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Mud Bay

Heritage Neighbourhood Map (PDF)

Heritage Street Names Map (PDF)

Mud Bay is the area immediately south of Colebrook/Panorama Ridge.

In 1861, James Kennedy cut a trail from Oliver’s Slough in Mud Bay to the Brownsville wharf, near the current Great Northern Railway tracks, opening the region for settlement. When British Columbia became a province in 1871, the government wanted to open up new areas for settlement and let a contract in 1873 to open the Semiahmoo Trail from Brownsville to Blaine into a wagon road. Scott Road (120 Street), named for its contractor, wound its way from Brownsville to Mud Bay by 1875. McLellan Road (#10 Highway) was built from 1875-76, further opening the area.

In 1873, William Woodward pre-empted land along the trail north of the Serpentine River. His home became Surrey’s first Government Post Office in 1881, serving also as a stage stop as well as an early meeting place. Surrey itself was named at a meeting held in Woodward’s home. Woodward’s daughter Elizabeth married Mud Bay farmer John Oliver, who went on to become Premier in 1918. Alexander McDougall settled at Mud Bay in 1873 and the Chantrell brothers arrived in 1874. The Reverend Stewart preached Surrey’s first public church service outdoors at Mud Bay in 1875.

Situated in the lowlands where the Serpentine and Nicomekl Rivers discharge into the bay, the Mud Bay region was excellent for farming, but required extensive dyking. Dykes were built by hand until 1889, when Council provided for machines. The moist soil was home to a number of peat beds. There was some logging where the soil was dry enough for trees; in fact the first commercial logging in Surrey happened at Mud Bay in the 1870s when an American firm, the Coast Lumbering Company, logged the best trees nearest the coast.

Mud Bay was a crossroad for all types of transportation. In 1878, Captain James Hatt sailed up the Nicomekl River as far as the Hall’s Prairie Road in a two-masted sloop, making deliveries. Sternwheelers would later make the trip, but only at high tide, traveling backwards up the river as there was no room to turn around. A Canada Customs outpost was set up along the Semiahmoo Trail at the Nicomekl River in 1880, where it remained until the New Westminster and Southern Railway was built in 1891.

In 1912, most river traffic was eliminated with the construction of concrete dams and floodgates by the Surrey Dyking Commission. The Guichon Railway (also known as “Molasses Limited”) began service in 1889, running from Port Guichon below Ladner to Cloverdale and Abbotsford. The line stopped at Alluvia Station at the foot of Woodward’s Hill, approximately at the current intersection of the King George Highway and Colebrook Road. This was the main point for loading produce for market until the line was dismantled in the 1920s. It has been rebuilt as a line for coal trains. 

61.68 Mud Bay Grocery Store Mud Bay remains primarily agricultural. It is home to the Serpentine Fen Management area, a wildlife preserve, formerly the Ben Stevenson farm.