Interest in the Old Keno Assay Office

The photograph on the right is of the old Keno Assay Office. The newspaper ad on the right kind of says that Dawson City and William Sime had an earlier assay office there. Also, I want to say thank you very much to R.

The photograph on the right is of the old Keno Assay Office. The newspaper ad on the right kind of says that Dawson City and William Sime had an earlier assay office there.

Also, I want to say thank you very much to R.E. “Dutch” Van Tassell of High River, Alberta, and Stu Withers of Marsh Lake, Yukon, for the following letters:

Would you please pass the following information on to Jim Robb who requested information on William Sime and Bill Cathro in your April 12 edition.

Having had 19.5 years in the Yukon and as head of exploration for United Keno Hill Mines Limited, I searched for and have obtained information from two books, Gold and Galena, published by the Mayo Historical Society, and Hills of Silver – The Yukon’s Mighty Keno Hill Mine by Dr. Aaro Aho, giving some insight to the two gentlemen in the photo. The photo was probably taken in the ‘40s.

I currently reside in High River, Alberta, and am on the board of five junior mining companies and keep an eye on the Yukon, especially the Minto developments by Capstone Mining, as my office had a major hand in its discovery in the ‘70s.

Jim Robb might be interested to know that two of his prints, Last Chance Cabin and Robinson Roadhouse, have hung in our home since our departure from the Yukon in Sept., 1982, when I joined Dickenson/Goldcorp at Toronto, and retired in 1998 when my wife lost her central vision to macular degeneration.

We moved to High River in 1999. It was another former Yukoner, Marie Tames, who passed the information on, saying it might be of interest to me as she knew I had worked in the Keno Hill area.

R. E. “Dutch” Van Tassell

High River, Alberta

Hello Jim:

I read with interest your scrapbook entry of April 7, 2010. I have been looking for photographs of the Keno City Assay Office. They are hard to find. According to the Mayo Historical Society’s Gold and Galena and Aaro Aho’s Hills of Silver, William C. (Billy) Sime ran the assay office and lived there with his wife Dolly for about 30 years. He left in 1952 and the building burned down shortly thereafter, with a complete loss of all the assay records and specimens.

I am particularly interested in the photograph because my wife Chris and I now own the site where the assay office once stood. There is nothing much left of Billy Simes’ efforts there now – just scraps of glassware, rusting metal and a few broken crucibles.

Stu Withers

Marsh Lake

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,

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