The Langley Heritage Society was formed in 1979 by a group of community-minded individuals concerned with the preservation of Langley’s built and natural heritage. Since then, Langley has become one of the fastest growing areas in British Columbia, making the work of the Langley Heritage Society even more vital.
Since its inception, the Society has worked to preserve the community’s heritage in a number of ways. One of our first projects was the development of an illustrated Inventory of Historic Buildings in both the City and the Township. The Inventory, which was published in 1986, was the first systematic listing of the community’s extensive heritage resources, many of which date back to the late nineteenth century. In compiling and publishing the Inventory, the Society hoped to persuade local government to take a more active role in preserving the community’s historic houses, barns, commercial buildings, schools, churches, and other buildings and natural features of significant heritage value.
Local government was slow to take up the challenge and it was largely left to the Society to advocate for and develop ways to preserve many of the community’s threatened heritage resources. Beginning in the early 1980s, the Society undertook several building relocation and restoration projects in partnership with a number of governmental, not-for-profit, and private organizations. Money was scarce, but through ingenuity and powers of persuasion, the Society was able to access grants or services in-kind from organizations such as the now defunct British Columbia Heritage Trust, the federal government, the Greater Vancouver Regional District, private donors, and the two municipalities.
The first of the Society’s restoration projects was the Michaud House, a farmhouse built in 1888 on 204 th Street in the City of Langley. The Michaud House was one of the last of the old farmhouses left in the city, virtually all of the others having fallen victim to fire or redevelopment. Its restoration was in partnership with the City of Langley and the Langley Arts Council, which used the building for years as its office and meeting space.
Subsequent relocation and restoration projects have followed. The Society now manages several restored buildings, many of which are periodically open to the public.
Connecting with the Community
Monthly meetings are held in historic buildings throughout the community, featuring speakers on various aspects of heritage conservation or local history. Members participate in community events such as Fort Langley’s May Day and Canada Day celebrations, our own Railway Days event at the CN Station, and tours of heritage buildings. We are active members of the Community Heritage Network and the Community Heritage Commission. Representatives of the Society attend and participate in the annual Heritage British Columbia conference and are always available to help community members with questions relating to Langley’s history and heritage.
We are a welcoming group and invite anyone with an interest in heritage conservation, education, and interpretation to join us in our endeavours.
The Langley Heritage Society is a non-profit organization working to preserve the area’s heritage in a number of ways, some of which include:
- Researching and creating an inventory of Langley’s built and natural heritage
- Working with local governments to ensure the protection of Langley’s heritage sites
- Restoring heritage buildings
- Informing Langley’s citizens of the heritage that surrounds them
- Promoting interest in Langley’s heritage through workshops and special events such as Heritage Week
- Developing and distributing walking tours of Fort Langley and Murrayville
- Marking the WWI memorial trees
Since 1980 several homes and buildings have been restored by the Langley Heritage Society in conjunction with the GVRD, but are not directly in the care of the LHS:
- Annand-Rowlatt House and outbuildings
- Houston House
- Lochiel School
- Karr-Mercer Barn
- Hassall House
- Loucks House
- Markow Barn
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