From Wikipedia

Crescent Beach has been a summer destination for centuries. In pre-colonial times, it was the location of a significant temporary summer camp for area aboriginals. The tidal mudflats were a good clam digging area. Wild berries, especially cranberries, and a weir site were located at nearby Nicomekl River and Serpentine River areas. The area was part of Snokomish territory until a smallpox epidemic in 1850 forced the survivors and their lands to be amalgamated into the Semiahmoo First Nation. Artifacts such as arrowheads and jade have been found on the beach in the modern era.

The Semiahmoo First Nation attributes three to five metres depth of the land base to archaeological deposits of clams, charcoal and fire-cracked rocks without which the area would largely just be a sandspit. Modern excavations in some parts have also uncovered more than 700 human remains.

In 1875, Walter Blackie, the first blacksmith in New Westminster, purchased 150 acres of the land. The land bar projecting into Mud Bay portion of Boundary Bay was later named Blackie Spit.

In 1909, development of the Great Northern Railway from Blaine, Washington to New Westminster provided easier access to the beach for Vancouver-area residents. In 1913, permanent dikes (now serving as the waterfront walkway) were established to permit subdivision development. In 1912, a pier was and the Crescent Beach Development Company promoted Crescent Beach as a resort area. Notable Vancouverites began building summer homes in the neighbourhood. That year, Captain Watkin Williams also opened the Crescent Beach Hotel, a 21-room building with a restaurant, store and post office. The hotel burned down in February 1950.

Oysters imported from Japan seeded a thriving business for some decades until the Crescent Oyster Company was closed in 1961 due to river pollution and contemporary concerns about shellfish paralytic poisoning.

Photos by Sebastien Galina

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