A local resident would like to see a mossy sign commemorating the Abernethy and Lougheed Logging Company and a visit to Maple Ridge by Sir Winston Churchill cleaned up to reflect its historical significance.
“When I bought my unit at Kanaka Village, I noticed this odd sign sitting in the middle of the scrub-brush. Now it stands beside a newly installed sidewalk, looking like some forgotten historical marker,” said Richard Brophy.
The sidewalk is part of the Haney Bypass safety improvement project.
The sign, located at 232nd Street and Kanaka Way, reads the once state-of-the-art railway company drew a visit from Sir Winston Churchill in 1929.
“The Abernathy and Lougheed Logging Company ran a very large logging ‘show’ in the Lower Mainland during the 1920s,” the sign reads.
“Working mainly in the Maple Ridge area, [the company] transported logs from the hills to the Fraser River via a series of rail tracks trestles.”
Founders of the company, John William Abernethy and Nelson Lougheed, purchased the Tyner mill at Port Haney and incorporated A&L in 1905, according to the Maple Ridge Museum.
“The company was the largest railway logging operation in British Columbia during its time, controlling an estimated 88 kilometres of private railway, which linked upland forest camps with operational headquarters and the company log dump at the bank of Kanaka Creek and the Fraser,” the museum’s website states.
A&L employed over 700 men, according to the museum.
The company owned seven locomotives and other rail equipment required to transport lumber from Alouette Lake.
“The new highway improvements are costing 22 million bucks. Do you think we can spend a couple of hundred dollars spiffing up this rusting reminder of what we are all about over here?” Brophy asked.
“Maybe they [the city] should spruce it up.”