McPherson House

Building Location: 

106 Strickland Street

Whitehorse, YT

Location Context: 

This house is located near two other documented heritage structures. Refer to the Krautschneider House; and the Widdershin House


One-storey Frame House

Architectural History: 

The building is a small, one-storey frame house with U-shaped plan and a series of gable roofs. It has a wood sill foundation and ship lap exterior siding. The roof is covered by asphalt shingles. 

The only additions are a rear porch and bedrooms on east façade. Numerous renovations were completed by the Carpenters Hall Association/ Carpenters Union. July 2004-February 2005 portions of the house were removed due to rot. The inside wood panelling is still original.

Cultural History: 

The house was built in 1907-08 by Daniel McAulay, a local carpenter and contractor. It was later occupied by Frank Slavin, better known as “The Sydney Cornstalk” and “Sydney Slasher”, the once famous boxer and heavyweight boxing champion of the British Empire. 

John McPherson, a White Pass blacksmith, purchased the house in 1909. When the Royal Mail Service ceased using horse drawn stages in 1921, McPherson opened his own blacksmith shop on Front Street. He and his wife and three daughters occupied the house for many years, and the house remained in the family until 1984. 

The building now houses the office of the International Storytelling Festival.

Biographical Information: 

John “Sandy” McPherson: came north in the 1898 Gold Rush and lived in Dawson until 1909, when he returned to Scotland to marry his sweetheart Isabelle. He worked for White Pass as a blacksmith until horses became obsolete, then opened his own shop at 1144 First Avenue in 1910; part of the White Pass stables where horses were kept to run coaches. John and Isabelle had three daughters, Charlotte, Francis, and Isabel. 

Charlotte Williams: b. 1910 , eldest daughter of John and Isabella. She was raised and schooled in Whitehorse, and married Owen Williams at the age of 16. They lived in their first house on Hanson Street (where butcher shop is now located) and raised five children.