Then & Now is a weekly feature brought to you by the Langley Advance Times, in partnership with the Langley Centennial Museum & Archives.
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The Wark/Dumais House is located at 5950 Glover Rd. The main part of the house was constructed by 16-year-old Robert Wark for his father, mother, and brothers. After its completion in 1890 or 1891, the family came from Ireland to take up residence. Wark was an early warden, or mayor, of Langley. The back kitchen area was added in 1900, and the veranda was added in 1910.
The Dumais family moved into the house in the 1920s. Langley City purchased the 87-acre farm at the north end of town for $2 million in 1976.
The house was designated as a heritage site when it was restored by the Langley Heritage Society in 1987. Kwantlen College developed the Langley campus with the house as a focal point for its buildings.
This week in Langley history:
Eighty Years Ago
May 18, 1939
Miss Viola Derksen was chosen May Queen, and Miss Marjorie Packenham was to be Miss Canada at Langley May Day celebrations. Selections were made by drawing names from a hat at an Athletic Association meeting.
Seventy Years Ago
May 19, 1949
Almost three years to the day after ratepayers had voted in favour of building a new high school, students were to begin using the new facility.
The Langley Amateur Athletic Association began a campaign to raise funds for a children’s playground in Athletic Park.
Sixty Years Ago
May 14, 1959
A highways engineers was invited to address complaints about the route chosen for the new freeway through Langley. Most contentious was the decision to dead-end Jackman Road (272nd Street) to make way for the freeway.
Fifty Years Ago
May 15, 1969
Langley RCMP were concerned about the “juvenile elements” that would be attracted to the Aldergrove Rock Festival scheduled for May 27. Langley residents were reminded of the curfews that existed for those 16 years of age and younger.
Glenwood student Pamela McDonald, 13, was chosen May Queen and Janice Craig was named Miss Canada.
Forty Years Ago
May 16, 1979
Incumbent Social Credit candidate Bob McClelland easily defeated the NDP’s Steve Duguid, 11,747 votes to 7,846, in the May 10 provincial election. Progressive Conservative Sherri Anderson polled 1,822 votes.
Donna Warmerdam was awarded Aldergrove’s Rose Queen title.
In Fort Langley, Colleen Granleese was named May Queen, Bonnie Haima was Miss Canada, and Gisele LaRose and Wendy Wooton were maids of honour.
Aldergrove Chamber of Commerce, complaining of hindrances to development in their area by the municipal administration, threatened to secede from Langley Township.
Thirty Years Ago
May 17, 1989
The decision about a controversial garbage transfer station in South Aldergrove was put in the hands of residents. A committee of four residents and a Township alderman were given four months to find an alternative site for the GVRD facility, or decide to stay with the site already started.
Skyway Air Services, the flying school started by Second World War Spitfire pilot Art Seller, was bought from Seller’s son by Norm Osenton.
Twenty Years Ago
May 18, 1999
Pending approval from the Agricultural Land Commission, construction was set to go for a new Thunderbird Show Park, at 248th Street and 72nd Avenue.
Ground was broken to officially mark construction of a new Save-On-Food complex at 264th Street and Fraser Highway.
Langley City Hall was demolished to make way for a new city hall and library on the same site.
May 21, 1999
Mayor John Scholtens officially opened the 208th Street freeway overpass.
When a time capsule buried beneath Langley City Hall since 1956 was opened, it was discovered that nearly everything inside had turned to dust. All that survived the 43-year burial were a few rusty coins and several nearly perfectly intact copies of the Langley Advance.