Sunday, May 5, 2013

1614 184th Street

Hazelmere United Church,
Surrey, B.C. Canada

The closest British Columbia church to the US border is probably Hazelmere United Church.  It is about 2 miles north of the border and 1 miles east of the Pacific Highway that leads the the Pacific Border Truck Crossing.
"Hazlemere United Church is a simple pioneer church and an adjacent church hall, at the northeast corner of 184th Street and 16th Avenue in Surrey.
"Hazelmere United Church is significant for its association with the development of the Hazelmere area. Opened up for settlement in 1860, by 1879 Hall's Prairie was one of four small communities that had grown in Surrey. Until 1881, when a road was built through the area down to the American border, the only access was by the Nicomekl or Serpentine Rivers or by a rough trail. Henry Thrift settled in the area and called his farm Hazelmere after the hazel bushes that grew there. When the New Westminster Southern Railway was built through the area in 1891, the local stop was called Hazelmere. Over the years the agricultural focus shifted to dairy farming, due partly to the completion of the BC Electric Railway interurban line in 1910 which allowed greater access to markets.

Sign in front of the church

"As the first church built in Hazelmere, Hazelmere United Church is valued as an indication of the importance of religion in the lives of the early settlers. By 1905, Henry Thrift had donated the land for this church on the condition that it be non-denominational. This allowed members of different denominations, such as the Congregationalists, the Methodists and the Presbyterians to share a common space. The small population of the community meant that separate denominations could not afford to build individual churches, thereby necessitating the jointly built church. Following the union of the Congregationalist, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches into the United Church, it became the Hazelmere United Church in 1925.

Heritage Plaque

"An important part of the value of this site is its association with the local community and its efforts to work jointly to construct a place of worship for their community. A century later it continues to serve the spiritual and social needs of this rural community.

"The church is valued as a representation of a modest pioneer church, designed in a simple manner with vestiges of Gothic Revival influence. The adjacent hall, a former Hall's Prairie School built in 1923 and moved to the site in 1949, demonstrates the growth of the local population and the continuing need for public facilities in the area.
"Key elements that define the heritage character of Hazelmere United Church include its: 
- location of the church at a prominent corner of Hazelmere
- form, scale, and massing of the church and the hall on one property
- Gothic Revival inspired wooden-sash pointed arch windows of the church

North side church window

- front gabled steep pitch roof with gabled vestibule and shed roof vestry at rear
- drop siding
- groupings of mature coniferous trees on the property

Cement pathway to adjacent church hall

- the adjacent church hall, including its exterior elements such as wooden siding and original wooden-sash windows, and surviving interior features such as original woodwork." (Link.)

Photos: Taken in February by SW.

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