Three heritage plaques given out in Langley Township

Owners of blacksmith shop turned school, heritage house and business block honored for preservation efforts

A Langley blacksmith shop that became a chocolate factory and then a school, a landmark Aldergrove house and a Fort Langley business block with a distinctive rounded roofline were awarded heritage plaques Monday afternoon, on National Heritage Day.

Langley Township council presented Community Heritage Register Plaques to the owners of the Murrayville Garage, the James Shortreed residence and the Coronation block.

“It is the perfect time to recognize our heritage buildings and historic places, and the people who work so hard to ensure they continue to enrich our community,” Mayor Jack Froese said.

Rick Kirby, Chair of the West Coast Montessori Society, was recognized for converting a turn of the century blacksmith shop into a school.

Located on Old Yale Road west of Five Corners, the Murrayville Garage was built in the early 1900s as a blacksmith shop and carriage works. Then it became a service station and an International Harvester farm machinery dealership until the 1950s.

It remained a service station into the 1980s. It even served as a chocolate factory before the West Coast Montessori Society transformed it into the Langley Montessori School.

Another plaque was presented to Breanna Statler and Derek Crowie for restoring and repairing the James Shortreed residence.

Built in the 1920s with material produced in local mills, the wood frame house with corner porches and cross-gabled roof was originally located on 26B Avenue, then moved to 272A Street.

Coronation block owner Suzanne Northcott was recognized for restoring the commercial building with the unique rounded roof in Fort Langley.

Built on Glover Road in 1911, it was named in reference to the crowning of King George V of Great Britain, who ascended to the throne in 1910.

It was designed by Charles Edward Hope, one of the few trained architects working in Vancouver after the city’s Great Fire, who produced his finest architectural designs in Fort Langley, including his family’s estate home.

All three of the recognized projects were also supported by the Heritage Building Incentive Program, which assists with the cost of restoring, repairing, and maintaining eligible heritage buildings. Grants are available to property owners of heritage buildings included in the Township’s Inventory of Heritage Resources.

The next deadline for the grant program is Friday, Feb. 28.

Applications forms are available online at

The Community Heritage Register Plaque Program was created in 2010 to recognize the commitment that owners of heritage buildings make to ensure the continued use of their structures. To be eligible, buildings must be on the Township Community Heritage Register.

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