Signs of the past

A beautifully done sign appears in the building shown on the right. The sign was probably painted by Anton Vogue and this, I think, was his shop. This is an early gold rush-era building in Dawson City.

A beautifully done sign appears in the building shown on the right.

The sign was probably painted by Anton Vogue and this, I think, was his shop.

This is an early gold rush-era building in Dawson City.

The Klondike definitely had some excellent sign painters, judging by early photographs.

My favourite sign appeared on the Magnet Roadhouse, which was situated at 18 Below on Bonanza Creek.

It consisted of a large illustrated magnet with great lettering. I believe it was the largest log building on Bonanza Creek, and was certainly one of the most colourful and active roadhouses in the Klondike.

In the 1940s and 1950s we had a great sign painter here by the name of Wally Carter. At Christmas, after drinking a half bottle of whisky, he would do his wonderful lettering on the Whitehorse Inn’s Rainbow Room bar mirrors.

He passed away many years ago. I sort of carried on for him, doing mirrors at the Whitehorse Inn, the Regina and the ‘98 Hotel. For many years I also did windows for Rendezvous.

Later, people like the late Dereen Hildebrand, and others, decorated windows with their poster paint.

Whitehorse has many good artists and sign painters, like Bill Oster and others.

Postscript: Also, I’d like to mention John Russell, formerly of Northwest Graphics, was an excellent hand-lettering sign painter. John did some excellent work for me.

Clarification: In my column last week, I mentioned something about Shakey Joe at the Sportsman’s Barber Shop. I should have mentioned the location, which was at Front Street in Whitehorse. Some readers might think I was talking about Dawson City.

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, www.yukon-news.com.

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