A memorial headstone with two names – Frank and Louise Johnson – was recently found at a property along 13 Avenue in South Surrey. (Contributed photo)

A memorial headstone with two names – Frank and Louise Johnson – was recently found at a property along 13 Avenue in South Surrey. (Contributed photo)

Ocean Park neighbour aiming to track down answers to headstone ‘mystery’

South Surrey work crews discover memorial on site of under-development property near Kwomais Point

Who were Frank and Louise Johnson?

That’s what Bill Field, a longtime Ocean Park resident, is trying to find out, after the names of the long-deceased pair were recently found engraved on a headstone uncovered on a nearby property in his Kwomais Point-area neighbourhood.

Early last week, the headstone was discovered by members of a work crew, which is onsite as the large property, located on 13 Avenue, just west of 129A Street, is being redeveloped. Work immediately stopped at the site, Field said, though the crews were back working Monday (April 6), and told Field they were instructed to continue work on other areas of the property without disturbing the headstone site.

The headstone lists two people – Frank D.B. Johnson (1891-1955) and Louise L. Johnson (1880-1967).

Field, who has lived about a half block east of the site since 1986 – “We’re the last of the reverends’ cottages from Camp Kwomais, and the last (property) with any trees,” he said – had never heard of the Johnsons before. He told Peace Arch News that three generations of the Tuttle family had lived there, dating back to the 1930s, until the last member of the family sold the property and moved out “in about 2004 or ’05.”

The flat memorial stone is close enough to the road that Field believes it lies on part of the property that used to be owned by the city, until, he says, Morley Tuttle purchased part of the road allowance from the City of Surrey in the 1970s.

There are two homes currently on the property, Field said. One is occupied, while the second one is the site of the re-development work.

An email to the City of Surrey’s planning and development department was not immediately returned.

• READ ALSO: Remembering an Ocean Park pioneer

• READ ALSO: Rezoning aims to limit Kwomais Point neighbourhood

Field said he heard about the headstone last week when another neighbour, whose house overlooks the under-development property, emailed him to tell him what the crew had found. In an effort to help, the 73-year-old Field said he wandered over to the property, where RCMP were now on site, thinking that the headstone was, in fact, something different entirely.

‘There used to be a set of small markers – not headstones, but markers – that were closer to 13 Avenue on that same property. You used to be able to see them from 13th avenue, and I’d see them when I’d go for a walk,” Field explained.

“But I can’t find them now because a cedar hedge has grown so tall. I believe those markers were Tuttle-related, so when I heard, I was thinking, ‘Oh, I know all about that’ but when I got there, the RCMP led me to this one, which was different.”

Field suspects the headstone is either marking the spot that ashes were spread, or simply a remembrance stone with no ashes or other remains underneath.

Finding anyone who might know who the Johnsons were is difficult, Field said, because all the neighbourhood’s longtime residents have either moved away or died.

“When I moved here in ’86, we had a neighbour on one side in his 90s, another one in his late 90s… two or three doors down we had (a woman) who was 101. And back then, you could talk to them and they’d tell you all kinds of stories about the neighbourhood,” he said.

“But I seem to be the go-to guy for that now, I guess.”

With no elders to lean on for information, and a working theory that perhaps the Johnsons were related to the Tuttles by marriage, Field has set out to track down as much information as he can. He has called every Tuttle in B.C. that he can find, without any luck, though he thought he might’ve had a match last week when he found a George Tuttle – the name of the last Tuttle to live at the property – living in the Lower Mainland.

“He was an older fella and I thought I’d struck gold, but he said he’d never lived in Ocean Park,” Field said.

Field has also reached out to the BC Genealogical Society for help, though as of Monday he had yet to hear if the society’s research team had found any new information.

He combed through odd records of the Ocean Park Community Association, but that avenue also failed to turn up any new leads.

“The closest I got to a Johnson was a Johnstone, so not quite,” he said. “No other Johnsons (appear) to have been members, and back then everybody belonged. It’s hard to figure this one out.

“It’s quite a mystery, it really is. It’s just got me wondering.”

Anyone will information is asked to email Field at billfieldsales@telus.net



editorial@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

development

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

 

A headstone engraved with two names was recently discovered on a property on 13 Avenue in South Surrey. (Google street view image)

A headstone engraved with two names was recently discovered on a property on 13 Avenue in South Surrey. (Google street view image)

Just Posted

In a letter to Fraser Health board chair Jim Sinclair and president and CEO Dr. Victoria Lee Jan. 28, Delta Mayor George Harvie pitched the City of Delta become the lease holder of the Harold and Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care building after it is vacated by the Delta Hospice Society. (The Canadian Press photo)
Delta Hospice Society must vacate premises by March 29: Fraser Health

The health authority served the society a notice of breach of lease on Feb. 25

RCMP are looking for “an unknown man who wrapped his arms around” a female youth in Clayton Feb. 26. (Black Press file photo)
Youth assaulted by unknown man in Cloverdale

Mounties looking for ‘tall and thin’ Caucasian man in his 40’s with short dark brown hair

Framed photos of Travis Selje and other items fill the top of a dresser in his bedroom. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Crown says defence case epilepsy caused fatal Surrey crash fails on balance of probabilities

‘She very clearly had some form of control over that vehicle,’ Crown argues

Alex Browne photo The felling of two mature Douglas Fir ‘eagle trees’ on Oxford Street, just south of Prospect Avenue, in June of 2019, prompted a review of tree management bylaws and policies now before White Rock council. The trees were felled on instructions from City of White Rock staff, who said the work was necessary because they had become hazardous. (File photo)
City of White Rock mulls ‘tree protection’ bylaw

More stringent measures needed to protect canopy – councillor

teeaser
Surrey TEDx talks move online with ‘fast-paced’ event that’s free to watch March 27

Last year’s TEDxBearCreekPark attracted 900 spectators to Bell theatre

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

Passengers aboard Komagata Maru in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, 1914 - Library and Archives Canada image
Abbotsford council is asked to rename street in memory of Komagata Maru victims

Most of 376 the passengers aboard ship were denied entry into Canada in 1914

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Bryan Adams with his mom, Jane Adams Clark, at Lions Gate Hospital. (Bryan Adams)
Bryan Adams gives shout out to North Shore hospital

The singer’s mom was in Lions Gate Hospital for care

Most Read