle, and he was experiencing great success with his first two books.  He began to write works of fiction.  His first one, entitled Ungava Bob, was published in 1907, and many more would follow.  He also continued writing for Outing, accepting assignments for the magazine that took him on trips into the American Southwest and Mexico.  The first of these assignments was in 1907, during which time he explored the Sierra Madre Mountains in Western Mexico by horseback.  In 1910, he spent time living with the Apaches, Hopis and Navahos of the Southwestern States, and again travelled by horseback through Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.  He published books relating these expeditions, including Beyond the Mexican Sierras (1910) and Saddle and Camp in the Rockies (1911).  He came close to making another trip up North - this time to the North Pole - as part of a rescue party being formed to search for Dr. Frederick Cook, who turned up before the rescue expedition got underway.

At this time in his career, he was often asked to speak about his experiences at various clubs, organizations and academic institutions.  He also published articles in various magazines including National Sportsman, American Boy, and The Haversack, among others.  He made a fair living at this, but in 1911 decided to resume his law practice in Beacon, New York.  It was at this time that he first became involved in the Boy Scout movement.  His days of exploration and adventure, however, were not over. 

The Labrador Expedition of 1913: Commemorating Hubbard

In 1913, Wallace made his last trip to Labrador.  This time, the voyage was spurred on by his desire to mark the spot where Hubbard had died ten years prior.  He travelled with Judge William J. Malone of Bristol, Connecticut, carrying a bronze plaque memorial marker to be placed on a rock at their last campsite of the 1903 expedition.  They departed Northwest River in June, along with locals Gilbert Blake, Murdock McLean, and Henry Blake. 

Another purpose of the trip was to explore and map the lower Beaver River.  The Beaver River is very rough, and at the spot where the Charles Riley River joins the Beaver, their canoe overturned and they lost the memorial marker.  They decided to continue on nonetheless, reaching their destination in mid-August.  Here, they set to work chiselling a message into the rock across from which Hubbard's tent had been pitched.  They filled in the letters with a white lead paint using Gilbert's hair as a paint brush.  After completing this mission, the party turned back.  Although this was Hubbard's last trip to Labrador, he would travel there again several times in his mind's eye while writing many more books of fiction based on his experiences in the region. 

Wallace the Boy Scout Leader and Family Man

After returning from his last expedition, Wallace focussed on his writing and on his interest in the Boy Scouts.  These two interests became intertwined, as the majority of his books targeted a young audience and were printed as Boy Scout editions.  He founded the first Boy Scout troupe in Dutchess County, New York, and was a member of the Dutchess County Scout Council as well as the National Scout Council, as well as the National Camp Committee. 

In 1917, Wallace married Leila Greenwood Hinman.  Leila gave birth to two children, Leila Ann (born in 1919) and Dillon III (born in 1924).  In 1921, they purchased a house on one acre of land in Beacon where they would live for the next twenty years. 

Leila Ann, currently in her 80s and living in Lacey, Washington, has memories of her father from when she was a child.  She remembers his workshop - located in the den of their home, which was like a "sanctuary" for her.  Although it was generally off limits to the children, her father had told her that she could come in anytime she needed to relax or chat.  She recalls these times with nostalgia - the pungent smell of his pipe, the comfy old couch, the crackle of the wood stove, and the clutter of books and letters.  Often the whole family would gather there to listen to him read a chapter from his latest book, or an interesting letter he had received. 

Wallace shared his love of the outdoors with his family.  Leila Ann recalls hiking around their home and watching their father prepare food for them in the outdoors.  As chief of the summer Woodcraft Camp at Culver Military Academy, they also spent several summers at the camp in Culver, Indiana.  Other favourite spots included the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain, where they would set up camp along the shores in the wilderness, sleeping on boughs the way Wallace had done in Labrador. 

Wallace would jump on every opportunity to share his stories.  Leila Ann remembers hearing him speak on many occasions, both formally and informally.  He would tell his stories to the boys in his Scout group, demonstrating camp life and outdoors skills to them.  He endeared himself to many of these young boys, so much so that Leila Ann still receives letters from men who remember the impression he left on them as young boys.  Also, in the 1930s, he was invited several times by family friends to be the celebrity guest at their Treasure Hill Resort in Connecticut. 

During the height of the Depression, times were hard for the family.  Wallace's books were not selling he was not making much income from lectures.  In 1934, he got a job at the Works Progress Administration heading up the Federal Writers' Project guidebook series for Dutchess County.  Meanwhile, Mrs. Wallace made extra money making jams and jellies in their cellar.  The children helped their mother with this task, and also sold eggs from their chickens.  Young Dillon had a paper route, and Leila Ann worked as a waitress and dishwasher.  Still, they could barely make ends meet and lost their house in 1939.  Wallace's health deteriorated and he died September 28th, 1939, at age seventy-six.  His funeral service filled the church with family, friends and admirers.  Their mother received a particularly touching letter from the Hubbard family.  Wallace is now buried at the cemetery in Fishkill, not far from his home in Beacon. 

Dillon III would make a trip into the interior of Labrador just as his father had done.  Along with Rudy Mauro in the summer of 1973, he travelled by helicopter to the spot where Hubbard had died.  Here, they refurbished the inscription on the rock.  Rudy had arranged to procure a replica of the bronze plaque lost in the Beaver River in 1913.  Now they installed this memorial marker on the rock, and paid tribute to Dillon Wallace and his good friend and fellow explorer, Leonidas Hubbard. 


Davidson, James West and John Rugge.  [1997]  Great Heart: The History of a Labrador  Adventure.  New York: Kodansha International. 

Hebbard, Paul.  [1997]  Dillon Wallace.  St. John's: Centre for Newfoundland Studies  Archives, Memorial University of Newfoundland.  [Web published]  Avail:  www.library.mun.ca/qeii/cns/archives/wallace.php

Hitch, Earle V.  [1922-1923]  "Exploring with a Flying Boat"  National Magazine.  Pp.  31-32

Hubbard, Mina Benson.  [2004 (1908)]  A Woman's Way Through Unknown Labrador.   Montreal:  McGill-Queen's University Press.

Mauro, R. G.  [Summer, 1975]  "Dillon Wallace of Labrador"  The Beaver.  306:1, pp.  50-57.

McKendry, Ann Wallace.  [March, 2005]  Dillon Wallace: Our Dad.  [Web published]   Avail:  http://magma.ca/~philip18/Dillon-Wallace-Our-Dad.html

Riggs, Bert.  [1998]  "Drawn by the Lure of the Labrador Wild"  The Gazette.  Jan. 22nd,  pp. 12.

Schubert, Philip.  [2005]  The Hubbard Rock.  [Web published]  Avail:   http://magma.ca/~philip18/Hubbard-Rock.html

Wallace, Dillon.  [1905]  The Lure of the Labrador Wild: The Story of the Exploring  Expedition Conducted by Leonidas Hubbard. Jr.  New York:  F. Revell. 

_____.  [1907]  The Long Labrador Trail.  New York:  The Outing Publishing Co.

_____.  [1931]  "Crossing the Labrador Barrens" in Frederick A. Blossom, Ed.  Told at  the Explorer's Club: True Tales of Modern Exploration.  New York:  A.  & C.  Boni.

Williams, Daisy Hubbard.  [November 1939]  "The Viewpoint:  Hubbard's Sister  Speaks"  Polar Times.  9:13, pp 13. 

Allison Catmur 2005
The author wishes to thank Mrs Ann Wallace McKendry, Mr. Phillip Schubert, and Mr. Rudy Mauro for their generous help and support as well as their important contributions to this manuscript.
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