Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Fort Langley to Webster's Corners, BC

A visit to the picturesque town of Fort Langley is like a flashback in time.  It is the home of the Fort Langley National Historical Site and the buildings are of historic heritage.  New ones must also build to those qualifications.  

Fort Langley storefronts
The Hudson Bay Company established a fur trading post near this location and was the first to bring business here.  By 1830, it had become a major export port.  The destination for the salted salmon in barrels made from Douglas Fir, plus cedar lumber and shingles was the Hawaiian Islands.

Fort Langley Historic Site of Railroad Station
The Fort Langley Railroad station is at the heart of the town and is the home of the museum and a gift store.  It also has a rail car and caboose that can be visited.  The volunteers of the Langley Heritage Society put a lot of time restoring and managing this historic site and that shows with the lovely grounds and displays that are seen.

Gasoline Alley
There is no lack of independent businesses with eighty of them lining the tree lined streets.  There is such a variety to choose from, unique stores as well as services and restaurants.  No chain stores are to be found in Fort Langley.

Tree lined Glover Road
A major sawmill opened in 1921 and it pulled the area out of a very long struggle with years of the threat of invasions, Gold Rush days and the arrival of the railway early twentieth century that removed the jobs of the port.   These Horse Chestnut trees were planted along Glover Rd., the main entrance to Fort Langley in 1921 and still stand strong and welcoming after nearly 100 years.

Community Hall and Library
The Fort Langley Women’s Institute founded the Fort Langley Community Improvement Society in 1924 in order to build their Community Center.  This grand building was completed in 1932 as the Community Hall and is well used to this day.  It has been featured in several film and television series.

Stately home of history
I wasn’t able to learn any history about this building which is home to a business now, but it is very stately looking and I could not resist showing this beauty.  It would likely have been the home of one of the wealthier families in the town!

Bedford Channel at Fort Langley
The Bedford Channel separates the mainland from McMillan Island, which is accessible by the Jacob Haldi Bridge from Fort Langley.  We started over hoping to see the old ferry terminal that would take passengers to Albion on the other side of the Fraser River, but hadn’t realized that it was no longer accessible since the opening of the Golden Ears Bridge in 2009.

Albion Ferry Landing
We then crossed over the Golden Ears Bridge to find the museum of Maple Ridge.  A lot of the Webster family history is recorded here but not accessible to us without an appointment so after a short tour of the museum, we went onto find Albion, another family connection.  It is now a very industrial area as well as a Fisheries and Oceans branch. 

Webster's Corners School
Webster’s Corners was named after the pioneer James Webster who is Keith’s great grandfather.  There is very little to mark the corner on Dewdney Trunk or the history that would come with it other than the school built on the corner that carries that name.

Mt. Baker
I have a hard time bypassing snow covered mountains without taking several photos.  This is Mt. Baker, which sits just across the border into Washington State and can be seen in the distance in the photo taken at the old Albion Ferry landing.

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