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Historic Places Day – George and Mary Boston

Black and white photo of men in suits and bowler hats standing in front of a tram

Historic sites across Canada are celebrated this July 8 to 23, 2023 during Historic Places Day, presented by the National Trust for Canada. We are invited to take this time to showcase and share the places and stories that are important to us.

This photo from 1911 shows nine men near a BC Electric Railways interurban tram. In the photo, fourth from the left, a man in a bowler hat holds something in his hand – perhaps a pipe or a pocket watch. That man is George Boston, who started his career with BC Electric Railways as a freight hauler, loading cargo onto freight cars.

On August 3, 1905, young George Boston was called to fill in for a sick conductor. On that day, he also met Mary Williamson. They later fell in love and were married. Over the years, George became a Conductor and then a Motorman – driving the trams between Vancouver and Steveston. He retired after 40 years on the job.

The Marpole-Steveston Line was the last surviving tram line of a once extensive network in the Lower Mainland region surrounding Vancouver. On February 28, 1958, George and Mary were among the passengers invited to ride on the trams in the last run of the Marpole-Steveston Tram. Six weeks after this final run of the trams, George passed away. He and Mary were just a few months short of their 50th wedding anniversary.

The story of George and Mary Boston is featured in the four minute video Steveston Tram: A Love Story. Watch the video in person at the Steveston Tram or on the City of Richmond’s YouTube Channel

Stop by the Steveston Tram soon to discover more stories about the people who worked and travelled aboard the Interurban trams. Photograph the Tram and enter the Historic Places Days photo competition until July 23, 2023 to win great prizes. For more information, visit the contest website.