Looking Back: Movement afoot for new municipality

Part of a continuing series commemorating the 100th anniversary of Pitt Meadows

Roads were scant and the only bridge over the Pitt River was the single track CPR span.

Roads were scant and the only bridge over the Pitt River was the single track CPR span.

In May 1912, just two years before Pitt Meadows was incorporated, by some accounts, the area was a hot commodity.

A picture of the community, as painted in the developer-slanted Coquitlam Star newspaper, was that of a booming area marked by “rapid development,” including the construction of many roads into areas of “fertile land reclaimed from the river.”

In reality, Pitt Meadows was a young, isolated agricultural community of less than 200 people.

The first school house had opened less than six years before and the post office, located in the only general store in the community, was only four years old.

Roads were scant and the only bridge over the Pitt River was the single track CPR span.

However, road work was being done at a fairly good pace, with Dewdney Trunk being graveled over a two-mile stretch and what is now Baynes Road being pushed through as was the new Park Road.

The Seventh Day Adventists made up a good part of the population of the community, as they had a colony in the area of what is now Hoffmann Park, and in that September, a road, now known as Advent, was built to accommodate their needs.

Further north, Archbishop McNeil purchased more than 700 acres on the bank of the Pitt River, with the intention of settling Catholics in a colony on the site, and the government was in the process of pushing Harris Road north to assist them.

The CPR had begun the double tracking of the railway through the area and an encampment with hundreds of workers was newly located on the banks of the Pitt River.

One article in the Star noted between 200 and 300 railway men were at work with steam shovels at “the gravel pit,” although we have to guess what pit that was.

In less than two years, the original single-track bridge would be floated up river to become the area’s first auto crossing.

There were already some movers and shakers in the community.

Wellington Jeffers Harris had been the Reeve of Maple Ridge and was an MLA and diking commissioner, and W.J. Park had taken over the secretaryship of the fledgling Milk and Cream Shippers Association of the Lower Mainland.

By August, there was a move afoot to become a municipality.

The Star reported:  “a movement significant of the development already attained by the rich agricultural district of Pitt Meadows, and of the confidence felt by the residents in their future growth, has just began, having as its object the incorporation of the locality as a municipality, and the property owners are being asked to sign a petition to this end …”

W. J. Park was appointed secretary of the committee in charge of organizing the “movement.”

The intended boundaries of the new municipality were to be west from Maple Ridge to the Pitt River and south to the Fraser River and north to Pitt Lake – 13,000 acres, or 25 square miles, with a total population of somewhere between 300 and 400.

The countdown has begun.

Leslie Norman is curator at Pitt Meadows Museum.







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

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Pixabay)
COVID-19 exposure at Westview in Maple Ridge

Third high school reporting virus in 2021

Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue had a helicopter rescue in Golden Ears Park on Saturday. (Special to The News)
Helicopter Rescue in Golden Ears park

Ridge Meadows search team assists injured hiker

A vehicle incident is blocking the eastbound lanes on Lougheed Highway at Jim Robson Way in Maple Ridge on Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Google)
TRAFFIC: Lougheed Highway cleared in Maple Ridge, expect congestion

Earlier, eastbound lanes at Jim Robson Way were closed

CP Rail intends to create a logistics park with fuel and grain storage in Pitt Meadows. (Special to The News)
LETTER: CP’s history in Pitt Meadows does not bode well for the future

National rail company needs to be a better neighbour if it wants to expand operations

The pandemic has sent the price of dogs skyrocketing. A local letter writers asks some questions about having pets. (Black Press Media files)
LETTER: Maple Ridge resident questions people’s views on pets

People owe pets the same love and commitment they show to humans, a letter writer contends

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Singletree Winery in Abbotsford has opened two domes where customers can enjoy wine tastings and local goodies. (Photo by Megan Ashley Creative)
Abbotsford winery first in Fraser Valley to open wine-tasting domes

Singletree Winery offers two themed transparent enclosures

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Heather Lucier, a pastor at Kelowna Harvest Fellowship, speaks to an RCMP officer outside of Harvest Ministries on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna church fined 2nd time for violating public health order

Harvest Ministries in Kelowna has previously said they will fight the tickets in court

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

Most Read