Mrs. Showler on the frozen Fraser River in 1922.
Mrs. Showler on the frozen Fraser River in 1922.

In the beginning, there was only water and for the most part, small boats. Whether it was a European styled rowboat or a First Nations canoe, travel from one homestead to another was done by boat.

The first teacher at Maple Ridge School bought a rowboat so that he could cross the Fraser every morning and afternoon to transport students living on the far bank. This was necessary to have enough students to justify his salary.

Stalwart Scot Robert Robertson of Whonnock was known as a prodigious rower who would be hired by the minister to row him from stop to stop on his Sunday rounds — covering 40 miles or more in a day.

Winter brought a frozen surface on the Fraser which was turned into a roadway with great enthusiasm. People and goods were moved back and forth on the ice — it is most likely that the timbers of St. John the Divine were transported that way.