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Surrey Yesterday

As an unorganized area Surrey was mostly occupied by trappers, squatters and drifters, until its first settler, James Kennedy, arrived. The first settlements were Mud Bay, Brownsville, Hall's Prairie and Cloverdale. Surrey was incorporated in 1879. Surrey's population grew steadily after the ferry "K de K" was placed in service to cross the Fraser River from Brownsville to New Westminster in 1883. Logging became the main industry and the cleared lands provided excellent farms. In 1888, Surrey residents celebrated their feats with he first agricultural fair. With the increased trade, a number of trans and communication channels were established, including: the New Westminster-southern Railway in 1891, two telephone agents (where people could. the telephones for a fee) in 1885, the first newspaper "The Surrey Times" which appeared in 1895 and the Fraser River Bridge in 1904.

Municipal business outgrew the original town hall and hall, which is now the Cloverdale Seniors Centre, was established in 1912. In 1925 Harry Whalley opened a gas station on approximately where the King George Highway now meets 108th Avenue. The area became known as Whalley’s Corner. More about Whalley on Jack Brown's Whalley Page. Later in the 1940s, with the onset of the war, making Vancouver's housing highly priced, Surrey grew rapidly. The fifties and sixties saw continued growth and change, with a referendum that transferred policing powers from the Surrey police force to the RCMP, the incorporation of White Rock as a city, the building of the current municipal hall and works yard and the Surrey Arts Centre. Surrey became a city in 1993.

Sources: City of Surrey, history page; Jack Brown's The City of Surrey: A History. The city takes its name from Surrey, England. (Akrigg).

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