Yukon Register of Historic PlacesYRHP

T.C. Richards Building

T.C. Richards Building

T.C. Richards Building

T.C. Richards Building

T.C. Richards Building

T.C. Richards Building

T.C. Richards Building

Cultural History

T.C. Richards Building

Cultural History

This house was constructed by Bob Campbell and Martin Marx in July 1944 for T.C. Richards and family, following Mrs. Bernadine Richards specifications. Whitehorse resident, Joe Krautschneider constructed the brick chimneys. It was furnished and decorated expensively by Mrs. Richards. T.C. Richards was a generous and 'colourful' character, and his home, with its stone fireplaces in the study, living room, and rumpus room, became a social centre in Whitehorse.

T.C. Richards came from Leicester, England to manage Burns Meats. In 1921, he began the first cattle drive to the Mayo area mines to provide the camps with fresh meat. Cattle were transported by steamer to Pelly, then driven overland the remainder of the route. Also in 1921, he and partner W.L. 'Deacon' Phelps inaugurated a winter tractor-train and passenger service from Whitehorse to Dawson. In 1928, they acquired the mail contract, and improved their service with triple assembly snowmobiles and caterpillars. The enterprise was called "Klondike Airways" although they never owned a plane. In 1937, T.C. won $20,000 as a down payment on the Whitehorse Inn in a poker game. The family operated and lived at the Whitehorse Inn until 1944 when their log home was constructed.

After the family left their home in 1951, it was purchased by Yukon Government and used as a teacherage, then later occupied by the Whitehorse Game Branch, the Labour Standards Department, and the Tourism Department.

The Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce took over the management of the building in April 1976 for the Yukon Government and a major rehabilitation occurred in 1981 to create office space. The Chamber of Commerce hired the architectural firm Kilrich, Metz, Bowen, and Rose to design and oversee major interior and exterior renovations. The contractors were Kewes and Sons. These renovations were completed to meet current building codes, increase insulation values, create more useable office space and provide an area for a Visitor Reception Centre on the main floor. Currently (2006) non-profit organizations lease office space in the building.