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Feb 22 2013

Cairn Commemorates Church and Community

Posted 4 years 122 days ago

The Milner Cairn, a structure marking the first location of the Milner Church, was officially opened by the Township of Langley at Glover Road and 216 Street on February 21.

Originally built as the Langley Prairie Methodist Church in 1886, it became known as the Milner Methodist Church when the community’s name changed to Milner following the arrival of the BC Electric Railway in 1910. After the union of churches in 1925, it was renamed the Milner United Church.

Originally managed by the First Nations people, the Milner Valley was farmed by the Hudson’s Bay Company in the early 1830s. It continued to evolve as an important agricultural area as the community of Milner took shape, sustained by connections to Langley’s early road networks and the railway. 

In 1983, the church was municipally designated as a heritage site by the Township of Langley. After the church’s decommissioning in 1994, it was moved a block away to Milner Community Park in 2006 and restored by the Milner Community Association.

The cairn, which is surrounded by pathways, landscaping, and an informational plaque, marks the 125th anniversary of the Church in 2011 and recognizes the historic significance of the Milner area from pre-contact to the present. Planning for the cairn began in 2011 as an initiative of Langley Township’s Heritage Advisory Committee, in conjunction with municipal staff, at the request of residents.

During the cairn’s dedication, Township Councillor Bob Long, Council’s representative on the Heritage Advisory Committee, commented on the importance of Heritage Week, while former HAC representative Councillor Charlie Fox spoke about the project’s history. Historian Dr. Jane Watt discussed the historic significance of the cairn site, while Murray Smith of the Milner Community Association expressed his appreciation to the community and Milner pioneer Hugh Davis provided reminiscences of early Milner and the church.

The Milner Cairn was officially opened during Heritage Week, which is celebrated annually throughout BC starting on national Heritage Day, which falls on the third Monday in February.  

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Community Development Division

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