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Steveston Village & History

 




Lulu
 Island is the largest island in the estuary of the Fraser River.  It is comprised of the City of Richmond as well as the City of New Westminster.  In 1878 the southwest corner of the island was settled by Manoah and Martha Steves.  The Steves’ family began to establish a farming community in the newfound village, but the potential of the fishing industry soon caused it to thrive. 


 

            The town was originally known as “Steves,” taking the family name, but soon evolved to become Steveston, as it is now widely known.  As the fishing and canning industry grew, so did the population.  By 1900 there were over 10,000 people living in Steveston primarily Japanese, Chinese, First Nations, and European fishermen. This expansion, however, did not last long as automated processing lines reduced the town’s population by nearly half.  This fact combined with the move towards the fish processing technology known as salting, a string of bad fishing seasons and several disastrous fires, forced several of the canneries to close down. 



  When World War II began, fear caused the community to panic and many Japanese-Canadians were arrested and forced out of the city.  At this point, not a single cannery was running, however the fishing community continued to grow.
 
 

            The fishing industry is still prevalent today. In addition the community has become a major attraction for tourism with historical attractions such as the “Gulf of Georgia Cannery” and “Britannia Heritage Shipyard.”