The historic village of Fort Langley was built as a small fur trading post in 1827, leading to the creation of the colony of British Columbia. Historically, the functional Fort Langley had a relatively short life. From beginning to end it lasted some 60 years. The original structure was built by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1827. Due to circumstances resulting from an agreement with the Russian American (Fur) Company more emphasis was placed on the farming operation and the Fort was rebuilt 4 kilometers upstream (east) in 1839. Shortly thereafter it burned down and was rebuilt again in 1840.
Subsequently, Fort Langley entered a period of dramatic growth in economic activity that confirmed its importance politically and geographically. The establishment of the 49th parallel as the international boundary with the US added to its official lustre. Activity in Fort Langley reach its peak with the Gold Rush of 1858. For all intents and purposes all prospectors would depart from Fort Langley on their trek to find fortune. To deal with the potential social and political upheavals caused by this great influx of American adventurers, the British Parliament decided to provide for a crown colony on the Pacific Mainland with James Douglas as the first Governor of British Columbia. Fort Langley was the location of this proclamation on November 19, 1858.
Over the next 30 years, 3 factors contributed to the decline of the community and "the Fort" itself. River traffic was extended to Fort Hope and Fort Yale. The capital of the colony was established at New Westminster (later moved to Victoria). Competition developed for goods and services provided by the Hudson's Bay Company. These factors combined to lower the Fort's stature significantly. By 1886 Fort Langley ceased operations as a company post.
In 1923 Fort Langley was declared a site of national historic importance. In 1955 it was established as a National Historic Park. Restoration was begun for the celebration of the centennial of the Colony of British Columbia. The Fort Langley of today and the community around it provide a welcome respite from the strains and stresses of the "big city", for those who are so inclined. (from here)
I took this photo last February when D#2 and I spent a day in Fort Langley. I go out there about 2 or 3 times a year because it's a really nice drive (about 45 minutes) and I enjoy going to Planet Java, a 50's style restaurant, for lunch or at least a coffee. Also, I like strolling the main street to browse in the shops and perhaps take a peek into the town's huge antique store. I like how this photo looks in black & white as it sort of gives an old-time feeling. Click to enlarge.