I arrived here in Whitehorse in March of 1955.
It was a different town then.
The population was around 5,000 and there were no traffic lights, paved roads, parking meters or even plumbing – they were starting to put in water and sewer pipes in the next two to three years.
The steamboats were about to stop running. Everybody had outhouses, slop buckets, etc. “Honey Bucket” Murphy helped out in that department.
But the town had soul. Back in those days, there were many more interesting historical buildings still around, like the old wooden post office that stood on the corner across from the present day Yukon Electric Co. Ltd. office building on Lambert Street.
It was a two-storey turn-of-the-century wooden building with a tower. It also had a courtroom. It was the type of building the Disney Co. would spend millions to recreate as an attraction for Disneyland.
That and the Lambert Street schoolhouse, built around the same time period, were torn down even though both buildings were in good shape.
As a matter of fact, just about all of Lambert Street was composed of old historical log homes, including the log skyscrapers and historically significant buidlings.
Oldtimers, like Louie Engel, Clem Emminger, Oscar Swanson, Joe Lamb, Charlie Benson, Mah Bing, “Buzz Saw” Jimmy Richards and others, lived in the immediate area.
If Lambert Street could have stayed intact, it definitely would have been a major tourist attraction today, besides being a historical treasure. Some would say all this change was done in the name of progress.
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.