The Whitney Black Silver Fox Farm

Building Location: 

Parcel 238, Via Wickstrom Rd. East Bank Yukon River

Whitehorse, YT N/A

Location Context: 

The J.P. Whitney Black Silver Fox property was one of a few that dotted the east side of the Yukon River. In the early 1910’s, fox farms were established in and around Whitehorse to raise breeding foxes. The Langholtz Fox Farm was located just upstream from the Whitney property.


Two-storey Log Structure

Architectural History: 

It is a two-storey log structure with a gable roof. A partial dirt basement lies within a log sill foundation. Corrugated metal covers the roof.

There have been two major additions to the original structure. One is a one-storey log addition to north side façade which has a shed roof and the second is a frame entry to the east side of building.

Update: The building was destroyed by fire on June 13, 1996.

Cultural History: 

J.P. Whitney, part proprietor of Whitney & Pedlar before its amalgamation with Taylor & Drury, constructed the log dwelling in 1914. It was built to house Charles Barlow, warden of the J.P. Whitney Black Silver Fox Farm. The ranch covered over 10 acres of land on the east bank of the Yukon River and was used to breed foxes for a short period. By 1918, fur prices had fallen so low that many fox ranches went out of business, including the Black Silver Fox farm.

Whitney then devoted his time and energy to his mining interests which also fared badly. The land remained titled property under the administration of Taylor and Drury. Many families occupied the site and building in the period between 1920 and 1967, including Harry Silverfox and family, and the Parcel family. In 1967, the title on the property lapsed and reverted back to the Crown. Since then, it has been occupied sporadically by transients and squatters. For the most part, the structure remains vacant and awaits the outcome of land claim negotiations.

Current Use: Vacant
Past Use: Residence
Condition: Poor
Foundation/Floor: Poor
Walls: Fair
Windows/Doors: Poor
Roof: Poor