Main hall of the BC Farm Museum in Fort Langley.

Main hall of the BC Farm Museum in Fort Langley.

VIDEO: BC Farm Museum turns 50

Fort Langley institution started with the donation of a single plow



The B.C. Farm Museum in Fort Langley was the result of the donation of a single high-cut walking hand plow 63 years ago to the University of British Columbia (UBC).

It needed a home, and the thought was it should be an agricultural museum, at UBC.

After the British Columbia Farm Machinery Association was formed to raise funds for the project, the location was switched to Fort Langley.

It would not be the first time plans were made and changed.

The first choice for a Fort Langley site ended up with a road running through it when the federal government decided to restore the historic fur trading post.

A 33-foot lot on King Street was then donated to the museum by the council of the day, on condition the association would pay for buying another 66 foot lot next to it, which it did.

Nine years after the deal was done, the first of two buildings officially opened on Nov 19, 1966.

On Saturday, the impending 50th anniversary of that opening was celebrated with an open house at the museum and a birthday cake and dinner at the Fort Langley Community Hall.

The event was attended by the many volunteers whose hard work has kept the facility going, and dignitaries including B.C. Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon, MPs John Aldag and Mark Warawa as well as deputy premier Langley MLA Rich Coleman.

Grace Muller, chair of the museum 50th anniversary committee, told The Times reading 50 years of museum directors meeting minutes shows the same four issues have dominated discussions since the beginning; lack of funding, lack of space, acquisition and de-accession (removing items from the collection) policies and the occasional leaky roof.

“All of those continue to be issues at one point or another,” Muller said.

Since federal funding dried up in 1990, the museum has operated as an all-volunteer facility, functioning because of long hours of unpaid work put in by supporters.

Over the years, the collection has expanded to include more than 5,000 historical artifacts and over 10,000 books, pamphlets and manuals of historical information, a valuable resource for researchers.

“It has manuals on every vintage vehicle out there,” Muller said.

This year, the museum  obtained funding for new murals inside and outside and is going high-tech with interactive terminals.

The downstairs workshop area is undergoing extensive renovations that include moving walls, adding a new heat source and other enhancements.

Just Posted

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey council to consider $7.3 million contract for street paving projects tonight

A city staff report recommends Lafarge Canada Inc. be awarded $7,326,667.95 for 15 road projects in North Surrey and one in South Surrey

Old trucks are seen in the yard at the B.C. Vintage Truck Museum in Cloverdale June 14, 2021. The Museum is reopening June 19 after a seven-month COVID closure. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Cloverdale’s truck museum to reopen

B.C. Vintage Truck Museum set to open its doors June 19

Luc Bruchet (left), shown here competing at the 2016 Olympics, went under the Olympic qualifying standard in the 5,000-m at the Harry Jerome International Track Classic last weekend in Burnaby. (Laci Perenyi/Sportphoto photo)
Personal-best run launches South Surrey runner back in Olympic contention

At Harry Jerome Classic, Luc Bruchet hits Olympic standard in men’s 5,000-m

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Most Read