.

Heritage Commission

Efforts the Heritage Commission has been up to in the last 5 years.

Tara Howse

Rossland News

Sitting with Jackie Drysdale, Chair of the Rossland Heritage Commisison,  and listening to her talk about the efforts the Heritage Commission has been up to in the last 5 years and the passion for the work that’s been done, is easy to hear.

Since 2009 when the Commission was formed, the group had been working on a number of projects, allowing for the preservation of heritage stories in town through conserving and creating awareness of significant buildings and sites.

Rossland actually has an incredibly dense stock of potential buildings, a volume that puts them in the same company as Victoria with both the Rossland Court House and the Rossland Miners Union Hall recognized as national historic sites.

Through a visual story board, the Heritage Commission is aiming to share the history of Rossland’s built environment.  A key factor in designating an historic building is its significance to the community.

Each of the homes and buildings identified by the Commission must be more than simply “old” – age does not automatically mean a building, house, or site is deemed historic.  The Commission must take the time to learn the history of a building or site and then determine the significance and impact it had (or continues to have) on Rossland.

The Commission follows the national standards and guidelines as set out by Canada’s Historic Places.  Nominations are put forward once a particular place has been identified to have heritage value by considering the aesthetic, historic, scientific, cultural, social or spiritual importance or significance for past, present and future generations.

These standards guide in forming a statement of significance for each place which tells us why a particular place is important, explaining the heritage value.  In essence, the Heritage Commission must ask of every potential place: What story does this tell?”

To be formally included on the national registry, the community must have plans for the maintenance and sustainable use of the place.

Recognizing the high cost and resources involved in maintaining and renovating some of the places in Rossland, the Commission opted to create a local registry wherein national guidelines are followed.  Although not a legal registry, this local registry now acts as a tool in land-use planning discussions wherein the Commission submits recommended sites to be considered heritage sites for council to recognize and endorse.

With nearly 50 identified buildings and sites, the Commission continues to work on developing statements of significance and early histories of each of these places.   They welcome any additional research or valid information that can assist in developing these.

Alongside the local Heritage Registry is a compilation of homes.  Originally published in 1983, the Heritage Commission took it upon itself to update the Heritage Home Inventory project, a collection of houses built prior to 1930.

Available on the City of Rossland’s website, a 2014 Heritage Home Book documents the 80-plus homes on the inventory which include descriptions, architecture style, alterations or restorations that have been completed and an early history on each of these homes.

What else is left for the Heritage Commission to do?  Lots, apparently.  With only a handful of the local registry places having completed statements of significance, completing the research and finalizing these statements are a priority.

Secondly, the Commission wants to work regionally and build the relationships with other museums and historical societies in order to better expand the knowledge and research in this area.

“The Columbia Cemetery is an excellent example of needing to work with groups regionally: individuals and families are calling and visiting the area seeking information about their family histories,”  Jackie adding, “There is an interest in history.  People want to know their roots.”

Although some in town may view buildings as merely bricks, mortar and simple functions of necessity, it is the unique aspects of the architecture and style that lend to Rossland’s charm.  The Heritage Commission contributes to limiting the cookie-cutter, big-box style buildings and homes that are proliferate in so many Canadian communities and it is through their research efforts that we have such beautiful historic places to share.

For more information on helping the Commission’s efforts, to nominate a site, or if you have any information on identified sites, please contact Jackie Drysdale at 362-3323 or jackie_drysdale@telus.net.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Morning start: Numerous shipwrecks can be found below Kootenay Lake

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Thursday, May 28

Geotechnical work set to get underway at Rossland Museum

Crews will be working at the museum from June 1 to 12

City of Rossland asks motorists to be mindful of four bears roaming around Trail hill

The bears have been seen multiple times along the highway this month

Young farmers find a home through land-matching program

Young Agrarians links would-be farmers with landowners who have land to spare

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

COLUMN: Canada needs to remember rural communities as thoughts turn to pandemic recovery

Small towns often rely on tourism, which has been decimated by COVID-19

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

Most Read