Fernie & Elk Valley Culture Guide Winter 2020-21 Edition - Page 9

FERNIE ’ S HERITAGE BUILDINGS – A Downtown Walking Tour CONT ’ D
home until 2001 when they moved to their current location on Victoria Avenue . Step inside and discover a working felting studio , beautiful antiques , and unique artisan crafts including Katherine Russel glasswork and ironwork from the Fernie Forge . The Fernie Meat Market next door has antique tins and some of the best jerky in the Kootenays .
10 ISIS THEATRE 531 2nd Avenue | Now in use as Nevados
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
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
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 .
After the tour , stroll down 2nd Avenue to enjoy local shops , galleries , cafes and restaurants , pubs and attractions .
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