Captain Martin House
Captain Martin House
The Captain Martin House is significant for its historical and architectural values.
Although modest by southern standards, the Captain Martin House was one of the grander homes in Whitehorse and is one of a few remaining in Whitehorse from the early part of the twentieth century. The house has notable features such as the main facade with its single storey bay window and leaded transom over the centre unit and the glazed porch that projects off the bay window. These features are topped with an open railed balcony and a bell cast skirt roof of sawn wood shingles. The interior features a finely detailed staircase with oak newel and rails as well as oak trim throughout. The exterior clapboard siding with painted corner boards, gable roof and wood frame windows are architectural elements that add to the building's distinctive appearance.
The house was owner-built as a single storey dwelling at 208 Wood Street. Captain Patrick Martin and his family lived here in 1908 until the late 1930s. He added the second storey in 1917.
A Master Mariner from Newfoundland, Patrick Martin was lured north during the Klondike gold rush seeking new opportunities. Martin left the life of a sailor and became a pioneer merchant in the new settlement of Whitehorse, opening the Artctic Trading Company in 1900 and a second store in the short-lived mining centre of Conrad. Martin typified many of the people who came to the Yukon seeking their fortune then settling down to become solid members of the fledgling society. Martin's house reflects his status in the community as a prominent merchant and as a member of the Territorial Council representing Whitehorse from 1912-1915, as well as a colourful personality. Paddy Martin died in 1940.
By 1981, the entire block was purchased for redevelopment and the house was moved and stored in the municipal yard. In 1987, the building was donated to the Lions Club. It was moved back to Wood Street, a block west from its original location. The building was placed on a new foundation, the rear addition reconstructed, the roof re-shingled, doors and windows were repaired or reconstructed where necessary and new storm windows were installed. Wiring and plumbing were brought up to modern code.
With its stately mass and distinctive features, this house anchors the small collection of early 20th century residences surrounding LePage Park and helps evoke the residential nature of this neighbourhood as it was until the late 1940s.
Dobrowolsky, Helene. "Captain Patrick Martin: Master Mariner, Travelling Exhibit Planning Report". Prepared for MacBride Museum Society, 2002.
Historic Sites Unit, Cultural Services Branch, Yukon Government file 3630 40 02