Haney Post Office
Old Post Office
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Haney Post Office is located on Callighan Avenue, in Calligan Park, the site of the old District of Maple Ridge Municipal Hall. A modest, single storey wood frame commercial building that displays the influence of the Craftsman style, it is sparsely ornamented, with a rectangular plan interrupted by a recessed section in the center of the rear facade of the building.
The Haney Post Office is significant because it represents a transitional period of Haney's growth, after the construction of the Lougheed Highway in 1931 and the shift of the business center at the Port Haney townsite from its original location near the railway tracks and the waterfront, to a new location farther north, easily accessible by road.
Port Haney remains as a heritage precinct and a reminder of the early history of the District of Maple Ridge and the development of its original small town centres. The early settlement of Port Haney was centred on the Fraser River, which provided the earliest access before the development of roads through the area. Over time, significant commercial and residential activity occurred and Port Haney became a major transportation hub in the region. Decline set in after the Great Depression and a devastating fire in 1932 that destroyed much of the business centre. The fire caused commercial activity to relocate to the north along and near the newly opened Lougheed Highway, a make-work project that connected the Fraser Valley communities by road.
In 1933, a small post office was built at 22371 River Road, beside the railway at the delivery point for the mail. The post office was reluctant to move closer to Lougheed Highway, as they found the location beside the railway was more convenient. Public pressure led to the construction in 1939 of this new, larger post office on Fraser Street near the new centre of town. It was built by local contractor Ernie E. Adair. The 1939 post office was soon judged to be too small, and was made obsolete by a more modern facility on 224th Street, built in 1951 at a time of increasing growth in the community. This new facility fostered the ongoing development of Haney as the administrative and commercial center of the municipality. The locational shift of the post office function also illustrates a dramatic change in methods of the distribution of goods in the mid-twentieth century, as rail transportation became less important and most goods, including mail, were shipped by truck. The growth of road based transportation allowed greater flexibility in land development and heralded new suburban development throughout the region in the postwar era.
The Haney Post Office is also valued for its association with an important historic personality, Mary Berry Charlton Storey, who built the post office and acted as Post Mistress. Well known as an ambitious early entrepreneur, she was the wife of Alfred Charlton, a retailer and post office operator in Port Haney. After his death she assumed his professional responsibilities, taking on the role of post master, harbour master and retailer in addition to raising her children. Additionally, she is important to the history of Port Haney for opening the first bank in the community, cementing Port Haney's prime position in the river based life of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She later married William Storey, Mr. Charlton's cousin. Mary Berry Charlton Storey is buried between her two husbands in the Maple Ridge Cemetery.
In order to ensure its preservation, the Haney Post Office was moved in 1979 from its location on Fraser Street to its current location in Calligan Park, the former site of the Maple Ridge Municipal Hall.
Source: Planning Department, District of Maple Ridge
The character defining features of the Haney Post Office include its:
- form, scale and massing
- simple architecture with Late Craftsman influence
- side gable roof with front gable porch
- wide horizontal lapped wood siding
- multi-paned, wooden sash six-over-three patterned windows
- exposed rafter tails
- tongue-and-groove detailing in porch gable
- interior features such as tongue-and-groove panelling
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
1979/01/01 to 1979/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Primary or Secondary School
- Post Office
Architect / Designer
Ernie E. Adair
Location of Supporting Documentation
Planning Department, District of Maple Ridge
Cross-Reference to Collection