Ellens property was key part of pioneer Willoughby
Editor: A few days ago, a house on the west side of 208 Street (Alexander Road), just south of Willoughby School, was demolished.This was known as the Ellens house.
John Ellens was from Holland. He was born in Friesland province and was trained in horticulture. He came to Canada in 1929. He and his wife (Kathleen Straw) married in 1937 and built the house in 1939.
Mrs. Ellens was a school teacher at West Langley Elementary. Mr. Ellens operated a landscaping business. He had a bulb and nursery operation on the property and did garden work throughout Langley.He was responsible for the development of the grounds at Fort Langley National Historic Site in 1957-58.
On his property, he had a large fruit orchard of pioneer varieties of apples,pear, plums and cherries, and he kept bee hives. He also had weather observation instruments in the orchard, where he made daily recordings.
Of course, all the fruit trees and other trees on the property will be chopped down because Willoughby desperately needs to pave this area for a parking lot for the new “Village Centre.”
After all, Willoughby needs its own pizza place, coffee shop, hamburger restaurants, sandwich shops,Chinese restaurants, dollar stores and other shops. These all exist either in Walnut Grove or down the hill in the Walmart/London Drugs area.
I understand that a search is on for a name for the new “Main Street” that will be in the village. I should think the answer is obvious — “Ellens.”