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J. E. "Eddie" Marcotte (1861-1939)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Whitehorse Star - Friday, January 13, 1939

Passing of J. E. Marcotte. Whitehorse Loses One Of Its Oldest Sourdoughs, 1939

    At the General Hospital Wednesday Whitehorse lost one of its oldest residents in the person of Mr. J. E. Marcotte who passed away on that day as the result of pneumonia after having entered that institution on Friday last. It was well known that "Eddie" as he was affectionately known, had been ailing for sometime past and his demise is not, therefore, altogether unexpected.

    During his long life the late Mr. Marcotte had played many parts and worked at various trades before he came to Whitehorse in 1902. He was born in St. Basile, Quebec, on August 26th 1861, the sixth child of a family of nine. His mother was of Norman stock and his father hailed from Brittainy. His last surviving brother died last summer. His sole surviving sister is Mrs. Victor Germain of St. Basile, P.Q.

    The late Mr. Marcotte first commenced in the jewellery business in the city of Quebee and later moved to Waltham, Mass. where he operated a first-class jewellery store on his own account. Later he disposed of this business and for a time operated as a log scaler. In 1901 he was in Duluth learning the trade of a barber and in July of that year arrived in Skagway coming up the coast from Seattle. He prospected for a time with Gus Jensen at Bennett, B.C. the two of them coming to Whitehorse in 1902. For a short time he worked for Frank Young and afterwards with Locasto who operated a barber's shop. He started on his own account as a barber in 1903 upon the site now occupied by the Macpherson Drug store and later sold out to a Mr. Johnson for $100. He then went prospecting in the Alsex district where he had ten claims and on Sundays carried on his trade as a barber in Jack McLean's roadhouse on Ruby Creek (Miss McLean of the local hospital staff is a daughter of Mr. Jack McLean who now resides at Prince Rupert). Later in the year he returned to Whitehorse and opened a barber shop in the Windsor hotel which was destroyed by fire in the spring of 1905 and which formerly stood on the site now occupied by the White Pass Hotel. He operated as a barber from that time up to the time of his death at various locations in town. Q

    It was in 1915 that he commenced his fox farm on the other side of the river and is reported to have received on two occasions the highest price, about $500 each, for silver fox furs ever paid by Messrs. Lampson of London England.

    It was about this time that he acquired the old Commercial Hotel from the late Robert Lowe which was later completely destroyed by fire.

    Funeral arrangements had not been completed at the time of going to press.

The Whitehorse Star - Friday, January 20, 1939

Last Rites For J. E. Marcotte, 1939

    The funeral services over the remains of the late Mr. J. E. Marcotte, an account of whose passing appeared in our last issue, were conducted by Mr. W. Tinney at Christ Church on Sunday at 2 o'clock.

    The pall-bearers were J. Sewell, Antoine Cyr, Karl Brydon and G. C. Dingle. Mr. Norman Sewell officiated at the organ.

    There were quite a number of old friends and residents who attended the services as a token of respect to one who had spent a great part of his long life in this community.