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British Columbia, its present resources and future possibilities. A brief attempt to demonstrate the… Beanlands, Canon, 1857-1917 1893

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BRITISH COLUMBIA     British Columbia,
Present Resources
Future Possibilities.
Published by Direction of the Provincial Government.
Victoria, B. C.
"The Colonist" Printing and Publishing Co.
1893. THE matter contained in the following pages has been derived from authoritative sources. For the agricultural
data, the writer is indebted to a voluminous and carefully
prepared report recently issued under the Department of Agriculture, by Mr. J. R. Anderson. Mining statistics have been
obtained from the Report of the Dominion Geological Survey,
"The Mineral Wealth of British Columbia," by Dr. G. W.
Dawson, and local reports from the chief mining centres. The
Statistical Year Book (Dominion Government), and annual
reports of the Victoria Board of Trade provided useful information as to commerce and shipping, while several gentlemen
well qualified by their intimate acquaintance with the respective industries have supplied the ground work of the chapters
on Fishing and Lumbering. The author desires to express
his indebtedness to these authorities ; he also gratefully records
the assistance afforded him by the courteous officials of the
Department of Lands and Works, and by many friends whose
local knowledge has been of the greatest service to him. INTRODUCTION.
BRITISH COLUMBIA, notwithstanding the prominence
to which it has attained since the completion of the
Canadian Pacific Railway placed it upon the chief highway of the world, is still to a very great number of intelligent
people, a mere name upon a map. That it should ever exercise
an active influence over the destinies of the British Empire, or
provide a sphere for the industry of millions, is something of
which they have neither heard nor dreamt. The object of the
present pamphlet is not only to give a succinct account of the
actual condition of the Province to-day, but to suggest the
probability of so great a future at no remote time.
The area of British Columbia is estimated at 383,000 square
miles ; its population at  54,061 whites,  35,202 Indians, 8,910
Chinese,  or 98,173.    It is a self-evident  fact  that a country
which  has  an  area  more than  three   times  as   extensive  as'
that  of the   British   Isles,   with a population no larger than
that of a moderate sized manufacturing town, must be either
very much under-populated or grossly lacking in the means for
supporting life.    Were the latter the case, it would be manifestly
undesirable to invite attention to so unfortunate a circumstance.
But even should the former alternative be maintained, the question   might  reasonably  be   asked,   why   the   authorities   who
represent the ownership of such a country should seek to demonstrate this fact, or so long as its inhabitants were prosperous
and contented, should tempt others to share their wealth.    With
the example of certain foreign states before their eyes, those
whose attention was directed would be justified in doubting the
good faith in which these  statements were volunteered, and in
regarding with distrust their publication.    The answer, however,
is a simple one, for the Government in acting thus does not
profess to be guided by motives of philanthropic benevolence.
It expects as a return tor the information provided, not indeed
to receive a grant per capita for emigrants, regardless of their
quality, or means of livelihood, but to induce only those persons rfp"
to enter the Province whose presence will aid in the development
of its potential resources ; or in homely phrase it invites those
only whose company will be worth more than the room they
A great deal of harm has been effected in recent years by
the promiscuous advertisement of new countries. Their productive powers may be great, land may be cheap, trade prospects
most satisfactory, wages high, the towns may be increasing at
a rate quite without parallel among older communities. But
none of these things, nor all collectively, can form sufficient
justification for strangers without any means of livelihood except
their hands, and without any knowledge of how to shift for
themselves except what they have acquired in the narrow grooves
of their native place, to flock to some distant land in the belief
that steady work and fortune await them. Even skilled labour
of the most valued kind has many difficulties to contend with
before it can establish itself in a totally new sphere. There are
the recognized labour organizations, which jealously guard the
interests of their members from outside competition, there are
the natural prejudices which always exist against new comers
and untried men, and there is above all the fact so often ignored,
that small communities such as prevail in new countries can only
employ a limited number of workers in any particular trade. Five
bricklayers, even were they prepared to work at one dollar a
day, could not possibly find employment where only one can,
though his wages are five dollars. This reflection alone, should
be sufficient to deter men from eagerly rushing West when they
hear of high wages, regardless of the speculative element which
must be inseparable from their venture, and without calculating
whether they are prepared to risk their small capital while waiting for the opportuni-ty to establish themselves in their new
home. ||||
Let no one therefore, who may read the following pages,
imagine that because British Columbia is represented, in what
the writer believes to be its true light, as a place of rapidly rising
importance, he is therefore certain to find ample and immediate
scope for his own abilities. He must rather consider what
sacrifices he is prepared to make for the privilege of introducing  JO BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
himself and his family into a country so favorably circumstanced.
He must deliberate whether the prospect of future success is
worth the hazard of his present condition of life, whatever that
may be, and should he finally determine upon a step which may
prove to him irrevocable, let him blame no one but himself if the
struggle turn out a hard one, and the good times which he anticipated be long in coming.
The value of any country to its inhabitants depends mainly
upon four conditions : Its supporting capacity; its exporting
capacity ; its position as regards foreign commerce ; and its
climate. To these may very properly be added a fifth, namely,
the character of its government. By enquiring into the above
conditions, a just estimate can be arrived at both of the present
standing and future prospects of any political division on the
face of the globe.
No one, for instance, would dispute the fact that the prosperity of Great Britain is largely due, in the first place, to the
relatively extensive area of her cultivatable land whereby a prosperous yeoman population was encouraged, and enabled to furnish a back bone to the commonalty ; secondly, to her numerous
deposits of the economic minerals, the presence of which induced
the most intelligent and thrifty among her inhabitants to engage
in mining and manufactures ; thirdly, to her extended sea-board,
and the facility afforded by it for maritime pursuits ; and fourthly,
to her climate, which, notwithstanding many apparent drawbacks, was by its temperate character, well adapted to the
nurture of a healthy and vigorous race. The genius of her
people for governing and being governed is a fact to which attention need hardly be directed.
It would appear then that there can be no better way of
exhibiting the capacities of British Columbia than by treating of
them under these heads, for if it can be shown that the Province
shares in no ordinary degree all these advantages, it will follow
that its ultimate fortune depends only upon a sufficient population, and reasonable time in which to conquer such natural
obstacles as are to be met with in a virgin country. But in order
to comprehend the frequent references which must of necessity
be made to the various local features of so vast a territory, their BRITISH   COLUMBIA. II
widely differing qualities and productive powers, the physical
character of the country, and its political divisions must first be
briefly described.
The Province of British Columbia may be described as a great quadrangle of
territory, seven hundred miles long by lour hundred miles wide, lying north of
latitude 49° and west of the central core of the Rocky Mountains, extending
along the Pacific Coast as far as latitude 55°, and including the islands adjacent.
North of that degree of latitude it continues inland to latitude 6o°, but is shut
off from the coast by a narrow strip of Alaskan Territory, and is bounded on the
east by longitude 120°. A considerable part of this northern portion, though of
some present value on account of its gold mines and fur bearing animals, is unsuitable for general settlement and is very sparsely inhabited.
The southern half of the Province, it will be seen, lies between tolerably well
defined boundaries, and may be treated independently of the northern portion.
It forms a large and regular rhomboid, of elevated land, which is supported on
each side by ranges of mountains. Of these the eastern and western may be said
to be double, and consist respectively of the Rockies and Selkirks* on the east,
and of the Coast and Island Ranges on the west.
These mountain ranges exercise so important an influence upon the country
that they require especial consideration. The north and south boundaries are
merely transverse spurs and elevations orographically connected with the same
The Rocky Mountains. The easternmost range of the four above enumerated
is that of the Rocky Mountains. It is the northern extremity of the great range
which forms so well known a feature of the North American Continent. Entering
the Province at the 49th parallel of latitude, it constitutes the eastern boundary to
latitude 540, and continues to between 560 and 570, where it loses its distinctive
rampart-like character, and dies down into lower hills. It has been shown to consist of the upturned edges of the strata that underlie the great north-west plain,
and its massive walls are formed chiefly of Devonian and carboniferous limestone.
Their average height may be stated at about 8,000 feet. " Near the 49th parallel
several summits occur with elevations exceeding 10,000 feet, but northwards few
attain this elevation until the vicinity of the Bow River and Kicking Horse is
reached. The range appears to culminate about the head waters of the Saskatchewan, Mount Murchison being credited with an altitude of 13,500 feet."—{Dawson,
Geol. Sur., 1887.)    There are twelve principal passes, at elevations ranging from
* Note.—The Selkirks are, properly speaking', only a subordinate portion of the more
western- of the two ranges, but since no term has been generally accepted for the entire range,
and since the Canadian Pacific Railway has especially familiarized travellers with this name,
it has been thought good to apply it to the whole range of which it thus constitutes the best
known part. r
7, ioofeet—the South Kootenay—to 2,000 feet—the Peace River Valley. The
value of this great fence to the Province, climatically, cannot be over-estimated.
Rising between the wide plains of the north-west interior and the comparatively
narrow area of the Pacific Slope, it serves alike to protect British Columbia effectually from the dry, cold north-east winds, and to deflect the mild and moisture-
laden breezes of the ocean in their passage from the west.
In addition to the above considerations, these mountains contain a great
potential wealth of valuable minerals, extensive seams of coal having been found
to outcrop in certain localities on their western flank, and frequent indications
being shown of deposits of iron and other useful metals along their course.
The Selkirks. Parallel to the Rocky Mountains proper, and frequently included under one name with them, though of distinct formation, run the Selkirks.
This range, which has been shown by geologists to represent an earlier upheaval,
and to exhibit an entirely different series of rocks, is so broken and complex as to
have received several names in different parts of its course, as though composed
of distinctly separate mountain systems. Such, however, is not the case. A
relation has been demonstrated to exist between all these subordinate mountain
groups, and the reason of their less regular arrangement than the Rockies has been
referred to the crystalline structure of their component rocks, which have upturned
with more eccentric fractures than the stratified materials of the neighbouring
range. Hal
Entering from the south in a three-fold system divided by important valleys,
they are called respectively the Purcell, the Selkirk, and the Gold Mountains. To
the north of the great bend of the Columbia River, these give place to the term
Cariboo Mountains. At about latitude 540 they die out, or are merged in the cross
ranges which form the northern boundary of the interior plateau, and from whence
spring the head waters of the Peace River.
The economic value of the Selkirk Range lies in the very valuable deposits
of precious and base metals which have been discovered throughout the course of
its upheaval, and further reference to which will be made in speaking of the
localities where they are so far known to occur.
In average altitude these mountains are not greatly inferior to the Rockies,
their loftier members rising from 8,000 to 9,000 feet above the sea. The contours
are, generally speaking, more rounded and less precipitous than the latter, though
in many places they are strikingly pointed with steep and continuous grades, down
which snow-slides sweep with resistless force. Their sides, up to several thousand
feet, are clothed in dense forests, affording an unlimited supply of good timber.
The average width cf the Rocky Mountain Range is about sixty miles, diminishing to the north ; that of the Selkirks is about eighty miles.
There is a valley cf most remarkable length and regularity, extending from
the southern boundary line along the western base of the Rocky Mountains as far
as the northern limits of the Selkirks, a distance of over 700 miles, and dividing
the two ranges. w
5 o
O If
Inferior Plateau. To the west of these great ranges British Columbia extends
in a wide plateau of table land, which has been originally elevated some 3,5°°
feet above sea-level. This plateau has been, however, so deeply intersected and
eroded by lake and river systems that, in many places, it presents an aspect hardly
differing from that of mountain regions. At others, however, it opens out into
wide plains and rolling ground, with comparatively low eminences, affording fine
areas of agricultural and grazing land. The entire district has been subject to vast
overflows of lava, of the disintegrated remains of which the present soil is mainly
composed. There is a general but very gradual slope of the land from the
mountainous country on the southern boundary of the Province to the north, where
as has been previously stated, it is hedged in by cross ranges attaining an elevation
of from 6,000 feet to 8,000 feet. Notwithstanding this general slope, the principal
flow of water finds its way southwards through deep fissures penetrating the
mountain boundaries on the southern and western sides. This plateau forms the
chief agricultural area of the Province. " The whole of British Columbia, south
of 520 and east of the Coast Range, is a grazing country up to 3,500 feet, and a
farming country up to 2,500 feet, where irrigation is possible."—{Macoun, Geol.
Rep.  1877.)
Coast aqd Island Ranges. The interior plateau is terminated on the west by
the Coast Range, a series of massive crystalline rocks of some 6,000 feet in average height. This range has a mean width of about 100 miles, descending to the
shores of the Pacific, and is in turn flanked* by the submerged Island Range, the
tops of which form Vancouver and her adjacent islands, the Queen Charlotte
Islands and those of the Alaskan Peninsula. The crystalline rocks of the Coast
Range are the source of the rich gold deposits of the Fraser River, which may be
said to have first brought the Province into prominent notice, and which are by no
means yet exhausted. The basins of cretaceous rock surviving the upheaval of the
Island Range, and preserved by it from submergence beneath the Pacific, include
the valuable coal measures of Nanaimo and Comox, which at present supply the
most important mineral export of British Columbia. The moisture caused by the
deflection of the warm sea breezes by these ranges is productive of an enormous
forest growth, for which the coast is famous.
" The most remarkable feature of the coast are the fjords and passages, which
while quite analagous to those of Scotland, Norway and Greenland, probably surpass those of any part of the world (unless it be the last named country) in
dimensions and complexity. The great height of the rugged mountain walls
which border them also give them a grandeur quite their own."—Dawson, Geol.
Sur.,  1884.)
The unique position of British Columbia as a water-shed, on the Pacific
Coast of America, will at once be recognized when it is seen that all the rivers of
great importance on that coast, with the exception of one (the Colorado), arise
from within its boundaries. The drainage from its extensive area of mountains
and highlands is received into the numerous lakes, which have been noticed as
forming so striking a feature of the interior.    Thence the surplus is discharged BRITISH  COLUMBIA. 15
into the few large rivers or their many tributaries, which finally reach the sea.
These rivers are the Columbia on the south ; the Fraser, the Skeena, and the
Stickeen on the west; the Liard on the north, and the Peace River on the east.
These rivers are of great size and volume, and the first four are sufficiently navigable
to steamers to form water-ways of no small value in the development of the country.
Th,e Fraser. This may be considered the most important river of the Province,
from the fact that it lies entirely within the British territory, and that its navigable
waters traverse some of the best agricultural lands, and that it has been the chief
source of two considerable industries—gold-washing and salmon-canning. Rising
from several sources on the west slope of the Rockies, in the neighbourhood of the
Yellowhead Pass, it flows north-west for about 190 miles along the deep valley
which divides those mountains from the range of the Selkirks. There it rounds
the northern limit of the latter, and, turning south, flows for 470 miles in that
direction, turning to the west in the last 80 miles of its course before reaching the
sea. Its total length is thus somewhere about 740 miles. Before penetrating the
Coast Range through the picturesque canyon which bears its name, it is joined by
its largest tributary, the Thompson, a considerable stream flowing west from the
centre of the interior plateau. For the last 80 miles of its course it flows through
a wide alluvial plain, which has been mainly deposited from its own silt, and in
the last ten miles it divides, forming a delta, of the richest alluvial soil in the
Province. It is navigable to steamers and vessels of ordinary size over this distance of 80 miles, and again for smaller craft for about 60 miles of its course
through the interior, from Quesnellemouth to Soda Creek. Its current is rapid,
and in the early summer it overflows its banks in the lower part of its course,
rendering necessary the use of dykes.
The Columbia. This large and important water-course, which but for the
blunders of British Ministers would have undoubtedly formed the main southern
boundary of the Province, takes its rise in the Columbia Lakes, latitude 500, and
pursues its eccentric course round the Kootenay Districts, which, together with its
confluent the Kootenay, it completely encircles. There is no parallel to the extraordinary windings of these two rivers and their associated lakes. Starting from
points so close that they have actually been in one place connected by a canal one
mile long, they flow in diametrically opposite directions, north-west and southeast, along the deep western valley of the Rockies, until they reach a maxim um
distance of 250 miles apart. They then turn, and after passing respectively
through two series of lakes—the upper and lower Arrow Lakes and the Kootenay
Lake—they unite at a point not more than 70 miles distant from their origins.
This point is only about 20 miles north of the boundary, which the Kootenay had
already crossed twice, traversing American territory for some 150 miles of its
course, the united streams then flow in a southerly direction, being joined by
another large river, the Pend d'Oreille, just before crossing the boundary, whence
their course is through the state of Washington, about 750 miles to the Pacific
The Columbia drains a total area of 195,000 square miles—one-seventh more
than the Colorado.    In British Columbia it is navigable from the Columbia Lake 16 BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
to the first crossing of the Canadian Pacific Railway at Golden City, and again
from the second crossing at Revelstoke through the Arrow Lakes to its union with
the Kootenay. There are small steamboats plying on both these routes, as also
on the Kootenay between American points and Kootenay Lake.
The valuable deposits of precious and base metals which have of recent years
deen discovered in the neighbourhood of Kootenay Lake render it probable that
these water-ways will be of the first importance as means for the transhipment of
ore, for which purpose they have already begun to be extensively used.
It is much to be regretted that the British Government had not sufficient
sagacity to retain possession of the district lying between the forty-ninth parallel
and the mouth of the Columbia River. The district had been occupied without
opposition by the Hudson's Bay Company, who had a trading station, Fort Vancouver, on the banks of the river, opposite what is now the City of Portland.
From thence they were driven to Fort Victoria, on Vancouver Island, by the terms
of the treaty of 1846, by which the forty-ninth parallel was established as the
boundary line between Canada and the United States. The American people can
hardly be blamed for securing so valuable a possession as the Puget Sound, and'
one of which they have made so good use ; but it is evident that, although
an imaginary boundary line, such as a parallel of latitude, may be valuable across
a great level tract like the interior of the Dominion, it is very inferior to a natural
line of demarcation, such as is provided by a wide river, when separating countries
of a mountainous and not easily accessible character.
The Skeena. There could be no clearer proof of the general lack of knowledge which prevails of the geography of North-West America than the fact that
current educational works ascribe to the Province no rivers except the Fraser and
Columbia. The Skeena is unknown even by name to those whose memory is
crowded with the minor streams of Europe, and of the eastern side of America;
and yet of a length approximating to 300 miles it is greatly superior to any river
in England, and would rank on the continent with such as the Rhone, being
wider, 130 miles from the sea than the Seine at Paris. It rises from several widely
separated sources, the most northern of which are on the Pacific-Arctic watershed
N. of lat. 560, and the most southern to the south of Babine Lake, about lat.
540 10'. The greatest volume of water is however supplied by a confluent, the
Babine River, which flows from the large lake of that name, entering the north
fork of the Skeena about 30 miles above Hazelton (lat. 55° 10'). At this place
the south fork, known on the maps as the Buckley River, but to the Indians as
the Hagwilget* River, joins the main stream, which from thence flows in a southwest course, striking the coast about lat. 54° 10'. The river has a wide mouth
without any delta, but is dotted with alluvial islands for a distance of nearly a
hundred miles from the sea, having an average width of about a mile. Above the
Kitsilas Canyon, a gorge traversing the Coast Range, it narrows from 800 to 200
yards at Hazelton. The shores up to the canyon do not exhibit much good land
except on the bends and islands, which are covered with poplars and small maples.
About 20 miles above the canyon the valley widens to some five or six miles, there
* The man in fine clothes. BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 17
being good bench land on both sides. This continues considerably above Hazelton, and on the south fork, thirty miles from thence, there is a fine district of
prairie extending S. E. through to the Nechaco River, an important tributary
of the Fraser. The current of the Skeena is rapid, about 4^ miles an hour, but
it may be ascended by stern-wheel boats as far as Hazelton.
Tfye Stick,een. This river, although ignored even by recent works on the
geography of North America, is of sufficient magnitude and importance to justify
its ranking among the first of the Dominion. Upwards of 250 miles in length,
and navigable to stern-wheel steamers for 130 miles of its course from the sea, it
forms the main artery of communication for a district of many thousand square
miles—in fact it may be said for the entire Province north of latitude 570. That
portion of the Province has been omitted from the accompanying map as unsuited
to general immigration, but its capacities must not be under-estimated. It has
been compared by Dr. Dawson with the Russian Province of Vologda, which at
present supports a population of over one million. It can grow the same products, and in mineral wealth is probably vastly superior. At present it is hardly
touched except by fur traders and gold miners, and yet contributes no small quota
(about $150,000 annually) to the revenues of the country.
The Stickeen rises from several sources north of latitude 570, one of these
springing from the neighbourhood of Dease Lake, on the Pacific-Arctic watershed, upon which the chief centre of distribution for the district (Laketon) is
situated. Its navigable course is interfered with by rapids until the Great Canyon
is passed, but from ihence, though the stream averages some five miles an hour, it
is quite navigable. It flows mainly south-west, and enters the Pacific by the large
inlet, or fjord, which passes through Alaskan Territory in latitude 56° 40'. For
the last twenty miles it flows more sluggishly through a wide alluvial district, but
has no true delta like the Fraser. It is here between two and three miles wide.
Above this point it occupies a valley with receding shores several miles in width,
until it becomes restricted at the Little Canyon to a gorge three-fifths of a mile long
and a few hundred yards wide, after which it widens again as far as Glenora, 125
miles from its mouth. Twelve miles above Glenora it is again restricted within
the gorge of the Great Canyon, above which it is of no navigable value. The main
stream flows from an origin some 120 miles to the south, but the branch running
from Dease Lake is the only one of any importance, since it provides a pass in the
surrounding mountains for a road to that point.
Liard ami Peace fivers. These rivers, which with their numerous tributaries
drain the north-eastern quarter of the Province, are both of sufficient size to make
them of noteworthy importance in any country, but are of only inferior value, as
not communicating with a freight-carrying ocean. They are themselves confluents
of the great Mackenzie River, which empties into the Arctic Sea.
The country through which the Liard River flows is little known, and its capacities have not hitherto been gauged. The Peace River, on the other hand,
drains a district which has long been considered of agricultural value. Such confidence, indeed, had the Dominion authorities in this country, that 3,500,000 acres
were accepted by them in lieu of such lands within the Canadian Pacific Railway 18 BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
belt, as the Province was unable to grant towards railway construction, from the
fact that they were already occupied by settlers.
Each of these rivers has a course of between 300 and 400 miles through
British Columbia. Over the greater part of this distance they are navigable to
canoes and small craft.
In addition to the above rivers, it will be seen that the sources of the Yukon
lie within the British Columbia boundary line, though that great watercourse is of
little practical value until it passes into the Territory of Alaska; and that the
*Naas River, the only stream of secondary importance which reaches the coast
(latitude 540 55'). is by no means useless, as it affords communication with a district otherwise difficult of approach, and is the seat, at its mouth, of an important
fishing industry.
The lakes of British Columbia are, for the most part, enlargements of her
numerous water-courses, caused by obstructions, the result of their debris and silt.
The rapidity of current and continual freshets from the mountain snows render
such natural dams matters of more or less frequent occurrence nowadays, but in a
post-glacial age, when most of the lakes appear to have been formed, the enormous
torrents which flowed throngh the country created them on a scale of much greater
dimensions. Local circumstances have tended to group these lakes and chain
them together along the same river beds, as will be seen by referring to the map.
For instance, the Arrow Lakes occupy 120 miles of the course of the Columbia,
and the Shuswap Lake and Lake Kamloops have a length far greater than all the
unenlarged portion of the South Thompson River. In fact, every part of the
interior appears netted together by streams and lakes.
The Province has been divided into eighteen districts for electoral purposes,
nine of which are on Vancouver and the adjacent islands. These districts practically serve the same as counties, and although liable to subdivision with the
increase of population, will undoubtedly remain as permanent boundaries.
From the interior to the coast—in which order they will be taken, since the
main road into the country, the Canadian Pacific Railway, approaches from that
side—they are: East Kootenay, West Kootenay, Yale, Lillooet, Westminster,
New Westminster City, Vancouver City, Cariboo and Cassiar.
The Island districts, from the south to the north, are Victoria City, Victoria,
Esquimalt, Cowichan, the Islands, Nanaimo City, Nanaimo, Alberni and Comox.
The East and West i^ootetfays. The Kootenays, embracing an area of
16,500,000 acres, comprise a tract of country not greatly removed from a right-
angled triangle in shape, of which the apex is a point north of the great bend of
* Recent explorations conducted by Mr. A. L. Poudrier, D. L. S., have demonstrated that
this river is much larger than has hitherto been supposed, in fact very little inferior to the
Skeena, and drains a fine agricultural district. BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 19
the Columbia, the base is the forty-ninth parallel, the hypothenuse is the watershed of the Rocky Mountains, and the third side a line some ten miles west of the
Columbia River and Arrow Lakes. This triangle is again divided by a line from
the apex to the base along the main water-shed of the Purcell branch of the
Selkirks, into two portions approximately equal, East and West Kootenay, the
former being the larger by about one-eighth. Access to East Kootenay is obtained
from the interior by several passes over the Rocky Mountains, of which the principal are the Kicking Horse and the Crow's Nest. The former is that used by the
Canadian Pacific Railway; the latter, in the neighbourhood of which extensive
coal deposits have been discovered, has been chosen for a projected line, which is
to secure a more direct route to the southern portion of the districts and the mines
situate on Kootenay Lake. At present good waggon roads supplement river
communication between the Canadian Pacific Railway and the boundary, and a
short railway line has been constructed from Nelson, on the Kootenay Lake, to
Robson at the junction of the two rivers, along a portion of the Kootenay River
which is impassable by boat.
These districts include three important valleys formed by the three-fold division of the Selkirk Range. The first is a portion of the great western valley of
the Rockies, and is watered by the upper reaches of the Columbia and Kootenay.
The second valley is that lying between the Purcill and Selkirk Ranges, and is
occupied by the Upper and Lower Kootenay Lakes. This is the chief seat of the
present quartz mining activity, to which the Kootenay Lake provides the main
water-way. Access to this lake from the Un'ted States is easy via the Kootenay
River, and a railway is also in course of construction—the Nelson and Fort Shep*
pard—which will secure direct communication with the Great Northern Railway
throughout the year.
Nelson, Kaslo, Ainsworth and Balfour are towns which have come into existences as centres of supply for the mines.   (See illust. next page.)
The third valley, lying between the Selkirk and Gold Ranges, is occupied by
the second bend of the Columbia River and the Arrow Lakes, and is at present
the chief means of communication, by steamboat, with the Canadian Pacific Railway. To the north of the railway lies the region known as the Big Bend.
Revelstoke, at the second crossing of the Columbia, is a town of growing importance, as are also Golden and Donald, on the eastern side of the Selkirk Range.
Yale. Yale District is a rectilineal section of country, west of Kootenay, the
north and west boundaries of which appear to have been designed to conform
approximately with the great Tight angle made by the Shuswap and Kamloops
Lakes, the Thompson River, and the Canyon of the Fraser. It comprises an area
of 13,500,000 acres, of which, probably, a larger proportion is of agricutural value
than in any other district. This includes the countries of the Okanagan, the
Nicola, the Similkameen, the Kettle River, and the Kamloops bunch grass
district. Access is now obtained into the first of these by the Shuswap and Okanagan Railway, a branch line from the C P. R. at Sicamoose, to Vernon, a distance
of fifty-four miles. It is considered the most attractive and promising farming
country in the Province.    The railway follows the course of the Spallumcheen WEST KOOTENAY.
River to Enderby, a distance of twenty-six miles, where is situated a roller flour
mill, affording facilities for the large wheat farms of the surrounding'country;
thence twenty-eight miles to Vernon, on the north-east side of Okanagan Lake.
The lake is 75 miles long, and surrounded by the finest land.
The Nicola is approached from Kamloops by a good waggon road. It is a
stock-raising district of considerable capacity, and has also of late years been the
scene of energetic mining operations. Pyriteous gold-bearing ores have been discovered and worked at Stump Lake, and Granite Creek to the south is the site of
a recent placer excitement.     Iron and coal abound, also, in the Nicola country.
The Similkameen district is entered by a trail from Hope on the Lower
Fraser, but as this involves crossing the Hope Mountains at a high elevation, it
has become of less importance since the country has been opened to the north and
good communication afforded from that direction. It is chiefly a grazingjlistrict,
occupied by large cattle mns. Further east, the Rock Creek mines are situated
on a branch of the Kettle River. There are gold hydraulic works and argentiferous
galena mines at this point, both of which it is understood, are doing well. The
Kettle River flows through the Grand Prairie—a good farming country north of
the boundary.
To the north again the Cherry Creek mines are being developed, and in the
immediate neighbourhood of Hope silver ores have been found in what promise to
be paying quantities.
Kamloops, the principal town in Yale District, is situated at the confluence of
the North and South Thompson Rivers, about seven miles above the head of the
lake of the same name.    It is in the centre of a grazing country of extensive area.
The western border of the district includes that part of the Coast Range
through which the Fraser passes on its way to the sea. The river rushes through
a deep defile, the sides of which have in many places been cut into gravel benches
at an earlier period of its history. These benches were the scene of the gold
washing excitement of 1858 and the following years. At other points the rocky
cliffs of the enclosing mountains rise abruptly from the water's edge without any
shore. Round these precipices the engineers of the C. P. R. excavated its roadbed, a work of great difficulty and danger, in which several lives were lost. The
Cariboo waggon road, which preceded the railway by nearly thirty years, also
scales the face of these cliffs, and still testifies to the energy of its builders, though
no longer in regular use.
The Fraser passes out of the canyon at Yale, the head of navigation and starting
point of the Cariboo stage, but since railway construction has fallen into decay.
Thence to Hope the valley is continually widening and assuming that character of
an open farming land which lower down it more markedly presents. A few miles
below Hope the boundary of the district is crossed.
Liiiooet. This district, comprising an area of 12,500,000 acres, lies to the
north of the last, as far as lat. 520 and extends west to long. 1240. It contains,
therefore, a large proportion of the interior plateau, but as on the whole the 22 BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
region is drier than that to the south of the railway from the lofty Coast Range
more effectually intercepting the moist winds, irrigation has more to be depended
upon. The soil is almost everywhere very rich, and there are a comparatively large
number of excellent farming and stock-raising tracts. Of these the Bonaparte
River Valley, Lake La Hache, the Anderson and Seton Lakes, and the Valley of
the North Thompson may serve as examples. The main artery of travel is the
Cariboo waggon road, which traverses the district from south to north.   (See illust.)
The Fraser in its course through the district is not navigable, except by
canoes. Grain is, however, in this way transported down the river from Lillooet
to Lytton, at its junction with the Thompson, the canoes being hauled up again
by Indians.
Lillooet, the chief settlement, which was a place of much greater importance
before the Yale and Clinton section of the Cariboo road was constructed, is 862
feet above sea level on the bank of the Fraser.
Westminster District. This large district containing some 36,000,000 acres of
land, is practically divisible into two, the southern portion comprising the delta of
the Fraser and the coast line up to the head of Jarvis Inlet, lat. 510 20', and the
northern a vast triangle of territory between lat. 540 and long. 1240, bounded by
the coast, and including the many large islands adjacent.
The Fraser lands and delta are the seat of some of the most important industries of the Province. Farming, lumbering and salmon canning are prosecuted
with energy and success. Much rich alluvial land is being yearly reclaimed, and
a comparatively dense population is gathering together both in the cities of New
Westminster and Vancouver and the neighbouring municipalities. The first of
these cities, fifteen miles from the mouth of the Fraser, was the original capital of
British Columbia before its union with the Island of Vancouver, and though for
many years after the seat of government had been transferred to Victoria it
remained stationary, it has already developed into a well built and handsome town,
with a rapidly increasing community. The growth of Vancouver City is now a
matter of history. Since its foundation as the terminus of the C. P. R. in 1885,
it has sprung into a city of some 14,00c inhabitants, earnest of a far greater development in the near future. It occupies a beautiful position on Burrard Inlet and
the Straits of Georgia, and has every advantage that a fine harbor can afford.
Lulu and Sea Islands, at the mouth of the Fraser, and the Delta Municipality
to the south contain lands of great richness which, whenever drained, return a handsome profit to their cultivators. Further up the river the Matsqui and Sumas prairies
have been successfully dyked, and the Pitt River meadows are now undergoing a
like reclamation. These delta lands may be said to be the only extensive areas of
level agricultural country west of the Coast Range.
At Mission City, forty-three miles from the coast, a branch line—the Westminster Southern Railway—crosses the river and affords direct communication
with the cities of Washington State.
The great triangle to which reference has been made as forming the northern
portion of Westminster District presents hardly any features which have not been  r
hitherto described in speaking of other parts similarly situated. In the interior
east of the Coast Range we find a district exhibiting characteristics identical to
those of Yale and Lillooet. There are the same rolling table-lands, the same
enclosed lakes with wooded shores or open meadows, the same numerous watercourses. Much of this land is consequently of no inconsiderable value, but owing
to the extreme difficulty in the way of communication and freight transport, it is
only of recent years that any attention has been drawn to it; indeed it may be said
to have been practically an unknown region. Travel led along the left bank of
the Fraser, diverging eastwards into the wealthy mining district of Cariboo, or
from the coast to the far north, across by the Skeena Forks and Babine Lakes to
the mountains of Omineca. Access from the west was hardly possible owing to
the rugged and precipitous mountains which on all sides hemmed in the inlets of
the coast. Nevertheless somewhat glowing reports were from time to time brought
down by miners and traders who from some chance or other had found their way
across this region. In 1890 the present government took steps to verify these
reports by sending an experienced surveyor, Mr. A. L. Poudrier, who thoroughly
explored and mapped out the district.
Following upon these exploratory surveys, it is purposed to lay out the most
suitable lands in townships, when they will be open for settlement.
A railway company—the British Pacific—which has recently obtained a
charter, has been projected to carry a line from Winnipeg, west across the northern
portion of the Province to the sea-coast, thence crossing to the north-east part of
Vancouver Island, and continuing to Victoria. Should this ambitious undertaking
be carried out, it will at once place this portion of Westminster District in direct
communication with the outer world, and no doubt greatly enhance its value to
the Province.
Cariboo contains 59,250,000 acres. This district, which lies between lat. 520
and 6o°, and long. 129° and 124°—the lower eastern boundary line from lat. 590,
being extended along the main water-shed of the Rockies to long. 118°—may be
considered as comprising a Pacific and an Arctic slope.
The Pacific slope, or surface which drains into the Pacific Ocean, is covered
with broken mountain ranges, the northernmost masses of the .Selkirks, here
called the Cariboo Mountains. West of the Fraser and north of the Chilcotin
there is a fine country, watered by the Black water, Nechaco and Buckley Rivers,
containing much land suitable for agricultural purposes. This may be said to be
the only extensive farming area in the Pacific portion of Cariboo. It is shut in to
the north by the highlands forming the Pacific Arctic water-shed. To the east of
the Fraser, though there is a limited extent of good bench-land in the immediate
neighbourhood of the river and some of the lakes, the district is pre-eminently a
mining one, and can only be expected to support a large population by its mineral
development. In the past this has not been inconsiderable, some fifteen millions
dollars worth of gold having been washed out of the placer claims in the immediate neighbourhood of Barkerville. Seeing that the entire art a of these claims is
not more than a few miles in extent, the gold field of Cariboo ranks for its size as
one of the richest that has ever been discovered.    At the present time the industry BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 25
languishes, since the most profitable placers have been exhausted, and the era of
quartz mining is retarded for want of railway communication.
The country may be chiefly described as a tract of mountains and table-land,
three-fourths of which is probably over 3,000 feet above sea level. Little forest
grows above this height east of a line drawn from the middle of Quesnelle Lake
to the head of Swift River, which marks the contact of Mesozoic rocks with the
auriferous schists of the Selkirks. Timber is therefore found only in detached
clumps and in sheltered situations. Westward the surface of the country is smooth
and pleasing. Snow lies over the greater part of four months in the year, and
Quesnelle Lake is frozen up from November to March. East of the Bear Lake
valley the mountain tops are rugged, the line of perpetual snow being between
7,000 and 8,000 feet above sea level.—(Bowman, Geol. Sur.)
In complete contrast to this country, though further north and upon the Arctic
slope, is that of the Peace River and her tributaries. It has been described as
"a magnificent agricultural and pastoral country," (Selwyn), and again as "a very
fine country where the excellent soil and large tracts of land facing south offer
great facilities for farming."—(Horetsky).
Although ten degrees north of Ottawa, and 1,900 feet above sea level, in
October the minimum thermometer registered 46°, the grass was quite green, and
very fine cauliflowers were growing uninjured by frost. Potatoes, turnips, and
barley were found in perfection. On the east and west bends of the rivers, large
tracts of natural prairie exist with southern exposure. In this district, between
the Parsnip and Pine Rivers, ' \ the Rocky Mountains exist only as a broad, undulating and hilly watershed."—(Selwyn). The country in climate and fertility
would probably compare with Poland and the adjacent provinces of Russia.
Cassiar, What little can be said about the district of Cassiar has been already
stated in describing the general features of the Province. The greater part is still
unexplored, and there is probably not much reason for some time to come that it
should be investigated, except by gold seekers and trappers. That it will ever
form an inducement to the general settler is doubtful, certainly not so long as the
more fertile and milder regions to the south still remain unoccupied. Population
will gather along the fertile benches of the Stickeen, drawn thither by the canning
and lumbering industries at the mouth, and with an increase in population roads
and facilities of communication will proportionately increase. It must be remembered that for the sturdy races of northern Scotland, Iceland and Scandinavia,
who are accustomed to a sea coast life, the hardships to be encountered in this
country are probably much less than those they endure at home, and the prospects
of securing a competency much greater. Indeed the severities of climate are
hardly to be compared with those met with in the North-West Territories of the
Dominion, and only appear forbidding from comparison with the easy life and
genial climate which generally prevail on the Pacific Coast. The lot of the native
Indian races is here far happier than, what falls to the share of-many a peasant in
northern Europe, and it can hardly be doubted an exchange would readily be
effected were facilities afforded to men of the latter class.    In no country is the 26 BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
native population so prosperous or contented ; and when we find Indians able to
accumulate sums of money which would indeed appear fortunes to the agricultural
labourer of England, we cannot wonder at the steady transference of interests from
Atlantic to Pacific shores.
Vancouver ai\d oth,er Islands. The submerged mountain range which lies to
the west of the mainland, is represented by an archipelago of islands, great and
small, the most prominent being Vancouver and the Queen Charlotte Islands. Of
the others it may be briefly stated that they reproduce in minature all the physical
features of the larger group.
Vancouver Island occupies greater prominence than it would otherwise have
done had it not been for two circumstances, one that the capital of British Columbia is situated upon it, the other that coal has been discovered and worked very
extensively. The former is perhaps rather the effect than the cause of the wholesale trade of the Province centering in Victoria. The Hudson Bay Company,
driven from its post—Fort Vancouver—on the Columbia River, by the Ashburton
Treaty, which ceded the Puget Sound districts to the United States, chose Victoria
as the seat of its chief trading station and the port of entry. From this time the
city became of first importance as an entrepot for English trade with the interior
of the Province, and, stimulated by the wealth derived during the gold excitement,
it assumed a position which it has never yielded.
The island may be described geologically, as a group of upturned gneissic
rocks, embracing certain tertiary areas and worn down by glacial action, so that
in one place extensive gravel moraines, in another beds of boulder clay, are to be
found, while in a third a regular series of late sandstones alternate with the barren
cliffs of trap. JJpon such unpromising surface, generations of fir trees have
flourished, and by their decay have gradually deposited a mould of increasing
thickness sufficient to provide suitable ground for other forms of vegetation, until
the country has become covered with a dense growth of timber varying according
to its situation and adaptability to the wants of each particular kind. Thus, upon
the ridges the pines and many species of undergrowth have held their own, best
suited to a moderate degree of moisture and the rocky subsoil. Upon the boulder
clay, alder, poplar, and willow have contended successfully against the larger trees
and where the gravel has afforded insufficient moisture for the conifers, the hardy
but more slow growing oaks, which had no chance for existence in the dense pine
forests, have gained a foot-hold, and stud level plains clothed with native grass.
Maples appear to have succeeded in some places the burnt out pines; indeed in
time much the same sequence of soft and hard timber might be expected on this
coast as is known to have occurred on that of the Atlantic, where firs, oaks and
beeches have followed in successive order.
Victoria (see frontispiece) is situated on gently rising ground facing the south
and west, and lying on a narrow inlet, which provides a harbour for all vessels except
of the largest size. For these a wharf has been recently constructed outside the
entrance and the adjacent harbour of Esquimalt secures ample additional anchorage
both for merchant vessels and those of the Royal Navy, whose station and naval yards
are there located.    The greater part of the townsite and neighbouring ground is BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 27
upon a gravelly soil, consequently oak trees are a prominent feature in the landscape. There is much good farming land - in the vicinity, especially upon the
Saanich Peninsula which trends to the north. Auriferous gravels have been
worked in the neighbourhood of Sooke, about twenty-five miles distant on the
southern extremeity of the island, but with inconsiderable results. Iron ore has
been discovered in the same locality in what promises to be profitable quantity.
Victoria is connected by the Island Railway with the coal fields of Nanaimo,
Here and at Wellington, about five miles distant, are collieries which now supply
the chief mineral export of the Province. The railway passes through the centre
of Cowichan District, an extensive farming country where there are several thriving settlements. Further north on the east coast is the valley of Comox, the finest
agricultural district on the island, and centre of another coal field of great extent,
which has only recently been developed. The product of the Union Mines at
Comox is shipped from wharves situated on the harbour. To the north again lies
a region little known except for its timber. On the west coast the principal
settlement is Albemi, on a long narrow inlet known as the Alberni canal, and
surrounded by good farming land. Off the east coast lie many islands, the largest
of which is Salt Spring. These islands are chiefly occupied by small farms and
sheep ranches. In the interior of the Cowichan District is the lake of the same
name, on the shores of which is a dense growth of magnificent timber, and which
is the site of an important lumbering industry. Little is known of the interior of
the island except that there are some lofty mountains and elevated plateaus of
grass land, which have hitherto not been rendered available by communication
with the coast.
Queen, Charlotte Islands. These islands are at present chiefly the abode of an
Indian tribe, the Hidahs. There is a Hudson Bay post at Masset .on the north,
and an oil curing factory has been established at Skidegate, on the north-east
corner of the channel which separates the two islands. So far as is known the
land is very similar to that on Vancouver. Coal fields have been discovered, but
not yet worked, and a gold reef at the southern extremity, which for a time promised well, had to be abandoned, as it was found to dip below sea level. This
reef contributed the first gold discovery in British Columbia.
The islands lying between the northern extremity of Vancouver Island and
the Mainland are only inhabited by Indian tribes, and little is known of their
capabilities. Texada Island, opposite Comox, is highly mineralized ; gold quartz
has been prospected, but hitherto not profitably worked, and iron ore of excellent
quality is being regularly shipped to a smelter in the United States. There can
be little doubt that further investigations will demonstrate both the existence of
profitable mines and of more agricultural land suitable for settlement on these
islands. Supporting Capacity of British Columbia.
The first questions which are naturally asked by those
enquiring into the resources of a country are : what agricultural
backing has it got ; what is the amount of land available for
plough or pasture ; is the soil fertile, and can the crops be well
harvested ? We shall attempt to satisfy these enquiries in the
present chapter.
It is exceedingly difficult, as any one who has followed the
above short geographical sketch can very well imagine, to estimate the total quantity of land in the Province suitable for
farming or ranching. Situate, as much of it is, in the mountain
valleys along the shores of streams and lakes, or on rolling
high lands and benches, remote from accessible ways, many
thousands of acres must for the present escape the notice of the
settler. Even of those districts within easy reach of communication, a vast amount is hidden by the density of intervening
forests and the impenetrable character of its own under-brush.
Much of this is, however, of the finest quality and will well
repay the cost of cultivation. Clearing, expensive though the
process may appear at first, is in the end cheaper than manuring,
as any one who has had the opportunity of making comparisons
must be well aware, and it will be long years before the richer
soils of the Province need artificial strength. Of the 300,000,000
acres and upwards, estimated to lie within its borders, it is probably a very moderate computation which admits 10,000,000 to
consist of pasture and arable land within existing means of
Statisticians are agreed upon an average of something under
three acres as requisite for the support of human life. It would
not then be an exaggeration to say that there was room for some
2,000,000 or 3,000,000 on the available land of the Province.
This would indeed appear a very moderate estimate if a comparison be instituted with the most mountainous countries of
Europe and their existing populations.    Taking for example, BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 29
Switzerland and Norway, the former with a gross area of about
10,000.000 acres, supports a population of nearly 3,000,000 ;
the latter with eight times the area has over 2,000,000 inhabitants. Less than one thirtieth of the land in Norway is cultivated,
about 2,700,000 acres, consequently an amount wholly inadequate for the support of its people. It is true that where conditions of life are so much easier than in older countries, to
institute rigorous comparisons would be misleading, but enough
has been said to show how great might be the increase of a
purely agricultural population, without unduly straining its
resources, and how unreasonable is the impression that there is
no farming background to the Province. At the present time
nearly two million dollars worth of farm produce is imported
annually, almost all of which could and ought to be furnished
from within its own borders. This fact affords some slight indication of the state of the market, especially when it is remembered that these importations pay a heavy duty, more than
equivalent to the cost of internal freights.
We may now proceed to enquire more closely into the various conditions of farming, as practised in the different districts.
Kootenay. We have already referred to the class of agricultural land in East and West Kootenay. It is for the most part
confined to the shores of the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers, and
the great lakes. It occurs in patches of no very great extent.
Much of the land is of the nature of water-meadows, and is
therefore liable to overflow. Although this affords good pasture
for cattle, and excellent hay is cut from it, extensive draining
would need to be resorted to in order to make it of any use
except for the wild grasses which at present grow luxuriantly
upon it. The soils are very fertile and yield first rate crops of
grain and roots whenever cultivation has been attempted. (See
Must. p. g.J
Kootenay can never be regarded as an agricultural district,
although there is more than a sufficiency of land for the local
markets were it cultivated. On the other hand, the population
of the towns and mining camps is increasing beyond all proportion to that of the farming class. Means of communication are
wanting and it is probable that agriculture will be chiefly pro- r
secuted for years to come in small patches contiguous to the
chief centres of consumption. All fruits of the temperate zone
grow well, and for these there will be a continual demand. Hay
is in great request for the numerous pack-trains employed in
transporting ores from the mines. This is cut chiefly from the
water-meadows in the Kootenay and Columbia Valleys, but
much is also imported.
There are at present only about eighty-five farmers in the
district, not more than three and a half per cent, of whose land
is reported as under cultivation, which would leave a rather large
margin for future possibilities, even admitting a considerable
per centage of unsuitable land to each farm.
Yale. The southern portion of the Interior Plateau which is
included in this district, has been previously alluded to as one of
the most promising agricultural localities in the country, and as
one which since railway communication has been provided is
rapidly coming to the front in development. For a cattle ranching,
wheat growing and fruit-bearing country, it exhibits remarkable
qualifications and must soon become both populous and prosperous. This is not to say that there is no unproductive land in
it, for there are mountains, forests and wastes here also. But
the proportion of good land is greater, the level ground more
extensive and the clearing less arduous than in most other
accessible parts of the Province. The climate, though exhibiting greater extremes of heat and cold than are experienced upon
the coast, cannot be called a severe one. Warm enough for the
cultivation of the grape in summer, the winters do not preclude
the open pasturing of cattle and horses, except on rare occasions
and for brief periods of time. It is true that prudent ranchers
have found it advisable to make ample provision of hay against
emergencies; nevertheless, many a winter passes when this
store is not drawn upon. The dry, bracing cold has proved
healthy for man and beast. If there be a fault, it is a lack of
moisture, but there are many places where irrigation is feasible
and many others where it is not needed. The scenery is beautiful, and what is more to the purpose in a country where
grandeur of scenery is at a discount, pleasant to the eye and
Suggestive  of comfort.    Even with the  moderate amount of <
2 32
cultivation which at present exists in the Okanagan, a home-like
air prevails, but were they anything approaching to the conditions of older countries, it would be hard to conceive a more
desirable land to live in.
It has been computed that if the available acreage in this
district alone, were to be sown in wheat, a crop larger by one-
third than the whole yield of Manitoba, would be reaped. Of
that already under cultivation, the average yield is about forty
bushels to the acre, in some cases running as high as sixty-five.
The quality of grain is excellent and furnishes the finest grades
of flour. In vegetables, roots and fruits, the country cannot be
surpassed. "The most important fruit district will be developed
in the North and South Thompson, Spallumcheen and Okanagan
Valleys, where not only extensive areas exist, but the most
favourable conditions. * * The prospects of peaches, grapes
and other fruits requiring certain degrees of warmth for successful cultivation, are excellent all over the interior." Almonds
have already been grown with success.
It is difficult to expatiate upon the capacities of this beautiful country without incurring the charge of extravagance.
Were there no agricultural land in the Province elsewhere,
enough might be found here to supply a population sufficient to
establish her other industries.
The following table gives some idea of the present state of
farming in the interior :
Land Cult.
Penticton      145      2- 5 Per cent-
Okanagan Mission..
95      7    per cent.
Vernon, etc     155    10    percent.
General Remarks.
( Large relative amount of pasture
land.    Much good agricultural
I    land idle from lack of market-
V.   ing facilities.
'Large   amount   of agricultural
land idle.   2000 acres of cereals;
2000  hay;   7000   cattle;   1000
sheep; 1500 swine; 650 horses.
Great quantities of fruit grown.
/ Wheat,   oats,  cattle  and fruit.
Indian corn 14 to 16 feet high.
Excellent grain ; soil very fertile
and of great depth. Obliged
to burn straw as land would be
too rank. Large steam roller
mill at Enderby.
(See illust. for characteristic scenery of this district, not to be confounded with the next.)
Spallumcheen     140    25    per cent. 1
s >
3 w
h a
K   >-■
B    C/3
i 34
- District.
Settlers.       Land Cult.
6    per cent.
per cent,
per cent.
Salmon River  40
Shuswap  25
Ducks and Grand Prairie.. 50
Kamloops  125
JNicola  120
Spence's Bridge  65    12    percent.
Lytton  25     ..     per cent.
15    per cent.
2.5 per cent.
General Remarks.
Heavier rainfall here than elsewhere. Root crops good.
Drainage needed. All grain
and fruit do well. Oats average 6 feet in height.
J Large quantities of cattle  and'
hogs sent to coast markets.
(Cattle ranching chiefly, but large
quantities of hay, roots and
vegetables grown.
f 151,286 acres occupied, mostly for
4 cattle. 15,000 head of cattle;,
I     1,5000 sheep; 1,000horses.
Grapes, peaches and many fruits.
Spring wheat and barley yield
heavily ; beans do well. Irrigation necessary throughout
I Cereals, beans and fruits. 20 tons
of melons; 1 % tons citrons; 2%
tons tomatoes; 204 tons of general produce from two farms
in this place. Grapes, apples,
Lillooet and Cariboo. In the vast portion of the Interior Plateau
which extends to the north from the line of-the Canadian Pacific
Railway, farming is confined to the operations of some three
hundred settlers, and even these confessedly provide a much
smaller quantity of produce than they could do, if the demand of
the local market justified an increase. The fact is that communication with the centres of consumption is so difficult that it
absolutely precludes the profitable growth of any crops in excess
of what are needed in the immediate neighbourhood. With the
stock ranchers the case is different. Cattle can be driven for long
distances, and large bands are brought down to the coast in good
condition. Indeed, some of the finest ranges in the Province are
to be found in these localities. But as regards farming in its more
generally understood sense, namely, the production of roots and
cereals, of fruit, butter, cheese and the like, it must be acknowledged that the lack of market facilities is at present an insuperable barrier to anything like development. There are many
excellent farms of a similar character to those further south,
and there are extensive tracts of fine land practically unoccupied.
Irrigation is necessary in many places, owing to the prevailing. BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
dryness of the climate, and is resorted to with great success
wherever it has been attempted. The scenery is diversified and
very beautiful, especially round the numerous lakes and watercourses. Altogether, it must be conceded that nothing but
want of communication stands in the way of this portion of the
Province being turned to profitable use ; but until this is pro-
vided, the country must be regarded as rather having a
potential than an actual value to the agriculturist. The present
occupants of the land have about 13% of their holdings in hand.
Grain, hay and roots are the principal crops ; fruit has not been
attempted to any extent, the colder nights appearing to discour- 36 BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
age this undertaking. Sheep do very well, and would be much
more favoured as stock, were it not for the wolves and coyotes,
which are too numerous and destructive for the sheep farmer to
succeed. Cattle, horses and pigs are bred in considerable
numbers, and a limited amount of dairying is done for the local
market. Whether railway communication be finally afforded by
branch lines running north from the Canadian Pacific, or by
a new trunk line coming across this district from the east, it
will nowhere be more welcome than in this, the earliest to attract
attention and the longest neglected part of the interior.
The Coast. West of the Coast Range there is to be found in
the valleys trending down to the shore line, land ample for the support of a thriving yeoman class, and which is already by no means
destitute of inhabitants. The wide delta of the Fraser, though
it cannot be said in any degree to be fully occupied, has over a
thousand farmers, and every year sees its rich alluvial soil
brought under a more perfect form of cultivation. At present
not more than ten to fifteen per cent, even of the land occupied
is made use of, so that it is very clear here also the margin for
increase in an agricultural population is a wide one. The opposite conditions to those experienced in the interior plateau prevail,
for instead of there being any need of irrigation, the rainfall is
very heavy and the land frequently too wet. Dyking is resorted
to somewhat extensively, but the country is too young to experience the full benefits of a complete system of sub-drainage.
There are consequently not infrequent complaints of watery root
crops and other damage necessarily arising from imperfectly
drained land. The soil is exceedingly rich and of great depth.
The crops are enormous in size and quantity ; pears, apples and
stone fruits grow very well; hops, onions and all roots thrive.
Timothy averages three to four tons per acre ; oats and other
grains yield proportionately large crops, but are not so hard or
so well adapted for milling as those of the interior.
It may be said that this class of land will continually improve
under cultivation and practically can never wear out, its present
faults tending rather in the direction of rankness and over-fertility.
The Islands. Upon Vancouver Island and the smaller islands
of the Gulf of Georgia, there are at present no fewer than 1390
persons prosecuting agricultural pursuits upon their own farms,
about ten per cent, of which is in hand. They comprise nearly
one-third of the entire farming community of the Province. Most
of the land occupied by them has been selected for the sake of
the " bottom-lands " which form a not inconsiderable part of
each pre-emption. This class of land, besides being the most
fertile, is also the easiest to clear, and always forms the nucleus
of every well-chosen farm. The alder and other small trees
which chiefly favour these situations, are soon cut down and
their stumps left to rot. In two or three years they are grubbed
up without much difficulty, and the land is in fair condition for
the plough. Meanwhile the settler has already started his
garden patch, and has good crops of onions, tomatoes, potatoes
and other vegetables, with perhaps a little grain growing on a
few acres of favourably situated bottom-land which he has cleared
before the rest. From this time he is well occupied in improving and cultivating his clearing, gradually extending his borders
up the sides of the more elevated ground which slopes back
from his house and patch. The larger pine and cedar stumps
he cannot get rid of without excessive labour or expenditure.
He therefore seeds in between them with rye, timothy and other
suitable grasses, cutting the young fern as soon as it comes up
in the spring. He runs his small stock of cattle and sheep on the
underbrush of the surrounding forests, upon which, with a little
extra feed they can do well through the summer. His best land
is cold and wet and stands in need of draining ; tiles of good
quality are manufactured in Victoria, and to be had at reasonable
price. During the winter, when opportunity serves, he saws
and splits into cordwood the trees he has cut down in the course
of his clearing. This, if he is within reach of town, he carts in
and disposes of; or on the small islands, he sells to the passing
It will be seen that circumstances here greatly favour the
prosecution of small farming: The quality of the farms is so
mixed, the bush is so dense, and there are so many intervening
valleys and ridges that the extensive operations of the large
farmer would demand an outlay of capital which the area of his
cultivatable land would hardly justify.    On the other hand, the tr
demand for every kind of dairy produce and vegetables makes
the labour of the small cultivator very remunerative, and the
comparatively limited extent of suitable land will always render
high cultivation profitable. When a man can, besides making
a good living, bring the value of his land up from $20 or $30 per
acre to $100 or $150—-which latter would certainly not be an
excessive price for really highly worked farms—there is every
inducement to careful cultivation.
The following table shows the distribution of occupied farm
lands upon the island :
District. Farms occupied.
Cowichan, etc.
Nanaimo, etc .
Salt Spring	
50 P
er cent.
i i
1435 Average 14%
Unsurveyed Lands. It will not fail to be remarked that reference
has been made in the geographical description of the country, to>
large tracts of good land, which have, nevertheless, no place irt
the above report of farming progress in the Province. These
unsurveyed districts, as the Peace River, the Buckley River and
the north Vancouver Island tract, are practically unsettled, and
their value for supporting a population wholly untested. Experienced men who have explored these regions for the Dominion
and Provincial Governments, have reported most favourably as
to their qualifications. But they are too remote from communication with the outward world to render them at present of much
account. It is true that even situated as they are, their accesi-
bility is much greater than that of Eastern Canada in the days
when it was first colonized, nor would the hardships to be
endured by settlers amount to one tithe of what the fathers of 40 BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
the new world cheerfully submitted to. But with increased
advantages, the demand for greater comforts has kept pace, and
it is very doubtful whether any considerable population will
settle in these northern districts of the interior, before railway
communication brings them within easy reach of civilized life.
Still, there are the millions of acres of the Peace River lands,
a sensible proportion, at least, of which would repay cultivation;
there is the broad valley of the Buckley and other streams, which
alone is probably capable of maintaining a population equal to
that on the Fraser ; and there are, without any fear of exaggeration, thousands of suitable patches upon almost every creek
and fiord of the coast line, whereon a family might very well be
supported in decent comfort, if not in affluence. To pretend
that these places are like a paradise, where everything is at hand
without struggle or pains to procure a livelihood, would be
absurd ; nor indeed were that the case would it be any solid
recommendation to the country. The position which is maintained is rather this, that the circumstances attending an agricultural life in the Province are like those which once prevailed
in England, neither too hard nor too easy, and that they tend to
produce a race of men neither worn out with excessive toil, nor
effeminate through living an indolent and enervating existence.
The first generation of settlers will, of course, always endure the
greatest hardships, and they must be prepared for this in return for
cheap land and the best choice ; the chief point to be determined
is one of climate and soil, whether these are of such a character
that the conditions of existence are capable of steady and encouraging amelioration, such as to continually evoke the energies
and occupy the intelligence of the inhabitants. It is maintained
that in no country of the new world will be found conditions
better qualified to this end than in British Columbia. II.
Exporting Capacity of the Province.
In the foregoing chapter, British Columbia has been represented as by no means a sterile land, but rather it has been
shown to possess a sufficiency of agricultural soil upon which
to support a large population in comfort. This is not however,
what isnow-a-days understood as a "farming country." The
enormous plains of the interior of North America, the expedition
with which their virgin soil may be brought under the plough,
and the comparatively little cost of this operation, have
greatly changed popular ideas as to the process of farming and
as to the normal value of its farm lands to the country which
possesses them. For hitherto this value has been regarded in
most countries of the old world to consist chiefly in the power of
supporting a population, whereas at present, it would seem to
lie rather in the power to produce a quantity of grain largely in
excess of the need of the inhabitants. Thus it is the exporting
capacity of these new agricultural regions which constitutes their
wealth. But it is very clear that however productive they may
be for years to come, this is no stable equivalent to those other
resources which enable a country to assume importance as an
exporter of goods. . Any community which developes facilities
whereby it can rise from the position of exporting raw materials
to that of exchanging its manufactured products, has made as
great an advance in economic importance as one which has
passed from the pastoral to the agricultural stage. If this fact
were not sufficiently recognised among the nations, nothing would
be heard of Protection, or the encouragement of manufactures
by the State.
In the following chapter it is purposed to briefly review not
only such resources as this Province may possess for engaging
in the export of her raw materials, but also her capabilities for
establishing manufactures on a permanent basis when the time
comes in which she may do this with profit.    It will be shown, 42 BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
that while she has command of vast quantities of timber and
minerals, including the precious metals, to barter with other
countries in their raw state, she has also ready to hand all those
means which will one day enable her to engage economically
and profitably in manufacture. It may seem to many that a
long time must elapse before the rate of wages will have reached
such a point as to render manufacturing possible, but we have
sufficient evidence in the past fifty years of development on the
American continent, to show that since the introduction of
labour-saving machinery, this question of wages is no such
serious obstacle as it at first sight would appear, and indeed it
is significant that whereas ten years ago British Columbia
occupied the fourth place among the Provinces of Canada as a
manufacturer, in proportion to population, she now heads the
list. But even were it a question of prolonged waiting before
such facilities could be profitably employed, the fact of possessing them places the country in a position of great advantage
as compared with those which have no such future before them.
In the former case, there are the means to attain to the utmost
point to which civilization can reach, in the latter a stage will
surely and certainly approach at which development will be
arrested and progress no longer possible.
The present exports of the Province of sufficient importance
to demand attention are minerals, lumber, fish and furs. These
will be treated of respectively, though it is clearly beyond the
scope of this work to do more than refer to them in a very
general and superficial manner.
The presence of extensive mineral deposits has long
since been proved an essential to the progress of any country.-
Although it is said with perfect truth that the products of the
soil alone are capable of supporting life, it is nevertheless a fact
that a purely agricultural people rarely attains to any high degree
of wealth and importance. The more rapid accumulation of*
capital which follows upon the successful mining of the precious
metals and the stimulus given to manufacture by the discovery
of coal and iron has always created a denser population and BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 43
more widely distributed wealth, together with a rapid increase in
material comforts and encouragement of the arts.
The great mountain group, which in successive ranges
borders the western side of the American continent, has been in
every portion of its entire length demonstrated to be rich in
mineral deposits, nor is that section which traverses the length
of British Columbia any exception to the rule. Her mineral
wealth is indeed phenomenal. To it is owed the first prominence to which the country attained ; it at the present time
supplies the chief export, and upon it depends in no small degree
all future prosperity. The gold placers were for long the chief
attraction which drew strangers to her shores ; the coal fields of
Vancouver Island are her most valued source of revenue ; the
quartz mines of Kootenay and the Interior are the legitimate
successors to the placers of an earlier period of her history;
the iron ores of the coast will secure her position among the
manufacturing countries of the future.
A more detailed though necessarily imperfect account of
these discoveries may now be entered upon.
The principal metalliferous regions of British Columbia,
which extend laterally from the western slopes of the Rocky
Mountains to the coast, and include the Selkirk, Purcell, Gold
and Cariboo Mountains, the Interior Plateau, and the Coast
ranges, correspond roughly with the regions of the Cceur d'Alene
and Bitter Root Mountains of Idaho and Montana, the Great
Basin of Utah and Nevada, and the western slopes of the Sierra
Nevada. Through these regions belts, more or less defined,
occur containing valuable deposits of the base and precious
metals, of which those in Cariboo—gold gravel and quartz; in the
Selkirks—argentiferous galena, copper and associated ores ; in
the Nicola—gold and silver sulphurets ; and in the canyon of
the Fraser, gold gravels—have been so far the most prospected.
" Everything which has been ascertained of the geological
" character of the Province, as a whole, tends to the belief that
"so soon as similar means of travel and transport shall be
" extended to what are still the more inaccessible districts, these
" also will be discovered to be equally rich in minerals, particu- r
H larly in   the  precious   metals,   gold  and  silver."—Dawson's
"Mineral Wealth,"p. 15,
Gold. Gold was first discovered in any considerable quantity
in British Columbia in 1848 upon Queen Charlotte Island.
Although large nuggets were at first obtained from a reef
close to the waters' edge, this was soon found to dip into the
sea, and after various disasters the enterprise was abandoned,
some $20,000 of gold having been extracted.
In 1858 the great gold discoveries of the Fraser were made,
and in the first two years several million dollars' worth of the
precious metal was obtained from that source. A few years
later, as the stream of mining prospectors penetrated further
into the country, the Cariboo, Omineca and Cassiar regions
were respectively opened out. Subsequently small local discoveries have been made in various districts, and almost every
year fresh sources of the gold supply come to light. Altogether
about $54,000,000 have been taken from the mines, the annual
output having steadily fallen for some years, till it at present
amounts to only $400,000.
It is, however, confidently anticipated that this will be about
the lowest point reached, for the period when, as in California,
the labours of the individual placer miner should be succeeded
by hydraulic mining on a large scale, appears to have come
at last.
The Minister of Mines in his latest report, states that the
applications for mining leases of bench lands during the past
year have been more numerous than at any former period, and
that it is anticipated the output of gold for 1893 will be considerably enhanced by the hydraulic companies operating in the
Yale, Lillooet and Cariboo Districts.
In the last mentioned locality in which, as is elsewhere
stated, was once the richest placer ground known, for many
years past the miners have been contending against the almost
insuperable difficulties of transit. The enormous cost of conveying machinery and supplies to the mines has precluded anything
approaching that development which might otherwise have been BRITISH  COLUMBIA.
expected. Nevertheless, half of the entire gold crop of 1892
was obtained from this source, and great efforts are being made
to establish hydraulic and quartz mines on a scale which will do
justice to the undoubted resources of the district.
The following shows the proportionate production throughout the Cariboo District in 1892 :
Barkerville  $ 76,600
Lightning Creek  41,500
QuesnelJemouth  23,500
Keithley Creek  52,400
Estimated balance (Nov. 15 to Dec. 31)  10,060
In the appendix will be found an exhaustive and interesting
account of the progress of gold mining in the Province in a
paper read by Prof. G. M. Dawson, C.M.G., F.R.S., before the
Royal Colonial Institute, March 14, 1893, and which it is hardly
necessary to say treats the subject in a manner far beyond
the capacity of the writer of this essay. It would therefore be
superfluous to further refer to it here.
Mining Development in -the l(ooier\ays. As early as the year 1865
the great bend of the Columbia River which forms the Northern
boundary of Kootenay, was prospected for gold by miners from
the Fraser and Thompson Rivers, eastward across the Shuswap
Lake. The journey was an arduous and .expensive one, notwithstanding which, after hearing of the success of the first
explorers, the rush was very great. From the small streams
and creeks flowing into the southward turn of the river several*
million dollars worth of the precious metal was washed, and the
miners entertained sanguine hopes that here would be found a
sufficiency to enrich all who ventured into that difficult country.
Their expectations, were however, not realized, the majority
enduring many hardships with small financial results, and the
region was soon deserted by all save a few pertinacious men.
But already others had entered the Southern Kootenay from
across the Boundary line (1864), and had prospected with great
success the rich placers to be found in the streams which flow
into the Kootenay river. Of these the Wild Horse Creek (see
Must. p. 13J and Perry Creek were the most famous, from the 46 BRITISH  COLUMBIA.
former of which alone some $10,000,000 was obtained. The
history of these placer claims in the Upper Columbia Valley and
in the Big Bend may be said to form the first chapter in the
mining development of East and West Kootenay.
A second stimulus to such enterprises was given by the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway across the Selkirks.
During that work good specimens of argentiferous galena were
met with in the neighbourhood of the Illicllliwaet, a glacial
torrent which discharges into the Columbia near Revelstoke,
and more attention than usual was paid to such discoveries
owing to their propinquity to a means of transport. In 1886-7
many claims were taken up on the mountains to the north of the
railway track, and a considerable amount of capital and energy
was devoted to exploring and developing these mines. Many
difficulties were encountered, chiefly owing to legal questions
which arose as to the ownership of minerals within the railway
belt, (the point was subsequently settled by an appeal to the
Privy Council and by legislative action of both Provincial and
Dominion Governments), but notwithstanding, some $25,000
worth of ore was shipped to San Francisco for treatment in
1887-8. This ore averaged 60 oz. of silver and 70 per cent,
lead, and the large bodies which were discovered went far towards establishing confidence in the future of the district. On
the south side of the railway track the mineralized region was
prospected as far as Fish Creek, a stream which flows into the
head of the Upper Arrow Lake. Here too, very promising deposits were discovered and to some extent mined. Encouraged
'by these and similar discoveries, a smelter was erected on the
shore of the Columbia near Revelstoke.
The ores of the Illicilliwaet District are chiefly argentiferous galena, running from 40 to 120 ounces silver per ton of
2,000 pounds, and from 40 to 70 per cent. lead. There are also
veins of tetrahedite, or grey copper, which run very high in
silver—from 200 to 1,000 ounces. Where this latter is found
associated with the galena the average of silver in the ore is
raised proportionately. The veins occur with a general northwest strike and south-east dip so far as has been ascertained,
though there are some strong cross courses, in a country of BRITISH  COLUMBIA.
black slates and bedded limestones, probably of Cambro-Silurian
age. The gangue is chiefly quartz, calc-spar and decomposed
earthy matter inpregnated with oxides of lead. The slates
abound in iron pyrites, and zinc is also found associated with
the other ores, though not to any extent detrimental to the easy
smelting of the ore.
Meanwhile in a region far to the south, at the foot of
Kootenay Lake, a very rich vein of copper associated with
silver, had been accidentally discovered by some ranchers who
had crossed the mountains in search of stray cattle. This was
the now famous Silver King, of the Toad Mountain group, and
to its discovery may be attributed the first direction of exploratory work to the shores of Kootenay Lake. Others speedily
followed, a vast body of galena was developed on the Blue Bell
property on the East shore of the lake; higher up the mountain
many silver-lead, tetrahedrite, sulphide, carbonate and similar
ores were found in strong veins. Some good gold quartz was
also discovered and worked about this time (1888-91). The
greatest discoveries, however, must be allotted to the years
1891-92, during the seasons of which the North-west neighbourhood of the lake was further explored with remarkable
results. In the Kaslo-Slocan District extensive deposits of very
high grade ore were found, and the prospectors finally worked
their way through the mountains up to the head of the Upper
Arrow Lake and thence up Fish Creek, thus connecting with
the earlier discoveries of the Illicilliwaet. In every direction
success rewarded their efforts, strong and permanent leads of
galena and associated silver ores being found averaging from
150 to 200 ounces of silver per ton. It may be said then that
a belt of highly mineralized territory had been demonstrated
from a little north of the Boundary line as far as the Big Bend,
corresponding in strike with the main axis of the Selkirks.
Some idea of the importance with which these discoveries
are regarded by American mining men may be derived from the
significant fact that whereas great difficulty has been experienced
in enlisting English capital upwards of $2,000,000 has been
already ventured by them upon claims in this district. 48 BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
It has been estimated that a producing capacity of about
250,000 tons can be easily attained, and although the American
tariffs are a serious obstacle to the introduction of these ores
into the States, Americans themselves are providing every
facility for the cheap transport of the mineral to the Montana
smelters. During the past winter over a thousand tons of an
estimated value of $250,000, have been brought down to the
warehouses on the edge of the lake to await shipment till the
season opens.
Incipient towns have sprung into existence to supply the
wants of the miners and afford accommodation for storing and
shipping the ores. Steamship and railway facilities are being
continually improved so that transportation is being reduced to
a practical working point, and a large smelter is being erected
upon the lake itself by an American firm.
It is a difficult matter to prophecy, with any hope of accuracy, as to the future of a new mining centre. Discoveries such
as the above, lead to a kind of intoxication under which even
shrewd and sensible business men see everything in an exaggerated fashion. Mineral veins are proverbially eccentric in their
behaviour, and there is, of course, the same possibility here, as
elsewhere, of disappointment and failure. It would, however,
be, to say the least, an instance of extraordinary ill luck if, out of
these numerous well defined and immense out-crops, none should
prove permanent on further exploitation, and the opinion of so
many competent authorities be disproved in the issue. That
some are doomed to disappointment is only to be expected, but
if only a very small portion of the mines located be of permanent value great wealth and an industry employing many hands
will result to the Province from these discoveries.
Nor has East Kootenay remained far behind the Western
district in the development of her ores. In addition to the rich
placers which first established her reputation and which are now
passing into a second stage of hydraulicing on a large scale,
many quartz prospects have been discovered, and some of these
are at present being worked with every promise of good results.
A carload of ore from the Vermont Creek recently netted, at the BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
Tacoma smelter, $2,060. Upon the Thunder Hill mine, in the
neighbourhood of the Upper Columbia Lake, an extensive concentrating plant has been placed and a large quantity of good
ore is ready for treatment. Near St. Mary's River an immense
deposit of argentiferous galena has been discovered assaying
47.31 ounces of silver per ton, and 67.50 per cent, lead ; this
is to be actively worked. Other mines and prospects in the same
district are referred to in the subjoined table:
McMurdo creek Quartz.
"    Galena..
Vermont creek, average of 18 sampl
from surface of various leads....
Crystal creek
Grey copper
T) lGa
3lesl ti
Galena and an-
timonial cop-
J    Per	
Bugaboo "
Jubilee mountain Copper ores.
Howse Pass	
East Kootenay
Northwest of Golden.. lAntimonial copper
East Kootenay '	
Windermere 1
Lost creek	
Grey copper...
Antimonial ore.
Skookum Chuck...
Huges Ridge	
Northwest of Donald.. I Copper ore
I   Assays to the ton (2,000 lbs.)
Gold $326.70.
Gold 15.43 oz.
Gold $546.30.
Gold $34.35.
Silver   41.45 oz, lead 79 per ct.
Silver 177.29 oz, lead 74 per ct
Silver 102.9   oz> lead 69 per ct.
Silver 1169.33 oz-
Silver 242.39 oz, gold $5.38.
Silver 86.01 oz, lead 41.83 per
Silver 50.05 oz.
Silver 1,113 oz-
Silver 249.66 oz.
Silver 62.97 oz, gold nil.
Silver 129.91 oz, gold nil.
Copper   12.7  per  cent,  silver
38.23 oz, gold 19 dwt.
Lead 46.7 per cent, silver 38.75
oz, gold $23.
Silver 19.25   oz,   gold  $3.25,
lead 60 per cent.
Silver 111.280Z, gold $35.15.
Silver 107.79 oz> gold $1.25.
Silver 72.01 oz, gold $14.62.
Silver 80 oz, gold $50.00.
Silver 43.99 oz, gold $1.00.
Silver 71.16 oz, gold $46.60.
Silver 610.58 oz, gold $7.00.
Silver 800.18 oz, gold $19.62.
Silver 523.52 oz.
Silver 44.50 oz, gold $1.00.
Silver 243.95 oz.
Yale and Lillooet. In these districts, mining for both the
precious and base metals is actively prosecuted in many localities.    So far as gold washing is concerned, this once productive r BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 51
industry has fallen into decay, the/ last year's report crediting
the two districts with an output of only $71,000, which is a
considerable decrease from former years. This is chiefly attributed to the gradual abandonment of placer-working by the
Chinese, who for long have re-worked the well known benches
previously gone over by the whites, and which at present
are no doubt no longer providing pay ground for this class
of mining (see Must.) On the other hand, activity in extensive
hydraulic operations has only just begun, nor has there yet been
sufficient time to see the fruits of these undertakings, but from
the large amount of capital which is being expended under the
direction of engineers of high repute, and great practical knowledge, there is every reason to anticipate a satisfactory issue.
In quartz mining, a good deal of work is being done not
far from the Kootenay district, and of a similar class to that
which has already been described in connection with that
locality. In the neighbourhood of Boundary Creek, near the
boundary line, high grade copper sulphates assaying $700 in
silver and gold to the ton, are being prospected in strong ledges.
Numerous claims have been taken up in this section of the
district, and upon some of them important development work
has been initiated. In the Nicola country no small amount of
exploratory work has been done upon veins carrying gold and
silver sulphates, though it is reported these ores are somewhat
refractory, and have not been hitherto successfully reduced. To
the south, on Tulameen and Granite Creeks, platinum has been
found in considerable quantities, the output for 1891 amounting
to $10,000. Near Kamloops, extensive deposits of cinnabar,
averaging 10.5 per cent, mercury are being prospected, and the
nearness of these to railway facilities encourages the hope that
they can be profitably mined. It would be impossible to deal
exhaustively with the various mining enterprises in this section
of the country ; nor would it be safe to predict their future, but
it is clear that whatever may be the fate of this or that undertaking, there is ample evidence of the existence of innumerable
mineral veins and deposits carrying the precious metals in paying
quantities, and that with increased facilities of communication, a
proportion of these, as great no doubt as in any other country m* BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 53
similarly circumstanced, will be made revenue producing. It
is greatly to the credit of the Province as a whole, that mining
for the precious metals has never become a disreputable occupation, either for the working miner or the capitalist. The camps
of British Columbia were known in early times as extraordinarily law-abiding, in marked contrast to the condition of
California in the first davs of the gold fever, and mining undertakings have been so far kept very free from wilful misrepresentation and fraud.
Coal. The excellence of the coal fields of British Columbia
has obtained such wide recognition that it is hardly necessary
to refer to them here at any considerable length. In this
particular respect, Nature would seem to have dealt in a spirit
of partiality, for there are no coal measures known to exist
upon the Pacific coast to compare with those which are to be
found within the borders of the Province.
Upon Vancouver Island, the Nanaimo and Wellington
collieries of the New Vancouver Coal Co. and of Messrs.
Dunsmuir & Sons, respectively, and those of the Union mines
at Comox, belonging to the latter firm, furnish a quality of coal
which is able to hold its own in the San Francisco market against
all comers, notwithstanding the heavy duty imposed. The output of these mines has quadrupled in the last ten years, and now
amounts to over a million tons per annum, with every prospect
of continual increase. The coal is a first-class bituminous
coking coal, the seams being from six to ten feet thick. They
occur in a late series of rocks of cretaceous formation. The
following is a fair average analysis :
Fixed Carbon :  64.65
Volatile Combustible Matter  28.19
Hygroscopic Water  1.47
Ash  6.29
The subjoined table is of interest as showing the number of
hands actually employed at the present time in these collieries,
and the wages which are paid :  BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
E. Wellington..
Wages per Day.
per day.
S2.50 to$3.5o:$i to $2 $1 to $1.25 $3.00 to $5.00
a.5oto 3.50   1 to   2   1 to   1.50   3.00 to   4.50
2.50 to 3.50   1 to   2   1 to   1.50
2.«otO    3. SO
1 to   1. so
3.00 to   5.00
3.00 to   5.00
* The output last year was reduced on account of the temporary depression of the market,
t Japanese.
As an impartial estimate showing the superiority of the
Vancouver Island coals, the following table establishes the comparative value of these and other fuels for steam-raising purposes,
as found by the War Department of the United States.
One cord (8 feet by 4 feet by 4 feet) of merchantable oak
wood is there said to be equal to :
Nanaimo Coal (Vancouver Island)    1800 pounds.
Bellingham Bay Coal (Washington)   2200        "
Seattle Coal (Washington)   2400        "
Rocky Mountain Coal (Wyoming, etc)   2500
Coos Bay Coal (Oregon). .    2600        "
Monte Diablo Coal (California)    2600        "
The following statement of the weights of steam, obtained
as the result of working tests from a cubic foot each of various
fuels, at a slow rate of combustion, may also be referred to.
The water to be evaporated had first been raised to a temperature of 2120 F. The experiments were made by the Chief
Engineer of the U. S. navy yard at Mare Island :
of Steam.
Nanaimo Coal  372-64
Rocky Mountain, Monte Diablo, Coos Bay and Seattle 319.98 §
The Nanaimo coal measures cover an area of some two
hundred square miles; those of Comox about three hundred.
The quantity of workable coal in the latter district has been
computed at 16,000,000 tons per square mile.
Coal mined at Suquash by H. B. Co. at various times
between 1836 and 1852, say  10,000
Total Coal shipped from Nanaimo, October, 1852, to
November, 1859  25,398
1859 (two months)  1,898
i860  14*247
1861  13,774
1862 1  18,118
1863  21,345
1864 1  28,632
1865  32,819
1866   25,115
1867  31*239
1868  44,005
1869  35>8o2
1870  29,843
1871 (Exclusive of Wellington Mines 35*643 ^
1872 " I "    46,468
1873 " 1 "    45,731
(Wellington Mines, 1871-73 (21,182)
1875  110,145
1876  139,192
1877  154,052
1878  170,846
1879  241,301
1880  267,595
1881  228,357
1882  282,139
1883   213,299
1884  394,070
1885  365,596
1886  326,636
1887  413,360
1888  489,301
1889       579,830
1890  678,140
1891 1,029,097
Nicola. In the Nicola Valley, not far south of the C. P. R.,
a valuable coal seam has been worked in a small way for some
years. Occurring, as it does, in conjunction with a first rate
iron ore, (58.5 per cent, metallic iron) and in a very accessible
country it will, no doubt, be soon put to more practical use. It
is found in the outcrop dipping below tertiary sandstones at an
angle of about ten degrees, is six feet in thickness, and is composed of good bituminous coal of fine coking quality.
Fixed Carbon   61.290
Volatile Combustible Matter   36.065
Ash     2.465
Yields in Coke   63.25 per cent.
Crow's Nest. A most phenomenal discovery of coal has
been made in the Crow's Nest Pass of the Rocky Mountains.
Here no less than twenty seams are seen to outcrop with a
total thickness of from 132 feet to 148 feet.
The upper ten of these seams are of a cannel coal having
an aggregate thickness of 38 feet, of similar quality to the
"Boghead" coal of Scotland, very rich in disposable hydrogen,
and yielding 40.19 per cent, of firm lustrous coke.
Fixed Carbon  30.33
Volatile Combustible Matter 57-71
Ash     9.86
" The above analysis, by fast coking, tends to show that
this material constitutes an excellent "gas-coal," not only by
reason of the large amount of volatile combustible matter it is
capable of affording—in which respect it is superior to a very
large number of cannel coals which are employed for gas making—but also from the fact that these would appear to be of
superior quality for illuminating purposes. As may be seen, this
coal yields 57.71 per cent, volatile combustible matter, whereas
the celebrated Youghiogheny coal (Pennsylvania) and which is
regarded as a very superior gas-coal, yields, according to Professor Peter, but 35 per cent."—(G. C. M. Hoffman.) (fp
Of the lower seams two are respectively 15 feet and 30
feet in thickness, and are very superior bituminous coal even as
compared with those of Vancouver Island.
Peter, 15 feet. Jubilee, 30 feet.
Carbon   80.51        Carbon   80.04
Ash     3.62       Ash     4.37
The following report on the quality of these coals has been
made by Dr. Hoffman, Chemist and Mineralogist to the Dominion Survey :
1 On glancing over the foregoing results, it will be observed
that these coals are, in all respects, very much alike in physical
character and chemical composition, They closely resemble
some varieties of coal in the carboniferous, though really of the
cretaceous age They do not disintegrate on exposure to the
air, are firm, and apparently possessed of sufficient tenacity in
the lump to bear the abrasion incident to transportation without
serious waste by reduction to fine material. They contain but
a small percentage of ash, and that of such a comparatively
fusible nature that it is highly improbable that it would be likely
to incrust and stick to the furnace bars under the form of slasr
and clinkers, and thereby exclude the passage of the air needed
for combustion, and so lower the temperature of the furnace.
Hence, both in regard to the amount and nature of the ash,
these coals are exceedingly well adapted for generating steam.
The percentage of sulphur is likewise very small—a most important consideration, and highly favorable to their employment
for technical and domestic uses, inasmuch as the presence of
any very appreciable amount of this element in a fuel is detrimental in any metallurgical operations, and equally so in the
manufacture of illuminating gas. By fast coking they comport
themselves like true coking coals, affording good, firm, coherent cokes, hence, when employed for gas making, the resulting
"gas coke" would prove a good fuel for domestic use, for
burning in steam boiler furnaces, or in any place where it would
not be subject to any considerable pressure. The quality of
coke depends not only upon the nature of the coal from which
it is derived, but also upon the manner in which the process of BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
coking is conducted, that remaining after the distillation of coal
in retorts, for the purpose of obtaining illuminating gas, is not
so hard, is more easily ignited, and burns with a draught less
intense than that made in coke ovens. The calorific power of
these coals leave nothing to be desired. Briefly—These coals
constitute excellent and valuable fuels for raising steam ; are admirably suited for many metallurgical operations ; well adapted
for the manufacture of illuminating gas, and may be used with
advantage for household purposes."
In steam generating quality as compared with the best
Vancouver coal these two seams return the following test:
Weight of Water
at ioo0 C Evaporated by i lb of
Calories. Coal.
Peter     8050      14-99
Jubilee   8026      14-99
V.Coal     7224     13-41
The area of the beds has been calculated by Professor
Selwyn (Dom. Geol. Dept.), as at least 144 square miles. Occurring in such close proximity to the mineral discoveries of
Kootenay and upon the very line of proposed railway communication with them, their value cannot be exaggerated. They
will, in fact, place the Interior in the same position of supremacy,
as regards fuel, as the mines of Vancouver Island have placed
the Coast.
The coal measures of British Columbia have not been
exhausted by reference to the above. In many other places
anthracite bituminous coal and lignites of fair quality are known
to exist, the first of these notably on Queen Charlotte Island.
But sufficient has been said to show how entirely independent
is the Province in the matter of fuel, and how large her exports
of this class may become when the countries of the Pacific seaboard have begun freely to interchange products with one
Iron. Had the Province a sufficient population to create a
demand for the manufacture of iron and steel on a large scale,
there is no doubt that the ores to be found throughout the
country would have received more attention.     As it is, their If
excellence has been borne witness to by competent authorities
on the subject. In the report upon iron ores issued by the Iron
and Steel Institute of England in connection with the Colonial
Exhibition, a very prominent position was assigned to these
ores, and a large portion of the entire work devoted to their
analysis. As regards quality many of them compare with the
best known deposits of the world ; in quantity they are practically inexhaustible.
They are, for the most part, magnetic ores, though hematites have been found both in association with these and as
separate deposits. Clay ironstone is found in the neighbourhood of some of the coal measures of tertiary formation, some
of this is of sufficient value to be one day worked.
The principal, indeed the only ore which has been actually
worked as a commercial undertaking, is found on Texada, an
island in the centre of the Gulf of Georgia, lying N.E. from
Nanaimo. Here, for some time past, a good magnetic iron has
been obtained and smelted by an American company at Port
Townsend. The quantity used has hitherto been quite insignificant, amounting to 10,000tons yearly. It yields 69 percent,
of metallic iron with from .005 to .01 of phosphorus and about
the same percentage of sulphur. The ore is found in lenticular
masses about twenty-five feet thick, in a contact of limestone
and granite and is apparently very abundant.
At Sooke, on the southern extremity of Vancouver Island,
a similar ore occurs in great quantities, the proportion of metallic iron and phosphorus being about the same, but the ore is
more refractory from admixture of pyrites. A small vein of
hard hematite is associated with this ore but its value has not
been practically ascertained.
Further north, ores of superior quality to either of the above
are met with in abundance, Rivers Inlet, Knights Inlet, Calvert
Island, King Island, *Redonda Island, Guilford Island, and
other small islands being the localities of their known occurrence.    These deposits all appear to present the same general
* A Company operating' mines in this Island, have recently entered into a contract with a
Portland firm to supply 10,000 tons per annum (1893).
features and have always, so far, been found as contact segregations between granite and limestone.
Inferior ores again to these, have been discovered upon
Queen Charlotte Islands and on Barclay Sound.
In the Interior, iron stone of equal quality to that of Texada
is found at Kamloops and in the Nicola. Further north the
chief known situations of its occurrence are the upper branches
of the Naas River, Tatla Lake and the Finlay, Parsnip and
Canoe Rivers. Some of these places are, of course, too remote
to attach any great importance to at present. It is, however,
clear that whenever circumstances should demand the local production of iron, a supply more than sufficient is at hand.
The present state of the lumber trade in British Columbia
cannot be regarded with entire satisfaction when the exceptional
facilities which exist for its prosecution are taken into consideration. It is true that in the last twenty years the annual value
of lumber exported has doubled, and that again more than
double this quantity is milled, the balance being consumed in
the Province or throughout the Dominion. The most recent
statistics give an annual output from the mills of 83,107,335
feet, with a total value of $997,287 distributed over forty-six
mills. But this output does not compare favorably with that of
the neighbouring State of Washington, whence is shipped nine
times as much lumber as that from the Province, although the
timber of the latter is quoted in the market as ten per cent,
better in quality and the facilities for handling it are in no
respect inferior. It is trusted, however, that this state of things
will be remedied as soon as communication wifh Australia is
improved and the trade better established. In 1890 300,000,000
feet was exported from the North Pacific Coast to Australia,
only 15,000,000 feet of which found its way from the Province.
It will be seen then that in this item alone there is much room
for future development.
But in attempting to arrive at a just estimate of what the
total volume of the lumber trade may become on this coast, the IF
present annual production of the Atlantic Provinces and of the
forest States of the Union must be taken into consideration.
For, no matter how low may be the price paid, or how depressed
the industry from a commercial point of view, it is perfectly clear
that any failure in the future to supply this annual quantity will
have to be made good, in a great measure, from other sources.
Now, according to the latest returns, about thirteen
hundred million feet of lumber is cut in the whole of Canada
annually. Of this only about seventy-nine million feet is credited to this Province, leaving a balance of over twelve hundred
million feet for the rest of the Dominion. But it is acknowledged by all authorities that the supply both in the timber
regions of Eastern Canada and the United States, is failing,
that to obtain it lumbermen are obliged to penetrate farther and
farther back from navigable waters, proportionately increasing
the cost of freight, and that the size of the trees cut is already
reduced to the minimum compatible with the purposes of milling. On the other hand, the timber of the Pacific Coast is
enormous in size, inexhaustible in quantity, and very favorably
situated as regards handling. It is evident then that while the
one trade will continually decrease the other will proportionately
expand, until the present statistics are reversed and this Province will be cutting ten to fifteen times the present quantity of
its timber to supply the deficiencies of Eastern production.
Thus, without reckoning for shipments on the Pacific Coast,
whether to South America, Australia or China, the assured
increase in the future volume of trade must be very large.
The chief seat of the industry as it now exists, is New
Westminster District, trwenty-eight of the forty-six mills running, with a daily capacity of 1,268,000 feet, four-fifths of the
total, being situated within that District. Of the remainder
Vancouver Island has eight mills with a daily capacity of
224,000 feet. There are two mills in Yale District, five in
Kootenay, two in Cariboo and one in Cassiar. The large
proportion produced on the coast is a fair indication of its relatively greater importance as regards this industry.
Douglas Fir. By far the largest proportion of lumber (about
eighty-five per cent, of the whole), is obtained from the Douglas NEW WESTMINSTER DISTRICT.
fir. This tree, the density of whose growth is one of the most
remarkable features of the Coast, attains a height of over 300
feet with a circumference of from 25 to 50 feet in fine specimens. Upon timber limits favorably situated, the number of
well developed trees growing to the acre is very astonishing.
A prominent firm of loggers cut and measured 508,000 feet of
timber off one acre in the Comox District. When the writer of
the present work first published this statement, upon unimpeachable testimony, it was evidently regarded as so improbable that
it became a matter of no small amusement to him to see how,
in subsequent papers on the subject, the figures were accommodated to within more reasonable limits ! The statement is here
repeated that future writers may know it was neither a printer's
error nor a mere exaggeration.
'' Whereas in the Eastern lumbering districts of Canada
and the United States, the timber limits average from 9,000 to
15,000 feet per acre, on the Island of Vancouver and the Mainland coast they run from 20,000 to 500,000 feet, and a very
moderate estimate would be 30,000 feet per acre. Under
20,000 per acre, a timber limit would scarcely be considered
worth acquiring."
The best trees average about 160 feet clear, to the first
limb, and are from five to six feet through at the butt. They
are cut about four feet from the ground. Douglas fir is essentially a building material, and as such is very widely known and
appreciated in the lumber trade. It also supplies the finest spars
to be obtained. ;-
Cedar. The cedar, which exceeds in picturesque grandeur
every other tree in the Province, attains to a girth greater even
than that of the Douglas fir. Specimens have been measured
from 60 to 80 feet in circumference several feet above the ground,
their wide-spreading roots greatly increasing the area which
they occupy. All cedars of any considerable size and age decay
at the heart, and this decay gradually spreads until a mere shell
is left supporting an apparently vigorous tree.
The wood of the cedar is employed chiefly for fine dressed
lumber, doors, frames, sashes, etc.    The veining is very beauti- w *v
ful, which renders it well adapted for all interior work, and it is
now being extensively used in Eastern Canada and the United
States for that purpose. Cedar posts and rails are also in great
request, as they are of all woods the most durable and least
affected by weather, requiring no paint and remaining for years,
even in damp situations, without rotting.
The great majority of the trees in the Province are conifers,
the only important exceptions being oaks, maples, poplars and
alders. Commercially none of these can be considered of anything approaching the value of the cedars and firs, though they
are somewhat extensively employed, locally, for various purposes.
Timber limits, or forest areas suited to the requirements of
the lumberman, are leased from the Government at a low price
per acre, under conditions of actively working them. Ten cents
per acre per annum is charged. Fifty cents per thousand feet
cut, with a rebate of 25 cents per M exported out of the Province, is the royalty. . Each mill is allowed to lease limits up
to 400 acres per M per diem, producing capacity. Thus a mill
sawing 20,000 feet a day might lease 8,000 acres, at a rent of
$800, paying $10 a day royalty, or $5 if the gross output were
The development of the marine industries of the Province,
viz.: Seal hunting, salmon canning, and deep sea and coast
fishing, is a satisfactory indication both of the enterprise of her
capitalists and of the determination towards her shores of a seafaring class of emigrants. The great value of such a class in
establishing her maritime importance, has been already referred
to, nor can it easily be over-estimated. Although the advisability of subsidising the Scotch crofters may be open to question
and can only be justified by the emigrants proving themselves
to be industrious, energetic and fairly intelligent, there can be
no doubt that the voluntary immigration of hardy sea-going
men like the Newfoundland and Nova Scotian fishermen, promises to be as beneficial to the country as it is to themselves.
It is therefore gratifying to observe the steady increase., of such 68 BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
a class, and permanent advantage may be anticipated from their
Every year witnesses the growth of the local fleets, and the
increase in the gross tonnage of vessels entering the harbours of
the Province is not more satisfactory than the increase in her
number of sail. Notwithstanding the extreme discouragement
suffered of recent years in the sealing industry from prolonged
International disputes about the Behring Sea, the sealing fleet
has doubled in number and trebled her total crew in the last
three years, over fifteen hundred men and sixty-nine vessels
being at present engaged in this industry. Last year's catch
reached a total of sixty-two thousand seals.
Salmon. Salmon canning has suffered of recent years from
an ill-regulated market, but this condition can only be one of
temporary inconvenience. The total revenue from this source
during the past year amounted to $2,351,083 derived from a
pack of 314,893 cases. The present year, which is anticipated
to be the season of the "great run," is expected to yield a much
larger harvest.
The salmon canning industry is prosecuted at all those
points along the coast at which the fish congregate in sufficient
numbers to render their capture on a wholesale scale profitable.
These are at present, so far as is known, confined to eight
or ten localities, and are necessarily at or near the mouths
of those rivers or fiords which the fish enter from the sea in
their journey to the spawning grounds. The principal are, the
Fraser River, in the lower reaches of which there are seventeen
canneries ; the Skeena River, where there are seven ; the Naas
River, Rivers Inlet, Lowe Inlet, Gardiner Inlet and Bute Inlet,
all on the Mainland, and Alert Bay on the Island of Vancouver.
The salmon of British Columbia has acquired, perhaps, the
widest reputation of any product of the Province.
Canned salmon, indeed, may be considered at present the
best advertising medium of the country, for it penetrates into
regions where the source of its origin is otherwise wholly unknown.    Unfortunately, mankind in general are so little curious BRITISH  COLUMBIA. 69
as to the source of their food supplies, that probably not one in
every hundred of those who consume canned salmon, troubles to
enquire whence or how that delicacy is obtained.
It is difficult to persuade those who have never witnessed
the sight, of the existence of a river swarming at certain periods
with large fish, which may be plainly watched, excitedly jostling
their way past every obstruction until the last survivors of the
struggle are to be found in remote streams five or six hundred
miles from the sea, haggard and worn, bright scarlet in colour,
their scales scraped off against rock and gravel, but still in sufficient numbers to almost fill the waters, and to become the
parents of other countless myriads which, in their turn, will one
day repeat the scene. Year by year, at stated seasons, this
sight presents itself to travellers on the Canadian Pacific Railway. It is the great salmon run of the Fraser River, and is
duplicated on every river and stream of the coast of British
There are three principal migrations each year of these remarkable fish—the winter and spring run of "tyhee" salmon,
the summer run of the "sockeye," and the autumn run of the
' * cohoe " varieties.
The Tyhee, or spring salmon, (Oncorhynchus Chouicha,) is
the finest, of a flavour and delicacy almost equal to the best
Scotch fish.
The Tyhee runs in all the larger rivers of the Province
from between November and March. It varies in size from a
two-pound grilse to an eighty-pound salmon. Twenty or thirty
pounds is a fair ordinary size.
The Sockeye (O. NerkaJ, which is not quite so choice a
fish as the former, is, nevertheless, the commercial salmon of
the coast. It is a fine, dark-fleshed fish, averaging from five to
fourteen pounds, of good flavour, though rather dryer and less
rich in curd than the Tyhee.
It runs through July and August, upon the Fraser, the
Skeena, and many other streams, but is much more local in
its distribution than the first named fish, and is said never to be »r^ BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 71
found in a river which does not issue from a lake. The prodigious numbers of the Sockeye in a good run on the Fraser cannot
be estimated.
The mouth and lower reaches of the river during the run
present an appearance of great activity. Early in the morning
hundreds of boats may be seen drawing in the nets (see Must. )
and bringing loads of bright silver salmon to the cannery wharves.
There they are tossed up, caught and counted, and rapidly
passed into the factory, where, in an incredibly short time, their
heads and tails are cut off, they are opened, cleaned, tinned and
steamed by a large staff, chiefly composed of Indian women and
Chinese. Consumers need have no reason to fear from this
fact that the process is an unclean one, for the most scrupulously prepared dishes of their own table are not more carefully
cooked. No fish from the market is a shorter time out of water
before it goes to the pot, nor receives a more perfect cleansing
than is given to these.
The third variety, (O. Kitsuch), is found in all streams in
September, and is in no way inferior to the Sockeye.
It is followed in turn by the hooknose, and in some localities the humpback, but these have no commercial value, and are
rarely eaten except by the Indians.
The most valuable commercial fish, next to salmon, is undoubtedly, at present, the dog fish, of which there are two—
one (Squalus Acanthus), about three feet in length, and one
locally known as the Tope shark, which averages about six feet.
Their value consists in the excellent lubricating oil which
they yield, and which is extensively used throughout the Province and the interior of Canada. The high tariff practically
excludes it from the States, where a mineral oil is chiefly employed for the same purpose.
Of the food fishes of British Columbia the variety is so
great as to exclude particular mention. Among them may be
mentioned the Skil, commonly called the black cod (Queen
Charlotte   Islands),  a very fine large deep-water fish,  which 72 BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
weighs up to twenty or thirty pounds, and is beginning to come
into favour as a salt fish of delicate flavour.
The Rock Cod, a good table fish, found on all the coast.
The Red Cod, which is capital baked and stuffed.
The Halibut, very plentiful up to 600 pounds weight; identical with the British variety.
The Sturgeon, only made use of as a fresh fish ; weighs up
to 1,000 pounds, and is good eating.
The Oolachan, a particularly rich little fish of fine flavour.
Anchovy, Capelin, Smelt, Herring, all first-rate pan fishes.
And among Shellfish, the Crab, Prawn, Shrimp, Clam,
Cockle, Mussel, and Oyster.
This last of which there is great abundance, is small, but
in the writer's and many of his-friend's opinions, one of the best
oysters in the market, and more choice and delicate than any
Eastern variety. In good situations they attain to a plumpness
and flavour which is unrivalled except by the best natives.
The peculiar advantages of this Province for the pursuit of
fishing industries are not confined to the abundance of fish
which may be caught, nor to the excellence of the average
quality. The fact which ought, perhaps more than any other to
commend itself to fishermen, is the safety and comfort of the
occupation upon these inland waters in so temperate a climate,
compared with the danger and hardship which he has to face
The islands off, the coast of Vancouver Island have numerous little landlocked bays and coves where a boat may ride
safely in all weather, and where a fisherman's family, within
reach of Victoria or Nanaimo, can live with comfort, cultivating
a little farm, the produce from which may be taken off to market
with the fish whenever required. The sea will provide as much
fishing as can possibly be wanted, and no disastrous storms
need be feared to break in upon the happiness of the home. BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 73
For many years this trade constituted the staple of the
country, but it has long since ceased to command the attention
of any save those who are personally concerned in it. The
reason of this can hardly be ascribed to the failure of the trade
or the extinction of fur-bearing animals, there is still a revenue
of over a quarter of a million derived from this source; but
rather it would appear to be due to the prominence attained by
other branches of industry, and to the fact that its manipulation
lies in the hands of a very small number of individuals.
It has been asserted that fur-bearing animals are threatened
with speedy extinction at the hands of the trapper. The fluctuations of the market which might appear to justify such an opinion,
are however, rather to be attributed to the caprice of fashion,
and to other temporary influences. All wild animals are subject
to very marked variations in number from time to time ; this is
generally due to disease or failure of food, or to some other
destroying agency apart from that of man. Thus, while the
trade is liable to spasmodic alteration in prices, the demand' and
supply being so variable, it would appear probable that there is
not likely to be any permanent decrease in the annual harvest of
the trapper under existing conditions. The chief fur-bearing
animals of the Province and the relative value of their skins in
the market are as follows :
Bear, black    $ 10 oo to $23 00
"    brown    10 00 to 1400
"    grizzly      mj%  10 00 to 15 00
Beaver  3 50 to 4 00
Silver Fox    20 00 to 100 00
Cross Fox ,  3 00 to 7 00
Red Fox  1 35 to 1 50
Sea Otter  100 00 to 300 00
Land Otter  7 oc to 10 00
Lynx  3 00 to 3 50
Wolf  2 00 to 3 00
Wolverine  3 50 to 5 00
Other fur-bearing animals are Marten, Mink, Skunk, Racoon, Muskrat.
During 1892 the exports of furs amounted to $256,321,
derived from land animals; $634,536 from marine animals,
including seals. eg
S   *•
a. III.
The1 Position of' the Province as Regards
Foreign Commerce.
It is to the maritime importance of British Columbia that
we must look for the best evidences of her future greatness. A
few years ago, when the project of a trans-continental railway
through Dominion Territory was still open to attack, the opponents of that plan used to scoff at the Province as " a sea
of mountains" and to deride her ports as the "back door" of
Canada. Since that time the trade of the Pacific has been
advancing by leaps and bounds, and the harbours of British
Columbia have become a factor in the world's commerce which
can no longer be ignored.
"Within the space of a short lifetime, the first steamboat
discharged her freight on the shores of the British Pacific.
Then California was unknown, save as a remote Spanish settlement which had been recently added to the American Territories;
and British Columbia was part of a vast wilderness over which
a fur trading company held nominal sway, ruling a scattered
Indian population by means of a handful of agents in stockaded forts. Now, the freight carried by Pacific coast vessels
exceeds 13,000,000 tons annually; California has become the
promised land of the American people ; the wild territories of
Washington and Oregon are wealthy and populous States ; and
British Columbia is assuming the same maritime position as
occupied by Great Britain and the Western countries of Europe,
when trade first passed beyond the bounds of the Mediterranean Sea."
When the above was first written, only three years ago, it
was considered to approach dangerously near to the border line
of '' hifalutin," yet in the latest trade returns there is abundant
earnest of its realization. While Canada, with its slender population and proportionately huge interior of uncultivated lands,
has attained the rank of fourth among marine freight-carrying §
States, her "back door" Victoria exceeds in tonnage of vessels
entered and cleared, any other port in the Dominion, and the
three harbours of Victoria, Vancouver and Nanaimo have already
a combined tonnage only one-third less than that of the four
principal ports of the Canadian Atlantic. It is not the object of
this pamphlet to invest with a fictitious importance these harbours which are in reality in the veriest infancy of their trade,
nor to attribute a misleading significance to such somewhat
startling statistics. A heavy discount must be allowed for the
coast trade between points on the Island and Mainland, but the
fact remains that with every deduction the volume of marine
trade is a large and increasing one. Such results as have been
already attained can be but faint indications of future developments. A steady settlement of the Western States of the
Union must go on for many years to come ; communication
and the exchange of products with Australia and the Orient
will continually improve ; the exports and imports of the Province itself, and of Eastern Canada through her ports, must
increase very considerably, until a balance of
population and trade on Atlantic and Pacific shores has been
arrived at. It would be difficult to estimate the extent to which
the commerce of British Columbia will have reached by that
time. Situate as it is, the only British possession on the
Eastern shores of the Pacific Ocean, and sharing with its next-
door neighbours on Puget Sound in the only first-rate harbours
north of San Francisco, a very great proportion of the whole
volume of possible trade must be transacted through her ports.
At the same time she possesses every requirement for the construction of vessels whether of wood or iron, and since so large
a number of her inhabitants are drawn from the nautical classes,
it will not be surprising if she holds her own, both in the building and manning of ships, against all competitors on this side of
the world.
It must not be forgotten that the Dominion holds the
quickest route to China and Australia by several hundred miles,
which in these days, when so much store is set upon quick
transit of goods, is no small advantage ; and it would indeed be
an extraordinary reversal of all past traditions if British mer- BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 77
chants failed to make use of their opportunities or to compete
with something like success, against their energetic neighbours
in the States. Nay, it may safely be prophecied without disloyalty, that were such a time to come the Crown would no
longer maintain possession of facilities which its subjects had
proved themselves unable to make use of to advantage. The
following tables are illustrative of the foregoing statement:
Vessels. Tons.
United Kingdom  21,591 7.978,538
Sweden and Norway  11,107 2,116,077
German Empire  3,594 1,320,721
Canada  7,015 1,003,475
United States  1,527 946,696
France  I5> IQ4 932,733
Italy  6,721 824,474
Russia  2,983 492,030
Spain  1,698 £98,321
Australasia  1,874 356,384
United Kingdom  74,283,869
Gibraltar  11,488,693
Canada  10,328,285
Hong Kong  9,771,741
Malta    9,162,094
Straits Settlements  8,641,911
India  7.315.586
N. S. Wales  4,761,872
Victoria  4,363,341
South Australia  2,190,442
Atlantic No. Tons.                        Pacific.                  No. Tons.
Montreal     734 1,262,461 Victoria  2034 1,631,266
Halifax  2206 1,234,012 Nanaimo  1051 859,931
St. John  3914 1,146,533 Vancouver       622 569,112
Quebec     724 905,858
7578        4.548,964 3707        3.060,308
It will be seen from the above that the marine freight-carrying
trade on the Pacific coast already almost equals two-thirds of
that on the Atlantic at the above principal ports, and that the
proportion of tonnage per ship is nearly 3 to 2, indicating a
larger average class of vessels. Q
-< IV.
Notwithstanding much has been written about the climate
of British Columbia, many misconceptions appear to prevail
on that subject outside the Province. In some quarters, through
confusion with the north-west interior of the Dominion, an impression has been formed that at least to the east of the Coast
Range, fearful extremes of cold are to be endured by the inhabitants, while in others, through a misapprehension of the
report of travellers, it has been imagined that the climate of the
coast resembles that of the shores of the Mediterranean. In
order to acquire a reasonable idea of the true state of the case,
let anyone first examine upon a map of Europe that portion of
land which lies between the same parallels of latitude, and extends over the same area from the Atlantic Coast east, and then
consider how far conditions which are known to exist there will
be modified by local differences on the Pacific. It will be seen
that between lats. 49°-59° must be included Great Britain, the
North-east corner of France, Belgium, Holland, North Germany, Prussia, Denmark, the South of Sweden, the Baltic
Provinces, and the coast of Russia to the Gulf of Finland.
This tract of country in area and latitude approximately represents British Columbia, and may be considered as a whole to
present almost the same climatic conditions. The differences to
be allowed for are as follows : First, the Japan current, the north
equatorial current of the Pacific, does not flow so closely to
the American coast as the Gulf stream does to the shores of
Northern Europe, but admits of a return Arctic current from the
north. This Arctic current, which renders the waters of British
Columbia extremely cold, causes a condensation of the moisture
borne by the prevailing westerly winds eastwards, and produces
a humidity most beneficial to the vegetation of the Province.
The winds are arrested, in a measure, by the Coast Range,
creating a dry belt to the east of those mountains, but the
higher currents of air discharge their moisture against the Sel- 80 BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
kirks, creating the more copious snow-fall which distinguishes
that range from its neighbour, the Rockies.
Thus a series of alternate moist and dry belts are formed
throughout the Province, which have no parallel on the coast of
Europe, where the more broken coast line and absence of lofty
mountain ranges, together with the practical non-existence of an
Arctic current, tend to distribute the rainfall over the whole
area. It will be easily seen how these belts will be broken and
modified in places by the varied elevation of the mountains and
the presence of passes such as the Fraser canyon.
Again, the decrease in elevation of the Rocky and Selkirk
Ranges as they approach to the north, admits a free passage
for the winds of the Arctic regions to sweep down over the
northern portion of the Province, bringing with them a corresponding reduction in temperature in winter or increase in the
summer, when the long Arctic day admits an accumulation of
dry hot air over these regions. Since there is open sea to the
north of the European continent these conditions exist there
only in a modified form, although the Baltic Provinces, Poland,
and Prussia experience very similar effects from the N.E. winds.
And lastly, the elevation of the interior plateau is, of
course, greatly superior to that of Northern Europe, making
an average difference in barometric pressure of some two inches.
The general result of the above differences between the two
regions is to accentuate the rainfall on the shores of the Pacific
Coast and the extremes of temperature in the interior. Where
the latter extends in areas of high elevation, these extremes of
temperatures will necessarily be more felt, while in valleys and
canyons open to the coast and well protected from the north, a
more mild and equable climate will result. At the same time,
as there is a greater symmetry in the main features of land and
water, the straight coast line and parallel mountain ranges, so
the great ocean winds are probably less interfered with by local
conditions, and there is a greater regularity of the seasons.
So far as the coast is concerned an increase in rain-fall and
general humidity must be expected to the north, where the BRITISH   COLUMBIA. Si
Arctic current is colder, the Japan current sweeps nearer to the
shore and condensation consequently is greater ; the east coast
of Vancouver will be less humid than the west, from .arrest of
moisture by the mountains and forests of the island interior,
and the shores of the mainland opposite will be more liable to
rain and fog from the low temperature of the waters of the Gulf,
which are mainly derived from the cold northern backwash, and
from the propinquity of heavily timbered mountainous tracts.
It may be said then that the climate of British Columbia, as
a whole, presents all the features which are to be met with in
European countries lying within the temperate zone, the cradle
of the greatest nations of the world, and is, therefore, a climate
well adapted to the development of the human race under the
most favourable conditions.
The various local differences alluded to in general terms
above, in relation to those causes which produce them, may
now be more particularly described.
Kootenay. In the valley of the Columbia (see Must, next
page) and throughout the Kootenay Districts which correspond, as has been seen, with the mountain belt of the Selkirks,
the high average altitude renders the air rarified and bracing,
the precipitation of moisture being greater than on the Eastern
flank of the Rockies but falling far below that of the coast.
Regular meteorological returns have not hitherto been made
from stations in this section of the country, but from observations taken by Lieut.-Col. Baker during some year's residence at
Cranbrook, in the Upper Columbia Valley, the following data
may be depended upon as fairly accurate :
The rainfall averages from eighteen to twenty inches per
annum, the lesser amount being experienced in East Kootenay,
and the snow attains to a depth of from one to three feet,
making a total precipitation of about twenty to twenty-four
inches of moisture, according to locality.
The winters extend from December to March, snow not
falling, to lie, earlier than the last week in December as a rule.
Navigation on the Upper Columbia closes about the beginning L_ BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 83
of November; on the Arrow Lakes and Lower Columbia not
till the end of that month ; it opens again about the middle of
March. The Kootenay Lake does not freeze over. During the
winter the thermometer falls at times considerably below zero,
and in summer rises as high as eighty or ninety degrees in the
shade, the nights being always comparatively cool. The extreme
cold is not severely felt and is of short duration, nor is the
summer heat exhausting as in the- interior of the continent.
Vegetation is rarely affected by drought, and although summer
frosts occasionally cause damage in swampy localities, their
effects are modified by drainage and cultivation.
The flora of the Selkirks, which differs entirely from that of
the Eastern slopes of the Rockies, resembles in many respects
that of Europe within the same latitudes. Every kind of wild
fruit-bearing bush is found in great profusion ; the cedars and
other conifers grow densely upon the mountain slopes and attain
to a considerable size, though they do not compare with the
gigantic dimensions of those to be met with on the coast.
Interior Plateau. Further west, throughout the region of
the Interior Plateau, a dryer climate prevails, culminating in
the bunch grass country immediately east of the Coast Range
(see Must, next page). Here luxuriant vegetation is entirely
confined to the borders of the lakes and water courses, while the
higher benches and round topped hills present the characteristic
semi-barren appearance of this class of pasture land. The rain
and snow-fall is very moderate, total precipitation averaging
from seven to twelve inches according to locality. The winter
is confined to eight or ten weeks' frost, when the thermometer
falls to zero, and in severe seasons considerably below. The
average is not extreme nor are the cold spells protracted. The
summers, like those of Kootenay, are warm during the day with
cool evenings. As the mean elevation is some 1,500 feet, the
.air of the Interior Plateau is clear and bracing.
South of the Shuswap Lake, a climate is experienced typi-
-cal of the milder and more moist conditions which prevail in
the wide depressions once formed by glacial lakes, and which
may be said to present a mean between the dryness of the true H
bunch grass country and the humidity of the coast. The timber
is here plentiful but scattered, vegetation is varied and luxuriant, the rainfall sufficient to obviate the need of irrigation ;
the winter and summer not appreciably differing from that of
Central Europe.
The Canyons ol the Coast Range. In the narrow valleys which
traverse the Coast Range a climate is found which once more
calls for special remark as presenting features of some interest
and peculiar to these situations. At Spence's Bridge, on the
Fraser, a characteristic point, a meteorological station has been
established for some years and accurate data of this class of
climate obtained. Sheltered as these canyons are from the cold
northern winds, they admit the warm breezes of the coast and
upon their sides the sun's rays are concentrated with almost
tropical intensity. A temperature much warmer than would be
expected is the result, as will be seen from the following observations taken during 1892 and compared with those from
southern Ontario, the warmest part of eastern Canada :
March. October.
; * * 1 1
Spence's  Bridge   65.
Guelph, Ontario   52.
Although these conditions are too local and limited to be of
great importance, an account of the climate in this Province
could hardly be considered complete without some reference
being made to them. They have also a distinct value as
explaining the mild temperatures to', be met with in similar
situations as far north as latitude 500, where crops of cereals
ripen in a manner which would hardly be expected.
West Coast and Islands. No sooner is the Coast Range
crossed than an entirely new order of things becomes manifest,
indicating a great change in climatic conditions. Vegetation is
extraordinarily luxuriant, forests are everywhere, the undergrowth impenetrably dense. The reason of this is at once apparent when it is seen that the rain-fall attains to some seventy
inches, increasing as you proceed north and come more within
the immediate influence of the Japan Current, to over a hundred
inches.    The winters are shorter and much less severe, nor are
the summers so hot as those of the Interior; yet, owing to the
increased amount of moisture in suspension, extremes, such as
they are, make themselves more felt by the inhabitants. Still
no one can call the climate of the coast of British Columbia an
unhealthy or uncomfortable one. Equable, sunny and with a
singular absence of storm or tempest, the vicissitudes of life, so
far as they depend upon climate, are perhaps less accentuated
here than in most parts of the globe.
Weather reports are carefully made at some seven stations,
of which Agassiz, in the valley of the Fraser, Esquimalt and
Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, and Fort Simpson on the
North-West Coast, may be taken as providing fair illustrations of the local differences. In January, 1892, the mean
temperature at these stations ranged from 36° to 400; the maximum rising from 520 to 55°, and the minimum falling from 280 to
17°. It is only right to state that this was a typically mild winter.
In 1893, which was as typically a severe season the minimum thermometer registered as low as from — 20 to — io°. Severe weather
upon the coast never lasts for more than a few days, depending
for its continuance entirely upon a persistent north wind ; in
fact, it may be said, that without a north wind the temperature
of the coast hardly falls below freezing point. In the month of
March, 1892, the mean temperature, as recorded at the above
stations, ranged from 41 ° at Fort Simpson (lat. .54° 40"), to 470
at Nanaimo ; the maximum being 570 at the former and 74° at
Agassiz, while the minimum was 320 at the latter place and 28°
at Fort Simpson.
In April the mean was about 460 at all the stations, the
highest reached being 77° at Agassiz and the lowest 300 at
Nanaimo. In July the mean had risen to from 570 at Esquimalt
and Fort Simpson, singularly enough the extreme southern and
northern points, to 61 ° at Agassiz. During this month the
mercury touched 90° at Agassiz, reaching 740 at Esquimalt and
Fort Simpson, and 81° at Nanaimo.
fn October the mean had fallen to 49° at Esquimalt, and
only varied a degree or two from this at the other point of observation ; the maximum at Agassiz being 79° and the minimum
32° at Nanaimo. BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 87
From these data a very fair estimate of the coast temperature may be formed as, with the exception of a mild January
to which reference has been made, they only vary a few degrees
either on one side or the other of the average during a number
of years observation.
The mean rain-fall on the coast in January, 1892, was five
inches, in July nearly three, being one-fifth above the average.
The following is a table showing total precipitation during
this year :
Rainfall, in. Snowfall, in.
Esquimalt     29. 9.
Agassiz      58. 53.
Nanaimo     35- 36.
Fort Simpson    100. 51.
As was previously stated above in the general account ot
the climate, the dryest point on the coast is seen to be the
south-eastern extremity of Vancouver Island, which includes
Victoria and is represented by the observations taken at Esquimalt. An estimate of the total clouded days at this point in the
same year will prove of interest. In April these were five, in
May two, in June four, in July none, in August three, September
seven, October seven, while in November and December they
attained to thirteen and nineteen respectively.
To speak more generally of the climate of this section, the
nights, even in the height of summer, are invariably cool, more
so than is ordinarily experienced in England during spells of
warm summer weather. The harvest time is rarely unsettled so
that until recently, many years had elapsed since damage was
incurred in reaping the crops. Winters occur every now and
then during which, from the absence of northerly winds, no
perceptible degree of frost is experienced, and geraniums and
other delicate plants can be grown in the open air. Such severe
weather as is met with comes usually in short spells during the
months of January and February.
Local fogs prevail over the water during the early spring
and late autumn, chiefly in November, when they are sometimes
a serious hindrance to navigation.  BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 89
The tides of the coast, between Vancouver Island and the
Mainland, as they flow through narrow channels at the northern
and southern extremities of the Island (Seymour Narrows and
San Juan de Fuca Straits) are very eccentric, and cannot be reduced to a fixed table. For similar reasons the currents and
tide-rips which prevail among the islands of the coast are somewhat perplexing and require local study. Wind storms are rare
and the shipping suffers little damage on that account.
Northern Interior. In this portion of the Province the higher
latitude is responsible for a correspondingly severe climate. In
Cariboo and through the Chilcotin country the winters are, for
instance, somewhat longer and colder than those experienced in
the Okanagan and Columbia Valleys. At Barkerville, in the
first named district, the mean January temperature has averaged, for the last four years, 19°, that of April 340, of July 540,
and October 400. This, considering the altitude and situation
which corresponds with that of Central Russia, is not extraordinarily severe, indeed is very moderate as compared with the
interior of the Continent of America far to the south.
^©v^p^P: >
a V.
An attempt has been made in the foregoing chapters to
show the capabilities of British Columbia for supporting a large
population, which may find ample opportunity to engage its
surplus of energy and capital in manufacture and commerce.
It has been shown also, that the climate of the province is well
adapted to physical development, and that its geographical position is such as to command international trade. Nothing has
been said of the stability of its form of Government, the equitable administration of law, the protection secured to life and
property, the light burden of its national debt, or the advantages
provided by a system of free education. About these much might
be written, it will, however, suffice the present purpose to allude
to them very shortly.
The Government, The inhabitants of British Columbia may
exercise the rights of a three-fold citizenship, for they may be
Englishmen, Canadians, and British Columbians at the same
time, and while it is the rule to vote for representatives in the
two latter parliaments, there is no legal impediment to their
retaining the franchise in the former. The principles of the
Confederation of the various provinces of British North America
into the Dominion of Canada need no explanation save as they
affect this province. Briefly, they secure absolute autonomy
in all respects with the exception of the Customs, the Postal
Service, the wardship of the Aboriginal Races, and such other
affairs as clearly pertain to the Empire or the Dominion as a
The Dominion Parliament meets annually at Ottawa, and includes in its lower house six representatives from the province
elected by popular suffrage, and three senators in its upper house
nominated for life by the Crown.
The Provincial Assembly is composed of thirty-three members,
of whom five, under the Lieutenant-Governor, form the Execu- 92 BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
tive Council, or Ministry. The annual session is held at the
capital, Victoria, where all legislation affecting the well-being of
the province is enacted and the budget of the year discussed
and passed. Procedure is the same in all respects as that of the
British Parliament.
The franchise is exercised by all males over the age of
twenty-one who, being British subjects, shall have resided in
the province for one year and shall have been registered on the
voters' lists for two months previous to an election. It is thus
a purely manhold suffrage, and it will be seen that the people
enjoy the utmost liberty in the management of their own affairs
compatible with their forming an integral part of the Dominion
of Canada and of the British Empire. While these latter privileges conduce in every way to the stability of the province, and
to its security in time of war, preserving also the rights and
nationality of British subjects, they are thought not dearly purchased by surrendering control of the affairs enumerated above.
In point of fact the people are sufficiently occupied in attending
to the local administration of their own laws, in which matter
they certainly have as much say as in any country in the world.
The Judiciary. There are two Judicial tribunals in the Province, a Supreme Court, and a County Court for each of seven
different Districts. The Supreme Court exercises jurisdiction in
all cases, civil as well as criminal, arising within the Province,
and is presided over by a Chief Justice arid four Puisne Judges,
who are appointed by the Crown. The mode of civil and
criminal procedure is based upon that of England, only departing
from it in minor points of technical detail. The jurisdiction of
the County Courts has been recently limited in actions of debt
to $200, unless when the debt is liquidated or ascertained by the
signature of the parties, when a more extended jurisdiction of
$400 is given. This more extended jurisdiction is also allowed
in equity cases. Each County Court is presided over by a Judge
appointed by the Crown, who is also, within his District, a local
Judge of the Supreme Court, for the purpose of facilitating
interlocutory business. Matters of Admiralty are decided in the
Admiralty Division of the Exchequer Court of Canada, the Province constituting a separate District of such Court.    The presid- BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 93
ing Judge for this District is the Chief Justice of the Province.
There are also Police Courts presided over by Stipendiary Magistrates and Justices of the Peace. An appeal lies in civil cases
to the Supreme Court of Canada, and thence to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, whose judgment is final. It is due
to the firm and impartial administration of justice since early days,
that the province has attained its high character for law and order.
The Land Laws. In a country where land is the staple investment, where every thrifty man owns real property, and where
there are practically no agricultural tenants, it is of the first
importance that titles should be secure, transfer easy, and registration in every way beyond possibility of error. The system
has been framed to that end, and is both simple and safe. All
holdings are by grant from the Crown, and every transfer and
incumbrance upon property must be registered so that the
definite ownership can at once be ascertained beyond dispute.
The regulations under which land can be acquired from the
Crown by pre-emption are just and liberal, as will be seen by
reference to the brief abstract of the Land Act in the Appendix.
Public Debt. The high standing of British Columbian consols
—which are at the head of nearly all Colonial securities—
is sufficient indication of the solvency of the Province. While
its revenue has more than doubled in the last ten years, the
whole public debt does not greatly exceed one year's income, as
the following statement will show :
Debt of the Province at the close of Fiscal Year, 30th June, 1892.
Total amount of Funded Debt $2,713,690 00
Less Sinking Fund Account       403,490 00
Balance due on Funded Debt $2,310,200 00
Amt. due Province by Dominion (bearing 5%)   $583,021 00
Amt. on deposit in banks      665.400 00
$1,248,421 00
Amts. due by Province for Intestate Estates,
Railway Subsidies in trust, etc., etc $162,000 00
 1,086,421 00
Actual debt of the Province $1,223,789 00 94 BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
The Public School System. The education of the people has
been regarded by the Government of British Columbia as one of
the duties of the State. Free schools are established throughout
the province with a liberality which is believed to be unequalled,
or at any rate unsurpassed, by any other community. By the
constitution of the Public School Act, it is provided that wherever a minimum attendance of ten scholars can be secured,
the Government will supply a certificated teacher, so that there
is hardly a settlement in the country too small for the advantages
of a sound, common-school education to be afforded its
children. There are, in consequence, 149 schools throughout
the province giving instruction to 10,773 children, being about
a sixth of the entire white population, which, having regard to
the number of single adults, is a very large proportion. This is
a good showing and justifies the Government in its policy of
spending more of its revenue on education than on any other
item. In fact about one-sixth of the total income of the State
is thus expended, irrespective of the large annual grant from
the Department of Lands and Works for the erection of school-
houses, etc., and a sum almost equal which the city municipalities pay in salaries to their own teachers. In these latter there
are also high schools which provide a more advanced instruction
for senior scholars, and by whose agency many of the more
promising pupils are enabled to qualify as teachers. Yearly
examinations by which the knowledge of those engaged in teaching is tested, are held at the principal centres, under a Government
Inspector and Board of Examiners; the schools are also directly
under the supervision of the Minister of Education, and accurate
data of their progress supplied in the annual reports. Of course
it is within the power of those who have reaped the advantages
of an older civilization to depreciate these efforts for the education of the people. It is not professed that they are ideal or
above criticism, yet when it is considered how absolutely beyond
the reach of a voluntary system, settlers in the rural districts or
a new country must of necessity be, and how even in the towns
such a system, would depend, so far as the bulk of the children
were concerned, upon accident and caprice, the care of the
Government in this particular cannot but be regarded as praiseworthy and to the best interests of the people.
With these brief references to the political welfare of the
province the work of the writer is finished, since the more ordinary avenues of trade need hardly be alluded to ; they are, and
must continue to be just what the people make them. In the
last ten years, quarries, brick-yards, pottery works, furniture
manufactories, soap-boiling works, and many other industries
have been established by the enterprise of individuals, and
greatly to the advantage of the community at large. Electric
tramways and lighting are to be found in each principal city.
Indeed there is no present lack of the comforts of civilized life,
and there is a plentiful store of natural materials as yet undrawn
upon, to minister to the luxury of future ages. Marbles, sandstones and cements, are, ready to take the place of frame-houses
and wooden sidewalks ; already the business portion of Victoria
has been practically rebuilt, and the low structures of a former
generation have been exchanged for lofty blocks of stone or
brick. But all this is yet in its infancy, and a forced progress is
rather to be dreaded than too slow a development.
In conclusion, and at the risk of incurring the charge of
repetition it must be once more asserted that in making public
these facts* there is no desire either on the part of the writer or
on that of the Government which sanctions his work, to invite
irresponsible and ill-directed immigration. Because it has been
considered proper to place before intelligent readers the true state
of this province in the same way that the conditions of other
countries are brought to the notice of the reading public it must
not for one moment be supposed that a bid is being made for the
floating surplus of humanity. British Columbia must sooner or
later attain that position which has been foreshadowed, although
the time she will take in reaching it will greatly depend on many
circumstances beyond her own control. For her future is undoubtedly bound up in that of the Pacific. Should the progress
which has been witnessed upon her shores during the last thirty
years continue in a ratio proportionate, the province will have
become at the end of a century one of the most valuable
and most wealthy of all the British possessions. But a broad
distinction should be drawn in the minds of intending settlers
between prospects of future advancement and the certainty of 96
present hardships. If sturdy, resolute, independent people who
can weather the storm of discouragement and stand against all
manner of disappointment, choose to venture their all, as others
have done before them, in untried places, well and good ; theirs
it is to build the tower when they have counted the cost; but let
there be no delusions or dreams of lotus-eating, national greatness is not attained by the help of such constituents, nor are
personal fortunes acquired by any such means. ■^
The Mineral Wealth of British Columbia.
A Paper read before the Royal Colonial Institute, March 14th, 1893,
by Dr. G. M. Dawson, c. m. g. , f. r. s.
For fifteen years or more I have been engaged in the exploration and geological examination of British Columbia in connection with the Geological Survey
of Canada, and have thus enjoyed the opportunity of traversing and inspecting a
large part of this province of Canada. The information gained has been embodied in a series of official reports, published from year to year, and it is only
because it may be assumed that such reports are seldom read that I can venture
to hope that what I have to say may possess some interest or novelty at the
present time.
Less than one hundred years ago, the regioQ now named British Columbia
was wholly unknown. At about that time its coast began to be explored in some
detail by Cook, Vancouver, and other navigators, and soon after, this coast
became the resort of a certain number of trading vessels in search of furs; but
none of these adventurers acquired any knowledge of the interior of the country.
Almost simultaneously, however, the explorers and traders of the North-West
and Hudson's Bay Companies, pushing on and extending their operations from
point to point in the interior of the North American Continent, began to enter
the hitherto mysterious region of the Rocky Mountain from its inland side,
Mackenzie was the first to reach the Pacific, and following him came Fraser,
Thompson, Campbell and others, all Scotchmen in the service of these trading
companies, till by degrees several trading posts were established, and " New
Caledonia," as the whole region was then named,.came to be recognised as an
important "fur country/'
This era of discovery, with its results, constitutes the first chapter in the
known history of British Columbia. It is replete with the achievements and
adventures of these pioneers of commerce, who with their limited resources, and
without knowing that they had achieved fame—often without even placing their
journeys on record—extended the operations of their Companies across a continent. But this chapter, though full of interest, is not that with which we are at
present concerned. It must suffice to say that what is now British Columbia
remained a "fur country," and that alone, for many years. The existence of
coal upon its coast was recognised by Dr. Tolmie, an officer of the Hudson's
Bay Company, as early as 1835 5 but though small quantities of coal were actually
obtained from natural outcrops from time to time, for the use of blacksmiths at
the Company's posts, no importance appears to have been attached to the dis- (t
covery. The world was at that time very spacious, and the Pacific Ocean was
still regarded rather as a field for the exploration of navigators than as a highway of commerce between America and Asia.
In 1849 gold was discovered in California, and with the resulting influx of
miners, the seizure of that Mexican province by the United States, justified, if
justifiable at all, by its subsequent development, all are familiar. Two years
later, a discovery of gold occurred on the Queen Charlotte Islands, now forming
part of British Columbia. This constitutes an interesting episode by itself, but,
though some attention was drawn to it for a time, no substantial results followed,
and no alteration in the condition of the country as a whole was brought
about. The meaning and the worth of this particular discovery yet remain to
be determined.
In 1857, however, four or five French Canadians and half-breeds, employes
of the ubiquitous Hudson's Bay Company, found gold on the banks of the Thompson, a tributary of the Fraser River, and their discovery becoming known, changed
the whole fortunes of the country. California was at this time filled with gold
miners, and it required only the rumor of a new discovery of gold to create a new
*' excitement." In the following year, it is estimated that within three months
over 20,000 people arrived at the remote trading post which then stood upon the
present site of the city of Victoria, while many more made their way overland to
the new El Dorado.
The difficulties in the way of these fortune hunters were great. The country
was without roads or other means of communications, save such rough trails and
tracks as had served the purposes of the natives and those of the fur traders.
The Indians, if not openly hostile, were treacherous, and not a few of the men
who actually reached the Fraser Canyons were never again heard of.
The Fraser and Thompson were at this time the objective points, and much
of the lengths of these rivers were impracticable torrents. It is not, therefore
surprising that by far the larger part of those engaged in this sudden migration
returned disappointed, many without ever reaching their destination. Some,
however, persevered, several thousand miners actually got to work on the auriferous bars of the Fraser, and a new state of affairs was thus fairly inaugurated.
To follow the rapid progress of these miners along the Fraser and Thompson
with their tributaries, would be full of interest, though the records of their work
now existing are scanty, but this again would lead us too far afield. The gold
found on the lower reaches of the Fraser was what is known to miners as
"fine " gold, or gold in very small scales or dust, minutely divided. Further up
" coarser" gold was obtained, and the miners very naturally jumped to the conclusion that somewhere still further up the great stream, the source of all the gold
should be found. Thus, with restless energy, they pushed on till before long the
Cariboo country, some 400 miles from the sea, was reached ; and here the richest
deposits of alluvial or " placer " gold were found, and for a number of years continued to be worked, with results which, considering the comparatively small
number of men engaged, were most remarkable. BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 99
Later and more thorough investigations show that the theory so readily
adopted by the miners was incorrect; that there is no regular gradation in amount
or " coarseness " of gold from the lower part of the Fraser to the head waters in
Cariboo, but that the gold found on the bars of the river is of more local origin.
Still the theory referred to, as a matter of fact, led the miners to Cariboo, which
proved not only to be the richest district so far discovered in British Columbia,
but for its area one of the richest placer mining districts ever found.
In this district the valleys of two streams, Lightning and Williams Creeks,
have been the most remunerative, and these and their tributaries have actually
yielded the greater part of the gold obtained. The work was begun by the
washing of the gravels of the streams themselves, but with the experience already
in California and in Australia, the miners soon began to search deeper. The
valleys through which these streams flowed were found to be filled to a considerable depth by loose material, gravel and boulder-clay due to the glacial period or
to inwash from the sides of the bordering mountain ranges ; and in sinking beneath all this material the channels of older streams, the predecessors of the
present, were found, with their rocky beds smoothed and worn and filled with
rounded boulders and gravel. These contained vastly richer deposits of gold,
because they represented the concentrated accumulations of great periods of continued work by natural forces of denudation and river action.
This discovery, once made, led to the initiation of more extended mining
operations, which often necessitated large expense in labour and the construction
of heavy pumping machinery; but the results as a rule repaid the enterprising
miners. Thus the old deeply buried channel of Lightning Creek was found to
average something like $200 in gold to each running foot of its length, while
considerable lengths of Williams Creek yielded as much as $i,oco to the same
unit of measurement.
Williams Creek affords some notable instances of the extraordinary concentration of "coarse" gold in limited areas:—Thus, from Steele's claim, 80x25
feet, over $100,000 worth of gold was obtained. From the Diller Company's
claim, it is stated that in one day 200 lb. weight of gold, valued at $38,400, was
raised; and in 1863, twenty claims were producing from 70 to 400 ounces of gold
per diem. Four hundred miners were at work on Williams Creek in this year,
which is still admiringly spoken of as the "golden year."
Though, like Williams Creek, discovered in 1861, the deep channel of
Lightning Creek was not successfully reached till 1870, but great developments
followed. The Butcher claim at one time yielded 350 ounces of gold a day ; the
Aurora, 300 to 6oo ounces; and the Caledonia 300 ounces.
It must be remembered that the Cariboo mining district is situated in a high
and densely forested mountainous region, which, because of its inaccessible character, had remained almost unknown even to the wandering native hunters. At
the time in which these great discoveries in it occurred, it was reached only with
extreme difficulty by trails or imperfect tracks, over mountains and across un-
bridged rivers.    Every article required by the miner was obtained at an excessive IOO
cost; but all these drawbacks did not prevent the rapid growth of typical mining
camps in the centre of this remote wilderness, with their accompanying lavish
expenditure and costly if rude pleasures. So long as the golden stream continued
to flow in undiminished volume, everything that gold alone could buy was to be
obtained in Cariboo.
Perhaps more worthy of note is the fact that the development of these
mines was carried out entirely by the miners themselves. No outside capital or
backing was asked for or obtained. Money made in one venture was freely and
at once embarked in another, and the investors were to be found working with
pick and shovel in the shaft or drift.
But the lengths of the rich old channels on both these famous creeks which
could be worked in this way proved to be limited to a few miles. Below a certain
point in each case, the "bed rock" was found to be at so great a depth, that it
was not possibly to reach it through the loose and water-saturated materials filling
the old valley. Thus the great yield of gold became gradually reduced to comparatively modest proportions, and, at the present time, mining in the Cariboo
district is mainly confined to hydraulic workings, by which poorer ground is
utilised and a much larger quantity of material requires to be removed to obtain a
given amount of gold. But the old valleys of Cariboo have never ceased to produce gold, and in 1892 their product still amounted in value to about $200,000.
It has been impossible to follow the fortunes of the Cariboo mining district
in any detail, and time can only be afforded to name the other placer mining
districts of the province. The Omineca district was discovered soon after Cariboo,
but little was done there till 1867. This district is situated in latitude 560, in the
drainage basin of the Peace River, and, though so remote, has produced a considerable quantity of gold. Still further to the north, in latitude 580, is the
Cassiar district, first found to be auriferous in 1872, for some years thereafter
resorted to by many miners, and still a mining centre not without importance.
This is the northernmost mining region of British Columbia proper, but beyond
the 60th parallel (forming the northern boundary of the province) alluvial gold
mining has of late years been developed in the Yukon district, embracing the
numerous upper tributaries of that great river, and extending to the borders of the
United States territory of Alaska.
Neither must it be forgotten to note, that the working of alluvial gold deposit
of greater or less importance has occurred at many places in the southern part of the
province, to the east of the Fraser River, including Big Bend, Similkameen, and
Kootenay districts, from all of which some gold still continues to be produced by
the old methods.
The story of the discovery and development, the palmy days and the gradua
decline in importance of any one of these mining regions, rightly told and in
sufficient detail, would constitute in itself a subject of interest. But without
attempting to do more than name the districts here, it is of importance to note
how general, throughout the whole extent of the great area of British Columbia,
the occurrence of deposits of alluvial gold has proved to be.    The gold thus. BRITISH   COLUMBIA. IOI
found in the gravels and river beds is merely that collected in those places by
natural processes of waste, acting on the rocks, and in the concentration of their
heavy materials during the long course of time. The gold has been collected in
these places by the untiring action of the streams and rivers, and it must in all
cases be accepted as an indication of the gold-bearing veins which traverse the
rocky substructure of the country, and which await merely the necessary skill and
capital to yield to the miner still more abundantly.
Nevertheless, the results of alluvial or placer gold minihg alone in British
Columbia have not been insignificant, for, since the early years of the discovery,
the province has contributed gold to the value of some $50,000,000 to_the world.
One feature in particular requires special mention, and this is a deduction
which depends not alone on experience in British Columbia, but which is based
as well on that resulting from the study and examination of other regions. The
" heavy," or " coarse" gold, meaning by these miners' terms the gold which
occurs in pellets or nuggets of some size, never travels far from its place of origin.
It is from this point of view that it becomes important to note and record the
localities in which rich alluvial deposits have been found, even when the working
of these has been abandoned by the placer miner. Their existence points to that
of neighbouring deposits in the rock itself, which may confidently be looked for,
and which are likely to constitute a greater and more permanent source of wealth
than that afforded by their derived gold.
Reverting for a moment to the Cariboo district, where such notably rich
deposits of alluvial gold have been found within a limited area, and where, very
often, the gold obtained has been actually mingled with the quartz of the parent
veins, it cannot be doubted that these veins will before long be drawn upon to
produce a second golden harvest. This district has suffered and still suffers from
its great distance from efficient means of communication; but, notwithstanding
this, praiseworthy efforts have already been made towards the development of
" quartz mining," while much also remains to be done in utilising by operations
on a larger scale, and with better appliances, the less accessible deposits which
have so far baffled the efforts of the local miner.
It is necessary to bear in mind that alluvial gold mining or placer mining
requires but a minimum amount of knowledge on the part of the miner, though
it may call for much individual enterprise and effort when a new and difficult
region is to be entered. Any man of ordinary intelligence may soon become an
expert placer miner. It is after all, in the main, a poor man's method of mining;
and, as a rule, the placer miner lacks the knowledge as well as the capital necessary to enable him to undertake regular mining operations on veins and lodes.
However promising the indications may be for such mining, he either does not
appreciate them, or passes them over as being beyond his experience or means.
He would rather travel hundreds of miles to test a new reported discovery, than
spend a summer in endeavouring to trace out a quartz reef, with the uncertain
prospect of being able to dispose of it at some later date.
Thus, though the development of placer mining in British Columbia began a
new history for that great region, raising it from the status of a " fur country" to iH
that of an independent colony, and subsequently to that of a province of Canada,
there remained a gap to be bridged in order that the province should begin to
realise its proper place among the mining regions of the world. It was necessary
that railways should be constructed to convey machinery and carry ores, as well as
to bring to the metalliferous districts men who would not face the hardships of
pioneer travel in the mountains, but who are in a position to embark the necessary
capital in promising enterprises.
For a portion of the province, the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway has afforded these facilities, but by far the larger part still awaits railway
communication. Had the Canadian Pacific Railway, in accordance with some of
the surveys made for it, traversed, for instance, the Cariboo district, there can be
no doubt that we should have already been able to note great developments there.
This railway has, however, been constructed across the southern portion of the
province, and in its vicinity, and concurrently with its progress, new mining
interests have begun to grow up, of which something must now be said.
Before turning to these, however, I must ask to be allowed to say a few
words respecting the development of the coal mines of British Columbia, which
was meanwhile in progress.
The discovery of coal upon the coast, at an early date in the brief history of
British Columbia, has already been alluded to. Following this discovery, the
Hudson's Bay Company brought out a few coal miners from Scotland, and proceeded to test and open up some of the deposits. Thus, as early as 1853, about
2,000 tons of coal were actually raised at Nanaimo. San Francisco already began
to afford a market for this coal, and the amount produced increased from year to
year. The principal coal mining district remained, and still remains, at Nanaimo,
on Vancouver Island. At the close of the year 1888, about four and a half million
tons in all had been produced, and the output has grown annually, till in 1891
over a million tons were raised in one year. California is still the principal place
of sale for the coal, which, by reason of its superior quality, practically controls
this market, and is held in greater estimation than any other fuel produced on the
Pacific slope of North America. The local consumption in the province itself
grows annually, and smaller quantities are also exported to the Hawaiian Islands,
and to China, Japan, and other places. In the various ports of the Pacific Ocean
the coal from British Columbia comes into competition with coal from Puget
Sound, in the State of Washington, which, because of the high protective duty
established by the United States, is enabled to achieve a large sale in California
notwithstanding its inferior quality. It also has to compete with shipments from
Great Britain, brought out practically as ballast, with the coals of Newcastle in
New South Wales, with coal from Japan, and in regard to the Pacific ports of the
Russian Empire, with coal raised by convict labour at Duai, on Saghalien Island,
in the Okotsk Sea.
Though Nanaimo has been from the first the chief point of production of
coal, work has been extended within the last few years to the Comox district, also
situated on Vancouver Island ; while other promising coal-bearing tracts have BRITISH COLUMBIA. IO3
been in part explored and examined on this island and on the Queen Charlotte
These particular coal regions, bordering on the Pacific Ocean, have naturally/
been the first to be employed, but they by no means exhaust the resources of the
province in respect to coal. Deposits of good bituminous coal are also known in>
the inland region, and some of these in the vicinity of the line of railway are now
being opened up, while others, still far from any practical means of transport or
convenient market, have been discovered, and lie in reserve. One of the most
remarkable of these undeveloped fields is that of the Crow's Nest Pass, in the
Rocky Mountains, where a large number of superposed beds of exceptional thickness and quality have been defined.
Besides the bituminous coals, there are also in the interior of the province
widely extended deposits of lignite coals, of later geological age, which, though
inferior as fuels, possess considerable value for local use.
In the Queen Charlotte Islands anthracite coal is found, but has not yet been
successfully worked ; and in the Rocky Mountains, on the line of the Canadian
Pacific Railway, coal of the same kind again occurs, near Banff and Canmore
stations. The places last named lie just beyond the eastern borders of British
Columbia in the adjacent district of Alberta, but require mention in connection
with the mineral resources of the province.
The coals of British Columbia may, in fact, be said to represent, in regard to
quality and composition, every stage from hard to smokeless fuels, such as anthracite, to lignites and brown coals like those of Saxony and Bohemia. Many
features of interest to the geologist might be mentioned in relation to these coal
deposits did time permit, but it must not be forgotten to note one principal fact
of this kind—the very recent geological age to which all the coals belong. N one
of the coal of British Columbia are so old as those worked in Great Britain ;
they are, in fact, all contained in cretaceous and tertiary rocks.
The very general distribution of coals of various kinds in different parts of
the province is of peculiar importance when considered in connection with the
building of railways and the mining and smelting of the metalliferous ores. It
insures the most favourable conditions for the development of these ores, to some
further examination of which we must now return.
It is especially worthy of note, that wherever in the United States the Rocky
Mountain or Cordilleran region has been traversed by railways, mining, and
particularly that of the precious metals, has immediately followed. It appears to
require only facilities of transport and travel to initiate important mining enterprises in any part of this region. The building of the Canadian Pacific Railway
across the southern part of British Columbia, with the construction of other
railway lines in the neighbouring States, near the frontier of the province, have
already begun to bring about the same result in this new region; which, till these
railways were completed, had remained almost inaccessible. It had long before
been resorted to by a few placer miners in search of alluvial gold, and their
efforts were attended with some success.    Silver-bearing lead ores were also found 104
to occur there, but under the circumstances existing at the time these actually
possessed no economic value.    It was impossible to utilise them.
In 1886, some prospectors, still in search of placer gold only, happened to
camp in a high mountainous egion which has since become familiarly known as
Toad Mountain, and one of them, in seeking for lost horses, stumbled on an outcrop of ore, of which he brought back a specimen. This specimen was afterwards
submitted to assay, and the results were such that the prospectors returned and
staked out claims on their discovery. The ore, in fact, proved to contain something like $300 to the ton in silver, with a large percentage of copper and a
little gold.
In this manner what is now known as the "Silver King" mine was discovered,
and, as a consequence of its discovery, the entire Kootanie district, in which it is
situated, began to be overrun with prospectors. Hundreds of these men, with
experience gained in the neighbouring states of Montana and Idaho, as well as
others from different parts of the world, turned their attention to Kootanie. The
result has been that within about five years a very great number of metalliferous
deposits, chiefly silver ores, have been discovered, and claims taken out upon
them. Several growing mining centres and little towns have been established ;
roads, trails, and bridges have been made, steamers have been placed on the
Kootanie Lake and on the Upper Columbia River, and a short line of railway has
been built between the lake and river to connect their navigable waters. The
immediate centre of interest in regard to mining development in British Columbia
has, in fact, for the time being, been almost entirely changed from the principal
old placer mining districts to the new discoveries of silver-bearing veins.
So far as they have yet been examined or opened up, the metalliferous
deposits of the Kootanie district give every evidence of exceptional value. They
consist chiefly of argentiferous galena, holding silver to the value of from $40 to
$50 to several hundred dollars to the ton. Nelson, Hot Springs, Casloslocan,
Illecillewaet, and Golden are at present the principal recognised centres in the
ew district, but it would be rash as yet to attempt to indicate its ultimate limits.
Though much has already been done in this Kootanie district, two principal
causes have tended to prevent the more rapid growth of substantial mining up to
the present time. The first of these is the difficulty still existing in respect to the
local transport of large quantities of ores; the second, the exaggerated values
placed by discoverers upon their claims. While it is evidently just that the
prospector should receive an ample remuneration for his find, it is to be noted
that the laws of British Columbia are so liberal that he (whatever his nationality)
may, at a cost scarcely more than nominal, hold and establish his claim, even
though he may be practically without means of developing it. Such development
in all cases requires the expenditure of considerable sums, and this must always
be of a more or less speculative character, while, even if thus fully proved, it
becomes further necessary to incur an additional large expenditure in plant and
machinery before any property reaches the status of a going concern. Scarcely
an instance can be quoted anywhere of a mine which has paid its own way from BRITISH   COLUMBIA. 105
the "grass" down, but almost every prospector is fully convinced that his claim
is precisely of this kind.
I have been unable to say anything in detail in regard to the actual modes of
occurrence of the ores now being brought to light in the Kootanie district and
'their geological relations. Neither is it practicable, on the present occasion, to
pursue in further detail the history or description of other districts of the province
in which more or less good work of a preliminary kind has been done in the
development of metalliferous deposits of various kinds. Okanagan, Rock Creek,
Nicola, Similkameen, the North Thompson, and Cayoosh Creek can only be
named. It has been possible merely to endeavour to indicate in broad lines what
has already been done and what must soon follow. Within a few years this province of Canada will undoubtedly hold an important place in the list of quotations
of mining stocks in London and elsewhere, and then the further development of
its mines will become a subject of common interest from day to day.
In conclusion, I wish to draw attention to one or two ruling features of the
actual situation which are too important to be left without mention:—
The Cordilleran belt, or Rocky Mountain region of North America, forming
the wide western rim of the continent, has, whenever it has been adequately
examined, proved to be rich in the precious metals as well as in other ores. This
has been the case in Mexico and in the western states of the American union.
Though some parts of this ore-bearing region are undoubtedly richer than others,
generally speaking it is throughout a metalliferous country. The mining of placer
or alluvial gold deposits has in most cases occurred in advance of railway construction ; but this industry has always proved to be more or less transitory in its
character, and has almost invariably been an indication of future and more permanent developments of a different kind. Placer gold-mining has, in fact, often
been continued for years and then abandoned, long before the gold and silver-
bearing veins in the same tract of country have been discovered and opened up.
This later and more permanent phase of mining has followed the construction of
railways and roads, and the series of conditions thus outlined are repeating themselves in British Columbia to-day. Bill
There is no reason whatever to believe that the particular portions of British
Columbia now for the first time opened to mining by means of the Canadian
Pacific Railway, are richer in ores than other parts of the province. On the
contrary, what has already been said of the Cariboo district affords prima facie
evidence of an opposite character. The province of British Columbia alone, from
south-east to north-west, includes a length of over 800 miles of the Cordilleran
region ; and, adding to this the further extension of the same region comprised
within the boundaries of the Dominion of Canada as a whole, its entire length in
Canada is between 1,200 and 1,300 miles. This is almost identical with the
whole length of the same region contained within the United States, from the
southern boundary with Mexico to the northern with Canada.
Circumstances have favoured the development of the mines of the Western
States of the Union, but it is, as nearly as may be, certain, that the northern half 106 BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
of the similar region will eventuafly prove equal in richness to the-southern, and that
when the mines of these Western States may have passed their zenith of productiveness, those of the north will be still increasing in this respect. The explorations
of the Geological Survey of Canada have already resulted in placing on record the
occurrence of rich ores of gold and silver in various places scattered along the
entire length of the Cordilleran region in Canada, and though so far we have to
chronicle only an awakening of interest in the southern part of British Columbia,
these discoveries stand as indications and incentives to further enterprise to the north.
While the remote and impracticable character of much of this northern
country places certain obstacles in the way of its development, on the other hand
the local abundance of timber and water-power in it afford facilities unknown in
the south, which will be of importance whenever mining operations have actually
been set on -foot.
No attempt has been made in this brief sketch of the mineral wealth of
British Columbia to enumerate the various ores and minerals which have so far
been found within the limits of the province in any systematic manner. Nothing
has been said of the large deposits of iron, from some of which a certain amount
of ore has already been produced, and which wait to realise their true importance,
merely the circumstances which would render their working on a large scale remunerative. Copper ores have also been discovered in many places. Mercury, in the
form of cinnabar, promises to be of value in the near future, and iron pyrites,
plumbago, mica, asbestos, and other useful minerals are also known to occur. In
late years platinum has been obtained in alluvial mines in British Columbia in
such considerable quantity as to exceed the product of this metal from any other
part of North America.
While, therefore, the more important products of this western mountain
region of Canada are, and seem likely to be, gold, silver, and coal; its known
minerals are already so varied, that, as it becomes more fully explored, it seems
probable that few minerals or ores of value will be found to be altogether wanting.
Respecting the immediate future of mining, which is the point to which
attention is particularly called at the present time, it may be stated that coalmining rests already on a substantial basis of continued and increasing prosperity;
while the work now actually in progress, particulary in the southern part of the
province, appears to indicate that, following the large output of placer gold, and
exceeding this in amount and in permanence, will be the development of silver
mines, with lead and copper as accessory. products. The development of these
mining industries will undoubtedly be followed by that of auriferous quartz reefs,
in various parts of the province, while all these mining enterprises must react upon
and stimulate agriculture and trade in their various branches.
Because a mountainous country, and till of late a very remote one, the development of the resources of British Columbia has heretofore been slow, but the
preliminary difficulties having been overcome, it is now, there is every reason to
believe, on the verge of an era of prosperity and expansion of which it is yet
difficult to forsee the amount or the end. APPENDIX B
Abstract of Land Act,
Shewing the Regulations under which Land may be acquired by
N. B.—No land is sold by the Government, except by public auction, on rare
occasions, when its adaptability to some special purpose subjects it to competition.
It is thus secured as much as possible to the uses of the bona-fide settler.
Pre-emption of Surveyed and Unsurveyed Lands.
5. Except as hereinafter appears, any person being the head of a family, a
widow, or single man over the age of eighteen years, and being a British subject,
or any alien, upon his making a declaration of his intention to become a British
subject, before a Commissioner, Notary Public, Justice of the Peace, or other
officer appointed therefor, which declaration shall be in the Form No. I in the
Schedule to the " Land Act," and upon his filing the same with the Commissioner,
may record any tract of unoccupied and unreserved Crown lands (not being an
Indian settlement) not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres in extent: Provided,
that such right shall not be held to extend to any of the aborigines of this continent, except to such as shall have obtained permission in writing to so record by
a special order of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.    1893, s. I.
7. Any person desiring to pre-empt as aforesaid shall, if the land be unsurveyed, first place at each angle or corner of the land to be applied for a stake or
post at least four inches square, and standing not less than four feet above the
surface of the ground ; any stump of a tree may be used for a post, provided it be
squared as aforesaid, and of the required height and dimensions, and upon each
post a notice in the following form shall be affixed :—
A. B.'s land, N. E. post." (meaning north-east post); "A.B.'s land, N. W.
post" (meaning north-west post) ; and so on, as the case may be.
8. Any person desiring to pre-empt surveyed land must make application
in writing to the Commissioner of the district in which the land is situate to record
such land, and in such application the applicant must give the surveyed description of the land intended to be recorded, and enclose a sketch plan thereof, and
such description and plan shall be in duplicate; the applicant shall also make
before a Justice of the Peace, Notary Public, or Commissioner, and furnish the
Commissioner with, a declaration in duplicate, in the Form No. 2 in the Schedule
hereto ; and if the applicant shall in such declaration make any statement, know- io8
ing the same to be false, he shall have no right at law or in equity to the land the
record of which he may have obtained by the making of such declaration. 1884,
c. 16, s. 6.
12. Upon the compliance by the applicant with the provisions hereinbefore
contained, and upon payment by him of the sum of two dollars to the Commissioner, the Commissioner shall record such land in his favour as a pre-emption
claim, and give him a certificate of such pre-emption record.    1884, c. 16, s. 10.
13. The pre-emptor shall, within thirty days after the date of the certificate
of record, enter into occupation of the land so recorded ; and if he shall cease to
occupy such land, save as hereinafter is provided, the Commissioner may, in a
summary way, upon being satisfied of such cessation of cccupation, cancel the
record of the settler so ceasing to occupy the same, and all improvements and
buildings made and erected on such land shall be absolutely forfeited to the Crown,
and such settler shall have no further right therein or thereto ; and the certificate
of record given to such pre-emptor shall be deemed to be null and void to all
intents and purposes whatsoever ; and the said land may be recorded anew by the
Commissioner, in the name of, or upon application by, any person satisfying the
requirements in that behalf of this Act.    1884, c. 16, s. 11.
14. The occupation in this Act required shall mean a continuous bona-fide
personal residence of the pre-emptor, or of his family, on the land recorded by
him.    1891, c. 15, s. 1.
15. Every pre-emptor, as well as his family (if any) shall be entitled to be absent
from the land recorded by such settler for any one period not exceeding two
months during any one year. He shall be deemed to have ceased to occupy such
land when he shall have been absent, continuously, for a longer period than two
months, except as hereinafter provided.    1884, c. 16, s. 13 ; 1891, c. 15, s. 2.
16. If any pre-emptor shall show good cause to the satisfaction of the Commissioner, such Commissioner may grant to the said pre-emptor leave of absence
for any period of time, not exceeding six months in any one year, inclusive of the
two months' absence from his claim provided for in section 15. In cases of illness,
vouched for by sufficient evidence, or in the cases of immigrant settlers returning
to their former homes to bring their families to their homesteads, or in other
special cases, the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works may in his discretion
grant an extension of time during which the pre-emptor may be absent from his
claim, without prejudice to his right therein. 1884, c 16, s. 14; 1890, c. 22, s.
3 ; 1891, c. 15, s. 3.
17. No person shall be entitled to hold at the same time two claims by preemption ; and any person so pre-empting more than one claim shall forfeit all
right, title and interest to the prior claim recorded by him, and to all improvements made and erected thereon, and deposits of money made to Government on
account thereof; and the land included in such prior claim shall be open for preemption.    1884, c. 16, s. 15. BRITISH   COLUMBIA. IO9
22. A pre-emptor of surveyed land shall be entitled to receive from the
Commissioner a certificate, to be called a " Certificate of improvement," upon
his proving to the Commissioner, by the declarations in writing of himself and two
other persons, or in such other manner as the Commissioner may require, that
he has been in occupation of his pre-emption claim from the date of the record
thereof, and has made permanent improvements thereon to the value of two
dollars and fifty cents per acre.    1884, c. 16, s. 20.
24. Every person pre-empting surveyed or unsurveyed land shall pay one
dollar per acre for the same, to the Commissioner at his office, in four equal annual
instalments of twenty-five cents each per acre. The first instalment shall be due
two years from the date of the record of the land pre-empted, and such subsequent
instalment yearly thereafter, until the full payment is paid : Provided, however,
that the last instalment shall not be payable until the land so pre-empted, if
unsurveyed, shall have been surveyed.    1884, c. 16, s. 22.
25. After the grant of a certificate of improvement as aforesaid to the pre-
emptor, and payment of one dollar per acre for the land has been made, a Crown
grant or conveyance of the fee simple of and in the land mentioned as recorded in
such certificate, shall be executed in favour of the said pre-emptor, upon payment
of the sum of five dollars therefor; but no such Crown grant shall be executed in
favour of any alien who may have declared as aforesaid his intention of becoming
a British subject, until such alien shall have become, according to law, a naturalized
subject; and no Crown grant shall issue until the pre-emptor or his family shall
have bona-fide occupied the pre-emptor for the last two years. 1884, c. 16, s. 23 ;
1891, c 15, s. 12.
26. No transfer of any surveyed or unsurveyed land pre-empted under this
Act shall be valid, until after a Crown grant of the same shall have been issued.
1884, c. 16, s. 24.
Sport in British Columbia.
The Province has been described by no mean authority as "a sportsman s
paradise." This title is well chosen, if by the term sportsman is understood the
true animal hunter, not the mere animal slayer. For though objects of the chase
abound, facilities for their easy slaughter are, fortunately, by no means so plentiful. Men who are fond of the duresse of sport who do not stint their pains in the
pursuit of game, can always enjoy the severities of hard travelling rewarded by a
successful hunt; but if the ambition of the " sportsman " be to obtain a maximum
bag, with a minimum outlay of personal effort, it were better that he should
remain on his own covers at home.
Of the cervidae the Moose stands at the head. Its distribution is confined
almost entirely to the water-shed of the Arctic. The Wapiti is found only on
Vancouver Island, in the interior of which it is still tolerably abundant. Next in
size comes the Cariboo, found throughout the wooded plateaux of the Interior.
In interest not behind these is the Mountain Sheep, or Big-horn, (not found
west of the Coast Range), of which this Province is now the only accessible hunting
Amongst smaller deer the Mule-deer is chief, and the Black-tail and Virginian complete the list, while the Mountain Goat is sole representative of the
Antelope tribe, the graceful Prong-horn not penetrating farther west than the
Rocky Mountains.
First among the Bear tribe is the Grizzly or " Silver-tip " which a few years
ago could be met with close to the C.P.R. track in the Selkirks, but the relentless
war waged upon him by mining prospectors with sporting proclivities has driven
him back into the fastnesses of the Big Bend. He is however still an object of the
dread or solicitude of settlers through the Mainland. His more humble brother
the Black bear and its variety the Cinnamon are common throughout the Province.
Of the Felidse, the lithe and cowardly Puma, Panther or American Lion, is
a pest to sheep farmers on the Island. Outlawed with a price upon his head ($5.00)
he skulks round the settlements until his depradations are put an end to by a well
directed bullet.    Wolves, black and grey, are more frequently heard than seen.
Of birds, abundant sport can be obtained with duck, prairie-chicken and blue
and willow grouse. Pheasant has been recently introduced in the neighbourhood
of Victoria, and under game restriction, has become very plentiful.
Fly Fishing. Excellent trout fishing can be obtained on a great number of the
streams throughout the Interior and on Vancouver Island. The fish exhibit none
of that reluctance in taking a fly, for which Pacific Coast salmon are proverbial.
The catch upon the occasion illustrated, with four rods, in one day, Aug. 3,
1893, amounted to 146, average weight 1% lbs.   This is not an extraordinary catch. LIST  OF  ILLUSTRATIONS.
The thanks of the writer are due to those gentlemen who kindly placed their
photographs at his disposal for engraving; their names and addresses are here
given. With the exception of Nos. 3, 11, 13 and 23, on application they can
supply these and numerous other characteristic views of the country.
The views of the chief towns have been chosen rather for the purpose of exhibiting their situation, and the surrounding scenery, than to show their buildings
or streets.
E. Kootenay. pa&e. Photo, by
Kootenay Valley, near Cranbrook     9   Bourne & May, Calgary
Wild Horse Creek    13         " " "
W. Kootenay.
Ainsworth   20 . .. C. Phillips-Wolley, Victoria
Columbia R. below Revelstoke   82 C. McMunn, Victoria
Yale District.
Salmon Valley   31    C. W. Holliday, Vernon
Vernon  33   A. D. Worgan,Vernon
Seeding in the Okanagan 90   C. W. Holliday, Vernon
Washing for Gold, Fraser R   50     C. McMunn, Victoria
Junction of N. and S. Thompson Rivers 84 S. J. Thompson, N. Westmins'r
Lillooet District.
Cariboo Waggon Road   23   R. Maynard, Victoria
Bridge River   35 ..   . C. Phillips-Wolley, Victoria
Placer Mining   52   C. McMunn, Victoria
Cariboo District.
Unsurveyed lands on Buckley R 38   A. L. Poudrier, D.L.S.
New Westminster District.
Vancouver City  74 • • Trueman & Caple, Vancouver
New Westminster City  88 S. J. Thompson, N. Westmins'r
Loading Lumber at Moodyville  62  R. Maynard, Victoria
Douglas Fir, on Burrard Inlet   64          " "
Fraser River Canneries  7c S.J. Thompson, N. Westmins'r
Vancouver Island.
Victoria Frontispiece... .Fleming Bros., Victoria
Esquimalt Harbour  78  C. McMunn, Victoria
Nanaimo  54  R. Maynard, Victoria
Logging on Cowichan Lake 66  Fleming Bros., Victoria
A day's Fly Fishing on the Nimkish... 110 ... .C. Phillips-Wolley, Victoria   


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