Port Alberni’s first clocktower was built in 1914 and was part of the Dominion Government Building on the southwest corner of Third Avenue and Angus Street.
The building cost $25,000 to construct, looks like it had a brick facade, and housed the post office, telegraph office and the Fisheries and Customs offices. The clock and bell tower were useful for people who didn’t have a watch.
Sir Richard McBride, then premier of British Columbia, laid the cornerstone to the government building in June 1914, according to Alberni Valley Museum records. It was sold in 1961 and torn down in 1963. According to historian and former heritage commission member Ken Rutherford, the building was damaged during an earthquake and needed to be demolished even though the building was only 49 years old.
Another closer view of the clocktower, photographed by famed Alberni Valley photographer Leonard Frank, can also be found in the Alberni Valley Museum’s online digital photo collection by searching for PN06375.
The intersection of Third and Angus is now home to Gaiga Square on one corner, the TD Bank on another, the former CIBC bank building across from Gaiga Square and Mini Price on the other.
Port Alberni has another clocktower now, located in Harbour Quay. This clocktower is slated for refurbishment.
This photo is one of 24,000 in the museum’s online collection. Search https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com for a glimpse into the city’s past.
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