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History of Richmond (RMD), Greater Vancouver
20090718
The first people to inhabit the area now known as Richmond were believed to be the Coast Salish, who set up temporary camps and moved from year to year as they fished and collected berries on the islands. European settlers arrived in the 1860s and settled near the Fraser River ó between Richmond with New Westminster ó and provided a foundation for the cityís strong fishing and agricultural industries.

Cabin cruisers moored on the Fraser River in Richmond, BC (Graham Osborne)  The regionís rich soil and the fishing opportunities created by the Fraser River have played a major role in Richmondís development. Dykes, bridges and other fixtures were built, requiring the establishment of a municipality. Richmond was incorporated on November 10, 1879, and became a city on December 3, 1990.

Richmondís agricultural and fishing industries have grown to be remarkable and diverse since the early painstaking work of settlers to cultivate the unruly riverfront land. Richmond has become known for its berry crops and for its internationally famous fishing. Canneries developed along the river in the 1880s attracted migrant workers of First Nations, Japanese and Chinese descent.

Richmond is also British Columbiaís (BCís) centre of aviation. The first flight in BC took place at Minoru Racetrack. Richmondís first airport was located on Richmondís Lulu Island, later moving to Sea Island in 1931, the current location of Vancouver International Airport (YVR). An important gateway to the Pacific Rim, YVR has been a major influence in Richmondís rapid development.

The idea to establish an Archives was first put forward by people working on Richmond's centennial celebrations in 1979. By 1987 the Archives became a separate institution within the City Clerk's Office. The next milestone occurred in 1992 when a dedicated space for the City Archives was created in the new Library and Cultural Centre at Minoru Park.  For the first time, the holdings were under one roof with climate controls and a comfortable Reference Room for the public. Due to the blowing "China Wind" of immigrations from China, esp. Mainland and South China, Richmond is regarded as the largest "Chinatown" beside the original one in downtown Vancouver, as the highest rate (58.6%) of immigration in the Canada.

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