CLOVERDALE — Three buildings belonging to a prominent pioneer family in Cloverdale are being restored and will serve residents of a condo development being built on the property.
The Bose family home, built in 1924, was hoisted onto a new foundation Monday and will undergo heritage revitalization, along with an old milk parlour and potato barn.
The developer, John Rempel of Rempel Development Group, negotiated with the City of Surrey for higher density on the non-forested part of the property in exchange for dedicating the forest to the city. Approximately 12 acres of trees are being protected as part of the development and the city plans to turn the forested area into a park.
The building restorations are said to be the largest heritage revitalization in Surrey in recent years and will be the centerpieces of a new 253-unit condo development on the property. The home will be used as guest suites, the potato barn will be an amenity centre for residents and the milk parlour will be a tool shed for a community garden.
Three generations farmed the land from 1892 until 2009, including Bob Bose, who served as Surrey’s mayor from 1988 to 1996.
“It’s wonderful that our family home, having been a part of Surrey’s heartland for 89 years, will be enjoyed by future generations on the farm it was built on,” said Bob.
Bob’s twin brother Roger Bose is also happy to see his family’s home restored.
Roger recalled fond memories of the family around the fireplace in the living room, particularly around Christmas.
Roger said the home had a wood stove in the kitchen, as well as a furnace.
“My mother was always the first one to get up in the morning and put a wood block on the furnace. She never had to use a match. She was a good manager,” he said with a chuckle.
“And we have many good memories as kids playing out in the bush. We also had lots of barbecues and things in the bush in later years. The family home was a very special place,” Roger said.
And the farm itself has quite a history.
Henry Bose, Roger and Bob’s grandfather, established the Cloverdale farm in 1892 after settling in British Columbia from England. Henry operated a massive farming operation and became heavily involved with community organizations and politics. Henry served as mayor from 1905 to 1909, as police magistrate for 35 years and on the Surrey school board.
The property was originally 160 acres, mostly on the hillside, but when Henry married May Churchland in 1901, he gave half of the land to his father-in-law, John Churchland, as a dowry.
Some produce was sold or traded to local residents, and Henry made a weekly trip by horse to a New Westminster farmers’ market to sell vegetables, meat, eggs and butter.
When B.C. Electric Railway built the Interurban train line in 1910, it opened up a whole new market for the family.
Henry was a charter member of the Surrey Farmers’ Institute, which had a licence to sell dynamite for clearing land. Dynamite was stored and distributed from the Bose farm for more than 40 years.
The farm also supplied thousands of bales of hay to Dairyland to feed horses, which were used to pull the milk delivery wagons through the streets of Vancouver.
By that time, the farm had grown to 340 acres and produced 1,000 tons of potatoes, hay and grain, and had 75 cows.
When Henry died in 1951, his two sons Harry and Norman took over the farm.
The dairy herd was dispersed in 1963 and with that came the dissolution of the partnership of Harry and Norman. The farm was never again the thriving operation it once was.
With no succession plan, the farm was finally dispersed for development.
And with that, the farm’s history came to its conclusion, but its legacy will live on in Surrey through the restoration of its original buildings.
Condos in the development, called The Ridge at Bose Farms, are on sale now, by appointment. Call 604-888-5514.
The development’s grand opening is set for Oct. 12.
Register at www.theridgeatbosefarms.com to receive updates.
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