Graham MacDonell from the Fraser Valley Heritage Research Services hosted a presentation at the Langley City Library on Saturday. (Graham MacDonell/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Local researcher reveals the origins of the name ‘Langley’

Fraser Valley Hertiage Research Services recently hosted a presentation

Do you know the origins of the name Langley?

A local researcher recently put on a presentation about the legacy of the British Columbia Electric Railway in the community where he revealed to guests the meaning of ‘Langley’ and how the city was given its name.

Graham MacDonell hosted the presentation at the Langley City Library last Saturday.

“[It was] a very involved group,” said MacDonell. “A lot of questions varying from the whole start of the urban system, to the termination of it, to the attempts to resurrect it.”

READ MORE: Langley passenger rail service marks nearly 70 years since termination

In the presentation MacDonell explained how ‘Langley’ is derived from “lang” and “leah” in Old English, meaning long and wood, respectively.

“A long forest shall we say,” said MacDonell.

He also shared how Fort Langley, established in 1827, was named after Thomas Langley, a member of the Hudson’s Bay Company governing committee.

MacDonell said guests were curious about the history of the town and also asked questions about other railways that travelled through Langley Prairie and Langley Township.

But MacDonell said he’s never been stumped by a question.

“No,” he promptly answered. “That’s pretty hard for anybody to do.”

There are several projects MacDonell has in the works and said he can present on other topics like the Pacific Stage Lines, which was the first bus company to operate in the Fraser Valley.

“I have other presentations that I can show to any group at no cost to them,” he said. “It’s because I’m so keen about letting people know about their local history”


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