Wonalancet New Hampshire Chinook Breeder, Dog Trainer, and Antarctica Dog Driver – Arthur Treadwell Walden (1871-1947)

Arthur Treadwell Walden, the son of a famous Episcopal preacher, was born in Indiana in 1871.

Arthur Treadwell Walden and Chinook.

As a young man he was involved in the Klondike Gold Rush, where he learned about driving dog teams. He returned to New England, the home of his grandparents, where he married Katherine “Kate” Sleeper, and lived on Wonalancet Farm in Tamworth, Carroll County, New Hampshire.  There he began experimenting with breeding and training sled dogs. He mated a large mastiff with a direct descendant of one of Admiral Peary’s Husky lead dogs. His favorite of the litter he named Rikki, then renamed Chinook.

He introduced his new dog breed at the 1920 Winter Carnival held at Gorham New Hampshire. In 1926 he successfully ascended Mount Washington with his dog team, fighting gale-force winds. He is credited for bringing the sport of dogsled racing to New England.

In 1927 he helped train dogs for Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s Antarctic expedition. He was in charge of hauling supplies to support the base camp, called “Little America.”  In 1930 he returned to New Hampshire, in debt. He sold the remainder of his dogs and retired from dog training.  He wrote several books, including “A Dog-Puncher on the Yukon” (1928), “Harness and Pack” and “Leading a Dog’s Life.”

He died on March 26, 1947 while attempting to save his wife from a house fire. They are both buried next to a lovely chapel near their former Wonalancet Farm.  A scrapbook (large photographic album containing 542 photographs) that was put together by Admiral Byrd and other members of the 1928-1930 expedition to the Antarctic and presented by Byrd to Arthur Treadwell Walden in 1930 can be found among the “Papers of Richard Evelyn Byrd” at the Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College in Hanover NH.

NH Historic sign #155. A “Chinook Kennels” sign honors the site where the kennels were moved in 1930 by Milton and Eva B. “Short” Seeley, the 2nd owners, and a separate memorial marks the burial spot of the dog by the same name, but nothing except tombstones marks a spot nor the efforts of Arthur Treadwell & Kate (Sleeper) Walden who originated the breed and trained them in the frozen wilds.  Such are the travesties of history.


[Editor’s Note: In 2009 the Chinook breed was named the official New Hampshire state dog. Also, the Chinook dog breed will be introduced for competition, for the first time, at the Westminster Kennel Club Show in 2014.  Lakeside Run’s Little Bear aka Birr, owned and handled by Kris Holleran of Londonderry, New Hampshire will compete in the show.]

The 138th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will be televised live on CNBC Monday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m., and on USA Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 8 p.m.


Chinook: A Northern NH Breed

The New Hampshire State Dog — The Chinook, from Nutfield Genealogy


Kate Sleeper Walden photo and bio-PDF

History of the Chinook Dog Breed

Who is Arthur Walden? – PDF

The Life of Kate Sleeper – article in a message board post

Where the Heck is Wonalancet, New Hampshire

Chinooks New England

Chinook Bibliography

Tamworth’s Walden brought ‘Chinook’ racers


My thanks to Dale Caldwell, a descendant of this Walden family, for offering some corrections. You may send him email at  Dycorprc@aol.com

Capt. Thomas Walden [Waldin], b 1681, d. 1724 in Portsmouth NH; m. 20 Dec 1716 in Portsmouth NH to Sarah Cotton. She b. 11 Aug 1702 in Portsmouth NH and d. 1752 in NH.
Children of Capt. Thomas & Sarah (Cotton) Walden/Waldron
1. William Waldron b Portsmouth NH, d. 28 Aug 1754 in Portsmouth NH
2. +Capt. Thomas Walden/Waldron, b. 1721 in Portsmouth NH
3. Elizabeth Walden, b. 1723
4. Hannah Walden/Waldron, b. 1725
5. Anna Walden 1726-1849
6. Mary Walden/Waldron, b. 1727
7. John Walden

Capt. Thomas Walden, son of Capt. Thomas & Sarah (Cotton) Walden, b. abt 1721;  mariner, lost at sea going from Portsmouth to Boston before 16 Nov 1768; m bef 1760 to Anna Treadwell, dau of Jacob & Sarah (Cotton) Treadwell. She b. abt 1722, d. suddenly buried 11 Dec 1806 aged 84 years [see tombstone above]. Tombstone: “Anna TREADWELL WALDEN, mother of Jacob Walden, died 1806, aged 82 years (Waldron, Waldrne)”
Children of Capt. Thomas & Anna (Treadwell) Walden :
1. Sarah Walden, b. 1743, d. 10 Sep 1815 Portsmouth NH; m. abt 1760 in Portsmouth NH to Nathaniel Treadwell, son of Charles & Mary (Kelly) Treadwell. He b. 6 Dec 1730 in Portsmouth NH
2. +Jacob Walden, b. 8 May 1751 Portsmouth NH

Jacob Walden, son of Thomas & Anna (Treadwell) Walden, was b. 8 May 1751 in Portsmouth, Rockingham Co. NH and d. 24 Dec 1831 in Rockingham NH, at the age of 80. He married 1774 to  Abigail “Abby” Loud/Lowd. She was b. 1747 Portsmouth NH and d. 1824 Portsmouth NH. According to a descendant: In 1776 he served as a Lieutenant under Capt. William Stilson and Col. Isaac Wyman, as part of a force raised in July of 1776 for the defense of Portsmouth and its harbor. From 1777-1778 he served as steward and surgeon’s mate on the sloop of war “The Ranger,” under John Paul Jones, out of Portsmouth Harbor.  Between 1778-1831 he is the town auctioneer. In September of 1789 a member of a committee of 12 to welcome President George Washington to Portsmouth NH.  Buried in North Burying Ground with wife Abagail and daughter Sophia.
Children of Jacob & Abigail (Loud) Walden:
1. +Jacob Treadwell Walden, b. 1775
2. Anna Walden, 1776-1849; m. Samuel Colcord
3. Thomas T. Walden, 1779-1825; ?m. Esther Franklin; ?their dau Charlotte m. 22 March 1844 to Abram Bradley Mulford
4. Joseph Walden 1781-1810; m. ?Rebecca
5. Charles Cutter Walden, 1782-1809; ?d. 1841, buried Orange Co NY
6. Abagail Walden, 1783-1863
7. Sophia Walden, 1785-1842
8. Daniel T. Walden, 1787-1854; m. ?Phebe

Jacob Treadwell Walden, son of Jacob & Abigail (Loud) Walden, b. abt 1775 in Portsmouth NH, d. 1855 New York; m. 13 Sep 1802 by Right Rev. Bishop Moore, to Miss Maria Pell, daughter of Mr. Benjamin & Mary Ann (Ferris) Pell; He m2nd, 13 April 1825 to Beulah Hoffman Willet, second daughter of Gilbert Colden Willett at St. George’s Church, Newburgh NY. [[[Benjamin Pell, son of Joshua and Phoebe (Palmer) Pell, was born at Pelham Manor, New York, about 1750, died in New York City, March 4, 1828. He was a merchant of New York City, with his brother Thomas commenced business in New York City as shipping merchants in the year 1798. They owned and operated several vessels and bought and sold cargoes. They had three brothers more or less connected with them in their business, Daniel, William and Joseph. [the history says their father and mother lived in Portsmouth NH].  He married, November 25, 1778, Mary Ann, daughter of John Ferris, of Grove Farm, Westchester County, New York. He had several sons. His daughter Maria married Jacob Treadwell Walden.]]] In the 1820s, a successful New York shipper named Jacob Walden convinced some of his business partners (Jesse Scofield and Dr. S.C. Capron, forming the Franklin Company in 1822) to finance the construction of woolen mills on the river, attracted by the Great Falls as a source of power and the railroad connections at nearby Maybrook. He dammed the Wallkill above the falls, creating a power station that remains in use today, and his mill was a success.   Other wool-makers followed as the Industrial Revolution picked up steam and the growing population center became known instead as Walden’s Mills. Most of them failed a few decades later, but their influence was such that the village incorporated in 1855 as Walden.  [Walden and its environs : with pen and camera; Walden, N.Y.: Wallkill Valley Pub. Association, 1902 i.e. 1903?-1914]
Children of Jacob Treadwell & Maria (Pell) Walden:
1. Sophia Ferris Walden, m. 29 January 1831 to Joseph Pratt Cooke by Rev. Wm. H. Hart [notice says she 2nd dau of Jacob T. Walden, Marriage from the NY Post]. She d. Feb 1843, buried Orange Co NY.
2. Emma Walden, m. Rev. Samuel Cook, son of Joseph P. Cooke a Probate Judge. Born at Danbury CT 15 Aug 1815, graduate of General Theological Seminary, at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery 1 July 1838. Then to Lyons, to Trinity Church, Geneva (western NY). 2 July 1845 first rector of St. Paul’s Church, New Haven CT, then to St. Bartholomews in NYC.  She died 1886 New York City. They had 3 children, two of whom died while they were at St. Bartholomews.
3. Maria Walden, unmarried, transferred the Walden stone house and farm in Walden NY by deed to Edward Wait in the year 1856.
Child of Jacob Treadwell & Beulah Hoffman (Willet) Walden:
4. +(Jacob) Treadwell Walden, b. 1830s
5. Beula Willett Walden, b. abt 1832, d. 16 October 1857 in Norwich CT, age 25 [10/16/1857 Norwich Conn, Oct 17, while on a visit to brother Rev. J. Treadwell Walden, Beula Willett, dau of Late Jacob T. Walden of this City 25y Vault, Trinity Church]

(Jacob) Treadwell Walden, son of Jacob Treadwell & Beulah Hoffman (Willet) Walden, Episcopal clergyman, among the leading pulpit orators of the Episcopal Church in America, author of Sunday-School Prayer Book; Our English Bible and Its Ancestors, and the Great Meaning of Metanoia; b. 25 April 1830 Walden, Orange Co., NY, and died
21 May 1918 in Boston MA; he m. 15/17 September 1858 at Christ Church in Norwich CT to Elizabeth Leighton Law, dau of Hon. Wm. Henry & Mary (Lee) Law (they were married by Rev. A. Lee of Delaware). She was born Norwich Conn. 7 Nov 1829. [Mary Lee, b. 15 Dec 1805 Cambridge MA, d. 26 Oct 1839 Huntington PA, m. 17 Feb 1829 William Henry Law, son of Lyman and Elizabeth (Learned) Law. Her brother Bishop Lee, was Episcopal Bishop of Delaware]. Treadwell married 2nd,  11 June 1885 in Boston MA to Grace Gordon, daughter of George W. & Kate/Katherine P. (Sleeper) Gordon.  She was born 10 Sep 1842 in Boston MA, and died 1 April 1918 in Boston MA.  Rev. Treadwell Walden was early an assistant at Trinity Church, Newark NJ.  He then became Rector of an Episcopal Church at Norwich Conn, living there for several years, until 1863, leaving to take charge of St. Clement’s Church in Philadelphia. He remained here until 1869; St. Pauls Church, Indianapolis from 1869-1872, and afterwards was Rector of a church at Fishkill and also in of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Boston until 1877. Later living at Cambridge, Mass, employing himself mostly in literary work of a theological nature. In 1890 residing 11 Lambert Avenue in Boston MA. 1898 Protestant Church Directory shows Treadwell Walden, became deacon 1854, born Walden NY, residing in Portsmouth NH. In May 1898 Rev. Treadwell Walden gave a lecture on “William the Conqueror” at St. John’s Chapel on State Street in Portsmouth NH.

1880 United States Federal Census > New York > New York City-Greater > Queens > District 264
Walden Rev. Treadwell W M 45 Dr. Divinity NY NH NY
Walden, Elizabeth W F 40 wife keeping House CT CT Mass
Walden, Latham L. W M 20 son CT NY CT
Walden, Lionel C W M 18 son artist CT NY CT
Walden, May L. W F 15 dau at home Penn NY CT
Walden, Arthur T. W M 8 son Indiana NY CT
Walden, Beulah H W F 95 mother NY England NY
Moore, Jane, W F 40 servant Ire Ire Scotland

1910 United States Federal Census > Massachusetts > Suffolk > 11-Wd Boston > District 1418

Photo of Lionel Walden from Santa Cruz Evening News, 13 June 1931, page 2

Photo of Lionel Walden from Santa Cruz Evening News, 13 June 1931, page 2

Walden, Treadwell Lodger W M 76 m2x 24 yrs NY NH NY Clergyman [b. 1834]

Children of Treadwell & Elizabeth Leighton (Law) Walden:

1. Leighton/Lighton/Latham Lee Walden, b.  30 December 1859 Norwich CT; d. 28 Sep 1884 in Minneapolis MN, age 24 of pneumonia.
2. Lionel Colden Walden, b.  22 May 1861 Norwich, CT; he died in 1933.  He was an internationally known painter, well-known for his marine art.
3. May L. Walden, b. 19 Dec 1864 Philadelphia PA; d. 31 Dec 1893 in Minneapolis, Anoka Co., MN;  She m. 30 December 1885 in Minneapolis MN to William Greene Ainsworth. Two children.
4. +Arthur Treadwell Walden, born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on 10 May 1871

Arthur Treadwell Walden, son of Treadwell & Elizabeth Leighton (Law) Walden, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on 10 May 1871 and d. 26 March 1947 in Tamworth, NH. He married  9 December 1902 in Tamworth NH to his cousin-in-law (by his stepmother) Katherine “Kate” Sleeper, daughter of Charles Frederick & Zilpha L. (Thomas) Sleeper.  She was born 27 Nov 1862 in Boston MA and died in 1949. They are both buried in the small graveyard at Wonalancet Union Chapel.
Children: none
U.S. Census > 1910 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Carroll > Tamworth Twp > District 25
Walden, Arthur T. Head  M W 38 m1x 7 yrs Indiana NY PA Keeper, Summer Hotel [b abt 1872]
Walden, Katherine S. wife F W 47 m1x 7 yrs 1 ch 0 living MA MA MA
[servants and hired man]
U.S. Census > 1930 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Carroll > Tamworth > District 17
Walden, Arthur T. Head M W 58 married at age 28 Indiana NY Delaware Proprietor, Dog Breeding
Walden, Katherine S. wife F W 66 married at age 36 MA MA MA Postmaster, Postal Service
Nashua Telegraph (Nashua, New Hampshire) > 1947 > March > 27
Famed Dog Trainer Dies Saving Wife
Wonalancet, March 27–Doctors held hope today for the recovery of Mrs. Arthur T. Walden, 86, wife of a world famous sled dog trainer who lost his life yesterday after saving her form a fire that destroyed their farm home.
Walden, 76, chief dog driver of Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s first Antarctic expedition, was found in the kitchen badly burned after extinguishing his wife’s clothing which ignited apparently from a  spark from a living room fireplace.
Fire Chief Almon Evans said Walden apparently collapsed as he was about to draw water to throw on the flames. Dr. Robert Quimby reported his death was due to a heart ailment.
Physicians said that Mrs. Walden, who was removed to nearby Wonalancet Inn, was in fair condition, although seriously burned. The flames destroyed all Walden’s trophies as well as mementos of his Alaskan gold rush days. Evans estimated damage at “probably more than $10,000.”

Walden bred and trained huskies on the 1,300 acres surrounding his Wonalancet home, but sold the land and kennels several years ago. He introduced sled dog racing in the area and founded the New England Sled Dog Club.

[Editor’s note: article updated January 2014]

This entry was posted in Genealogy, New Hampshire Men, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Wonalancet New Hampshire Chinook Breeder, Dog Trainer, and Antarctica Dog Driver – Arthur Treadwell Walden (1871-1947)

  1. Pingback: New Hampshire Missing Places: Antlers Tea Room, Wonalancet | Cow Hampshire

  2. Hazel says:

    In about 1948 or 1949 my dad took me to a Chinook dog breeding kennel in/about Waldoboro Maine. I remember the dogs, which were handsome, sweet, and mannerly. Decades thereafter I saw a photo of Chinook himself, discovered that the breed had for all practical purposes disappeared but was being “restored”. The dogs I saw in photos looked nothing like Walden’s beauty, Chinook. Hope breeders are getting closer to the original. Wonderful article.

    Cow-Hampshire, hm?

  3. Pingback: Arthur Treadwell Walden | Northern Light Media

  4. Pingback: A Dog-Puncher on the Yukon | Northern Light Media

  5. david carroll says:

    I worked full time at Wonalancet Kennels in 19480r 49 when i was 10 or 11 yrs old. you couldn’t do it today of course, with OSHA & child labor laws. I mucked out the kennels, fed and watered the dogs, raked down the paths, hauled brush, and all the other jobs a day required. i think i worked from 8am-3pm, but am not sure of that. my cousin had a job uo that way in Ossipee or thereabouts and would bring me up from our place in Wolfeboro and pick me up on her waay back home. I loved the job and the dogs, Huskies and Malamutes at that time and fulfilled my duties until it was time for me to quit working there. I don’t remember the people, except the woman who, with her husband i think, owned the place. iI remember her as being very nice.
    my family still owns our compund on the North shore of W’boro Bay, undoubtedly the single largest shorefront in the area. It’s known as Frost Camp. My grandfather bought it in 1923 and we’ve owned it continuously ever since. I don’t go up there any more, to my great sorrow, because I got in trouble drinking and my mother disowned me. I’ve been sober now in AA for 30 years, and of course my regrets are many and deep.
    although my famile always had money, I’ve worked all my life, as a machinist, restorer of vintage Ferraris, laborer, woked at Harold Fournier’s Mobil station in Wolfeboro 3 or 4 summers after my job with you – you name it. I’m a writer now and have been serious about it since I was 16.
    I’ve always believed in the value of work, and I think my respect for work, and doing it well began at Wonalancet and has stood me ever since – I’m 82 now, and can look back to my early job at Wonalancet as starting me on that path. I don’t know what got me thinking about all this, except that I’m writing a huge tome on abuse – all kinds – and have been dredging up a lifetime of memories, good and bad. I was abused a lot growing up.
    I’ve bent your ears long enough, but if you see a book called behind the hedge in a year or so, that’s mine; maybe you’ll be in it, as an example of what abuse is not. we do need comparators after all. thanks for listening, and for teaching me well… –david carroll, writer

  6. Pingback: Clarks Trading Post: Celebrating 90 Years | Cow Hampshire

Leave a Reply