The heritage values of the Mayo Legion Hall lie in its architecture and social history. The structure demonstrates strong craftsmanship and provides a good example of the Red River Frame type of log construction. The gable roof, log walls and plain trimmed window and door openings are typical of commercial buildings built in the Yukon within the first half of the twentieth century. The Legion Hall is the only Red River Frame style building remaining in the Mayo area and is a prominent landmark on the waterfront.
This one and a half story log structure was built by Alex Nicol in 1936. It is the oldest standing building on First Avenue, facing the Stewart River. Mr. Nicol, known as one of the founding fathers of the community, was the first to build a cabin when the community was established in 1903 and continued to live in the region until his death 62 years later. He constructed this building as a speculative venture during a mining boom. It is in its original location and is a well-known feature of the waterfront, dating from the time when the Mayo Mining District was the economic engine of the Yukon.
The building has been an important part of the social fabric of Mayo, built and used at various times for commercial purposes but most remembered for serving as a learning centre and meeting place. There is a strong connection with the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun. Early land claims meetings were held here. The process for settlement of Yukon First Nation land claims strongly affected every Yukon community and shaped one of the most significant eras of Yukon history. The Mayo Legion Hall also has a strong social connection with many Mayo residents that cuts across cultural and economic boundaries through its use as a kindergarten classroom, library, BLADE (Basic Learning Adult Development and Education) school and branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. BLADE is remembered for allowing residents to upgrade their education while remaining in the community.
The building name and strongest social association relates to its ownership and use from 1972 until 2003. This is the only historic structure remaining in the Yukon that served as a Royal Canadian Legion Branch.
There have been a number of alterations to the building over its history due to changes in use such as the openings on the north wall and the installation of the large, commercial windows facing First Avenue.
Source: Historic Sites Unit file #3630 32 08, Cultural Services Branch, Yukon Government
Character Defining Elements
The key elements which define the heritage character of the Mayo Legion Hall include:
- Form and materials
- The building's siting on the lot, and its orientation facing the Stewart River
- The building's simple rectangular plan and log construction in the Red River Frame style
- Architectural elements such as the gable roof, decorative eave returns, pattern and size of door and window openings, historic wood sashes and trim.
Description of Boundaries
Lot 8, Block 9, Plan 21592
Village of Mayo, Yukon Territory
Historical Sources Location
Interview with Jean Gordon, June 13, 2001
"Gold and Galena", Mayo Historical Society, Ed. MacDonald, Linda E. T. and Bleiler, Lynette R. Mayo, Yukon, 1990.
Historic photos - flood 1963 -Harvey Burian
1941 - Schellinger Collection
949 -Lewis G Billard fonds 2000/49
Laurence H Phinney fonds 85/53 no. 22
Two large picture windows installed post 1963, likely when the building was used for commercial purposes.
Central door on south wall has extra wide trim indicated it was once a wider door.
Roof over door on south wall installed post 1963.
Bracing and tension wire installed 2005 for stabilization purposes
Sawdust boxes removed 2005 for preservation purposes.
Interior finishes removed 2005 preservation purposes
Two storey log structure with drop siding at on north and south gables. Exterior round log construction with vertical log posts at the corners. Building is constructed in the poteaux et piece coulisante or Red River Frame style. Medium pitched gable roof with returned eaves clad with corrugated metal. Boxed soffits and galvanized gutters with down spouts on the northeast and northwest corners. Gutters are wired to corrogated metal cladding on roof. Open porch shed style roof of 2X4" framing clad with corrugated metal on the S facade. Interior has mezzanine floor. Upper ceiling is of 1X6 flush planks, unfinished walls, and 2X8 floor joists, there is no floor. The roof is sheathed with 1X8" and has 2X4 rafters with 1X6 uprights connecting the collar ties to the rafters. Corrogated metal covers the rafters. Floor of attic area is covered with sawdust. A freight opening is in the north and south gables, the bottom of the opening is approximately at the level of the eaves. The opening on the north wall is below the floor area of the attic. Above this freight opening is an oversize door opening in the north wall, the south wall has a rectangular vent opening in the peak of the gable end. A large rectangular infilled opening is on each side of a central door in the north wall. These openings were likely used to transfer freight from the trucks into the warehouse. Floors are wood strip covered with linloeum and tiles. Stairs on the east wall access an unfinished crawl space or basement with a dirt floor. Electric lights are installed along the joists. A small overhung door is in the north wall, east corner at grade.
Legion Hall file No. 3630 32 08 Historic Sites, Cultural Services Branch, Government of Yukon