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If These Walls Could Talk!

I have always had a fascination with old houses and in particular their beautifully rustic door and window frames. Ever since I was a young girl I’ve wondered, “If these walls could talk, what would they say?”  What happened generation after generation in these houses? Were they sold and resold? How did the owners live? Did they weather the hard times? Was there love and laughter?

Bob Flickr

For a collection of images taken of Langley’s historic buildings, visit @Bob_2006’s album on Flickr.

I love the Langley Centennial Museum in Fort Langley as it has some wonderful displays that will transport you to times past. They make me think… “What must it have been like?” Oh! And don’t forget the BC Farm Museum next door.  Don’t be alarmed by the sound of the whistle which blows when you enter – you will be amazed at the displays and the knowledgeable volunteers.

Langley has its fair share of heritage homes, and historic buildings. If you have the same fascination as I, or just like the architecture of old houses or buildings, Langley is a perfect place to go on a heritage home driving tour. My tip: Stop at historical Porter’s Bistro Coffee & Tea House located in Murrayville’s 5 Corners, and grab your favorite beverage and perhaps a sandwich or muffin to go, then take a drive and let your imagination run. Don’t forget your camera!

 

Lamb/Stirling House

I love the lattice work on the front of this house and the red cased windows.  Is that curtain blowing in the upstairs window, or is someone looking out?

lambsterlinghouse_today

Photo Courtesy of the Langley Heritage Society.

This house was built for David Lamb between 1908 and 1910. Lamb had lived in Vancouver before the fire of 1886 and was one of the first people to vote in Vancouver’s elections. In 1889 he moved to a farm in Murrayville, and later had this house built. In 1922 the property was sold to the Stirling family. The family operated a cattle farm here until 1960, but owned the house until 1990. The Lamb/Stirling House became a Municipally Designated Heritage Site in the mid 1990s. Shortly after it was moved from its original 48th Avenue location to 21864 Old Yale Road, and restored by the Langley Heritage Society.

 

The Harrower House

Manicured and well maintained, the pretty canary yellow is so spring-like and I can just imagine the conversations that were had on that simple front veranda.

harrower_house_today

Photo Courtesy of the Langley Heritage Society.

The Harrower House is located at 21860 Old Yale Road, Murrayville. This wood -framed house was built for Robert and Mary Harrower, on land previously owned by the estate of Paul Murray. It is one and a half stories in height, with a side gabled roof, an entry porch, and a later addition to the rear. The house was restored in about 1998 by the Langley Heritage Society; restoration included restoring the verandah and original entry way, which had been closed in, replacing windows, and removing new siding to reveal the original.

 

The Moir House

Pretty turquoise window frames, simple and practical.

moir_house_today

Photo Courtesy of the Langley Heritage Society.

The Moir House is located at 6840 Glover Road. It was built in 1909 for George Robert Moir and his wife, who had arrived the year before from Glasgow. Moir was a blacksmith and opened his own shop in Milner. The house was sold to the Mercer family in the 1940s.

 

The Wark/Dumais House

It is so fun to look at the old picture and the new one to compare. The edition of the beautiful veranda is definitely a defining feature of this house today.

warkdumaishouse_then

Photo Courtesy of the Langley Heritage Society.

The Wark/Dumais House is located at 5950 Glover Road. The main part of the house was constructed in 1890 and was lived in by Robert Wark and his family. Wark was an early Warden, or mayor, of Langley. The back kitchen area was added in 1900, and the verandah was added in 1910. The Dumais family moved into the house in the 1920s. Langley City purchased the 87-acre Dumais Farm at the north end of town for $2 million in 1976. The house was designated as a heritage site when it was restored by the Langley Heritage Society in 1987. Kwantlen University College purchased the Wark/Dumais House when the campus opened at this location; the campus was built with the house as a focal point for its buildings.

warkdumaishouse_today

Photo Courtesy of the Langley Heritage Society.

 

The Michaud House

It really is so much fun to look at the difference in the two pictures and look at the details that remain the same and those that have changed so drastically. I wonder if any of the trees are the original Trees?

michaud_house

Photo Courtesy of the Langley Heritage Society.

The Michaud House is located at 5202 204th Street. It was built by Joseph and Georgiana Michaud in 1888 and is the oldest house in Langley City. The house was officially designated as a heritage site in 1980 when restoration was undertaken by the Langley Heritage Society and the Langley Arts Council. Members of the Michaud family were also active in the restoration. The house features a corbelled brick chimney, turned wooden posts, and gingerbread Gothic brackets supporting the door hood. The Langley Arts Council used the building until 2008, when they moved and the City of Langley entered into a lease for the building with the Langley Heritage Society.

michaud_housenow2

Photo Courtesy of the Langley Heritage Society.

The Dickson House & Barn

Can you imagine the hard work that was endured on the farmland? I like to think about the fresh milk and homemade bread that was probably served up at meal times. It doesn’t look like much has changed on the exterior of the house, but the roads are definitely much smoother.

dixon_housebarn_then

Photo Courtesy of the Langley Heritage Society.

The Dixon House and Barn was built between 1916 and 1918 by Bill Maxwell and Roy Hallack for Mr. and Mrs. Herbert C. Dixon. In about 1935 the Dixons’ sold the property to Mr. and Mrs. William Cumming, and in 1958 Catherine and John Vander Vegte purchased the farm from Mrs. Cumming. The Vander Vegtes’ renovated the barn, which had wooden aisles, gutters, and mangers, and poured the concrete. The Vander Vegte’s later moved to a condo, but kept the farm until they sold it to the Township of Langley in 2004. The Langley Heritage Society signed a lease with the Township of Langley for the Dixon House and Barn in 2008. Located at 6120 Glover Road.

dixon_house_today

Photo Courtesy of the Langley Heritage Society.

For more information on these and other historic buildings, visit www.langleyheritage.ca.

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  • Kay McComish says:

    Thank you for such an interesting article about various homes in the Langley area, and especially those cared for by the Langley Heritage Society. We also appreciate your giving credit to the Society and to refer the public to our website. I have enjoyed your writing style and I am sure everyone that has read your article did so as well.
    Kay McComish (Director)
    LANGLEY HERITAGE SOCIETY
    Home: 604-888-0448