Many thanks to Teresa K. Smith of Whitehorse for her interesting letter.
Yes, Robert Service wrote his famous Creation of Sam McGee and the Shooting of Dan McGrew in the old Bank of Commerce that appears in the above photograph from the Jim Robb collection.
Teresa’s letter follows:
This picture was probably taken in the 1930s.
The only building still standing is the Burns Building. Robert Service wrote his poems when he was working at the Bank of Commerce and also some at the Whitehorse Rapids.
You might be interested in this story my father, Jim Parker, told me:
Apparently, every time Sam McGee came into the bank he complained of the cold and, as a result, the Cremation of Sam McGee was created. As a result, Sam never forgave Robert Service and refused to have anything to do with him.
You may not know, but Sam was in Whitehorse in either 1940 or ’41 for a visit. My father introduced me to him then. Sam is buried in the Seventh Day Adventist cemetery in Beisker, Alberta.
Teresa K. Smith