Fernie & Elk Valley Culture Guide Winter 2020-21 Edition - Page 8

8 THE FERNIE POST OFFICE AND CUSTOMS OFFICE 492 3rd Avenue | Now in use as the Fernie Heritage Library
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
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 .
9 SALVATION ARMY 260 5th Street | Now in use as Eye of the Needle Studio
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 .
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 ’ s