Alfred died on January 9th, 1907, while crossing the Fraser River. He was skating across to Fort Langley, although some say he was trying to rescue a young boy who had fallen through the ice. As the story goes, they were crossing together to meet with others about starting a soccer team the following spring. Alfred was only thirty-two years old, leaving two young children. The boy who drowned with Alfred, initially thought to be his son, was Tom Carleton.
After her husband’s death, in a move that showed a true strength of character, Mary Charlton took over all of her husband’s responsibilities in addition to raising their two young sons. Mary was well suited to business and expanded the family’s holdings to include Haney’s first bank, the Bank of Montreal, a building she built and owned. It opened October 01, 1911. It was strategically positioned close to the Fraser River in the commercial district core of Port Haney, to take advantage of the river boat landing, the CPR Station and the services in the area, including postal and retail outlets.
In 1917, Mary Charlton married her husband’s cousin, William Storey, who had come from the East to help her with the store. He took on management of the General Store and changed its name to the somewhat whimsical ‘Storey Store,’ while Mary continued in the role of postmistress in the building next door to the Billy Miner Alehouse, known today as the Alehouse Café. This was a role Mary continued to hold in various Haney locations for another 40 years. She was also the president of the Haney Women’s Institute at one time.
Mary Charlton Storey, the first of Maple Ridge’s women entrepreneurs, died in 1960.