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Squamish Valley Hop Company Ranch

Hop farming was Squamish's first major industry. The major producer was Squamish Valley Hop Raising Co. (Bell-Irving Ranch). Hops are perennials and grown about 6 feet apart. They are picked during September and August. Hops are dried and bleached with sulphur in a kiln. In Squamish, Chinese labour was brought in to tend the hops. Local Indians were the pickers. They would camp in the area now between Petro Canada gas station and the Cottonwood condominiums. The hops in Squamish were top grade. They were shipped to Vancouver in bales wrapped in Burlap, then shipped to Britain where they were used to make beer.

Timeline
1890 - Hops first grown by E.B. Madill.
1891, February - Group from Puyallup Valley (near Tacoma) examined Squamish as potential hop growing area. The Squamish Valley Hop Raising Company was formed by Vancouver businessmen. Dr Bell-Irving (great uncle of previous Lieutenant Governor) was owner of the company. President was William Shannon and Secretary was T.T. Black; and Directors: Dr Bell-Irving, W.E. Green, George Magee, E.L. Phillips.
1892 - The Squamish Valley Hop Raising Company leased land from E.B. Madill. 1.5 acres of hop vine nursery stock was planted. In addition, 260 acres were purchased, 20 acres of which were cleared. Ranch was in the present location of Eagle Run extending from Heidenriech's house to Judd Road to Horse Creek. Frank H. Potter, a hop rancher from Puyallup, became a manager. No hops grown but frame house and out-buildings built for Potter.
1893, Fall - 5 acres hops grown on Madill's leased property. No hops grown on Squamish Valley Hop Company's own land. 40 acres cleared but planted potatoes, oats, and hat. W. Shannon still president of the company. Chas. McLaughlin, secretary.
1894 - Fred Clayton Thorne replaced Frank Potter as manager of Squamish Valley Hop Company. Hop industry began to thrive. Allen Rae, E.B. Madill, George Magee, and Tom Reid grew hops.
1897 - D.H. Tweedie was manager of Madill's hop ranch.
1898 - Charles Rose was manager of Squamish Valley Hop Company (Bell-Irving ranch). Wife, Alice, was ranch cook.
1906, March - 28 acres of hops planted at Bell-Irving ranch.
1914 - With beginning if war, hop prices fell. Hop ranches were shut down. The Squamish Valley Hop Company was owned by Dr Bell Irving and Mr Murry (manager of Bank of Commerce in Vancouver) owned ranch at that time. Fred Thorne took over Squamish Valley Hope Company ranch and started raising short horn cattle.
1917 - Hop industry had died in Squamish.
~1931 - George Carson was running his brother Robert (Bob) Carson's hop ranch when it burned down.
1944 - Roderick Mackenzie owned old Squamish Hop Co. ranch. Referred to as the mackenzie Ranch or the Pig or Hog Ranch. Since he produced hops for export to help the war effort, it received those names.

Tall tree along tracks used by Merrill & Ring Logging

Photo by: Bun Yarwood, circa 1930.

Merrill and Ring, an American company bought their claim in 1888 for 25 cents per acre. This went from Valleycliffe through the foothills to Brohm Lake. They did not set up in the valley until October 1926. The operation had come from Duncan Bay, before that they had been at Camp O near Alert Bay. Their first camp is where Valleycliffe is located now. They employed 200 people. The hiring was done by Loggers' Agencies in Vancouver. They would fall the trees with cross cut saws then haul the logs with a steam donkey to the train. They used a steam axe to split the wood as machines used only wood fuel at the time.

A lot of Merrill and Ring timber was burnt in a Norton McKinnon fire in 1927. The McKinnon's engine was given as payment. Aloysius McNalley and John Broomquist collected it. The same year, Arthur Edwards assisted in the building of the Merrill & Ring camp at Edith Lake.

In 1929, Merrill and Ring moved their operation across the Mamquam valley to Edith Lake east of Alice Lake. A settlement of 225 men was set up there. Railway track covered the mountainside from Cheekye River southward.

Merrill and Ring closed in 1930 due to the low price of logs during the Depression. Logs were selling from 5 to 6 dollars per thousand. At this time, the logs were hauled by train to the dump at the mouth of the Stawamus River. Merill and Ring started back up in 1932.

Merrill and Ring shut down 3 times in 1937: after New Years due to snow, due to fire season, and in the fall when a bridge over the Cheekye River was washed out. Merrill and Ring left Squamish in 1940.

Woodfibre - plant and townsite

The name for the Woodfibre area (once a community but now solely the site of a pulp mill by the same name) was established in 1921 as the result of a contest. The previous was Mill Creek and had to be changed because there was another post office of the same name. The winner of the contest and $50 prize was Cathy Haar.
Squamish Public Library, Squamish Files: Place Names.

Municipal Park

Municipal Park on June 19, 1959, now Stan Clarke Park. The child is Brett Cunningham.

Clarke Park was named after a prominent railway man and a village chairman, G.S. Clarke (Stanley) since he was involved in all aspects of the community.

Church of St John the Divine

Anglican church. Cross and Bell transferred to a new church in November 1976 in Garibaldi Estates.

Church of Saint John the Divine, Newport, BC was erected between May 15th and July 1st, 1913. It was officially opened and dedicated on July 20th, 1913 by the Right Reverend A.U. DePencier, Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster.

This Anglican Church on Sixth Avenue was the only church north of Gibson's Landing for many years. The church served the needs of the entire Christian community from the earliest days when Mr Mashiter alternated his Anglican Sunday services with Presbyterian Minister Dr. Robert Young, to the first Lutheran services in town held there by Reverend C. Guebert in the late 1950's.

For a brief period in the early 1920's, the church boasted fine stain glass windows until the stone-throwing enthusiasm of local children forced their removal. Many of their children now own windows of their own in Squamish.

The church has now been tastefully converted into a Dance Studio.

Original use: Church.
Current: Dance studio.
Current condition: Well maintained, new use as dance studio respects original character.

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