As marked by a stone cairn in the park, this was the site of a large midden for one of the largest village sites in North America. Today, this small park is a popular place for children to play. Surrounded by trees, the roar of airplanes from the nearby airport in Richmond can be heard above the chatter of happy children.
Originally the land that comprises this park fell under the Municipality of Point Grey before the amalgamation of the City of Vancouver in 1929. The park was named for Richard Marpole, one time head of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). He was born in Wales in 1850 and became engaged in railroading when he was 18 years old. He was Superintendent of the CPR at the time of the first transcontinental passenger train’s arrival in Vancouver.
Before European settlement, this area was a burial ground for the Musqueam Aboriginal people. Excavation has discovered relics that reveal much of the history of the Coastal natives.
A granite cairn bears the inscription:
Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada Great Fraser Midden
This memorial marks the site of one of the Largest Prehistoric Middens on the Pacific Coast of Canada. It originally covered 4 ½ acres with an average depth of 5 feet and a maximum depth of 15 feet. Its lowest layers were formed many centuries ago when the islands opposite were tidal flats. The bone and stone implements and utensils found in it have thrown much light upon the cultural status of Pre-historic man in this vicinity.