The 1881 Town Hall was moved from the Cloverdale Fairgrounds to the Museum of Surrey campus on Wednesday night (Nov. 7). (Sue Bryant)

1881 Town Hall moved from Cloverdale Fairgrounds to Museum of Surrey

137-year-old hall will join other heritage buildings on the museum campus

Surrey’s 1881 Town Hall was moved to the Museum of Surrey on Wednesday night, joining other historical buildings in a heritage campus.

The move comes as part of the museum’s $15.7-million expansion project. The 137-year-old building joins the Anderson Cabin and the 127-year-old Anniedale School, which was moved to the museum in September.

The 1881 Town Hall was originally scheduled to be moved to the heritage campus on the same night as Anniedale School, but it was determined that it would require further stablization before being moved.

The town hall didn’t have far to travel — it was just one kilometre down 176A Street on the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. But the extraction and stablization process was lengthy. It was housed within the BC Vintage Truck Museum, and almost half of the building had to be demolished before the town hall could be removed.

This move isn’t the first time the 1881 Town Hall has changed locations.

The town hall was built in Surrey Centre, where it served as a hall for town business and a meeting place for many of the municipality’s earliest community groups. When the municipal government moved to a new building in 1912, the original hall fell into disuse.

The Cloverdale Junior Chamber of Commerce, wanting to preserve the town hall and its history, volunteered to pay for its restoration and move it to a new location. In 1938, the town hall was moved to what is now the Cloverdale Fairgrounds and it became Surrey’s first museum.

As part of a centennial project in 1958, a 1,000 square foot expansion was built around the hall, and the museum grew. When the Surrey Museum opened in 2005, the town hall — and the building around it — became the BC Vintage Truck Museum.

—with files from Sue Bryant

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