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Mission Yesterday

In 1861, Father Fouquet, a Priest from France, opened the St. Mary's Indian Residential School just east of what is now Mission's downtown. James Welton Horne, a real estate speculator, purchased a substantial amount of land surrounding the newly constructed Canadian Pacific Railway bridge and railway line, connecting Mission to the U.S. In May of 1891, he held his "Great Land Sale" in Mission City. The area from the Stave River to Hatzic Lake was incorporated in 1892 as the Municipality of Mission, excluding the City. In 1894, when the Fraser River flooded the low lying area up to the CPR tracks, the merchants decided to move north of the tracks where other businesses were already established. Ruskin was settled in 1896 as a cooperative community.

Farms were producing large quantities of fruits and vegetables which supplied the plants and jam factories. Mission became known as "The Home of the Big Red Strawberry." Dairy farming along with poultry and hog farming were also proving successful. The forests provided a livelihood for the settlers. Shake and shingle mills were established along the Fraser River, a new industry which attracted immigrants from India. Canada's only train robbery took place in Mission in 1904, carried out by Bill Miner and his gang. The need for more electricity prompted the building of the Stave Falls Dam and electric plant, opened in 1912. Telephone service began in 1907, as one of the first services in the Valley. In 1969 the town and the municipality united to become the "District of Mission."

This community takes its name from St. Mary's Mission. (Akrigg). Sources: District of Mission, visit their web site to find out more about Mission. Mission's Soapbox Derby by the Mission Historical Society. Tackling the Timbers Exhibit on the Virtual Museum of Canada, created by the Mission Museum.

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