The Fort Langley traders established a salmon saltery at Harrisonmouth (now Harrison Mills) in 1847 and over 1,000 barrels were prepared. The first recorded purchase of land was in Harrison Mills, in 1859. 1870 saw the establishment of a water powered sawmill where the Chehalis River joins the Harrison, which was for a time the only mill in the Kent/Chilliwack area. The Government of Canada's Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre opened in 1888, as the Dominion Experimental Farm, focusing on horticulture. It developed trees, fruits, grains and cattle suited to the region. Later programs for poultry, wheat, sheep and shrubs were added. After 1991 the emphasis was placed on livestock.
A brief Kent chronology: 1893, Charles Pretty builds a log cabin as a retreat from New Westminster, later to become a major player in the local timber industry (still in operation today). 1895, Kent Municipality Incorporated including: Agassiz, Harrison Mills, Ruby Creek, Chehalis and SeaBird Island. 1901, the Agassiz-Rosedale ferry became a link across the Fraser River. 1906, The first automobile arrived in Agassiz, owned by C. J. Inkman. The Kilby's establish their store in Harrison Mills. 1910, Installation of the first telephone in Agassiz.
Kent takes its name from Kent, England (famous for hops), since local hop growing was an important industry. (Akrigg).