Hougen Group

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Unveiling - Marg Hougen and Mayor Bev Buckway.

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Dick North.

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Jack London bust Donated by Margaret and Rolf Hougen O.C., October 2010 Sculpted by Harreson Tanner Words by Dick North Located at 4th & Main.

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Sculptor Harreson Tanner and wife Patricia.

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Veiled Bust with donors Marg and Rolf Hougen.

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Harreson Tanner, Margaret & Rolf Hougen, Dick North.

Jack London Bust Unveiling

Originally published in Moccasin Telegraph, November 5, 2010
View article online: http://www.moctel.org/2010/MT323.html

by Donna Clayson


Jack London, January 1876 - November 1916

In the summer of 1897, at the age of 21, Jack London camped in the Whitehorse area after running Miles Canyon and the Whitehorse Rapids. He then went down river to spend fall through spring at Dawson City, Stewart Island and Henderson Creek. In August 1898 he returned to his Oakland California home. The influence of the North was evident in his 5 novels and 65 short stories. Two of his novels, “The Call of the Wild” and “White Fang” were bestsellers and drew world-wide attention to the Yukon. His short story “To Build a Fire” generally ascribed to contain the most poignant descriptions of the cold ever written.

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Photo courtesy Rolf Hougen.

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Jack London bust Donated by Margaret and Rolf Hougen , September 1996 Sculpted by Chuck Buchanan Located behind the Tourist Information Office on 2nd Avenue Photo courtesy Rolf Hougen.

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Photo courtesy Rolf Hougen.

Robert Service Bust Unveiling

Originally published in Moccasin Telegraph, November 5, 2010
View article online: http://www.moctel.org/2010/MT323.html

by Donna Clayson


Robert W. Service, 1874 - 1958

Known as “The Bard of the North”, poet Robert Service immortalized in novels and verse, the triumphs and defeats of the sourdoughs during the great Klondike Rush. Arriving in the Yukon in 1904, as an employee of the Canadian Bank of Commerce in Whitehorse and later Dawson, he quickly established a reputation for caputing the essence of the Klondike Gold Rush by penning such epic rhymes as “The Shooting of Dan McGrew”, “The Cremation of Sam McGee”, and the entralling “Spell of the Yukon”. After his success of his book “Songs of a Sourdough”, he left the Yukon in 1912 to continue writing and wander the world – finally settling in France where he died in 1958.

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Photo courtesy Rolf Hougen.

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Bust of Samuel Benfield Steele Donated by Margaret and Rolf Hougen , July 1995 Photo courtesy Rolf Hougen.

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This was presented at the anniversary of the RCMP/NWMP in the Yukon. It is located in front of the RCMP headquarters. Photo courtesy Rolf Hougen.

Samuel Benfield Steele Bust

Originally published in Moccasin Telegraph, November 5, 2010
View article online: http://www.moctel.org/2010/MT323.html

by Donna Clayson


Superintendent Samuel Benfield Steele "Lion of the Yukon", 1850 - 1919

Dispatched to the Yukon in February, 1898, during the peak of the Klondike Gold Rush. His coming meant order; his presence meant justice. Sam Steele was an extraordinary man, who steadfast determination to do what was good for the community. Without fear or favour, won the Yukon’s respect and appreciation before his departure in 1899. Major-General Sir Samual Benfield Steele was later knighted for service in the first world war.

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Angela Sidney Bust Donated by the Hougen Family , Hougen 1997 Sculpted by Chuck Buchanan Located in Whiskey Flats Photo courtesy Rolf Hougen.

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Angela Sidney, the last person who spoke Tagish, was a feature of a book and was herself a great story teller. Photo courtesy Rolf Hougen.

Angela Sidney Bust

Originally published in Moccasin Telegraph, November 5, 2010
View article online: http://www.moctel.org/2010/MT323.html

by Donna Clayson


Angela Sidney, 1902 - 1991
Ch’óoneté Má Stóow

Respected and much loved Tagish Elder of the Delsheetaan Nation, Mrs. Angela Sidney co-authored three important historical documents: “My Stories are My Wealth” and “Tagish Tiaagu”, written narratives of traditional Tagish legends and a document of Tagish Place Names for southern Yukon. Co-founder of the Yukon International Storytelling Festival, Mrs. Sidney spent her entire life working for her community to ensure that her people’s traditions, language, dances and stories were passed on to the next generation. For these endeavours she received the Order of Canada in 1984. Her own words illustrate the beauty and humility of such a generous and noble woman: “I have no money to leave for my grandchildren. My stories are my wealth!”

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Dennis Fentie & Rolf Hougen Photo courtesy Donna Clayson.

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Diane Chisholm Photo courtesy Donna Clayson.

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Hank Karr Photo courtesy Donna Clayson.

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Sharing Decades of Memories Longtime businessman Rolf Hougen speaks at last Friday’s opening of Life in Whitehorse 1946-1969 at the Arts Underground in the Hougen Heritage Gallery. The photos are from the Hougen collection donated to the Yukon Archives

Arts Underground Exhibit: “Life in Whitehorse 1946 - 1969”

Originally published in Moccasin Telegraph, November 21, 2010
View article online: http://www.moctel.org/2010/MT323.html

by Donna Clayson


On November 5, 2010 Bryan and I attended the unveiling of a photo exhibit titled ‘Life in Whitehorse 1946 – 1969’ located at Arts Underground, lower level of the Hougen Centre.

It is a selection of Rolf & Margaret Hougen’s own photographs. The photos can be viewed until the end of January at which time the collection will be moved to the second floor of the Hougen Centre to be on permanent display. As Rolf Hougen mentioned to the crowded room, he and his wife have many hundreds more that he hopes will surface as well.

These photos are stunning – a story in every single image. I could hear whispers around me as I jostled for a viewing spot, “I remember that gas station, I remember ….”.

I would like to thank the Hougen’s for this special gift to the residents of Whitehorse and the Yukon. I wish I would have had the forethought throughout the decades to record my observances in photographs. Thank goodness Rolf & Margaret were thinking ahead.

Arts Underground was a perfect location for viewing these invaluable photographs. The evening was introduced by Diane Chisholm, President, Friends of Yukon Archives. Premier Fentie spoke (see his notes below) as well as Rolf himself. We all enjoyed the delicious snacks and wine, making it all a perfect exhibit a perfect event. Gentlemen Hank Karr filled the room with sounds of the Klondike. To the Hougen’s – THANK YOU!

I would like to thank the Premier for permission to use his notes. (below)

Speaking Notes for Premier Dennis Fentie Life in Whitehorse 1946 – 1969 Selected photographs from th

Speaking Notes for Premier Dennis Fentie
Life in Whitehorse 1946 – 1969
Selected photographs from the Rolf & Margaret Collection
Arts Underground
Friday, November 5, 2010 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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  • Welcome, and thank you for coming.
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  • I am pleased to be here, to share this evening’s celebration with you—the opening of the Rolf & Margaret Hougen photo exhibit titled: Life in Whitehorse 1946 – 1969.
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  • The selected photographs from the Rolf & Margaret Hougen Collection displayed in the Hougen Heritage Gallery are an impressive collection documenting a unique time in Whitehorse history.
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  • It was a time when Yukon was just beginning to find its legs to promote its identity within Canada’s national fabric as a nation coming out of the Second World War.
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  • Yukon First Nations were beginning to gain strength to make positive strides in the important impact they too, would take in shaping Yukon of today.
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  • Yukon’s arts, culture and heritage communities were just beginning to capitalize on the rich history of the Klondike, and First Nations cultures and traditions.
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  • During that time, from 1946 through to 1969, Rolf Hougen was a young man with a vision. He had an aptitude for business, for community development, and for entrepreneurial insights, · and Rolf had an eye for capturing images on film.
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  • Today, we can view his work, preserved in these impressive photos, and truly enjoy a small part of Yukon’s past rooted in a sense of community pride and community spirit.
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  • Not only did Rolf do all that, but he is also known as a man of vision who spearheaded many business ventures in town, more recently, his important role in helping to launch Arts Underground, which opened its doors in 2005.
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  • Since that time, many activities and events have taken place at Arts Underground. This important venue is a vibrant member of Yukon’s arts and culture community.
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  • The space you see around you is used for arts programming and home to the Hougen Heritage Gallery and the Yukon Art Society Gallery, both featuring informative collections year-round for all to enjoy.
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  • Thank you to the Hougen family for their faith and support in realizing the creation of Arts Underground, and the Hougen Heritage Gallery, curated by the MacBride Museum and Friends of the Yukon Archives Society.
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  • The Hougen’s family significant contribution and long-standing support of Yukon’s cultural community shines as an outstanding example of corporate philanthropy and leadership we hope others may emulate in years to come.
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  • A special thank you to Rolf and Margaret for donating their precious collection of thousands of photographs to the Yukon Archives, working in partnership with Friends of the Yukon Archives Society so that we all may enjoy and appreciate this legacy documenting an important timeline in Whitehorse history.
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  • I understand many of Rolf’s personal negatives were donated to the Yukon Archives more than 25 years ago, with a recent donation of another thousand images as a precursor to many more to come.
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  • Rolf’s engaging images can be seen at the Yukon Archives, if anyone is interested in viewing more of Rolf’s impressive collection.
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  • To Arts Underground, an innovative partnership that combines heritage, arts, youth and business, offering services to Yukon’s Whitehorse community in support of cultural economic development, we thank you for your good works these past five years, and wish you every success in the years to come.
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  • To the Yukon Archives, and Friends of the Yukon Archives Society, thank you for organizing this evening’s event. Your collective efforts help to broaden the scope of making available Yukon’s unique heritage to all Yukoners and visitors who come to view the many exhibits such as what we see this evening, on an on-going basis.
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  • Congratulations, Rolf, to you, Margaret and your family. I am sure many people will be into the gallery over the coming days, and they will truly enjoy your images captured on film, for all to appreciate.
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  • Good evening.