Sam McGee’s Cabin

Building Location: 

MacBride Museum Grounds

Whitehorse, YT Y1A1A4

Location Context: 

Refer to the Telegraph Office.


1-1/2 Storey Log Building

Architectural History: 

The building is a one room log cabin with a frame gabled roof and corrugated metal roof sheathing.

Cultural History: 

According to many, this house was built in 1899, by Sam McGee, a prospector and builder. Before leaving the area with his family in 1909, he also built a home at 5128 Fifth Avenue in 1907, which is now known as the Cyr house.

The cabin was the object of preservation efforts in the 1940’s and 50’s. In 1940, the IODE acquired the cabin by donation from Mr. Muirhead, to use it as a museum. In 1954, after moving it to a lot across from the Old Log Church, they relinquished the cabin to the Yukon Historical Society.

There remains some doubt whether this building was actually built by Sam McGee, or whether it was conveniently appropriated. In any case, the McGee family at one point did reside in a house of similar construction, and this dwelling likely does date to the same period.

Biographical Information: 

Sam McGee: unsuccessful prospector from Ontario who became a builder, freighter, and sawmill worker instead

  • owned a roadhouse at Canyon Creek with Gilbert Shelly. McGee was called the Roadhouse King
  • married Ruth Warren and had five children
  • parted the Yukon in 1909
  • returned 1938 to try prospecting again. By this time, his name had become famous by Robert Service’s poem “The Cremation of Sam McGee”.
Current Use: Museum exhibit
Past Use: Residence
Condition: Good
Foundation/Floor: Good
Walls: Good
Windows/Doors: Good
Roof: Good