Heritage Plaques Honour Early Community-Builders

Heritage homes that once belonged to people who helped build this community have been restored by their current owners, who have been honoured for helping conserve the Township of Langley’s valued history.

Heritage Plaques

Cleve and Kim Stordy, owners of the Payne/Porter Residence in Murrayville, and Rob and Tammy Simpson of the Flowerdew Residence in rural Langley, were presented with Community Heritage Register plaques by Township Council on March 9.

“Our history is a vital part of who we are and efforts to restore and protect our heritage sites benefit the entire community,” said Mayor Jack Froese. “We are grateful to those who are committed to preserving these unique places, which help tell the story of our past and continue to serve us today.”

If the names of the heritage homes ring a bell, it is because they are named after individuals who had a major impact on the Township many years ago - and continue to do so today.

“Archie Payne, P.Y. Porter, and Eric Flowerdew were ‘community-builders’,” said Elaine Horricks, the Township’s Heritage Planner. “They were very active in the early days of our community and had a significant impact on the Township and its residents. Their contributions in many areas of Langley’s early development continue to resonate to this day.”

The Payne/Porter Residence was constructed in 1912 for municipal clerk Archie Payne, who served the Township from 1911 until 1945, and later became Langley magistrate. Payne and Dr. Benjamin Marr served together in the First World War, and upon their return, named Langley’s streets and planted commemorative maple trees to honour their fallen Langley war comrades.

Payne’s home was purchased in the 1930s by Philip Young (P.Y.) Porter, who operated Porter’s General Store and post office at the Five Corners in Murrayville. The home, which features Edwardian-era architecture with wood-frame construction, a distinctive gabled-roof, and full-width front porch, remained in the Porter family until 1999.

Another example from the Edwardian era, the Flowerdew Residence was constructed before the First World War and purchased by soldier Eric Flowerdew when he returned to Langley after a wartime injury. Flowerdew served as a school trustee, councillor, and Langley Memorial Hospital Board member. Every year, the Township’s top volunteer is presented with the Eric Flowerdew Award, which was named in his honour.

Both the Payne/Porter and Flowerdew Residences were carefully restored by their current owners, who received support in funding the projects through the Township’s Heritage Building Incentive Program (HBIP). Created to assist with the cost of restoring, repairing, and maintaining eligible heritage buildings, the program offers grants for projects ranging from repainting to major rehabilitation, up to once a year. The next deadline for funding is Friday, March 20. Visit tol.ca/hbip.

Heritage buildings that have been restored with assistance from the HBIP - including the Church of the Holy Redeemer on McMillan Island, Porter’s General Store in Murrayville, the Hope Carriage House and Dr. Marr Residence in Fort Langley, the Willoughby Community Hall in Willoughby, and the Shortreed Residence in Aldergrove - can be viewed at tol.ca/langleyshistoricplaces.

To be eligible for HBIP grants, homes must be placed on the Community Heritage Register, an official list of historic places that formally recognizes sites for their heritage value and character, which is used to integrate heritage conservation into land use planning. Visit Heritage Conservation - Recognition and Protection.

The Community Heritage Register Plaque Program was created ten years ago to acknowledge the people and groups who own properties on the Register and have taken important steps to preserve, restore, or adapt them for continued use.

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