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Looking Back: Heritage Month, homes and neighbours
Friday marks the beginning of February, which is Heritage Month.
Heritage Week starts Feb. 18.
Heritage B.C.’s theme this year – “Good neighbours: Heritage Homes and Neighbourhoods.”
What a great theme for Pitt Meadows to celebrate with.
For a community of less than 20,000, we have an amazing number of heritage homes gracing our older streets, such as the Frank Harris House (circa 1912) behind the hedge at 124th Avenue and Harris Road. Built by the son of W. J. Harris, Maple Ridge’s first reeve, the house is now 100 years old and still retains its original siding.
In the 1800-block of Ford Road, another heritage home instantly grabs your attention.
The Harold Sutton house (1940c) was built by local contractor Walter Mostrenko and is described in the community’s Heritage Inventory as being “designed in an interpretation of the Storybook Cottage movement.”
Mr. Sutton served as an alderman for 14 years and then as mayor of Pitt Meadows for 18 years, the longest of any in the community.
Two heritage homes, both visible from the Lougheed highway, belonged to the Park family.
William Park came to Pitt Meadows in 1910 and eventually built his dairy farm into one of the most respected in the Fraser Valley. He and his wife, Mary Agnes (nee McMyn) built their first home on land that is now on the south side of the Lougheed Highway.
Located just to the east of Harris Road Park, the little farm house (1912c) can be seen behind the concrete sound barrier that run parallel the highway in that area.
The second Park house, on the north side of the highway, was built in 1929. The Heritage Inventory describes the house as “period revival” with “British arts and crafts movement” elements.
Both Park houses are on the community’s Heritage Inventory, but the 1929 structure, like the Frank Harris house, has a lifespan that is now in question.
So many other Pitt Meadows heritage homes are out there to investigate: the John Blaney (our first mayor) house (1909c) on Harris Road, north of the Lougheed; the von Alvensleben (was he really a spy?) house (1912c) further north on Harris; the William and Maggie Struthers (now the Bergthorson Academy) house (1930c) at Harris and 122nd Avenue; and the McMyn/Masson (now the Akasaka restaurant) farm house (1910c), also at Harris and 122nd.
Do you want to know more about these and many more heritage homes? Then join us on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. when we celebrate Heritage Week with a presentation of our “Heritage Homes of Pitt Meadows” slide show.
Admission is by donation and includes refreshments.
Leslie Norman is curator of the Pitt Meadows Museum.