Chambers House

Building Location: 
Whitehorse Waterfront, Shipyards Park (201 Black Street, until 1995)
Whitehorse, YT
Location Context: 

The house occupied a tract of land located just north of Whitehorse city limits (north of Strickland St. prior to 1943). Part of this parcel was leased by the US Army during WWII. The estate was later subdivided into the city lot and block system and the house later relocated

Description: 

Two-storey Log Structure with Frame Addition

Architectural History: 

The building is a two-storey log structure with frame gable roof. The exterior has aluminum siding covering the log walls. The foundation is a timber frame sill and the roof is covered with asphalt shingles. 

The only additions to the original structure is a one-storey frame structure and a concrete foundation with a basement when it was on the 201 Black Street site.

Cultural History: 

This house was originally located on the north side of Alexander Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. It was part of a tract of land owned by Harry "Shorty" Chambers. During WW II, the majority of this land was leased to the U.S. Military for a fee of $20 per month. In a letter from the Department of Mines and Resources to the Yukon Government, it is described as "unimproved land outside the city limits"; however, aerial photographs and early plans suggest that the house did indeed stand on this site for a number of years before being moved to 201 Black Street. 

The house was built around 1925 for Harry "Shorty" Chambers, a well-known Whitehorse citizen of the time who ran various businesses in Whitehorse and Champagne. 

The house was likely moved to 201 Black Street when Edward Chambers took possession of the lot in 1975, and it remained there until May 1995, when it was donated to the Alanon Society and moved to the City Compound. May 15, 2007 the house was moved to Shipyards Park, where it is currently being restored by the Frostbite Music Society. The Society plans to use the building as their permanent office.

Biographical Information: 

Harry "Shorty" Chambers: born 1857 in New York. Arrived in Whitehorse in 1899. Operated Pioneer Stables, one of the best in town; buying and selling horses and dogs, feed, and wood. In 1902 Chambers started a trading post at Champagne. He ran teams of horses from Champagne to Whitehorse from 1904-1940, which ended with the construction of the Alaska highway. Shorty had a general dealer's license and a dry good license, operated an ice house and was the proprietor of newsstands in Whitehorse and on the trains. He became vice-president of the Whitehorse Board of Trade in 1901. 

He lived in the house until his death in 1944.