Whitehorse has several museums to visit, but with limited time, we chose just two of them to see. The Yukon Transportation Museum and the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre are located next to each other, and have a combo pass for $12 Canadian. They both exceeded our expectations. There is room for RV’s in both parking lots. I’ll split the museums up in two posts, so it won’t get too long. .
Directly in front of the museum sits the world’s largest weathervane, a 1942 Douglas DC-3. You can read more about the history of this plane here
The museum contains a wide variety of exhibits covering the history of transportation in the Yukon. An early form of transportation in the Yukon.
This Concord stagecoach was used in the early 1900’s, by the White Pass and Yukon Route for use on the Overland Trail. The extreme weather and terrain proved to be too tough for this vehicle, and ended up being used as a mail truck in town.
A 1992 Chevrolet Caprice Classic was used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In 1995, the blue was phased out, and all RCMP vehicles are now white.
A 1965 International Harvester Travelall 1000 Ambulance
The “old” and the “new” forms of vehicles that modernized the city of Whitehorse.
In September of 1945, after the war was over, the US and Canada agreed to let a bus service operate on the Alaska Highway. The British Yukon Navigation Company (BYN) operated a twice weekly bus service between Dawson City and Whitehorse until 1965. This is an old BYN Passenger Bus that was preserved in the condition it was found.
A 1954 Bombardier J5 Tractor, nicknamed “Fluffy the Snow Cat.” It was used by the Yukon Electric Company to pack and groom trails along the power lines that were not accessible by roadway.
A crop duster plane.
This HIller 360 CF-FAV Revival Gang helicopter was used for topographical surveys in the Yukon. In 1952, the pilot crashed due to a faulty fuel pump, and the pontoons snagged on the ground causing the helicopter to flip. The occupants were not injured and they abandoned the helicopter. Sixty-two years later it was recovered and restored for the museum.
A 1969 Bombardier 335 Olympique Skidoo was the successor to the 330 model which was used in the 1968 Expedition to the North Pole. Snowmobiles were, and continue to be, widely used to reach remote areas in the winter in the Yukon.
In 1974 the Yukon Status of Women Council formed a commission to study public transportation needs for women and children in Whitehorse. By 1975, the Yukon Women’s Mini-Bus Society was created, and they pursued a grant from Transport Canada. In 1976, this green passenger mini-bus, manufactured by Fleury Industries in Saskatchewan, Canada, was purchased by the city of Whitehorse with money awarded by the grant. The Women’s Mini-Bus Society operated the city’s only public transportation, providing women with non-traditional job opportunities. In 1978 the Whitehorse City Transit Commission was formed and took over the operation, but kept the original women employee’s on in their positions.
In 1920 Eva Hasell founded the Canadian Sunday School Caravan Mission. It was a way to provide Sunday school services to children in isolated communities in Western Canada. The van was staffed with two women, one trained in religious education, and the other as the driver/mechanic. The van had beds and camping gear in the back, and the women were known as ”Vanners.” This white 1956 Ford Chassis F-350 was converted into a Frontier Mission Van.
Below is a photograph from the museum with the above vehicle used at Haines Junction, Yukon, in the 1960’s.
I always try to find something from our home state of Wisconsin in our travels. This 1950 Oshkosh W7000 (serial number 3780) truck was used for many tasks in the Yukon, from snow plowing, to a water tanker to minimize dusty conditions on the Alaska Highway. It remained in service until 1964.
This 1942 Fordson 9N tractor reminded Dan and I of the yellow tractor that he used the past six summers working at Teton Cabins. I’m not sure what the make/model of ”big Yellow” as Dan called it was, but it looks very similar to this.
After finishing up the Yukon Transportation Museum, the four of us walked next door to the Beringian Museum, which will be the next post.
Quote of the Day: “A visit to a museum is a search for beauty, truth, and meaning in our lives. Go to museums as often as you can.” – Maira Kalman