A Cyber Tour of Fort Langley

For those of you who can't make it out to Fort Langley, our webmistress would like to share some pictures she and her brother took on their June 2000 visit there.  If you click on an image with a blue border, you will be taken to see a larger version of that picture; click the back button on your browser to return to this page.

Having been to Fort Langley once, I had to go back again.  And because I had said that going to the fort had felt like Coming Home, my brother Don had to come see for himself.  Both of us brought cameras.  Don's pictures are the sepia tone, mine are the color.

Hopefully the pictures presented here will give you a feel of the place -- but nothing beats going there in person.

Many thanks to Erin Easingwood, who provided building names and dates they were built, and the whole Fort Langley gang for putting up with my over-enthusuastic self.

Lisa Peppan
Edmonds, WA
September 2000

Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada
The Parks Canada Beaver
PO Box 129
23433 Mavis Avenue
Fort Langley, B.C.  V1M 2R5
Phone: (604) 513-4777                                               Fax: (604) 513-4798

Fort Langley is located east and a bit south of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  To get to Fort Langley from:

  • Washington State:

Follow the I-5 north to Bellingham.  Turn off at the Bellis Fair Mall exit and go north on Guide Meridian.  Go for 14 miles to the Aldergrove border crossing.  Continue north on 264th Street to Highway 1, and then take Highway 1 west.  Take the next exit at 232nd Street.  Turn right on Glover Road, and continue north into the village of Fort Langley, and turn right on Mavis Avenue.  They are located are the end of the street.  Do not turn onto River Road.

  • Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and the North shore areas:

Follow the Trans Canada, Highway #1 East to the 232nd Street North exit. Follow 232nd Street to the stop sign on Glover Road. Turn right. Follow Glover Road into the village of Fort Langley. At Mavis Avenue, just before the railway tracks, turn right. They are located at the end of the street. (Do not turn onto River Road).

  • Richmond and Delta:

Follow Highway 99 South to Highway 10. Follow Highway 10 east to Glover Road (about 30 minutes). Turn left at Glover Road and follow it north to Fort Langley. At Mavis Avenue, just before the railway tracks, turn right. They are located at the end of the street. (Do not turn onto River Road).

  • Areas east of Fort Langley:

Follow Highway #1 West to the 232nd Street exit. Follow 232nd Street North to the stop sign on Glover Road. Turn right. Follow Glover Road to the village of Fort Langley. At Mavis Avenue, just before the railway tracks, turn right. They are located at the end of the street. (Do not turn onto River Road).

  • The north side of the Fraser River:

Take Highway 7, Lougheed Highway, to the Albion ferry to cross the Fraser River. Continue driving on the south side, and turn left on Mavis Avenue after crossing the railroad tracks. They are located are the end of the street. (Do not turn onto River Road).

DO BE AWARE: there are two Langleys -- Fort Langley and Langley township.  Fort Langley is on the south bank of the Fraser River; the Fraser River is the snaky squiggle running across the top of the middle map, below.  Langley township is southwest from there at the other end of Glover Road, in the light area of the lower left hand corner of the map on the left.  Glover Road is the line that runs at a 45 degree angle between the two.  Once you get into Fort Langley, follow Glover Road to Mavis Avenue.  Mavis is just before the bridge to MacMillan Island.  Stay on Mavis and go straight up the slight hill.  Do not turn onto River Road; see the map on the right, below.

Map of the greater Langley area.
Northwestern Washington & Southwestern British Columbia
map courtesy of MapQuest
The Greater Langley area
map courtesy of the Greater Vancouver & Fraser Valley Street Atlas by MapArt
Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada
map courtesy of MapQuest
Click on either any of these three square maps for larger versions.  Click the back button on your browser to return to this page.

The Fort Langley Visitor CentreThe first thing you really see is the Visitor Centre (at left).  The white area on the front of the building is a mural of Fort Langley as it was.  The entrance is to the left of the mural.  The fort itself sits behind the Visitor Centre, just about where the break in the trees is.

The ruins of Fort Langley when purchased by the Mavis family.In the visitor center you will find a gift shop and an exhibit of glass cases and dioramas, showing artifacts, documents, and photographs -- like this one, on the left, of the ruins of Fort Langley when they were purchased by the Mavis Family, the same folks that Mavis Avenue was named after.

The view to the right of the main gate after a few steps out of the Visitor Centre.

The view to the left of the main gate as you come out of the Visitor Centre.Once through the Visitor Centre, there's a park-like gravel path that takes you to the fort's main gate.  The person you see in the picture on the right, up under the trees, is my sister-in-law Janis Peppan.

On the left is what we saw as we walked through the gate.  If I remember correctly, the fellow wearing black and red is one of the interpretive guides who portrays Mr. James Murray Yale, Clerk in Charge of Fort Langley from 1834 through 1844, and Chief Trader from 1844 through 1859.  The building on the left is the cooperage.  The white building is the Store House, and the one on the right is the Theater.

Looking up the hill.

On the right is what you'll see if you look to your right a few steps the gate.  The building on the left is the Operations building, built in 1997.  The white building is the Big House, built in 1958, and it contains the front office, and two suites, one for the chief trader Mr. Yale, the other for the clerk Mr. Newton.  In the centre is the gentlemen's mess hall.  The building partially obscured by the big tree is the Servant's Quarters, also built in 1958.  And the four post structure near the top of the hill is a pit saw frame.  A log or plank was layed across the top and one guy sorta kinda straddled the wood and worked one end of the saw, while a second man stood down in the pit and worked the other end of the saw.  Pit saws were tricky to work, not everyone could do it well, but, according to the Fort Langley Journals, there were two Kanakas --Hudson's Bay Company employees from the Hawaiian Islands-- named Peopeoh and Como who were exceptionally skilled at it.

The laundry area.On the left is the laundry area (that light colored peak over the wall behind it is the Visitor Centre).  The laundry area is located up in what would be the right hand corner of the above picture, back between the Big House and the Servant's Quarters.

The Operations Building, built in 1997.To the right is the Operations Building, which houses artifacts found at the site, photographs dating from circa 1860 through 1932, and the administrative offices for the Fort Langley staff.  This was the building in which I confirmed my personal link to Fort Langley.

Here we have one of two plaques identifying the pictures that decorate the walls of the ground floor of the Operations Building.  The second of these two plaques says the very same thing this one does, but in French.  In the larger version of this picture -- which you can see by clicking on this one -- the words are readable.

On the large version, you'll see that next to each of the twenty picture descriptions are numbers in brackets.  Assorted implements, including a couple ax heads, and an ox bow.These numbers are catalog numbers from the British Columbia Archives and Record Service, from whom I do believe you could order copies of any of these pictures for a small fee.  On the right, one of the display cases, showing assorted implements that were used around the fort.

The theater, built in 1999.Down the hill a bit, next to the Operations Building, is the Theater, built in 1999.  Within you can see a short movie about Fort Langley.  To the left of it, looking a bit like an old fashioned well, is a fur press.  To make the furs easier to transport, they'd stack the furs up, and then insert wooden wedges that would move the press down, compressing the furs into nice tight 90 pound bundles.

The Store House, built in 1840.

The building next door -- shown on the left here -- is the Store House and the one building that is original.  It was built by the men who were at Fort Langley in 1840.  With the exception of this one building, all the rest are re-construction.  Inside there's an exhibit of the assorted trade goods that went in and out of Fort Langley.  

Assorted furs.



Skeins of twine and beads, cards of buttons, and other notions. Ducks and geese, boxes and bales, pots and pans, and a scale.
Some trade goods.

The Store House, Theater, and Operations, and Don Peppan.The picture to the right shows how this and the two preceding buildings are spaced.  The fellow with the tripod and camera is my brother, Don Peppan.  The new Exhibits Building now occupies the space between the Theatre and the Operations Building.

The Exhibits building was first used in August of 2001 by the descendants of the Hudson's Bay Company employees for their Home Coming 2001 reunion.

Which brings us to the Blacksmith Shop, built around 1970.  The peaked roof behind the it is one of the bastions.The blacksmith's building

The Blacksmith Shop and the Store House.The Blacksmith Shop was of particular interest to my brother and I because our great great grandfather, Etienne Pépin, was one of Fort Langley's blacksmiths.  According to Jamie Morton, Etinne made really great nails.

  Don Peppan and the view through the northeast window of the Blacksmith Shop.The back wall of the Blacksmith Shop.

The picture to the right is Don setting up to take the picture on the left.


The all important anvil. The forge The view looking in the northeast window of the Blacksmith shop.
Inside the Blacksmith shop

The Cooperage, the Blacksmith Shop, and the Store house.The barrel making shop-cooperage-and-carpentry shop, built in 1993.

Then we round the corner to the barrel making shop-the cooperage-and the carpentry shop, built in 1993.

Merl, again.Merl, making it look easy.

Here interpretive guide Merl, left, makes barrel stave shaving look easy.  The light coloured litter underneath him is the paper-thin wood shavings he's pulling off the barrel-stave-under-construction with a draw knife.

The church on McMillan Island -- it's the little white dot near the middle of the picture.If you climb the stairs of the first bastion, youAnother view of the church showing the top of the wall. can get a peek-a-boo view of the church on McMillan Island from the catwalk atop the wall directly behind the cooperage.  McMillan Island is home to the Kwantlen, First Nations people who developed an early working relation with the men of Fort Langley.  Many of the men's wives were Kwantlen, including our Great Great Grandmother Isabelle.

To see a close up of the church, click here.

The bateaux and the first bastion.And to the immediate right of the cooperage isThe batueax from another angle. a bateaux.  What's a "bateaux" . . . ?  Think about the biggest rowboat you can imagine, and then make it big enough to carry upwards of a ton of merchandise and men.  I stand 4 foot 11 inches tall and could barely see over the sides standing on tip-toe.  This one is painted brick red, and can be seen in the below picture of my brother and his camera equipment, with the Don Peppan.  Behind him is the front gate, canoe, and batueax.front gate behind him.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  [insert a lopsided grin here]  I can say this because I know it's there, but it is easier to see in the larger version.  "Bateaux" is pronounced "baa (like the sound a sheep makes) -TOE (like the little flappy things at the opposite end of your foot from the heel)".

The canoe, as seen from the bow back.

Now, two posts to the right of the gate, is a Native built canoe.  If I remember correctly, whereas the bateaux is of fairly new construction, the canoe is like the StoreA three-quarter view of the canoe. House -- it's old and original.  Though I don't know this particular canoe's history, I do know that like most other west canoes, it was made from a single log, which was hollowed out until the walls were of the proper thinness, then filled with water and then hot rocks.  The hot-rock-heated water softened the wood and slats of wood were placed at the correct intervals to stretch the sides out.  This one appears to have had a nose piece added on, as was done by some coastal canoe builders.  I bet if this canoe and the Store House could talk, we'd hear some stories, by Gar, we would.  Since the above pictures were taken, the canoe has been moved inside for conservation purposes.

The Servant's Quarter's, built 1958The last stop in our tour is a building we sort of The Servant's Quarters, with Erin and Merl standing in the doorway, with Liz and her kintting on the bench beside them.saw on the way in -- Servant's Quarters -- "servant" meaning the blue-collar-type, did-a-little-of-everything Hudson Bay Company employee.

Erin inside the Servant's Quarters.

Here interpretive guide Erin talks about the basic Servant's Quarter's set up.  This one room was home for a servant, his wife, and any children they had.  Cramped quarters for sure, but it was snug and dry.

Left . . . And with a final look left and right along the outer walls, we reluctantly leave the Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada.  . . . Right

When you come to visit, be sure to call or email ahead for the most recent hours and admission fees.  (604) 513-4777 or

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This page created 6 Sept 2000 and was moved 28 July 2002
Updated 21 Jul 2013

Photo reprints available upon request, please.
All that we ask is that you ask.
Sepia tone photos by
Donald C PeppanOne last picture.Colour photos by Lisa M Peppan
Don and Lisa Peppan by Mr and Mrs Jack L. Peppan