A city worker installs a sign in recognition of Canada’s centennial. (Trail Historical Society photo, 1968)

Sign of the times in Trail

The signs were durable non-rust zinc panels from Cominco to commemorate Canada’s Centennial

Looking at the photos in the Trail Blazers series on Thursday, July 23, readers may have noticed the street post signage in the 1960s image.

Read more: Trail Blazers

In the Bay Avenue photo was a street post sign, or panel, with a very simple cutout of what appears to be a pine tree. For those a little longer in the tooth they may recall these signs adorning downtown city streets all those years ago.

But what were they for? What was the origin of these rather plain but catchy-looking signs?

Jesslyn Jarvis, collections coordinator with the Trail Museum and Archives, did a little digging to answer these questions.

She found out the signs were pre-painted, zinc panels with a flag pole socket that gave Trail year round decorations that didn’t fade or rust.

“They were put up on April 1, 1968 and paid for by the Trail Centennial Committee and Cominco Limited,” she explained.

”Sarah (Sarah Benson-Lord, museum manager) and I think it may have been for Canada’s Centennial in 1967.”

Further, Jarvis uncovered another photo (attached) showing one of these signs being installed, though it has another distinct symbol embedded in it, the Cominco stacks.

“In that same photo you can see a third decoration, to the left, that has a maple leaf in the middle,” she said. “So I think they might have all been different.”

Mystery solved.

For those interested in city history and looking for something intriguing to do this summer, the Trail Museum and Archives galleries have reopened.

Located in the Trail Riverfront Centre, museum galleries can be viewed weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

That said, a maximum of 10 people are permitted in the facility at one time, and staff asks that that all patrons respect the posted signage.


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