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BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

British Columbia, the pacific province of the dominion of Canada : its position, resources and climate… 1892

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The Pacific Province of the
Dominion of Canada
'ONCERNING the Province of British Columbia, which the
Canadian Pacific Railway so suddenly transformed into an
easily accessible and profitable field for commercial enterprise,
the majority of people have only very indistinct ideas. The
object of this pamphlet is to impart reliable information of the
country, its present condition and capabilities, and the important position it now holds and in the future will occupy, in its relations with
the other provinces of the Dominion, the trade of the Pacific Coast, and
the commerce of the world.
The completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway was the dawn of a
new era on the North Pacific Coast. The province that has been lightly
spoken of as a "Sea of Mountains," deriving a certain majesty from
its isolation, is now traversed by a railway, accurately described as the
highway between Liverpool and Hong Kong. The completion of this
road allows the current of trade to now uninterruptedly between the
Atlantic and the Pacific.
The history of British Columbia may be summed up in a few sentences. After a number of years, during which British Columbia, under
various names, was occupied only by Indians and Traders of the Northwest Company, afterwards amalgamated with the Hudson's Bay Company ; Vancouver Island, an important part of the province, was made
a colony in 1849. In 1858 the mainland territory became a colony, with
the name of British Columbia, and in 1866 the two colonies were united,
and so remained.until July 20th, 1871, when British Columbia, retaining
its appellation, entered the Confederation of Canada.
In 1881 the Canadian Government entered into a contract with a
syndicate of capitalists to build* a railway from Ontario to the Pacific
Ocean, and to complete and operate it by the year 1891. An A ct of Parliament was passed embodying the contract with the Syndicate, a company was organised, and work was immediately commenced and prosecuted with such vigor that the last rail in the gigantic railway that
now binds British Columbia to the Eastern provinces of Canada was laid
in November, 1885, six years before the time stipulated in the contract
between the Government, and the Company. This road has pierced the
successive ranges of the Rocky Mountains, Selkirk, Gold ranges, etc. ;
it has penetrated the then unknown country on the north of Lake
p. Superior and opened a way from ocean to ocean. The busy life that
£f"teems on either side of the Atlantic already surges towards the west,
impatient to reach the latent wealth of the Western provinces, and to
.seek on the shores of the Pacific new fields for its enterprise and capital. THE MAINLAND OP BRITISH COLUMBIA.
British Columbia, the most westerly province or Canada, lies between
the 49th parallel of north latitude (the international boundary between
Canada and the tJnited States) and latitude 60° N., and extends westward from the summit of the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean, and includes
Vancouver Island and Queen Charlotte Islands.
British Columbia, which contains a superficial area of about 300,000
square miles,is one of the most important provinces of the Dominion, as
well from a political as from a commercial point of view. "With that
island it is to a maritime nation invaluable, for the limits of British
Columbian coal fields can only be guessed at, while enough coal has
already been discovered on Vancouver Island to cover the uses of a century. The harbours of this province are unrivalled. Vancouver, the
Pacific terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway, is the point of embarkation for Japan and China in the new and shortest highway to the
Orient. The voyage from London to Yokohama has already been made
in 21 days via the Canadian Pacific Railway, and this time will be still
further reduced. It will soon be the highway to Australasia. Its principal seaport must attract not only a large portion of the China and
Australian rapid transit trade, but must necessarily secure much of the
commerce of the Pacific Ocean. Its timber is unequalled in quantity,
quality, or variety ; its mines already discovered, and its great extent of
unexplored country, speak of vast areas of rich mineral wealth ; its
waters, containing marvellous quantities of most valuable fish, combine
to give British Columbia a value that has been little understood.
The author of " Greater Britain " says: " The position of the various stores of coal in the Pacific is of extreme importance as an index
to the future distribution of power in that portion of the world ; but it is
not enough to know where coal is to be found, without looking also to
the quantity, quality, cheapness of labour, and facility of. transport The
three countries of the Pacific which must rise to manufacturing greatness are Japan, British Columbia, and New South Wales."
The Rocky Mountains rise abruntly at their eastern base from the plain
or prairie region of Central Canada. They are composed of a number of
more or less nearly parallel ranges, which have a general direction.a
little west of north, and a breadth of over sixty miles. Between the 51st
and 52nd parallels the ranges decrease rapidly in height.
The surface of the country between the Rocky Mountains and the
Pacific Ocean may be divided into two subordinate mountain districts,
flanking on either side an irregular belt of high plateau country, which
extends with an average width of about 100 miles. The large islands of
Vancouver and Queen Charlotte shelter the mainland coast. In the
extreme north of the province the mountains generally, except those of
the coast range, diminish in height, and the surface has a gentle
northerly and north-easterly sloped
Of the many harbours, the principal are English Bay and Coal Harbour, at the entrance to Burrard Inlet, a few miles north of the Eraser
River. Vancouver, the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway, is
situated between these harbours. Port Essington, at the mouth of the
Skeena, promises to be much used for the northern gold field traffic, and
IE Waddington Harbour, at the head of Bute Inlet, is said to be the natural
outlet for a large tract of valuable country in the interior. But, numerous as are the harbours along the coast, their respective merits have all
been duly weighed, and all have been discarded in favour of the harbours
in Burrard Inlet, which have been adopted by the railway. Vancouver
is the eastern terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway Co.'s Royal Mail
S.S. line (including the Empress of India, the Empress of China,, and
the Empress of Japan), running monthly to Japan and China. For the
coast trade the other harbours are all valuable.
Of the rivers of British Columbia the principal are the Eraser, the
Columbia, and the Peace, The Fraser is the great water course of the
province. It rises in the northern part of the Rocky Mountains, runs
for about 200 miles in two branches, in a westerly direction, and then in
one stream runs due south for over 300 miles before turning to ru sh through
the gorges of the coast range to the Straits of Georgia. On its way
it receives the waters of a number of other streams, many of which would
be rivers of some magnitude in other countries. Amongst these are the
north and south branches of the Thompson, the Chilicoten, the Lillooet,
the Nicola, the Harrison, the Pitt, and numerous others.
The Columbia is a large river rising in the southern part of the province, in the neighbourhood of the Rocky Mountains, neartheKootenay
Lake. This lake is now traversable by regular steamboat service. The
Columbia runs due north beyond the 52nd degree of latitude, when it
takes a sudden turn and runs due south into Washington Stale. It is
this loop made by the abrupt turn of the river that is known as the
''great bend of the Columbia." The Kootenay waters fall into the
returning branch of this loop.
The Peace River rises some distance north of the north bend of the
Eraser, and flows eastwardly through the Rocky Mountains, draining
the plains on the other side. It more properly belongs to the district
east of the mountains that bears its name. In the far north are the
Skeena River and Stikeen flowing into the Pacific, the latter being in the
country of the latest gold mining operations.
The Eraser River is navigable for river boats to Yale, a small
town 110 miles from the mouth ; and larger vessels, drawing 20 feet, can
ascend to New Westminster, situated about 15 miles from the mouth.
On either side of the river below New Westminster is good arable"
land. It is subject to occasional overflow, but this quickly subsidps, and
floods the land only for a shoit distance from the banks. The whole of
the lower Eraser country is much esteemed for farming. The soil is rich
and strong, and heavy yields are obtained without much labour. Very
large returns of wheat have been got from land in this district—as much
as 62 bushels from a measured acre, 75 bushels of oats per acre, and hay
that yielded 3J tons to the acre. Good prices are realized for all farm
produce. This part of British Columbia is fairly well settled but there
is still ample room for new comers. Those having a little money to use,
and desirous of obtaining a ready made farm, may find many to choose
from. These settlements are not all on the Eraser ; some are at a distance from it on other streams.
The climate, described elsewhere, proves to be a great temptation to
many.   The proximity of the great river and the Canadian Pacific Rail-
jjjwggggjg^CTggi^gjgggi »
way are additional attractions. The Thompson is navigable from a
point on the Canadian Pacific Railway at Spence's Bridge, through
Kamloops Lake to Clearwater on the North Thompson, and through the
South Thompson, and Shuswap Lake, to some distance up the Spallum-
cheen River. The Columbia is navigable between the point at which
the Canadian Pacific Railway crosses the western side of the loop which
the river makes at  Revelstoke, and Colville, a  town in Washington
About two or three miles from the delta formed by the Fraser River
is Burrard Inlet, a land-locked sheet of water accessible at all times to
vessels of all sizes, at the entrance to which are the harbours of Coal
Harbour and English Bay. Vancouver is 75 miles from Victoria and 35
miles from Naniamo, on Vancouver Island. This, the most accessible
and in several ways best anchorage on the mainland, was the one selected
by the Canadian Pacific Railway at which to make their western
On a peninsula having Coal Harbour on the east and English Bay on
the west is the new city of Vancouver. It is surrounded by a country of
rare beau'y, and the climate is milder and less varying than that of
Devonshire and more pleasant than that of Delaware. Backed in the far
distance by the Olympian range, sheltered from the north by the mountains of the coast, and sheltered from the ocean by the high lands of Vancouver Island, it is protected on every side, while enjoying a constant
sea breeze and a view of the Straits of Georgia, whose tranquil waters
bound the city on two sides. The inlet affords unlimited space for seagoing ships, the land falls gradually to the sea, rendering drainage easy,
and the situation permits of indefinite expansion of the city in two directions. It has a splendid and inexhaustible water supply brought from a
lake in a-ravine of one of the neighbouring heights. The Canadian Pacific
Railway was completed to Vancouver in May, 1887, when the first
through train arrived in that city from Montreal. That year, also, the
Canadian Pacific Company put a line of steamships on the route between
Vancouver and Japan and China. Those two important projects gave
an impetus to the growth of the city, by placing its advantages entirely
beyond the realm of speculation, and the advancement made was truly
• marvellous.
A great conflagration, in June, 1886, nearly wiped the young wooden
city out of existence, but before the embers died, materials for rebuilding
were on their way, and, where small wooden structures were bei ore,
there arose grand edifices of stone, brick and iron. Under the influence
of the large transportation interests which were established there the
next year, the building of the city progressed rapidly, and during 1887
most of the city plat was cleared of timber, and a large amount of street
work was done. Electric cars run in the streets and there is a service of
electric cars to and from New Westminster, on the Fraser River. The
Hotel Vancouver, in comfort, luxury and refinement of service is equal
to any hotel on the continent, and in the vicinity of this hotel is an Opera
House admitted to be unsurpassed in elegance by any outside of New
York. Since that time its progress has been unhindered by any disaster.
The city is laid out on a magnificent scale, and it is being built up in a pi m* Style fully in accord with the plan. Its residences, business blocks,
hotels and public buildings of all classes would be creditable to any city.
In addition to the great transportation lines of the Canadian Pacific
Railway and the steamship lines to Japan and China and to Australia,
the city has connections,with all important points along the Pacific
coast. r^The boats employed in the mail service between Vancouver and
Japan and China are three magnificent new steel steamships specially
designed for that trade. Steamers ply between Vancouver and Victoria
daily, to Naniamo three times a week, and all Puget Sound ports and to
Portland and San Francisco. The Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern and
the Bellingham Bay and British Columbia roads, and other valuable connecting systems are now in operation and give closer connections with
the different cities and towns of the Pacific Coast.
The following table of distances will be useful for reference.
Vancouver to Montreal  2,906
Vancouver to New York, via Brockville  3,163
Vancouver to Boston, via Montreal  3,248
Vancouver to Liverpool, via Montreal   5,713
San Francisco to New York  3,266
San Francisco to Boston  3,370
Yokohama, Japan, to Liverpool, via San Francisco.. .11,281
Yokohama, Japan, to Liverpool, via Vancouver ..10,047
Melbourne to Liverpool, via Vancouver 13,707
Melbourne to Liverpool, via San Francisco 14,211
Liverpool to Hong Kong, via Vancouver 11.649
" " via San Francisco  12,883
Vancouver to Yokohama 4,300
%M    " Hong Kong  5,936
' " Calcutta  8,987
London, via Suez Canal 15,735
This flourishing city was founded by Colonel Moody during the
Fraser River gold excitement in 1858. It is the headquarters of the
salmon canning industry, and the population is about 6,000. It is situated on the north bank of the Fraser River, fifteen miles from its mouth,
is accessible for deep water shipping, and lies in the centre of a tract of
country of rich and varied resources.
New Westminster is chiefly known abroad for its salmon trade and
its lumber business, but the agricultural interests of the district are now
coming into prominence ana giving the city additional stability. A
large and valuable tract of farming land in the province is in the southwest corner, in the valley and delta of Fraser River, and New Westminster is situated in the midst of that great garden. Lulu, Sea and West-
ham islands, comprising the delta of the river, have an area of over fifty
thousand acres ol the choicest land. It is not heavily timbered, and the
rich soil yields crops of first quality and in surprising quantity. Year
by year new districts are opened up, and there is excellent farming land
in all of them. The agricultural productions include the common grains,
roots, vegetables and a variety of fruits, and these are produced in great
. abundance. A failure of crops was never known in that region. Dairying is a profitable industry, and it is growing in importance. While in
the valley there is no government land to speak of, a considerable portion
imnminiiimiH ill
of the area is yet unimproved and may be purchased at moderate priced.
On the northern branches of the Fraser there are still eligible locations
which may be obtained from the Government or from the Railway Com-
pany on reasonable terms. In the interior there are large amounts of
Tana of all degrees of fertility and in all sorts of locations, that are waiting for settlers.
There are several large salmon canneries within easy reach of New
Westmininster. These establishments representfan invested capital of
$500,000, they employ over five thousand men during the fishing
season, and pay out over $400,000 a year for supplies. This is one of
the most important industries of that region. Lumbering operations
are also extensive and profitable. New Westminster has direct connections with all transcontinental trains.
At Yale, a small town about 90 miles from the head of Burrard
Inlet, and at the entrance to the mountain gorges through which the
Fraser River rushes to the sea, a change of the characteristics of the
country appears. From this point to the Gold Range, about 200 miles
by rail, the rainfall is slight and uncertain, Agriculture is carried op
by means of irrigation, a mode preferred by many as enabling the cultivator to regulate the growth of his crops, and certainly possessing
advantages after the first slight outlay has been incurred.
Fifty-seven miles north of Yale, on the line of the railway, is Ly tton,
a small town, owing its existence tc a now washed out gold bar in its-
vicinity. Here the Thompson flows into the Fraser, and from this valley
a large district of arable and pastoral land begins. In fact over very
considerable areas, far exceeding in the aggregate the arable areas of
the coast region, the interior is, in parts, a farming country up to 2,500
to 3.000 feet. Cultivation is, however, restricted, as a rule, to the valleys and terraces. The soil consists commonly of mixtures of clay and
sand, varying with the character of the local formation and of white
silty deposits. They everywhere yield large crops of all the cereals,
vegetables and roots, when favourably situated. The climate is much
hotter in summer that the climate of the coast regions. Tomatoes,
melons and cucumbers thrive in the open air in most parts. Very fine
fruit can be grown. Now that access to the markets on the Eastern side
of the mountains has been opened by the Canadian Pacific Railway,
fruit growing will become one of the principal industries both in this
and other parts of the province.
As a grazing country thij wide sweep of territory is unexcelled.
Cattle and sheep that feed on bunch-grass, which is the pasturage of
this region, produce the best b?ef and mutton on the continent. In the
district where the heavier rainfall occurs, the bunch-grass is supplanted
by red-top, blue-joint and other more familiar grasses. The bunch-
grass country is equally valuable for horses ; it affords^ them excellent
pasturage during the winter, for though the outside may be frosted the
heart remains sweet and good, and the animals keep in excellent
condition. There is a ready demand for British Columbia horses east
of the Rocky Mountains-
There are numerous small settlements in this district, particularly
up the valley of the Fraser, on the Lillooet and between the Fraser  11
and Kamloops Lake. In summer a steamer runs on the Fraser from
Soda Creek, 150 miles north of Lytton, to Quesnele, sixty miles farther
up the river, the surrounding country which is traversed by the Government waggon road, producing heavy crops of grain and fruit. Beyond
this is the Cariboo country, from which a great deal of gold has been
taken. In 1860 and the following few.years a number of gold bearing
creeks were discovered in the Cariboo district, great numbers of men
flocked to the place, and very large quantities of gold were taken out,
but the work was mainly confined to placer mining. Rich veins exist,
and with the use of proper machinery, which can now be taken into the
country, large results will be obtained. Westward of the Fraser lies
the Chilicoten prairies of large extent, but they are not likely to invite
much settlement whiie quantities of excellent land nearer the railway
remain to be taken up.
About 40 miles north of Lytton the Canadian Pacific Railway turns
due east to Kamloops, a thriving town situated on the South Thompson,
a few miles above its junction with Kamleops Lake. Kamloops was
originally a Hudsons Bay Company's post, and round this a prosperous
little town has growu up. It is in a good grazing neighbourhoood, and has
been used by the H. B. Co. as a horse breeding district. The country
round is well settled, a large number of farmers having established thern^
selves in the neighbourhood of the Lake, and on the banks of theThomp'
son, within the last two or three years. The lake is 25 miies long, and
a steamer runs from Kamloops town to Savona's Ferry at the other
end. South of this is a hilly, well-timbered country, in which large
numbers of cattle are raised. In parts it is well-watered with lakes,
marshes and small streams, and in the Okanagan and Spallumcheen
Valleys, the soil is a deep, clayev loam, producing goods crops of cereals
and roots without irrigation. The climate of this southern pait of the
province is healthy, with moderate winters and there is plenty of timber
for the use of settlers. A small steamer runs on the Spallumcheen River
through the Shuswap Lates, lying between Kamloops and the mountains
and down the South Thompson to Kamloops.
Forms part of the Yale District, and is due south of the main line of
the Canadian Pacific Railway, Spence's Bridge being the principal outlet for this fine section of country. Whilst it is specically adapted to
pastoral pursuits, it is no less fitted for agriculture and the growth of all
classes of cereaK The crops already grown are excellent in quality and
the yield unexceptionally large. There is a greater tendency now to
mixed farming than in the past. In a few years Nicola Valley will
become as famous for its grain, roots, vegetables and fruit of all kinds,
as it has been for its bunch-grass fed cattle.
This valley is also rich in its mineral deposits. The principal mines
for the precious metals are at Stump Lake and at Coulter's. The coal
fields are at Coldwater, where magnetic iron ore is likewise found.
South and south-east of Kamloops, and the lake of that name, and
the_ Canadian Pacific Railway, is situated the Okanagan District.
believed to be one of the finest sections in the whole province for agri-  13
cultural and stock-raising pursuits. In this part are" to be found'the
most extensive farms in the province, as well as the largest cattle ranees.
Many can count their herds by the thousands of head, and their broad
fields by thousands of acres. The district is an extensive one and within
its boarders are to be found large lakes, the principal one being Okana-
gan, whilst such streams as the Spallumcheen, the .Simelkameen and
other large rivers flow through the district,
Okanagan is famous as a grain growing country. For many years
this industry was not prosecuted with either vigour or profit. Of late a
marked change has taken place in this respect. Samples of wheat raised
in Okanagan, sent to Vienna Exposition in 1886, were awarded the
highest nmniums and bronze medals.
One of the best flouring mills in the Dominion is now in operation at
Enderbv, some 35 miles south of Sicamous. a station on the line of the
Canadian Pacific Railway, which is reached by navigation for vessels of
light draught. The flour manufactured at these mills from Ok»naean,
grown wheat is equal to any other to be found on the Continent. The
climate is specially adapted to the growth of wheat, which is now reaching extensive dimensions—said to be of several thousands of tons a year.
The capacity of the Enderby mill is 150 barrels of flour per day. It is
operated to its utmost capacity. Farmers here find a ready cash market for all the wheat they can possibly grow, an advantage which every
farmer will fully appreciate.
There are still to be taken up immense stretches of the very best land,
which is but lighly timbered and easily brought under cultivation.
Water is abundant in some sections, whilst in others it is scarce, rendering
irrigation by artesian wells a necessity.
Okanagan is also a very rich mineral district. Valuable mines are
now being operated within its limits, which extend southerly to the
American boundary.
The approaching completion of the Shuswap and Okanagan Railway
to Vernon, the capital of the district, from the main line of the Canadian
Pacific, a distance of 52 miles, will prove an immense impetus to this
splendid section of country. From Vernon there will be first-class
navigation up Lake Okanagan for a distance of 100 miles. The country
tributary to the lake throughout is capital, and will shortly become
thickly populated.
There is roomfor many settlers in this southern area, and locations
are plenty where good soil, excellent pasturage, and an ample supply of
timber are to be found. This comprises pine, spruce, cedar, hemlock,
balsam and other kinds. On the high lands that back the valleys, forest
succeeds forest, the trees of wlFch attain the enormous growth for which
this province is so famous. These places, like many other desirable
localities in British Columbia, were formerly reached only by the adventurous who secured homesteads and founded settlements that are now
within a day's journey from the line of railway. In the region that lies
between the Shuswap Lakes and the coast range, there are two distinct
climates, the dry and the humid; the one to the north of the Thompson
and Fraser, and the other between the 49° and 50° parallel, each possessing its destinctive attraction to settlers. A short distance east of the
Shuswap Lakes the Canadian Pacific enters the mountain passes of the
Gold or Columbia Range. This is another region of magnificent timber.
The fir and cedar attain dimensions far exceeding anything known in
the east of America, and only equalled by those found on the west Side
of the coast range. Their value is enhanced by proximity to the prairies,
where there is an ever-growing demand for this species of timber. *f
The Kootenay District, including the Lower and Upper Kootenay
valleys and the Columbia valley, is a most valuable region now attaining considerable prominence. Lying in the south-eastern corner of
BritishtfGolumbia, it is separated from the North-West Territories of
Canada by the Rocky Mountains, and is in shape a huge triangle with
a base line of some 150 miles resting on the 49° No. lat., which forms
the international boundary between that portion of British Columbia
and Montana, Idaho and Washington State.. About the centre of this
triangle is the Selkirk range of mountains, bending like a horeshoe with
the open ends towards the south, and within the horseshoe lies the
Lower Kootenay Valley, while the two remaining valleys comprising
the Kootenay District, i.e., the Upper Kootenay and the Columbia valleys, are outside of this horseshoe, isolating the Selkirks from the Rocky
Mountains and Gold Range, These valleys are formed respectively by
by the Columbia and Kootenay rivers, and in addition to splendid
timber, pos»es considerable wealth of minerals and much valuable
land admirably suited to agriculture and grazing purposes.
The Kootenay is reached from Revelstoke, a station on the line of the
C. P. R. The steamer (during the season) leaves Revelstoke twice a
week and goes via the Columbia and Arrow Lakes to Robson, a run of
165 miles through charming scenery, returning by the same route. From
Robson the Columbia and Kootenay Railway and Navigation Company,
runs up the v*Hey of the Kootenay to Kootenay Lake where another
steamboat can be taken to the numerous gold, silver and copper mines.
From Robson a steamer runs to the Little Dalles of the Columbia,
where rail communication is made for Spokane Falls, Washington and
other, points in the United States.
This south-east corner of the province is remarkable for its pasturage
lands. It is a hilly country with rich grass lands and good soil. There
is a great deal of prairie land, and about an equal quantity of forest in
which pine, cypress and cedar grow luxuriantly, as well as birch and
o ther deciduous trees. An excellen t tract of farming co 'intry is a belt along
the Kootenay River, varying from two to ten miles in width. Here the
soil is light and bunch-grass grows. There is a series of lakes near the
river where the valley, which is about fifteen miles wide, has a heavy
soil, producing grain and vegetables of the ordinary kind in abundance.
Salmon from the Columbia make their way in great numbers into the
Kootenay. The ordinary b^ook trout are plentiful in the mountain
streams: The Cdumry produces some of the best timber in the province,
and is a good district for large game.
Considerable placer mining has been done in the Kootenay District,
and recently some rich quartz ledges has be-m discovered. The distrist
is rich in minerals and valuable discoveries are made from time to time.
An English company is engaged in a scheme for widening the outlet
of the Kootenay Lake, with a view to reclaiming about 40,000 acres of
first-class alluvial land, on which they intend to form a colony of ex-
officers and other selected persons. This district is well timbered, yet a
splendid grazing country ; it has a sufficient rainfall, yet is out of the
constant rainfall peculiar to the mountains further north ; it is a good
game country, produces cereals and roots in abundance, and is within
easy reach of rail. Gold and silver have been found and mined in ithis
southern as well as in the northern parts of the province.
V 1
Are guarded in a great measure by the Rocky Mountains from the cold
north and east winds, and the climate is also tempered by the warm
breezes of the Pacific Ocean, the " Chinook Wind," which render it
healthful and pleasant. The snow-fall is light, though at times the
cold is severe, but cattle and horses remain out all winter without
shelter or fodder and keep fat and healthy. The springs are early, the
summer warm and free from frosts, and the winters moderate both in
duration and range of cold. The soil is good, producing fine crops of
wheat, oall|fpeas, garden produce, etc.; tomatoes, cucumbers, and such
delicate growths do well anywhere in the valley. Hop culture has not
been tried extensively as yet, but wherever the vines are grown as ornaments to houses they thrive surprisingly, proving that more extensive
planting would be both safe and profitable. The timber is most valuable, including yellow pine, fir and tamarac, the former being a most
useful and handsome tree, frequently attaining a girth of twenty feet.
Large deposits of excellent steam coal have been discovered in the
Crow's Nest Pass, and it is confidently believed that gold exists in paying quantities at many points in the valley, including Bui River, Gold
Creek, Mobjea Creek, etc., now in the hands of enterprising companies.
During 1863 and 1864 there was an invasion of miners and much placer
gold was taken out, over three million dollars being credited to Wild
Horse Creek alone. From latest reports, the prospects for future successful quartz mining appear most encouraging.
The Lower Kootenay Valley, which ends with Kootenay Lake, is a
beautiful sheet of water some 90 miles in length. The river varies from
600 to 700 feet in width, and the average depth is about 45 feet, rendering navigation by the largest steamers safe and easy, the current being
slow. Lofty elm and cottonwood trees line the banks, leaving the valley
an unbroken expanse of tall grass, without a tree until the level ends at
the pine-covered hills on either side. Above these hills rise the mountains to a height varying from 1,500 to 5,800 feet. There is no question
but that these valleys contain some of the most productive land known.
The valleys are rich in minerals. On Kootenay Lake immense galena
deposits have been discovered,' containing a valuable proportion of
silver, and mining is easy. On Toad Mountain, near Kootenay Lake
outlet, rich deposits of copper and silver have been located and promise
to be of great inportance. Two small steamers at present ply upon the
lower Kootenay River and the Lake, and offer a delightful trip. The
lake is claimed to be one of the most beautiful in the world, and is a
very attractive point for sport3men. In its clear depths are land-locked
salmon, and on the mountains in the vicinity are found grizzly bear,
mountain goat and caribou.
Between the Gold Range and the Selkirks is the west side of the
great loop of the Columbia River, that extends north above the 52nd
paralell. This bend drains a gold region not yet well explored, but
which has every indication of great mineral richness, and certainly possesses an amazing quantity of fine timber. Within easy reach of the
Canadian Pacific Railway is enough timber to supply all the vast treeless plains east of the Rockies for generations to come. Gold has been
found in paying quantities at many points north of the Bend, and indications of it on the lllecilliwaet River and Beaver Creek. 16
Vancouuer is the largest island on the west coast of America, being
about three hundred miles long, and with an average breadth of about
fifty miles, and contains an estimated area of from 12,000 to 20,000 square
miles. The coast line, more particularly on the west side, is broken by
numerous inlets of the sea, some of which run up to the interior of the
island for many miles, between precipitous cliffs, backed by high and
rugged mountains, which are clothed in fir, hemlock and cedar. At
some points are sheltered bays which receive small streams, watering
an open gladed country, having a growth of wild flowers and grasses—
the white clover, sweet grass, cowslip, wild timothy and a profusion of
berries. The two ends of Vancouver island are, comparatively speaking, flat, but there are mountains in the interior ranging from 6,000 to
8,000 feet on the highest ridges. The interior of the island, still
unsettled at any distance from the sea coast, is largely interspersed with
lakes and small streams. The surface is beautifully diversified by
mountains, hills and open prairies, and on the east coast the soil is so
good that great encouragement is offered to agricultural settlement.
In other parts the soil is light and of little depth, but it is heavily
wooded. In the inland lakes, and in the indentations of the coast, there
is a plentiful supply of fish, and a fair variety of game on shore.
The principal harbour is that at Esquimalt, which has long been the
rendezvous of the English squadron in the North Pacific. It is situated
at the south end of the island, on the eastern side, and can be approached
in foggy weather by means of soundings, which are marked on the
admiralty charts, for a considerable distance seaward, an advantage
possessed by very,few anchorages, and with the exception of Burrard
Inlet, at the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway, by no other
large harbour on that coast. The scenery of Vancouver island is exceedingly varied and picturesque.
Victoria (pop. 20,000) is the capital of British Columbia and the chief
city of Vancouver Island, It was formerly a stockaded post of the
Hudsons, Bay Company and was then called Fort Victoria. It is delightfully situated on a small arm of the sea, commanding a superb view of
the Straits of Georgia, the mountains of the mainland, and snow-capped
Mount Baker in the distance. The city's age may date from 1858, when
the discovery of gold on the mainland brought a rush of miners from
the south. It is now a wealthy, well-built, and very English city, with
business and shipping interests of great importance. Victoria is preeminently a place to delight tourists, and has ample accommodation for
a large floating population, having several comfortable hotels, one or
two of which are noted for the excellence of their tables. Various public
• buildings are aho worthy of more than passing notice- Most of the
manufacturing interests of the province are centered at Victoria. It has
the largest iron works on the Pacific Coast outside of San Francisco,
and several smaller foundries and machine shops, also many factories.
The city is amply provided with educational facilities, both public
and private. ■ The public schools are supported by the Government, and controlled by a school board elected by popular suffrage-
Besides these there are the ladies' college, under the auspices of the
Anglicap Church and an academic institution, as well as a primary
li ^!Pi
school, maintained by the Roman Catholic denomination. There are
Protestant and Roman Catholic orphanages. The city has a public
library of about 10,000 volumes, and several of the fraternal and benevolent societies also have libraries of considerable size.
Victoria has the advantage of being a port of call of the Canadian
Pacific Railway Company's Royal Mail Steamship Line steamers to
and from Japan and China. Steamers run daily between Victoria and
Vancouver, and the trip from city to city through the clustered isles of
the Gulf of Georgia is very pleasant. Daily boats ply to all important
Puget Sound Ports, and to points northward on the island and mainland, and all regular San Francisco and Alaska steamers call at Victoria.
The city has for many seasons been a favourite resort for tourists, and
appears to be steadily growing in popularity. The country for some
miles about the city supports a scattered farming population and furnishes a portion of the supplies of the city, but it is not a particularly
good farming country, being better adapted to fruit culture. Here
every variety of fruit grown in a temperate climate attains peculiar
excellence, and fruit culture promises to become a leading industry in
the near future.
Esquimalt harbor is about three miles long, and something under
two miles broad in the widest part; it has an average depth of six to
eight fathoms, and affords excellent holding ground, the bottom being
a tenacious blue clay. The Canadian Government has built a dry-dock
at Esquimalt to accommodate vessels of large size. Its length is 450
feet, and 90 feet wide at the entrance. It is built of concrete, faced with
sandstone, and was nearly three years in construction.
There is a small town at the northern corner of the harbour bearing
the same name, Esquimalt. The nucleus of it are some British Government buildings, consisting of a naval hospital, an arsenal, and other
dockyard buildings. In the immediate vicinity of these the town has
arisen. There are two churches, a public school, two hotels or inns, and
a number of residences and business buildings. In the territorial division of Esquimalt there are several farming settlements and one or two
manufactories, including a boot and shoe manufactory and a saw-mill.
Esquimalt is only three and a half miles from Victoria by land, and is
connected with it by an excellent macadamized road and an electric car
Situated on rising ground and overlooking a fine harbour on the east
coast of Vancouver Island, is the thriving city of Nanaimo, with a population of about 4,000, and ranking next to Victoria in importance. It
is seventy miles north of Victoria, and depends chiefly upon its coaling
interest and shipping business for support. Nanaimo Harbour is connected by a deep channel with Departure Bay, where the largest braft
find safe anchorage. Vancouver Island bituminous coals are now
acknowledged to be superior for all practical purposes to any coals
on the Pacific Coast. Four companies operate mines in the immediate
vicinity of Nanaimo. Large quantities are sent to San Francisco; to the
Sandwich Islands and China,' being shipped from either Nanaimo or
Departure Bay. Nanaimo is also the coaling station for the British
squadron in the Pacific.   A large number of men find employment in the 18
mines and about the docks, and the town for its size is wpII supplied
with the requirements of a growing population. It has churches,
schools, hotels, water-works, telephone, etc., and such industries as a
tannery, boot and shoe manufactory, saw-mill, shipyard, etc., and
weekly and semi-weekly newspapers. Much of the land is excellent for
agricultural purposes. There is a daily train service between Nanaimo
and Victoria, and connections by steamers with the different island and
mainland ports.
These three places, Victoria, Nanaimo and Esquimalt, all on the
south-eastern corner of Vancouver Island, are the principal centres.
There are smaller communities on the island, mainly on the south corner,
and at no great distances from the three principal places already spoken
of. Such is Cowichan, a settlement on the east coast, about midway
between Victoria and Nanaimo, where the quality of the soil permits
farming to be carried on to some advantage. Saanich, another farming settl ment at the extreme south-east. Maple Bay, Chemainus,
Somenos, all in the i.eighbourhood of Cowichan ; Comox, some 60 miles
north of Nanaimo, in the vicinity of which are some of the principal
logging camps: Sooke, a short distance south-west of Esquimalt, are
being gradually developed.
The soil of Vancouver Island varies considerably. In some parts
are deposits of clay, sand and gravel, sometimes partially mixed, and
frequently with a thick topsoil of vegetable mould of varying depth.
At other places towards the north of the island on the eastern shore are
some rich loams, immediately available for cultivation- The mixed soil
with proper treatment bears heavy crops of wheat; the sand and gravelly
loams do well for oats, rye, barley, buckwheat, roofs, etc , and where the
soil is a deep loamy one, fruit grows well. The following average of the
yield of a properly cultivated farm in the Comox district is given by a
member of the Canadian Geological Survey. This is from the best land
in Comox, but there are other parts of the island not much inferior:
Wheat, from 30 to 45 bushels per acre; barley, 30 to 35 bushels ; oats,
50 to 60 bushels ; peas, 40 to 45 bushels ; potatoes, 150 to 200 bushels ;
turnips, 20 to 25 tons per acre.
Some of the rocks of the island furnish excellent building material,
the grey granite being equal to Scotch and English granites.
The timber of Vancouver is one of its richest products. Throughout
the island the celebrated "Douglas Fir" is found, and a variety of
coniferous trees grow on all parts of the island. It is impossible to
travel without marvelling at the forest growth. This exuberance is not
confined to the mammoth fir trees, or the enormous cedars ; trees of many
of the deciduous varieties abound, so that either for lumber and square
timber, or for the settlers' immediate requirements for the use of cities!
and as arboreous adornments to the homes, the forests of Vancouver
Island have a value that every year will become more apparent.
Concerning Vancouver Island, it only remains to say in the important matter of climate its inhabiiants believe, and with some reason,
that they enjoy peculiar advantages.    They have a mild and even
*H 19
winter, with rain ; the annual rainfall is estimated at 45 inches ; and
occasionally snow; early spring ; a dry, warm summer, and a clear,
bright and enjoyable autumn. Sometimes the frost is sufficiently hard
to permit of skating, but this is exceptional. As a rule flowers bloom
in the gardens of Victoria throughout the year. It is spoken of as
England without its east winds; in reality, it is Torquay in the Pacific,
"Fruits of all kinds indigenous to the temperate climates ripen in the
open air, and amongst them, some that are in England brought to perfection only under glass. Thunder storms seldom break over Vancouver. It is- this climate, combined with the situation of Victoria,
that makes that city such a pleasant abiding place.
The wages earned in Victoria and other parts of the island are, of
course, governed by the demand for labour, and the amounts paid on the
mainland, but it is unlikely that they will be reduced for many years to
the level of those paid in Eastern Canada.
Artizans are highly paid, and there is work at good wages for steady
men even if without any mechanical knowledge. Women servants are
well paid, but as in all backwood settlements the earlier work is done by
men exclusively, and a pioneer soon finds that his new home is not
complete without a wife. The consequence is that young women
coming to the colony, and prepared to take their share of the duties of
life as the.wives of settlers in the back districts, do not long remain as
servants or factory girls. They may at first miss some of the attractions of a city life, but bv industry and orderly living, acquire a
position in their neighbourhood, and gather "about them much to occupy
their time and give an interest to their home, and as the years roll on
positions of credit and responsibility come to them, that in the early
days did not even occur to them as possible.
y    On the east side of Vancouver, in the Straits of Georgia, that is
Ibetween the island and the mainland, are innumerable islands of smaller
size.   Generally they are wooded, and some of them have spots well
fitted for agriculture,   They are not much sought f ->r by white men at
present, as there is plenty of land in places nearer the settlements-
Near Vancouver, is the island of Taxada, opposite the settlement at
Comox, which from its wealth of«tron ore, is destined to be of considerable value.
It is largely owned by speculators. The ore is in a mountainous
mass that can be traced for miles, and it can be mined, smelted and
shipped without difficulty. It is a coarse, granular magnetite, containing a large percentage of iron with only .003 per cent of phosphorus.
A little to the north of Taxada is a small group of islands, and
then the island of Vancouver and the mainland approach one another
to within two or three miles.
North of Vancouver island, and close to the coast of the mainland,
Inhere is a succession of islands continuing to the extreme limits of
Jritish Columbia.     Of   these,   the Queen Charlotte Islands are the 20
largest and most important. These are a group of which there are
three principal islands, Graham, Moresby and Provost islands. - They
are the home of the remnant of the Hydah Indians. About 800 people,
who live in villages scattered about the three islands. They are expert
eanoemen and fishermen, and find occupation in extracting oil from the
livers of the dog fish, which abound on that coast. A company was
started a few years ago called the Skidegate Oil Company, which, by introducing proper machinery for extracting the oil, obtains an excellent
article, especially for lubricating. It manufactures about 40,000 gallons
annually, and gives employment to the Indians during the summer
These islands are heavily wooded, but not with the larger kinds of fir.
It is believed that there is gold on the islands, and in years past several
attempts were made to find it; but, probably owing to imperfect
methods, with only moderate success.
It would be difficult to indicate any defined section of British
Cnlumbia in which gold has not been, or will not be, found. The first
mines discovered were in the southern part of the province, the next in
the Cariboo .district, in the centre of British Columbia, and at the
present the richest diggings in work are the Cassiar mines in the far
north.   Recently several new mines have been opened elsewhere.
Gold has been found on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, on
Queen Charlotte islands at the extreme west, and on every range of
mountains that intervene between these two extreme points. Hitherto
the work has been practically placer mining, a mere scratching of the
surface, yet nearly fifty millions of dollars have been scraped out of the
rivers and creeks. Bars have been washed out arid abandoned, without
sufficient effort being made to discover the quartz vein from which the
streams received their gold. Abandoned diggings have been visited
after a lapse of years, and new discoveries made in the neighbourhood.
The railway now pierces the auriferous ranges: men and material ig
can be carried into the heart of the mountains', and with each succeedingpi
season fresh gold deposits will be found, or the old ones traced to the
quartz rock, and capital and adequate machinery be brought to bear
upon them. There are hundreds of miles open to the poor prospector,
and there are. or shortly will be, numerous openings for the capitalist.
To the agricultural settler the existence of gold is of double significance.
He is certain of a market for his produce, he is not debarred from
mining a little on his own account, and he is never deprived of the hope
that he will one day become the fortunate discoverer of a bonanza.
In giving evidence before a, committee of the House of Commons
a member of the Government Geological Survey said: "After having
" travelled over 1,000 miles through British Columbia, I can say with
" safety that there 'will vet be taken out of her mines wealth enough to
"build the Pacific Railway." This means many millions. Another
gentleman in the same service said that, "it may soon take its place as
"second to no other country in North America."
In 1860, Antler Creek (on the Fraser) yielded at one time not less
than $10,000 per day. On one claim $1,000 was obtained by a single
day's work.
The total output of gold since its first discovery in British Columbia,
even before new mineral districts were opened up by ^b$ Ca.n,ft4,i?£Jri'> 1" @GE% House. -    -r!wm
O.P.B.   HOTELS. 22
Pacific Railway, was estimated at $60,000,000. It is now far in excess
of this. With present facilities for prospecting, much heavier returns
are expected, for the era of scientific mining in British Columbia has
only commenced.
In British Columbia, a belt of rocks probably corresponding to the
gold rocks of California, has already been proved to be richly auriferous.
Geological explorations go to show a general resemblance of the rocks
to those of the typical sections of California and the Western States.
Silver has been discovered in several places, and its further discovery
will probably show that it follows the same rules as in Nevada and
Colorado. The best known argentiferous locality is that about six
miles from Hope, on the Fraser Jiiver. The lodes occur at an elevation
of about 5,000 feet.
Great iron deposits exists on Taxada Island, and copper deposits
have been found ai several points on the coast of the mainland, Howe
Sound, Jarvis Inlets, the Queen Charlotte Islands and other points.
Mercury, cinnabar and platinum, have been found in small quantities
during the process of washing gold.
Several seams of bituminous coal have been discovered on the mainland, and some veins have been worked in the New Westminster and
Nicola districts, and other indications of coal have been found in
seVeral parts. The same formation exists on the mainland as on the
islarid, and the New Westminster and Nicola coal-beds are probably
small portions only of large areas.
Anthracite coal,  comparing favourably with that of Pennsylvania,
has been found in seams of six feet and three feet, in Queen Charlotte i
Island.   Fragments of anthracite have been picked up on several parts
of Vancouver Island, and this would seem to indicate that the seams
found in Queen Charlotte islands will be traced to Vancouver.
An important part of the future trade of British Columbia will arise
from the wealth of fish in the waters of her coast. Of these, the most
valuable at present is the salmon. They literally teerh in the Fraser
and Columbia rivers, and frequently passengers on the Canadian
Pacific Railway are astounded by the sight of broad expanses of river,
or deep pools packed almost solid with wriggling masses of splendid
fish, their motions being distinctly visible from the platforms or car
windows as the trains pass by. The greater number of the canneries
are on the Fraser River, but there are some in the far north.
The Salmon make their way for great distances up the rivers. The
salmon of the Columbia fill the streams of the Kootenay ; those of the
Fraser are found six hundred miles in the interior. There are several
kinds of this fish, and they arrive from the sea on different dates.
Besides the salmon are the Oolachan, which come in great numbers,
and supplies a valuable medical oil, The black cod, a superior food fish,-4
abounds from Cape Flattery northward. Cod, similar to the eastern
variety, are taken on banks off the coast of Alaska, and the same fish is
said to haunt British Columbia waters. Halibut of fine quality and
large size are plentiful in the inner waters, on the banks off the west 2$
coast of Vancouver Island, and further north. Sturgeon up to 1,000
pound weight are numerous in the Fraser and large rivers. The surf
smelt and common smelt are abundant, and valued for the table. Shad
are taken occasionally. Herring is abundant, and both lake and brook
trout on the mainland.
There are scores of men in the fishing trade of England and Scotland
who struggle year after year for an uncertain percentage, who, in British
Columbia, would find competency in a few years' working, and hundreds
who are no richer at the end of December than they were at the beginning of January, who would experience a very different condition of life
on the coast of British Columbia.
These coasts afford wide fields for occupation and dispense reward
with less niggard hand than in the older home where every loaf has many
claimants. There is no rent to pay, no leave to ask to run a boat ashore.
The land is his who occupies it. A man who in the British seas toils
year in and year out for others may own his own home, his piece of land
and his boat, by no mans' favour.
In this respect there is no other province of Canada, no country in
Europe and no state in North America, that compares with it.
There are prairies here and there, valleys free from wood, and many
openings in the thickest country, which in the aggregate make many
hundred thousand aces of land on which no clearing is required. But
near each open spot is a luxurious growth of wood. A settler may be
lavish as he pleases : there is enough and to spare.
The finest growth is on the coast, and in the Gold and Selkirk ranges.
Millions on millions of feet of lumber, locked up for centuries past, have
now become available for commerce. The Canadian Pacific Railway
passes through a part of this, and crosses streams that will bring untold
quantities to the mills and railway stations. The Government Department of Agriculture has published a catalogue and authoritative description of the trees of British Columbia, in which the several species are
ranked as follows :—
Douglas Spruce (otherwise called "Douglas Fir," "Douglas Pine,"
and commercially, '' Oregon Pine.") A well-known tree. It is straight,
though coarse-grained, exceedingly tough, rigid, and bears great transverse strain. For lumber of all sizes, and planks, it is in great demand.
Few woods equal it for frames, bridges, ties, and strong work generally,
and for shipbuilding. Its length, straightness and strength specially
fit it for inasis and spars.
The Western Hemlock occurs everywhere in the vicinity of the coast, and.
reaches 200 feet in height. Yields a good wood; bark has been used in
tanning.   Is like the. eastern hemlock, but larger.
Englemann's Spruce (very like '"white spruce"), tall, straight, often
over three feet in diameter—wood good and durable. Forms dense forests
in the mountains.
Menzle's Spruce chiefly clings to coast, a very large tree, wood white
and useful for general purposes.
The Great Silver Fir, so far as known, is specially a coast tree. It
grows t o a great size, but the wood is said to be soft and liable to decay.
Balsam Spruce abounds on Gold and Selkirk ranges and east of Mc-
Leod's Lake.   Often exceeds two feet in diameter.
Among ihe pines may be mentioned the familiar tree known locally
as "red pine,"    yellow pine," or "pitch pine," considered to be a variety lift
of the heavy yellow pine (Pinus Ponderosa) of California and Oregon. It
grows in open groves in the valleys, and on the slopes up to about 3,000
feet.   Is used for building and general purposes.
The White Pine ('' Mountain Pine") resembles the eastern white pine,
and may be used for the same purposes. It is found throughout British
The Black Pine ("Bull" or "Western Scrub"" Pine) occurs everywhere in the province, at varying heights.   Useful for rough purposes.
The. Western Cedar (" Giant Cedar " or "Red Cedar") is a valuable
tree. It is found throughout the province except in the far north- The
wood is of a yellowish or reddish colur, and very durable, splits easily
into planks ; has been used chiefly for shingles and rails.
Yellow Cypress (commonly known as "Yellow Cedar"). A strong,
free, fine grained wood; used in boat-building and for ornamental purposes ; often exceeds 6 feet in diameter. Occurs chiefly on coast; also
in interior of Vancouver Island, and abounds on west coast of Queen
Charlotte Islands.
Western Larch (sometimes called "Tamarac"), occurs in Rocky Mountains and valleys of Selkirk and Gold ranges. A large tree, yielding a
strong, coarse, durable wood.
The Maple, the Vine Maple, the Yew, the Crab Apple, the Alder, the
Western Birch and the Paper or Canoe Birch, the Oak, the Aspen Mountain
Ash and other minor woods are found in different parts of the province
and in all parts wild berries of nearly every variety occur.
Between the mountains and the sea the Canadian Pacific Railway
passes through many forests of these valuable woods, and brings within
reach of lumbering operations, vast additional quantities growing in the _^J
neighbourhood of those streams that fall into the Columbia, theThomp- -*&■"'
son, and the Fraser. Timber on the western plains of Canada will now
be obtainable at considerable less prices than those paid in the Western
States, The distance from the Rocky Mountains to the great farming
and cattle raising districts of which Calgary, McLeod, Medicine Hat,
Maple Creek, Swift Current, Moosejaw and Regina, are the centres, is
less than that from Winnipeg to Minneapolis, from which market the
earlier settlers in Manitoba were supplied before the Canadian Pacific
Railway was built eastward to the Lake of the Woods. Cheap lumber,
so essential to the settler, is therefore secured by the opening up of British
Though the trade of British Columbia is still unimportant when
compared with the extent, resources, and immense future possibilities of
the province, still it has improved and developed wonderfully during the
past few years showing an increase since 1884 that speaks volumes for
the progress and enterprise of the people. Prominent exports are fish,
coal, gold, timber, masts and spars, furs and skins, fish oil, wool, hops
and spirits.   A large portion of the salmon, canned and pickled, goes to .,,
Great Britian, the United States and Australia ; the States and Sand-        ~^I§H*
wich Islands consume a large share of the exported  coal,  and great
quantities of timber are shipped to Australia and ports in South America.
To Great Britian and the United States are sent the valuable furs and
peltries of land animals and the much prized seal and otter, etc.   China 2&
also receives a considerable amount of lumber, timber and furs. Valuable
shipments of fish oil, principally obtained from the dog fish at the Queen
; Charlotte Inlands, are consigned to the States annually, and also to the
^andwioh Islands. These industries, though already of considerable
importance, are destined to become very large as well as very profitable-
enterprises in the near future. With the shipping facilities offered by
the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the new steamship lines to Japan
and China, backed by her natural advantages of climate and
geographical position, and immense resources in timber and minerals,
British Columbia is gradually obtaining her proper share of the commerce of the world. There is no other country on the globe more richly
endowed with varied resources of wealth, as fisheries, timber, minerals,
pasture and arable land-!, etc., and all are open to those who choose to
avail themselves of these new and attractive fields for enterprise.
The climate is one of the. greatest attractions of the province. On
Vancouver Island and the coast lii,e of the mainland it is serene and mild,
resembling the climate of Devonshire and Cornwall, and from Queen
Charlotte Islands to Alaska the climate of Scotland is closely matched.
On April 13th strawberries have been seen in bloom, and by May 1st
strawberries are ripening, spring wheat, potatoes and peas showing well
above ground ; the plains covered with wild flowers and native roses in
bloom. •
It is on Vancouver Island and in the extensive districts west of the
coast range as well as in those in the southern strip of the province between the parallels of 49° and 50° that the great fruit-raising- farms of
Canada will be located. Apples, pears, plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines, the finer class of grapes, berries of every description, fruits not
common to the eastern coast, a profusion of flowers, and all the more
(delicate vegetables will grow luxuriantly, as do all kinds of grasses and
flowers of the temperate zone-
No general description will serve the purpose in speaking of the
climate of the mainland of British Columbia, On the coast it varies
considerably, while in the interior the differences are yet more plainly
marked. It may be divided into the southern, middle and northern
It is in this division that so much bunch-grass country exists, which
offers so many advantages for cattle and sheep raising. The winter is
Shorter and mild«r than the district further north, and though snow
falls, the wind-swept slopes are usually very thinly covered. Cattle as
well as horses winter out.
This comprises the region between 51° and 53° north latitude and contains much of the mountainous parts of the province, including the
Cariboo Mountains the locality of the most celebrated gold fields yet dis-
i covered in British Columbia. The rainfall is heavier there than in the
''southern zone and the forest growth therefore becomes more dense. The
climate, if less attractive than that of the two great divisions east and
west of the coast range, is particularly healthy. 26"
A consideration of this country hardly falls within the scope of this
pamphlet. It is necessarily remote from the line of tne Canadian Pacific
Railway and except for its gold mines and the fish in its waters will not,
by reason of its distance, attract immediate settlement.
It will be seen from the foregoing that British Columbia possesses a
greater variety of climate than any country of its size, and that the lines
of demarcation between one and the other aie singularly abrupt and well
In addition to its many advantages already referred to, British
Columbia offers great attractions to the lover of i od and gun. Of game,
large and small, there is a great variety. On the mainland are grizzly,
black and brown bears, panther, lynx, elk, cariboo, deer, mountain
sheep and goat, heads and skins of which are the finest trophies of a
sportsman's rifle. Water fowl, geese, duck, etc., are very abundant on
the larger lakes, and these and several varieties of grouse are the principal feathered game, and can always be found in the season. On Vancouver Island bear and deer can be found within esCsy distance of lines
of travel, snipe afford rare good sport, and the valley quail is as swift of
wing and as fascinating an object of pursuit as his famous cousin " Bob
White " of Ontario- English pheasants were introduced some years ago
and have taken kindly to their new home. They are now numerous in
some parts of the island. For big game, bear, caribou, sheep, goat, etc.,
there is no part of the continent that offers a more promising chance
than the Selkirk Range, and taken all in all, with its great variety of
game and noble scenery, there are no similar shooting grounds now so
rich and so accessible. For the convenience of sportsmen desiring to
work the Kootenay valley and neighbouring country, which is highly
spoken of by the few who have as yet tried it, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company ha< erected four fishing lodges or " camps " on the line oi
the Columbia and Kootenay Railway. The camps are numbered and
located as follows : camp No. 1, 15 miles from Rob=on; No. 2, 16 miles
from Robson; No. 3, 17J miles from Robson ; No, 4, 5 miles from Nelson
(at therailway bridge crossing). Parties can hire outfits from the company's agents, who will supply all necessary aitides, provisions etc., at
moderate cost. Cooks, guides, etc., when required, can be hired at
Robson and the necessary camp equipage is carried free between Robson
and the different camps.
To convey a proper idua of the marvellous beauty of the scenery of
British Columbia in a work of this description would be impossible.
Within the limits of the province are crowded all the mountain rang°s of
Western America, forming a combination of scenic magnificence that is
beyond written description. The province excels all others for beauty,
and the journey from the extreme eastern boundary to the coast is something that once enjoyed will never be forgotten. Traversing the passes
of the Rocky mountains, and continuing through the Selkirks and Columbian ranges, the eye wanders from peak t^ peak, gorge to gorge, and^
valley after valley, as thev are revealed in endless succession for nearly
600 miles before the Pacific Ocean is reached. On the coast the scenery
is softer, but none the less attractive.   The natural canals of these tran-  28
quil waters and deep inlets of the coast are 'in some places flanked on
either side by precipitous mountains rising sheer out of unfathomable
water, and they look like btrips of pale green riband curling about
between mounds of a darker hue. The summits of these mountains are
at one moment visible and at the next hidden in some passing cloud, and
down their sides, fr'om points far towards the summit, long lines of silver
streaks of foaming water fall into the sea. Between the ocean and these
Inlets are islands which shield them from the force of any storm, so that
a boat may travel for a thousand miles in absolute safety.
For the information of intending settlers a few words concerning the
acquirement of lands in the Province of British Columbia may be useful.
Along the Canadian Pacific Railway and within twenty miles on each
side of the line is a tract of land known as the Railway Belt, the regulations concerning which differ slightly from those governing other portions of the country. They may be ''homesteaded" by settlers who
intend to reside on them, iu which case no money is paid for the land,
the only charge being a fee of $10 (£2) at the time of application. Six
months are allowed in which to take possession, and at the end of three
years if the settler can show to the local agent that he has cultivated the
land, he acquires a patent on easy terms and becomes owner of the homestead in fee simple. In case of illness or of necessary absence from the
homestead during the three years, additional time will be granted to the
settler to conform to the Government regulations- These conditions
apply to agricultural lands.
Persons desiring to engage in cattle raising can acquire leases from
the Government on easy terms, subject to a termination of their lease by
two years notice from the Government.
Stock raising is a pleasant as well as profitable occupation in British
Columbia. A settler pre-empts 320 acres of land, for which he pays one.
dollar an acre, in four equal instalments. He can put up a small lodge at
little expense, and use the balance of his money in purchasing cattle.
These he will brand and turn loose to graze where they will. In due
course, the calves must be branded, and steers sold, and with little care
or anxiety a man grows rich.
The timber lands within the Railway Belt may be acquired from the
Dominion Goverument on payment of an annual fee of $50 (£10), and 30c
(Is. 3d.) for each tree felled. This refers to the large timber-making
trees cut for sale, and not to the smaller deciduous trees that maybe
required for use. These terms apply to licenses granted for "timber
limits " east of the 120° parallel of longitude, all timber west of that to
the sea being governed by the regulations of the Provincial Government. ^^
Mining and mineral lands within the Railway Belt are disposed of by the        ^p£k
Dominion Government on special terms governed by the circumstances of
the case.
The following are the regulations of the Provincial Government of
British Columbia, governing lands not in the Railway Belt. 29
Crown lands in British Columbia are classified as either surveyed or
unsurveyed lands, and may be acquired either by record and pre-emption,
or purchase.
The following persons may record or pre-empt Crown lands:—Any
person, being the head of _a family, a widow, or a single man over 18
years of age, being a British subject, may record surveyed or unsurveyed
Crown lands, which are unoccupied, or unreserved, and unrecorded.
Aliens may also record such surveyed or unsurveyed lands on making
a declaration of intention to become a British subject.
The quantity of land which may be recorded or pre-empted is not tc
exceed 320 acres northward and eastward of the Cascade or Coast Mountains, or 160 acres in the rest of the province.
No person can hold more than one pre-emption claim at a time. Prioi
record or pre-emption of one claim, and all rights under it, are forfeited
by subsequent record or pre-emption of another claim.
Land recorded or pre-empted cannot be transferred or conveyed till
after a Crown grant has been issued.
Such land, until the Crown grant is issued, is held by occupation,
Such occupation must be a bona fide personal residence of the settler,
or homestead settler, or his family or agent. Indians or Chinese cannot be agents.
The settler must enter into occupation of the land within thirty days
after recording, and must continue to occupy it.
Continuous absence for a longer period than two months consecutively of the settler or homestead settler, and his agent or family, is
deemed cessation of occupation ; but leave of absence 'may be granted
not exceeding four months in any one year, inclusive of the two months'
Land is considered abandoned if unoccupied for more than four
months in the aggregate in one year, or for more than two months
If so abandoned, the land becomes waste lands of the Crown, without
any cancellation of the record.
The fee on recording is two dollars (8s.)
The settler may either have the land surveyed at his own instance
(subject to rectification of boundaries), or wait till the Chief Commis •
sioner causes it to be surveyed.
After survey has been made, upon proof, in declaration in. writing of
himself and two other persons, of occupation from date of pre-emption,
and of having made permanent improvements on the land to the value
of two dollars and fifty cents per acre, the settler, on producing the preemption certificate, obtains a certificate of improvement.
After obtaining the certificate of improvement and paying for the
land, the settler is entitled to a Crown grant in fee simple. He pays
five dollars therefor.
The price of Crown lands, pre-empted, is one dollar per acre, which
must be paid in four equal instalments, as follows: First instalment two
years from date of record or pre-emption, and each other instalment i%
not payable till after the survey. 30
if resident in the
The Crown grant excludes gold and silver ore, and reserves to the
Crown a royalty of five cents pe>- ton on every ton of merchantable coal
raised or gotten from the land, not including dross or fine slack
No Crown grant can be issued to an alien who may have recorded or
pre-empted by virtue of his declaring his intention to become a British
subject, unless he has become naturalized.
The heirs or devisees of the homestead settler are
province, entitled to the Crown grant on his decease
Vacant surveyed lands, which are not the sites of towns or the
suburbs thereof, and not Indian settlements, may be purchased at the
rate of two dollars and fifty cents per acre. Surveyed lands purchased
under the provisions of this section must be paid for in full at the time
of the purchase thereof.
The applicant to purchase unsurveyed Crown lands, after staking-
posting, etc, must give two months' notice of his intended application
in the • Government Gazette," and in any newspaper circulating in the
district where the land is situated. 6
He must also have the land surveyed at his own expense   by a sur
veyor   approved  of   and   acting   under the instructions of'the Chief
The price is two dollars and ffly cents, per acre, to be paid as follows•
Ten per cent, at the time of application, and ninety per cent on completion and acceptance of survey.
The quantity of land must be not less than 160 acres, nor more than
640 acres. The purchase must be completed within six months from
date of application. uum
Landlords may divert, for ag.icultural or other purposes, the required
quantity of unrecorded and unappropr;ated water from the natural channel of any stream, lake, etc., adjacent to or passing through their land
upon obtaining a written authority of the Commissioner.
The farm and buildings, when registered, cannot be taken for debt
ncurred after the registration ; it is free from seizure up to a value not
greater than $2,500 $500 English); goods and chattels Le also frleun
to $500 (£100 English); cattle "farmed on shares " are alto protected by
an iixemption Act. ^
, \£°\ un/.re(luently< settlers are anxious about their titles to property
when locating ma new land. There need be no uneasiness on tWis score
m British Columbia.    Titles are secure.
h«^ T/m sal^M£c steamships from England from about 20th November to 1st May, land their passengers at Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Canadian wmter port, and at Portland, Me., Boston, or New York. From
Halifax. Portland, or Boston passengers are carried to Montreal in the
i^ 31
Canadian Pacific's cars. During the summer months (about 1st May to
20th November) steamers land passengers at Quebec (or at Montreal,
and, thence the passenger goes across the continent to Vancouver,) and
at B ston and New York; when at the former city the journey to Montreal is continued over the Canadian Pacific to Montreal and Vancouver.
The Atlantic passage takes from eight to ten days, and the railway
fyrip from Quebec across the continent six days.   A passenger can go
through to British Columbia from England in fourteen days by crossing
the continent on the Canadian Pacific line.
It is best to take " Through Tickets " to Vancowver, or as far as possible.
Efforts may be made to induce passengers to take tickets by some roundabout route, which oftentimes necessitates- expensive stoppages by the
way. A passenger should insist upon having a ticket by the Canadian
Pacific Railway, which is the only direct route.
Passengers travelling by the Colonist Cars should provide at least
part of the necessary food for themselves for the railway trip across
America, as provisions at the -"-ay-side stations are expensive, and the
"through" ticket price does not include provisions except on the steamers. ■
Colonist's meals are 50 to 75 cents each.
Surplus money should be sent through the Post Office, or a bank, to
avoid risk from loss on the way.
It is the practice in North America, on the part of interested or dishonest persons, to fill the ears of passing colonists with stories about the
places they are going to.   No attention should be given to -hese men.
While passing through Eastern Canada, colonists for British Columbia will apply, in case of n°ed, to the local immigration officers of the
Dominion of Canada, who will give honest advice and information. The
coin and paper money of Canada is of a uniform standard and is current
throughout the Dominion.
Intending passengers can obtain tickets through to all points in
British Columbia, together with the fullest information relative to the
most desirable places of location for farming, cattle growing, mining, and
grading, bv applying to Agents of the Canadian Pacific Railway in Lon-
gaon, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, and Amsterdam.
The colonist is recommended not to take English coin to British Columbia. In Great Britain, he should pay that portion of his money, not
wanted on the passage, to the Post Office, and get a money order for it
payable in Vancouver or Victoria; or he may pay his money either to
the Bank of British Columbia, London (the bankers for the Government
of British Columbia), or to the Bank of British North America, London,
and get from the bank, in exchange for his money, an order payable on
demand from its branch bank in Vancouver or Victoria, British Columbia, for the equivalent of his money in dollars and cents.
The colonist, on paying his money to the bank, must sign his name on a separ-
atepiece of paper, and ask the Bank to send the signature to their Branch Bank in
Vancouver or Victoria, so that the person who applies fov the money in Vancouver
or Victoria may be known to be the proper person, If this is neglected, the colonist
may not be able to get Ms money readily.
The above banks have agents in England, Scotland, and Ireland.
The Bank of British North America has its own branches in the Do-
S^jninion of Canada, New York, and San Francisco.   The Bank of Montreal is
■ \f, agent of the Bank of British Columbia throughout Canada and New
hi -k.   The Bank of British Columbia has a branch in San Francisco. I
It is sometimes better for an intending farmer of moderate means to
place his money, on first arrival,  in  the   Government   Savings   Bank
(which allows interest),  to take lodgings, and to work for wages for
some time, in order to gain a knowledge of colonial life and modes o4jj
Colonists are recommended not to linger about the towns at which
they may arrive, but to proceed, with as little delay as possible, either tc
their friends, if they have any in the province, or to the localities where
they are likely to meet with employment.
The immigration Agent,' at porG of arrival, will furnish information
as to lands open for settlement in the respective districts, farms for sale,
demand for labour, rates of wages, routes of travel, distances, expense of
conveyance, etc.
The colonist should be caieful of his cash capital, and not put it into investments hastily,    There are Canadian Government Savings Banks in the province.
Very erroneous ideas prevail in some quarters as to the actual expense
of living in the province. In old days, during the mining boom and
prior to the opening of the Canadian Pacific Railway, rates were undeniably high. But at present tne increased shipping facilities and livelier
competition have lowered prices all round, and necessaries of life cost
much less than in the adjacent American territory, and can be purchased
■At a very reasonable advance upon ruling prices in Ontario and the older
provinces. Good board and lodging at hotels (meat at every meal) octets
from about $5.00 to $6.50 per week, or 20s. to 26s. Sterling currency.
Board and lodging per day, $1, or 4s. Sterling; single meal, 25c, Is,
Sterling; beds, 50c. and 25c, 2s. and Is. Storing. Laj
 jian racme naiiway to s
This niw line of Sj
SHIPS consists Qtth-3
They are alike in every dettteiS5 ft long; SI ft. btiBnTSiS
«<TnVASCOT/VEK anil pqTOSJA.. B.(\, :rad,oa£S^L .
Ot these nasmifleeut Tesscis connt.n,fied under supervision of. che;E...,.li-'h Ateiffiii, . mi i p:rc ■ ,v t
ter-tigntfC-onipanKienfs, ensuringperfect 3afety 'against r.nd tquippe-i vrjth >ill tlio
st improved apuliances devised by modem marine engiu>»erirrftr obtaininr —
Lsail from "Vancouver, B.C , subject 16 ur avoidable changes, ONCE !"K j
TO o • anv^t1herpS)eSlNiS5.V(™i^ADAamft he T^CJTEoi'']
.   .''■.ST.-         ...: ., ....    ...... .....  -  ... ,„...   ,.
lav FtiiK M-ffiiii
«, lyhese vea-^iis carry antaperieiic^TOcdlK'al, chin anill
respegtsupermr to uny shns that hare isyHsadad rti»^c-dic 1A-.--.W
For freight orpassast I-md-hoote of ibfocwatisa. bvTrjA'Bflfiat *f-fl' .'FriKim :rrTj^ajvpiyte|
' AKCHJrliSAKBB 67 and 6b King Witfhi"s.t, "U>n:l>n: r.T*ni« "«t,-Wv*-p.:,ol; -IS Maifc-t Sfl
S.->cliesfer- 25 Gordon Sts yUiEgow
G>E* WePHEKSONV Assistant Genera!0Pass<?.j-.w Agent.'   all Washmxli.'n St., Boston, im. 'A'\
K'. Yv'SKINKES, General Eastern Agent,      -
O. SHEEHEY.. Bisnnqfc Passenger Agent,
J. E. I/EE. nistriet- Passenger A;;ent       -
HE iL STEKN; District-Pafeenger.Agentr"     -      •
W: R. CAIiLAWAVj Diit'riofc.Pttsseiiffer.Afeut',
. V.\ jr. EGGr^P'isfrictPasseuBer Agent,
J V. JC' BKOWIx", AseaUnt Geijeriil Passenger A gent.
_J:: Smith C&BfcStfi
Uronicle Suiidins;'. ftma
'"- Vimcnnver
; Qenercvl AsentOhiiia aaad Japan.
Eo%'K<4<ig, Shanghai. <ud Yei
D. McNICOLL, General
■ianentl Traffic Manag'»
Passenger    gent, Montreal. 


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