The Nicholson House, 421 1st Avenue in downtown Ladysmith, was built circa 1901 for Donald Nicholson, a Past Master of St. John’s Lodge No. 21.
Here is a map showing the location of 421 1st Avenue:
Here is a Google Street View image of 421 1st Avenue:
“Description of Historic Place
The Nicholson House is a small, false-fronted building on the east side of the main commercial street in Ladysmith, British Columbia. The historic place is confined to the building footprint.
Built around 1901, the Nicholson House is significant for its association with early developer and community leader
Donald Nicholson. Nicholson was a member of the first town council and served as Mayor in 1906 and 1908-1909.
In addition to this building, Nicholson built Ladysmith’s first hospital, its first purpose-built school, the Opera House and several other early buildings. A section of road in nearby Cedar, still known as the Speedway, was graded and built by Nicholson, originally for use as a horse racing track.
The Nicholson Building is also significant for its association with Jack Keno who operated a barbershop at this
location for 45 years. In the 1920s, Keno converted the Nicholson House to commercial premises by adding a false front and extending the building to the front property line.
The Nicholson House is a good example of a modest, vernacular commercial building. It is one of several similar
buildings in Ladysmith’s commercial core and is an important component of a large group of historical buildings.
The character-defining elements of the Nicholson House include:
- – all of the elements of its vernacular Boomtown architecture as expressed in the wood siding, Boomtown false-front façade and simple door and window arrangement;
- – the building’s location within a group of historic buildings on the town’s main commercial street;
- – the building’s small scale, simple form and massing”
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