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Historic farmhouse a favourite grey-Victoria Day visit in South Surrey

Guests learned how lives were lived in the 1880s – and how old-fashioned telephones worked

The wood stove was burning in the kitchen of the historic Stewart farmhouse in South Surrey on a grey and rather chilly Victoria Day Monday (May 22), with freshly baked treats laid out on the red-and-white-checked, tablecloth-covered kitchen table.

The Victorian farmhouse was home to the Stewarts in the 1880s, after John Stewart purchased the farm in 1880 and pioneered the dyking of the Nicomekl River. He married Anne in 1884 and served five years on the earliest municipal councils.

The property is the only completely intact farm unit remaining in Surrey from the late 19th century.

The family, including sons William James and John Massey, lived in the house and worked the land along the Nicomekl River.

Open for historic tours and family activities, the farmhouse was bustling with parents and youngsters on Monday, the children armed with scavenger hunt posters to check off what items they could find in the historic house, including a real, old-fashioned telephone, a clock and a washboard, among others.

READ ALSO: Heritage South Surrey farmhouse reopens to public July 2

Dressed in long skirts and blouses, 1880s-style, volunteers lead groups through the home, explaining how lives were led so long ago.

Volunteer Janice Doepker described what would happen when company came calling, and further into the home, children were amazed that the old-fashioned telephone, tucked away in a corner, was an actual phone that people used.

“There are some pretty good reactions,” volunteer Sammi Anderson admitted.

Tableaus laid out also showed how the family would have bathed, cooked, washed their clothes and how they entertained themselves in the 1880s onward.

The farmhouse hosts all kinds of tours and demonstrations throughout the year, from butter churning and lawn games to old-fashioned laundry demos.

For more information about Historic Stewart Farm, visit or call 604-591-4627.


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Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’m a lifelong writer, and worked as a journalist in community newspapers for more than a decade, from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey, from 2001-2012
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