Coghlan Community Hall History
Coghlan Community Hall is situated at the centre of an area known as Coghlan, just a few hundred feet to the east of the small Coghlan passenger station on an old inter-urban line, and directly across the railway tracks from an imposing 1910 art deco power station that serviced the line and also provided power to Fort Langley, Milner and Langley. It is a simple, rectangular shaped and basic wood frame building that sits on a concrete basement which appears to have been added later in its life.
The name Coghlan originated with two bothers, Nathaniel and Henry, who settled in Langley in 1884 and took up quarter section homesteads south of the Telegraph Trail on what is now 256th Avenue. They ran a small but busy sawmill operation, cutting dimension lumber as well as ties for the interurban line during its construction period. Two Coghlan homes are included on the Township of Langley’s Heritage Listing as ‘Listed Buildings’. These include a simple circa 1900 sawn lumber cabin and a circa 1892 two storey Gothic Cottage.
The circa 1920 Coghlan Hall is on the Township’s Listing of Heritage Resources as a ‘Heritage Character Site’. It is not a ‘Listed Buildings’ site because the original wood siding was overlayered with vinyl, and the original wood windows and doors were replaced with more contemporary aluminum and vinyl units. Much of this modernization occurred sometime in the mid- late 1970’s or early 1980’s and could, if and when it is appropriate, be relatively easily reversed as part of a restoration or adaptive use plan.
For more than 80 years the Hall was the centre of social life for the area. it served the community well under the auspices of the all-volunteer Coghlan Community Association. Like other community halls around Langley, the Coghlan Hall was the site for countless community celebrations such as Burns suppers, Christmas parties, Scouts and Guide meetings, Women’s Institute gatherings, community suppers, card parties, box socials and country fairs. It was often the site for polling stations, local government open houses and stewardship meetings. Individuals often rented the Hall for weddings, funerals and anniversary parties as well as religious services. As a result, Coghlan Hall’s ties into the lives of many local families run deep.