Princess and the Pea Hotel in 2021
In 1997 Sharon and Wally Martin had a vision. They seized an opportunity and rose to the challenge to preserve an important part of local history. They embarked on the process of restoring this nearly demolished 1870’s building, which housed BC’s first pioneer hotel named Traveller’s Hotel (now Princess and the Pea Hotel).
The first pioneer family arrived in the area now known as Murrayville in 1874. The Murrays, Paul and Lucy, and their children John, Billy and Alex were to play a significant role in the development of the community.
The family took advantage of a system of land grants to acquire parcels of land around the corner. By 1875 the family had received a crown grant on each corner of what is now known as "Five Corners".
In 1885 Paul Murray transferred his quarter section on the south east corner to his son Billy. It was on this corner that the Traveller's Hotel was built in 1887 by Billy Murray. Murray was the best carpenter in the district and later built many of the barns in the area. This building has the distinction of both being the first structure erected in the new community and has been in continuous use since then. One of the unique features of the building is its siting. It has always been a landmark for those travelling east along Old Yale Road. Additionally, the building was geographically located at a distance which was one day's journey by horse and buggy from Vancouver.
The original hotel housed a bar, a restaurant, and accommodation for about 20 people. It is said that the bar only operated less than a year because Billy regretted the negative influence the bar was having on nearby settlers!
As the first commercial building in the new community, Billy's business enterprise coincided with the first large wave of European settlement. Not surprisingly the Five Corner's became a hub of commercial and residential activity. Construction of the hotel was soon followed by a general store, a church, a blacksmith shop, and several homes but as the wider community of Langley grew and developed, business in Murrayville changed and waned.
Today it is our vision to have the "Traveller's Hotel" relive the early days of Langley, a quiet and restful stopping place for travellers as they visit our community.
Sharon (mom), Wally (dad), & Angela Martin (daughter)