Where Burton is we know, but who was he?
Mr. Burton whoever you were and wherever you are now, be assured your name lives on.
It is perpetuated in the Burton School and Burton Road, in subdivisions with names like Burtonwood, and in the history of a huge wartime housing project called Burton Homes.
The Burton area lies along Northeast Burton Road and Northeast 28th Street, east of Andresen road and west of Northeast 162nd Avenue. There was once a Burton School District, swallowed up when the sprawling Evergreen district was formed.
One of the earliest mentions of Burton was in the Vancouver Columbian of May 18,1901: “At a school election and by a vote of 15 to 14, the new school house in the Pucker Brush community was named Burton.” Another item in this edition noted there would be no further news datelined Pucker Brush, but news of the Burton area would be forthcoming.
There is no mention, however, of why the school and community were named Burton. Was Burton a pioneer resident of the area? No one seems to know. The name does not appear on maps showing early property owners.
Burton Homes was a huge complex of wartime housing units built at the beginning of World War II. It consisted of 1,500 two-bedroom dwellings and was located north of Northeast Burton Road.
Before the war ended, the layoffs began at the shipyards and Burton Homes was closed. These were row houses built only 18 months before but already they had started to fall apart.
On Sept. 20, 1944, the first contract for removing the rows of houses was let. The first 34 homes were dismantled and shipped to Morton, Wash.
On Oct. 13, 1945, the end came when the Vancouver Housing Authority checked out the last three tenants from Burton Homes.