Langley Centennial Museum
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Lawrence John Alsager' s oral history interview conducted by Warren Sommer on 27 Jan. 2006, 31 Jan. 2006, 3 Feb. 2006, and 8 Feb. 2006.
7 audio cassette; 14 cds.
27 Jan., 31 Jan., 3 Feb., and 8 Feb. 2006.
SR-229.1 is a recording of an interview with Lawrence Alsager, conducted by Warren Sommer.
Track 1 - Introduction of the interview. Discussion of the date and place of Lawrence's birth. Also mentions his siblings, Pauline and Robert (Bob).
Track 2 - Discussion of Lawrence's grandparents, Pauline and Lars Alsager from Tromso, Norway. Discussion of Lars' experiences as a fisherman in Norway and their move to Illiniois with Lawrences' father.
Track 3 - Discussion of Lawrence's parents, Belle and Erik, and his father's move to Alberta, Canada in 1906. Discussion of their move to British Columbia and Erik's first job's there before arriving in Langley.
Track 4 - Discussion of Erik taking a job in Langley working for Charlie Hope as a farm manager. Discussion of the Hope farm and the Alsager's experiences there.
Track 5-6 - Discussion of the Alsager's purchase of a 10 acre farm on Wilson Road (230th). Discussion of Erik working off the farm as a foreman when they paved from Langley to Murrayville in 1923 and later at the Langley Greenhouses. Discussion of the Langley Greenhouses, Erik's duties there, what was grown, and Captain Williams.
Track 7 - Discussion of Lawrence having his own herd of goats and his chores on the farm. Mention of barter and trading with the neighbours.
Track 8 - Discussion of Lawrence's mother, Belle. Discussion of her looking after the household, and the expectations of women.
Track 9 - Discussion of transportation. Mention of the Interurban, horse and buggy, and Erik purchasing his first automobile, a Model-T Ford.
Track 10 - Discussion of daily shopping in Milner. Mention of the roads travelled.
Track 11- Discussion of access to news through the newspaper, and the radio. Mention of the Langley Advance and dinner time topics of discussion at the Alsager house.
Track 12 - Discussion of allowance and Lawrence's access to money.
Track 13 - Discussion of the social activities Lawrence's parents were involved in. Mention of the whist drives at the Harmsworth Hall, knitting clubs during the war, and community dances.
SR-229.2 is a recording of an interview with Lawrence Alsager, conducted by Warren Sommer.
Track 1 - Continues with discussion of SR-229.1 Track 13 on the community dances.
Track 2 - Discussion of underground liqour production and Lawrence's memories of Remittance Men, specifically his neighbour, Len Ambrose and those living on Charlie Hope's property.
Track 3 - Discussion of the church and it's influence in the community. Mention of the lack of a Lutheran Church. Mention of Lawrence's attendance at Sunday School at Milner.
Track 4 - Discussion of the events that took place at the Harmsworth Hall: Christmas parties and community affairs.
Track 5 - Discussion of the lack of childhood friends and the toys that the Alsager's had. Discussion of making your own fun and hunting with a .22 rifle when older.
Track 6 - Discussion of fishing in the Salmon River. Mention of fish types caught, their abundance, and fishing methods used by Lawrence.
Track 7 - Discussion of the kitchen garden and orchard on the Alsager property. Discussion of preserving food by canning and storing in the root cellar.
Track 8 - Discussion of Erik Alsager and Lawrence building the family home. Discussion of the construction of the house and the rooms.
Track 9 - Discussion of the arrival of electricity in 1935 and Lawrence's memories of lighting the house before electricity.
Track 10 - Discussion of the lack of plumbing, the use of outhouses, and artesian wells. Discussion of the new house having plumbing and a hot water tank. Mention of bathing in the Alsager home.
SR-229.3 is a recording of an interview with Lawrence Alsager, conducted by Warren Sommer.
Track 1 - Discusses the Spartan furnishing of the Alsager home and any decoration. Mention of Lawrence's parents only speaking English.
Track 2 - Discussion of the Alsager's neighbours and their farms. Mention of George Wilson, the Hine's, the Sendall's, Jacob Haldi, the Titmus', the Maxwell's, Ralf Medd, Dr. Jarvis, and the Davidson's. Mention of seasonal workers, some Sikh and Asians. Mention of the Joe Kidd house and his hotel/boarding house.
Track 3 - Discussion of the Salmon River and swimming in it as a youth.
Track 4-5 - Discussion of clearing the timber off the Alsager property. Discussion of the methods for felling trees, disposing of logs, and removing stumps. Mention of various mills in Coughlan and selling the timber to mills.
Track 6 - Discussion of subdividing land into small acreages and the success of small farmers.
Track 7 - Discussion of diseases in cattle during the '20s, '30s, and '40s. Mention of Tuberculosis and Red Water in the Fraser Valley.
Track 8 - Discussion of weeds: Canada thistles, upside daisies and buttercups.
Track 9 - Discussion of the annual slaughtering of pigs. Mention of taking the meat to Jim Mowat Senior's smoke house in Fort Langley and salting pork in a brine.
Track 10 - Discussion of rodents in the area surrouding the Alsager farm. Mention of foxes and coyotes.
Track 11 - Discussion of diseases amongst the chickens. Discussion of others losing property and the bank foreclosing.
Track 12 - Discussion of pork not being raised for personal use and not a commercial product.
SR-229.4 is a recording of an interview with Lawrence Alsager, conducted by Warren Sommer.
Track 1 - Continues with SR-229.3 Track 12 discussion of pigs.
Track 2 - Discussion of sheep flocks in the Fraser Valley as a hobby and lack of commercial flocks. Mention of Jacob Haldi's herd of goats on Brae Island. Mention of lack of a market for goat meat in the Fraser Valley.
Track 3 - Discussion of Lawrence finding a part of a skeleton on his property during the construction of his barn. Mention of First Nation fireplaces and pit houses along the Salmon River.
Track 4 - Discussion of the Alsager family's move to Fort Langley, then Milner and later Harmsworth. Discussion of Lawrence's memories of Milner and the family property there. Discussion of Lawrence's chores: cleaning the chicken house and barn, hauling manure to the garden, and helping the neighbours. Discussion of friends, toys and fun during Lawrence's time in Milner.
Track 5 - Discussion of wild animals, mention of cougars and bears in the Fraser Valley. Mention of Hogg Alley.
Track 6 - Discussion of May Day and Lawrence contracting polio. Discussion of Lawrence's diagnosis, treatment, inoculating other people in the area, and his recovery.
Discussion of other important days: May Day, Halloween, and funerals.
Track 7 - Discussion of Lawrence's memories of the Depression in the Langley area. Mention of wages during the Depression and the Alsager's owing $500. Mention of the lack of money and bartering at the store for groceries.
Track 8 - Discussion of Lawrence's impression of the class system in the Langley area. Discussion of being able to distinguish accents and the lack of discrimination.
Track 9 - Discussion of Lawrence attending school at Fort Langley. Discription of the building, discussion of the students, half First Nations stuendts, and the teacher. Discussion of Lawrence attending the school at Milner. Discription of the building, discussion of the students, and the teachers. Mention of taught subjects and dicipline and the lack of physical education and extracurricular activities. Discussion of the limited attendance of high school. Mention of female employment.
Track 10 - Discussion of Lawrence's career after school at the Greenhouse. Mention of Captain Williams.
SR-229.5 is a recording of an interview with Lawrence Alsager, conducted by Warren Sommer.
Track 1 - Continues SR-229.5 Track 10 discussion of the greenhouses. Mention of what they grew and Lawrence's duties there. Discussion of his being fired and his wages there.
Track 2 - Discussion of transportation in Langely during the Depression. Mention of those with cars, transportation with horse and buggy. Mention of heavy and light draft horses.
Track 3 - Discussion of Donnoy (sp?) and the Langley Hotel being a road house.
Track 4 - Discussion of the limited affect of the Depression on the Alsager family. Discussion of the lack of money and those who were on relief. Mention of how Lawrence was unable to collect relief for polio due to his inability to work at the camps.
Track 5 - Discussion of Lawrence's memories and experiences with hobo's and tramp's.
Track 6 - Discussion of the Alsager family's diet during the Depression and access to clothing. Discussion of properties being lost to the bank. Discussion of people moving out from the prairies.
Track 7-8 - Discussion of the quality of land on the Alsager property and the Harmsworth area.
Track 9 - Discussion of bartering for professional services such as doctors and people hesitating to seek assistance.
Track 10 - Discussion of shopping at Milner. Mention of the various shops and buildings that were there: the BC Electric, a blacksmith shop, a livery stable, a butcher shop, a feed store and other shops.
Track 11 - Discussion of places at Langley Prairie. Mention of the theatre, pool hall, hotel and beer parlour.
Track 12 - Discussion of shopping at New Westminster and Vancouver.
Track 13 - Discussion of Saturday night shopping and the activity in town.
Track 14 - Discussion of work after the greenhouse. Mention of working for William Twiss (sp?) on his farm and later falling timber.
Track 15 - Discussion of Lawrence's recover from polio. Discussion of work after polio, logging locally and later up the coast.
Track 16 - Blank.
SR-229.6 is a recording of an interview with Lawrence Alsager, conducted by Warren Sommer.
Track 1 - Discussion of Lawrence's memories of the two great fires of Langley. Discussion of the bucket brigade and later development of the fire department.
Track 2 - Discussion of Lawrence's memories of World War I. Mention of veterans return and the Soldiers Settlement Board. Mention of veterans with mental and physical injuries.
Track 3 - Discussion of Lawrence's impressions of Germany. Discussion of Lawrence being checked by Dr. McBurney and his exclusion from the military because of polio. Mention of working in the Okanagan. Mention of Langley boys joining the military. Mention of the expecation of war in Europe but shock at Pearl Harbour.
Track 4 - Discussion of Japanese in Langley, where they lived and their occupations. Discussion of Lawrence's outrage at the internment camps, mention of the potential bad Japanese.
Track 5 - Discussion of Lawrence's access to the war news and taking the news with a grain of salt.
Track 6-7- Discussion of Lawrence's impressions of wartime leaders.
Track 8 - Discussion of Lawrence's memories of D-Day, V-E Day and V-J Day and his being away from Langley at the time. Discussion of Lawrence's memories of service men returing to Langley.
Track 9 - Discussion of Lawrence's memories of the 1948 flood in Langley.
Track 10 - Discussion of Lawrence's marriage in 1945 and their courtiship.
Track 11 - Discussion of how church services were held at the Alsager residence during the war years.
Track 12 - Discussion of Lawrence taking over his parents farm and building up of the Guernsey cattle herd.
Track 13 - Discussion of the change in farming technology. Mention of Lawrence's equipment, use of a tractor, change from milking by hand to a milking machine. Mention of paving roads in the Langley area. Discription of Lawrence's milk house.
SR-229.7 is a recording of an interview with Lawrence Alsager, conducted by Warren Sommer.
Track 1 - Continues with SR-229.6 Track 13 discussion of milk cans and the process of putting out milk for pick up.
Track 2 - Discussion of haying by horse and by tractor on the Alsager farm and ensilage.
Track 3 - Discussion of cattle feed, purchasing it from the Otter Institute. Discussion of the Otter Institute and stumping powder.
Track 4 - Discussion of the Number 10 Highway and it's affect on the Alsager property. Discussion of surveying the Alsager property. Discussion of hobby farms and their owners. Mention of the Ziegler family .
Track 5 - Discussion of Number 1 Freeway and it's affect on the community.
Track 6 - Discussion of Lawrence's retirement in 1966 . Discussion of renting out and later selling the property to the bull farm.
Track 7 - Discussion of Lawrence's opinion of the Agriculture Land Reserve.
Track 8 - Blank
Track 9 - Continues discussion of Lawrence's opinion of the Agriculture Land Reserve.
Track 10 - Discussion of Lawrence's impression of the change in Langley.
Track 11 - Discussion of Lawrence's memories of stores and shops in Langley Prairie. Mention of Alfonse Prefontane, Frank Roberts the post master, the two drug stores: Phyllis' and Roystons, Joe Gibson, Mrs. Adnet's (sp?) boarding house, garages- Alf Marr's, the Hilton boys, the Barron brothers, and Ernie Greenfield's. Also Duckworth's store, Uriah Ward - the jeweller, and the village undertaker's, Charter and Al Anderson.
Erik (or Eric) Alsager and his wife Anabelle (Belle) lived on Balfour Rd (232nd St) in the 1930's near Linton Harris in the Sperling area (and Harmsworth). The couple had three children.
Lawrence Alsager was born on March 18, 1914 and passed away on January 12, 2012.
Anderson, Allan "Al" Lee
Al Anderson was born in Coronation, Alberta on August 4, 1926. His father, Victor Anderson, was a hardware merchant and funeral director and had come from Sweden when he was young. Al met his wife, Marjorie Walton, in Innisfall, Alberta, where she was a dental assistant. Al came to Langley briefly in 1947 after he was discharged from the army to work for a branch of the Columbia Funeral Home, which was located in the Lyttleton Block. He later worked at New Westminster and White Rock locations before returning to the Langley branch as the manager at a new location, a position he continued until he purchased the local business for himself in 1960. The Anderson funeral home also maintained an ambulance service for the area. Al and Marjory had four children (3 girls and a boy): Lee, Vicki, Roni and Alan. Al Anderson later became a Langley City Councillor, and was appointed as a council member to chair the Public Works Department. He received a Life Membership in the Kinsmen Club, and was a member of the Legion, Chamber of Commerce, and the Masonic Lodge. He was also very active on a citizens committee that got three outdoor pools built in the community: Fort Langley, Aldergrove, and Langley. After the pools were built, he was the administrator for the Langley City pool as a member of the Langley Parks Board. The Langley pool was later renamed "Al Anderson Pool." He died on August 2, 1974 and was buried in the Murrayville Cemetery.
Langley's first fire department began as local neighbourhood "volunteer" fire departments in the 1930s. Previously, Langley residents were responsible for fending off fires close to their own properties. By the 1930s, however, "volunteer" fire departments became a necessity due to the growing population of Langley. Each neighbourhood's "volunteer" fire department enlisted the help of local men to answer emergency calls. Various neighbourhood departments included North West Langley, Murrayville, Brookswood, Fort Langley and Aldergrove. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Langley's volunteer fire departments partnered with local ratepayers to build new fire halls throughout the Township and purchase fire trucks with attached water hoses. To this day, the Township of Langley employees both paid full-time and volunteer forces.
See Also: boats
Term Source: Sears List of Subject Headings (16th. Ed.)
Fort Langley (village)
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