Fort Langley was built in 1827 as a fur trade post, operated by the Hudson’s Bay Company. Its heritage value lies in strong historical associations with early explorations and establishment of colonial resources, some of which still survive at the site. The fort was originally constructed 4 km upstream of its present location, then relocated and rebuilt in 1839, only to be destroyed by fire in 1840 requiring it to be, once again, rebuilt. The Hudson’s Bay Company continued to run a post on this site until 1886, although in later years its focus shifted from fur to agricultural trade and fish packing. Since it became a national historic site in 1923, the location of Fort Langley’s palisades has been identified through archaeological investigation, as have the remains of many of its buildings and structures.
As was common in the fur trade, the majority of the fort’s original residents were French-Canadian and Métis. As one of the earliest settlements besides those of the Indigenous communities, this was a significant francophone presence early in B.C.’s history. Now as a federal historic site, this place continues to promote bilingualism and support for French Canadian culture in B.C.