Celebrating heritage in downtown Ladysmith

This week, the Town of Ladysmith will be installing seven plaques along First Avenue and Buller Street to commemorate Heritage Week.

Seven heritage plaques

Seven heritage plaques

This week, the Town of Ladysmith will be installing seven plaques along First Avenue and Buller Street to commemorate Heritage Week, which is being recognized across the province.

The plaque design includes an archival photograph of the building, the date of construction, address and heritage information.

The buildings include: 314 Buller St. (St. John’s Anglican Church), 410 First Ave. (Ladysmith Trading Company), 422 First Ave. (Travellers Hotel) 436 First Ave. (Nicholson Block) , 440 First Ave. (Island Hotel), 530 First Ave. and 512 First Ave. (Mainstreet Building).

“People might not know the heritage of the building, but those buildings, in some cases, have been there since Ladysmith was incorporated and have played a big part in the development of Ladysmith and our town, and it’s something to be proud of,” said Jennifer Robinson, chair of the Heritage Revitalization Advisory Committee (HRAC). “This is our history; this is our heritage … it’s so visible.”

The HRAC decided to take on the plaque project in 2010 and has made it a priority within the last year. Robinson said the Ladysmith and District Historical Society and former HRAC chair Ann Rogers have played a big part of  putting it all together.

Mayor Rob Hutchins officially declared Feb. 20-26 Heritage Week in the Town of Ladysmith at council’s Feb. 6 meeting.

“It takes a lot of volunteer effort to make these things happen, so it is something to celebrate,” Robinson said. “We’re really happy that the owners of the buildings are on board.”

Energy is the theme of this year’s Heritage Week, and the Ladysmith and District Historical Society has put together a display in the façade window next to the Pharmasave on First Avenue. The display contains information about Ladysmith’s former coal plant.