This exhibit showcases Coquitlam’s early history, from the opening of Fraser Mills to the settlement of Maillardville. The exhibition is divided into five sections: Maillardville, Lumber Industry, Farm Life, Community Landmarks, and Education. Please click on a section title (located above) to learn more and see photographs.
A Brief History
The earliest residents of Coquitlam were the Kwikwetlem First Nation. By the 1860s, Europeans began to settle in the region, partly as a result of the construction of North Road, which connected New Westminster and Port Moody. In 1891, the municipality of the District of Coquitlam was officially incorporated. By the late 1890s, Frank Ross and James McLaren opened Fraser Mills, an impressive and technologically advanced lumber mill on the north bank of the Fraser River. “By 1908, the little mill town boasted 20 houses, a store, a post office, a hospital, office block, barber shop and pool hall, and it took four police officers to maintain law and order” (Pioneer Tales Book Committee, p. 24). Wanting to further the mill’s growth, the owners of Fraser Mills looked to recruit experienced mill workers from Quebec. In 1909 the first contingent of 110 French Canadian mill workers arrived in Coquitlam, with a second contingent arriving in June 1910. Named after Father Edmond Maillard, a young Oblate from France, the vibrant community of Maillardville was born. Thanks to its roots in strong industries and agriculture, Coquitlam steady grew to become the culturally diverse, urban city it is today.
City of Coquitlam. "History and Heritage." City of Coquitlam. www.coquitlam.ca/economic-development/heritage.aspx.
Coquitlam Public Library New Horizons for Seniors Committee. Coquitlam Then and Now. Coquitlam, B.C.: Coquitlam Public Library, 2011.
Pioneer Tales Book Committee. Coquitlam, 100 Years: Reflections on the Past. Coquitlam, B.C.: District of Coquitlam, 1990.
Coquitlam Public Library