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Fort Langley National Historic Site Photo: Kim Walker
Located in the Township of Langley in the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains‘ region of British Columbia, Fort Langley is about a 45 min drive east of Vancouver. The historic village has many one-of-a-kind, sometimes quirky, shops including antique stores, cafes, local foods & icecream, artisans and museums detailing the rich history of the region. Fort Langley gets its name from the Historic Site and fort that stands there, surrounded by palisade walls. Inside those walls, timber buildings recreate life in the 1800s. This was one of the first trading posts of the Hudson’s Bay company.
Fort Langley is a community located in Fraser Country, between Abbotsford and Surrey. It is south of the Fraser River, and just north of the United States border. It is approximately 40 km (25 mi) east of Vancouver and can be reached via Highways 1, 1A, 10 and 7. The Golden Ears Bridge connects Highway 7 (Lougheed Hwy) in Coquitlam and Maple Ridge on the north of the river with Langley. Use Highway 13 in Aldergrove to access it from the US/Canadian border crossing.
Fort Langley was built in 1827 under the direction of James McMillan, Chief Trader of the Hudson’s Bay Company. It was situated about 50 km (31 mi) from the mouth of the Fraser River. The prime objectives of the Fort were to establish a fur trading post and to initiate agricultural activities, which would secure a steady supply of food for the occupants of the various fur trading posts west of the Rockies.
Fort Langley achieved global attention in 1858, following the discovery of gold along the Thompson and Fraser Rivers. It became a large supply centre, outfitting thousands of gold miners passing through the area. That same year, Fort Langley was proclaimed “the birthplace of BC”.
In 1923 the Canadian government recognized Fort Langley as a site of national historic importance, erecting a commemorative plaque near the storehouse. The restoration of the fort continued as the centennial celebration of the founding of British Columbia approached in 1958. Since then, Parks Canada, who administers the site, has added further elements to enhance understanding of the site’s history and significance.