|1905 Goshen Evangelical Lutheran Church|
"Land o' Goshen!" Look it up. An old-fashioned expression, a "mild exclamation of surprise, alarm, dismay, annoyance or exasperation." The kind of thing you'd expect to hear Mayberry's Aunt Bea say. It derives somehow from the biblican Land of Goshen, the region in Egypt inhabited by the Israelites until the Exodus. And Goshen is the original name of this church in a fascinating "lost village" in the Abbotsford area of B.C.
So says On this Spot, a wonderfully researched site devoted to this tiny old village, since absorbed by sprawling Abbotsford. The village of Matsqui.
Layers on layers of B.C. history pass unnoticed, as one drives the flat river bottom land en route to other pleasures. Like the charming and historic - and restored - village of Clayburn with which friends Meg and Tom delighted us on our visit to them and their province, nearly five years ago. How can it be?
This post was a draft in my new series from early this year, when the Covid travel famine forced me to mine for virtual road trip material in journeys from another time, with my travelling companion who made his own last voyage not long before. So. This makes me happy. And sad. To remember his infinite patience with photo junkets filled with "oh, can we drive down there!" "Oh, will you follow me in the car?...I just want to walk through that lane..." Whatever will I do without my getaway car driver?
|the mighty Fraser|
Stay with me, as I remember how to write again.
This is a post about a place people drive through daily without noticing, a place of spreading subdivisions and shrinking village presence. The village of Matsqui has been absorbed in the municipal sense by the sprawling city of Abbotsford - absorbed and disappeared.
|1914 Matsqui Hotel|
|once the commercial centre of town|
|typical Matsqui clapboard|
|former Post Office|
So...this post which has sat waiting since February asks to be written, Now that our hearts and minds turn to the flooded farms of the Fraser Valley, I revisit these photos and those carefree days when my love and I travelled the area with Abbotsford friends Tom and Meg.
Hearts are breaking everywhere there.