Our latest photoblog series “The Toads Visit Ladysmith” continues today as we take in some of the historical artifacts that are on display in town.  Originally founded to support the local mining industry, Ladysmith ultimately became a hub of sorts for the area on Vancouver Island it served, and with the advent of the logging industry things were really great here for years on end.

Anchor - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Anchor - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Now, we do live right beside the ocean but I am not convinced that we need to anchor the town to make sure it doesn’t sail off in the night, myself! As we adventured through town and really stopped to take in all the sights, we were really surprised and delighted with some of the artifacts that were on display.  Like, this boat anchor that sits in the middle of a roundabout in the center of town.

Train Switch - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Train Switch - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Train Switch - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Train Switch - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

With logging becoming a big part of the islands economy, railroads were built to service the industry.  Train switches are an integral part of a rail network, so it really makes sense to see this in town.  The second shot was really an experiment with a different composition and in all truth I rather liked the results and was hopeful everyone else would, too.

Valve - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Valve - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Valve - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Valve - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

OK, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Hey Toad, that’s a valve, what’s the big deal here?”  And I might be inclined to agree with you, but I also really loved  the tones and textures that the metal fittings and device presented.  I have no idea if this actually works, if it’s hooked up to something, or it was just planted here for us all to enjoy as an artifact.  Regardless, plenty of shiny metal and moving parts to enjoy…  not to mention one of the biggest springs outside of a race car I’ve ever seen in person before.

Rope Pulley - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rope Pulley - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Pulley’s and other items to support the logging industry make for great photographic subjects, as well.  Full of great textures, this unique sight sitting right on 1st Avenue was something that caught our eye from down the street and our 50mm prime lens was really able to pull all the details out of the frame.

Logging Donkey - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Logging Donkey - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Logging Donkey - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Logging Donkey - Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

This is a donkey.  A hairless one, to be precise.  Necessity is the mother of all inventions, as the common saying goes, and this item is living proof.   What we’re looking at here is an old Fordson Tractor that has been heavily modified and converted to serve an entirely different purpose.  Before I began to study the history of our area in-depth, I had never heard of one of these before.  Now, we have seen a few of them…  each of them is unique, hand-made and fabricated to serve a special purpose.  This one was made to service the logging industry.  The top picture you can actually see the firewall and steering wheel panel left intact from the original tractor that they then custom-built pieces around to support the activity in question.  We’ve got it all going on here; metal and the resulting textures, wood, weathering, and great details.

Stay tuned folks, tomorrow’s post is going to showcase a real old and historical Fordson Tractor!  We have a set of great images of this iconic tractor to share with everyone, and we’re really looking forward to it.  Thanks for your visit here today, we really appreciate the support!  Please do feel free to leave any comments you may have as we truly love to hear from all our visitors.




  1. Great photos and essay, Toad. I think HDR is well suited for capturing the mechanical intricacy of hardware and historical artifacts. These device make for great public sculpture, too!

  2. Great images and dialogue Toad. The decision to preserve this machinery in the form of prominent sculptures all over town really speaks to what’s important to the community. Some fabulous abstracts are there for the taking when you zoom in to these metal marvels!

  3. avatar Dave DiCello says:

    Yet another outstanding series here Toad! Very well presented!

  4. Once again, a great set of images Toad. Those last two shots of the donkey look like they could’ve come from a previously unpublished Dr. Suess book. 🙂

  5. Loving the details in this series – well done, Scott!

  6. Digging those last 2 of the hairless donkey.

  7. avatar Curt Fleenor says:

    Love the detail in these -Nicely done!

  8. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Great stuff Toads. Wonderful old artifacts and great documentation!

  9. avatar Fred Norris says:

    Great series Toad ,loving the Fordson.Will be tuning tomorrow mate!

  10. Terrific Toad. Great images and write up as usual. I really like the images of the valves. They do make great sculptures.

  11. avatar Rick says:

    That rope pulley and train switch are very cool!

  12. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    I so love that the town is decorated with old items like these. I gotta say, the anchor is my favorite piece 🙂

  13. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Lots of crazy stuff and cool things to look at there. Nice shots man.

  14. avatar ChrisdMRF says:

    Wow. Love this Toad, really dig the clarity of the images