A Yellowknifer shows off his cutting-edge collection. By Laurie Sarkadi.
There are at least two cool things about Elvis Brown. First, he’s named Elvis. Second, he collects chainsaws. At last count, the Yellowknife man had 23, some dating back to the 1950s. And he claims to have far bigger plans – including a chainsaw museum. Is he yanking our chain?
Up Here: How’d you get hooked on cutting wood?
Elvis Brown: My great-great grandfather came from England and settled in Trinity, Newfoundland. He started the first sawmill there, and the sawmill business was in my blood for several generations.
UH: When did you get your first chainsaw?
EB: I was 10. My brother bought one for me for Christmas. Prior to that I’d cut about 10 cords of wood a year with an axe. My mom kind of got mad because she figured I was gonna kill myself with a chainsaw, but my brother figured I was gonna kill myself cutting that much wood with an axe.
UH: Why do you have so many?
EB: I want to fill my garage completely. There’s a guy in Quebec who’s got a museum and he’s got several hundred. I want a lot more than that.
UH: You want to start your own museum here in Yellowknife?
EB: Eventually, yeah. I’m getting my shelves put up. People are starting to drop chainsaws off for me, but not fast enough.
UH: You’re obsessed!
EB: It’s a good addiction. It’s not drugs, it’s chainsaws. I’d like to have every chainsaw in the world, but I’m not gonna live that long. But my son has three chainsaws, and he’s only 12. He’s carrying the tradition on.