Fernie & Elk Valley Culture Guide Issue 6 - Fall 2017 - Page 26

FERNIE’S HERITAGE BUILDINGS – A Downtown Walking Tour CONT’D 10   Isis Theatre 531 2nd Avenue | Now in use as Nevados In 1910, Wm. Eschwig began construction of the building next to his Northern Hotel. Known initially as Eschwing’s Hall, it was remodeled and opened as the Isis Theatre in 1911. The theatre was again remodeled in 1930 and reopened as the Orpheum Theatre. Moving pictures entertained Fernie residents here until 1949 when the Orpheum was bought by Sam Rossell, proprietor of the Vogue Theatre. At that time, it was agreed there was not enough business for two theatres and the Orpheum closed. The Orpheum is fondly remembered by Fernie oldtimers as the site of Saturday afternoon entertainment. 11   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. 12   Fernie Secondary School 901 2nd Ave | Now in use as 901 Fernie & Spa 901 The Fernie Secondary School operated here for 89 years from 1909–1998. Early photographs show that the original façade looked much as it does today, however it was covered with stucco from 1978 until the time of the renovations in 2006. It was then that Parastone developed the site; revitalizing the original school and gymnasium and adding 2 new condominium buildings. Inside, the 16ft ceilings, craftsman finishes, and granite fittings make this one of Fernie’s most sought after properties, while the award-winning 6,600sq ft Spa 901 offers the ultimate in urban relaxation. Be sure to enjoy Historic Downtown’s local cafés, boutique shopping and cultural attractions (see attraction listings, P14). Visit working artists and artisans in their studios (see gallery listings, P20) and soak in the atmosphere of a town rich in history and heritage. 26