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Interview of William Lloyd (Bill) Marr conducted by Warren Sommer on 17 Jun. 2013.
17 Jun. 2013.
SR-278 is an oral history interview of William Lloyd (Bill) Marr, conducted by Warren Sommer on 17 June 2013.
William Lloyd (Bill) Marr (1917-2018) was born in Bramshott, Surrey, England, to parents Dr. Benjamin Butler Marr and Isabel Drew McIntosh, both of Fort Langley. Bill served in WWII. He married Henrietta (Etta) Lucas McAteer on April 4, 1941. They had two children: Richard Flynn Marr and Katherine Ann Marr. Bill grew up in Fort Langley, moving to Murrayville while in high school, and this interview with Warren Sommer focuses on Bill’s time in Fort Langley in the 1920s.
Track 1: Warren introduces Bill Marr, and explains they are looking at a map Bill and Alf Trattle compiled of Fort Langley from 1925-1927. They begin walking through the map.
Track 2: Bill talks about a gravel pit, different school buildings, Mrs. Johnstone, the Simpsons, Jim Allen, the flats in Fort Langley, Mr. Godwin, and J. D. Wheelans.
Track 3: Bill and Warren discuss W. S. Bodaly Sr. and Andrew Bodaly, Dr. Marr’s property, and how the roads appeared in 1925-27.
Track 4: They talk about Dr. Marr’s property east of Hudson’s Bay Avenue, and Jim McLellan purchasing the property from him later.
Track 5: They talk about Bill’s old school, Mr. Shepherd, and the properties on Glover Road.
Track 6: They discuss Mrs. Leeder, Mr. Adams, Johnny Coward, Mrs. Ward, and Mrs. Bodaly and her son.
Track 7: They talk about the trees in Fort Langley, blackberry patches, and wildflowers.
Track 8: Bill and Warren discuss Mrs. Primrose, Bill’s maternal grandfather, Mr. Dalgleish, and his property, and the flood of Britannia Mines that claimed Mrs. Primrose’s husband.
Track 9: They talk about Rod Hawkins and the Coronation Block, Mrs. Taylor, and the McIntosh family (related to Bill on his mother’s side).
Track 10: Warren and Bill discuss Archie Bartlett and the Old Smuggler’s Trail.
Track 11: They talk more about Bill’s school experience and what the schools he attended looked like. They also talk about Mr. Christenson, Mr. Harvey and his son, sister, and wife, and Tom Proven.
Track 12: Bill and Warren discuss Jimmy Mowat, and houses, including Mrs. Ward’s house.
Track 13: Bill and Warren discuss the image of Fort Langley as a genteel English community, the cemetery and the cenotaph, Nash Street and Kenny Major, Mr. Humphries, Trattle Road, Mrs. Crawford the nurse, Mr. Gray, Mrs. Trattle and Mr. Muench, and Mrs. Coleman. They discuss the amount of widows in Fort Langley after WWI.
Track 14: Bill and Warren talk about Bob Rennie, Charlie Smith, Jim Duff, Wright Road, Percy Worrall, W. J. Riddick, flooding in west and southwest Fort Langley, Dr. Marr’s travelling to and from Langley Prairie, and the family’s eventual move to Murrayville where they lived in the McCrimmon house.
Track 1: Warren asks Bill about the Morrison house, the Hope family, mansion, and carriage house, the old community hall, and the events that went on there.
Track 2: Bill and Warren talk about Mrs. Simpson, Jenny and Mary Simpson and the butcher shop, Tom Westover, John Taylor Jr., Bob Wilson, Roger’s Feed Store, Mr. McGrath the railroad section foreman, Towle’s Commercial Hotel, and the Fort Langley Hotel.
Track 3: Bill and Warren talk about the beer parlour in the Fort Langley Hotel, Haldi’s butcher shop, Mr. Titmus, the wharf on the river, the Kwantlen reservation and some of the people there, D. H. Miller, the Chinese laundry, and the Coulter and Berry store.
Track 4: Bill discusses Walter Wilkie, William Morrison, and the layout of his father’s property on Glover Road. He explains how their lean-to was cut off and sold to Joe Saile, who made it into a house.
Track 5: Warren and Bill talk about the notary and bookkeeper Gordie Young, the Coronation Block, Mrs. Laird, Tommy Uxshaw, Mrs. McIver, Mr. and Mrs. Medd, and James Hadden.
Track 6: Warren and Bill talk about Charlie Reid’s blacksmith shop, Mr. McBeth, and the Fort Langley Cemetery, including the Marr plot.
Track 7: Warren and Bill conclude by discussing Dr. Marr’s involvement in the protection and preservation of the old Fort site, and who else was involved in this process.
Bodaly, A., Mrs.
Commercial Hotel (Fort Langley)
Run by the Towle family on the east side of Glover Road on the opposite side of the street as the Fort Langley Hotel. The original location meant that the dining room was directly over the railway. Given to Billy Brown when the railway came through Fort Langley, as he was the only one with the house moving equipment to move it off of the railway right-of-way. He moved the hotel 50 yards - closer to the river and to the other side of the street (to the same side of the street as the Fort Langley Hotel) to make way for the railroad. He then built his own house behind the new hotel or possibly used the hotel as his house. The 50 move also changed the front entrance of the hotel.
The Coronation Block was originally constructed as a commercial duplex at the corner of Glover Road and Francis Avenue in 1911. Mr. Charles Edward Hope, a prominent architect, civil engineer, and estate and financial agent, built the revenue property for Mrs. Lily Dawson Hope. The raised front parapet has an unusual, curved shape, with dentil blocks under the cornice and stunning eave brackets.
Many businesses have operated out of the building, which has been known and loved as Fort Langley’s most distinctive storefronts, “the old drugstore”, and BC’s first pharmacy. Over the years there have been renovation and remodels which saw the building changing to a one single space and the second floor converting from a storage area to living quarters. It has been used as a pharmacy, a butcher shop, a clothing shop, a bank, a veterinary office, a photography studio, a radio shop, a grocery store and recently an art gallery just to name a few.
The name “Coronation Block” was in honor of the crowning of King George V of England, who ascended the throne in 1910.
Coulter & Berry Store
See Also: Berry, John Walter ; Coulter, David Moss
Term Source: HPC Records (CHURC-18/133)
Coward, Mr. J.
Dalgleish, Andrew, 1831-1928
Andrew Dalgleish was born at Yarrow Fews, near Selkirk, Scotland in 1831. The poet James Hogg was a friend of his parents. He emigrated to New York in 1852. In about 1855, Andrew married Anne Sinclair on Goat Island at Niagara Falls. They had seven children: John, Neil, Andrew, Donald, Catherine, Alexander, and James. He worked as a stone mason around different parts of the country, and even came to B.C. in the 1870s, but decided not to stay. In 1882 Andrew and his family moved to Moosomin, Saskatchewan, where he and six of his sons took up homesteads. He came to B.C. in 1896 with his wife and settled in with his daughter Catherine, now married to William John McIntosh. Ann died soon after, but Mr. Dalgleish continued to be a local figure - and even still built chimneys - well into his 90s. He was also a well known figure in Kamloops, where he wintered with his sons. He passed away on September 6, 1928, at the home of his daughter Catherine in Fort Langley. He was buried in the Fort Langley Cemetery.
Term Source: The Langley Story, pg. 258 (Waite), obit.
Fort Langley (village)
Fort Langley Cemetery
Located at 23105 St. Andrew's Street, this historic cemetery was created in 1884. This was the first municipal cemetery established in Fort Langley, and is the resting place of many of the area's pioneer families. The first burial was Robert Mackie, father of the municipality's first Warden. Separate sections of the cemetery were reserved for First Nations people and for Canadian War Veterans. Many of the granite and marble monuments are elaborately carved and decorated, and several gravesites are surrounded by wrought iron fences. In conjunction with an early landscape plan now in full maturity, it remains a site of peace and beauty. To the north side of the cemetery is a granite First World War memorial to the fallen men of the Langley district which was later rededicated to the memory of those who served in the Second World War.
Information from "Langley's Heritage: A Listing of Heritage Resources"
Fort Langley Community Hall
This location was the site of the first town hall, although it was closer to the north-east corner of the lot, near the Fort Grocery. In 1924 the Fort Langley Women's Institute, led by the second Mrs. Hector Morrison, started the Fort Langley Community Improvement Society with the idea of building a new town hall. In 1925 the old town hall grounds are purchased from the municipality for $137.13, the amount of the tax bill still owing.
Although the Fort Langley Community Improvement Association had been primarily founded in 1924 by the second Mrs. Hector Morrison (nee Hadden), George Young became a very active influential member as well. Archibald Campbell Hope, architect brother of local Charles Edward Hope, was commissioned to plan the new hall. Construction on the building did not begin until 1930. On March 6, 1931, the formal opening and Inaugural Dance was held, and that same year maple trees were planted by members of the board, those along the north by the women and along the south by the men, and the cherry trees were later donated by another supporter. Originally the hall was painted dark brown.
The Community Hall became a designated Heritage site September 10, 1979.
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Argus v184.108.40.206 - Langley Centennial Museum