TRAIN CREW'S HOUSE 1

Over the years the building housed the White Pass watchman and his family, among others. The house was used as construction office during the building of a Visitors\' Centre nearby in the 1990s and most recently ca. 2000, it housed air quality equipment. This building and its adjacent neighbour, represent housing of which there are few remaining examples.

Construction Period: From 1940 to 1965        Designation Level: Municipal

The Train Crew's House 1 was designated for its historical and architectural values.

This small frame building is typical of historic White Pass&Yukon Route (WP&YR) staff housing. The building's simple rectangular plan with a small addition with a shed roof off the north wall, high pitched gable roof over the main building, exterior wood cladding, and trim are characteristic elements of vernacular residential buildings constructed in the first half of the twentieth century in Whitehorse. Its wood windows and front door are original. The small yard enclosed with a low wooden fence reflects the domestic qualities of the property, in contrast to the commercial and industrial places along the waterfront.

WP&YR was instrumental in the birth and growth of Whitehorse. It owned the original townsite, and planned and surveyed the street grid and properties. In 1900, the WP&YR railway connected the port at Skagway, Alaska with Whitehorse at the head of navigation for the Yukon River. By 1901 Whitehorse had become an important staging point for passengers and freight entering Yukon. In addition to operational facilities, WP&YR provided accommodations for key personnel. The company's holdings on the waterfront at one time included offices, residences, warehouses, workshops, wharves, shipyards and the railway operations. The nature of the city as a company town and vital transportation centre is represented by Train Crew's House 1 and nearby historic structures. The proximity of the house to the operational facilities initially provided convenient seasonal accommodation for employees. From the late 1950s until 1993, the house was occupied. As part of a cluster of historic structures along First Avenue it is a reminder of the vitality and historic importance of the Whitehorse waterfront.

Sources

"The White Pass and Yukon Railway Depot, Whitehorse, and Associated Structures: A Structural History". Midnight Arts, Heritage Branch, Yukon Government, 1998.

Historic Sites Unit, Cultural Services Branch, Yukon Government file 3736 50 18

Character Defining Elements

The character-defining elements include:

- the siting on the waterfront and its orientation parallel to First Avenue and the WP&YR railway tracks

- the simple plan, modest size, wood frame construction and exterior cladding

- architectural elements such as the gable roof, attached shed, door and window pattern, historic wood windows and trim

- lawn enclosed by a low wooden fence

Description of Boundaries

Building plus 6 meter buffer past footprint. Lot 1, Block 310, plan 73672

Historical Sources Location

Dobrowolsky, H. and R. Ingram. "Edge of the River, Heart of the City". Lost Moose. Whitehorse: 1994. pp. 25,61.

YHMA:

--Photo. by R. Moyen. 1985-07-19.

--Photo. by J. Hatch. 1992.

Renovation Information

Appears as if shed portion (north facade) was added at a later date.

Construction Style

Small frame dwelling with gable roof; shed roof addition to north facade. Corrugated galvanized steel sheet roof; wood shiplap siding.

Cultural History

Over the years the building housed the White Pass watchman and his family, among others. The house was used as construction office during the building of a Visitors' Centre nearby in the 1990s and most recently ca. 2000, it housed air quality equipment.

This building and its adjacent neighbour, represent housing of which there are few remaining examples.

Documentation Location

Historic Sites Unit, Cultural Services Branch, Government of Yukon file 3736 50 18