Fernie & Elk Valley Culture Guide Issue 2 Fall 2016 - Page 15

6 THE CROW’S NEST PASS COAL CO. OFFICES | 501 3rd Avenue | Now in use as City Hall In 1905, the Crow’s Nest Pass Coal Co. constructed this building as the head office to manage its expanding coal mining operations. It also housed the offices of the Crow’s Nest Pass Electric Co. and the Morrissey-FernieMichel Railway, subsidiaries of the coal company. Constructed in cement blocks, the building survived the 1908 Great Fire and served as a place of refuge during and after the fire. It has served as Fernie’s City Hall since 1984; Mayor Giuliano welcomes visitors. Located on the grounds, The Miner’s Walk is a fascinating glimpse into Fernie’s coal mining heritage. The walk features interpretive panels, sculpture, challenges for children, ironwork art from the Fernie Forge and municipal garden with picnic tables and benches. See p17 for more. 7 THE FERNIE POST OFFICE AND CUSTOMS OFFICE 492 3rd Avenue | Now in use as the Fernie Heritage Library This imposing Romanesque Revival building reflects Fernie’s importance as a government centre for the region; the engraved stone signs above the entrance to the Post Office and Customs Office are still in place. The building, for a time, served as the US consul office for the region. Built in 1907, the building was gutted but not destroyed in the 1908 Great Fire. An exhibit on the 1908 Great Fire is located on the landing of the main staircase. See p18 for more. 8 FERNIE CARTAGE COMPANY 701 2nd Avenue | Now in use as Urban Settler and private residences Unlike many businesses in Fernie’s Historic Downtown, the Fernie Cartage Company rebuilt its livery using rubblestone from the banks of the Elk River, rather than brick, following the 1908 Great Fire, making it unique in downtown Fernie. For many years before automobiles were commonly used, the company delivered milk, coal, and other goods with a fleet of horse-drawn drays. In the 1920s, it was “The Up-To-Date Garage,” servicing a number of makes of early automobiles, and owned by prominent Italian entrepreneur, Al Rizzuto. The walk ends on the corner of 2nd Avenue & 7th Street. Take a stroll down Main Street, sometimes known as Victoria Avenue, and enjoy streetside patios, boutique shopping and cultural attractions (see attraction listings, p10). Visit working artists and artisans in their studios (see gallery listings, p22) and soak in the atmosphere of a town rich in history and heritage. Look up for the beautiful art banners on downtown lampposts featuring a variety of new local artwork. 15