Archival Documents

Winaut's mortuary fonds [textual record]

Creation Date(s): 1898-1938

Physical Description:
17 cm textual records

Bio Sketch / Admin History:
Herbert Winaut was originally from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. He arrived in the Yukon at the turn of the twentieth century, working as a carpenter in Dawson City, and later as a placer miner, ca. 1918.

Around 1921 Winaut and his Australian business partner, Elvin James Edwards (b.1867, d.1935), purchased business interests from Frank Lowe, then owner of Lowe’s Mortuary. Lowe had been operating the mortuary since ca. 1907, which is when he purchased the business from J.A. Greene. Greene had owned and operated the mortuary since at least 1901.

The Edwards and Winaut venture was a three-pronged enterprise, consisting of the mortuary, a furniture shop and a hall. The partners managed the furniture shop as a joint venture, the hall was known as "Winaut's Hall", and the mortuary was primarily Edwards' affair. Winaut made the wooden grave markers, and may have kept the mortuary records as well, while Edwards acted as undertaker.

When Edwards died in January 1935, Winaut purchased the funeral home for $3 500, suggesting that he may have sold off his interest in the funeral business prior to his partner’s death. Winaut operated the mortuary until ca. 1938 when he sold to Alex Wark. Winaut retained the mortuary records, which were found in his store in 1942. Herbert Winaut died in 1947.

Scope and Content:
This fonds consists of textual records created and accumulated by businessman, Herbert Winaut. Records relate primarily to the operations of a mortuary business that operated in Dawson City, Yukon, between 1898 and 1938. Other record creators include previous proprietors: Elvin J. Edwards, Frank Lowe, and J.A. Greene.

Records include: warrants to bury, funeral ledgers, death records, letters, telegraphs, receipts, accounting records, an inventory list, newspaper clippings, blank letterhead, and printed promotional materials.

Accession Number(s): 1983.144, 1991.7

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