North·Photos

Yukon Transportation Museum still rolling after 25 years

When musician Declan O'Donovan played a show August 13, the stage was underneath a historic bush plane. The venue was the Yukon Transportation Museum in Whitehorse. The occasion? Its 25th anniversary.

Vintage planes, snowmobiles and trucks cram Whitehorse museum

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      When musician Declan O'Donovan played show August 13, the stage was underneath a historic bush plane.

      The venue was the Yukon Transportation Museum in Whitehorse. The occasion? Its 25th anniversary.

      The museum covers everything from snowshoes to bicycles to snowmobiles. It has vintage airplanes and dogsleds and even a massive, eight-wheeled U.S. Army Land Train used to cross the tundra.

      "It's all transportation," says museum president Dennis Blaker, "the unique ways that everybody got together in the old days and right through until now — moving people, products and ideas."

      The museum's logo shows a person rolling a steel barrel of fuel up a ramp, a type of backbreaking work all-too-familiar to many Yukon bush pilots. 

      The museum space, next to the airport, has increasingly been used to host concerts and public events.

      Planespotting in a pile of manure

      Blaker says some vehicles were found in odd places. One historic plane's frame was recovered from a B.C. farmer's pile of manure.

      "As you can see around here, we are filling up. But we're always grateful," Blaker says.

      "I like the WWII era trucks, the things like that," says Jim Mather, visiting from Massachusetts. "I'm interested in the Alcan highway and the construction of it in 1942. I was born in 1942 so it has a special meaning to me. Also I'm a contractor, so all the heavy equipment interests me a lot," he said.

      One favourite display is a historic DC-3 plane mounted on a pivot. It turns like a weather vane when the wind shifts.

      "I am hoping it's around, obviously, forever," Blaker says of the museum. "This place does hold my heart. It's very special to me and it can only keep on expanding."

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