August 22-27, 2018

Fort Langley is about 45 minutes from downtown Vancouver. We had hoped to stay in Vancouver but found nothing available. We found a site at a campground in a regional park just across the Fraser River from the charming village of Fort Langley. We walked to shopping, dining and museums.

Langley Centennial Museum

This museum opened in 1958. It is located on the traditional land of the Kwantlen First Nation.

It took a year to make a blanket: First wool (from domestic goats and dogs) and plants were gathered and beaten with clay to whiten the strands and remove oil. This material was then combed with the fingers to remove tangles and burrs before being rolled along the thigh into a loose twist. The twist was spun more tightly and the resulting yarn woven into the blanket. Blankets were symbols of status and wealth.

This display featured a gorgeous quilt and laundry-day paraphernalia.
Raven mask worn during dances
Spanish pistols made in London in the early 19th century

Fort Langley

Fort Langley was built in 1827 as a Hudsons Bay Company (HBC) trading post. It was an Aboriginal population center on the British trade route and was north of American competition. HBC set its prices low in order to develop a monopoly on trade.

Buildings, except for one storehouse, were reconstructed in the 1950’s.
HBC blankets were popular trade items. Aboriginals traded furs, fish, cranberries and salmon for them and other goods.
Barrel-making supplies
The Fort met its own needs for produce and supplied both other posts and Russian Alaska.
Samuel Robertson, a boat builder from the Orkney Islands, lived in a cottage furnished like this one. His wife was a chief’s daughter. HBC managers encouraged workers to marry local women because doing so helped secure trade relationships.
Augustin Willing spoke French, English and various Aboriginal languages. He had a Cowichan wife and lived in an apartment like this.
Robert Wavikarea was a second-generation employee from Hawaii. He lived in an apartment like this one with his wife and two sons. Hawaiians prized fish with colored flesh so HBC sent them salmon. We were surprised to find that many Hawaiians worked at Fort Langley.

Plants in the Area

Picking blackberries

Categories: Travel


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