Webster's Corners

James Murray Webster first settled in this area in 1882, and opened a Post Office in his house in 1891. The area was wilderness at the time, and enormous first growth trees had to be cleared in order to plant crops. A school was built in 1896 in a small clearing near the location of the present day school, and a Methodist Church built on Dewdney Trunk Road in 1912. The first Finnish settlers moved here after the failure of the utopian socialist commune at Sointula on the the north end of Vancouver Island. Casting about for a way to sustain the settlement, their leader, Matti Kurikka, obtained a shingle bolt contract at Webster's Corners, and several families arrived here on January 1, 1905 to work on this contract; some of them stayed in the area, and a small Finnish community was born. To this day a number of early Finnish homes still retain their separate saunas.

Myntti Residence

25458 125 Avenue
Circa 1919

Built for John Myntti on a ten acre parcel, this house is very similar in style and detail to the Albert Gardner residence in Haney, and may have been built by the same contractor. The open front verandah with arched openings and the side gable roofs of the two buildings are almost identical. This is one of the early remaining farm

Katainen Residence

25575 125 Avenue

This house and its associated outbuildings were built on a five acre site for William Katainen. Located at the corner of 256 Street and 125 Avenue, the house was built in 1919, right after the end of the first World War; the property also retains its well-preserved sauna, a gable-roofed barn and an early garage. Saunas like the Katainen's were a hallmark of the Finnish community - virtually every house built by a Finn had one.

Log Residence

12263 256 Street
Circa 1930s

This log house sits on a large rural lot, with a barn at the rear. It retains its early multi-paned wooden sash windows, and the logs are connected with notched corners. The original owner and date of construction are unknown.

Ansell Residence

24750 Dewdney Trunk Road
Circa 1909

This property was owned by W.H. Ansell Jr. It was originally owned by his father who homesteaded a 160 acre section; he deeded the eastern 80 acres to his son, who built this house. The first house on the site was built in 1900, but appears to have been a smaller structure; it was either demolished, or incorporated into this newer building. The house is T-shaped, with a tall storey-and- a-half block facing west, with an extension to the rear; the wooden drop siding and double-hung windows are all original features.

Webster's Corner United Church

25102 Dewdney Trunk Road
District of Maple Ridge Heritage Advisory Committee Plaque

This church was built by a Methodist congregation on land donated by Mr. Biggs. When the building was two-thirds finished the Methodists were advised that the church would need to be moved because the land survey had mistakenly included 33 feet of the property of a neighbouring banker. The two Ansell families contributed $200 to purchase the extra land and the building continued.

The church was built almost entirely of donated labour and materials. The only paid labourer was one carpenter from Haney.

The church also functioned as a community facility for banquets and concerts, by fitting a platform over the altar steps to form a stage. In the 1920s the church was raised and a basement added. By 1925 the basement was still not finished, making the floor very cold in the winter. A Ladies Aid Society was formed to raise funds to finish and insulate the basement. The work was completed in 1926.

Unification led to the renaming of the church to Webster's Corner United in 1926.

Sampo Hall

25470 Dewdney Trunk Road

On January 1st, 1916 the Finnish Hall opened. It was the cultural heart of the community - and was the location of dramas, dances, weddings, funerals, concerts and athletic events. Webster's Corners School held their Christmas concerts here. It was built by volunteer labour by the Finns who settled in the area, and in 1984 was the last Finnish Hall in the province to be sold. It is now privately owned, and is used as the Children's Corner Daycare.

There is a memorial on the site, inscribed:

"Sammon Takojat - Forgers of the Sampo"
"Dedicated to the Finnish Pioneers who settled here January 1, 1905"

Webster's Corner Commercial Building

25569 Dewdney Trunk Road
Circa 1932

This commercial building, and the one adjacent to the east, were built on land subdivided in 1928. It was acquired by Archie James and Peter Ferrie, who built these two stores, and another one further to the west that has since been demolished. They are both front gable structures, with decorative false front parapets that increase their apparent height, and also provided additional opportunity for signs. They define the centre of the Webster's Corner settlement.

Webster's Corner Commercial Building

25579 Dewdney Trunk Road
Circa 1932

This, and the similar adjacent commercial building, define the centre of the Webster's Corner settlement. They provide a link with the early commercial history of the area This building won a District of Maple Ridge Heritage Award in 1997 for Commercial Heritage.


26048 116 Avenue

There are many native Trillium plants on this seven acre property. The Trillium is a liliaceous herb of the genus Trillium, having a whorl of three leaves from the centre of which rises a solitary flower. They are protected in Ontario, where they are the Provincial flower.