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.