Sid’s Treasures

Heroes

Sid reflects on the worldwide pandemic that is COVID-19 and our current reality. He said the only other time in his life when he felt stuck was during the War.

A trip to town

Sid’s youngest daughter was in conversation with Yukon artist Jim Robb for a commission of Bordertown Garage and Museum / Sid’s Treasures.

Vote Livesey

The smoke has begun to clear in Beaver Creek, but hot embers still smoulder along the highway. We haven’t had a fire like this one for many years, not this close to town. Sid has the morning off so we are heading down to Livesey’s near the Creek. It’s no more than a three-minute drive …

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Bon voyage

Back in those days, ‘20s and ‘30s was known as the Golden Age of Tourism. It was a pretty busy time! I have lots of old maps from that era. Fold-out maps to show the layout of the boats,” Sid tells me on this very smoky day in Beaver Creek, Yukon. He brings out a …

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Map to the gold fields

Passage routes marked in red which includes the “Chilcoot Pass” and the “White Pass” Sid’s days off consist of visiting with other locals at coffee time, doing several dump runs in a day and shuffling his classic cars around his yard. Today, Sid gathers a few items from around his house to give the appearance …

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Teddy bear time

“I don’t know its full history but I found it in an old trunk. It must be from the early 1900s,” said Sid, carrying the teddy. “Everything is homemade. Someone’s pride and joy.” Sid set the teddy bear down on his coffee table so we could have a better look at the toy. “From the …

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Rations and cookbooks

Late May brought sun and warmth to the bordertown of Beaver Creek, Yukon. Sid was already back working hard at the Visitor Information Centre. He could feel the season was going to be a good one. Sid had come a long way from his childhood in northern Netherlands during the end of the Second World …

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Turn up the amp …

For a two-night gig this past July in Beaver Creek, Larry Berrio and his band shut the town down! Berrio, from Sudbury, Ontario, travelled 5,000 kilometres with his bandmates to the most westerly community in Canada. With open arms, the town of Beaver Creek welcomed the band.

South to Alberta – Part I

Exploration, adventure and community are among the most important aspects of living in the North. For many Yukoners, it was the “want” to explore a fantasized part of the world and to seek adventure in discovering Canada’s North, but it was the sense of community that made people want to stay.

Learning from Roy

“When we first came to Canada in 1953 [from Friesland, Netherlands], we couldn’t read or write. I went down to the local bookstore and found this book.”

’50s Diner!

The first snow has settled in the border town of Beaver Creek, Yukon. Sid is preparing his house and museum for a long cold winter. 

Giving That Room Props for Its Good Vibe

When the Westmark Hotel in Beaver Creek closed its doors in 2013, it brought an end to the dinner and show extravaganza called Beaver Creek Rendezvous, a tradition that had taken place every year for 22 years. The closure of the Westmark was prompted by Holland-America tours’ decision to cease travel to Beaver Creek. Westmark …

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Stoking the Fire

Today, Sid and I are on the hunt for an unusual piece in his collection. As we sift through antiques after antiques, we come across a bellows. A bellows pumps air, and they are commonly known to be hand-held devices used to stoke small fires. However the bellows Sid possess is approximately a metre in …

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A Big Yellow Truck with a Past

“It’s a 1942 International,” Sid tells me as we are standing by a truck whose yellow paint is slowly chipping away with age. The truck’s original grey colour has been exposed underneath the bright yellow. Its large body and tires tell us it was a truck built for working in rough terrain. “It’s a six …

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Stereoscopic Views

Looking through Sid’s antiquities I spot a familiar sight: stereoscopes. I had a pair of bright orange View Masters (a trademarked format of stereoscope) when I was a child in the 1990s with photos of Bugs Bunny. Sid’s stereoscopes are truly antique and rare. “These ones are from the late 1800s up to the 1910s,” …

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Banners! Banners!

“They were popular back in the 1960s,” Sid tells me as we stand in one of his many garages. Built attached to his house, his old garage holds tools, machines and different parts of Sid’s antique/vintage collection. Looking up towards the ceiling, vintage banners, t-shirts, and hats are attached to the wooden beams above us. “They’re …

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Propeller Invention

Sid van der Meer hustles about Beaver Creek’s Visitor Information Centre preparing his workplace for the 2016 tourism season. With new Yukon tourism commercials airing widely and with the Canadian dollar so low, Sid expects a rise in international tourists travelling through Beaver Creek this summer. I briefly interrupt his set-up routine to discuss a …

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Cave In

Sid van der Meer’s stories as dictated to his granddaughter Teresa. The tree leaves are rapidly changing and the temperature is beginning to drop. Autumn is about to arrive in Beaver Creek, Yukon and the tourism season is nearly complete. Like many residents of the small border town, Sid van der Meer is starting to …

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An old wooden mantelpiece helps tell the story of the Northwest Staging Route

The airport in Beaver Creek, Yukon is small and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, there’s a good chance you will miss it. Many who know Sid van der Meer may recall him owning and operating a small aircraft in the 1970s. “I used to own a J-3 Cub. It was a ’45 …

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General Store

Sid van der Meer’s Bordertown Garage & Museum is composed up of numerous themed rooms. One room is themed as an old general store and post office. “I made the General Store because I had all this stuff pertaining to an old store. Those stores had everything, canned goods, tobacco products, lamps, shot gun shells …

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Two Tones

Today, Sid sits outside the Beaver Creek Visitor Information Centre basking in the warm summer sun. As he waits for visitors to arrive, he admires the bodywork of his 1956 Pontiac in the sunlight. “I bought the ’56 in Whitehorse a few years ago. I just put a brand new motor in it and new …

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Henry Ford’s Lady

Parked in front of Sid’s museum in Beaver Creek, Yukon sits a 1928 Ford Model A. “I bought it at a swap meet in Lethbridge about three or four years ago,” he says. “I put a new roof on it with new wood, canvas, and chicken wire.” I ask Sid what he meant by chicken …

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Ironing it Out

No matter how often you visit Sid van der Meer’s Bordertown Garage and Museum in Beaver Creek, there is always more to see. Many people visit Sid more than once to hear his stories and discover additional objects in his collection. Sid’s collection is in constant change as he trades, sells, barters, and buys antiques. …

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Diner Lights

Sid van der Meer recently travelled from the gold rush fields of Arizona back to Canada’s most westerly community — Beaver Creek, Yukon. Sid has strong family ties to the White River First Nation, on whose lands he resides. He built his own home and museum behind Beaver Creek’s baseball diamond. His museum has become …

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Nebraska Turtle

Sid van der Meer has lived in Beaver Creek, Yukon since 1997. He’s made a comfortable home for himself, and a charming museum for friends and visitors. His collectables can be found in both his museum and his home. As you walk in the front door of van der Meer’s home, you are greeted by …

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Western Command

Sid van der Meer is an antiquarian and a storyteller; he has many wild yarns to share with his family, friends, and visitors who come to his Bordertown Garage & Museum. One particular story he tells is how he found his Western Command military vehicle badge. Western Command military vehicles were used in the construction …

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Boiling Water

Waking up to a layer of snow on the ground, Sid van der Meer ventures out to his museum. He is getting ready for winter when he will be in sunny Arizona and his museum will be covered in snow. As he walks along the museum’s boardwalk he comes across a unique object. It’s large, …

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Fuelling Up

The beginning of September brings snow to Beaver Creek, home of Sid van der Meer’s Bordertown Garage & Museum. On a chilly September morning, van der Meer takes time to remember the past and retell the stories about the building of the Alaska Highway. He wanders through his museum to a room dedicated to the …

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Keeping Warm

This week, van der Meer tells the story of his collection of White Pass and stagecoach foot warmers. As the winter months are fast approaching, he digs out his collection of three foot warmers. As seen in the image, the foot warmers are rectangular-shaped objects that are covered in a felt-like material. Van der Meer …

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