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Delta throwback: A jail returns to Ladner Village

The former museum in Ladner Village opened in 1969
Michael Duncan checking out the museum’s town jail in 1976.

Let’s head back to the pages of the Optimist in February of 1976 when the latest addition to the Ladner Historical Museum was almost complete.

The above photo shows curator Michael Duncan checking out the new town jail.

The building once housed a jail for a time when it was used as Municipal Hall.

In 1912, the same year the Westham Island Bridge was completed, the civic building was constructed on Delta Street, the commercial hub of the municipality. Half brick and half timber, the multi-gabled building was intended to be an imposing structure that reflected the wealth of the municipality.

The local government was the chief tenant, while the police offices and morgue were in the basement. School board offices were housed upstairs and, for a time, Percy Smith, the building's caretaker and municipal clerk, also lived there.

The building was no longer being used as a Municipal Hall when the Delta Historical Society made a plea to Delta Council in the fall of 1968 to take over the structure. At the time, a member of the society said many of the artifacts of Delta were being stored in a chicken house.

The former Municipal Hall became home to the new museum in 1969.

The museum has since relocated to the Ladner Civic Precinct and the heritage building in Ladner is now home to a community police office and public washrooms.