Maps show the location of the original site and the current
site of the station.
Fraser Mills station before removal in 1964.
The Heritage Square sign may be easily spotted from Brunette
Avenue as you drive past.
The front of the station located at Heritage
A small handcar shed has been added behind the
station. The steel caboose is not open to the public.
A ticket wicket and waiting room occupy the right side while
a small baggage room on the left is filled with CRHA artifacts. (The poor woman
has no shoes!)
Fraser Mills station was built in 1910 as one of
five stations on what is now the Westminster Subdivision of the Canadian Pacific
Railway. In the early 1970's it was removed from it's original location, just east
of the grade crossing at King Edward Street in Maillardville, and placed in
Coquitlam's Blue Mountain Park. In April 1999 the station was relocated once more to
Heritage Square at 1120 Brunette Avenue in Coquitlam, British Columbia.
How different it was back in 1886,
when the first pasenger train from Westminster Junction ran south to New
Westminster. At that time, New Westminster
was the largest city on the British Columbia mainland, and the departure point
for ships to Victoria, the provincial capital.
There was no station at Fraser Mills in 1886 but by 1890 a simple station on
that site was named Millside because of the nearby Ross-McLaren
lumber mill that had just begun production. The mill soon fell on hard times, and
in 1892 closed down for a full decade. But afer re-opening in 1903
as Fraser River Sawmills, it soon became the biggest shipper of lumber on the
In 1907, ambitious new owners took control, determined to double the mill's
production. Over the next year, they expanded its facilities, giving it greater
capacity than any mill of its kind in the world. They needed more skilled
manpower, too, and sent recruiters to Quebec and Ontario in search of experienced
millhands. The first arrivals came on a special 13-car train from
Montreal. On 28 September 1909, they reached Fraser Mills, as the company town
was then known. Others followed in 1910, the year the mill became the Canadian
Western Lumber Company.
Some new employees took advantage of the company's offer of land on credit and
cheap lumber to build homes about a half-mile north of the mill. So
began the development of Maillardville, the French-Canadian
settlement taking its name from the loal priest, Father Edmund Maillard.
With the mill and community both growing, the CPR decided it was time for a
larger station and a permanent agent to run the operation. This new station,
based on CPR's Number 6 station plan, opened in 1910. Soon it was served by six
daily passenger trains running in each direction.
For many years the little station was a vital part of the community. As well as
being the place where passengers arrived and departed on trains, it offered the
public two important amenities: the telegraph, for sending urgent and
long-distance messages, and express service, for shipping parcels by
Station staff also played a role in the work of the lumber mill. They arranged
for empty freight cars to be supplied for loading and prepared the paperwork to
go with the lumber shipments.
However, by 1959, only three stations remained on the Westminster Subdivision,
Coquitlam, Fraser Mills, and New Westminster. Fraser Mills was now served by only
two daily "mixed" trains, consisting of both passenger and freight
Today, there are no stations left on the Westminster Subdivision but Fraser Mills
station still stands, both as a reminder of Maillardville's beginnings, and as a
testament to the importance of the transcontinental railway in the development of
The structure has been designated as a Heritage Building by the City of Coquitlam
and the Coquitlam Heritage Society. The station museum is operated by volunteers
from the Pacific Coast Division of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association.
Adapted from a pamphlet prepared by the:
Canadian Railroad Historical Association
Pacific Coast Division
PO Box 1006 Station A
Vancouver BC V6C 2P1
Canadian Railroad Historical
Canadian Pacific Railway
2005 William C. Slim