Rosslanders had a chance to learn more about their historic downtown on Thursday.
Jackie Drysdale of the Rossland Heritage Commission gave a talk called Downtown Rossland 1895-1900 at the Legion. During the talk, she shared the history of some of Rossland’s downtown heritage buildings, and highlighted some of the heritage restoration that has been done in more recent years.
Early on in the talk, Drysdale shared the story of one of Rossland’s oldest buildings. The Lemon Block, which still stands at 1841 Columbia Ave., was originally built in 1895 by R.E. Lemon. The top floor was for accommodation and Lemon sold mining supplies on the ground floor. “I just think this building is a testament to the entrepreneurship and the initiative of the first business people in Rossland,” said Drysdale. It was one of the first lathe and plaster buildings constructed in Rossland and has the distinction of being the oldest remaining building in Rossland’s historic downtown core. At some point in Rossland’s history the original facade was stuccoed over and has not been restored.
Another Rossland heritage building that met the same fate was the Rossland Seniors Hall — originally known as the Glazan Building. Following the fire of 1902, the City of Rossland introduced a bylaw requiring all new construction to be made of brick, and the Glazan was the first building constructed under the new bylaw. Buried beneath the stuccoe of the Seniors’ Hall is the original brickwork facade that the Rossland Seniors Association hopes to reveal with a restoration project.
Two heritage buildings that were stuccoed over but were then revitalized were Hoffman House and Collins Hotel, the red and yellow building on Washington St. between Columbia Ave. and First Ave. Drysdale showed a photo taken in the 1980s before the restoration, with both facades stuccoed over, as well as historic photos of the buildings, and a picture taken following the 2007 restoration. Next door, the Rossland Light Opera Players building — formerly the Bodega Hotel — also underwent a major restoration project six years later in 2013, restoring the original facade.
Following the presentation, Drydale invited audience members to take a closer look at historic photos, as well as insurance maps from Rossland’s early days.