Fernie & Elk Valley Culture Guide Issue 7 - Winter 2017 - Page 28

FERNIE’S HERITAGE BUILDINGS – A Downtown Walking Tour CONT’D 6   HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC CHURCH 521 4th Avenue The history of the church dates back to the beginning of Fernie when Father J. Welsh was sent from Cranbrook to hold masses for approximately 200 miners in 1898. Some of these miners donated one day’s wages every month towards the construction of a place of worship and volunteer parishioners completed this church in 1912. It was and still is home to Fernie’s largest congregation. 7   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-Fernie- Michel 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. Located on the grounds, the Miner’s Walk is a fascinating glimpse into Fernie’s coal mining heritage with interpretive panels, sculptures, ironwork art, benches and more. 28 8   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 P14 for more. 9   SALVATION ARMY 260 5th Street | Now in use as Eye of the Needle Studio In 1904, William Eschwig of the Northern Hotel made a trade in which he secured the Salvation Army this site in exchange for the Victoria Avenue location, where they had been operating since November 3, 1900. The original building was lost in the 1908 Fire. The replacement building, seen here, was the Salvation Army e