Frank and Louise (Harriett) Johnson, courtesy of the BC Genealogical Society. (Ancestry.com photo)

Frank and Louise (Harriett) Johnson, courtesy of the BC Genealogical Society. (Ancestry.com photo)

Ocean Park memorial marker to be returned to family

Headstone engraved with names of Frank and Louise Johnson to reside at nearby property in meantime

Earlier this month, Ocean Park resident Bill Field embarked on a mission to uncover the identities of two people – Frank and Louise Johnson – whose names were engraved on a memorial headstone on a property near Kwomais Point.

The first of the still-evolving mystery took about a week to solve – thanks to information from the BC Genealogical Society, which provided plenty of information to the 73-year-old Field, who has lived in the area since the mid-1980s.

Now, for the second step: returning the marker to its rightful heirs.

Though the property had long been home to multiple generations of the Tuttle family, it turns out that Frank, who passed away in 1955, and Louise, who died in 1967, had been friends of the Tuttles and had briefly rented a tiny cottage on the land.

The headstone had been found in late March, by members of a work crew that was onsite at a soon-to-be-redeveloped property in the 12900-block of 13 Avenue in South Surrey.

Though he now knew more about the couple – and specifically, knew why they would have had a memorial stone at the property – Field didn’t stop there. He continued to trace the Johnson and Tuttle origins, eventually tracking down family members both near and far.

Now one of those family members, a grandchild, is set to reclaim the headstone.

As work continues on the redevelopment property, Field, with the help of a neighbour, moved the memorial marker “about 100 metres” east, onto his nearby property.

“I was concerned about someone thieving it, until I came to realize it weighed more than 60 pounds,” Field said.

The stone will remain at Field’s property until Pat Knecht, a grandchild of the Johnsons who lives in Calgary, can travel to the Semiahmoo Peninsula and retrieve it – something that isn’t likely to happen until the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

In an interview with Peace Arch News prior to making contact with relatives, Field wondered if anyone in the Johnson family even knew of the marker’s existence, let alone its exact location.

“Thanks for locating our family so that we can reclaim it,” Knecht wrote in an email to Field, adding that the marker was “an unusual treasure.”

“I have fond memories of time spent on the property visiting grandparents.”

“We will gladly keep it until you have a chance to pick it up,” answered Field.

Field told PAN that the last month of research has satisfied his “general curiosity” about local history, while noting that he comes by his inquisitiveness honestly – both his wife and his father-in-law were investigative journalist, and so is his brother.

“It’s been a gratifying experience,” he said.



editorial@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

history

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon was sworn in as minister of minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation by B.C. Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin and Premier John Horgan during a virtual ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. (Province of BC/YouTube screen shot)
Delta North MLA named minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation

Ravi Kahlon was sworn in by Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin during a virtual ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 26

The City of Delta is receiving $77,250 from Natural Resources Canada’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program for the installation of 20 electric vehicle charging stations at public facilities in the community, like this one outside the new North Delta Centre for the Arts. (James Smith photo)
Delta to receive $77K for more electric vehicle charging stations

The federal funding will help expand Delta’s network of public charging stations by 20 in 2021

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Brenda Locke trying to breathe life into Surrey’s defunct Public Safety Committee

Surrey councillor’s motion will be up for debate at a future council meeting

Steve ‘Elvis’ Elliott performs for residents of Amica White Rock. Exercise-to-music programs that led to a threat of city fines due to a noise complaint are to resume next week. (Contributed file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Amica White Rock

Peace Portal Seniors Village outbreak declared over

Wickson Pier in Crescent Beach is closed to the public, as work to replace and repair piles continues. (Susan Richards de Wit photo)
PHOTOS: Repairs to Crescent Beach pier complete

$180,000 Wickson Pier project included pile replacement, says City of Surrey parks manager

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

A new ‘soft reporting’ room is opening inside the Ann Davis Transition Society offices on Dec. 1, 2020 which is thought to be the first of its kind in B.C. (Ann Davis Transitional Society/ Facebook)
New ‘trauma-informed’ reporting room opening next week in Chilliwack

It’s a space for reporting domestic violence, sexual assault, or gender-based violence to police

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

The online poster for Joel Goddard, who left his Willoughby home Nov. 10, 2020, has been updated by his family and friends who received word that he’s been found.
Langley man missing since Nov. 10 found alive and safe in Abbotsford

Family of the Willoughby area man had been searching for days. Police find him at Abbotsford Airport

Most Read