Tuesday, 11 September 2012

South Surrey and Fort Langley, B.C.

In the spring of 2007 the elementary school that I had attended - Millside Public School in Coquitlam - attained two milestones - It was 100 years old and it was slated for demolition. I was invited to attend the anniversary party so I called my long time friend - and college buddy - Terry Shaw to ask if Ric and I could visit for a few days and be driven to the school celebration. The request was granted.

At that time Terry was living in a fairly large house in the Municipality of Surrey and near the border of the city of White Rock. Terry was not living alone but was sharing his house with a delightful dog named Mary Anne - a Sheltie/Papillon cross.

While we were there Terry had errands to attend to in nearby White Rock and in the town of Ladner. As I am familiar with these locations, I went with him (Ric preferred to remain behind in order to read and to entertain Mary Anne).

On one occasion Mary Anne got out of the house and disappeared which got us in a dither - until a neighbor telephoned to say that the dog was at her house so we went and rescued her (the dog that is).

                    Mary Anne contemplating the ornamental pond - but did not go into it.

Terry with his beloved companion.

When Terry was not busy with personal errands he took Ric and I out driving and thus I was able to show Ric more of the area where I grew up - and especially the Fort Langley National Historic Site. When British Columbia was first settled, the town of Victoria was established in the colony of Vancouver Island. However, as the population on the mainland also grew - thanks largely to the Cariboo Gold Rush (see the blog titled 'Prince Rupert and Barkerville') - another colony was established and the initial capital was set up at Fort Langley on the south shore of the Fraser River. Later the capital was moved to what is now known as New Westminster but the buildings of the fort remained - and are preserved.

The larger white building in the background was the Factor's house (Sir James Douglas).

A very pleasant place to visit and to soak up some history.

                                                        The "Good Old Days"?

Not far from the fort was the iconic Fort Langley Ferry which, for many many years was a 'short cut' to the communities of Haney and Mission on the north side of the river. However, a new bridge was under construction and the ferry is no longer used - romance making way for modern utilitarianism?

The approach to the ferry slip.

There is the ferry leaving the hamlet of Albion on the other shore.

I am glad that Ric and I were able to make that trip and for me being able to show him the fort as well as the old car ferry. As is usually the case at historic locations, there was a blacksmith busy in his forge so we stopped to watch. As Ric was a visitor from California the smithy gave him whatever it was that he was fashioning to take away as a souvenir.




  1. Your blog is looking very classy. Luckily that just fits in with your writing.

    1. Thanks, Lorna! Also, it feels good to be well enough to continue with these yarns.