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Karr/Mercer Barn

10735 Allard Crescent, Township of Langley, British Columbia, V1M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/07/29

Exterior view of the Karr/Mercer Barn; Township of Langley, Julie MacDonald, 2005
Front and side elevations
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/10/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Karr/Mercer Barn consists of a large, 2 1/2 storey, wood-frame barn. It was relocated to the Greater Vancouver Regional District's Derby Reach Regional Park in NW Langley, British Columbia.

Heritage Value

The Karr/Mercer Barn is important for its historic significance. It is also an important example of a community-led restoration that combined the resources of the Langley Heritage Society and the Greater Vancouver Regional District.

Originally built in 1876, the barn was one of the earliest hay-drying barns constructed in the Chilliwack area. Although it was relocated to Derby in Langley, it remains one of the oldest extant barns in the Fraser Valley and is an important physical reminder of pioneer farming and building techniques.

It is an excellent example of craftsmanship, having been built for David Karr by Quebecers Cyprien Belleque and Xavier Laderiau. It is also an excellent example of barn construction techniques, having been built using mortise and tenon joints with wood dowels, and long pieces of timber.

Its relocation is not unusual because it was common practice in the farming community to take down and move a barn when necessary. It speaks to the frugal and practical nature of a rural community. Its new location on the Derby farmsite contributes to the overall educational value of the site. The site was originally occupied by the first Hudson's Bay Company Fort in 1827 and later by the Townsite of Derby (1858-60).

The Karr/Mercer Barn and the Houston farmsite remind visitors that resource-based industries found throughout the province (mining, logging and fishing) were only some of the major forces shaping British Columbia in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. The resource-based industries were comprised primarily of single men, while the small farms were comprised of families. Small-scale family farms like this one provided an economic base for the industries mentioned above, and they provided the social stability that was necessary for a growing colony.

Source: Langley Centennial Museum, heritage files

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Karr/Mercer Barn include:
- Formal architectural qualities, such as its gable roof, its functional rectangular plan, its use of wood throughout
- Original mortise and tendon construction technique
- Original wooden building materials, including wooden doweling, barge boards that are 1' x 8' x 20', and barn plates that are 12' x 12' x 60' and each carved by broadaxe from a single tree, clear and tight-grained cedar that has naturally resisted rot for over 100 years
- Obvious excellent original craftsmanship, combined with a simplicity of form and function



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Extraction and Production

Function - Category and Type


Food Supply
Barn, Stable or Other Animal Housing


Architect / Designer



Xavier Laderiau

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Langley Centennial Museum, heritage files

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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