The Lawson family moved to the area now known as West Vancouver in 1907, and is one of the original pioneer families of West Vancouver. John Lawson, who became the second Reeve of West Vancouver from 1913 to 1914, was instrumental in the development of education, postal service, transportation, and telephone service for the area. He and his wife Christina had three children – Elizabeth, Gertrude, and Duncan.
The family was very active in all aspects of community life. In 1908, the first church services in the District took place at the Lawsons' waterfront home with Elizabeth Lawson as pianist. Elizabeth married in 1914 and raised a family in West Vancouver. Gertrude Lawson devoted her life to teaching, and was a well-loved school teacher in West Vancouver. She lived in her stone castle house at 680-17th Street until her death in 1989. The District purchased the property, and her original home was designated as a Heritage Building. After subsequent renovations, it officially re-opened as the West Vancouver Museum and Archives in 1994. Duncan Lawson served in World War I and was killed in action overseas in 1918. The Duncan Lawson Chapter of the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire was named in his honour. Elizabeth Pitman (Lawson) died in 1953, and John Lawson, who was regarded as the father of West Vancouver, died in 1954. His wife, Christina Lawson died in 1955. John Lawson bequeathed part of the family's waterfront property to the District, which became John Lawson Park. The park and museum serve as historic reminders of the important contributions the Lawson family made to the development of West Vancouver.