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Preserving Coquitlam heritage..

By Zanna Linskaia

If you eager to know the history of Coquitlam area where we live,

visit Mackin Heritage museum with its’ exhibits, workshops, art

programs and interesting tours.

Coquitlam began as “a place in between” from the vast area to

the east when in the mid of 1800s the construction of North Road

had started. The purpose of the road was to provide Royal

Engineers in New Westminster access to port facilities in Port


In early days the Coquitlam area has only one agricultural

settlement of Coast Salish, but in 1891 the municipality of

Coquitlam was officially established.

The first push of the population growth began when Frank Ross

and James McLaren opened Fraser Mills, then state-of-the-art

lumber mill on the north bank of the Fraser River. By 1908, a mill

town of 20 houses, a store, post office, hospital, office block,

barber shop and pool hall had grown around the mill.

Year later one of the most significant events in Coquitlam’s

history took place - the birth of Maillardville - the largest

Francophone center, named for Father Maillard, a young Oblate

from France. Mill owners, in search of workers, turned their

attention to the experienced logging culture of Quebec and in

1909 a contingent of 110 French Canadians arrived, recruited for

work at Fraser Mills. Then the arrival of a second contingent in

June 1910 gave the future growth of French-Canadian community

in Coquitlam with its’ culture, language and heritage.

The modern neighborhood of Maillardville is a symbol of spiritual

community, being proud of its’ past, engaged in the present and

confident of the future.

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