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The History of McLellan Road (Highway 10, 56th Avenue, 60th Avenue)

The History of McLellan Road was edited from reports prepared for Mr. J.Brown's Social Studies 11 classes at Lord Tweedsmuir by Bev Bergen in June, 1975. Similar essays were written by Glen Bergen in 1977 and Dennis Mah, 1978. It was published by the Surrey Leader on Wed. Jan. 24, 1979 under the byline of Tweedsmuir Centennial highlights

Map of Coast Meridian Road

McLellan Road: this is the original name of the road that ran east from Semiahmoo Road (King George Highway) to the Serpentine River, then north east into Surrey Centre and east (60th Avenue) to Yale Road (Fraser Highway).

The McLellan Road was once one of the most important roads in Surrey. It was one of many built during the 1870s shortly after British Columbia entered Confederation and money became available for road construction. Roads built through Surrey during the 1870s were built to provide access from other centers to New Westminster. The Semiahmoo Road built in 1873-74 linked New Westminster to the City of Semiahmoo (the current Blaine, Washington). Scott Road completed in 1875 provided a short cut for Delta residents to reach New Westminster rather than traveling further east to the Semiahmoo Road. Yale Road completed in 1875 linked New Westminster with Yale and provided an all weather route when the Fraser River froze over or was in spring freshet. The McLellan Road built during 1874-75 provided and east-west link to Ladner and the mouth of the Fraser.

McLellan Road was named after A. J. McLellan. He was a contractor who built the road from the Semiahmoo Road east to the Yale Road near the Surrey-Langley border. McLellan had originally come from Scotland to settle and work in BC.

In 1874 a Delta man, by the name of Kirkland, had built the Ladner Trunk Road from Ladner to the Semiahmoo Road. The McLellan Road was an eastward extension of this. The road began at the Semiahmoo Road which crossed McLellan Road just east of the present City Hall (vicinity of 144th Street). Most of the route of McLellan Road is now Highway 10. Where it crossed the Serpentine River it swung north east to Surrey Centre and then east along what is now 60th Avenue to the Yale Road.

In time the Shannon Brothers extended McLellan Road from the Serpentine Bridge. This was named Shannon Road but later became known as the New McLellan Road and would become part of Highway 10.

The Ladner Trunk/McLellan Road was built to provide access to the ice free port of Ladner. As winter set in the Fraser River would freeze and free ice would come down to New Westminster, freeze over and block the port. The east-west road provided the needed access from Yale Road to an ice-free port.

When the New Westminster Southern Railway opened in 1891, McLellan Road was the main road cutting the line at what was to become Cloverdale. The town grew south from the intersection with the rail line. The Shannon Brothers had set out a town site from McLellan Road to Shannon Road. (see Cloverdale)

The Lane Family came from Kansas in 1911 and farmed along the McLellan Road. Chinese employed in the mills in Cloverdale lived in shacks along the road. The Boothroyd home built on the corner of Coast Meridian and McLellan Road still stands across from the store in Surrey Centre. The Orange Hall, built in 1881, saw many meetings and local dances. Christ Church, on Old McLellan Road in Surrey Centre, was built in 1884 with the Reverend Bell as minister. His daughter married Guy Richardson and the lived on Coast Meridian at Surrey Centre. Abe Huck had the first store and post office in the Cloverdale area located on McLellan Road. Arthur Richardson, father of Guy Richardson, also had a small store on the corner of Coast Meridian and McLellan Road.
(See Surrey Centre Stores)

The original McLellan Road was the most important east-west road until the New McLellan was opened up and was eventually designated Highway 10. With the advent of cars McLellan Road was one of the passable roads in Surrey.

In 1926–27, the McLellan road was paved. It was paved with an alternation of several layers of tar and fine rock. It was later paved with several layers of sand alternated with several layers of pavement. If you dug down under the road, there would probably be several feet of pavement layers.

In 2005–08 Highway 10 is being rebuilt to a four lane highway standard. McLellan Road and the New McLellan Road will exist under it only our memory.

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