Fred Braches has compiled his columns that have told the story about Maple Ridge, through the pages of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News. Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS

Maple Ridge historian saves columns in a book

Looking Back highlights 20 years of local stories

These days, it’s much easier to figure out what went on, back in the day, when pioneers were still carving out dirt roads and hewing huge trees, relying on horse power and steam engines to get work done.

Maple Ridge historian Fred Braches says thanks to the internet, it’s possible to look at records and see some of the actual documents that say conclusively what happened decades ago.

“Today, you can really dig into it and find out what the facts are,” Braches said. “The resources are so much larger.”

Braches has spent more than two decades researching and ferreting out the facts about the early days of Whonnock and Ruskin and bases his writings on the actual documents and records that he finds instead of relying on word of mouth or local legend.

“I can tell you, local history is so fickle. What people say as fact – is so much conjecture,” Braches said Thursday.

He recently self published a compilation of his contributions to the Looking Back columns that are regular features in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.

The book is appropriately titled, Whonnock and Ruskin: Looking Back and includes columns from 1999 to 2017.

Braches also publishes his columns and findings online via Whonnock Notes (whonnock.ca) and also wrote Searching for Pitt Lake Gold, published by Heritage House.

With a commitment to rigourous research (he cites a quote on the book’s back cover, “History isn’t a myth-making discipline, it’s a myth-busting discipline,”) Braches says it’s important that the City of Maple Ridge create an archives, a place where the public can go to pore through original documents, either from the community, or from the city itself, to ensure history is preserved.

“Maple Ridge needs an archives, not what they call and archives and museum, no, a real archives,” he said.

Many of Maple Ridge city’s documents are now stored in the Misssion Community Archives, he notes.

Looking Back is available at Black Bond Books in Valley Fair Mall in Maple Ridge. He plans to write more books.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Fred Braches has compiled his columns that have told the story about Maple Ridge, through the pages of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News. THE NEWS/files

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Ridge Meadows Hospital executive director an “out-of-the-box” thinker

Rich Dillon brings years of valuable experience with Vancouver Coastal Health

Maple Ridge volunteers honoured for decades of service

Community Services held special ceremonies for volunteers John Work and Rodger White

LETTER: Horgan has gall wasting taxpayer money amid COVID

Senior upset by election call at a time when she can’t even afford her prescriptions

OUR VIEW: Election could well backfire on Horgan

Are voters angry enough to cast NDP out, after sending us to the polls in the middle of a pandemic?

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Most Read