Sitting in the dining room, at 609 Strickland Street, I visualize the house as it was when Bob Jacobs lived here as a child. This room was the living room, with windows along the west wall.
The original building was constructed of wood. Old bridge timbers were used for main-floor construction. Re-using and recycling of construction materials was common practice in early homes. The house has changed a bit since then, inside and out.
The aroma of fresh baking floats on the air. Mary El Kerr operates a catering business here. Kerr and Douglas Rody have lived in the house since December of 1980. She has a picture showing the “SOLD” sign – asking price $59,800.
Kerr shows me the construction album entitled “Reconstruction 1980 to Eventually”. She and Rody are responsible for most renovations in the house.
The Mazur family purchased the house from the Jacobs family, in 1976. The Mazurs extended the basement and built a sun deck. In the early 1980s, Kerr and Rody removed the sun deck and built a living room.
A pantry, parallel to the new living room, was also built. The second floor, consisting of two bedrooms, was added as part of Rody’s continuing renovations.
I enjoyed reminiscing with Jacobs about his memories of the house. Jacob’s Dad, Ed, came up in 1943. The road was a military highway then, and Ed, the first civilian to drive the highway, was transporting an airplane engine.
Ina Jacobs, his wife, followed later with their one-month-old son, Bob. The family moved to 609 Strickland Street between 1948 and 1950. It was a brand-new house, then.
Bob sketched a diagram for me: the house, 24-feet wide by 40-feet long, consisted of a living room, two bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. Very soon after moving in, plans were made to add a basement.
Bob recalls a dragline of sorts attached to the family pickup. Dirt was shovelled away and dragged up the slope. One basement wall was built at a time. Eventually a bedroom was added.
In the mid 1950s, a porch was built on the back of the home. Allan Jacobs lived in the house with his wife, Margaret, and mother, Ina. In 1972, Ina moved south and Allan “officially” bought the house. Bob recalls the purchase price of $10,000.
Bob shared a couple of memories with me …
One day Mom was at work. She had an eerie feeling and left to go home immediately. She arrived to find a chimney fire spreading along the ceiling. The fire department was called and the fire was extinguished.
Bob grew up in his Dad’s shop. Between the late 1940s and 1970s, it was located at 3rd Ave and Hawkins Street. When he wasn’t helping Dad, Bob and his friends played games on the street, winter and summer.
Bob remembers family Christmases and skating in the backyard. Family entertainment included musical evenings with his Mom and Dad playing piano and guitar, and the kids singing.
The house – at 609 Strickland Street – was full of love, life and laughter … then and now.
Nellie Dale writes regularly about unique buildings and heritage features in Whitehorse. This is part of an ongoing series on some of the people memorialized by benches along the Millennium Trail.