Ladysmith, British Columbia

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Ladysmith
Town
Town of Ladysmith
Motto: A View to Sea
Ladysmith is located in British Columbia
Ladysmith
Ladysmith
Location of Ladysmith in British Columbia
Coordinates: 48°59′43″N 123°48′57″W / 48.99528°N 123.81583°W / 48.99528; -123.81583
Country  Canada
Province  British Columbia
Region Vancouver Island
Regional district Cowichan Valley
Incorporated 1904
Government
 • Governing body Ladysmith Town Council
 • Mayor Robert Hutchins
Area
 • Total 11.99 km2 (4.63 sq mi)
Elevation 40 m (130 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 7,921
 • Density 660.6/km2 (1,711/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
Postal code V9G
Area code(s) 250
Highways 1
Website Town of Ladysmith

Ladysmith, originally Oyster Harbour,[1] is a town located on the 49th parallel on the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The local economy is based on forestry, tourism and agriculture. A hillside location adjacent to a sheltered harbour form the natural characteristics of the community.

As of 2011, the population was 7,921. The area of the town was 11.99 square kilometres. Total private dwellings were 2,833. Population density was 660.6 people per square kilometre.

History[edit]

Ladysmith was founded by James Dunsmuir in about 1898, a year after he built shipping wharves for loading coal at Oyster Harbour (now Ladysmith Harbour) from the mine at Extension, nearer Nanaimo. Dunsmuir, owner of coal mines in the Nanaimo area, needed a location to house the families of his miners. He chose to build the community at what was then known as Oyster Harbour, some twenty miles (32 km) south of his Extension, British Columbia mines. Many buildings were moved from Extension and Wellington by rail and by oxen. The Town of Ladysmith was incorporated June 3, 1904.[2]

Prior to incorporation the town was renamed by Dunsmuir in 1900 in honour of the British victory in a battle during the Second Boer War in Ladysmith, South Africa, which in turn was named after Juana María de los Dolores de León Smith also known as Lady Smith, the Spanish wife of Sir Harry Smith, the British Governor of the Cape Colony at the time.[3]

Dunsmuir thought this would be a fitting tribute at the conclusion of the Boer War. In addition to commemorating the end of the war by naming his town after Ladysmith, Dunsmuir also chose to name the streets of the community after generals who fought victoriously in the Boer War. Included in this honour are Generals Buller, Kitchener, Baden-Powell, Methuen and Symonds. In addition, the town has left intact much of its original architecture, from the time of its initial founding. Surrounding features also bear the names of this era, such as Majuba Mountain. The local high school yearbook published every year by the graduating class is called Spion Kop ("spy hill" in Afrikaans) in commemoration of the Battle of Spion Kop, site of a famous engagement and defeat by Boers of British troops during the Second Boer War.[citation needed]

Ladysmith has been notable in the history of the labour movement with significant unrest and violence during the big strikes of 1913–14 era. During this time militia were dispatched to put down unrest and protect property.

The Seaforths first saw active service in the summer of 1912 when rallies by striking coal miners in the area around Nanaimo led to rioting. The miners were striking because of workplace safety concerns, such as lethal gas explosions that had already killed hundreds.[citation needed] A company from the Seaforths was sent to garrison the area and maintain the peace. Though not a shot was ever fired, peace was restored and maintained until the unit was called back to mobilize for war in August 1914.[citation needed]

Media[edit]

The Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle, a weekly community paper on Vancouver Island with a circulation of 1,898, has been printed locally and was founded in 1908.[4][5] It is published every Tuesday.[5] It is circulated in the communities of Ladysmith and Chemainus, in central Vancouver Island.[5] It is archived online in the Google news archive.[4]

Prominent residents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BC Names/GeoBC entry "Ladysmith (town)"". Apps.gov.bc.ca. Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  2. ^ "BC Names/GeoBC entry "Ladysmith (town)"". Apps.gov.bc.ca. Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  3. ^ "BC Names/GeoBC entry "Ladysmith (town)"". Apps.gov.bc.ca. Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  4. ^ a b "Open house set for Saturday". November 1, 1978. Retrieved 2014-06-21. "[The newspaper] has written the events of councils and school boards as they served their communities." 
  5. ^ a b c "Black Press". Blackpress.ca. Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  6. ^ "Pamela Anderson profile at FilmReference.com". Filmreference.com. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 

Coordinates: 48°59′51″N 123°49′13″W / 48.99750°N 123.82028°W / 48.99750; -123.82028