A newly named Cloverdale park will honour the history of African-American settlers in the Surrey community.
On Monday, Feb. 25, council approved an application from the Surrey Historical Society to name an existing park lot the Henry Houston Scott Park, after one of the earliest African-American families to settle in Cloverdale.
The lot is a small swatch of land at the corner of what is now 64 Avenue and 181A Street, but when the Scott family came to Cloverdale in 1912, it was just a piece of their seven-acre farm.
According to the Surrey Historical Society, Henry Houston Scott’s history has been traced back to his birth in Texas in 1854, nearly a decade before slavery was abolished in the United States.
| A heritage sign, with information on the Scott family, was installed at the newly named parked on Tuesday, Feb. 26.
City of Surrey
Scott met and married Amy Florence in Texas, and the couple moved to Oklahoma before coming to Canada in 1912 with their three youngest children. (The elder seven children were old enough to have their own lives by then.)
The Surrey Historical Society first presented their research on the Scott family when they approached the City of Surrey in April 2018. They had discovered that the family grave at Surrey Centre Cemetery, which is the final resting place for Henry Houston, Amy Florence and their children Jesse, Roy and Benola, had gone unmarked for 84 years.
The society received permission to install a headstone in a quiet ceremony last year. Now the Scott name is recorded alongside other settler families buried in the cemetery, including the Kells, Johnston, and Bose families.
The Scotts grew hay and raised dairy cattle on their Cloverdale farm. The mark of their involvement in the community can still be seen today. Henry Scott cleared a road from Bose Road (64 Avenue) and Pacific Highway (176 Street) to the family farm, which is where 181A Street would be today.
And, more than 100 years after the family came to Canada, fruit trees from their farmstead can still be seen at what is now the Henry Houston Scott Park.
At the Monday council meeting, Councillor Jack Hundail said it was the name was “very fitting” for the lot, and commended the city’s parks and heritage committees for recognizing the Scotts, and African-American settlers, during Black History Month.