Dave Newman from Gorosh Cranes — at right — assists Ladysmith Parks staffers Greg Smith and Neil Bouma as they position a 2

Sprucing up Ladysmith’s history

Ladysmith's steam donkey exhibit on Transfer Beach Boulevard is getting a major facelift this summer.

A monument to Ladysmith’s longstanding relationship with logging and forestry is in the process of receiving a major facelift this summer.

Finishing touches will be put on the Town’s refurbished steam donkey exhibit — located on Transfer Beach Boulevard — later this week, said Ladysmith Parks supervisor Glen Britton.

The 61,000-pound steam engine, once used to lift and load logs onto trucks, and its 4,500-pound water tank were disassembled earlier this month, Britton said.

The rotten hemlock logs on which it sat were then carted off by Aljaq Contracting Ltd., Britton said, and replaced with new Douglas fir logs sold to the Town at cost by Larry Spencer and Probyn Log Ltd.

The steam engine, its water tank and a 2,000-pound pulley were hoisted back into place Thursday, July 11, as a small crowd of onlookers watched.

Britton said the steam donkey will now be pressure washed before “Harry Blackstaff and friends” repaint it Wednesday, July 17. New bark mulch donated by Paul Can will then be spread around the exhibit to cap off the renovations, Britton added.

The work has been a collaborative effort, Britton said, adding that “everybody’s giving a little bit of something — they’re not giving lots, but they’re helping.”

Britton thanked Walker’s Saw Shop in Nanaimo for donating the use of a chainsaw for two weeks, and he credited both Jack James and the Port Alberni Industrial Heritage Society (PAIHS) for helping guide them through the process.

“We used the PAIHS as a consultant, but we used mainly Jack [James],” Britton said. “Jack came down three times to oversee things and to point his finger at us and tell us everything we were doing right or wrong.”

Completing the lion’s share of the labour were Greg Smith and Neil Bouma, two Town of Ladysmith employees.

“They took a real, personal interest in it and did a great job,” Britton said.

Regarding the mammoth machine’s origins, Britton said it was manufactured by the Tyee Company in Vancouver, but its date of origin remains a mystery.

“I’m assuming it was [made] in the 20s,” Britton added, “but even the PAIHS couldn’t tell me.”

Britton credited those responsible for the original installation of the exhibit for having “done a great job,” adding that it was unfortunate they couldn’t be located to assist with the renoavations.

Ladysmith’s steam donkey exhibit is located at the intersection of Transfer Beach Boulevard and Oyster Bay Drive.

Just Posted

Local family invites the community to enjoy their Christmas light display

Kelly, Carrie, and Vincent Giesbrecht spent the last month decorating their home for the holidays

The Russell Troupe finds a comfort zone in Chemainus

Family gathering with two parents and five kids a common scene around town

Japanese students visit LSS for cultural exchange

Ladysmith families hosted 35 students from Furukawa Gakuen High School

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

PHOTOS: Old Time Christmas 2019

Friday, December 6 was Ladysmith’s Old Time Christmas. Here are some of the highlights from the night

B.C. woman charged in connection to stolen vehicle smash-up in Kamloops

Kersten Ina Peters was arrested in the Fraser Valley on Friday, Dec. 6

BREAKING: Emergency crews responding to plane crash on Gabriola Island

The Island is located about five kilometres east of Vancouver Island

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

Dogs and cat rescued in house fire in Nanaimo

Section of Old Victoria Road was closed to traffic Tuesday afternoon

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Truck with body inside found at bottom of lake near Kootenay ferry

Investigators believe no foul play is expected but are unsure how the vehicle ended up in the Arrow Lakes

Most Read