Delta Manor Demonstration Farm

5425 Ladner Trunk Road
Delta, BC

Built: 1927

The Delta Manor Demonstration Farm was set up by the Delta Land Company for the purpose of instructing people who were new to chicken farming. The buildings on site included three large poultry houses, a brooder house, colony houses, and a hatchery.

Status: The Delta Manor Hall, which is now part of the Odd Fellows Hall, is the only thing that remains of the demonstration farm

Boundary Bay Airport Hangar - date unknown
click photo for more pictures
Eggs were hatched on the premises and chicks were sold to the residents of Delta Manor. Classes on various aspects of raising chickens were also held in the Hall but they were probably only available to residents of the Manor. Later, films on other aspects of farming, for instance, beekeeping and the growing and marketing of bulbs, were shown. In 1932 the complete poultry breeding plant was leased to the University of British Columbia. The Delta Land Company subsequently claimed that Delta Manor became the outstanding breeding establishment on the continent. Given the company's track record on other claims made by it, this one is also suspect and, in addition, is impossible to verify. In any event, by 1945, the Delta Land Company was giving up its involvement and presence here. About that time the Delta Manor Hall was sold to local shareholders who made up the Delta Manor Co-operative Association. A superintendent, presumably an employee of the Delta Land Company, was in charge of the demonstration farm and he was provided with housing on the property. The house, of course, along with the outbuildings, was demolished long ago; a two-storey commercial building (5405 Ladner Truck Road) now stands where the house was located.

The first person to hold the position of superintendent in 1927 was George Dynes, followed a year later by Hugh Greenwood, and later Mr. Simpson, and by Mr. Kisby. In 1939 Eric Telfer, who had had considerable experience with chickens on his Mathews Road farm, took charge of the demonstration farm. He and his wife, Mary, bought the property, excluding the Delta Manor Hall, and gave it a distinctive name, Northumbria Poultry Farm.

A brief note is in order here about the fairs that were held here in the 1930s. The Delta Manor Exhibition Association held a fall fair in August from 1930 to 1938, during a period when the Delta Agricultural Society ceased to do so. Initially participation was limited to the residents of Delta Manor, because of space, presumably in the hall. Eventually all classes of exhibits were opened to all of Delta and the list of prizewinners in 1938 confirms that local residents were eager to participate.