The Delta Eastern pulls a flat car loaded with shingle bolts through the forest in North Delta circa 1914. Caption on the back of the photo reads, “Wes. H. Thompson and his ‘dinkey’ hauling shingle bolts.” (Photo courtesy of the Delta Archives, photograph #CR-133 2004-11-14)

North Delta history: Skid row was key to local logging industry

Located at the foot of 72nd Avenue, it allowed for bolts of cedar to be transported to local mills.

By Nancy Demwell

Around 1910, at the foot of what is now 72nd Avenue in North Delta, there was once a skid row.

A skid row was an arrangement of logs placed over muddy terrain that would allow horses and oxen to drag sleds laden with logs to the mill. Scottsdale and Kennedy Heights in North Delta were once covered with forests that had many giant cedars.

Some of the larger trees took two or three days to cut down by teams of men using double-bladed axes and two-man buck saws. The earth would tremble when they were felled. They were then bucked into smaller logs fit for transport. This again took days to accomplish.

In the drier summer months, the large cedar trees were chopped into more manageable shingle bolts and were carried by wagon to the shingle mill. The mill produced shingles and railway ties which were loaded onto a rail car on a spur of the Great Northern Railway to be transported to market.

In 1914, the Delta Shingle Company’s proprietors built a small gauge rail line called the Delta Eastern (or the Delta Great Eastern). It had a small engine rather like the Stanley Park children’s train and meandered through the forest running from Kennedy station, near what is now the corner of 88th Avenue and Scott Road, to the Delta Shingle Mill, located just south of the Great Northern train tracks near what is now 72nd Avenue and Westview Drive.

By 1916 the mill had closed. The logging train was shut down and the equipment and engine were moved to a new location.

Nancy Demwell is a board member with the Delta Museum and Archives Society.

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

Just Posted

PHOTOS: One injured in shooting on South Surrey-Langley border

Shots reported near 194 Street and 34 Avenue, burned-out vehicle found in 18100-block of 12 Avenue

Mother-daughter charged in 2017 torched-SUV killing in South Surrey now allowed contact

Judge grants Manjit Kaur Deo permission to connect with Inderdeep Kaur Deo through a lawyer

White Rock acupuncturist suspended for ‘scare tactics, excessive fees’

30-day suspension for Jun Hua (Davy) Hua issued Aug. 18

Man sought in connection with ‘suspicious occurrence’ in South Surrey

Police asking the public’s help to identify man who may have information on Aug. 4 incident

BIA floats idea of drive-through Santa Parade

If event goes ahead, ‘parade’ of cars would stream through fairgrounds

B.C. reports 122 new COVID-19 cases as health officials urge smaller social circles

Health officials urge against shaming and blaming patients

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at B.C. border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Most Read