O’Connor House

Building Location: 

111 Jarvis Street

Whitehorse, YT

Location Context: 

This house fell victim to the increasing pressures placed on residential property owners in the downtown area to opt for commercial development. Refer to the Krautschneider House; and the S&A Club Cafe


One-storey Residence

Architectural History: 

It was a long, narrow wood frame structure consisting of two sections with gable roofs and a small gable entry on Second Avenue façade. The building was set on a wood sill foundation and its exterior was covered with ship lap siding. 

The house underwent only minor alterations.

Cultural History: 

This house was built sometime before 1905 for Dennis “Dinny” O’Connor (see below). The house remained relatively unchanged for the duration of its existence, although new wiring and plumbing was installed in 1981, along with a small cellar and an oil heat source. The house was occupied variously throughout the years, at one point by Jack Elliot, a White Pass engineer. 

In 1979, Archer, Cathro, and Associates (Geological Engineers) purchased the house, hoping to use the site as the location for an office. The house was in poor condition at this point, and was declared unfit as a rental property because of its state of uncleanliness. The house fell into disrepair. Eventually, after the options of restoring the house, moving it, or leasing it to the YHMA for renovation were discussed and rejected, the firm sold the house. 

The house was subsequently occupied, but was demolished in 1994, presumably in favour of commercial development. Since the demolition, the lot has remained vacant.

Biographical Information: 

Dennis Brian O’Connor: b. Cork County, Ireland and employed in Whitehorse as a horse driver for the Royal Mail Service, a driver for BYN, a blacksmith, and later as a truck driver for White Pass. Among his duties was to dump lampblack (soot) onto the ice to facilitate melting from the sun’s rays. He was said to have died by jumping in the river in 1934. 

Ole Christenson: fireman 

Jack Elliot: riverboat engineer who opened the Yukon Ivory shop.