Black City: Joe and Annie Henry
Joe and Annie Henry in 1993. In 2000, Joe and Annie were recognized by Guinness World Records as the World’s Longest Married Couple – 79 years in 2000, going on 81 when Joe died. Annie passed away in 2005 at the age of 101.
Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Archives, Jackie Olson Coll.
Annie greets a visitor to her home in Wolf Creek.
This memorial to Joe and Annie Henry at near km 102 of the Dempster Highway was commissioned by their granddaughter, artist Jackie Olson. Annie’s daughters, Eileen Olson and Marcel Marcellin, Sept. 2007.
Jackie Olson photo
Joe and Annie in the Discovery Day Parade at Dawson, ca. 1978.
Dawson City Museum, Brian Reeves Coll., #1984-97-1.
Four generations visit Black City site. Centenarian Annie Henry, her daughter Eileen Olson, granddaughter Jackie Olson and great granddaughter Kalilah.
Joe and Annie Henry knew this land intimately. In 1898, Joe was born near the Hart and Wind Rivers while Annie was born in Black City in 1904. After marrying in 1921, they hunted and trapped together on the Blackstone Uplands. Joe and Annie had 13 children, one of whom died in infancy. Their children attended school in Moosehide and Dawson but the family still spent time on this land. Their oldest son Percy became a chief of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and a deacon in the Anglican Church.
Joe Henry guided the cat trains that built winter roads to the Peel plateau in the 1950s and, many years later, the surveyors who marked the route of the year-round road. Annie never stopped working and even in her later years, she was still beading moccasins. They continued to use their trapline cabin at Wolf Creek until their deaths. Joe and Annie left us an invaluable legacy through their work recordings stories of the land and their travels, traditional knowledge and Hän language.