The photographs below show the buildings on the Bothwell Farm as they were in the early 1980’s and during their demolition in 1984 by the District of Surrey, which had accepted them and the property as a legacy from the last Will Bothwell.
Bothwell Farm, on 168th Street just south of 96th Avenue, was homesteaded in the 1880’s by William Bothwell, who had come from Ontario with his wife and children. His two brothers, James and Thomas, also took out homesteads at about the same time, and the community later called Tynehead became known as The Bothwell Settlement.
William Bothwell died in 1900, and his wife Mary Ann in 1941. Ownership of the farm passed to their unmarried son Will, a very public-spirited citizen who contributed in many ways to his Tynehead neighbourhood and to Surrey as a whole, which he served for years as a member of Council. On his death in 1957 the farm was left temporarily in the care of his brother and his nephew, to be turned over by them to the District of Surrey. The will stipulated that the property was to be used as a park or as a centre for senior citizens. By the late 1970’s Surrey had taken the property over, and had begun discussing possible uses. It was decided to restore the buildings and to create a heritage farm, but money set aside for the purpose was used on at least two occasions for other projects, and the plan was never carried out.
In due course the buildings, which had stood empty and neglected, had deteriorated and been vandalized to the point where the district decided they were beyond being restored, and in 1984 they were torn down and burned, as the photographs show.
Now that there were no buildings left, heritage status was removed from the property. Nothing at all has ever been done to make it available for the use and pleasure of the people of Surrey, in accordance with Will Bothwell’s wishes when he left it to the District.
November 7, 2000
Pictures taken by George McKnight