Our paper has been documenting people’s “comings and goings” for the past century. We thought we would share some highlights from the archives at the Agassiz-Harrison Museum.
The earliest newspapers in our collection include the Agassiz Record: A Community Paper, from 1923 and 1924. The paper cost $1.50 per year and included ads from business owners throughout the Fraser Valley.
Our collection includes papers from 1930 to 1933 that were printed by the Agassiz Advance, which succeeded the Agassiz Record. The front page of the Thursday June 5, 1930, issue of the Advance included an article titled “What Agassiz and Her Citizens Enjoy.” In it, the reader learns that Agassiz’s assets in 1930 included: electric light service, a two-room high school, five-room public school, the CPR Railway Telegraph, the ferry service, the Agricultural Fair, a hop factory, and roads.
The biggest news during the 1940s was the 1948 flood. This natural disaster devastated many communities in the lower Fraser River Valley, including the District of Kent. Due to the flood, the Advance did not go to print from June 2 to June 30, 1948.
The completion of the Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge took place during the 1950s, changing the dynamics of our community. “Bridge Opening Makes 1956 Year to Remember” headlined the Jan. 3, 1957, issue of the Advance.
Downtown Agassiz began to change in the 1960s following the opening of the Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge. “Renovation Projects Underway in Three Stores In Agassiz” in the April 6, 1961, issue of the Advance demonstrates how local business owners were trying to keep things “fresh.”
Updating community technology and additional community growth characterized the district in the 1970s. Manco Mobile Home Manufacturing had difficulty breaking ground in 1975 due to the rainy winter, as noted in the Jan. 29, 1975, issue of the Advance. The community’s expansion required the installation of a new sewer system.
|The 1986 May opening of the Museum’s historic CP Rail building. (Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society)
Documentation about the community’s heritage began in earnest in the 1980s. The Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society purchased the CPR Station in 1985 when the district simultaneously purchased Pioneer Park from CPR. “Park purchase highlight of year” was the headline in the Jan. 8, 1986, issue of the Advance. The CPR Station building was moved to the Agassiz Research Station, renovated, and opened as the Agassiz-Harrison Museum on May 23, 1986.
News in the Agassiz-Harrison Valley was doubly covered during the 1990s by two community papers: the Advance and the Observer. The Advance closed its doors for good at the end of the decade after 70 years of community reporting.
Our community experienced some unexpected outcomes as tourism increased in the 2000s. The Feb. 25, 2004, issue of the Observer included a headline “Litterbugs turn Rockwell roadside into garbage dump.”
The District of Kent’s popularity with the film industry dramatically increased. Downtown Agassiz was transformed into Wayward Pines, Idaho in 2013 and 2014.
Did we pique your interest? Contact the museum (604-796-3545 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to book your appointment to review our newspaper archives.
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