Blast from the past

Someone once said you can never be sure where you are going until you look at where you’ve been.

Someone once said you can never be sure where you are going until you look at where you’ve been.

The older you get, the more meaning that statement seems to have.

Looking back at the volatile beginning of Ladysmith, it’s unbelievable to think this friendly town sprang from such hostility.

From the very beginning, miners were forced to move to Ladysmith or risk losing their jobs.

Attitudes and tensions like that can often last lifetimes, generations even.

Yet today, we are making decisions on how to accommodate the growth that seems so certain over the next few years.

When union influence pitted friend against friend, neighbour against neighbour, Ladysmith was not such a nice place to live.

Strikers were stabbed by strike-breakers and the homes of men who were just trying to provide for their families, were smashed and vandalized.

All this came at a time when Ladysmith should have been dealing with the concerns of just starting a new town.

All this happened just steps away from where we walk, shop and eat every day.

The history of this area is all around us. From a murder above what is now the Wigwam Restaurant to the bombing of the McKinnon home just down the street from The Chronicle office, there are decades of stories along our streets.

To learn more about the history about Ladysmith, main street, even your street, utilize your local archives.

The old papers, photos and artifacts and offer just the pieces to the puzzle you are seeking.