Let’s head back to Ladner in the late 1800s and visit Thomas McNeely’s general store.
His store carried a wide variety of merchandise.
Originally from Ontario, McNeely had several business and large land holdings in the community, as well as throughout the Lower Mainland.
In addition to his general stores, he also owned several saw mills and farms in the region, as well as a hotel in Ladner Village, which at the time, had a community hall.
McNeely helped establish the Ladner town site with William Ladner and Donald Chisholm, and is considered Ladner’s first merchant.
The successful businessman passed away in the beginning of the 1900s at the age of 63.
His wife Annie passed away in 1929.
The Thomas and Annie McNeely home on the 129-acre Jubilee Farm estate on Arthur Drive (formerly Slough Road) is still there today.
It was bequeathed to the Catholic Church in 1929 and became known as Monastery Farm.
It would eventually become St. Augustine’s Mission.
McNeely Street in New Westminster was also named after him.