Do you know anything about the ‘Darlin’?

Thank you to D.H. Cameron of Edmonton, for the following request.

Thank you to D.H. Cameron of Edmonton, for the following request.

He is looking for information about an old wooden boat called the ‘Darlin’ that he is currently restoring.

His letter follows:

My nephew, Kyle Cameron (son of my brother Bob, who invariably responds to any of your pictures that contain old airplanes) suggested that I write to you regarding a piece of Yukon memorabilia I am restoring: an old wooden boat called the ‘DARLIN’.

The ‘DARLIN’ was part of the Carcross waterfront scene from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s when, as far as I and my family knew, it quietly disappeared.

Many years later I stumbled upon it fading into the bushes on the back side of an island in the Tagish River. In 2003, Bob and I got permission from the owner (of the island as well as the boat) to remove it to Whitehorse and attempt to make it cruise-able again.

My problem (and this is why I’m writing to you about it) is that I’ve been unable to trace its history back to when and where it was built. The only clue I have to its origins is a copper plate I discovered embedded in the transom bearing only the digits 1104401.

Perhaps someone amongst your farflung readership could tell us?

Its Yukon history is known: a fellow named Bill Carr, a carpenter for the White Pass, brought it in by train from the Lower Mainland … possibly Coal Harbor … in or around 1944; Carr sold it to Jim Woods (don’t know what year); Bill and Ley Dickson bought it from Woods in the early 1960s. Bill is the one who put windows in the previously windowless cabin.

They made much use of the boat through the ‘60s and early ‘70s. When someone stole the cradle and winch they’d used in Carcross they began to winter it on their Tagish River island. At about the same time, the 1927 single-cylinder Vivian engine broke down, then froze splitting the cylinder jacket. There she sat for thirty-some years until Ley Dickson gave it to me in 2003.

My hope is that you might run the enclosed pictures in your Colorful Five Per Cent column one day and see what reminiscences it evokes amongst your readers.

Yours truly,

D.H. Cameron


Anyone with information about this subject, please write Jim Robb: The Colourful Five Per Cent Scrapbook—Can You Identify? c/o the Yukon News, 211 Wood Street, Whitehorse, Yukon,

Y1A 2E4, or e-mail through the News website,