Centres of Government – Richmond’s Town Halls – Part Three

Part Three – The 1950s Office Building

In January 1955 the Municipal Building Committee recommended to Council that a new, two-storey Municipal Hall be built immediately behind the existing one on the Municipal property at Granville Avenue and No.3 Road. By February the plans had been broadened to include a school administration building and health services offices on the same site and approval to borrow $398,000 was given by Council. The architectural contract was awarded to Allen C. Smith and Associates, the construction contract to Narod Construction, heating and ventilation to Crombie Heating and the electrical contract to Canadian Comstock.

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Construction of the new Town Hall takes place behind the old one in this photo. When the building was completed and the old one removed, the Cenotaph was relocated closer to the entrance. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1997 42 3 47.

Construction on the site began with moving the Brighouse Fire hall to the southwest corner of the property, making room for excavation to begin. The building’s construction was of reinforced concrete and throughout the construction, changes and amendments to the plans were made, although one suggestion that a neon sign to identify the hall should be added to the plans was quashed. The location of the new hall allowed work to continue uninterrupted in the old Town Hall while the new building rose behind it.

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Work continues on the new Town Hall while business continues in the old one. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1985 7 14.

By May of 1957 the hall was ready for occupation and municipal departments began to move their operations into the new building.

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Municipal employee Nellie Grecan and her adding machine are moved into the new Town Hall on May 25, 1957. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 57.

The demolition of the old hall was started, and once complete, landscaping, paving of the parking area and relocation of the cenotaph was completed in time for the grand opening on August 9, 1957.

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Once staff had moved into the new building, the old building was demolished. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1985 7 31.

The opening of the new Municipal Hall was attended by the the Hon. Wesley Black,  Minister of Municipal Affairs, and the Hon. Leslie Peterson, Minister of Education who opened the new School Board offices.

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The crowd on the east plaza of the new Town Hall for the opening ceremonies, August 9, 1957. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 38.

The new hall departed from its predecessor’s use as community space and community activities moved to community centres, church halls and other buildings. It was an unpretentious office building designed to house the growing bureaucracy required for the rapidly growing town, one which was growing far faster than could have been imagined.

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The new council chambers at the Municipal Hall with Reeve E.R. Parsons in the chair, Municipal Clerk Ted Youngberg seated below him and Councillor R.A. McMath in the foreground, Councillor H.D. Hudson seated on the far left, and Councillor Robert G Ransford at the far right. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1977 1 146.

 

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Photograph of the general office and municipal employees in the new Richmond Municipal Hall, 1957. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1977 1 148.

By 1961 office space was growing tight in the four-year-old building and debate was taking place on expansion of the hall. In 1964 the decision was made to add a new wing to the building. A contract was awarded to L.D. Boyd construction for $166,900 and the new wing was completed in September 1965. This alleviated the space crisis for a few years but improvements and modernization continued through the rest of the 1960s.

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The front entrance of Richmond Town Hall, ca. 1960. City of Richmond Archives photo 2004 11.

Growth continued and in 1969, with the hall once again bursting at the seams, plans were being debated for further expansion. In 1971 $1,278,000 was borrowed for the construction of a third floor on the existing building and for the construction of a new Public Safety Building. The new building would allow the RCMP to vacate their space in Municipal Hall and move to their own building, freeing up valuable office space. The additional space provided by the third floor and the space cleared by the RCMP only lasted a short time in the rapidly growing municipality.

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This photo from 1979 shows the Municipal buildings complex. Municipal Hall, with the third floor and additions at each end is in the foreground. The old Brighouse Firehall is in the space between the Hall and the RCMP Building and the School District Offices. To the right foreground is the Post Office and in the mall parking lot is the Richmond Square Theatres. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1992 20 F.

By January 1978 an architect had been commissioned to produce a report on the state of the council chambers and offices and how to increase the efficiency of the use of space in the hall. This report led to changes in the Health Department, a new Personnel Department and an addition to the north end of the building in 1979.

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Richmond City Hall, ca. 1992. City of Richmond Archives photograph 2008 39 6 705.

In 1990 the Corporation of the Township of Richmond was reincorporated as the City of Richmond. Over the preceding decade Richmond’s growth had continued and accelerated with increasing immigration. Richmond’s old Town Hall’s days were numbered, the city once again outgrowing it’s office space.

Next: The Modern Tower.

 

 

 

The North Arm of the Fraser – Industry in 1918

In October 1918, with the First World War nearly over, a group known as “The Joint Committee of the Boards of Trade of South Vancouver, Richmond and Point Grey” began to lobby the Federal Government to dredge the twelve miles of the North Arm of the Fraser between the river mouth and New Westminster. The shallow water in the North Arm at low tide caused fishing vessels, tugs and other vessels with a greater than three foot draft to run aground, stopping traffic to industries along its banks until higher water. This limited the amount of raw materials and product the industries could ship and discouraged new industry from building in the area. In an effort to motivate the government to their ends, the Joint Committee published a “memorial” for the attention of the Hon. F.B. Carvell, Minister of Public Works for the Conservative Government of the time, titled “The North Arm of the Fraser: Its Industries, Its Possibilities: A Plea for its Development”.

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The panoramic cover photo of the “memorial” shows some businesses in Marpole, which had changed its name from Eburne two years earlier. Shown are the Eburne Gravel Company and Eburne Sash, Door and Lumber, both at the foot of Hudson Street. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1987 91 1-5.

The document was signed by a diverse collection of politicians, industrialists, business owners, mariners and other citizens, all of them putting forth their justification for the dredging of the river. It also included a wonderful collection of photographs showing the North Arm and the industries along its shores in the early twentieth century.

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The first photo in the body of the memorial is this one of the North Arm Jetty. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1987 91 6-10.

The North Arm Jetty had been built and the mouth dredged some years before allowing vessels to enter the river on any stage of the tide and be protected from wind as they did so. Since then it was felt that the greater outflow caused lower levels farther up the North Arm and several shallow spots in the river preventing vessels with a deeper draft from proceeding up river until high tide. Logs would have to be placed into booming grounds down river where they could be picked up by smaller tugs rather than be delivered straight to the mills, increasing towing costs.

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The Huntting-Merritt Lumber Co. mill. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1987 91 19.

The Huntting-Merritt Lumber Company shingle mill was located at the foot of Granville Street on the Vancouver side of the river. They operated eleven shingle machines, day and night, and employed 100 men. Next door, the Eburne Sawmills Limited mill was having a difficult time handling logs and had to dredge their booming ground to allow the mill to keep employing 125 men at their mill.

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Logs bound for the Canadian Western Lumber Company are towed upstream toward the CP Railroad bridge. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1987 91 20.

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The Eburne Gravel Company Plant. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1987 91 21.

The Eburne Gravel Company sold builders’ supplies and coal and claimed that the difficulty of towing on the river cost them an additional 25 to 30 cents per ton for coal and 10 to 15 cents per yard of sand or gravel.

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The Graham Evaporating Plant at Marpole. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1987 91 22.

The Graham Evaporating Plant produced desiccated vegetables and green, dried, evaporated and canned apples, employing about 100 people. They handled about 25 to 30 tons of vegetables a day and employed 100 people. Most of their product was transported by “team” or rail but they felt that dredging the river would give them the opportunity to ship product by water, reducing costs.

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The Eburne Steel Company. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1987 91 23.

The Eburne Steel Company produced bar iron and steel ingots as well as other wartime necessities. They employed about 80 men. They were entirely dependent on rail transportation to receive their iron ore and ship out their products and said they would require tug and scow facilities to fully realize their business goals.

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The Dominion Creosoting and Lumber Limited lumber mill. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1987 91 24.

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The Dominion Creosoting and Lumber Limited creosoting plant. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1987 91 25-27.

The Dominion Creosoting and Lumber Limited operation in South Vancouver was also hampered by the problems of shipping their product to market. Their lumber mill employed 120 men. The creosoting operation had been idled because of a lack of creosote which was shipped from England. It was expected that when the war was over, this part of the plant would reopen and employ another 30 men. Their plant had the use of 1200 feet of river frontage. An improvement in shipping ability would greatly improve the profitability of their business. They claimed that theirs was only one of forty or fifty available industrial sites on the North Arm which could be developed if only the shipping issue could be rectified.

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The Canadian Western Lumber Company Limited mill at Fraser Mills is shown here with their fleet of tugs Joyful, Fearful, Cheerful, Gleeful and Dreadful. The Stern wheeler Senator Jansen is on the right and an unidentified small freighter loads on the left. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1987 91 36-40.

The Canadian Western Lumber Company Limited had a large operation at Fraser Mills, upriver from New Westminster. In their submission to the request for dredging they described the difficulty experienced by vessels going to their plant:

If the vessel and their tow enter the river at the beginning of the flood they can make it as far as Eburne as the force of the tide is spent and have enough water remaining to carry them through the Eburne Bridge, the Railway Bridge and Mitchell’s Bridge at Fraser Avenue. They then have to stay with their tows for 24 hours before being able to move again on the flood tide. On this flood they can make it as far as the New Westminster City Limits where they have to wait another 24 hours before proceeding to the mills past New Westminster.

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The Small and Bucklin Lumber Company Limited mill, New Westminster. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1987 91 11.

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The Brunette Saw Mill Company mill. In the background is the Iowa Lumber and Timber Company mill. City of Richmond Archives photo 1987 91 12.

The Small and Bucklin Lumber Company and the Brunette Sawmill Company each employed more than 200 men and both reiterated the complaints of other industries along the North Arm. Both plants were in New Westminster and had to wait for a couple of tides for logs to be delivered to their mills.

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The Dominion Shingle and Cedar Co. is shown here in a photo taken from the old Queensborough Bridge. The skyline of New Westminster can be seen behind. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1987 19 13.

The Dominion Shingle and Cedar Company was located “at Lulu Island Bridge” (the old Queensborough Bridge) and employed about 50 men.

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The Westminster Mill Company plant at New Westminster. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1987 91 14.

The Westminster Mill Company, manufacturers of red cedar shingles, operated two mills just below New Westminster which employed 200 men. Most of the logs used in the mill were brought up the river and delays in delivery due to low water levels seriously impacted their bottom line.

The arguments must have had some effect as dredging did take place on the North Arm in 1918. Reports indicate that a dredge tore out a two inch steel waterline that Jacob Grauer had installed from the mainland to supply water to his store and butcher shop as well as his neighbors at Eburne on Sea Island.

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The final image in the document shows a tug towing a boom up river and another tug bringing a barge down river past the wooded tip of Eburne Island as a BC Electric Railway Interurban Tram heads to New Westminster. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1987 91 15-18.

A Walk Down No. 3 Road in 1958

In 1974,  the Assessment Authority Act was passed in the BC Legislature allowing the formation of the BC Assessment Authority, an organization which operates independently from municipal or provincial governments to assess property values for taxation purposes. Before this the Corporation of the Township of Richmond had its own tax assessors who created assessment rolls to establish property values in the Municipality. In 1958, an assessor took his camera out to document the commercial buildings along No. 3 Road, mostly between its intersection with Westminster Highway and with Granville Avenue, and left us with a fascinating time warp back to the late 1950s in a location that has seen some of the greatest change in Richmond, although bits of it still survive. Lets take a stroll along No. 3 Road in 1958.

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The intersection of No. 3 Road and Westminster Highway looking north west. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 7.

Starting our walk at the intersection of No. 3 Road and Westminster Highway, we look toward the north west corner and the new, modern supermarket of Canada Safeway and its parking lot. This intersection, one of the busiest in Richmond then and now, was one of the first to have a traffic signal.

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On the north east corner of the intersection was the Lansdowne Service Shell station. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 8.

Across No. 3 Road from Safeway is Lansdowne Service, a Shell gas and service station. If you drive north along No. 3 Road, there were only trees between the station and Lansdowne Park Racetrack.

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Directly across Westminster Highway from Safeway was the Super-Valu Store. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 9.

On the south west corner of the intersection, directly across the street from Safeway is its main competition, Super-Valu. Their signs compete for attention on this corner.

d 1988 18 10

Turning around and looking south up No. 3 Road you can see the Ford dealership of Steveston Motors and the strip of commercial building an bit farther down. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 10.

Standing in front of Super-Valu and looking south along No. 3 Road you can see some of the commercial buildings on the west side of the street. Steveston Motors Ford dealership was just south of the Super-Valu store. Across the opening to their car lot is a strip of storefronts.

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Looking south along No. 3 Road from the east side of the street. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 11.

If you cross No. 3 Road to the east side and look south you get a good view of Super-Valu, Steveston Motors and the row of commercial buildings. Let’s walk along the sidewalk a bit….

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Looking north toward Westminster Highway from the east side of No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 6.

… and look north to see the businesses on the west side of the street, Safeway, Super-Valu and Steveston Motors. Judging by the banners and flags they’re really trying to sell those Edsels.

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Looking east along Westminster Highway from No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 35.

If we head back down to the intersection we can look east along Westminster Highway and see a couple of businesses just around the corner, Lulu Billiards and Jerry Pickard Motors Austin Sales and Service.

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Lulu Island Motors on the coner of No. 3 Road and Westminster Highway. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 34.

Right on the corner of Westminster Highway and No. 3 Road is Lulu Island Motors, a Standard Oil (Chevron) station where you can get gas, a tune-up and new tires.

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Looking farther south the next building houses a number of businesses. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 33.

Next to Lulu Island Motors is a commercial building with a number of businesses. The Richmond Review Newspaper is through the first door at 604 No. 3 Road. Next door is the popular Rooster Cafe. Beside the cafe is the Farmerette Grocery Store and at the end is Marpole Cleaners. Upstairs are some lawyer’s and doctor’s offices and some apartments.

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The neon sign at the Rooster Cafe. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 32.

Looking up, the neon sign at the Rooster Cafe is Richmond’s finest.

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The Lulu Theatre. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 31.

Across a driveway, the next building is the Lulu Theatre, showing Hollywood’s latest movies.

l 1988 18 4

Looking north down No. 3 Road toward Westminster Highway. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 4.

Turning around and looking north down the west side of the street you can see the buildings housing The Canadian Bank of Commerce, Kleven’s 5-10-15 Cent Store, Pemberton Jewelers, Lansdowne Hardware (selling Bapco Paints), McCue Drugs, the Island Colour Bar (selling Canada Paints) and Richmond Tailors.

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Looking south west toward 621 No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 5.

Turning and looking south west, next door to the bank is the Delta Esso Service Station. In the background are the buildings at Cunningham Lumber Co.

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Back on the east side of the street is Lang’s Nurseries. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 30.

Looking back to the east side of the street we find a long-time family owned Richmond business, Lang’s Nurseries. The propery is filled with trees, shrubs, plants, topsoil and anything else one needs for landscaping or gardening.

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Looking north west. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 3.

Back across the street is the Cunningham Lumber Co. (selling Glidden Paint) and the offices of J.M. Wells Construction Ltd.

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Looking north east toward the Bank of Montreal. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 29.

Back on the east side of the street again is the Bank of Montreal at the west end of the Hyland Park Shopping Centre. In the background, a ferris wheel from Royal Canadian Shows is set up in the empty lot between Lang’s Nurseries and Hyland Park.

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Looking south along No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 28.

Turning south, we can see the sign for the Hyland Park Shopping Centre with a list of the businesses there. The Shop-Easy Grocery Store and its parking lot are just past the sign. Fastened to the telephone pole is a poster for Royal Canadian Shows at Brighouse  May 22 to 24.

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Looking north on No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 27.

After walking along the street, crossing Cook Road and looking back, we can see the Hyland Park and Shop-Easy signs in the distance. Realtors Insurance and Home Builders Lumber (selling Monamel paint) are to the right.

s 1988 18 26

Simpsons-Sears Catalog Store. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 26.

Between Home Builders Lumber and this building is a large, mostly empty lot. This commercial building houses four businesses. Loreta Beauty Salon is in the ground floor left, Simpsons-Sears Catalog Store is on the ground floor right, P.A. Wolanski Accountant is upstairs on the left and the Marpole-Richmond Accordion College is upstairs on the right.

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The east side of No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 24.

Next door is the Brighouse Branch of the Royal Bank of Canada and a Masonic Lodge, and next door to that is the Brighouse Bola-Drome bowling alley and cafe. A group of young guys with slicked back DA haircuts loiter outside and the advertising sign requests “Players Please!”

u 1988 18 25

Looking east to the corner of Park Road and No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 25.

Crossing the intersection of Park and No. 3 Roads we come to Richmond Motors, a BA service station. Behind the station on Park Road is the office of  Richmond Cabs (Call CR-8-8444).

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Looking east toward 680 No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 23.

Next to Richmond Motors the building at 680 No. 3 Road houses two businesses. Brighouse Hardware (selling Martin-Senour Paint) and Gordon’s Rexall Drugs.

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Looking east toward 682 No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 22.

Beside the drug store, 682 No. 3 Road has four more retail outlets. Starting at the north end is Harris’ Bakery, Scoular’s Shoe Store, the Island Meat Market (Percy and Bob Eeles, proprietors) and Ivan’s Men’s Wear.

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Looking east toward 684 No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 21.

Four more businesses occupy 684 No. 3 Road. Brighouse Television sells TVs, radios and appliances as well as doing service and TV antenna installations. Next door, Burrows Cleaners provides laundry service, including pick-up and delivery.  Dawn Marie Style Shop offers the latest fashions for ladies and they can go next door to shop for shoes to go with their new dress at Skuse’s Shoes. The small building next door at 686 No. 3 Road (Behind the big Cadillac) is Dr. Booth’s Dentist Office and Dr. Talmey’s and Dr. Varley’s doctor’s office.

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Looking east toward 688 No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 20.

Just south of the doctor’s offices is a large two-storey commercial building  at the corner of Anderson Road and No. 3 Road. The first space is occupied by Richmond Realty with its clock sign and marquee which asks, “What Recession?”. Next to it is the Sea-View Bakery. Beside the bakery, a door leads to stairs to the second floor where Dr. Kita has his dental office, Dr. Fagen has his medical practice and where chartered accountant Donald Ross, and lawyers A.A. McDonald and F.R. Spry have their offices. At street level, the south corner of the building houses Porter’s Brighouse Pharmacy.

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Looking south east toward 690 No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 19.

Across Anderson Road is an old wood framed commercial building holding the storefront of  Grayshon & Morgan Electrical Contracting and Plumbing Services. Next door is the Brighouse Beauty Shop, open Friday ’til 9:00 PM.

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Looking east across toward 692 No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 18.

Next to the beauty parlour at 692 No. 3 Road is Grassie Jewellers and next to that is a Richmond favorite, the Brighouse Cafe, offering “Good Food” in their Cafe and Dining Room. Next door is Island Glass who deal in “Glass of all kinds, for every purpose”, Lyall Grath, proprietor.

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Looking east toward 694 No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 17.

At 694 No. 3 Road we find Richmond Home Furniture, a large furniture store offering trade-ins and good deals on all kinds of furniture and flooring. Next door is a two in one business, Naimark’s Dry Goods sells “Ladies and Kiddies Wear” and in the same store, Naimark’s Dry Cleaning cleans them.

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Looking east toward 696 No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 16.

The last building before Granville Avenue is the location of Richmond Hardware and the Brighouse Grocery – Red & White Store. The hardware store sells Bapco Paint, it seems like a lot of  places sell paint on No. 3 Road. The grocery store was a longtime business in Richmond, run by the Meyer Family. Upstairs, two apartments enjoy a balcony overlooking the street. Just across the street from this location is the Richmond Town Hall and just around the corner behind the store is Brighouse Station of the recently closed BC Electric Railway Interurban Tram.

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Looking east toward 700 No. 3 Road. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1988 18 15.

We’ll finish our walk down No. 3 Road by looking across Granville Avenue and No. 3 Road at the Parkview Service Garage. Brighouse Park is to the west of it and to the south is mostly houses. No. 3 Road between Westminster Highway and Granville offered most of the services anyone might need during the 1950s all contained within a few blocks. We’re fortunate that an unknown tax assessor decided to document this area and leave us with this detailed example of a point in time of Richmond’s development.

Centres of Government – Richmond’s Town Halls – Part Two

Part Two – The Tudor Manor

In 1918, with the First World War over and Richmond Town Council meeting in Bridgeport School due to the disastrous fire which destroyed the original hall on River Road, more and more pressure was being exerted to have a new Town Hall built in a more convenient, more central site. Council began looking for a new location that would meet the requirements of the growing Municipality.

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The Steveston Police station, jail and fire hall, shown here in 1915, had been built in the late 1890s. Its location and the fact that Steveston was the area with the highest population in Richmond was used as an argument for construction of a new town hall there. City of Richmond Archives photograph 2006 39 64.

Steveston was mentioned most of the time as the best location for the construction of a new Town Hall, as it had the highest residential population, was already the location of the police station and jail and was at the end of the BC Electric Railway Interurban line.

In January 1919, after due consideration and support from the Brighouse and Garden City Ratepayers Association, the decision was made to build the new hall in Brighouse. A deal was struck with Michael Wilkinson Brighouse, Sam Brighouse’s nephew and heir, to exchange the old Municipal Lands at River Road which had originally been purchased from the elder Brighouse, for about four acres of land at the southwest corner of No.3 Road and Granville Avenue next to the Brighouse Racetrack. The location of the new hall would help the area grow into the main commercial centre of Richmond.

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The new Richmond Town Hall, ca. 1920. Behind the hall is the Minoru/Brighouse Racetrack grandstand. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1987 97 1.

The Reeve and Council passed a by-law stating that the cost of the new hall would not exceed $15000, the cost to be covered by a public levy over three years. The new building was designed by Architect W. Jones and was much different in appearance from the simple old hall it replaced, looking much like an English Manor House. Mr. D. Gray was given the contract for the construction with his bid of $10519 and a further amount was awarded to the company of Barr and Anderson for plumbing and heating.

Construction problems arose early during the build, first in the foundations, which were found to have been laid six inches short of the required width, and then in the flooding of the coal furnace, which for some unknown reason was constructed below ground level, not the best building practice in Richmond. The new Town hall officially opened on December 13, 1919 and 300 citizens looked on as Reeve John Tilton called the Council meeting to order. When the meeting was over a celebration was held, the first of many to be held in the building which would serve the community nearly four decades.

Plans of City Hall 2

In 1941 the hall was renovated and a new vault was built. This blueprint shows the second floor with the council chambers, Reeve and Clerk’s offices, public service area, etc. City of Richmond Archives image.

The Police Department moved into the new hall in January 1920. By 1922 a resident janitor had been hired who was tasked with janitorial duties, answered the phone when the Police Chief was out of the building, took care of any prisoners in the jail and otherwise made himself useful around the hall.

Plans of City Hall 2-1

The ground floor of the hall was also renovated in 1941. Shown here are the police offices, jail cells and living quarters for the resident janitor. City of Richmond Archives image.

The hall, like its predecessor, was used as a social gathering place as well as for municipal business. Dances and concerts were held in the council chambers as well as meetings for many organizations. The Great War Veterans Association held meetings there, leading to the erection of the cenotaph in front of the building in 1922. The Agricultural Association leased a portion of the property for the construction of a building and tennis courts and lawn bowling greens were set up on the lawns adjacent to the hall.

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The cenotaph was erected outside the Town Hall in 1922. It still stands outside the present City Hall. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1977 21 8.

Four large light standards were installed on the grounds around the hall in January 1927. It was reported that when they were illuminated it would cause the lights inside the hall to dim, requiring an upgrade to the wiring in the place.

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During the Second World War the Town Hall provided office space for the War Loan Drive. Shown here are members of the Richmond Volunteer Fire Department/ A.R.P.  during a War Bond Drive.. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1984 7 1.

During the Second World War an office in the hall was provided to the War Loan Drive. A renovation of the hall took place in 1941 during which a new vault was built and changes to the interior spaces were made. After these renovations the hall remained as it was until 1955 when plans were approved for the construction of a new hall to replace the aging structure. The Municipality had out grown its centre of government and it was time for an upgrade to the post war modern era.

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This 1848 aerial view of the intersection of No.3 Road and Granville Avenue shows the Richmond Town Hall and its surroundings. On the left is Brighouse Park with its field and lacrosse box. The lower right shows the hall, works yard and outbuildings. On the far right is the grandstand and clubhouse at Brighouse Racetrack. The bottom of the photo shows the commercial buildings along No.3 Road. Granville Avenue and the BC Electric Railway tracks run diagonally from bottom to top. City of Richmond Archives photograph 1997 16 1.

Next – The 1950s Office Building

 

 

Brighouse Grocery – The Red & White Store

In the days before the big grocery store and market chains completely took over the food sales business, Richmond was served by several family owned and operated stores. The stores were conveniently located in the areas in which most of their customers lived and usually offered phone orders and free delivery. Brighouse Grocery was located, as its name suggests, in Brighouse on the corner of No.3 Road and Granville Avenue.

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The original Brighouse Grocery store was built By Josiah Stirton in 1918 and was located at the intersection of No. 3 Road and General Currie Road. (City of Richmond Archives photograph 1984 17 83)

The original Brighouse Grocery was built by Josiah Stirton around 1918 and was located at the corner of No.3 Road and General Currie Road. It operated there for several years, but moved to the Granville – No.3 Road building after it was built.

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The Brighouse Grocery Red & White Store, ca. 1955. The location was very convenient for customers arriving by tram, the tracks can be seen on the right.(City of Richmond Archives photograph 1993 29 2)

The new store, near the new Town Hall and the BC Electric Railway’s Brighouse Station was a far better location and the business thrived there for many years.

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Paul Meyer and children Michael and Heather in front of his store. (City of Richmond Archives photograph 1993 29 1)

In 1949 the store was purchased and operated by the Meyer family, Paul and Bertha, who became part of the Red & White chain of independent grocery stores.

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As advertised in Life Magazine, the Red & White Grocery “Trainload Sale” offered great bargains on canned food. Bertha and Paul Meyer stand in their store, ca. 1955. (City of Richmond Archives photograph 1993 29 3)

The Meyers owned the Brighouse Grocery Red & White Store from 1949 to 1963 offering telephone orders and free delivery.

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A smiling Bertha Meyer stocks the shelves at the Brighouse Grocery Store, ca. 1958. (City of Richmond Archives photograph 1993 29 5)

The variety of items offered by the store made one-stop shopping a reality in what would be considered a tiny space by today’s standards.

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Bertha and Paul Meyer stand in the produce section of the Brighouse Grocery, ca. 1955. (City of Richmond Archives photograph 1993 29 4)

Everything from cake mixes to produce and meat was available. If  riding the tram or driving to the store was not practical, your order could be phoned in and delivered for free, a service only now being offered by many of the big grocery chains of today.

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Brighouse Grocery in the sixties after the removal of the Interurban Tram tracks. (City of Richmond Archives photograph 1984 17 82)

The Interurban Tram, which would rattle the stock on the shelves when it went by, was missed by the store when the tram service was discontinued in 1958. Brighouse Station was just around the corner from the store and the reduction in business hurt the store’s bottom line. The store operated until about 1974 as the Brighouse Market. Well known photographer P.C. Lee opened his business there after it closed down.

Today most grocery purchases are made at one of the big supermarket chains or at one of the markets that specialize in produce sales, but many people have fond memories of the small neighborhood grocery stores of yesterday, run by local people who knew their customers by name.