48.993499755859396° N / -123.815002441406° W
Those are the exact coordinates given for a BC Stop of Interest sign about Ladysmith, ‘across from City Hall on Highway 1’ according to the description on the official Heritage BC web site.
But the sign ain’t where it used to be. It’s actually at the intersection of First Avenue and Roberts Street. And the locomotive it is pictured behind on the Heritage BC site is no longer by Highway 1; it sits waiting for restoration (again) just north of the Expo building at 610 Oyster Bay Drive.
So we’re handing the challenge over to you, and letting you know that there are prizes to be won for those historical aficionados willing to examine the official plaque commemorating the coal mining past of our ‘instant’ town, and report on its condition (and in this instance, its location) to Heritage BC.
Over a hundred Stop of Interest Signs were put up between 1958 and through the 90s, the release says, adding, “Since that time some signs have gone missing and some have been moved.”
In partnership with the provincial Heritage Branch, Heritage BC is “seeking public input to gauge the present location, condition and content of the Stop of Interest signs.”
Adds the release, “This is the first step in creating a contemporary inventory to start planning for the future of the Stop of Interest signs in British Columbia.”
“I’ve seen many of these signs during my travels in B.C. and admit that some are in decline,” said Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Steve Thomson. “I’m glad we are able to partner with Heritage BC to inventory and plan for next steps for informative signs.”
The initiative is being billed as a fun and educational way for “family, friends and colleagues” to learn more about British Columbia’s history and discover some of B.C.’s interesting Stops of Interest says Heritage BC Executive Director Kathryn Molloy.
The public can participate by taking pictures of the signs and the stop of interest they refer to, noting the location, then completing Heritage BC’s online form: www.heritagebc.ca/stops-of-interest-signs-condition-assessment-survey.
“Send us your photos and notes about the Stop of Interest in your neighbourhood for a chance to win prizes” Malloy said.
Forms can be submitted online until Dec. 18. The information submitted will be used to formulate a report for the Heritage Branch for the end of 2015.
You can follow Heritage BC on Facebook and @HeritageBCanada on Instagram and Twitter. Upload your Stop of Interest photos using the hashtag #bcstopsofinterest. Online form submissions as well as social media submissions will be entered into a prize draw.