New Annual Heritage Award to be presented Feb 20, 2020

The Ladysmith & District Historical Society is pleased to announce that the first Ladysmith Heritage Awards will be presented on Feb 20, 2020, at the Ladysmith Museum in conjunction with the Ladysmith Chamber of commerce’s 90th Anniversary Celebration. Please join us from 5 pm to 7 pm for refreshments and cake. Presentations and awards will be at 6 pm.

Please RSVP to the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce by Feb 18 at 250-245-2112.

The awards are to recognize the businesses, individuals and societies that have played a key role during the year in their actions or initiatives in preserving or promoting local heritage.

The award recipients will be announced during February’s BC Heritage Week.

Anyone can nominate, including nominating themselves, their business or their society. Nominations have been extended to  January 20,  2020. Email:





Website/Social Media

How did this individual, business or non-profit group help to preserve, and/or promote local heritage in Ladysmith and surrounding areas of Saltair and North Oyster?




Nominated by:

Contact info:

BC Family Day & BC Heritage Events

Ladysmith & District Historical Society is partnering with the community to create a memorable Heritage Week.


The activities kick off with B.C. Family Day “A Day to Remember” on Monday, February 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ladysmith Museum. See the new Saltair Quilters exhibit, including their Canada 150 quilt. Play vintage board games, pose for a family portrait, watch Buster Keaton in The General, one of the greatest silent movies ever made, and enjoy free popcorn and drinks thanks to financial support from the government of B.C.


Then on Thursday, February 20, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., drop by and say “Happy Anniversary” to the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce, who celebrates 90 years of serving Ladysmith and Area as the “Voice of Business.” Join them for refreshments at the Ladysmith Museum. Speeches and the new Ladysmith Heritage Awards will be presented at 6 p.m. RSVP at or call 250-245-2112.


Saturday, February 22, is a full day of activities. It kicks off with a free historic downtown Ladysmith walking tour by Rob Johnson. Meet at the Metal Collage at 11 a.m (corner of First Ave. and Gatacre). Tour ends at the Ladysmith Museum at noon. Light refreshments served, courtesy of Ladysmith Downtown Business Association.


Then on Saturday, February 22, head over to the waterfront for a day of fun from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 614 and 616 Oyster Bay Drive. Visit the Locomotive Shop, the First Aid Shed and the Ladysmith Maritime Society’s Heritage Boat Restoration Shop. Check out the SFN Displays. Visit the Heritage Railyard. Ride a rail hand pump car. The Ladysmith Kinsmen will have hot dogs and refreshments available.

One of the highlights of the event is the century-old restored boxcar that is being transformed into a “Discovery Box Car”  with activities and interactive displays.

These events are brought to you thanks to the support of the Town of Ladysmith, Province of B.C., Ladysmith Maritime Society, Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce, Ladysmith Downtown Business Association, TAKE 5 and the Chronicle.

We Have Received A Provincial Family Day Grant

The Ladysmith & District Historical Society has received a B.C. Government grant under the Family Day Program.

Under the Family Day Program, the B.C. Government is providing grants “for free Family Day events in communities through the BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) and the BC Museums Association (BCMA).”

Here is a link to more information about the Family Day Grant program.

Ladysmith Museum
Ladysmith Museum

Earthquakes & Ladysmith & Area, Jan 28 2020

Please join us again on Tuesday, Jan 28, at 7 pm at the Ladysmith Museum for a presentation that will inform you and may help you keep your family and community safe.

Dr. Quentin Goodbody will be presenting Earthquakes & Ladysmith & Area. History, Reason, Risk & Why You Should Prepare. This is part of the Historically Speaking Series and will also include a short General Membership Meeting. Light refreshments following.

Goodbody is a geologist and president of the Ladysmith & District Historical Society.

Members: Free. Non-members: $5 suggested donation.

For information contact the Ladysmith Archives 250-245-0100, or email

Quentin Goodbody
Quentin Goodbody

Christmas Social – 10 December 2019, 12 Noon To 2 PM

It’s the season of merry-making and giving thanks to all our wonderful hard-working volunteers and members.

We hope you will join us as we give thanks and celebrate this year’s accomplishments at our Christmas Social at the Ladysmith Archives (behind Tim Hortons) Open House on Tuesday, Dec. 10, noon to 2 pm. Everyone welcome!

Please bring a side dish or dessert to share – we will be serving BBQ Hotdogs.

Thank you for your support of Ladysmith & the area’s heritage.

Just a little reminder that we have local history books, notecards, maps, posters and gift memberships available for the perfect Christmas Gift!

Thank you on behalf of the LDHS Board,

Marina Sacht

Here is a map showing the location of the Ladysmith Archives:


Board of Directors, 2019-2020

Quentin Goodbody
Quentin Goodbody

Dr. Quentin Goodbody – President

Quentin is a geologist with a passion for history and heritage, and with a multicultural perspective earned from living and working for decades in various parts of the world including North America, South America, S.E. Asia, Australia, and Europe.

Quentin is very happy to have retired to Vancouver Island (a natural paradise )- and to participate in, and contribute to, the community.

Christopher Adams
Christopher Adams

Christopher Adams – LDHS Treasurer

Chris has lived in central Vancouver Island for 23 years and in the Ladysmith area for 12 years.

He has been Treasurer of LDHS for two of his three-year membership.

Though his career, Chis has worked in the banking, accounting, human resources and computer software fields in UK, USA and Canada. Now he is retired and enjoys playing pickleball and golf, reading local and European history, visiting his daughters and grandchildren, travelling and developing his garden.

Alex Stuart
Alex Stuart

James A. (Alex) Stuart, Secretary

Alex is passionate about Ladysmith as a community and its History.

Alex was Ladysmith’s youngest elected Mayor – serving two terms; a founding member of the Ladysmith Railway Historical Society; Ladysmith Tall Ships Society (now the Ladysmith Maritime Society); and a founding member of the Ladysmith Resources Centre. Alex served on the Ladysmith EDC Board and was a two-term President of the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce. He is currently serving the 4th year of a 9-year term on the Nanaimo Airport Board of Directors.

As a new member of the Ladysmith & District Historical Society Board, I join my fellow Directors in the excitement that comes with adopting our five-year capital plan in support of growing our historical stewardship of all things representing our rich community history. “

Mark Anderson
Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson, Director

Mark owns and operates West Coast Driver Training & Education Inc., a licensed driving school based in the Cowichan Valley. He has a long-standing interest in history and is currently the Historian and webmaster of three Masonic Lodges: Ashlar No. 3 in Nanaimo, Temple No. 33 in Duncan and St. John’s No. 21 in Ladysmith. He is also the District Education Officer for the Grand Lodge of B.C. &  Yukon District 27, which encompasses Ladysmith and the Cowichan Valley.

Shirley Blackstaff
Shirley Blackstaff

Shirley Blackstaff, Director

Shirley believes in the power of working together, valuing and using people’s talents and providing them with opportunities to serve our community with relevant heritage, environmental, and educational projects while having fun in the process.

Shirley has been a valued educator for 35 years, an active member of the BC Vintage Car Club with a newsletter, event and president positions. She gained 10 years of Museum experience at the BC Forest Discovery Centre.  Shirley is a working Director of Eves Provincial Park. Now in her 18th year of volunteering for Ladysmith Maritime Society, she has been a Director, designed and created the Maritime Museum, Harbour Heritage Centre, Archives, and Sea Life Centre and is the heritage coordinator who organizes events, field trips, summer student and volunteer activities. Shirley is working with the Industrial Heritage Preservation Committee towards an Interactive Heritage Centre/Museum.

Shirley finds satisfaction in creating interactive displays and writing books that share our local heritage.

At home, on a 9-acre property with her husband, Shirley enjoys creating a nature park and heritage village.

Tim Genner
Tim Genner

Tim Genner, Director

Tim has been an avid historian as well as an antique collector most of his life and has a great appreciation for local historical artifacts and the stories behind them.

Tim studied political science, sociology and psychology for 3 years at Langara College and SFU. He also has two levels of Family mediation from The Justice Institute Vancouver BC. Prior to his recent retirement, he was a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) counsellor sub-contracted to clients referred by WCB and ICBC.

Tim has taught Fencing and Tennis for the Vancouver parks board prior to moving to Vancouver Island approx. 27 years ago.

Tim is a member of several bird clubs and has rescued birds referred by the BCSPCA  for approximately 40 years. He has raised many emus and living on fifty acres has enabled Tim to care for crows, ravens, seagulls, owls, hawks and all species of parrots including large macaws. They have all received appropriate care and gone to good homes once healthy.

Tim is also a pilot and has built and flown his own aircraft throughout southern BC and Vancouver Island. He is the frontman and lead guitarist for a rock and blues band here on Vancouver Island.

But through all of his life, Tim has always had a passion for Museums, artifacts and the good archival work that allows us to hang on to the history that binds the members of our community past and future.

Marina Sacht
Marina Sacht

Marina Sacht, Director

Obsessed with story-telling, Sacht is a long-term member dating back years before the society incorporated – when it would meet in members’ living rooms.

Sacht has a diploma in journalism and is the editor/publisher of TAKE 5 Print & Digital media. Book publishing, video production, photography and writing are some of the experiences she brings to the board.

Prior to TAKE 5, Marina was the editor of North Shore Magazine and co-publisher of the Pacific Horse Journal.

She lives on a five-acre farm where she grows fruit trees. When she isn’t working, you can usually find her sailing in Ladysmith harbour or around the world.



E & N Railway Schedule From November 1909

We came across this 30 November 1909 newspaper advertisement for the E & N Railway passenger service schedule which stopped in Ladysmith on its route from Victoria to Wellington.

E & N Railway passenger service schedule, November 1909
E & N Railway passenger service schedule, November 1909

Here is a photograph of the Ladysmith E & N Railway Station from the approximate time period of the advertisement above.


Here is a photograph of the Ladysmith E&N Railway Station, circa 1920.


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Miners’ tragedy remembered Oct 5, 2019

Many miners lost their lives in the quest for coal.
Saturday, Oct 5, 2019, marks the 110th anniversary of a tragic event that rocked the community to its core. The Extension Mine disaster claimed 32 lives and destroyed countless others.
To mark the 110th anniversary, the Ladysmith & District Historical Society is inviting the public to join them in front of the Metal Collage on the corner of First Avenue and Gatacre, to remember the 32 miners’ lives and its impact on the Town of Ladysmith. We will be meeting at 8:30 am to 9 am. All welcome.
Many of the miners are buried in Ladysmith Cemetery where the gravestones are a mute witness to the suffering endured by those remaining behind.
The explosion occurred in the morning at the No. 2 W. Mine in Extension. Many lives were lost due to gas poisoning between 8:30 to 9 am on that tragic day.
The gathering is to honour the men of Extension’s lost shift of Oct. 5, 1909, and all the miners who lost their lives on Vancouver Island.

Ladysmith’s Tyee Smelter Talk & Meeting, Oct 8, at FJCC

Ladysmith’s Tyee Smelter, 1909. Photo: Ladysmith Archives

Join the Ladysmith & District Historical Society October 8, at 7 pm, for a General Membership Meeting, which will include a review of ongoing society activities, to be followed with Barrie McDonald presenting stories and photos about Ladysmith’s Tyee Copper Smelter.

“Such is the reputation of [the Tyee Copper Company] and of the smelter that Ladysmith has come to be widely known as the Smelter City …”wrote The Daily Colonist, December 13, 1908.

The story of Ladysmith’s copper smelter, the “Tyee” smelter, is an important part of Ladysmith’s industrial heritage. The story involves a staking rush on Mt. Sicker, a mining town on Mt. Sicker that peaked at about 1,700 people, Dunsmuir family rivalries, smelters being constructed the same year in both Crofton and Ladysmith and huge construction projects completed within astonishingly short timeframes.

“It is an interesting Ladysmith story, a waterfront story, and the start of our ‘cadmium problem’ in the harbour,” says McDonald.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to find out how history continues to play a role into our present day,” says Quentin Goodbody, president of the LDHS.

The group is working on future talks that will explore contemporary topics through a historical lens. Some topics being considered are The Big One — Ladysmith and Earthquakes; Ladysmith’s water supply; Forest Fires and the Ladysmith area; and Ladysmith — landscape, geology and natural endowment. Suggestions of topics are welcome, says Goodbody.

Open to the public, the meeting and talk will be held in the Lower Level Meeting Room, 7 pm,  at the Frank Jameson Community Centre in Ladysmith. Everyone welcome. For more information, phone the Ladysmith Archives at 250-245-0100.

The Ladysmith Museum, Ladysmith Archives and the Comox Logging Historical Site Industrial Preservation Group are operated by the non-profit Ladysmith & District Historical Society.

Tyee Smelter’s legacy continues to this day, FInd out how at the talk on Oct 8. Photo: Ladysmith Archives.

Ghostly encounters and tall tales-Psychic palm readings Oct. 29 fundraiser

Psychic Palm reader Christine Brant will be offering mini readings at the Ladysmith Museum Oct. 29, 2019.

Celebrate the season with a “spirited” night at the Ladysmith Museum on Tuesday, October 29, from 7 pm to 10 pm. Shiver to local ghost stories, explore the “haunted” museum and enjoy some ghoulish refreshments. Christine Brant will be offering palm readings. Christine is a Psychic and Spiritual Advisor living in Chemainus.

“After years of doing readings one of my friends suggested I start doing it for the public,” says Christine.

Palmistry is practiced all over the world, using hand predictions to learn about a person’s characterization. “The readings will connect me to the person’s energy,” says Brant. “I love it, it shows me everything about the person in one small snipe.”

Christine also offers Psychic Development workshops, rune stones, tarot and soul cards readings. You can contact her at 250-416-1318.

The fundraising event is in support of the Ladysmith Museum. Tickets are $30. For more information, call 250-245-0100 or email