September 16, 2020

New Aviation Museum in the Making


A time capsule of the early days of northern aviation has been discovered in the Yukon and there’s a movement on to make the former Northern Airways office in Carcross a small museum.

Veteran aviation historian Bob Cameron told the CBC that the office is pretty much the way it was when owner George Simmons closed the business in 1950 and started a trucking business instead. “As far as preserving our aviation history in the Yukon, this is just a treasure trove because it gives you so much detail,” Cameron said. “You know, you see how the pilots were paid, how much they were paid, his interactions with all of his customers.”

Simmons started the enterprise in 1933 serving Carcross, Atlin, Dawson City and Whitehorse and also flew charters. Cameron described the business as the first reliable air service in the region and said it played a huge role in the early development of the area. As roads were built to connect the towns, the demand for air service dwindled and Simmons sold his fleet of ski, wheel and float equipped aircraft in favour of a fleet of trucks. Cameron said the paperwork from the airline was kept in meticulous order and provides a vivid history of that important period of exploration and development.

The group promoting the museum recently went through the contents of the vault and the old roll top desk is next. He said there is an enthusiastic group of volunteers behind the effort and they’re looking for funding.

Photo credit: Submitted by Bob Cameron