Donnenworth House

Building Location: 

3126 Third Avenue Lepage Park

Whitehorse, YT Y1A 1E7

Location Context: 

This house occupies the same lot as the Smith House, which was also renovated and preserved. They sit in a park named in honour of the Lepage family


One-storey Frame Building

Architectural History: 

The house is a wood frame construction with hip and gable roofs. 

The structure has a long H-shaped plan. Ship lap wood siding covers the exterior and cedar shake shingles cover the roof. 

Between 1983 and 1985 the house was renovated extensively including a frame addition to the west side and the pressure treated wood foundation and basement.

Cultural History: 

Built between 1900 and 1904, this house was originally a small frame buiding with a tent attached to the rear. The land was owned by William “Hobo Bill” Donnenworth who in 1911-12 drove horses for the Royal Mail Service stage between Whitehorse and Dawson City. He was a purser on the steamboats ‘Canadian’ and ‘Nasutlin’ from 1913-15. Mrs. Donnenworth operated a small millinery shop on Main Street and later ran her business from this building. In 1963 the house became the residence of A.R. “Happy” Lepage and family. The Lepage family operated wood camps on the Yukon River for the B.Y.N. Co. from 1928-49 and remained in the house until 1978. 

In 1983, the YHMA secured permission from Finning Tractor to operate their walking tours from the building. In 1984, it was purchased by the City of Whitehorse, renovated extensively, and converted into the YHMA office.