Profiles of Historic Sites



Dewdney CPR Station & McIntyre Store
Carl Klenk fonds/0116-009-001
Courtesy Mission Community Archives

Dewdney Community


Location:
Lougheed Highway, 5km east of Mission

Neighbourhood:
Dewdney

Date of Original Construction:
Original settlement ca. 1867

Resource Type:
Rural Community


Site Description:

This is a small rural community where the Lougheed Highway crosses the CPR rail line. Once the commercial centre for local farmers, it now includes a school, Michael's Restaurant, and Dewdney General Store. Settlement in the area began around 1867; the municipality was named after early road builder Edgar Dewdney.


Site History:

Originally known as Johnston's Landing after early settler N. C. Johnston, another early settler became one of the first officials of a new municipality--Reeve R. G. McKamey. Dewdney -- the municipality-- was named Edgar Dewdney a surveyor. With Hatzic Island looking to be prime agricultural land, this new municipality sought to cash in on the expected boom. Incorporated on Aprill 7, 1892 things did not turn out as hoped when the flood 1894 destroyed the dykes that had been built and left the financial situation of the fledgling municipality in a state of emergency. This resulted in the disincorporation of Dewdeny on March 12, 1906.

A store had been located at Johnston's Landing where the riverboats stopped but closed when river traffic gave way to roads and automobiles. McIntyre's store was next to the Dewdney CPR station (refer to photo this page). Bought in 1908 by a Mr. Cox followed by the Watson family in 1911, it eventually became the local post office. Ida Kate Watson (1854-1948) became postmistress in 1917 and held the post until the age of 93. Morden, her son who operated the General Store, then took over.

December 1934 a group of men from the venereal disease hospital in Deroche created local excitement: on a protest march for better conditions, the men crossed over from Nicomen Island to Dewdney, where they were greeted by MLA, D.W. Strachan. The crowd moved into Dewdney Community Hall, where they sheltered for the night. They left the following day for Mission, then continued to Vancouver, and after five days on the road, were finally returned to Deroche by truck.


People Associated with the Site:

Other postmasters/mistresses include: A.W. McIntosh, 1891-92; J.J. Barker,1892 - 1911; and Miss A. Barker, 1912-1916.

R. C. McDonald - Tory, elected to provincial legislature in 1941, for Dewdney riding; later Minister of Mines and Municipal Affairs.

William Pickle was a very early settler who claimed Lot 482. This was 160 acres at the east end of Hawkins-Pickle. His pre-emption was registered on Oct.26, 1871, and he got the Crown Grant on May 18, 1885. To the west of him was Burton on Lot 462. William Pickle and his wife are supposed to be buried on private land in Deroche, on the corner where Hwy 7 makes a right-angled turn after the railway tracks. This is said to be mentioned in the land title documents.


Architectural Features:

"The Dewdney General Store. It is probable that the single-storey section behind the boomtown front and nearest to the tracks is the 1904 store built by Mr. McIntyre, which originally faced the railway tracks and stood next to the long since demolished Dewdney Station. At some point around 1914-1916, the two storey section was built, and perhaps then the old store was skidded up against it to complete the building as it exists today." --Michael Kluckner's Vanishing B.C.


Landscape:

The community, with the railway, highway, and bridge, retains it rural character.


Where to get further information:

- Mission Community Archives: Reference Library: The yearbook of BC 1897-1906 (HBC1-003)
- Mission Community Archives: Reference Library: District of Dewdney fonds Inventory (AFA1-001)
- Vanishing British Columbia by Michael Kluckner




Last Modified December 6, 2013