A volunteer fire hall, built in 1959, was constructed at the hands of 150 local volunteers. It still stands today as the Milsean Shoppe in Aldergrove. (AGHS photo)

Alder Grove Heritage Society is on a hunt for local memories and memorabilia

‘If we don’t share those stories they will be forgotten’ urges society president Tami Quiring

Alder Grove Heritage Society (AGHS) is on a hunt for history – in the form of photographs, memories, and precious artifacts from Aldergrove’s past and present.

AGHS president Tami Quiring has a specific purpose in mind for the memorabilia.

“Together we will be able to tell the story of our community to those who will arrive in the future,” Quiring elaborated.

“Aldergrove’s heritage is something to be really proud of,” she continued.

With only a handful or so of volunteers who currently operate its Telephone Museum at 3190 271 St. (which is for now closed to curb COVID-19 spread).

Quiring worries that without more involvement from the community its most important stories will be forgotten.

“If you or members of your family have old photographs of the area – especially of downtown and along Fraser Highway pre-21st century – the society would love to add scans of them to its collection,” Quiring said.

A trove of artifacts will be on display as part of a unique series celebrating Aldergrove Community Heritage Day, on a date a time still to be determined.

“Star your search now,” Quiring encourages self-isolationg families, especially those who have unique connections to the area.

READ MORE: Restorations of Langley heritage homes honoured

This year, volunteer researchers like Aldergrove’s Teresa Spring, who was cataloguing family names of the town’s first settlers who migrated from China, Japan, and other foreign nations on Sunday afternoon. 

“It’s for a display that celebrates the rich cultural history of Aldergrove,” Quiring said – where from its founding was teeming with families from various cultural backgrounds.

At the event, another display will showcase, in photos, how Fraser highway has developed in the past century as a wagon trail for rural settlers to the bustling thoroughfare it is today.

“I think people will be amazed at how much has changed, and how much hasn’t,” she said.

Other displays will provide historical insight on the growth of Aldergrove’s commercial sector, agriculture, military, “the changing face of downtown,” and its founding families.

Quiring clarified that Heritage Day isn’t about just one or two families.

“Aldergrove wasn’t built by just the Jackman’s, the Shortreeds, or the Vanettas – names almost everyone [in town] knows,” she continued.

“It took everyone working together to build the first school and the first church,” Quiring said, hinting at exhibits that might be on display.

AGHS seeks to pay homage to those who paved the way

She used the example of one of Aldergrove’s earliest fire halls – built in 1959 – which was erected because of work from 150 locals, some of whom later worked on-call to put out fires in Aldergrove.

Also, Aldergrove Agricultural Association, now known as the Fair Days Society, once sold its Agricultural hall and property to raise money for a recreation centre in Aldergrove Park – now known as Philip Jackman Park.

The generosity of its residents both past and present is what makes Aldergrove so unique, Quiring said.

She’s now asking individuals from groups, schools, and businesses to come forward and help fill in the timeline of Aldergrove’s own story – from its earliest days.

“Only together will we be able to tell the story of our community to those who will arrive in the future.”

Those interested in sharing their stories, photos, and artifacts can contact AGHS by emailing info@telephonemuseum.ca.

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Alder Grove Heritage Society volunteer Teresa Spring is working on a project that will display Aldergrove’s cultural diversity in its earliest families – many of whom made major strides to see Aldergrove transform from a village, the town it is today. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Aldergrove’s Agricultural Association once sold its hall to help fund a recreation centre in what is now known at Philip Jackman Park. (AGHS photo)

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