Matthew Watson General Store

Matthew Watson General Store is the oldest store operated in the Yukon. Established during the Gold Rush, the originally two sections building was moved to Carcross in 1909.

The south section was probably moved from Conrad by George Fickhardt (general merchandise store owner) sometime after 1909,
and the right section (the former Vendome Hotel) was moved from Bennett, B.C. in the spring of 1910. According to the Whitehorse Star of June 10, 1910, a new general store was opened by owner John M. Stewart.

Matthew Watson Jr. bought the left section of store in 1911; he renamed the store that year. It would appear from photos that Watson owned the one-storey building on the left for a number of years and that there were two general stores in Carcross for a time. The north, two-storey section was owned by Bill Fraser in the 1920s. The building is still in two sections in photos dated 1927 and 1936. According to John Scott, the buildings were joined sometime between 1936 and 1948. The false front of the original Matthew Watson Store was extended to cover the one-storey section as well. Bobby Watson and his wife Nellie owned the store from 1959, when Bobby’s father Matthew retired, until 1982 when Stan and Jean Tooley bought it. When the Tooleys purchased the store it still contained top hats in silk-lined hat boxes, dusty jars of liniment and thick woolen underwear.

Today the Matthew Watson General Store, commonly called the “pink store”, is summer operated.

Historic information: Yukon Government