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Langley: What Was It Like 189 Years Ago?

Although Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, Langley is considered the birthplace.

Why, you might ask?

Fort Langley is originally where trading sanctioned by the Hudson Bay began. Starting from 1827, James McMillian, chief director of the Hudson Bay company, set up a trading post in Fort Langley, with hopes of establishing a fur trading post and the startup of agriculture.

Hudson Bay Tradingvia Vancouver Archives

This went on for a while until about 1858, where gold was discovered along the Fraser River and thus put more attention upon the area of Fort Langley. All the attention from the gold rush and agriculture resulted in the British Parliament turning the trading post of Fort Langley into a Crown Colony of BC on November 9, 1858, hence becoming the official ‘birthplace of BC’.

As the years progressed, agriculture remained a huge part of Langley, and still does to present day. Approximately 50 per cent of farms in Metro Vancouver are located within the Township of Langley. Not only does the farming aspect cultivate industrial and profitable growth, but also provides the community with a source of provisions.

Langley Farmvia Vancouver Archives

The Township of Langley was established on April 26, 1873, and since then has remained mostly an idyllic community. In February of 2006, the Township of Langley moved its Municipal Hall to the Willoughby area, where it has continued to thrive.

Due to the growth of urban development, population increased and the City of Langley was formed in 1955. ’Old’ Langley, or as it was called back in the days, Langley Prairie, was the first to be established, and eventually spread out into other nooks and crannies such as Murrayville and Brookswood. The City of Langley was formed at first because the residents were asking the municipal government things they were not willing to provide, and eventually broke off into their own separate entity.

The construction of transportation pieces such as the BC Electric Railway, the Pattullo Bridge, and the Trans-Canada Highway all contributed to more growth and population in the Langley area. Transportation routes such as the Golden Ears Bridge has allowed more accessibility from in and out of Langley, connecting it to areas such as Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.

Langley Overviewvia Langley Memorial Hospital

Today, Langley has become a modern gem filled to the brim with history and culture. You can even get a glimpse of what the old days used to be like by visiting the interactive Fort Langley National Historic Site.

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