Fernie is an Edwardian town. And even more astoundingly it is a somewhat intact Edwardian town. This blog will be an exploration of Fernie and its Edwardian heritage. Though founded when Victoria was still queen the Fernie that we live in today was with few exceptions laid out, built or influenced by the planning and construction that was put in place after the Great Fire of 1908. The vernacular of the old town and much of the inspiration for new parts of the town come directly from the planning and building that started immediately, indeed a day or two after the 1908 fire, during the reign of King Edward VII and continued until the start of the First World War. Very little changed after the First World War because from that time onward until the 1970’s Fernie did not experience waves of construction that came from boom and bust, rather Fernie lingered and loitered and tried to survive, in the process losing a few old buildings and adding a very few new. This allowed many of the very best buildings to remain intact and we might say that the old town of Fernie is a living time capsule of the Edwardian era. This is the Fernie that I hope to honour and celebrate with this website.
Let me start by acknowledging that I am not an objective observer of Fernie: I have a deep affection for Fernie, the people, the landscape, the weather, the ambiance and most certainly the architecture. I believe that architecture, art and culture set in a landscape like Fernie’s with weather like Fernie’s has a profound effect on the people who live here whether they are full or part time residents or visitors. We are in large part who we are because of what and who surround us.
And so with this elementary thought I launch into the creation of a blog which will have as its aim to challenge Fernie to maintain the old town in all its Edwardian splendour, panache and eccentricity while at the same time encouraging the best of architectural practice in the new developments whether for residential or commercial purposes. I hope to encourage discussion about Fernie and its architecture and art and culture. I hope that you will join me for the journey.
You will notice as you read the posts in this blog that it is linked to the Ferniehistory.com blog. I have created a partner blog for Edwardian Fernie because I want to reveal bits of history that I discover in my exploration of Fernie that do not fit well within the Edwardian Fernie blog and are more likely to be political, social, environmental in nature and might be of interest to those who want to know more about the history of Fernie.