I took these photographs quite a few years ago, about 15 to 20 miles south of Whitehorse. Just where, I don’t remember, but it was along the Alaska Highway, I believe.
I think this old machinery probably came from some of the many old copper mines of the Whitehorse copper belt.
What happened to these artifacts?
The mines had interesting and colourful names. The Pueblo and Copper King, were, I think, the most successful. Others included Arctic Chief, Iron Horse, Big Chief, Little Chief, Little Johnnie, Valerie and Kluane.
I believe that in the early days there were over 200 men working in the Whitehorse copper belt mines. Many years ago, I photographed a headframe in the Pueblo area. I don’t think a trace of it remains today. For many years I’ve been interested in the copper belt history of Whitehorse. Many of these mines were just a few miles from town.
There are not many photographs of these mines around, especially early scenes of the copper belt. I find the history of Whitehorse, including its mining history, very interesting. The Empress of India mine was once owned by Kate Ryan, a well-known and colourful personality. At one time it was her job to frisk women to check for smuggled gold. Taking gold out of the territory was illegal then. I think she was one of the first local women employed by the North West Mounted Police.
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 email through the News website, www.yukon-news.com.