News & Events
November 22nd, 2014...

Pioneer Family Records Donated

George and Sarah Topper moved to Mission in 1912 with their nine children, ranging in age from two to twenty-two. According to family records, they initially lived in a tent on the present site of the Mission Community Archives due to a shortage of rental houses.

George and Sara Topper fonds
Mission Community Archives

The following year George and Sara purchased 12.5 acres along Parr Avenue at the foot of Mt. Mary Anne where they operated a family farm and built their home. Up until now, the Community Archives had minimal information about the Topper family which has a street named after them.

Donated by a great-granddaughter of George and Sara, the records are mainly photos of the Topper family's life in Mission (over 600) that document their farm, weddings, birthdays, their children, including the 3 sons who served in World War I, their spouses and children. There are also many photos of the early days in Mission, including: the first Steelhead School where their daughter Janie taught; the first built hospital where their daughter Mable worked as nurse; the Strawberry Festival and 1948 flood.

"These family records" stated Archivist Val Billesberger, "are a treasure trove of information about the life and achievements of an early pioneer family, our community, and specific events that impacted Mission's development. We are extremely grateful that the family decided to donate their records to the archives. Their records are an invaluable addition to the community's collective memory."

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Operated by the Mission District Historical Society, the Mission Community Archives serves as a central repository for all community records that document the social, economic, and political development of the District of Mission and the Fraser Valley Regional District Electoral Areas: I (Dewdney-Hatzic Island), J (Nicomen Island – Deroche), K (Lake Errock) and L (McConnell Creek-Hatzic Prairie).

The holdings include the records of individuals and families, arts and community organizations, clubs and local businesses and some local government. The archives also maintain a small reference collection pertaining to the history of the municipality, genealogical research, and the administration of archives.

Glimpses of the Past: 1931

Mission Community Archives / Cameron Gutteridge fonds

MISSION VICTORY THEATRE - leaflet for The Big Trail, starring legendary John Wayne in his first leading role. Directed by the visionary Raoul Walsh, the local newspaper had a half-page ad that promoted it as "The Most Important Picture ever produced," because of "the human simple characterization of the players…..smashing climaxes…and a thrilling record of an important American epoch." (Fraser Valley Record: January 29, 1931:4). The movie played in Mission from February 9th to the 12th with an afternoon matinee and two evening shows at 7:30 and 9:30pm. On the reverse side of the leaflet the ticket prices are listed: Adults 35¢ | Children 15¢

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Operated by the Mission District Historical Society, a non-profit organization, the Mission Community Archives welcomes your financial support to advance our programs and services. Your donation will help us to preserve and provide better access to the community's documentary heritage.

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33215 2nd Avenue, P.O. Box 3522, Mission, B.C. V2V 4L1  Ph. 604.820.2621
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