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Archives offer walk down memory lane

Ladysmith Archives put on open house in late January
Ladysmith Archives archivist Christine Meutzner and archives chairperson Quentin Goodbody discuss some of the history of the Ladysmith archives at an open house in late January. (Duck Paterson photo)


For many questions about Ladysmith’s past, the answers lie in the Ladysmith Archives.

Ladysmith and District Historical Society volunteers are among those who can be found on weekdays leafing through papers.

Last month, on Jan. 26, the archives held an open house where visitors were given a tour of the facility, located behind Tim Hortons. The archives were opened in the fall of 2008, four years before the museum.

“The archives are one of the unsung assets of the community and the volunteers are to be commended for their work and dedication,” said historical society chairperson Quentin Goodbody.

He also thanked the society’s part-time archivist Christine Meutzner, and Ann Rogers, who also works part time in the field of history, as well as the town and others who provide grant money.

“All that support has given the local archives a very good name,” Goodbody said. “We get visitors from around the world.”

He mentioned specifically a Belgian writer who had been looking for information on a book, and said the archives recently received a Christmas greeting from the Czech embassy with thanks for the help they were given by volunteers.

“We are the official keepers of the town’s records,” said Meutzner. “When town staff need history or past records, they come here. We have over 10,000 pictures on file and a couple hundred building plans. We’ve been visited by writers, filmmakers and other professionals.”

The archives are free to visit and the volunteers are there to assist, as much as possible, folks looking for information. Meutzner said files can be searched worldwide.

For those looking for articles from past issues of the Chronicle, the archive has years and years of original copies as well as copies on microfilm going back to 1902 which can be accessed via computer. There are also birth records going back to 1921 and marriages from 1921 to 2013. Records of deaths are also on file from 1921 to the present.

“Genealogy is probably the biggest draw for the archives and a lot of visitors are looking for old friends,” Meutzner said. “A lot of locals also come in and use the reading room even just to read about their community’s past.”

Ed Nicholson, a longtime volunteer, told the group that the archives have a lot of historical data on many of the local buildings.

For a walk down memory lane, folks can visit the archives in person or online at