Langley Township documents history with context

A new document shows how the Township developed over time.

Carol Nundal with her pet skunk standing in front of the Langley Advance Newspaper office. The photo was taken in the 1960s. (Langley Centennial Museum photo from the Langley Advance collection)

How Langley developed over time from even before the place was called Langley is the subject of a new publication created by the Township.

Important events, eras, places, buildings, and people that made the Township of Langley what it is today have been documented.

Our Shared History, a Historic Context Statement and Thematic Framework for the Township of Langley, was created over the past year under the direction of a Task Force selected by the Township’s Heritage Advisory Committee.

“Our Shared History is a concise statement on how we developed over time, and not a written history in itself,” said Township of Langley Heritage Planner Elaine Horricks. “Instead, it looks at the themes and events that have been instrumental in defining the Township’s evolution, and lists the historic places that reflect these themes.”

The Historic Context Statement explores and provides a chronological summary of the major geographical, political, and socio-economic factors and events that contributed to Langley’s development. It includes history that predates the incorporation of the Township in 1873.

The statement features chapters on Langley’s natural geographical setting, its enduring First Nations presence, the contact period and establishment of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the development of British Columbia as a Crown colony, Canadian confederation, and municipal incorporation. The Great Western Boom, the First and Second World Wars, Post-war Langley, and Langley as it is today are also featured.

The information came from various sources.

Local residents contributed to the project by sharing their perspectives and reflections on Langley through providing submissions, participating in workshop conversations, and offering input at an interactive open house earlier this year.

There’s a number of areas covered in various themes and subthemes.

The subtheme of media, newspapers, and the history of the Langley Advance, Langley’s longest-running newspaper, is featured in Theme 5: Arts.

The Advance started publishing in 1931, during the Depression when money was scarce. Some people paid for their subscriptions with milk and butter, or a cord of wood.

Our Shared History can be read on the Township website which also provides contact information if anyone has any clarifying information or extra details on a given subject.

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Vic Rossum demonstrated the Heidelberg Press at the Langley Advance to a group of high school students. The photo dates from the 1960s. Rossum worked for the Langley Advance for more than 20 years. The community newspaper often provided tours of the facility to students. The Heidelberg printing press was hand set with base paper (250 lb.) on linotype. (Langley Centennial Museum Photo from the Langley Advance collection)