London Farm is a four-acre agriculturally-themed park with the historical London family farmhouse as its centerpiece. Recreated rooms in farmhouse and the barn depict how the London family would have lived in the early 1900s.
The surrounding park site illustrates early rural life in Steveston, with gardens designed to represent the London family’s tenure, an orchard of heritage fruit trees, a reconstructed barn, agricultural exhibits, chicken coop, beehives, community gardens, and public amenities. An original slough in the centre of the site has been restored into a pond, providing habitat for birds and waterfowl.
Developed in 1888 along the South Arm of the Fraser River, London Farm is one of the earliest farm sites in Richmond. Brothers William and Charles London, originally from Ontario, purchased 200 acres of farmland in 1886 which is now called London’s Landing.
The London family is intrinsically linked with the early development of Richmond. Their contributions include the establishment of the London Cannery and a steamship landing on their property. The wharf, constructed in 1886, was the primary landing point for steamships from Victoria. A private wharf was also constructed in order to ship farm products to the markets of New Westminster, as well as receive supplies. The London brothers were also the first to build a dyke on the South Arm of the Fraser River.
With this development, the small settlement located at the foot of No. 2 Road, became known as London’s Landing. The settlement included the London Brothers Store and Boarding House, Union Church and services supporting the surrounding farming, fishing and canning industries. The Lulu Island Post Office was moved to the site from the Phoenix Cannery Wharf and renamed the ‘London Post Office.’ With this, the area was formally named London, New Westminster District in 1898.
The property formed part of the first land to be dyked and cultivated on Lulu Island. Originally a mixed agricultural farm producing dairy, oats, wheat, barley, timothy grass, fruit (plum, pear cherry, apple) and a wide variety of vegetables, London Farm was one of the largest and most prosperous farms in Richmond.
Charles and Henrietta London first built a small farm house on the site in 1898. As their family and farm grew to include eight children, relatives, and farm workers, the small house was expanded and a new front section was constructed in 1906. The site also had many outbuildings including storage sheds for dairy, preserves, salted salmon and pork. The property had a water tower, a shack for farm workers and an outhouse, as well as barns for animals, hay, wagons and buggies.
London Farm is significant for its ongoing relationship to the London family until 1948, through its purchase by daughter Lucy London and her husband Herbert Howse in 1920. After 1948, the farmhouse was rented by a series of families until its purchase by the City of Richmond in 1978. At that time, the house and land were designated a municipal heritage site and restored to create the heritage site seen today.
The City operates London Farm in partnership with the London Heritage Farm Society which offers programs and services, including site rentals, the gift shop, tea service at the farmhouse, and the community gardens. Contact the Society at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
6511 Dyke Road
Richmond, BC V7E 3R3