Introductions and Acknowledgements

From Don . . .

      The Langley Story is primarily the history of the municipality's pioneers.  It covers the period from the building of the original Fort Langley in 1827 until the end of the First World War in 1918 with the greater emphasis placed on the years between 1870 to 1900.  To deal with the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Langley to any great depth would be merely to rehash the many excellent works of pioneer historians John Edgar Gibbard, Judge Frederick W. Howay, Bruce A. McKelvie, Denys Nelson and Robie L. Reid.  Wellwood R. Johnson touched lightly on my project when he wrote 'Legend of Langley' in 1958 for the Langley Centennial Committee.  Johnson, as I have to do, apologized for writing about some but not all of the pioneers.

      In a book of this nature errors are inevitable.  Let me point out however that the descendants of the pioneers often discussed the same incidents and their stories were very different.  For the various judgements that I have made which are incorrect I accept all responsibility.

      This book could not have been written without the help of many people.  I want to especially thank Miss Eleanor V. Coates, Deputy Clerk of the Municipality of Langley; the Mayor and his Council; Mr. Kenneth A. Norman, Curator of the Langley Centennial Museum; and his assistant Mr. Peter Chant; Mr. Duncan C. MacKenzie and Mr. Gordon Gilroy, past and present men in charge of the Fort Langley National Historic Site respectively, and their assistant Mr. Reginald M. Pattenden; the late Mr. Gordon L. Byrnel, Field Supervisor with B.C. Hydro; Mr. Derek Reimer, Aural History Programme of the British Columbia Provincial Archives in Victoria; Mrs. Ann Yandle, Special Collections Library at the University of British Columbia; Mr. Terrance W. Carlow, Registrar of Titles at the Land Registry Office in New Westminster, and his assistants Mr. Gerald Ridout and Mr. Lawrence Quissy.

      I will be indebted to Mr. John Edgar Gibbard who wrote 'The History of the Fraser Valley, 1808-1885' back in 1937.  Mr. Gibbard interviewed many of the pioneers of Langley for his university thesis over 40 years ago.  Although he never had a tape recorder and although his notes have been lost he is still able to vividly recall his meetings with the pioneers.  Much of these recollections are included in this book.  Mr. Gibbard edited my manuscripts in their early stages and made many excellent recommendations.

      I must last but not because the least thank the descendants of the pioneers that told their stories so well.  It is to them that I especially take great delight and pleasure in releasing the Langley Story. 

Don Waite Publishing
22391 Lougheed Highway
Maple Ridge, B.C.
V2X 2T3
Maple Ridge, B.C.
10 September 1977


From Lisa . . .

      I got involved with this project while researching my grandfather's grandfather, Etienne Pepin, who worked for the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Langley from 1827 through his retirement in 1860.  In trying to fill in the blanks between 'arrived at Fort Langley 24 Dec 1827' and 'retired 1860' I got pulled into the history of the Langley area in which he worked and raised his family.  This led to a meeting with author Donald E. Waite in June of 2000 at his home in Maple Ridge.  I had already fallen in to the extent that I had created a web site devoted to the descendants of the HBC men who worked at Fort Langley.  As I gleefully waded through Don's mountain of notes, conversation came around to a revised edition of The Langley Story.

      Don asked if I might put The Langley Story on the Children of Fort Langley web site because the traffic suggested that there could be people available who might help with the proposed revised edition.  I agreed.  But there were a few obstacles to overcome.

      The first was that The Langley Story Illustrated is out of print.  This was overcome at the Langley Centennial Museum and National Exhibition Centre, with the loan a copy of the book from Bryan Klassen, Arts and Heritage Curator.  Thank you, Bryan.

      The second, that of turning a 280 page paper book into html documents, was overcome with the typing fingers of Laurel Katernick, Joanne Peterson, and Tannis Pond -- descendants of Fort Langley employees -- and the scanners owed by my brother Jim Peppan, and friend Brett Jones, both of Shoreline, Washington.

      For the third obstacle, I turn to you, O Faithful Reader.

      As Don explained above, errors are inevitable in a book of this nature and the first edition of The Langley Story Illustrated is no exception.  The pioneer historians -- Gibbard, Howay, McKelvie, Nelson, and Reid -- are gone, as are all of those who had first hand memories.  What you see is what was available in the mid-1970s when Don wrote the book.

      Don and I are looking for corrections and/or additional information: family stories, excerpts from family diaries, photographs, family trees, etc.  Our objective is a fuller, more rounded view of what happened between 1827 and 1918, with --as Don says above-- the greater emphasis placed on the years between 1870 to 1900.

      This is a portion of history that has been largely ignored.  And though sharing some of these stories might give Great Aunt Martha the Vapors, the early settlers did what they believed needed to be done to create a place to raise their families -- which may be why it's been ignored.  Things were different then.  By today's standards, some of it is pretty hairy, but without the many resources we have today, they saw few options.

      The time has come to take our shared heritage down out of the attic, pull it off the shelf in the back closet, or out of that trunk in the garage, knock the dust off, and get to know our ancestors -- warts and all.

      If you have an ancestor or relative who called the greater Langley area home at anytime between 1827 and 1918, and believe you have something you can contribute -- no matter how trivial you might think it is -- look through the old family papers and get in touch with us.  You could have that missing piece of information.  Full credit will be given to contributors.  Revisions will appear as we get them.

      If you are someone who helped Don out when The Langley Story Illustrated first came out, I want to thank you for your help.  My father's family had lost all track of its Pepin history back from about 1900 and it was from Don's book that I learned that Etienne Pepin was also a Langley pioneer.  I know I can't be the only one with holes in the family history, so on behalf of those unknown others, I thank you as well.

      And, Don, thank you for the opportunity to help with this.

      If you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming revised edition of The Langley Story Illustrated, and/or contributing to it, please don't be shy.  Contact me or Don Waite and we'll be happy to talk it over with you.

      Now for a few technical notes on this html version of The Langley Story Illustrated to make your visit more enjoyable:

  • The pictures that accompany the text are small so the individual pages don't take too many days to load.  Clicking on any of these smaller pictures will take you to a larger image; some of these larger images are BIG so they will take time to load.  Click on the larger image to return to the text.
  • For photo credits, place your cursor over any image and the name of the individual or organization who provided it will be displayed if you have the Alt Text function enabled in your browser. For those who don't have this function, photo credits can also be found on the Photo Credits page.
  • If you are interested in copies of any of these pictures, please contact Don Waite for permission.
  • Most of the pages here load in 30 seconds or less if you are using a 28.8 baud modem; if your modem/internet connection is slower or faster, the pages will load accordingly.  (This should be a moot point for you folks with DSL or cable.)
  • FrontPage Express was used for most of the site construction, and double checked with Internet Explorer 5.0 and Netscape 4.0, and then fine tuning by hand.  Even so, there may still be glitches.  If you find any glitches or what look like typographical errors, tell me about them, they may or may not be typos from the book.
  • And finally, corrections and additions will be shown in brown text, with hyperlinked text that will take you the Corrections and Additions page where we will show what corrections have been made and by whom.  In the case of men who worked for the Hudson's Bay Company, corrections and additions -- unless otherwise noted -- are courtesy of the Hudson Bay Company Archives.

      Thank you for your consideration and I hope you enjoy the html version of The Langley Story Illustrated.

Lisa M Peppan
18 July 2000



Introduction and Acknowledgements

Chapter 1:  Fur company exploration || First Fort Langley || The Hudson's Bay Company Farm or the Great Langley Prairie || A Yuculta attack || The Oregon Boundary Treaty of 1846

Chapter 2:  Fraser River gold rush || Birth of British Columbia || First Pre-emption Act || Mainland's first church || The Collins Overland Telegraph

Chapter 3:  Birth of Langley Municipality || Municipal troubles

Chapter 4:  The Great Railway

Chapter 5:  The gay nineties || Great flood of '94

Chapter 6:  Modern transportation || The Great Northern Railway || The B.C.E. Railway || The Canadian Northern Railway || The War Years

Chronology || List of men in charge of Fort Langley || Reeves of Langley Municipality || Notes || Bibliography || Address to historians || Maps showing Langley property owners || Family trees || Index || Photo Credits

Copyright Donald E. Waite / Lisa M. Peppan