When you have an opportunity to learn more about the history of your city or your neighbourhood, you should do it. That’s what I did when I attended the Historic London Road Jane’s Walk this past Saturday. The weather was less than stellar with the temperature just above freezing, but I donned a warm jacket and gloves, picked up my umbrella, and braved the elements.
The walk started at the old Spudnuts shop, now Crazy Cakes, on the corner of 11 Street and 5 Avenue South. Wolfgang Otto, the gentleman who made the famous potato flour doughnuts and homemade ice cream, talked about the history of the building as we gathered in the shop’s back garden.
He said that If the weather had been nicer, we could have gone up to see the apartment on the second floor of the building, because it had been renovated and had nice hardwood floors.
As we were leaving the back garden, I finally met Bobbi, who I recently met on Twitter after discovering we share similar interests. She didn’t plan on coming because of the weather, but after I told her I was going, so she decided to come along so that we could finally meet. I found out later that, while Wolfgang was speaking, she had asked a few people if they were me. That was how I met a couple more Lethbridgians, Kevin and Mary. I love making new friends!
We then cut across the Civic Centre field. Interesting tidbit about the field is that it used to be a base for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police where a hanging took place. The bones are still buried in the field somewhere! Imagine having that thought in your head as you are walking across the grass. I shiver just thinking about it.
Another stop on our walk was at the General Stewart Residence on 8 Street South.
We were welcomed onto the porch by the home’s owner, Joe Gryszcuk, so he could tell us more about General Stewart and the history of the house. The house is very well kept, and he said that he just does regular maintenance to keep the house looking like it did when General Stewart lived in it. Joe said that there will be an opportunity to walk through his home, as well as other historical homes in the London Road area, as part of a fundraiser happening this fall. That certainly piqued my interest!
We then visited Henderson House on the corner of 6 Street and 7 Avenue South.
The building was the home of Lethbridge’s ninth mayor, William Henderson, who served two terms in office before dying from pneumonia. He is Lethbridge’s only mayor who died while still in office. Today, the building has been divided up into suites, similar to the old Red Cross House building on 12 Street and 7 Avenue South.
The London Road area definitely does not lack in charm, because just down the street we found “Fairyland”.
Fairyland is the work of some children from a local daycare, where they can leave little treasures and trinkets. I thought this was a cute addition to the neighbourhood, but was a little sad when realized I didn’t have anything to contribute. Maybe the next time I’m out for a walk, I will leave a little treasure for the fairies.