John A. McIver was born on January 1st, 1832, on the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides, Scotland. When he was 19 years old, he left Scotland on a sailing ship to Canada. He got as far as Churchill, Manitoba by boat and then with his friend, Keith Morrison and several other men from the same part of Scotland, he WALKED all the way to Fort Langley.
After walking all this way, John obtained work as a cooper for the Hudson’s Bay Company Fort. He worked there until the Company disbanded their crew in 1858. While many of the company’s men took up land around Fort Langley, John McIver and Samuel Robertson decided to go to the North side of the Fraser River to settle. John chose property in what is now the Hammond area. It was bounded by the Fraser River to what is now Camwood Street, and from 207th to 210th Street.
As John was clearing land for his home, he named his property “Maple Ridge” because of the ridge of maple trees on his land.
When John was 43, he returned to Scotland for a visit. While there, he met and married Catherine Morrison, who was 20 years younger than he was. They settled down on their Maple Ridge homestead and eventually had seven children. There were four girls; Mary, Henrietta, Katherine and Archena, and three sons; John Jr., Angus and Arthur. When Archena was born, John was 60 years old.
John died at his home in Hammond on May 13th, 1913. He is buried in the cemetery in Fort Langley.
John Alexander McIver was reeve of Maple Ridge from 1921 to 1924. He was also a staunch member and past master of the Prince David Masonic Lodge.
In May of 1925, Thomas Lawrie approached John Jr. regarding a lease of some of his land for use as a golf course. A committee was soon formed and in October a lease agreement for 32, and later 35, acres of his 52 acre land was drawn up for a period of 5 years. The hay land was mowed for the last time in August and Reeve Martyn officially opened the golf club on Labour Day in 1925. This is the site of the present day Maple Ridge Golf Course.
Jean MacFarlane, granddaughter of John Sr., was born in 1906 to Mary McIver and J.C. MacFarlane, one of a family of nine. Her father was a bridge builder for the CPR, who went on to become one of our reeves, and also a clerk and assessor for Maple Ridge. Jean MacFarlane taught for a number of years at Haney Central School.
A lifelong pastime for Jean began in 1925 when the Maple Ridge Golf Course opened. Jean was one of the first members to sign up, and became very proficient, winning the club championship in 1930. It was on the golf course that she met her husband to be, William Sloan.
Archena McIver married John Anderson, who was a widower with six children. Together they had another five children, the youngest of whom is Bernice Gehring.