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Today’s story is about a family whose name will be very familiar to many. It was written for The Place Between Volume 1 1860-1939 pages 262-263 by Fred and Maureen Pepin. The second part of the story is from The Place Between Volume 2 1940-1970 pages 421-422 and was written by Maureen Pepin. The photos accompany the book stories, and are courtesy of Fred Pepin.

The Pepins of Aldergrove have been pioneers in several areas of the community since the original families arrived in the Fraser Valley in the nineteenth century.

Thomas Pepin was born in 1878 in Arnprior, Ontario and Lucy Ann (Annand) Pepin was born in Nova Scotia in 1877. Thomas’ parents, Joseph and Melinda Pepin and their children arrived from Ontario two weeks after the Vancouver fire in 1886. They arrived via the American railway system as the CPR had not yet reached British Columbia.

They lived first in a shack at Hastings and Abbott. A portion of Hastings Street was “nothing more than skunk cabbage and swamp” according to Thomas, who also remembered arriving on a side-wheeler steamer called the “Avangeline” from Seattle when he was but a young boy of eight. Joseph Pepin worked in contracting in Vancouver, helping to build the original road around Stanley Park.

In 1888, the family purchased 142 acres at Burton Prairie (now Dewdney), but unfortunately they lost their farm and all of their belongings in a disastrous flood in 1894. The family, including Thomas Pepin’s five sisters (Millie, Olive, Nellie, Harriet and Mae) moved to Hall’s Prairie, then back to Vancouver and then to New Westminster.

Thomas Pepin was the first to start a general store in Hall’s Prairie, but he later sold out and moved to Langley’s Campbell Valley area in 1917 with his wife and son Alexander Joseph, who was born in 1905.

Lucy’s father A. J. Annand arrived in Port Moody in 1883, along with his wife and daughter. After a few years in the hotel business, Mr. Annand homesteaded in Campbell Valley and built the farmhouse and barns that have been restored as a heritage site in Campbell Valley Park and are known as the Annand-Rowlatt Farm. Mr. Annand was the first president of the Langley Agricultural Fair and served in World War One. The Annands were buried in a New Westminster cemetery.

Thomas Alfred Pepin and Lucy Ann had one son – Alexander Joseph who, like his grandfather, father and future son, worked in construction, logging and farming for many years in the Langley area.

After moving from Campbell Valley, Thomas purchased and developed his Pepindale Dairy Farm at 202 272nd Street in South Aldergrove from 1929 until he turned it over to his son and grandson. The creek which runs through the farm is called Pepin Brook. Lucy Ann passed away in 1960, followed by Thomas in 1964.

Alexander Pepin was married first to Edna Wilson, a member of another pioneering family from the Campbell Valley. They were married in 1934 in Bellingham and moved immediately to the South Aldergrove farm. They had two children – Marie Browning, who in turn had 3 children (Bill, David and Cindy), and Alfred E. (Fred), who later had 2 children (Ernest and Esther). Sadly, Edna passed away in 1946, and Alexander then married Lily Peacey, who came from another Campbell Valley pioneer family.

In 1976, after the 80 acre Aldergrove farm was sold to the GVRD as part of Aldergrove Lake Park, Alex and Lily purchased a home in Aldergrove which they owned until their deaths. Alex was an active member of the Aldergrove Elks and various agricultural association, and was known for his devotion to the Canadian flag, many of which he painted on wood and gave to people to nail on their homes and barns. Alex, Edna, Lily, Thomas and Lucy are all buried in the old Murrayville Cemetery.

Alfred (Fred) Eric was born on the 14th of October 1937, and his sister Marie on the 8th of February 1940. The entire family helped out on the farm. Alex also worked in sawmills and in Ioco building the refinery. During the war, he helped to build the airport at Abbotsford and with his father ran the dairy farm. After the war, the farm became self-supporting, especially after electricity came in 1948.

Grandpa Thomas Pepin bought Alex and Edna a Model T Ford with wheels high enough to go through the muddy ruts on the roads, but Grandpa never learned to drive himself.

Edna Wilson grew up in the Campbell Valley area and attended Glenwood Elementary School. She quit school early to help care for the family. Her father Edward Wilson died in 1918, leaving Edna’s mother Jane Fletcher Wilson with seven children under the age of ten.

Edna was a very quiet person who loved to read; she did beautiful needlework and sewed most of the children’s clothes. She helped with the farm work as well as gardening and canning fruit and vegetables for the family. She enjoyed dances at the Patricia Community Hall. Edna passed away in 1946 after developing sudden pleurisy.

Following Edna’s death, Alex married Lillian Peacey who cared for the children and made a happy life for Alex on the farm and in their Aldergrove home after the farm was sold. Alex passed away in 1978, Lillian in 1989.

Marie attended nurses’’ training before marrying John Browning. They moved to Kitimat, where they raised their three children: Bill (31 January 1966), David (28 November 1967) and Cindy (1 January 1969). Marie has five grandchildren. John died in 1998, and Marie retired in 2000 from her long term car nursing job in Kitimat.

Alfred (Fred) and Marie attended grade school at Patricia and Aldergrove Elementary Schools. Alfred went to Langley High School, and Marie was in the first group to move to the new Aldergrove High School in 1958.

Fred worked on the farm while he was growing up, and he helped to build the new barn while was in grade 12. Fred was also instrumental in helping to build Aldergrove’s new fire hall at 29th and 272nd Street in 1958-59. He also enjoyed trapping and fishing and even grew such beautiful geraniums one year that no one would buy them – they outshone the others that were on sale! For many years Fred also did custom farm work for the neighbours.

Fred continued running the family farm with his father until 1975 when they were forced to sell to the GVRD for the Aldergrove Lake Park. Fred then purchased some equipment and for the next twenty years was active in the well digging business, as well as general contracting and farming.

Fred and Jeanine White were married in 1961 and had two children: Ernest Thomas (17 January 1963) and Esther Kathleen (22 January 1964). They went to school at Patricia and Aldergrove, and later in Mission. Esther and husband Dale Stobbe now live in Kelowna. Fred has one grand-daughter, Lynn, and a great grandson, Noah.

Ernie is married to Robyn McTaggart, and they live on Farms Road on the back parcel of the Pepin farm. Ernie is a truck driver for Golden Valley Foods and a very knowledgeable war history buff.

After Fred and Jeanine divorced in 1977, Fred married Maureen Louise (Sankey) Puls on the 30th of August 1977. Fred and Maureen live on their 30 acre farm in south Aldergrove where they raise beef cattle and have a few horses. Maureen is a retired vice principal and long-time teacher in Langley.

Both Fred and Maureen are active volunteers in the community, especially in the field of heritage, heritage building restoration (Fred), museums, and scholarship (Maureen). Fred has been so involved that in 1998 he was awarded the Lt. Governor’s Medal for Lifetime Achievement by Heritage Canada. Maureen recently published a book on “The Roads and Place Names of Langley” and she received the H. D. Stafford Citizen Award in 1999. Fred is – and has been for many years – the president of the Langley Heritage Society; being honoured by the Township as a Freeman of Langley Township for his work in helping to preserve the Township’s heritage buildings over the past forty years.

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Happy 1st of December! If you're out an about today, the Museum will be open and the Christmas lights will be going up. Stop by and say hello - the coffee will be on (or the tea, or hot chocolate...).

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Today is the tale of two brothers, Jesse and Fred Throssell, both of whom emigrated from England in the 1920’s. It did not take them long to become an established component in the growth of Aldergrove and its community. This story is a compilation of three separate stories, sources are listed below.

Jesse Throssell was born on the 20th of January 1883 in Pirton, Hertfordshire UK to Joseph and Emma Throssell, both of whom came from a long line of farmers. Jesse was number eight of twelve children.

As a teenager, Jesse worked with a gamekeeper raising pheasants on a big estate. The knowledge he obtained there came in handy for turkey-raising later on. When he was 20, he came to Canada, working during harvest in Manitoba. He then headed west, working the railway in Red Deer and Innisfail, Alberta. He returned to England but decided at some later date that he would go over the Rocky Mountains to British Columbia.

Jesse continued farming in England and began raising turkeys on one of his father’s several farms. The property next to theirs was a large estate, and sometimes Jess was invited to the game hunting parties. It was at one of these parties that he met Mabel Ellen Hare, born 3rd April 1883, to Herbert and Sarah Ann Hare in Stowmarket, Suffolk, UK. Mabel worked in Kilkenny, Ireland as a children’s nanny and was vacationing at the estate next to the Throssell farm.

Jesse and Mabel were married in 1908 in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Their first son was Oliver Edgar, born 23rd May 1909. A daughter, Betty Millicent, was born in September 1910, and their third child was Dennis Hare, born 1st February 1912. It wasn’t until 1921 that a belated daughter, Jessica Madge, arrived on the 18th of February.

The Throssells continued their plans to move to BC, and in May 1926 they sailed on the Empress of Scotland for Canada. Arriving in Aldergrove, they bought a 20 acre farm on Howes Road in the Patricia district. The following year Jesse imported two hens and one tom turkey from his breeding stock back in England.

Jesse’s idea of a stock turkey was the weight, shape of breast, width of back, a large bold head and wattles, and strong stout legs as the most important points. Colour came last. Turkeys should be raised to carry a large proportion of flesh on the breast and bring much satisfaction when they came to the table. By selective breeding over the years he had obtained that goal.

The Americans, which up to that time had raised turkeys mostly for coloured feathers, started to beat a path to Jesse’s farm and he was doing well. Then the depression started, and in 1930 the family home burned down.

The depression years were rough. The feed company broke Jesse but he was not one to give up. Starting again with one tom and two hens, he rose above his financial problems. He found a market for day-old turkey poults and with his wife Mabel and daughter Madge , he went into the hatchery business. Gradually business built up.

Prizes at the poultry shows were many but not much cash, mostly ribbons. One prize was a forty year subscription to the North West Farmer. Another prize was a large wooden box 18x24 inches of fig bars! A year’s supply!

Many articles were written about the Throssell’s Broad Breasted Bronze turkeys and the vast improvement he had achieved. He was called the Turkey King, and the British Columbia Department of Agriculture and BC Poultry Industries Council presented him with a scroll acknowledging his contribution to the turkey industry. He became famous, but not rich.

In 1930, Jesse and Mabel’s daughter Betty married Fred Loucks of Boundary Road. In 1932, Oliver married Wilhelmina Fesser of Howes Road. They lived for a tine on a large farm on the corner of Boundary and Coghlan Roads.

In 1932 Dennis moved to Moose Heights, north of Quesnel, with the L. C. Morrison family, who had worked for a time on the O. S. Richard farm and the W. H. (Bob) Haines farm on Howes Road. Dennis married Sadie Jean Morrison in 1933. Jessica Madge married Hans Siegrist, son of Ernst and Ida Siegrist of LeFeuvre Road.

Jesse passed away in November 1962, followed by Mabel in May 1963. They are buried in Murrayville Cemetery.

Jesse’s brother Fred and his wife Caroline Eleanor (she was known as Eleanor), along with their five children – Joyce, Margaret, Gwenda, Richard and Peter – arrived in Canada on the 22nd March 1928 aboard the SS Alaunia from England and settled on 264th Street in April 1928. He and his brother Jesse raised turkeys.

The Throssells had brought seven crates of turkey eggs from England. These eggs came by boat and took nearly a month, but they were part of the foundation of the Throssell’s flock of Broad Breasted Bronze turkeys.

Mrs. Throssell was an active member of the Patricia Women’s Institute, and the family took a keen interest in community affairs.

Their daughter Gwenda married Edgar Charles Honey, but was killed in a car accident on the 13th of December 1961. Fred and Eleanor’s son Richard, who had married Lillian Mears, passed away in 1987 due to a brain tumor.

Fred and Eleanor celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1962 and their diamond anniversary in 1972. Fred passed away in 1975, and Eleanor in 1987 at the age of 98 years.

Story And Photo Sources:
Jesse and Mabel – Unknown Writer – The Place Between Volume 1 1860-1939 page 342
Fred and Eleanor – Written by Doreen Brinnen – The Place Between Volume 1 1860-1939 Page 343
The Turkey King – Unknown Writer – The Place Between Volume 1 1960-1939 Pages 593-594
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William Markely Loucks was born on the 14th of March 1865 in Bowmanville Ontario to United Empire Loyalist parents. In 1876 the Loucks, Markley and Brewster families, who were all related, moved to Prince Albert Saskatchewan to homestead.

William and two of his brothers went to work in maintenance on the Yukon Telegraph Line from Smithers to Atlin in British Columbia. When gold was discovered in the Yukon, they went to Dawson city to try their luck. By the 1880’s the three brothers parted company. William and Charles went to British Columbia and Harry returned to Prince Albert.

William took up a homestead on the south side of the Fraser River on Coast Meridian at Tynehead. He met and married Wilhelmina Pillath in 1907 and brought her to his new home.

Wilhelmina (or Minnie) Pillath was born in Germany in August 1845. Ludwig Pillath and his family immigrated to Kentucky in 1887, but in 1901 they moved to Port Mann on the west side of Bon Accord Road. Minnie’s father Ludwig built an impressive home, which has become a landmark heritage house in the area, known as the Pillath/Hall House.

In 1908, son Frederick William was born to Minnie and William Loucks. The Loucks family bought 40 acres from Mr. Robertson, and later the 40 acres adjoining it was purchased from Mr. Carlson. The properties were on Zero Avenue between the Jackman and LeFeuvre Roads.

The family moved into the log cabin which was already there, and began to build a large house. That house is now on the Township of Langley Heritage Inventory and is indicative of the larger, more ornate structures that began to replace the basic, utilitarian farmhouses at the turn of the 20th century. It is of particular interest because of the curved verandah. The view looking south over the border to Washington state is magnificent.

The family grew as Emily Grace was born in 1911, George in 1912 and David Russell in 1917. Unfortunately George died on the 23rd of May 1927, and was buried in the Lynden cemetery.

The Loucks’ Borderview Farm was a productive one. The family was kept very busy clearing the heavy bush, raising livestock and growing grains, hay and vegetables. In the early days, the freshly harvested produce as well as butchered beef and poultry was transported to market by wagon.

The Loucks family would leave the day before the market, travelling overnight with a brief sleep in the wagon along the way. They would sell at the New Westminster market on Friday and at the Curb Market between Cordova and Pender Streets in Vancouver Saturday.

At the Curb Market, a combination platform and counter was available to farmers to display and sell their products. This would fold up against posts during the week. The farmers brought along canvas covers to use in the rain.

In 1913, the Loucks family purchased one of the first cars in the area. Although they did not have electricity until after World War II, the Loucks family used gas motors to run the pumps, the cream separator and the washing machine.

William was active in the Aldergrove Agricultural Association. Minnie was known for her kindness and hospitality; she was a wonderful gardener and shared her flowers and vegetables with many people. She crocheted well into her eighties.

William had been ill for some time and when the local doctors could not pinpoint the cause, he was sent to the Mayo Clinic for diagnosis. It turned to be diabetes, but the discovery of insulin was still on the horizon, and so not available to him.

In 1931 William and two other friends who had worked on the telegraph line with him travelled back up to Dawson City. Each drove their own cars. William drove his 1919 Model T, which was the only vehicle to survive the trip. It is believed they travelled along the telegraph line as there weren’t any roads in the area.

William died within three months of returning from his great Yukon adventure and was buried in Lynden Cemetery near son George. Minnie stayed on the farm, with David helping her until she moved to a house on Fred’s property in the 1940’s.

After residing in the district for 68 years, Minnie suffered a stroke and died at the age of 89 in 1975. Her ashes were interred in Murrayville Cemetery. At the time of her passing Minnie had three children, eleven grandchildren, sixteen great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

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Story Source: The Place Between Volume 1 1860-1939 pages 179-180 – the story was originally written by their son Fred.
William & Minnie Photo Source: The Place Between Volume 1 1860-1939 page 179 – photo is used courtesy of Marolyne Schulberg.
The Loucks House Photo Source: Langley Heritage Society
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With our American neighbours getting ready to celebrate their Thanksgiving, some may find this 1772 cookbook to be quite timely: The complete English cook, or, Prudent housewife - by Catharine Brooks.

Incidentally, Catharine also published a book in 1800 titled The Experienced English Housekeeper. Page 96 has a lovely handwritten recipe for stewed eel.
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In today’s story we look back at Loucks Logging and Sawmill – as told to Ada Shillinglaw by Fred Loucks, from The Place Between Volume 1 1860-1939, pages 419 – 421. Note, this story uses cultural terms from past times.

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As a young teenager, Fred spent long hours clearing his parents’ land located at the US border and Jackman Road. When he was only fourteen, he cut wood and sold enough to get himself a bicycle. He had learned that hard work paid off.

In 1925, when Fred was eighteen, he bought 80 acres on the west side of Jackman Road north of the Indian Reserve from George Reynolds. Fred set to, clearing the land of logs which were trimmed and sawed to length. He also cleared the woods on the Reserve.

The logs were then loaded on to his hard-tired 1918 Maxwell truck and hauled to Abbotsford. By 1929 and into the 1930’s, 24 ties with knots and no bark, deliver to Abbotsford would pay $8.75. He worked for awhile, and then decided he would set up a mill. He didn’t want to be like other sawmill outfits, who were forever moving their mills closer to the trees. By 1929, Fred had set up a stationary sawmill. He originally bought a rebuilt steam powered mill that had been owned by Nels Larson.

To begin with, Fred had a Fordson tractor to move the logs into the mill and do custom work. For two months Fred sawed ties with this mill, but then it caught fire and burned. Fred was back where started – but not for long. Fred bought the land north of his father’s farm, where Aldergrove Lake Park is today, at a tax sale. He set up another mill to the east, to log the land there.

When it was hard to sell lumber, the hardwood was burned and the residue became a charcoal business. Fred set up a small burner to make the charcoal, a saleable commodity to feed mills. Fred hauled ties to Abbotsford and always had to go around by Aldergrove, as 8th Avenue was only a trail and difficult to travel. The extra miles slowed things up, so Fred took his Fordson tractor and some scrapers and built a road out of the existing trail.

Fred next bought a small crawler tractor, a 1926 cleat track machine to pull the logs out of the bush, the first of its kind in the area. When the milled burned for a second time, Fred decided things might go better elsewhere, and he moved west to Otter Road, north of 8th Avenue. Farmers were eager to have their land cleared, so Fred was able to obtain lots of good logs. By 1935 Fred had bought a 20 Crawler-Dozer.

With his bulldozer Fred moved the logs out of the woods, often through swamps. With his truck he moved the logs to the mill, and the finished lumber to market. Fred had a stand of trees at Otter, where the Irly Bird lumber yard stands today, which took a good deal of time to clear. (Note that property now belongs to the Leavitt dealer)

Fred had dozens of men working him at a time, and required a bookkeeper to assist him with his accounting. A man named Frank Porter came from Vancouver to the house once a week to do the books. The tie mill business ended in 1939 and Fred sold his sawmill and moved to property on 264th Street. Fred continued to operate a trucking business for many years and remained very active in the Aldergrove community – but that’s another story.

Both photos are courtesy of Fred Loucks
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Smith & Parr General Store was operated by Charles Smith and his uncle, Henry Parr. Charlie Byron Smith, better known as Byron, was born in Sauk Center, Minnesota in 1886. In his late teens he moved out to Yakima, Washington. It was there that he met his future bride, Lillie Munrovia Varker.

From Yakima, Byron went on to Cloverdale BC in 1906 in order to help his uncle, Henry Parr. It was Henry who suggested that there was need of a good general store in Aldergrove because the new Great Northern Railroad went through both Aldergrove and Cloverdale. They built general stores in both towns. Records have not yet been located to show if both men arrived in BC at the same time, 1906.

At 22 years of age, Byron oversaw the building and was proprietor of the new store, which stood on the northeast corner of Yale Road and Jackman Road, where the 7-11 now stands. Byron’s uncle Henry provided the bulk of the funding for the store, which was a two story structure, with living quarters on the 2nd floor. There was a warehouse on the east side of the building, and a barn was situated behind the store. Henry Parr never lived in Aldergrove, but he had a keen interest in the store’s operations and his nephew’s management of the business.

Once the store was ready, Byron went back to Yakima and married Lillie on the 3rd of January 1909. Their Application To Wed, signed by Lillie’s father, says she is 17 years of age, but as they were married before her 17th birthday in February, the Marriage Return states that she was 16 on her last birthday prior to the marriage.

The Smith & Parr General Store stocked items such as canned goods and bulk food, plus the normal assortment of dry goods. There was also a post office in the store with compartments where mail was held for people. The store did not sell fresh meat as there was a meat market across the street (to the west of Jackman Road) that provided all that was needed. As there was no power, a high test gas lamp provided light on dark nights. Byron delivered groceries in a Model T Ford, which was also often used as an ambulance in an emergency.

Lillie was born in February 1892 in Hartland, Washington, and came to Aldergrove with her husband after their marriage. She soon got to know the young women around town and became friends with the McIntosh family, Belle McGinnis, who was the school teacher, and Nellie Green, who lived across the street in Bank of Toronto and FJ Hart Real Estate building. She was also friends with the Keeleys at the V. V. & E. Railway Station and the Walkers, who lived across Old Yale Road.

Lillie gave birth to baby girl Iona on the 22nd of March 1910. She was the pride and joy of all downtown Aldergrove, dressed in lovely dresses and huge hair bows. Mr. McIntosh was often seen taking her picture.

In 1914 the First World War broke out and soldiers marched through Aldergrove, passing through Byron’s store and cleaning out his cookie barrel. Iona remembers that her Dad never said a word.

Dances were held at the old Hamre Hall (which has since been taken off the top of what became Scott, and then Quiring Motors before being completely demolished by an out-of-town owner in 1995). Byron played the trombone and Belle McGinnis would often play piano. Iona curled up on the coats and was taken home hours later.

When the store burned down in 1916, the Smiths left Aldergrove for Chilliwack, where Byron took over the car dealership. A son, Gerald Byron, was born there in 1980. From Chilliwack the family moved to Vancouver, where Lillie died in 1960 and Bryon in 1973.

The early friendships the Smiths had made in Aldergrove would stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. In later years, B. C. Keeley (who worked for the Canadian National Railway) found Byron a position as help on the Grand Truck and Steam Ship Company. After this, Byron went to work in the logging industry Parkhurst, where he found that a steam engineer was needed.

One day while holidaying at English Bay, Byron and Lillie met Belle McGinnis and her husband Art Charles at the Fish & Chip Shop they had opened there. Art Charles had worked as a first class steam engineer for the Fernridge Shingle Bolt Lumber Company in Aldergrove. While there, he had met and married Belle. Byron was pleased to have found Art Charles and convinced him money was to be made at Alta Lake, Parkhurst.

Long after Byron had left Aldergrove, he still had some of the tools from the store. When son Gerald noticed a rusty saw, Byron told him that he acquired it from a farmer in exchange for groceries. As there were no refrigeration facilities at the time, the butter would often go rancid before it was sold. However, the East Indian farmers would buy the rancid butter, so Byron used the saw to chop off hunks butter to sell to them.

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Story and Image Sources:

The Place Between Volume 1 1860-1939 pages 316-316 from interviews with Iona Smith Burnett
The Place Between Volume 1 1860-1939 pages 468-470 from interviews with Iona Smith Burnett
Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Washington Marriage Records, 1854-2013
The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Manifests of Alien Arrivals in the Seattle, Washington District; NAI: 2953576; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 - 2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: A4107; Roll Number: 036
Year: 1900; Census Place: Raymond, Stearns, Minnesota; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0165; FHL microfilm: 1240792
Year: 1900; Census Place: Yakima, Yakima, Washington; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0113; FHL microfilm: 1241754
Year: 1911; Census Place: 27 - Delta Riding, Langley Municipality, Aldergrove, New Westminster, British Columbia; Page: 15; Family No: 152
Reference Number: RG 31; Folder Number: 20; Census Place: Vancouver South (Municipality), Vancouver South, British Columbia; Page Number: 1
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Apparently "shop local" was a movement 106 years ago, too.

source: Abbotsford Post News - 16 May 1913
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A few days ago we shared a story about the Nascou-Larson Mill. Here is more information about the men who owned the mill. Both stories are from The Place Between Volume 1 1860-1939.

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Nels Larson was born in Romsdal, Norway on the 5th of November 1874. His wife Aletta Daugstad was also born in Romsdal, on the 13th of March 1870. The couple had two children who were born in Norway – Louie (Lars), born 1st August 1897 and Karrie (Karen), born 8th August 1900. Louie would eventually marry Annie Alexander and Karrie would marry Max Nascou.

Nels first immigrated to the USA in 1902, where he worked in a smelter in Montana to earn passage for his wife and children. He then moved to Canada, where he settled on acreage on Zero Avenue, where he was joined by his wife and children in 1907. The family operated a dairy farm.

The Larson’s had two more children, both daughters, who were born in Canada. Anna was born on the 22nd of March 1910, and Nellie arrived on the 1st of March 1914. Anna became a dental assistant in Vancouver eventually married dentist Dr. Roy Hay. Nellie married Alf Binsted.

In 1920 the Larson’s moved to their brand new house at 3108 272nd Street in Aldergrove. Nels owned and operated a sawmill in the 1920’s, and in his later years he had a small farm. Their home was demolished in 1976 to make way for the Aldergrove Centre Mall.

Aletta passed away on the 21st of February 1948 and Nels passed away on the 30th of December 1965. Both are interred in Aberdeen Cemetery. On Nels’ death certificate, his daughter Anna Hay gave her address as 3108 272nd Street, so she and her family had moved into the family home at some point. Nels was hospitalized at Essondale at the time of his death.

Edward and Theodora Nascou were married in 1889 in Lincoln, Nebraska. They had both been born in Denmark, and the family name was originally spelled Nakskov. In 1897-98 Edward and Theodora were living at Cape Scott on Vancouver Island with their four children. They then moved to the old Brownsville area of Surrey before moving to Aldergrove in 1900, where they opened a general store called “Nadru Co”. (The Nascou family also ran a feed store which was on Yale Road beside the Elks’ Hall).

In addition to the four children travelling with their parents from Nebraska, the Nascou’s had one more child born when they were living at Brownsville, and two more once they settled in Aldergrove:

Arthur, born in 1890 died in infancy;
Twins Maxwell Byron and Lillian were born in 1892;
Carl was born in 1893;
Clara was born in 1896;
Rosa Edna was born 21st of March 1899;
Harry Wilfrid was born 26th July 1903 and was born in Aldergrove and delivered by local mid-wife Mrs. Johan Peter Swanson;
Laura Gertrude was born in 1905.

As we saw in the story above, Maxwell married Karrie Larson. Tragically, she died in 1920 at the age of 19. Maxwell later married Blanche Felt, and they remained married until their respective deaths in 1965 and 1986. Maxwell was 73 years of age and living in North Vancouver when he died.

Maxwell’s twin sister Lillian married Charles Ingraham and was living in North Vancouver when she passed away in 1978. She was predeceased by her husband Charles. They had at least one son, as a grandson “R. C. Ingraham” signed her death registration form.

Carl married a woman named Yvonne McMahon, who had been previously married as Carl’s stepson Raymond E. McMahon signed the death registration form when Carl passed away in 1965. Carl was a logger, and had lived at Lake Cowichan for 22 years at the time of his death.

Clara married William Silverthorne in 1915. They had at least two sons – Wilbert and Lorne, and one daughter. The Silverthornes made their home on South Sumas Road in Sardis, which is where they living when William passed away in 1960 and Clara in 1982.

Rosa Edna married widower Everett Ewing, an Aldergrove farmer, in North Vancouver on the 29th of October 1923. Rosa was living at Langley Lodge when she passed away in 1986. She had been predeceased by her husband Everett. Rosa and Everett had one daughter, Margaret, who married William Cartwright. They also had one son, Arthur, who passed away in 1940.

Harry Wilfrid married Mt. Lehman nurse Helen Morrison White, daughter of Edmund and Elizabeth White, on the 21st of July 1937. Harry became a provincial government employee and worked for the liquor distribution board. Harry and Helen were living in Abbotsford at the time of his death in 1975. Helen passed away in 1979.

Nels and Aletta’s youngest daughter Laura Gertrude married Paul Chevalley, a superintendent at the Pacific Milk Plant, in 1929. They had one son, Monte. Paul passed away in 1949 from heart failure. The Chevalley family was well-known in the local milk industry, especially for their condensed milk operations in Chilliwack and Abbotsford.

As you can see, several members of the Nascou family married and settled with their families in the Aldergrove and Abbotsford areas. Edward was a member of the Aldergrove Elks Lodge No. 66, and he operated a real estate office in Aldergrove from the late 1920’s until his death in 1933.

Theodora suffered a stroke prior to Edward’s death, and spent the summer months in Squamish with oldest daughter Lillian and the winter months in Aldergrove. Theodora passed away on the 27th of April 1935.
Story Sources:

The Nascou Family – The Place Between Volume 1 1860-1939 page 231, written by Marilyn (Ross) Goodwin
The Larson Family – The Place Between Volume 1 1860-1939 page 171, written by Nellie Neil
The Langley Advance – 23 February 1933 page 3
The Langley Advance – 5 February 1986 page 12
The Langley Advance – 2 May 1935 page 4
The Langley Advance- 6 January 1966 page 13
The Chilliwack Progress – 22 June 1949 page 1

Photo Sources:

The Place Between Volume 1 1860-1939 pages 171 and 231
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New Hotel Announced For Aldergrove


Source: Langley Advance 11th December 1947 page 1
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Have you ever wondered about who may have planted the poplar trees that line the field along 264th Street just north of 24th Avenue? Wonder no more...(but you may have to save the image to your computer to be able to read it clearly)

Source: Langley Advance News 27 February 1969 page 1

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Today’s story from The Place Between is about the Nascou-Larson Mill. This story was written by Ada Shillinglaw with material from an interview with Ted Penzer and Len Nicholas. It was published in The Place Between Volume 1 1860-1939, page 424. The accompanying photo is from the same source. The interviews were conducted and the story written prior to 1993.

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Beginning in the 1920’s and on into the 1930’s, Mr. Max Nascou and Mr. Nels Larson were operating a mill on 16th Avenue and 272nd Street.

One hundred year young Ted Penzer remembers the day in the early 1930’s that Mr. Larson came to the Penzer place on the old Trans Canada Highway (Fraser Highway) and told Ted that he was “up against”. His man for bucking on the landing had quit, and he needed a man immediately. He had heard that Ted might be the man for him. Ted had never worked at such a job before but when he heard the pay was four dollars a day he said “yes” he would give it a try.

Bucking logs consisted of Ted rolling the log into place with a peavey and cutting it to fit on the saw bed. He then rolled it into place for the sawyer to cut into specific dimensions. This was very hard work but Ted was able to do it.

Mr. Nascou operated the steam engine. A saw sharpener would come once a week, take Ted’s dull saw away, and leave a sharp one in its place.

A welcome sound was the noon whistle, when the men could take a break and have a meal. Ted can still remember one fellow on the crew who was a garlic eater that no one wanted to sit near. A neighbour of Penzer’s, Scotty (Gordon) Vanetta also worked at this job with Ted.

Another person who worked at this mill was Len Nicholas, who hauled logs from this mill with a hard-tired Federal truck and trailer to the mill pond at Abbotsford.

Max Nascou had the logging contract, and Ernie Mann did the hauling. They also provided the 65 foot long fir pilings for the bridge at the Vedder Canal.

In the photo: Nels Larson tie mill on North Bluff Road. Mr. Kuhar and his twin sons with Charlie Kuhar driving the team.
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2 weeks ago

Alder Grove Heritage Society

More than a little disappointed in at least one of Aldergrove's residents. On Monday we discovered that someone really wanted access to one of the exterior power outlets at the museum and vandalized the cover.

AGHS had turned the power to the outside outlets off quite some time ago, as several people were seen stealing power from them to recharge large power banks, etc.

The museum can barely afford to keep the doors open and the lights on, it cannot afford to power other people's things as well. Turning off that power made quite a difference in our Hydro bills.

They had also broken one of the weather covers, so the flip covers were replaced with locking covers provided by the Township about a month ago. Perhaps we are going to have to add exterior security cameras to our fundraising wish list.

Yes, the incident was reported via RCMP non-emergency.
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