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Notes of our trip across British Columbia from Golden, on the Canadian Pacific Railway, to Kootenai,… MacInnes, Donald, 1824-1900 1889

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I left Toronto on Friday night for North Bay, where I got
the C. P. R. main line train for the West at 9 a. m. Everything
possible appears to have been done by this Company for the comfort and ease of the travelling -public; it was pleasant to find
•oneself seated in one of their luxurious sleepers.
The weather, until we reached Port Arthur, was uncomfortably
hot. At Port Arthur the 24 hour system comes in use on the
Western and Pacific Division, and our watches were put back an hour.
Our train had a very full complement of passengers. In passing
through it, I observed in one of the colonist sleeping cars anexceedingly nice looking family of children. There were nine of
i:hem—seven girls and two boys—all with such handsome features,
bright complexions and flaxen hair. The mother told me that the
•eldest was 13 years and.the youngest 18 months old. They were
•emigrating to the Island of Vancouver and were from Galway, in
Ireland. I told her that the government of British Columbia
ought to give her a handsome premium for bringing out such a
fine lot of young settlers.
We arrived at Winnipeg on Sunday on • time to the minute.
The Countess of Shrewsbury and Lady Selkirk, who were on the
train, remained at Winnipeg. I had some conversation with them.
Lady Selkirk is a relation of Lord Selkirk, whose name is so
well known in connection with the early settlement of the country.
Here I wired Willie, asking him to get Captain Armstrong to
•delay our departure from Golden from Monday till Wednesday, as
that would give me a day's rest at Banff.
After leaving Winnipeg and all along the line through Manitoba, the harvest fields were golden with the ripe grain which was
being gathered. The quality of the wheat was very fine, but owing
to the drought, which was abnormal, the yield was much less than had
i   been anticipated. If the rain fall on our prairies was equal to
that of Ontario, our Northwest would be the most productive
country under the sun, but it has compensating advantages. Notwithstanding the absence of the normal rain fall during the past,
season, the cattle on the prairies were in perfect condition—fat and
sleek. Their pasture is the bunch grass, which is exceedingly-
nutritious. During a former visit to the Northwest I called to see
Mr. Mclntyre, who has a very fine farm of 2,000 acres near Regina_
He came from Ontario, where he had been a farmer. Mrs.
Mclntyre told me that she could get as much milk and butter frorrn
five cows there as she could from eight in Ontario, and of a richer,
sweeter quality—the grass which they feed on is so nutritious and
free from weeds of any description.
Settlement modifies climate and will doubtless have its effect
in time, but there are some sections so exceptionally dry that it
will be necessary to sink artesian wells for the purpose of
irrigation, etc. This has been found necessary in the Western States,,
where they, suffer more from drought than we do. They also suffer
from disasters unknown to us, such as tornadoes, hail storms, etc.
There are belts of country in some of these States where the prevalence of hail storms is so regular that insurance companies
exist in Chicago whose business it is to insure farmers against
damage to their crops from this cause.
Our train spea through the prairies—the illimitable prairies—
for two days. Prairies to the right of us and prairies to the left.
There is no such vast area of first-class prairie land any where
else. Our neighbors have some as good, but not the same extent.
of excellent grain lands as ours. Public men in the United-
States in their published speeches, when it suits them to decry
Canada and the Canadians, make the statements that immigrants-
avoid Canada, that settlers cannot be induced to settle on our
prairies, and, in this, it is much to be regretted, they are imitated,
by some of our own public men. It should be pointed out
that Northern Dakota, which contains the largest area of rich prairie
land of any of the States, had in 1870 only a population of
14,000, and for many succeeding years settlement was very slow,,
but since 1879, after it had made a character for itself for wheat
growing, the inflow of people has been very great—a country, like
an individual, has to make a character for itself before obtaining. \
public confidence. Our Northwest, in the few years since public
attention has been drawn to it, can show quite as good record as
Dakota in its early days, both as regards the average yield per
acre as well as by the inflow of settlers.
Mr. Royal, the Lieut. Governor of the Northwest Territories,
in his speech on the meeting of the Northwest Council, stated
that although the inflow of immigration was not as large as might
be desired, that those who did settle were of a superior class.
This fact furnishes an incentive for others to follow, and a pretty
sure guarantee that the inflow will increase from year to year.
Our train sped on, day and night, through this great prairie
land. We missed seeing the beautiful Bow River valley, as we
passed it by at night, arriving at Banff, much to our regret, on
time, but the C. P. R. will be punctual in spite of the sluggard
and the sleepy. 4.30 a. m. is a most uncomfortably early hour
for arrival or departure, and as there is only one through train each
day, it is, of course, equally inconvenient to passengers departing
from as well as arriving at Banff. There must be some unavoidable cause for this | arrangement of the running of trains, the
C. P. R. being so noted for their consideration to the convenience
and comfort of the travelling public.
Banff is our national park, and the Company has added to its
great natural attractions one of the best appointed hotels on the
continent. ~ In approaching it up the drive from the station, every
window brightly illuminated with the electric light, it is a veritable
oasis in the desert, surrounded as it is by the "Rockies"—almost
obscuring the sky in every direction.
I found the two boys asleep in the nicest of bedrooms overlooking the junction of the Bow and Spray Rivers, a beautiful clear
stream with a pebbly bottom. After allowing them to have their
sleep out (they had been out hunting and fishing during the days
since their arrival, and slept the sleep of youth and innocence), we
had breakfast together, and at the same table with us was a United
States Senator, Mr. Thorpe, and his daughter Mrs. Ball, they heard
us talking about our contemplated trip, and Mrs. Ball very kindly
gave us some information about the Yellow-stone Park, which we
found very useful to us afterward when we reached that wonderland.
The day was fair and bright. Col. Herchimer, Chief Commissioner of the mounted police, kindly placed one of his light waggons at our disposal. We paid a visit to the anthracite coal mines in the
neighborhood. As yet they are mainly works of developement.
Adits are being driven into the side of the mountain. The coal, of
which there appears to be abundance, is of a superior quality of
anthracite. We saw a train of loaded cars going to San Francisco.
The property is about to change owners and pass into the possession of English capitalists. On the road to the mines a band of
Indians with their squaws, papooses, and horses, were camped quite
close to the road. Our horses being mounted police horses, used
for waggons only, could not be called high spirited, took fright, and
the driver held them in with much difficulty. He told us that
other than Indian horses were always frightened at the sight of
the Indian, the smell, he said, was sufficient to alarm them. This
we found verified, as on our return, in passing the spot where the
Indians were camped our horses shied again, so much so that it was
difficult to hold them. We dined at the hotel, and met a number of
old friends and acquaintances. Col. Bernard, who is a great
invalid, had been at the hotel for some time and told us that the
place agreed with him well.
There was a large party of us leaving for the west next morning
(Wednesday), and the porter whose duty it was to call passengers
for the early morning trains neglected to do so, and there was a good
deal of hurry-scurry to get ready. A cup of coffee was thoughtfully
offered to all whA had time to partake of it. We were however in
time for the train, although punctually on time as usual. The
morning was simply perfect, bright and clear, a sharp frost making
the atmosphere still clearer. When the sun rose, tipping I the
peaks of the surrounding mountains, the effect was very beautiful,
the conditions could not be more favorable for seeing the sublime
scenery which encompassed us. The line follows the winding
of a narrow valley between the mountains and around their base, so
that we had mountains in front of us, mountains in the rear, to the
right, and to the left, the view backward being the finest. The
passengers were wild with delight. There was only one drawback
to mar their pleasure, the paymaster's car happened to be attached
to the rear of our train ; some of the passengers were furious at
loosing even a glimpse of any part of such scenery; the opportunity
of seeing it under such favorable circumstances might never be
presented to many of them again.    It was decided to communicate the grievance to Mr. Whyte, the superintendent of the Western
•division, and they were satisfied for the time. It is well known how
ready that efficient and obliging officer is to remedy any complaint brought to his notice. The line skirted the Vermillion
Lakes, and as the train sped by, the passing scenery was seen
reflected as in a mirror. The Cascade, the Cathedral, the Castle
Mountains, Mount Massive, etc., the helmet shaped Mount Lefroy,
•so named after that distinguished scientific soldier, Major-General Sir
Henry Lefroy, R. A., who visited the North-West many years ago,
when it was as yet the great lone land, for the purpose of taking
meteoric observations. There were many more mountains not yet
•christened to our knowledge, there was one which we named the
Bridal Cake from its resemblance to that much coveted confectionery,
and in size would suffice to supply all the weddings of future
Immediately before reaching Field the train rushes through the.
famed Kicking Horse Pass, the line follows the side of Mount
■Stephen about one thousand feet above the gorge of the Backing
Horse River. A forest of huge pines shoot up the base of mountain
below the line hemmed in by Mount Stephen on the one side and
the Van Horn Range on the other. It is impossible to find language
to convey the terrific grandeur of this pass.
The train emerges from it at Field, the pretty Swiss chalet-like
station of that name, where we had an excellent breakfast, everything
so perfectly neat and fresh. Soon after leaving Field we arrive at
Golden, the termination of our railway travelling. Here we leave
the Canadian Pacific Railway and take Capt. Armstrong's steamer
up the Columbia, as far as it will take us on our journey across the
mountains towards the international boundary, near Bonner's ferry.
Capt. Armstrong met us at the station and hustled us immediately on board his steamer, which had been waiting the past
two days. We found a goodly number of voyagers on board, mostly
ranchmen or prospectors for mining claims, or both combined in the
same individual. We found that the majority of the men on board
owned ranches and several mining claims. Besides these, we had our
old friend, Mr. Hammond, of Toronto, with Mr. Francis and his
young son, also Mr. Gamble, the Dominion resident engineer in
.British Columbia. The Columbia takes its rise in the Upper Columbia Lake, and
flows northward until reaching, lat. 520, when it makes a sudden turn
to the south at Big Bend, between n 8° and 119° long., and
eventually forsaking British territory, enters that of the United
States. On its way northward it passes Golden, which is about eighty
miles distant from its source, the. Upper Columbia Lake, placidly
flowing down between the Rockies, on the one side, and the Golden
Range of the Selkirks on the other. It is at present only navigable
as far as Windermere, and then only when the water is high. Capt.
Armstrong's boat is the usual river stern wheel steamer. We left
Golden about one o'clock, the weather was perfect. Flocks of
ducks flew up before us as we steamed up the river; Willie fired
into one of these flocks and brought down a few birds.
We happened to be near a landing where some of the ranchers-
and prospectors were getting off, the captain kindly allowed Willie
and Charlie to take one of the small canoes which the steamer
carried, and paddle down the river for the birds; they found one
which fell into the water, but those in the bushes on the banks could
not be found. Soon after we left this landing we ran across a sand,
bar or spawning ground made by the salmon, and being disturbed,
they jumped all round the steamer in large numbers. Charlie
became so excited that he fired away at them with his rifle. The
supply of salmon, however, is not likely to be affected thereby. We
steamed away as long as the captain could see his way, but we had
to stop for most of the night, and started early next morning.
The water became more shallow as we ascended the river, and
we finally had to stop at Spillamacheen, fourteen miles short of our
destination, Steamboat Landing. We were therefore compelled to
land here, on the Rocky mountain side of the river, and the
passengers took their way in the various directions where their
interests or business took them. There happened to be a team and.
waggon which we engaged to take us to Steamboat Landing, where
Mr. Brownrigg, with whom Captain Armstrong had arranged to take
us across to Bonner's ferry, was waiting for us. It was about seven
o'clock when we reached the Landing, and we found Mr. Browrigg^
ready and willing to drive us to Mackay's, about fourteen miles-
We were soon under way, and ascended from the cooley ins
which we found Mr. Brownrigg, and reached the plateau above, and \
for some distance the road was not bad, much better than the one
we had travelled after leaving the steamer.
We found Mr. Brownrigg an intelligent and experienced courier,
and he amused us with stories about men and things in this part of
the world. As we were about to cross a deep gorge, he told us how
a white man had been murdered at that spot, and pointed to a pile
of logs where he was buried. I told him we preferred such stories
when it was not quite so dark, and in a less gloomy part of the road.
After we had crossed the gorge of the big Vermillion River,
and ascended a rather perilously steep hill out of it, we heard the
sound of horsemen behind us, which proved to be Capt. Armstrong
and Mr. Gamble. Mr. Gamble is the Dominion resident engineer
in British Columbia, and he and Capt. Armstrong were on their
way to the salmon beds on the Columbia. Small appropriations
have been made by the Dominion Government for the improvement
of the navigation of the Columbia, and it appeared to us that more
might be done with advantage to the public interests. If the
prospecting for minerals prove successful, and are found in paying
quality and quantity, the improvement of the navigation of the
Columbia will be a necessity.
We pursued our way towards Mackay's, distant about 15 miles,
when we found that the horsemen coming after us were Mr.
Gamble and Captain Armstrong. We were most glad of their
company. We assisted each other in finding the trail, which we frequently lost; we had to light matches and hold them near the ground
in order to find it. We very nearly came to grief by driving into a
hole, but fortunately escaped without much injury. We at last
reached our destination, arriving about 11 o'clock, where we received
a right Highland welcome. Mrs. McKay took" the trouble to go to
an out-house and brought in an abundance of beautiful fresh milk,
bread and butter, etc., and we were treated to an excellent breakfast
on the following morning. The farm is the best we have seen in
this district, reminding us of Ontario, with barn, stable and other
outhouses, horses, cattle, poultry, etc. Among the rest was a fine
flock of wild geese, hatched on the farm, handsome, swan-like birds
with drab and white feathers. Their wings had to be cut to prevent
their flying away. Before we left a number of squaws from an
Indian camp in the neighborhood came there for protection. An
Indian, a notoriously bad character, created a disturbance in their camp, at the present occupied by squaws only, the Indians being
away on a hunting expedition. Several of the squaws were seriously
wounded. That Indian will doubtless receive his reward when the
other braves return. Captain Armstrong and Mr. Gamble started
for the salmon beds, and we took the road which will take us
eventually to the international boundary.
The drive this morning was through a most picturesque
country, along the base of the Rockies. The foot hills rising in a
terrace like form for several hundred feet up the side of the
mountain, with evergreen trees dotted over them, giving them a
park like appearance.
Here our driver pointed to what were called the Whisky. Hills.
During the construction of the C. P. R. a regular business in
smuggling was carried on, whisky and other commodites were
smuggled in from the United States through these wilds. They
happened to be encountered here by the mounted police who stove
in the heads of the whiskey barrels and spilt the contents, hence the
name, Whiskey Hills. We reached Windermere, our destination
for lunch, about one o'clock. It is not unworthy of the name.
It is very prettily situated on the east bank of the lower Columbia
Lake. There are here three rather pretty and well-built log houses,
which had been erected by the government for the mounted
police—one is dignified by the name of Government House.
They don't appear evpr to have been occupied. The mounted police
having been withdrawn from this part of the country is evidence
of peaceful and law-abiding Indians. There is a comfortable inn
here also, where we had luncheon. We walked down to the
banks of the Lake, whicli is exceedingly pretty, there were several
flocks of ducks sporting themselves on its surface. Willie tried
his rifle at them, but the ducks did not object, which was just as
well, for if any had been killed we could not have got them for the
want of a boat. Mr. Goldie, who resided in Hamilton at one time,
keeps a general store here. He recognized us in passing his place.
He appeared to be quite jolly, as of old, and contented with his lot.
His greeting was cordial and pleasant.
The country traversed this afternoon was less interesting than
that between Mackay's and Windermere. We reached Brewer's at
about half-yast six, a fairly comfortable place. Mrs. Brewer is an
American, and informed us in answer to our questions how she liked \
ft *4
the place, that she told her old man that he must take her back to
her own country again ; she evidently was ruler of that household.
Her old man being away from home, the Indians she said had been
rather impudent a day or two before our arrival, in persisting to put
their horses in their stable without pay, but she showed a determined
front and sent them off discomfited. Before breakfast next morning we paid a visit to the hot springs, about a mile up the side of
the mountain—the Rockies. There are several, but on a diminutive
scale. The water is pure and clear, the temperature from 80 to 100
degrees. We got under way about 9, the country being less interesting than that which we traversed the day before.
We passed a small | shack," (dwelling). Our driver knew the
owner, an Englishman. We met him after passing his "shack" and
had some talk with him. He evidently came of gentle stock, but
he said he liked the life; he was quite alone, not a soul within miles
of him. " We go out occasionly," he said, I asked him what he
meant by "going out?" " Oh," he said, "when I save a certain
amount from the sale of cattle (he had a small ranch), I go to England and remain as long as my money lasts, then I come in again."
We were told that this was the case with many of the joung men
settled and living alone in these mountains.
We reached what had been known as Taynton's ranch, situated
near the head of the Upper Columbia Lake, it is now the property
of our driver—his father, mother and sister are living on it, they
seemed respectable honest people, but did not quite like living out
of civilized life—we were treated to the tenderest of venison steak
and fresh milk, luxuries which we prized most highly. About six
miles further on are the canal flats and Mr. Baillie Grohman's Canal.
We arrived there about five o'clock, and as we decided not to proceed any further that day, we tried the fishing on the Kootenay, which
is here a beautiful and rapid river with a shingly bottom; but we
were not successful, we evidently had not the right flies, but ours was
the experience of many. The streams tributary to the Kootenay
have more fish in them, or perhaps it would be more correct to say
that more fish are caught in them. We had an opportunity of inspecting Mr. Bailile Grohman's canal, which has not yet been brought
into requisition, nor as far as we could see or learn is it ever likely
to be disturbed by the rush of waters through its wooden locks.
The distance between the Kootenay, where it rushes past the I
head of the canal and the upper Columbia Lake where the Columbia
River takes its rise, is less than two miles. The purpose for which
this canal is made appears to be to make navigation continuous
by connecting the waters of these two great rivers at this place, now
called Canal Flats.
The navigation of the Kootenay at present is scarcely safe, even
for canoes, until it reaches within a short distance of the international boundary. The cost for making it navigable for craft
suitable for canal navigation must be very considerable; then
no visible connection with the Columbia Lake at the lower end of
the canal, which would have to be done at further cost, and when
all this is done the Columbia would remain unfit for navigation as
far down as Windermere, or even below, in order to have uninterrupted navigation as far as Golden. And until all this is done, Mr.
Grohman's canal is utterly useless and likely to remain so. We were
informed that the Government of British Columbia was so ill-advised
as to make a grant of most of the bottom lands along the rivers as
a consideration to Mr. Grohman's company for building the canal,
the cost of which we were informed was between thirty and forty
thousand dollars. How much better it would have been in the
public interest to have sold this land to Mr. Grohman's company for
the amount which is said to have been expended on this work and
have the money paid into the Provincial treasury. It is scarcely
credible that the government should have been so ill-advised as to
part with these lands until they were satisfied by the report of a competent engineer that the canal would be of some public utility, and
it is to be hoped for the governments own credit that it has not
done so.
Attention may be drawn to the remarkable fact that the two
great rivers, the Kootenay and the Columbia, at their source, flow in
opposite directions, the Kootenay flowing in a southerly and the
Columbia in a northerly direction. A reference to the map of
British Columbia will show that the Kootenay takes its rise in the
Rockies, flows to the south and passes within less than two miles of
the upper Columbia Lake, the head waters of the Columbia River,
as above stated, but avoids a junction with it and flows on past the
international boundary into United States territory, and then turns
back northward again into British territory until it reaches Kootenay
Lake;   while the Columbia, whose head waters are the  Upper i6
Columbia Lake, flows northward past Golden, and at Big Bend turns-
southward until it reaches the Arrow Lakes, whence it forsakes British
territory and flows into that of the United States. These two great
rivers would thus have encircled the land occupied by the Selkirks, ■
and make an island of a large slice of British Columbia, but for the
narrow strip of land about two miles in width at Canal Flats.
The hotel at Canal Flats belongs to Mr. Brownrigg, rather large
for the place now, but was required during the construction of the
canal. Charlie took some photographs here, not so successful as
could be wished; on opening the camera he found it in a demoralized
state. It was smashed in the journey. We started about 8.30,
and had one saddle horse, " Boston," besides the wagon, which we
were to ride by turns until we reached Fort Steel, where we had to
leave the wagon and travel the rest of the journey with pack horses.
Our destination this day was Hanson's. We crossed the Kootenay,
a short distance beyond the flats, over a fairly good bridge,
leaving the river on our right and to the west of the trail, until we
reached Fort Steel. There was a shower of rain in the morning, the
first we had, but scarcely enough to lay the dust. The road was
through a forest of yellow pines, tamaracks, and douglas firs, (here an
inferior tree). The tamaracks were very large and symmetrical in
shape, tapering up gradually to a sharp point at the top, and almost
entirely free of limbs, resembling the mast of a large ship. We
noticed from the fallen trees that the wood of the yellow pine and
tamarack was of a brittle character, as on falling they were broken
intomany pieces.   We saw no white pines and but few hardwood trees.
We stopped for lunch at Sheep's Creek, having travelled about
20 miles. We arrived at Hanson's about 6 o'clock. Mr. Hanson
was away, but his partner, Mr. Herman Von Hardell, was in charge.
He is thoroughly the German in appearance and character, and
was most civil and obliging. He had been a soldier in the Franco-
German war.
Their vegetable garden was excellent, and their crops of grain,
barley, wheat and oats, were fair. The streams coming down the
mountain were easily diverted through trenches for irrigation, without
which neither grain or vegetables can be grown. Next morning'
Herman Von Hardel and Willie went out with their guns, but were
not very successful. We started for Fort Steel about 9 a. m.,
arriving there at about one o'clock, here we took pack horses for 1
H 1
the rest of the journey. We required six horses, two for our packs
-and four for ourselves, including Cameron, our man of all work. The
horses were brought from the stable or field, when a selection was
made. Their names were Vowel, Boston, Dynamite, Nick, Johnny
and Dodge. Vowel was allotted to me, Boston to Willie, Dynamite
to Cameron, Dodge to Charlie, and the other two were made the
pack horses. After our traps, tents, etc., were fastened on to the
pack horses—work requiring some skill and experience—we got
under way about 3 o'clock. While getting our horses ready for the
start we had an opportunity of seeing what there was to see at Fort
-Steel. There i& a store of goods owned by Mr. Galbraith, formerly
member of the Provincial Legislature. He has been replaced by Col.
Baker. A company of the mounted police had been stationed here,
•but have been removed, owing to a misunderstanding between the
Dominion and Provincial Governments, or because they were no
longer required. The Indians are said to be as peaceable and law
abiding as the whites. There are few whites here, unless it be at
Wild Horse Creek, a gorge in the mountains, a short distance off,
where placer-mining for gold was carried on successfully for some
years, and is still carried on, but on a diminished scale, mostly by
The Crow's Nest Pass was pointed out in an easterly direction
n the mountains close by. H Should a railway be constructed
through it, the line must pass near Fort Steel. The Catholic mission
on the St. Mary's River, is but a short distance off. There is an
Indian village of considerable size at this mission, and the Indians,
Father Cocola (whom we afterwards met on our journey), informed
•us, are good Christians, and of a highly moral character, doubtless
largely due to his own influence and teaching. We left Fort Steel
about 3 o'clock, all mounted. There is a capital bridge over the
Kootenay, which we crossed. Our destination that afternoon was
•Cranbrook, Col. Baker's ranch. The trail was fairly goad, and we
made a good start, arriving at our destination about half-past five.
We approached Cranbrook through a park like forest of yellow
pines, tamaracks, etc., so open and free from underbrush that we
-could easily ride through it in any direction, and as we approached
the open prairie in front of the dwelling, several hundred acres in
extent, the sun shining on the golden grain, which was being
harvested, the place looked exceedingly well and attractive. i8
Col. Baker was absent in England, Capt. Armstrong gave us a
letter of introduction to his manager, Mr. French, to whose kindness-
and courtesy we felt much indebted. We spent a very pleasant
evening with him and two young English gentlemen, who were living
with him on the ranch. The Colonel had an excellent store full of
supplies, and we replenished our needs for the rest of the journey.
The ranche is the largest in this district of country, we believe-
We saw a considerable number of cattle and horses. Crops of roots-
and grain can be grown by means of irrigation, and they were fairly
good this season, Mr. French informed us. We left next morning,
much refreshed for our journey. One of the young Englishmen
had recently been over the route, and gave us some useful information about the country we had to traverse. We had a rough and
difficult trail before us, on the sides of steep mountains, rocky and
full of fallen trees. Our weather, so far, could not be more favorable—bright and clear, but with heavy frosts after the sun went down.
We were told to expect rain as soon as we reached Moyie Lake and
River country. It is known, as the name Moyie implies, as the wet
or rainy country.
We stopped at Peavine Johnson's, a small prairie, to rearrange-
| Nick's I pack. Nick is a black horse whose character is proving
to have a striking resemblance to his name and color. This morning he was very perverse and would leave the trail and get under
or over fallen trees, evidently for the purpose of getting rid of his
load. He is a knowing and intelligent horse and quite up to a
thing or two. After fixing his pack again, and eating some
luncheon, we went on and soon reached Moyie Lake. This lake
is in a basin between steep mountains. Our track followed the
one to the east of it, and was the steepest of the two—at least it
looked so to us—running sheer down to the waters of the lake.
The trail was at a dizzy height, many hundred feet above, and as
we trudged along, stones and boulders went bounding down. The
lake is about ten miles long and we were relieved when we reached
the end. Here the Moyie River takes its rise; our course will
follow its valley for the next few days. We crossed it on a frail
bridge where it leaves the lake. I was frightfully done up and
weary when we reached a camping place a few miles ahead—where
there is a small prairie. As we carry no food for our horses it is
absolutely necessary to camp where food and water can be had for J9
them. They were as weary as ourselves. Willie was wonderfully
vigorous, but Charlie, who had not been quite well for some time
past, was very ill during the night. We slept in our tent for the
first time here. Cameron and Willie were up early getting the
horses and their packs ready, and we got under way about 8 o'clock.
We had the Moyie River to our left and a range of lofty mountains
to our right. These mountains looked as if some one had been
blasting for minerals at their summits. An avalanche of rock
broken into pieces large and small, covered their sides down to
their base. The trail was covered with them, consisted, in fact,
of these broken rocks and stones. Charlie called it ghastly; it
answered well to the description of the sort of trail which our young
English friend at Col. Baker's had led us to expect. We did not
find camping ground sufficiendy attractive to stop for luncheon.
We only stopped for a few minutes rest on logs and stumps of
trees to discuss the situation, so we went on arriving at the
Junction about 6 o'clock—so named from there being here two
trails, one branching off in a north-westerly direction towards the
Toad mountains, the other, which we are following, in a southerly
direction. Our camping ground, although it looked attractive on
a turn on the Moyie River, was disappointing. The pasturage was
very bare and we felt that our horses would be almost supperless.
When the sun went down it began to freeze and everything was
frozen stiff in the morning. We spent the most comfortless night
of our journey in our tent here. We had some apprehension that
the horses might stray away owing to the poor pasturage; they did
not, however, travel far away from the camping grounds. The
Moyie was reported to us as swarming with fish. The boys threw
their lines, but without success. The whereabouts of the swarms
could not be traced!
Early next morning we heard human voices on the trail close
to our camp. Cameron rushed out to see who it was and hailed
them, and found it was Father Cocola and two Indians, who were
travelling with him as his servants. He was going to the Kootenay
bottoms. Charlie and I followed them as soon as we swallowed
some tea and biscuits—we could not eat any other food. We
came up to Father Cocola and his Indians before we reached the
Round Prairie, 20 miles from our camping grounds of the night
before.    The trail up to this point was equally ghastly with that of Hi
O the day before, the only difference was that these long reaches of
rock and stone were now burnt forests and fallen trees. The
day became hot when the sun rose, and when we reached the
Round Prairie we were almost ready to drop and did drop from
our horses. Father Cocola kindly ordered his Indians to take
charge of our horses. I took, shelter under the shade of a bush
from the burning sun. Father Cocola, acting the part of the
good Samaritan, made a cup of excellent coffee for me. I thought
it the finest and best coffee I had ever tasted. I found the
Father most interesting. He was in the mountains when the C.
P. R. was building. He is an accomplished, linguist, speaking
Indian (various dialects), English, French, Italian and Spanish.
His influence over the rough human element employed on the
works, consisting of Spanish, Italian, French, American and English,
did much good. He told us that he frequently overheard them in
their own language plotting mischief, and that on such occasions he
told them that it would be his duty to expose them ; that, unless they
promised to desist and abandon their wicked designs he would expose
them to the authorities, that is such authority as existed in the mountain at that time. " They respected my calling," he said, " and I could
say many things to them with impunity, and I believe that I was the
means of preventing outbreaks, and the C. P. R. appreciated my,
services in every way that they could, and I am favored with a pass
on their line, which I on my'part, he said, also appreciate." We
were just on the point of starting when we heard the sound of
the cow-bell attached to Nick's neck for the purpose of discovering his whereabouts in case he took it into his wicked head to
stray away from the right path, and Willie and Cameron, much to
our delight, entered the Round Prairie. We feared that some
disaster had befallen them, as they were so long in putting in an
appearance, and they, on their part, were also uneasy about us.
They could not understand how we got so far ahead of them and
feared we had taken the wrong trail. We are now 17 miles from
the Kootenay bottom, and we followed the Father on our way
there. The trail was not so full of stones and rocks, but it was
made up for by fallen trees, the ascent and descent of precipitous
hills—the foot hills of the mountains—and we arrived at Cross-
man's ranch, Kootenay bottom, about half past six o'clock, so tired
that we could scarcely move after dismounting.   Here we had the satis- faction of knowing that there is plenty of rich pasture for our horses.
We are now across the international   boundary  and   in   Idaho.
The Kootenay bottom is so called from being overflown every
spring with the waters of the Kootenay, which is here a magnificent river. In the spring and early summer it becomes swollen
with the melting snow and ice from the surrounding mountains,
causing it to overflow its banks, these bottoms then become a lake.
The climate is so dry that the waters soon recede and the
lands dry up, which then becomes a beautiful prairie, with plenty
of rich grass, and the cattle belonging to the various ranchers
roam at will over it. The widening of the outlet between Kootenay
lake and the lower Arrow lakes would no doubt largely prevent the
annual flooding of these bottom lands, but, ad bono, the cost must
be considerable, and the question suggests itself, would it pay ?
It is proposed to construct a short railway between the Arrow
lakes at Sproat's Landing and Nelson on Lake Kootenay. This
would serve during open navigation to divert a portion of the ores
mined in the Toad Mountain district to Revelstoke, which at
present are carried to Bonner's Ferry and thence to Kootenai
Station on the line of Northern Pacific Railway. The construction
of a railway from Revelstoke to this mining centre would be much
more effectual in developing these mining industries. The distance
is 70 to 80 miles. The ores could be carried all the year round to
our own smelting works, and secure their passage through Canadian
territory, instead of being smelted ,in Montana and carried through
United States territory as at present.
Crossman's house is on the side of a hill overlooking the
Kootenay bottom, now an extensive prairie, his and cattle belonging
to other ranchers feeding on it as far as the eye could reach. We
walked up to the house, but found no one there. Mrs. Crossman
came soon afterwards; she had arrived from Kootenay. She is the
first white woman we have seen since leaving Windermere. We
were most hospitably welcomed, and after being treated to an excellent supper, Father Cocola, Willie, Charlie, and I slept in our
blankets on the floor; we preferred this to putting up our tents, we
were so tired. After breakfasting in the morning we bid good-bye
to Mrs. Crossman, with many thanks for her kindness.
We gathered together on the " bottom," before starting, Father
Cocola's Indians and his horses, Willie, Charlie and I with Cameron   23
and our horses. Charlie prepared his camera to photograph the
group, but owing to the accident, already alluded to, he
had no great confidence that the result would be satisfactory.
We then started on our journey to Bonner's Ferry, distant
about 24 miles. The trail runs on the prairie bottom, and we were
able to gallop along the plain. There are several trails and we unfortunately took the wrong one; we met a band of Indians who put us
right, and we had te retrace our steps, losing 5 or 6 miles, which was
rather provoking. We followed the trail on the " bottom " until we
reached the Ferry ; but before reaching it we found that the Kootenay
River was on our right; this puzzled us, as we had not crossed it since
we passed the bridge over it at Fort Steel where we were landed on
its right, and how we managed now to be on its left, without again
crossing it, was a mystery until we looked at the map; we then saw
that it had evidently made faster time than we had done; it flowed
past us on our left, reaching Bonner's Ferry and was now on its way
back again to British territory. We kept on the bottom, skirting the
mountain. As we were nearing Bonner's Ferry, Cameron's horse
disappeared in a slough, his back only being visible, he managed
however to plunge out again. After being duly warned, we ascended
the side of the mountain so as to avoid a similar fate. At this place
we saw the largest family of frogs we had ever seen ; there must have
been, without exaggeration, over a thousand in the family.
We reached Bonner's (now Fry's) Ferry about five o'clock with
a feeling of thankfulness that our journey on the back of Indian
ponies with Mexican saddles was over and without any mishap to ourselves or our horses, and we parted from them—including "Nick"
and our man Cameron—not without regret. Horses and men after
travelling and associating together, as it were, day and night for
some time, become attached, and following the example of a
distinguished man (Mr. Fleming, C. E.), under somewhat similar
circumstances, we bid them an affectionate farewell, wishing them
a paradise of pasture for the rest of their lives.
We have endured some hardships in making the journey
across British Columbia, through mountain and glen, from Golden
to this point, but feel that we are well rewarded in having been
able to  travel through  so interesting and picturesque a country.
Our trail at times consisting for miles wholly of rock and
stones, following the base and sides of mountains, might be termed 24
dangerous; then through burnt forests and fallen trees for
miles, making travelling almost impossible; then the scene would
change and we would pass through an avenue of magnificent trees,,
with a dense forest on each side; then again through an open
glen, between mountain, river and lake. The foot hills ascending
from the base of the mountain, in a terrace-like form, many
hundred feet up their sides, with the sun shining brightly, anything
more beautiful cannot be imagined. The tepees of bands of
Indians were to be seen encamped on the lovely prairie, beside
the banks of rivers, greatly adding to the beauties of the
scene. A sunset as seen through the wilderness in these mountains
and valleys, compared with the finest paintings by the best artists,
is as sunlight is to moonlight, and worthy to be remembered and
treasured in ones memory for ever.
The enquiry has been made of us since our return whether
the region of country in British Columbia, visited by us, is a fit and
desirable country for emigrants to go to. The reply is that should
the seekers after gold and silver in the various districts prospected,
viz., Spillamacheen, Wild Horse Creek, Toad Mountains, etc., be
rewarded by finds of paying minerals, there is arable land enough
in the valleys and glens along with the ranching country to furnish
food for a considerable population of miners. The climate is
undoubtedly a healthy one, but so dry that the arable land available tor the growith of vegetables and grain requires to be
irrigated. This is cheaply done by directing the mountain streams
in small trenches through flats below.
The Kootenay after passing the international boundary into-
Montana returns through Idaho, past Bonner's Ferry, flowing
northward into British territory again. It is here a navigable and
majestic river, about 500 feet wide. We decided on crossing to
the opposite (south) side, but there was no ferry boat to be had.
Willie managed to get hold of a skiff into which we tumbled ourselves and our traps, and he and Charlie paddled across.
The accommodation looked much more inviting at a distance
than we found it to be on closer inspection. The hotel is built
of logs, a fair sized building, one story and a half in height. The
population of the place was composed of freighters, teamsters,
miners and prospectors, with a fair sprinkling of loafers indulging in
drinking, tobacco chewing, spitting and profane language.   There was 1
a smaller wooden building, labelled, on a rough plank nailed over
the door, "Saloon." The population seemed to be continually
passing in and coming out feeling better. It was a rough, but not
illnatured community, indulging in a good deal of banter between,
themselves, and they seemed as airy and contented with their lot
as those whose surroundings are of a more comfortable and refined
character, but the life of the greater number must be short if a
merry one. Intemperance, exposure in all kinds of weather and
places will surely bring a day of reckoning.
We were informed by the landlord, (also the owner of the
stage line to Kootenay), that the stage would start the following
forenoon about eleven o'clock, but it drove up to the door about
9 a. m. Willie and Charlie, in the meantime, had started for the
other side of the river for an overcoat which had been left behind,
and were half way across when I hailed them to come back, and we
took a seat in the stage—a fairly comfortable one. The distance tc*
Kootenay, a station on the N. P. R., is 32 miles. The road recently
made is not bad. We stopped half way for luncheon, arriving at our
destination about 5.30 p. m. The buildings in Kootenay consisted
mainly of saloons, where the game of poker appeared to be
continually played, but in a quiet and orderly way. We saw no
drunken men or rowdyism of any sort. Our landlord was a most
obliging, civil fellow, his house respectable and clean, there
was no bar, the saloons had a monoply of them. We met here a
Prince Edward Islander of Highland descent. His appearance
was anything but healthy. He had not been well for some time,,
but could not find out what was the matter. He told us that his-
wages were rather more than he could get at home, but that his
expenses were greater. The chances of a return to his native land
for health and the comforts of home are rather good. At the station
we observed a quantity of ores from the Toad Mountain district
ready to be forwarded by the Northern Pacific Railway. Our train
for the East was due to arrive at 4.30 a, m. -It was about two
hours late, and when it arrived we were rejoiced to get on board a
railroad train again.
The' train was a long one and consisted of three Pullmans,
the dining car, a first-class smoking and several colonist cars.
We secured places in the last Pullman. It cannot be denied that
these cars are comfortable, but there is something that is tawdry 26
and bizarre in their fittings as compared with the neatness and
elegance of the C. P. R. sleepers. When breakfast was announced
in the dining car we lost no time in finding our way there. The
bill-of-fare was everything that could be desired and the breakfast
a good one. We afterwards found the dinner equally good, but
marred by the waiting which was indifferent.
This morning we passed Pend d'Oreille Lake and Clarke's Forks
of the Columbia—it was like meeting an old friend. The last
glimpse we had of the Columbia was at the Canal Flats. It was
then proceeding northward from the Upper Columbia Lake and
has travelled beyond latitude 52° and between longitudes 118° and
1190, making a sudden turn southward until it reaches Washington Territory from whence it sends a branch eastward into Idaho,
and we renew our acquaintance with it here under the name of
Clarke's Fork of the Columbia.
Going East the line leaves Idaho and enters Montana, which
until now has only been one the of Territories. The election of a
governor and other officials took place during our visit, and it
is now promoted to the dignity of statehood, and has become one
of the States of the Union. The elections were made, we
were told, after the Australian system, and were conducted in the
same quiet and orderly manner as our own in Canada. Montana,
to quote from the guide books, "now leads all the States and
| Territories in the production of gold and silver and copper, her
■" annual output exceeding thirty millions of dollars. The principal
U mining camps are on the slopes of the main divide of the Rocky
•" mountains, near Helena and Butte, also on the flanks of Belt
| mountains, the Bitter Root range, etc."
Helena is on the main line of the N. P. R., and from the
glimpse which we had of it in passing it presented a fine appearance. The population is said to exceed ten thousand. There is
a branch from Helena to Butte, a distance of about fifty miles.
Butte, at the present time, is said to be a veritable hive of mining
industry exceeding anything that has ever before been witnessed in
any part of the world.
On reaching Livingston we left the train and remained there
until next morning, when we left for the Yellowstone National Park.
There is a branch line from Livingston to Cinnabar, whence
tourists are conveyed by stage coaches to the Park. 27
I Park" is a misnomer as applied to the Yellowstone, which is
a territory containing about 4,000 square miles. Roads have been
made through a great portion of it by the United States government,
and a squadron of cavalry is stationed there during the season to
keep order and to prevent any violation of the rules and regulations.    One of the rules is as follows :
I Hunting, capturing, injuring or killing any bird or animal
within the Park is prohibited. The outfits of persons found
hunting or in the possession of game, killed in the Park, will be
subject to seizure and confiscation." Game and wild animals of
almost every description are plentiful, and becoming more so every
year in consequence of this rule.
The distance between Cinnabar and the entrance to the
Park at Mammoth Hot Springs is about six miles, where we arrived
about two o'clock. We decided to engage a carriage and pair
with a driver, rather than follow the usual custom of driving through
the Park in a stage full of tourists. The grand tour of the Park,
as a rule, takes four or five days. We had not so much time to
spare—only three days—and we started immediately after our
arrival. Our driver was very intelligent and entertaining. We
reached Norris Geyser Basin about six o'clock and stopped for
the night. We started early the next morning for the Grand
Canon. We were determined not to miss seeing this great
natural wonder, undoubtedly the finest and grandest sight in this
wonderful place. It is said, and we believe it to be, the grandest
•canon in the world. We quote the language of an eloquent
writer describing it:
" Take your stand upon that jutting rock, clinging to it well
meanwhile, and being very sure of your footing—for your head will
surely grow dizzy—and there opens before you one of the most
stupendous scenes of nature. The Lower Falls and the awful canon
of the Yellowstone. And now where shall I begin and how shall I
in any way describe this tremendous sight, its overpowering
grandeur, and at the same time, its inexpressible beauty ? Look
yonder! There are the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone. They are
not the grandest in the world, but there are none more beautiful.
There is not the breath and dash of Niagara, nor is there the
enormous depth of leap of some of the falls of the Yosemite,
but there is majesty of its own, and beauty, too.    On either side 28
are pinnacles of sculptured rock, there, where the rock opens for the
river, its water is compressed from a width of 200 feet, above the upper
and lower falls, to 100 feet where it plunges. The shelf of rock,
over which it leaps is absolutely level. The waters seem to wait a
moment on its verge, then it passes with a single bound of 300 feet,
into the gorge below; it is a sheer, unbroken, compact, shining
mass of silver foam. But your eyes are all the time distracted
from the fall itself, beautiful as it is, to its marvellous setting, to the
surpassing, overmastering canon into which the river leaps and.
through which it flows, dwindling to but a foaming ribbon there
in its appaling depths. These rocky sides are almost perpendicular,
indeed, in many places, the boiling springs have gouged them out so
as to leave overhanging cliffs and tables at the top. Take a stone and
throw it over, you must wait long before you hear it strike. Nothing
more awful have I ever seen than the yawning of that chasm.
The water dashing there, as in a kind of agony, against those rocks-
you cannot hear; the mighty distance lays its finger of silence on.
its white lips. And that is not all, you are fascinated by the
magnificent opulence of color—the whole gorge flames. It is as-
though rainbows had fallen out of the sky and hung there like
banners, etc."
The above is a fine and not overdrawn pen and ink picture,
of the Grand Canon,
We met a German lady there clinging to the side of Look-out
Point. She informed us that she was so fascinated with it that she
had been paying daily visits for a week, and imagined herself in a
.Berlin theatre, peopling the scene with actors and spectators. We
regretted much not having more time at our command to see
more of it. We returned to the Norris' Geyser Basin, arriving there
about five o'clock, and had plenty of time to see this valley boiling
over in every direction with Geysers, hot and sulphurous springs,
and steam issuing from the ground with a loud hissing noise as from
an ocean steamer. No scene could be more suggestive of Dante's
Inferno. On our return to the hotel we found the squadron of
United States Cavalry (which had been in charge of the Park) encamped, making ready for their departure. The season is now over,
and their watchful care is no longer required. We met the officer
in command at the hotel. He was curious to know what the Canadians thought about annexation.    We told him that we thought they  r
I \
were  quite content to leave " well" alone, that we had perfect
freedom, with security; that our laws, which were enacted by the
will of the people, were administered with justice and purity by our
•courts. • That our judges, appointed for life by the Crown, and not
■ elected, were men of ability and high character, that Canada possessed great possibilities, and that we had faith in our ability to
develop them.    He, like most Americans, believe that they have a
grievance against Canada in harboring their " boodlers."    I pointed
out to him that if we harbored their rascals, they, in like manner, harbored ours; that if the present state of our international laws was
defective, the sin lay at their door not ours ; that we have been all
along ready to make a treaty, and as a matter of fact a treaty had been
negotiated by one of their ministers accredited to the British government in London, but their Senate refused to ratify it.    He seemed to
be quite unaware of this fact'   His squadron got the start of us next
morning, and were under way before we were.    The roads were very
dusty, and when we caught up to them we got the benefit of their
dust, which arose in clouds.    He very courteously commanded them
to fall out to enable us to pass them, for which we were most grateful.    The road passed close to the side of Beaver Lake, so-called
from having been formed by the beavers.    Flocks of wild geese and
ducks were sailing gracefully over its waters.    They were not in the
least alarmed at our presence, though so near them, a proof that the
rules and regulations already alluded to are properly observed.    Not
a shot is ever allowed to be fired at them,    Further on we were
shewn a beaver dam, constructed within a short time by these sagacious animals ; it was most skillfully and well constructed, answering its purpose perfectly.    There also close by is a spring of beautifully clear, cold water, issuing from the side of a mountain.    We
drank the water, which tastes very much like Appollinaris, and is
known as the Appollinaris Springs.    Charlie handed a cupful of
the water to our driver, saying, " there is enough to last you for the
rest of the season;" to which the ready reply was, "You blasted
Englishman, you give yourself away every time you speak."   Charlie
had been in England at school for some years, and had just returned.
We reached Mammoth Hot Springs about noon, and as the
stage for Cinnabar did not leave for two or three hours later, we
had time to make a pretty thorough survey of these interesting works,
"which may well be so termed, as terraces in various forms and 3°
sizes are continuously being created by these hot springs. The
water of these boiling springs is alkaline aud holds silica in solution,
and tne silica is deposited about the spring, thus a mound and tube
are gradually built, increasing in size as the process continues. We
here made the acquaintance of Dr. Perkins. He had been in the
Park for a much longer period than we have been, and kindly pointed
out many interesting spots which otherwise we should have missed-
We afterwards travelled together as far as Minneapolis.
We have been but a part of three days in this wonderful park-
It would take at least a whole week to have even a cursory look at
all the notable places of interest within its limits. It is a large territory, containing within its boundaries great forests, rivers, lakes and
mountains. There are thirty points whose altitudes range from six
to ten thousand feet above sea level. We can therefore but feel
that we have only had a glimpse of a small part of it.
We left by stage coach, arriving at Cinnabar about four o'clock,,
and at Livingstone again a little after six, and went to the " Alber-
marle " for dinner. The through train from the Pacific Coast passes
Livingstone in the middle of the night, and a Pulman car is placed
on a siding for the convenience of tourists visiting the Park. It is
hitched on to the express as it passes through.
After dinner we walked about to see the lions of Livingstone,
but not with the expectation of seeing a real live lion. We went
into an attractive looking fur store to look at some fine horns,
buffalo heads, bear robes, etc., which we saw through the windows.
After being there a short time, the owner of the place brought out
from a room in the rear a mountain lion—a good sized one—at the
same time calling out for his dog " Bruce." The lion was made to
lay on the floor, and Bruce along side of him. Pieces of raw beef
were placed first on the lion's head, which Bruce was ordered to eat,
the lion submitting with an angry growl. This was repeated several
times ; .then the operation was reversed, the beef placed on Bruce's
head and the lion ordered to partake thereof. Bruce did not seem
to like the job and was evidently well pleased when the performance
was over. The lion after being made to go through some more
performances was taken back to his own quarters again, much to
Bruce's relief, as well as most of the spectators, of whom there
were a good many before the exhibition was over. The exhibitor
and owner of the place was a young man with a remarkably keen 3i
pair of eyes in his head. We had faith in the power and influence
of those flashing eyes- over the ferocious brute, and had not any
apprehension of danger. He was evidently brave and plucky, and
had our purses been more abundantly lined we should have relieved
him of some of his beautiful furs.
We went to bed in the Pulman about ten. Willie had previously tipped the colored porter, who immediately went for a "square
meal." He said that bis car came west about empty and that tips
and square meals were in sympathy with each other. The following
day we passed through the country called " The Bad Lands," and it
is dreary and barren looking enough to be so called. We did not
see what could be called good agricultural land until the valley of
the Missouri was reached, after which the country all the way to St.
Paul and Minneapolis may be compared with our own Northwest
prairie country. We rejoiced on reaching the Ryan House in St,
Paul, one of those palace hotels to be found in all the large cities in
the Western States. Luxurious appartments were assigned to us,
and we had the first satisfactory night's rest for weeks past.
St. Paul and Minneapolis are said each to contain over two
hundred thousand inhabitants, and so close together that one may
be said to be a suburb of the other, and with the present rate of
progress the two will soon become one great city, rivalling Chicago.
St. Paul, in point of location, surpasses Minneapolis. It is built on
high ground, with the Missisippi river flowing at its feet. The high
ground on which the palatial residences of the millionaire are built
commands a fine view of the river and surrounding country. Mr.
Hill, whose familiar name is Jim Hill (every notable man in this
country has a familiar name), the president of the St. Paul, Minne_
apolis and Manitoba Railway, is building a mansion which promises
to surpass all the others in grandeur.
We went to Minneapolis to see the far famed roller flour mills,
and were permitted to go through the Pillsbury mill "A." A printed
card was handed to us containing the following facts :
Fact i.—That it is the eighth wonder of the world.
Fact 2.—That it grinds 9,000,000 bushels of wheat yearly.
Fact 3.—That it has a capacity of 700,000 barrels daily.
Fact 4.—It makes more flour than any other two mills on the
globe. 32
Fact 5.—The mills of C- A. Pillsbury & Co. could feed two
cities as large as New York.
Fact 6.—The daily capacity of the three mills owned by C. A.
Pillsbury is 10,500 barrels.
yact 7.—200 cars are required every day to take the wheat into
and flour and offal out of the three great mills of C. A. Pillsbury & Co.
These mills, it is reported, have become the property of English capitalists.
We left St. Paul by the new Soo line for the East and found it
everything that could be desired in the way of ease and comfort, as
well as civility and attention from the employees. This new route
is, we believe, becoming a favorite one for passengers travelling to
and from Eastern points and this region of the West. It is much
more convenient than the old one via Chicago.
On our arrival at the Sault Ste Marie canal we separated.
Willie continued the journey by rail to Montreal. Charlie and I
were fortunate enough to catch one of the C. P. R. Lake Superior
steamers here, and we went on board the Alberta for Owen Sound.
Th2 weather was fine and the sail to Owen Sound was most enjoyable. These steamers have all the conveniences and comforts of the
best equipped ocean steamers.
On arrival at Owen Sound we found the train waiting for us.
It consisted of drawing room and first-class cars. The morning was
lovely, and .most of the country all the way to Toronto is picturesque
and highly cultivated; the pace was not less than forty miles an
hour, and the morning's Tide to Toronto was most pleasant.
Our trip has necessarily been a hurried one, but we have
. travelled over a considerable extent of country, both Canadian and
American, and may offer a few observations as to the impressions
made upon us. The portion of United States territory traversed by
us does not possess any advantages over Canada in point of fertility
of soil or cilmatic conditions. The only land which will compare in
point of fertility of soil with our own Canadian prairies is in Dakota,
and we were informed that there is a belt of country in that State
subject to extremes of cold, hail storms and tornadoes, besides
seasons of drought.    The past season has been a very dry one.
The arable land in Montana is limited and requires irrigation,
as in the country.we passed through in British Columbia. The
mines of this State are very productive and exceedingly rich in \
copper and silver. These mining industries have reached a stage of
development with which Canada has nothing as yet to compare; but
it must be borne in mind that there it is comparatively an old industry, while in Canada it may be said to have only commenced,
and mining for the precious metals is now being vigorously pushed,
notably in British Columbia and the Port Arthur district.
The population of the United States is now said to be over
sixty millions, while the population of Canada is under six millions,
but a good many believe that our civilization is higher, that the
administration of the laws is better. Our population appears to be
more law abiding; they are less apt to take the law into their own
hands on slight provocation. This may be due to the fact that
justice is pretty certain to overtake the transgressor.
The question was frequently asked of us, "When is Canada
going to join the Union ? " Canada is contented and prosperous,
and prefers to leave well alone. An American statesmen, a distinguished man, stated recently that annexation must of necessity be a
Canadian question ; that they didn't propose to have vassal states or
subject citizens ; that they must wait for the pear to ripen. We are
inclined to believe that it will be retained for home consumption.
He further said that he could not see how the notion of what is
called Commercial Union is ever to be made practicable; how one
tariff under different commercial systems, or fiscal systems or tariffs,
can be conducted by two peoples like the peoples of the United
States and Canada; that he didn't think it possible that the people
of Canada can maintain a practical relation with Great Britain and
at the same time have absolute freedom of commercial incercourse
with them, admitting their manufactures without a tax, and establish
against a country of which they are a part a protective, still less an
excluding tariff.    This is a clear and logical statement of the case.
It is argued by some that Commercial Union is feasable
because British goods are now subject to a protective duty. The
point must surely be overlooked that it is not so much a question of
the rate of duty, as the admission of the goods of another country
free of any duty, which would practically and wholly exclude British
goods. That it is desirable to extend the present volume of business with them (which a reference to the trade and navigation
returns will shew to be very large), provided"it can be done on fair,
reciprocal terms, no one can deny; but why Canada should be con- 34
demned by Free Traders and Commercial Unionists for having a
protective duty of 25 to 30 per cent, and the United States lauded
with a protectve tariff of 50 to 60 per cent, and advocate that
Canada should be brought under the same regime, it is difficult to
understand.    It looks somewhat illogical and Utopian.
Our attachment to and faith in Canada and Canadian institutions are not diminished by our trip.   


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