Event spotlights historic Langley home

A woman who used to live in Michaud House many years ago is one of the speakers at a special event Sunday at the oldest house in Langley City.

Yvonne Beaulieu lived in the house decades back and is the guest speaker at an open house on Feb. 23.

“The stories she has about the old families of Langley are very interesting,” said Eleanor Wells, the event organizer.

This is a new event to mark Heritage Month and people will also have the chance to tour the house built in 1888.

“Sandra Reams, the resident caretaker, will show you through the house and tell you amazing historical facts,” Wells added.

Tickets are $10 and are going fast. They must be obtained in advance by calling 604-530-7304.

The event runs 1-3 p.m. at 5202 204th St.

Wells said people of any age can attend but something like this tends to appeal more to adults than kids.

This event is intended to be the start of something bigger.

“We want to plan future events at the house so the public can become more aware of the history of Langley,” Wells explained.

The house was built by Joseph Michaud, an early arrival on what was then known as Langley Prairie.

Joseph’s brother Maximilien had arrived on the West Coast from Quebec in 1859, just after British Columbia became a Crown colony.

He settled in Vancouver, but purchased 600 acres of land for his brother Joseph, who came out with his family in 1878. Joseph, his wife Georginia, and his children Florence, Zatique, Maximilien, Marie Louise, Marie Rose, Leonie, and Josephine, at first lived in an abandoned stopping house on what was then known as “Smuggler’s Trail.” It’s now usually called Glover Road.

Joseph and his family raised hogs and cattle on the land, and built a handsome house for the large family. Two storeys tall, it boasts high ceilings, a gabled roof, wood shingles and a open porch at both the front and east entrances. It retains an ornate bannister for the main staircase, which is narrow by modern standards.

The couple were the first French settlers in the community.

With Joseph’s death in 1909, the property was divided and his eldest son Zatique received the portion with the house on it.

Zatique farmed there until about 1919, when he sold the property to the Soldiers Settlement Board.

After a series of different residents occupied the house, including Joseph Ham from 1928 to 1943, Philippe and Marcelle Beaulieu bought the farm and established a prize-winning dairy herd.

In June 1977, the City of Langley purchased the 19.54 acre farm and the Michaud House.

Today, Michaud House is still owned by the City of Langley and sits on an 8.54 acre parcel of land which is primarily floodplain.

The Langley Arts Council had been based at Michaud House starting in 1978, using it as an administrative and meeting facility.

Use of the facility was free in return for the Arts Council maintaining the house and property.

In 1980, the City designated Michaud House a heritage site.

Michaud House has been restored and maintained in its heritage state through funding from the City of Langley and the Michaud family over the years.

A 2008 agreement had the Langley Heritage Society take over responsibility for the house, one of several under its care.

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