Although Whonnock now appears very rural, by the turn of the century it was a well-defined settlement. There was a substantial native population here when pioneer missionary Rev. Ebenezer Robson first arrived in 1859; shortly afterwards Robert Robertson became one of the first white settlers in the area. The Whonnock post office was opened in 1885, with Noble Oliver as first post master. In 1887 the train began to stop at Whonnock, and by 1890 the first school had been opened. A Presbyterian church had been built by 1891, and other institutions followed. Whonnock has now been surrounded by later development, bur much of its early rural character remains, especially in the early core area on River Road.

Stahl Residence

26744 96 Avenue
Circa 1911 or later

This Craftsman bungalow appears to have been built for Charles Stahl on a nine acre parcel. It could have been built as early as 1911, when there is a jump in the assessments on the property, or it may date from slightly later. Typical of the style, it displays triangular cave brackets. Located in a rural setting there is also gambrel-roofed barn on the property.

Robert Davidson Studio

26914 112 Avenue

Robert Davidson is a well-known Haida artist, who works in wood, stone, silver and silk screen. He built his house and studio in Whonnock. Many of the materials in the studio were recycled - a decrepit barn on the site was demolished, and other materials were salvaged from a boat shed owned by the architect, Rol Fieldwalker. The two storey high central space was intended to be used for tile carving of totem poles.

"I think its been one of my most enjoyable jobs. Not only because the project was interesting but also because of the client's attitude. The relationship between client and designer is crucial to the success of any project. Here the relationship developed from one of mutual respect for each others' work into one of friendship. As an artist, Robert Davidson works his own way without compromise. And he extended that same rationale to me, leaving the design work up to me. He did almost all the construction work himself when he could spare time from his work, and he did a beautiful job."

Rol Feildwalker, Wood World, Second Quarter, 1973, page 20

Watson Residence

9860 272 Street (Street Address)
27236 Bell Avenue (Legal Address)

This house was built on a 10 acre parcel owned by Arthur G. and Lewis H. Watson; apparently Arthur was the brother who lived here. The assessed value of the house at the time of construction was $1,000. Roofed with a complex gable, the house was built to the designs of local designer Robert Hamilton. The property is located at the corner of Bell Avenue and 272 Street, and has a number of mature walnut trees.

Armes Residence

10016 272 Street
Pre-1900; Rebuilt or Enlarged Circa 1910

The exact origin of this house is something of a mystery. Originally this 69 acre parcel was owned by Ole Lee, and there appears to have been a house on the property by the turn of the century. The property was then acquired in 1910 by James Armes, and the original house was either rebuilt or substantially enlarged. Armes, a real estate agent, also ran a saw mill and a brick yard; he lived on Victoria Drive in Vancouver until he became resident here in about 1912. The large, rambling house has survived in substantially original condition. There is a large monkey puzzle tree in the yard, that is probably about eighty years old.

St. Paul's Anglican Church

10184 272 Street

The Anglican Parish of Whonnock originated with the construction of St. Paul's on land donated by Noble Oliver. It was financed by an anonymous donation of $800, and was constructed by a Vancouver firm. The liturgical furniture was also donated. Monthly services were conducted by Rev. Haddon of New Westminster. This served the congregation until the construction of the new church in 1921.

Lee Residence

10225 272 Street
Circa 1914

This large Edwardian era farmhouse was built for Axel Benard Lee on a 40 acre site. It was constructed by Axel's brother Olaus Lee, a master carpenter who also built the Whonnock Presbyterian, now United, Church, and a number of other buildings in the area, including St. John's. It features an inset open front verandah supported on square columns, a tall side gable roof, and a prominent front dormer.

"Skyacres" The Boulanger Residence

26011 Lougheed Highway

Originally owned by Annie and August Boulanger, this well-maintained home is one of the earliest remaining in the Whonnock area. It is a simple rectangular plan house, with a bellcast hip roof and an open front verandah. Set at the crest


26887 River Road

One of two adjacent houses built in 1931 in a stand of mature evergreens. Clad with board and barren siding, the house is roofed with large split barn shakes. Rustic in character, this and the adjacent house help maintain the rural flavour of the centre of Whonnock. See also 26903 River Road.


26903 River Road

One of two adjacent houses built as speculative rental houses in 1931 in a stand of mature evergreens. Similar to its adjacent twin, this house has its roof covered with barn shakes. The extensive landscaping includes mature rhododendrons, shrubs and trees. See also 26887 River Road.

Whonnock Post Office

26915 River Road (Street Address)
26915 96 Avenue (Legal Address)

Postal service was established in Whonnock in 1885. This small postal station was built by R.S. Whiting; it was rebuilt in 1928, and again, for the final time, in 1932. It stands in the very centre of the Whonnock commercial area, and is symbolic of the community that it has served for many years.

Whonnock General Store

26927 River Road
Circa 1937

This commercial building was built by Nils C. Nelson, a local carpenter. The storefront retains its central entry, and the building is set very close to the street. It served as a grocery store for many years, and now houses a feed store. It remains part of the historic core of Whonnock.

Whonnock United Church

27091 River Road
District of Maple Ridge Heritage Advisory Committee Plaque

This striking country church was built for a Presbyterian Congregation on land donated by John Brodie. The plans were prepared by Robert A. Hamilton, and it was constructed by carpenter Olaus Lee, who was assisted by volunteer labour. It was dedicated the second sabbath of September 1914.

Whonnock United Manse

27091 River Road

The manse was built at the same time as the church.

St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church

27123 River Road
District of Maple Ridge Heritage Advisory Committee Plaque

In 1921 the Anglican parish built this new church; at the time their name was changed to John the Evangelist. A church hall was built in the 1930s, which was replaced by Cameron Hall in 1985. Over the years the Anglican parish in Whonnock joined with other parishes in Maple Ridge and Mission, but today exists as an independent congregation.

Whonnock Cemetery

96 Avenue

A number of Norwegian settlers, from an area near Trondheim, came to Whonnock around 1890. They were farmers, loggers and fishermen, and they established the "Trondheim Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Whonnock, B.C." in 1895. Five years later the congregation bought one acre of land for $25 for use as a cemetery, but in 1904 they selected a new site on property owned by Ole Lee Jr., adjacent to what was then the border of the Whonnock reserve. The first burial at the new site was held in 1905. A Lutheran church was also built on the site, which stood from 1906 until 1958.

In 1919 the District purchased an acre of reserve land to the east of the Scandinavian Lutheran Cemetery for use as a cemetery for the Whonnock and Ruskin areas. Japanese settlers, and in particular their children, are also buried here. The former Scandinavian cemetery is now part of the municipal cemetery and many who are not Scandinavian have been buried there.

Langley First Nations Cemetery

96 Avenue

This First Nations Cemetary had been established as early as 1874 on reserve land east of the current Whonnock Cemetery. Among the early grave markers are a number of iron crosses.

Robertson Family Cemetery

269 Street

Robert Robertson from the Shetland Islands worked for the Hudson's Bay Company for seven years before he settled about 1860 in Whonnock. In 1884 he pre-empted District Lot 433, the core of today's Whonnock, and remained here the rest of his life. Robertson was buried at this site in 1912, but was not the first burial here. In total, there are at least five adults and a larger number of children interred at this site. Now located on private land, access from 269 Street to this small cemetery is now blocked, so the only way to it is through private property.

Sugar Maple Trees

26721 100 Avenue

These two landmark trees were planted by Will and Jean Drewry in 1914 from saplings transported from Perth, Ontario. They have matured into magnificent specimen trees that are landmarks in the local area.