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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New Westminster in Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia — The Canadian Pacific
 

The New Westminster Court House and Land Registry Office

 
 
The New Westminster Court House and Land Registry Office Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, June 10, 2010
1. The New Westminster Court House and Land Registry Office Marker
Inscription.
The New Westminster Court House
The Court House was designed by architect George William Grant and opened on June 3, 1891 by the first colonial judge and Chief Justice for British Columbia, Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie.

On September 10, 1898, the entire New Westminster downtown business area was destroyed by fire, including the Court House. The Court House was rebuilt within existing walls by G.W. Grant and reopened on June 19, 1899.

The Land Registry Office
The Land Registry Office was designed in 1910 by architect E.G.W. Sait. The new building became the office for the Record of Instruments and Registration of Titles affecting real estate for the District of New Westmninster.

The Court House and the Land Registry were closed in 1980. The buildings were renovated in 1989, renamed "Begbie Court" and reopened in January 1990. In 1997 the buildings were purchased by "Begbie Court Holdings Inc.", a wholly owned subsidiary of "Operating Engineers Pension PLan".
 
Location. 49° 12.184′ N, 122° 54.622′ W. Marker is in New Westminster, British Columbia, in Greater Vancouver Regional District. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Carnavon Street and McKenzie Street. Touch for map
The New Westminster Court House and Land Registry Office Heritage Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, June 10, 2010
2. The New Westminster Court House and Land Registry Office Heritage Building Marker
Mounted directly above the historical marker is a Heritage Building marker reading:
New Westminster designated Heritage Building
The New Westminster Court House 1891 - rebuilt 1899
The Land Registry Office 1910
. Marker is at or near this postal address: 668 Carnavon Street, New Westminster, British Columbia V3M 5Z5, Canada.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 18 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Carnegie Library (within shouting distance of this marker); The Great Fire (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); Sadie Marks (approx. 15.9 kilometers away); Historic Port Elgin (approx. 16.1 kilometers away); Historic Stewart Farmhouse (approx. 16.2 kilometers away); Farming History (approx. 16.2 kilometers away); The Semiahmoo Trail (approx. 16.2 kilometers away); a different marker also named Carnegie Library (approx. 16.3 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Westminster.
 
Regarding The New Westminster Court House and Land Registry Office. •Canada's Historic Places statement of heritage value for the Court House:The New Westminster Courthouse is symbolic of the administration of justice during the province's early years. As the first capital of British Columbia and a prominent commercial centre, New Westminster was vital in the establishment of order in the colony, and remained an important administrative centre. In 1860, the first court house was erected, a one-storey building with a canvas ceiling. This was replaced by a new structure in Market Square
The New Westminster Court House and Land Registry Courtyard image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, June 10, 2010
3. The New Westminster Court House and Land Registry Courtyard
The marker is mounted on a wooden plaque or base mounted on the wall in the rear of the courtyard open to Carnavon Street, just to the right of the windows.
in 1873. In 1890-91, this imposing new brick and stone court house was built, located uphill from the city's commercial centre. In 1891, it was opened at the Spring Assizes with due ceremony by Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie, B.C.'s first judge and first Chief Justice. The interior of the courthouse was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1898 but the building was reconstructed in 1899 to the same general plan.


• Canada's Historic Places statement of heritage value for the land registry building: The Land Registry Office is a significant legacy of New Westminster's role as an administrative centre. The distribution of Crown Land as well as the registration of land transactions was a key function of the colonial government. New Westminster, as the capital of the Mainland Colony, and later as the first capital of the province of British Columbia, was the location of the original Land Registry in 1860. The Land Registry was housed in various offices until the construction of this substantial building during the western boom years, an indication of the volume of land sales at the time. The building remained as the local Land Registry in New Westminster until 1980.
 
Also see . . .  Canada's Historic Places. The Canadian Register of Historic Places - includes a searchable database. (Submitted on July 17, 2010.) 
 
Categories. GovernmentNotable Buildings
 
The New Westminster Court House after the Great Fire of 1898 image. Click for full size.
Photo courtesy of the New Westminster Public Library, September 1898
4. The New Westminster Court House after the Great Fire of 1898
The New Westminster Court House and Land Registry Office (2010) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, June 10, 2010
5. The New Westminster Court House and Land Registry Office (2010)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 17, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 2,702 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 17, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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