If you've ever driven through South Langley you know all about its quiet country roads, stunning scenery and expansive farm lands.You may also have noticed The Noel Booth General Merchant store, one of its longest standing historical landmarks.
For decades, the tattered old building with the aged, wooden sign on 24th Avenue has helped Langley maintain some of its quaint country feel.
It was established by Langley pioneer Noel Booth in the 1920s and now, it's up for sale for the bargain basement price of $1. But there's a catch.
The purchaser of the store, and two other neighbouring buildings, must move them at their own cost. And that poses some challenges.
Elaine Horricks, the heritage planner for the Township of Langley, says something has to be done about the buildings, which have stood vacant for more than 30 years now.
"The buildings have come into a derelict state, and the decision rose out of safety concerns arising from their intermittent use as illegal dwellings and an obvious need to address them for their future viability," she said.
The current owner of the lands has been there since the 1980s, but has always recognized the heritage value of the buildings. That's why he is following the advice of Langley Township's Heritage Advisory Council which suggested he put them up for sale.
No official protection
The buildings hold heritage value because of Noel Booth's contributions to the early days of South Langley and the establishment of commercial activity in the area.
Booth was a local politician and businessman who was noted to have donated the land for nearby Glenwood Elementary School. He is also credited with facilitating the establishment of the Fraser Valley regional library system.
Horricks says that, despite the obvious historical richness of the structures, they have not received official designation.
"They remain within a grouping of buildings that we have documented for their heritage interest, but that are without protection," she said.
If the buildings are not purchased, Horricks says they could be offered for use to the film industry. If they're destined to be demolished, the township promises to document the structures before they're gone.