Every year since 2011, the owners of heritage buildings and sites who have gone above and beyond to preserve, restore, or adapt their structures for continued use by the community have been recognized by the Township of Langley.
Every year during Heritage Week in February, the owners have been invited to a Township Council meeting where they are presented with a Community Heritage Plaque and honoured for their efforts.
This year, things were done a little differently, as the Township loaded up a bus and took the show on the road.
“The national theme for heritage this year is ‘Experience Historic Places in 2016,’ so we decided to take that literally,” said Mayor Jack Froese. On June 7, Froese accompanied members of the Township’s Heritage Advisory Committee on a tour of the three historic sites that the committee is recognizing this year through the Community Heritage Register Plaque program.
Plaques were presented to the Langley Heritage Society for its work on the Lattimer Residence in Milner, and to Metro Vancouver Parks for its efforts in preserving the Hassall Residence in northeast Langley and the Loucks Residence in southeast Langley.
“It’s about partnerships,” said Township heritage planner Elaine Horricks, who noted that the conservation process requires the willingness of the site owners to do the required work, with the support, knowledge, and direction of local heritage organizations and the Township to guide the process.
“We share common values about heritage and working together is the best way to advance conservation interests,” Horricks said.
She added that the Heritage Register Plaque program “not only recognizes good shepherds of heritage, it raises public awareness of the unique sites that have been a part of the community for over one hundred years.”
One of the oldest houses in the Milner area and now part of Milner Park, the Lattimer Residence sits on land that was once part of the 2,000-acre Hudson’s Bay Company Farm. The HBC Farm was being cultivated by the 1830s and divided into parcels and sold at auction by 1877. The Lattimer Residence land was first traded “under the corporate seal” to James and Mary Hill Cran in 1890. It was later owned by farmer John Wilson, then Robert Burns Hutchinson, who built the house around 1910.
In 1917, Andrew Veitch purchased the property on behalf of his friend, David Andrew Lattimer. The Lattimer family lived in the house from 1919, following David’s return from the World War One, until 1961. The building has a front-gabled roof with pointed bargeboards, board and baton wood siding, and a hipped roof, full-width verandah, which originally wrapped around one side of the building.
Located in Glen Valley Regional Park on 272 Street, the circa 1917 Hassall Residence is located between the railway tracks and the Fraser River on land that had been acquired from the Soldier’s Settlement Board. Jack Hassall of Birmingham, a veteran of the Boer and First World Wars, brought his wife Christina to Glen Valley in 1918. The Hassall family were not the original owners, but purchased the house before the interior was finished. The closed porch at the front was built in the early 1940s to replace a larger open porch. The riverboat Skeena used to dock just north of the house, near the foot of 272 Street.
The Hassall residence is currently used as a private residence and was restored by Metro Vancouver Regional Parks with assistance from the Langley Heritage Society.
Located at the Canada/United States border on 0 Avenue, the Loucks Residence was built in 1912 by William Markley Loucks of Bowmanville, Ontario, who settled in Langley around 1908, a year after marrying Prussian native Wilhelmina “Minnie” Pillath. Their decision to locate in the south part of Langley represents a major shift in settlement patterns that occurred when the Great Northern Railway track was completed through south Langley in 1909, and the BC Electric Railway freight and passenger service began in 1910.
William, who was active in the Aldergrove Agricultural Society, passed the property on to his son David when he died in 1933. David maintained it as a working farm, raising Jersey cattle and thoroughbreds. An imposing residence typical of those built in the boom years of the Edwardian era, before the general economic collapse of 1913, the Loucks home features lathe-turned columns and decorative newel posts.
The site was acquired by Metro Vancouver Regional Parks and is now part of Aldergrove Regional Park.
To be eligible for recognition through the Community Heritage Register Plaque Program, buildings must be on the Township of Langley’s Community Heritage Register, which officially recognizes the heritage value of a site under the Local Government Act.
Members of Township of Langley Council, Township staff, the Heritage Advisory Committee, the Langley Heritage Society, and Metro Vancouver Parks staff at the Loucks residence.
Hassall Residence in Glen Valley.