Painful Truth: More history in Langley than meets the eye

Langley’s suburban recent history covers a much deeper story.

You can live in Langley for years and mistake it for just another cookie-cutter slice of suburbia.

From Willoughby or Walnut Grove, Brookswood or Murrayville, it’s easy to just take a glance around and dismiss the place. Another former farming town turned post-war suburb. A place where people only turned up because they were looking for inexpensive housing and an easy commute.

That’s completely wrong.

I was thinking about this when I went for a bike ride on the weekend. Just a little 25 kilometre spin and I passed by a lot of history, recent and otherwise.

I live in Willoughby, the fastest-growing, largest, and newest neighbourhood of Langley. I took the 208th Street overpass – which was still being argued about when I started working freelance for the Langley Advance in the late 1990s. Some folks didn’t want all the extra noise in what was still then a quiet neighbourhood of acreages.

From there I headed through Walnut Grove, which exemplifies the philosophy of the 1980s and ’90s. Cul-de-sacs were the order of the day.

To the north, the dikes on the flat floodplains remind me of the flood of 1948, when farmers drove herds of cattle through the rising waters, when the high school grads had to abruptly leave their year end dance to fill sand bags.

I passed the original and “new” Fort Langley sites, tied to the Hudson’s Bay Company traders.

And of course, I passed through (and live on) the unceded lands of the Katzie and Kwantlen First Nations, 12,000 years of history and counting.

Even the Langley Advance has its history, chronicling all those places and people. We’ve been here 86 years as of July 23.

We’ve covered fairs and fires, May Queens and murders. We’ll cover the change of government and whatever comes next.

If you’re new to Langley or a longtime resident, remember that there are centuries of history here. And we’re making more of it, each and every day.

Just Posted

Langley Spartans enjoy multiple wins and a tie Friday

First-year rookie puts five points on the scoreboard for Trinity Western’s Spartans.

Rainfall warning issued across Lower Mainland into the weekend

50 to 70 mm of rain expected to fall starting overnight Friday and into Sunday morning

Langley’s own Vancouver Giants fall in Prairies during overtime

G-Men fell 6-5 to the Brandon Wheat Kings Friday night.

Body located near Langley fire

A corpse was found near a mall off the Langley Bypass Friday morning.

COOKING IN LANGLEY: Chef offers options for preventing tears

Chef Dez offers a variety of tested and untested theories for cutting onion, to avoid water works.

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Holy Heritage Rail Batman: Superheros come to Cloverdale historic train

The Fraser Valley Heritage Rail is hosting its third annual Halloween rail adventure Oct 28, 29

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Most Read