This photo is undated but shows the view from the bluff east of Fort Langley, looking towards McMillan Island and the Fraser River. At the time that was the Barvis farm. (Langley Centennial Museum collection 000019)

Langley Then and Now: Bird’s eye view of the Fraser River

Local history of the Langley community dating back to the 1930s

East of Fort Langley is what used to be called Barvis Hill, a knoll just off River Road. From up on the knoll’s Armstrong Road, glimpses of the Fraser River and the eastern portion of McMillan Island are visible. The black and white photo shows how the area used to look after it was first cleared by settlers. No date is known on when the photo was taken. Barvis Hill farm became known as the Old Morrison place before passing to an R. Nelson. The caption on the back reads: “Three miles east of Fort. The eastern end of McMillian Island juts out into the Fraser River.” (Langley Centennial Museum collection 000019)

This week in Langley history:

Eighty Years Ago

November 23, 1939

  • More than 200 people attended the Langley Agricultural Association banquet in the Masonic Hall. Douglas Hopkins and Ralph Huene were the top poultry judges, and Gordon Davis and Charlie Freeman judged potatoes. They won provincial championships but missed the Toronto Winter Fair, which was cancelled due to the war.

Seventy Years Ago

November 24, 1949

  • Langley High School was opened by Education Minister W.T. Straith, who urged that the school also be used after hours: “This school is designed for as full use as possible.”

Sixty Years Ago

November 19, 1959

  • Langley City Mayor Alf Penzer wanted to meet with Township Council to discuss forming a joint water district.

Fifty Years Ago

November 20, 1969

  • Langley City Aldermen Keith Beadle, Bob Duckworth, and H.D. Brewer hadn’t filed nomination papers for re-election.

Forty Years Ago

November 21, 1979

  • George Preston was returned to the Township mayor’s chair after a four-year absence, unseating incumbent Mayor George Driediger. The voter turnout was just over 30 per cent.
  • The Douglas Day program included provincial cabinet ministers who, led by Deputy Premier Grace McCarthy, held a cabinet meeting in the Big House at the old Fort Langley. The ministers also attended the annual pioneers banquet.

Thirty Years Ago

November 22, 1989

  • Langley Memorial Hospital’s pediatric ward remained open, despite operating cost reductions to cover a shortfall of nearly $300,000.

Twenty Years Ago

November 23, 1999

  • Independent candidate Kurt Alberts won a stunning upset in the Township mayoralty election. The former Township planner out-polled two well-known slate candidates, incumbent Langley Leadership Team Mayor John Scholtens and Langley Citizens Coalition standard-bearer Councillor Heather McMullan, as well as another independent candidate, Councillor Steve Ferguson.
  • The slates fared poorly in the Township council elections. Independent councillors Mel Kositsky, Muriel Arnason, and Bob Long topped the polls, followed by LLT candidates May Barnard and Dean Drysdale and the LCC’s Kim Richter.
  • Slates did better on the school board. LCC trustee candidate Steve Burton came out on top, followed by independent Rod Ross, two more LCC trustees, Diane Pona and Hattie Hogeterp, and lone LLT survivor Stan Corfe.
  • There were few surprises in the City elections. Incumbents Ron Logan and Ray Palmer lost their seats to prominent businessman Terry Smith and busy volunteer Sharla Mauger. Returning to their seats were Evan Williams, Gayle Martin, Ted Schaffer, and Jack Arnold.

November 26, 1999

  • Langley RCMP Staff Sergeant Len Grinnell, husband of Langley City Mayor Marlene Grinnell, retired after 39 years on the force.
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The view of the Fraser River and the eastern side of McMilland Island from Armstrong Road which goes up onto a bluff just off River Road. At the river’s edge is the Fort Langley Airport. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

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