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BC Historical Books

The rocks and rivers of British Columbia Moberly, Walter, 1832-1915 1885

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Array THE 
(In MemoriamM
Not in some great cathedral, Mb
Not  in. some* sculptured nave,       Jem
But  in   the   Rockies   that   he   loved
Lay the ashes of {he brave.
There,  where  the torrent is roaring,
There, where the white peaks rear,
Let that be the mausoleum
For the Grand Old Pioneer.
There, where he slew the grizzly,
There, where the tempests sweep,
Let the* pass he named the Eagle
Ward  of his' ashes keep. ||||
For his was .the eagle nature,
His was the vision clear. ;
Make an eerie in the mountains
For   the   Grand   Old   Pioneer.
Mackenzie, Fraser and Thompson—
These alone are his  peers
In Columbia's noble story
Of pathfinders and seers.
He came <s^ a breed unbeaten,
A breed  that knew  not fear,
And he blazed a trail for a railroad,
This  Grand Old  Pio/ieer.
He kept one  goal  before him,
And he won that goal at last.
Body and brain and muscle
At his  country's feet he  cast, j
Then    his    grateful    country    thanked
him— |
By forgetting—both there and herej^gj
That  the  trail  was  blazed  through  the
By the Grand Old PioneerJli
Nothing  became  him  better
Than :he last great fight of all.
Fearless  he faced  the  Great Beyond;
Fearless he met the call.
;Andr those  about  him  marvelled
When they saw the end draw near,
At the  pluck and splendid fortitude,
Of the Grand Old Pioneer.
Then place his urn in the mountains,
In the Pass where the thunder sounds
Of the iron  horses  rushing    ||f|
To the farthest western  bounds.
There,   where his  spirit is  homing-
Explorer   and   engineer—
There let him sleep in' the silence,
This Grand Old Pioneer.
r^"'^•■■-|    BOW RIVER, IN THE CANADIAN ROCKY MOUNTAINS.   THE ROCKS AND RIVERS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, BY WALTER MOBERLY, C.E., Late Assistant Surveyor-General of British Columbia and Dominion Govern
ment Engineer-in-Charge of "Exploratory Surveys" of the Rocky Mountain
 District of the "Canadian Pacific RAilway."  DEDICATION.
nHHE gradual development of the Dominion of Canada by 1
comparatively small and scattered population, and the
gigantic work undertaken by them to consolidate and build up a
nation worthy of the grand old British Empire, together with
the important geographical position British Columbia occupies
in the Confederation, has led me to write a few pages describing
in part some of the events that occurred when British Columbia
was a Crown Colony, and more recently a portion of the
Dominion of Canada, and with both of which I was, to some
extent, personally acquainted.    The warm interest always taken
by   and   my early   acquaintance   with   you  when in   British
Columbia induces me to dedicate my small and imperfect work
to you.
Winnipeg, September, 1884.
Royal Engineers.
<mm  .'
Chap. 1.—Mr. Paul Kane.—His description of the country.—Introduces me to Sir George Simpson.—Sir James Douglas.—New
York.—Moses Taylor.—Steamer Herman.—Sail for Vancouver
J_&-LcvXlCL * • * «*« ••• ••• • • • ••« •. • I ••• *•*
—Occupations   on journey.—Captain T.
-Victoria       ...        ...        ...
!.—Voyage to Rio Janeiro.—Passengers,, &c.—Arrive at Rio.
€hap. 3.—At Rio.—The Emperor and Empress.—A melancholy
story.—Heat and yellow fever ...        ...        ...
■Chap. 4.—Leave Rio.—A storm.—Straits of Magellan.—Terra del
Fuego.—A. gale.—The Pacific Ocean
Chap. 5.—Coronel and Lota.—Conception.—Valparaiso.—Bay of
Panama.—San Francisco.—Captain Dall   ...
jChap. 6.—Voyage to Victoria      ...        ...
Chap. 7.—Esquimault.—Victoria.—Sir   James    Douglas.—Sail for
"Chap. 8.—Fort Langley.—Mr. Yale.—Steamer Enterprise and
Captain Tom Wright.—Journey to Port Douglas...        ...        ...
Chap. 9.—A long walk.—Mining;.—Starved out
Chap. 10.—In  difficulties.
Wright.—Pitt River.-
Chap. 11.—Colonel Moody.—Enter Government service.—Found
City of New Westminster.—Fish and Game
•Chap. 12.—Trip to Burrard Inlet.—Explore Squamish and Jeakniss
River.—Gold Hunt.—A salmon        ...        ...        ...        ...
Chap. 13.—Victoria.—Tramway.—Take a contract.—An Expensive
invi Tjaxjion ...        ...        ...        ...        ...        ...        ...        ...
Chap. 14.—Build a waggon road.—Take another contract on the
Great Highway.—A legend   ...
Chap. 15.—A new Governor.—In Government service.—Cariboo.
—Become a member of First Legislative Council.—Resign.
—Again in Government service.—Take charge of the Columbia
River   explorations.—Discover § Eagle Pass/'—A    dangerous
J- Cu VJ-L \~L ••• « • # • • • ••• *•• •*• •** • • • •**
Chap. 16.—Kill a bear.—A burying ground.—A valuable.blazed tree.
—Mount Moody.— The Pass for the Overland Railway.—The pass
in the Selkirks.—The Ille-cille-waet.—A route for the railway.
—a. cerbamuy    ...        ...        ...        ...        ...        ...        ...        ...
Chap. 17.—Trip up the Ille-cille-waet.—Kill a grizzly, &c.—Act as
First Gold Commissioner on Columbia River.—Adam and Eve...
Chap. 18.—New Westminster.—Back to Columbia River.—Make
trails.—Explore Columbia River from its source.—Kinbaskit ...
Chap. 19.—The "Boat Encampment/' and a sad tale.—Meet the
Acting-Governor.—French Creek.—A story ...
52 x8
Chap. 20.—Close   work.—Return   to   New   Westminster
Government service.—Go to San Francisco
Chap. 21.—San Francisco.—The White Pine excitement.—Minine
on Awyhee River.—Bruin and bull run.—Blowing up fish.—Give
the Judge a dinner, and its result ...
Chap. 22.—A hard walk    ...
Chap. 23.—A lost guide.—-The mines fail.—Return to San Francisco.
—A lucky speculation.—Utah.—Brigham Young and the
Mormons.—Mining.—A telegram.—Ottawa.—Enter service of
Canadian Government.—Back to British Columbia as an
engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway ..,       ...
Chap. 24.—Leave with parties for the interior
Chap. 25. —Transactions on journey.—The boat-landing.—Surveys
proposed.—Cross the Rocky Mountains
Chap. 26.—The Kootanie Plain.—Do not find party from the East.
—Return to Howse Pass.—Driven out by snow   ...
Chap. 27.—Winter journey through Selkirk.—Gold and Cascade
ranges.—Telegraph to Mr. Fleming...
Chap. 28.—Organise for next season's work. Extraordinary orders.
—Difficulty of situation.—Obey orders against my wishes.—
Back to Columbia River
Chap. 29.—Transactions on the Columbia River
Chap. 30.—Journey to Yellowhead Pass
Chap. 31.—Partially examine pass north of Mount Brown.—Reach
Yellowhead Pass.—Meet parties
Chap. 32.—The " Miette " River.—Henry House.—Meet Mr.
Fleming.—We part
Chap. 33.—Disappointment.—Find party at '% The Boat Encampment."—Peremptory orders.—Back to Yellowhead Pass.—Chase
after party T.—Commence survey on summit of Rocky Mountains.—Jasper House.—Miette's Rock.—In winter quarters.—
Resume survey ...
Chap. 34.—An unreliable report.—Packed by a woman.—Lignite
and iron.—A storm.—Curing scurvy.—Receive orders to return
Chap. 35.—Return to dep6t.—Orders from East and West at same
time.—Complete survey.—Make exploration.—My last instructions on   C.P.R.—Victoria.—San Francisco.—Ottawa.—Leave
oL-I V Xv/C7 ••• • * • ♦ • ► • • • ♦ • * ••• • • • • • • • • *
<J3hap. 36.—Red River.—Build first sewers.—Lay first iron track in
the North-West.—Lady Dufferin drives the last spike.—Fish
and fishing.—Steps taken to get C.P.R. on proper line.—Connection with a fraudulent company.—Give information to C.P.R.
Syndicate.—Get charter for tramways.—Obstructed
100» W CHAPTER |
la the year 1854 I had the pleasure of forming a very intimate
acquaintance with the celebrated Canadian painter, Mr. Paul
Kane, of Toronto, after his journey across the mountains and visit
to the Pacific Coast: and during that and the succeeding years,
up to 1858,1 was almost daily in his studio or house. Mr. Kane
gave me long and most minute descriptions of the various places
he had visited, and shewed me all his sketches, paintings, &c.,
&c, which he had collected.
His descriptions of the country interested me very much; and
I decided to go there and see the Western or Pacific Coast, and
try if such a thing as an overland communication could not be
accomplished. Mr. Kane was on intimate terms with Sir George
Simpson, Governor of the Hudson Bay Company, and I asked him
to introduce me to Sir George, which he did. In my interview
with Sir George I fully explained to him my wish to see Vancouver
Island and British Columbia, and the ultimate object I had in
view. Sir George at once most kindly offered me a letter of
introduction to Mr., afterwards Sir James Douglas, at that time
the head of the Honourable Hudson Bay Company on the Pacific
Coast, and afterwards the first Governor of the Crown Colony
of British Columbia. About this time I heard of gold having
been discovered in British Columbia, and one fine morning,
with   Sir   George   Simpson's letter   in  my pocket, I started
for New York, to catch the steamer for the Isthmus of
Panama. On my reaching New York, I ascertained the first
steamer for the Isthmus would be the Moses Taylor, at that
time generally known as The Rolling Moses, and that I could
get the top bunk in a miserable state-room—only five tier of
bunks—by paying the full fare of 375 dollars, through to San
Francisco. Money was scarce with me, and I walked up to the
St. Nicholas Hotel, where I was staying, in anything but a happy
state of mind. I lit a cigar and considered the situation, and at
last concluded to go to St. Louis and join an emigrant train and
go overland by Salt Lake City. With this intention I went to
call upon a friend, and told him the position I was in. His
answer was, " I have the very thing for you, come along.'' We
went down to a steamboat office and found a new companyswas
going to send the old steamer Hermann, round the Horn, to
Vancouver Island, in a few days, and that she would touch at Bio
Janeiro and other ports in South America, on her way. This
was very encouraging, as I should have the opportunity of seeing
something of South America, and of enjoying a pleasant passage.
I accordingly engaged a very comfortable state-room, and saw what
I could of New York, until the sailing of the steamer. The
steamer anchored out in the harbour, and the passengers went on
board in a small tender, late in the evening. Everything was in a
state of confusion, but I managed to get the key of my stateroom, put in my luggage, and later on went quietly to bed, awakening next morning to find we were some distance out of New York
harbour, in calm and delightful weather. BRITISH  COLUMBIA.
We had beautiful weather all the way to Rio Janeiro, and in
passing opposite the mouth of the Oronoco River, a long distance
from land, it was easy to distinguish the line between the dirty
looking water of the river and the beautiful clear ocean water.
I found it very enjoyable at night, when the weather was warm,
to stow myself away in a sail on the bowsprit and smoke, watching
the beautiful phosphorescent sparks flying out of the ocean at
every plunge of the ship. Two porpoises stationed themselves
a few feet in front and on each side of the stem of the ship, and
accompanied us for a long time.
With the passing days I began to find that we had a peculiar
mixture of passengers, notably among whom was a band of the
disgusting " free-lovers" from the state of Ohio, and I must
say the "ladies" of that party were far from being angels,
in appearance, language, or manner. Many were the flirtations, and great the jealousy existing between two of our
lady cabin passengers. One sultry afternoon, I was alone
reading in the saloon close to the adjoining ladies' cabin,
when I was somewhat astonished to hear through the open door
remarkably forcible language, followed by what was evidently a
fierce encounter. In I went and closed the door, to find the
belligerents tugging away at each other's hair in a most fierce
manner. Over went chairs and tables, but I could not separate
the Amazons. The purser fortunately made his appearance on the
scene ; he seized hold of one, and I of the other, and by
choking them pretty well, we managed to part them, when their
language to each other was certainly not parliamentary. One
bright and charming day we steamed into the magnificent harbour
of Rio Janeiro,  passing the large and  apparently formidable 12
fortifications on the north side of the narrow entrance that guards
it. We anchored opposite the city, and here we were to remain some
time to take in stores, &c. I therefore stayed on shore to see what
I could of the city and suburbs. There were not any quays at
that time, and the steamer had to lie at anchor in the bay, and
load with lighters.
Taking my quarters up at an hotel that fronts the Plaza, I heard
that yellow fever was raging.   Then, as soon as the sun's rays
were fading, I took a stroll.   The city was greatly disappointing—
its streets are narrow, the stores and houses of a very inferior
description, and I mistook the Emperor's town residence for a jail.
It was impossible to get a light cooling drink, and I concluded that
if some one from Niagara Falls would undertake the business he
would make a fortune.    I saw some djsgusting cases of what I
supposed to be elephantiasis, as the parts  affected were greatly
swollen.     Retiring   early  to bed,   the   fleas   gave  me   not   a
moment's   peace, and I was quickly obliged to change quarters
for the night to a chair.    I afterwards visited the market and
rather   admired   the   tropical fruits,  as well   as the  tall and
well-formed negresses, with their white   dresses   and  turbans,
who attend there.     At the time  of my visit I understood the
slave trade  was   stopped as far   as   the importation   of   fresh
slaves was concerned, but the old supply were still in slavery.    It
was amusing to see the strings of negroes performing work that
in our cities is done with drays.    They generally packed the loads
on their heads.    I took a trip to the small town of Botafoga,
wBere there are some very pretty private residences and quantities
of flower?.    With the doctor of our ship I paid a visit to the
Botanical Gardens, and could not but admire the fine avenues of
tree^.   We went to the top of the | Coco Yada | overlooking the
city and harbour, and commanding a beautiful and extensive view.
Up this mountain the Emperor has built a good road, and it is well
shaded with trees.    My next visit was to an old and interesting
monastery, where I tried to make out the epitaphs on the large
flag-stones that cover the remains of the venerable fathers.
Hearing that the Emperor and Empress and Court were
going to attend a service in a very pretty church, I went too.
The   shabby   cavalry  escort   was   surprising.     Two   rows   o1 14
negro soldiers, about ten feet apart, with blue coats and brass
buttons, armed with flint-lock muskets and fixed bayonets,
stationed themselves along the aisle, and the Emperor, Empress,
and Court walked up to the altar. The Emperor is a fine, tall
looking man ; the Empress appeared to me rather short and stout.
The court dresses were very pretty and tastefully worn. The
hospital was the next, building visited f it is capitally managed,
and has fine airy wards.
I was told a melancholy story. A Scotch gentleman had a large
plantation in Brazil, and he brought out his young wife to his
hacienda. One day when visiting a distant part of his estate, as
he was travelling along a bush road in- the heat of the day,
everything still and motionless, he was astonished to see something
swinging from the limb of a tree backwards and forwards across
the road. He approached; and there to his surprise lay an enormous serpent. With his rifle he shot it through the head, and
wishing to save the skin, dragged it back to his hacienda with the
lasso. Thinking to astonish his wife, he coiled the serpent np in
the drawing-room, taking it in through one of the glass doors that
opened on to the verandah. He then called his wife and went
into another room. Presently he heard some terrific screams and
rushed in to find his wife in convulsions on the floor, and in a,
few minutes she was a corpse. Two small punctures were found on
her breast, and a day or two afterwards one of his slaves discovered
the mate of the dead serpent lying under the verandah, leading to
the supposition that it followed the trail of its dead comrade, and
reaching the room just when the unfortunate lady entered, killed
The heat was so great that the short time I remained in Rio
was principally occupied in smoking cigars and drinking brandy
and water to keep away the yellow fever, which had become very
The Doctor and myself having supplied ourselves with a good
supply of port wine in long-necked bottles and some other luxuries,
went aboard ship, and hung ail the bottles with strings to battens
in his surgery. BRITISH COLUMBIA.
. ■   .-..-■ .-:*$ CHAPTER IV.   ■■'*§■'■■■   ■,•■'•     ••■■  -
We left Rio for Magellan's Straits. On the way our ship encountered a tornado: one moment everything was as if we-.were
in a blaze of fire, and the next in utter darkness. As I stood
clinging to the mizzen-mast the ship would make a fearful plunge
as if she never could rise again, but would seek the bottom of
the ocean. The next day a most woful disappointment awaited
my friend the doctor and I, for on entering the surgery to enjoy
a glass of wine every jar was smashed, and the wine well mixed
up on the floor with countless drugs..
. We now entered the cold, dreary, and inhospitable Straits
of Magellan, observing some old wrecks as we steamed along.,
and, passing the Chilian penal station, anchored in a cove
near a Chilian brig of war. The strong head wind and adverse
current detained us here a short time. Using this opportunity,
I called on the Chilian officers, and heard from them how that
the convicts had risen a short time previously and roasted the
Governor of the penal settlement, and how the brig had been
there to hunt them up ; catching some, and others escaping.
One day I made a trip up the adjoining mountains, that
rise abruptly on each side of the Straits, to get a good view.
Pulling myself up to a ledge a terrific, growl met my ears,
and a fierce looking animal, about as big as a wolf, stood
within six feet of my face. One hurried look was enough, and
down I went that mountain with much greater speed than I
had ascended it. A few natives were there camped in a
miserable hut — small, wretched, filthy, and frightfully ugly
creatures, quite nude, with the exception of a small piece of the
skin of some animal over their shoulders. I tried to talk with
them, but could make nothing of their signs. I They kept
pointing  to  my   cap which,   as my others   had been  blown
1 i
1—i 1
overboard, was the last one I had—an old uniform cap of
the. Yorkvilie cavalry (of which I had been one of the
officers)—of which some of the silver lace was visible, the
oil-cloth covering being slightly displaced. I took it off to
show it them, and my attention being drawn away for a few
seconds I could see nothing more of it, though a figure was to
be seen running up the beam of the cove. I immediately gave
chase, and on nearing the little figure, into the water, only
about three feet deep, it dashed, and I after it, as I saw my cap.
I thus overtook the runaway, vowing fierce vengeance, and
catching hold of the long coarse hair and my cap, was about
to administer a sound flogging, when the captive proved to be
a woman, so giving her a few plunges under the water, which
might have washed off a little of her filth, we waded amicably
ashore, she grinning as if in enjoyment of the sport.
The ship now made a start and steamed away until 4 p.m.,
but could make no anchorage, so the captain turned about,
and in an hour's time wre were again- at our old anchorage.
Matters now became a little serious, as both fuel and provisions
were not over plentiful, and the captain thought if the strong
wind lasted he must go back and round the "Horn." But
fortunately the wind went dowrn on the next day and we entered
the Pacific, only to meet another gale, which, together with a
strong southerly current, swept us along the coast of Terra del
Fuego (the land of fires). That night as I stood alongside the
captain for some hour.*, holding on to the mizzen-mast, it seemed
as though I should see the last of our steamer Hermann and her
crew and passengers. The bleak rocky cliffs were in very c'ose
proximity to the vessel's stern, and with all the steam we could
put on we could not move ahead an inch, but fortunately the wind
fell, and we got off and had a pleasant run along the coast of Chili
to Coronel and Lota, where we stopped to coal and get a few
During the time occupied in coaling, some eighty of us, with
our captain, made a trip to Conception, about twenty-five miles
distant;   the American Consul, who   was   a   splendid   fellow,
accompanying us.    Some went in carriages and some on horseback.   I was fortunate in getting a good horse and enjoyed the
trip.    It is generally known how the old city of Conception was
destroyed by an earthquake ; I regret I had not time to visit it.
On crossing the Bio Bio River we came to the present city, and
found it but a small place.    The houses generally were of low build
to guard against earthquakes, with not too many windows facing
the streets, for rebellions were not  uncommon.     We put up
at a very fair hotel kept by an American, whose name has
escaped my memory.   In the evening we all wTent to the theatre,
but not understanding   the  language we repaired to a large
building, and having  engaged" a small band and such of the
Peon damsels as we could pick up, wTe had a ball and gave
them all a supper.    It was here I first saw the graceful South
American dance—the  Zemba Queca (I am not certain how it
is spelt).   We enjoyed the night, and next morning returned.
On my way I was exceedingly thirsty, and being in the rear
with a jovial companion, we went to a house we saw some
distance off the road.   This we found to be a wayside inn, and
the sight of rows of bottles of Allsop's ale and huge butts of
native wine wras mos* cheering.   Unfortunately my companion
took a little too much, and I had great difficulty in getting
him on his horse, but I succeeded, and to keep him there tied a
rope to his feet and passed it under the, horse's belly.   By riding
alongside   and  holding   him we were   enabled  to   reach our
destination, but as I was on the point of going down the long
wharf two fellows stopped me, and tried to make me pay for
someone else's horse they said had not been settled for.   The
c 18
last boat was holding on with a boat hook to the wharf for
me, so to bring the matter to an end I jumped down about
eight feet into her, and wished the two Peons a long and last
The run to Valparaiso was pleasant.   We remained but a short
time, and I had not the opportunity of visiting San Jago*or
Santiago, which I now regret.    The open roadstead at Valparaiso
conveys the idea that the harbour is not the best.    The city itself
is not conspicuous for fine hotels, nor for handsome houses.  There
are three hills, known as the Fore, Main, and Mizzen tops, but
I had not the opportunity of learning much about^ the place.
Here we were joined by a very pleasant Irish gentleman from
Australia, a Mr. O'Rafferty, who had been on a mercantile tour.
Sailing for the Bay of Panama, we anchored at the island of
Tobago, some nine miles from the city of Panama.     We here
heard that the vessel was likely to be seized, but  a  bottomry
bond was given and our captain left us to go back to New York,
leaving the vessel in command of the chief officer.    I may here
say that Captain Gavendy was a fine fellow, a gentleman and
thorough seaman, and his loss was   regretted by all on board.
We had a pleasant run to San Francisco, but before the anchor
was down the ship was seized.and we were all turned ashore.
My passage  through to Victoria being lost,  I  was  now in  a
dilemma; all the money I had left was two dollars and a half.
I was unknown in San Francisco, and to make matters w^orse,
the   steamer   for   Victoria did  not leave for a   day or   two.
Fortunately I  was able to  do a good turn for my Australian
friend, and he paid my expenses in San Francisco, making me
a capital offer to go to  Melbourne, but I was too much  bent
upon my original plan to turn aside.    I saw Captain Dall, of the
steamer Panama, and, explaining my position to him, he most
kindly offered me a first-class  passage, to be  paid for when
Steaming awray for Victoria the passage was rough and most
disagreeable. The vessel had no comforts, and the rain and sleet
blew into my state-room on the upper deck. The steamer
was crowded and cold, a family of Oregonians keeping so
close to the little stove in the saloon as to make it impossible
to get near it ; we. named them "The Happy Family." I was
accustomed to put on my overcoat and riding boots wmen I
weat to bed to try and keep dry and warm. We ran into the
Columbia River, passed the celebrated " Astoria," and stuck fast
on a mud bar at I Warrior Point." A small steamer from Port-
land came, and took off the passengers and cargo destined for that
city, and we managed to get off with the next tide. Seeing
numerous wild fowl in the river and on the mud flats along its
banks, I landed and succeeded in killing, a number of them.
On my return to the steamer I wrent to my state-room to get a.
glass of whisky and a cigar—(my Australian friend had presented
me with two gallons and a box of cigars on my leaving
San Francisco)—but to my horror found they had disappeared,
together with twro bags containing many articles of clothing and
nearly all my supply of boots, a most serious loss when my
pockets were empty. I found the waiter wTho attended the stateroom had left by the steamer for Portland, and some uncharitable
thoughts passed through my mind regarding his sense of honesty.
We continued our journey, the weather still keeping stormy and
disagreeable, and visited Puget Sound, touching at several of the
small towns, but the rain and fogs allowed one to see but little
of the sound. I noticed it was densely covered with very fine
timber—principally the | Douglas fir," and the numerous Indian
log canoes I saw of different sizes and shapes were beautifully
modelled and capital sea canoes. I was astonished at the enormous
size of some of them made out of single logs. A few more hours
brought us to Esquimault Harbour, the naval station in British
Columbia, about three miles from Victoria. 20
I was very favourably impressed with the harbour of Esquimaulfe
and its immediate surroundings, and though the day was misty and
disagreeable I could not  but notice the many beauties of the
harbour.   Wishing good-bye to my friend Captain Dall/I walked
to Victoria over  a  very muddy road.    Passing  through the
Indian village opposite Victoria, curiosity prompted me to enter
some of the houses.    I was struck with their great size, the
indescribable filth of both houses and occupants, and the frightful
flat heads of the Indians, so well described to me and illustrated in
his paintings  by my friend Mr. Paul Kane.    Crossing a Jong
bridge over the arm of the sea that form3 the harbour of Victoria,
I entered that city, and walking up Yates-street, I saw a wooden
hotel which I entered, and found it crowded with miners clad
in their rough garments and occupied in discussing the mines,
their adventures, &c, in the very expressive language then in
vogue amongst the early prospectors of the  country.    Having
succeeded in securing a bed in a double room—or, rather, den—
and refreshing myself with a meal and smoke, I took a walk
through the rather muddy streets to see the town, which, at that
time, seemed much overcrowded.   From what I could gather from*
the miners who had returned from the Fraser River, the prospects
of going to  the interior at that  time of the year were most
discouraging.   The   following morning I   walked over to   Sir
James Douglas' residence, and met him as he was on the point
of going to his office.    Sir James received me most kindly,
and when I had presented my letter of introduction from Sir
George Simpson, he asked me to call upon him at his office
at 1 o'clock p.m., which I did, and he at once offered me an
appointment in   the   Government   service.     This   offer,   after
fully explaining to him my views and  the object I had in
coming to the country, I very courteously declined.   Sir James BRITISH COLUMBIA.
said, | My dear Moberly, you have no idea of the enormous
trees and rocks yon will have to encounter, to say nothing of the
severe weather that is coming on, but come and take a plate of
soup with me at half-past six this evening, and I will have leisure
to give you some information about British Columbia." At the
appointed time I reached the Governor's house, and he introduced
me to his kind and interesting family. I also had the pleasure of
meeting Judge Begbie—now Sir Matthew Bailey Begbie, Chief
Justice of British Columbia—Mr. Dallas, Dr. Helmcken, Mr.
Donald Fraser, and others. I found the | plate of soup " was a
capital dinner, and I have pleasure in recalling that* evening to
memory as one of the most enjoyable I ever spent, and the
vast amount of information about British Columbia and the
Pacific Coast given me by Sir James was afterwards invaluable.
From that time until the day of his death I found Sir James
always a kind and hospitable friend, and it is now a matter of
history that he was an able and honourable Governor. I returned
to my den, packed my blankets and a few things, and went on
board the Hudson Bay Company's steamer Otter, bound for Fort
Langley on the Fraser River. 22
The trip from Victoria to Fort Langley was not pleasant, as
the weather was boisterous and rainy, and the steamer crowded.
On reaching Fort Langley a most hospitable reception awaited me
from Chief Factor Yale, then—and, as he afterwards informed me,
for thirty yaars previous—in charge of that large and important
fort.    I hefe met with several of the officers of the company, all of
whom were most kind and gave me a great deal of information.
The following day the little steamer Enterprise (Capt. Tom Wright)
started up the Fraser for Fort Yale, and I took passage on her.
As a number of passengers were struggling through the mud to
get on board, we were greatly encouraged by the captain's words,
in blowing the last whistle, " Hurry up, boys, as the steamer is
going to blow up in forty seconds, and I can't wait."   About
noon next day, after a passage made disagreeable by the rain and
snow and crowded steamer, a number of us got off at the Indian
village at the mouth of the Harrison River, the Enterprise going on
by the Fraser to Fort Yale.   We here heard rumours of a war
having broken out between the Indians and miners on the Fraser
somewhere above Yale.   I then packed my blankets into a large
Indian house or rancherie close at hand, to get out of the snow and
rain, and a trader, who wanted to send a large canoe of goods and
whisky up to Port Douglas, said if I could "raise" a crew, and
take charge of the goods, we should feed ourselves out of the cargo
and make our way over Harrison Lake, which is some forty miles
in length.   I collected a crew in a few minutes, but they proved
a tad crew.   We poled the canoe up to the rapids, a short
distance below Harrison Lake.    Here night overtook us when
opposite an Indian village, composed of several large rancheries,
and  a   few  hundred   Indians.   The   evening   was   cold,   wet,
and gloomy, and the river banks low and swampy.    I ran the
bow of the canoe into one of the little doors of a large house. BRITISH COLUMBIA.
The Indians cleared a corner for us^and made a small fire at which
we cooked some bacon, &c, and having brought our cargo in we
lay down on some mats around the fire. What with the stories
I had heard of the Indians, and the cargo of whisky with me, I
could not sleep, expecting to be murdered at any moment. I lay
with my overcoat over me, facing the numerous fires in all pstrts of
the building, around which the Indians were sleeping, and with my
revolver in my hand felt ready for any emergency. The fires
were gradually going out, with the exception of our own, when I
saw a tall Indian rise out of his blankets, clad only in a shirt,
and taking a careful look all around, advance in our direction,
stepping carefully over the sleeping forms of the intervening
Indians, and holding his hands behind him. I thought it was all
" up " with us, for I imagined he had a knife in his hand, so
I cocked my revolver in readiness to shoot. He came to the
fire, took a careful look at us and quietly turned round to
warm his back, when I saw he had only a pipe in his hand, instead
of the dreaded knife. That Indian had a narrow escape, and so
had we, for had I shot him we should not have been alive many
seconds. I rose and offered the Indian a piece of tobacco, and he
then went away and brought me a piece of dried salmon, which I
ate, and we became very good friends, so far, at least, as we could,
for neither of us understood a word the other said. The next and
two following days we made very bad headway against a strong
wind, but at last arrived at the little stream connecting the
small circular lake, upon which Port Douglas is situate, with the
north end of Harrison Lake. On entering the stream we ran
against the sharp edge of some newly-formed ice and split the bow
of our log canoe, which caused it to sink almost immediately.
The crew shouldered their blankets, and left me with a young lad
to do the best we could with the cargo and ourselves. I managed
to get hold of some Indians who were passing, and engaged them
to pack the cargo to the trader's store, myself taking up quarters in
a long wooden building with a bar at one end, and miners and
packers drinking and gambling all round the room.
— 24
In the morning I managed to hire an Indian to pack my
blankets, &c, over the twenty-nine mile portage by a trail opened
by the Government in the previous autumn at great cjost. The
snow was very deep and the trail unbroken. After toiling for a long
time through the snow we reached the top of a hill that commands
a view up the foaming Lillovet River for some distance, when
my Indian sat down and we both had a smoke and rest. He tried.
to explain something to me, but I could not understand him ; so
when I thought we had rested long enough, I took the pack and
put it on his back, at which he grew very indignant, talking away in
an excited manner, pointing up the river, and at last flinging my
pack down and leaving me. There was now nothing for me to do
but pack it myself, so I accordingly shouldered it and tried to get
along. After an hour's excessively hard work I found I had made
hardly any headway, and despaired of getting through. To go on
was formidable, to turn back ignominious, so I abandoned the.
pack, taking my overcoat and a few things out of it, and left it for
the first comer. I passed some fine white pine, being the first I
had seen in the country. Pushing on, I reached some fine hot springs
and a shanty with one white man in it. I had a bath and slept on
some brush, and next morning resumed my journey, reaching
Lillovet Lake, where I again got into a log hut of small size.
The following day I got a passage over Lake Lillovet in consideration of rowing an oar, crossing the other lakes and portages in a
similar manner, and arriving in the afternoon of a fine clear day
on the flat where the present town of Lillovet is built. The
scenery here was very fine, and I pushed on, passing the mouth of
Bridge River and reached a store at the " Fountain." There I met
"some miners, and we agreed to form a mining partnership, go up
a few miles and work a bar upon which they said they had found BRITISH COLUMBIA.
good prospects. Our combined resources were limited, and the price
of provisions excessively high. We secured an outfit and reached the
scene of our anticipated fortunes the same evening, sleeping in the
soft deep snow, which was warm and comfortable. The following
day we made a very diminutive hut out of stones, logs, and snow,
and my companions, who were old hands at mining, made a
| rocker." The weather was cold, the ground frozen like iron
and covered with snow, and my occupation was to climb some
fifteen hundred feet up an adjacent mountain and cut trees and
roll the logs down for the others to thaw the frozen ground, and
wash the | dirt." Owing to the severe weather we could make very
little progress, and our scanty stock of provisions wTas about consumed: our appetites increasing as supplies decreased. We concluded
to put all our remaining resources together, get what we could in the
shape of provisions at the 1 Fountain," and endeavour to hold out
until the spring thaw set in. One of my companions and myself
went to the little store, and obtaining a very small supply of provisions returned to camp. We now put ourselves on short rations,
but at last everything was eaten up, and still no appearance of
a change in the weather. We were now regularly starved out and
I dead broke," so when the sun rose on a clear and cold day we
adandoned our hut, mine, &c, and began our retreat down the
Fraser River, walking partly on the ice and partly on the
banks. At the mouth of Bridge River my companions left me,
intending to go down to the fork of the Fraser and Thompson
Rivers (Lytton), where paying mining was going on, I retracing my
steps by the Harrison-Lillovet trail. That was, indeed, a hungry
day. In the afternoon, when walking along a high | bench " of
the river, I saw smoke arising from the river bottom and soon
caught sight of a camp with a newly-slaughtered animal hanging
on a neighbouring tree. I slid and scrambled down the steep bank
and made a rush for the carcass, from which I cut a good slice, and
coming to the fire, much to the amusement of the men sitting
there, told them I was starving and bound to have a meal but
could not pay for it. They brought out a pan of fried bacon and
beans, a pot of coffee and some slap jacks, all of which I devoured IB
with my slice of meat, and then they produced some tobacco, and
I felt happy. Wishing my charitable hosts good day, I resumed
my journey and reached the head of Seaton Lake, where I found
three boatmen preparing for the freight they expected would
arrive shortly from Port Douglas, and as two of them wanted to
get a boat over from the Fraser River into the lake, I made a
bargain to help the third to get a big scow over the lake for
my passage and meals, j The next day and a portion of the night
was spent in tugging away at an enormous oar, and we got to
another station kept by other boatmen in partnership with my
friends. Here we had our night's rest, and before daylight I left
for a long walk over the twenty-four mile portage.
The snow was deep, the trail through it narrow, and rain and
subsequent frost had made the bottom of the track rough and icy,
I reached the lower end with very sore feet some hours after
dark, and, passing a cabin, went a short distance to the lake,
where I had noticed a hut on my way up. Into this I went,,
and finding a heap of shavings in the corner commenced to
knock them into a good pile, when I was astonished to find my
proposed »bed already occupied by a miner on his way down,,
in the same predicament as myself.- We lit a fire, had a smoke
and talk, and then lay down in the shavings. The worst
news I gathered from him was that the boat or canoe would not
be in on the following day. In the morning I was washing
my face in the snow, when a tall fellow, followed by a " greaser
(the name given to Mexican-Indian half-breeds), passed, and
saluted us by the following :—
i Don't you men want a job? I have a scow of provisions in
and want it unloaded, and will give you each two dollars and a
half to do it." I replied, "Will you give us a breakfast, too ?"
Answer—i Yes ; come along."
We went down, cooked our grub on the beach, and eat such
a meal as one does when he has a tremendous appetite, and
thinks he may never have another chance. We did the work and
got our pay, with a little tobacco as a bonus, and then returned
to our cabin. During the forenoon I was cleaning my revolver,
when a man, dressed in a large canvas overshirt with a huge
red beard, made his appearance, and eyeing my revolver said,
"Cap., what sort of a shooting iron is that?" He pulled out
a Colt's navy revolver, and said he would shoot a match with me
for two dollars and a half a shot. I thought of my solitary two
and a half I had made in the morning, and concluded to accept 28
fl 11
the challenge. We accordingly made a mark on a tree, tossed up
for first turn, which he won, and when he fired made a very bad
shot. I won some iive or six in succession, and when I had
about enough to pay my way down I thought it time to stop ;
besides I was afraid he might not pay me, so I suggested the
advisability of our stopping, to which he agreed, saying I could
beat him. He now asked me to come vrith him to the little
groggery he was staying at and have a drink, I wondering if he
would pay me. After we had a drink he pulled out a long bag
of gold dust and told the man to weigh out for me seventy-five
dollars, to take the price of the drinks, and let him have a bottle
of whisky, for which the charge was sixteen dollars. I got some
crackers and sardines and we rejoined my friend at the hut, and
spent the rest of the day telling of our mining adventures, &c.
This fortunate windfall enabled me to reach Fort Langley in a
few days, where I met my old acquaintance, Captain Tom Wright,
and as his steamer was beached for repairs he very kindly asked me
to stay on board with him until the Victoria steamer arrived.
During my stay with Captain Wright we made a trip up the | Pitt
River" and Lake to see if there was a chance to get communication with the Douglas portages, and on my return went to
Victoria, rather at a loss what to do next. BRITISH COLUMBIA.
On my return to Victoria I called at Sir James Douglas' office,
and in the ante-room met Judge Begbie, whom I had previously
met at the Governor's.   "By him I was introduced to a gentleman
who  happened to  come  in :  he turned out to be Colonel R.
C.   Moody,   in  command of   the   Royal   Engineers, who   had
arrived in the country after I left for the interior.     I had  a
short conversation with him, and he invited me to see him at
his quarters.   After a long interview with Sir James Douglas,
when I gave him particulars of the country, and of  what he
Avas most anxious to know—the feasibility of building a waggon
road over the Harrison-Lillovet trail—he strongly recommended
me to remain in the colony and turn my attention to the construction of the trails and roads that were certain to be made as soon
as possible.    On my way from' Sir James' office I met Colonel
and Mrs. Moody.    The former asked me to his quarters, where I
at once went, and before I left had offered me an appointment
to be attached to the corps of Royal Engineers in a civil capacity.
The second day afterwards I returned with Colonel Moody to
Langley and thence to " Derby," where I met Captain J. Grant
and the other officers of the Royal Engineers.   The next morning
Colonel Moody wished me to go down the river to the proposed
new city, and getting a week's rations, a tent, and picking up
a man and an old leaky boat, I tied her to the steamer Beaver
as she ran down the river, and we were shortly on shore at the
site proposed.    The trees, as a general thing, were of enormous
size, and the underbrush dense.   We made a little pathway for
a few hundred feet and came to a magnificent bird's-eye maple
tree, under which I pitched the tent, and founded the city of
Queenborough, now known as New Westminster.    Snow was still
in the bush, but the weather was fine.    I looked about through o
the woods and found that a great deal of work would be required
to clear away the timber. The next day I sent up an order to
Derby for supplies, tools, and fifty men, and the following day
they arrived, some in boats, others on rafts, and I organised my
camp. I was busy for some time, during which the various
Government buildings were erected, the survey of the city made,
and the first sale of lots took place in Victoria. An amusing
incident happened one day : I had been up to the | Camp,"
which is some distance above the city, and on my return found
the whole place in a state of great excitement and all classes very
much excited, as coarse gold was supposed to be discovered in
a, little stream that flowed alongside my cabin. The unfortunate stream was likely to be dug away, when it turned out that
the I coarse gold " was nothing but spelter some wicked-minded
individual had thrown in, and the | sell" was very great. It was
a hard matter afterwards to get anyone to admit that he had
prospected on that creeJc.
The supply of fish was very plentiful, the salmon, of which
there are two species—the red and the white—being in enormous
quantities. The sturgeon attain to a great size. There, is a
small and most delicate fish known as the || Oolahan," that
comes in May and remains a short time. It is about the size
of a sardine and very rich, delicate, and oily. The salmon will
.not take the fly on the Pacific Coast. There are oysters,
mussels, clams, crabs, prawns, &c, &c, but I never heard of
a lobster being found anywhere on the Pacific Coast. Red deer
were formerly very numerous on the islands in the Gulf of
Georgia, and are still so on Vancouver Island. The panther and
bear were also to be found on the island. Many wild berries,
abounded in the woods, and some of them were pleasant to
the taste. 11 -
Shortly after the sale of the lots I left the Government service
and went to explore Butrrard Inlet for coal, &c. Mr. Kobert
Burnaby, formerly private secretary to Colonel Moody/accompanying me with a few men. We spent some time there, and
were for a short time in the position of hostages with the Indians.
Making a trip up the north arm, we camped on a rocky point and
tied our canoe to a tree, only partially hauling her on the rock.
Burnaby and I slept in the canoe, and I awoke with an unpleasant
sensation, finding my feet were much higher than my head. I
could not understand the situation at all, but could see Burnaby
fast asleep at the other end of the canoe, which would apparently
be soon standing on end. Satisfying myself that I was not
dreaming, I crawled carefully to the other end, when the canoe
suddenly resumed its horizontal position and Burnaby awoke.
We found when we went to bed that the tide was in, but as it
ran out of course the canoe kept tilting over, and. we had but
narrowly escaped a bath a little before our usual hour. I was
impressed with the magnificent harbour and the many natural
advantages for building up an immense city. Abundance of good
water power also, which will doubtless be of great value in the
course of time. f||
Learning from the Indians that gold had been discovered up
the Squamish River, which empties into the head of Howe Sound,
and prompted by a desire to see as much of the country as possible,
Burnaby and I left our men to prosecute the work of sinking
shafts, while we made a trip up the sound . and river. The
shores of Howe Sound we found sterile and barren, and the
current in the Squamish River strong. At the point where the
Jeakniss River forms a junction with the Squamish River we
left our canoe in charge of a young Indian chief, and crossing
a portage obtained a small canoe for our journey up the lesser
stream.    At the juncture of the rivers was a large settlement of
m 32
Indians, probably 2,500 in number, with several of the large
Indian houses, and at the upper end of the portage lay a smaller
village. We went some distance up stream with the canoe, where
the water getting shallow and very swift we pushed forward on
foot, reaching at nightfall the place where the gold was supposed
to be. One of the Indians pointed out with great satisfaction
a prospecting hole about eight feet in depth, and a blazed tree
with some writing on it. The writing on the tree was the work
of some miners who had prospected the river th% year before,
and it informed us that they had been quite unsuccessful. We
had a good laugh and camped, then retraced our steps, made
our friend the Indian chief a present and ran back to Burrard
Inlet. The timber along the river was very fine and wild
berries plentiful. At this spot I met an old acquaintance*
Hearing the sound of an axe a short distance in the woods
I went there and found a large, powerful Indian, who at once
put his axe down, and came up and gave me a kiss on the forehead, shaking my hand in a mos-i hearty manner. I could not at
first understand what it was all about until he pulled out a curious
dirk-knife, which I remembered giving an Indian, with some other
articles, when I was at Westminster the year before. He made
me a present of some'dried bear's meat, and I gave him a piece of
tobacco. Always give a present to an Indian if he gives you one,
for he expects it. Another rather curious circumstance occurred
as we were going up the river. In a long, shallow slough, formed
by a gravel bar, which the falling water had left dry, the Indians
pointed out a curious ripple, and called out, " Hyas salmon,"
which is a very big salmon. We all got out with the poles and
paddles, and forming a line across the water gradually drove the
salmon to the upper end of the enclosure. Here we thought we
should get him, but to our astonishment he made a sudden rush,
and with a leap to the dry bar, and still another leap, went clear
into the main river—was that instinct or accident ? As we
found we had not proper machinery to carry on our prospecting
for coal we gave it up, and returned to New Westminster, shortly
afterwards going to Victoria for the winter. BRITISH COLUMBIA.
During the winter of 1859-60 I tried hard to promote a
company to build a tramway from Victoria to Esquimault, but
without success. This winter I had the pleasure and good fortune
to meet Captain Palliser, Dr. Hector, Mr. Sullivan, and others
connected with that well-known exploration in British North
America, and gained much valuable information of the prairie
country, and such portions of the mountain ranges as they
had traversed. In the spring I went back to New Westminster,
and surveyed and took up the south side of English Bay,
Burrard Inlet, and both sides of Port Moody. On my return to
Westminster I entered into a contract, in partnership with Mr.
Edgar Dewdney, to build a trail from Fort Hope on the Fraser
River to the Shemilkomean River on the east side of the
Cascade range of mountains, to reach the gold-diggings on the
latter river, where gold of a very fine quality had been discovered. Meeting with a very severe accident, I was laid up
for some days in a miserable swamp, with only an Indian boy
for my companion, and when I felt a little better I rode a mule
down to a small log store-house which we had at a little
lake. I arrived in the evening, and soon lay down to rest in
the lower of two bunks in one corner of the house. As I lay
there, watching the moon shining through a large square
opening in the roof that served the purpose of a chimney, I heard
something walking on the mud-covered roof, and quietly got up
with my revolver. I thought it might be an Indian, intent on
stealing some of our supplies, or rum, of which we kept a good
quantity in this house. I saw what I took to be a hand carefully
come down through the opening, evidently feeling what was
below. This was repeated several times, when I managed to get
into such a position as to leave the moonbeam between myself and
D $1
Ml. fi
invader, when, instead of an Indian, I made it out to be a large
panther—an animal very scarce on the mainland, - but more
plentiful on Vancouver Island. This made me feel uncomfortable, and, as soon as the moonlight came between us I fired, and
as I found in the morning by some blood on the roof, must have
hit the brute. For the rest of that night I occupied the upper
bunk, and barricaded it with tobacco boxes, my sleep not being
very sound. When the work was drawing to a close I went over
to the Shemilkomean, where I had sent some surplus stores to sell
to the miners—starting at the persuasion of a person who had
opened a house at the Red Earth Forks of the Shemilkomean, and
who had stayed a day or two at one of my camps, departing in
great good humour, as I had given him a small keg of my best
H.B. Company's rum. I reached the mining camp, and went
to my friend's house, six. miles further on, where I made
the acquaintance of one of the first Gold Commissioners of
British Columbia. We passed a pleasant evening, drank several
glasses of the rum I had given the proprietor of the house
and consumed some fresh eggs. On leaving in the morning
I was at a loss to know whether to offer to pay for my night's
entertainment or not, as I was an invited guest. However, I
suggested. in a delicate manner that in such a country it was
necessary to pay. My landlord, my supposed host, without hesitation produced a slate with my bill already made out : meals, 2
dollars 50 cents each; drinks, 50 cents each j the confounded
eggs 1 dollar apiece, and 75 cents per pound for the barley for my
horse. VI paid the bill and jumped on my horse, vowing it
would be some time before I accepted another invitation or
enjoyed the luxury of fresh eggs* i$0 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
a.d. 1861.—The gold mines on the Shemilkomean  and  at
| Rock Creek," which is further to the eastward, having yielded
good returns in the autumn, Sir James Douglas visited them
personally, going by way of Kamloops and Okawajau lake, and on
his return came over the trail we had then nearly completed.    Sir
James was anxious to construct a waggon-road without loss of
time over the same route as that followed by the trail, and requested me to meet him at Victoria as  soon as I could get
down after the trail was completed.    In the early part of the
winter I went down, and it was arranged that we should construct
the westerly portion of the waggon-road, Captain Grant, with a
detachment of the Royal Engineers, assisting with a force of
civilian labour in the easterly part.    In the spring, on the opening
of navigation, both of our forces went to wTork and continued
until the winter *set in, opening an eighteen-foot waggon-road
over the heaviest part of the work.   It was during this summer
that the celebrated Cariboo mines were struck, and the enormous
yield in them in a few weeks at the close of the season attracted
the attention of the whole colony from " Qutter " and | Williams "
creeks.   The miners on the Shemilkomean abandoned that section
of the country for the more promising one at Cariboo.    Sir James
Douglas very wisely decided to husband all the resources of the
colony, which were very limited, and with his usual indomitable
energy and determination constructed a first-class waggon-road
into Cariboo.    During the past two seasons a waggon-road had
been in course of construction from Port Douglas to Lillovet,
Mr. Joseph William Trutch doing the larger portion of the work.
Several companies applied for charters to build trails and roads,
to the Cariboo mines, and charters "were granted for trails from
Bentinck Arm and Bute Inlet to Quesnel, and for waggon-roads
from Lillovet to Clinton, and from Lytton to the same point and BRITISH COLUMBIA.
thence by a joint road to Fort Alexandria. I strongly urged
upon Sir James Douglas the construction of the Fraser River road,
as being the great natural and commercial artery of the country,
and the probability of its becoming at some period in the future
the line for a railway from Canada. Colonel Moody was already
well acquainted with my views regarding the Fraser River route.
a.d. 1862.—It was finally settled that the Government, with
the Royal Engineers and a force of civilians, should build the
portion from Yale, the head of steamboat navigation on the Fraser
River, to Chapman's Bar; Mr. Trutch the next section, by contract, to Boston Bar; Mr. Thomas Spence from Boston Bar to
Lytton; and myself and two others the road from Lytton to
Clinton under a charter contract, the payments to be partly in
money and partly in tolls. Considering our limited resources we
had undertaken a gigantic work, and during that and the following year, after many mishaps and changes, the great waggon-
road was completed and placed in the hands of the Government,
who levied a toll to repay in part the heavy outlay incurred.
The season of 1863 was principally engaged in finishing portions
of the waggon-road along the Thompson and Bonaparte rivers
and Maiden Creek, and I wintered in Victoria.
Sir James Douglas told me the following' story which gave the
name to Maiden Creek:—" In the misty times of the past there
was an Indian maiden who lived here with her tribe, and was
engaged to be married to a young Indian chief who was a great
warrior and hunter, and with whom she was deeply in love. He
went on a long hunting expedition, and remained away all the
winter, the maiden anxiously awaiting his return, as they were to
have been married that winter. Spring came, and the maiden
still sat watching for her absent lover near the junction of the
creek with the Bonaparte River. After weary months he came,
bringing with him a wife from some distant tribe which he had
visited. The poor maiden died of grief, and her tribe buried
her at the mouth of the creek, the two little mounds or hillocks
growing from her breasts and forming the two curious knolls
that may be seen at this place." 38
;, . | -
a.d. 1864.—This year my old friend Sir James Douglas retired
from office, and it was with feelings of great regret that I wished him
good-bye on the morning of his departure from New Westminster.
Sir James was succeeded by Mr. Frederic Seymour, and I went to
Cariboo to look after the construction of the waggon road and
other work undertaken by the Government in that portion of the
country. I was simply appointed as Government engineer, and
in the autumn, as the first Legislative Council was to be formed
and rich gold fields had been discovered on Wild Horse Creek
in the Kootanie District, I decided to resign my position and
become elected for | Cariboo East," both of which I did, and
attended the Council of 1864-5 at New Westminster. From my
knowledge of the country I was of some service to Governor
Seymour, and availed myself of the opportunity offered to impress
upon him the vast importance to the colony of a good line for a
waggon road and railway eastward of Kamloops. My views were
supported by the Honourable Joseph William Trutch, who, about
that time, was appointed Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works
and Surveyor-General, and I was appointed his assistant.
a.d. 1865.—Resigning my seat in the Legislative Council, I
was at once instructed to put such works into shape as were then
in progress, and to take charge of the explorations and other works-
proposed to be undertaken east of Kamloops and extending to the
easterly boundary of British Columbia, which, for a long distance
north of the 49° parallel of latitude as far as the circle of
longitude 126° west, is defined by the watershed of the Rocky
Mountains. I now had my long wished-for opportunity to explore
the Gold, Selkirk, and Rocky Mountains for a fine suitable for
an overland railway. No time was lost, and with a light exploring party I in a short time "reached the Great Shuswap Lake, u^-~   &-S*'  JVV^    ~£l^ <«
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with a party of Shuswap Indians engaged to pack supplies from
the head of the north arm to the Columbia River. I made a
hurried trip to the south arm of the Great Shuswap Lake, noticing
a valley running easterly apparently through the Gold range
exactly in the direction in which I wished to find a pass. I went
up the river a short distance, but had not the time at my disposal
just then to examine it, having to see my party, &c, over to the
Columbia River.
The following is quoted from my report of February 24th, 1872,
to Mr. Sandford Fleming, Engineer-in-Chief, Canadian Pacific Railway, showing how the U Eagle Pass " derived its name from the following circumstances :—| In the summer of 1865,1 was exploring
the Gold range of mountains for the Government of British
Columbia, to see if there was any pass through them. I arrived
at the Eagle River, and on the top of a tree near its mouth I
saw a nest full of eaglets, and the two old birds on a limb of the
same tree. I had nothing but a small revolver in the shape of
firearms ; this I discharged eight or ten times at the nest, but
could not knock it down. The two old birds, after circling
around the nest, flew up the valley of the river ; it struck
me then, if I followed them, I might find the much wished-for
pass. I explored the valley two or three weeks afterwards, and
having been successful in finding a good pass, I thought the
most appropriate name I could give it was the ' Eagle Pass.'"
I now returned to the head of the Shuswap Lake, rejoined my
party and began our trip through the woods and over the Gold
range to the Columbia River. About noon we stopped for
lunch, and on my telling the Indians to go on they informed me
their chief had given orders for them to camp there for the night.
This was most provoking; the chief had gone off to hunt, and
the Indians would not move ; so taking Perry, | the mountaineer"
(he was well known in British Columbia, and afterwards killed by
an Indian when asleep in his blankets under a tree at Burrard
Inlet: he had a great dislike to Indians, and I often told him
one would some day kill him), and an Indian boy with me, I
camped on "The Summit."    We killed ground hogs for our
^ 40
supper, and slept on some brush without blankets.    The next day
we reached the Columbia River early in the day, and commenced
to make a log canoe to run theFColumbia to the Arrow Lakes.
On our way, being a few feet in front of Perry, I saw a big
animal rise up on the opposite side of a fallen tree, and said to
Perry, ".Why, here is a cow "—(the brush was thick).    Perry said
"A. grizzly ! " The animal came towards us very quietly, and when
a few feet off, Perry whistled, and the bear stood up on his hind
legs, when Perry put a bullet through his heart and killed him.
The animal being very lean and the skin worthless, we left it.
Our canoe made good progress, and the Indians arrived, having
eaten nearly all the provisions on the trip over.     They had a
grand war dance which lasted through the night, they being, as I
learnt from them, at that time at war with the Columbia River
Indians ; their system being to murder each other in any manner
when they meet.    It was now apparent that I must get rid of the
chief, while keeping the Indians in good humour, and as I wished
to send a report to the Government, I informed the chief that I
could entrust such an important document to no person but himself. I wished him to take it down to Kamloops, to which place he
would go by canoe, and told him that on presenting a letter which
1 gave him at the Fort he would be provided with a horse and outfit
to go on to Lytton, where he would receive further instructions from
a friend of mine, to whom I also wrote, explaining my position and
requesting him to treat the chief with all consideration, but to
delay him as long as possible, so as to enable me to get away into
the Selkirk Mountains before his return.   I thus got rid in an
amicable manner of a most troublesome companion, while the
mission on which he went added much to his   self-importance,
and his Indians were delighted.    I sent the Indians back for more
supplies, and launching our. little log canoe embarked for the run
down the Columbia.   We were swept along at a grand rate, and
at last found the river getting narrow, with high rocky banks and
overhanging cliffs.   I was in the middle of the canoe taking
bearings, estimating distances, &c, the Indian boy in the bow,
and Perry steering.   The boy suddenly exclaimed | Wake closhe BRITISH COLUMBIA.
chuck,—konaway nameluce," which is 1 bad water—all will
be killed;" he put in his paddle and lay down in the bottom of
the canoe. I crawled over him, and getting hold of the paddle
Perry and I managed to keep the canoe out of the whirls, &c,
that threatened to suck us down. At one moment we were on the
edge of one of these dangerous places, and the next swept a
hundred yards away by a tremendous " boil." Sometimes one
end of the canoe became the bow, and at other times the opposite
end, but at length we reached a little sandy cove and landed in still
water.   We had run the " Little Dalles " without knowing" it.
;;,i 42
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On our way we landed on a bar in the river at its upper end,
and as the Indians were getting a meal ready, I saw what I
took to be a deer jump into the river several hundred feet above
us. I called the Indian, and we pushed the canoe up the shallow
water above the bar, the Indian telling me it was a bear and not
a deer that we were after. The strong current swept the bear near
to us and we kept close to and above him. I was in the bow and
could have laid my hand on him at any moment, but I wished to
save him for food, and waited until we came close to the river bank,
when, placing my revolver close behind his ear, I shot him dead.
He plunged his head under the water, and catching hold of one of
his hind legs we landed him. We now ran on down to the
head of the Upper Arrow Lake, and finding the mosquitoes very
numerous we camped on a small sandy shoal and proceeded to dry
and smoke the bear.
At the head of the lake, a short distance to the right of the
mouth of the river, I saw a large wooden cross. Curiosity
induced me to find its origin, and I afterwards learnt the following :— One of the Hudson Bay Company's boats was
running the Columbia from 1 The Boat Encampment" to Col-
ville. They were always accustomed to take out the cargoes
and passengers, and drop the boats with a line over the bad
rapid known as the " Dalle de Mort." A person in the boat, who
did not know the river, accused the crew of cowardice, and
seizing the steering oar, forced the boat into the rapid and
swamped her, only one man ever being known to have escaped.
After long wandering he reached Fort Colville in a half insane
state, and from his ravings it was feared he had been guilty of
cannibalism. The officer in charge sent up a boat, and the few
bodies found were buried under the cross I saw. Hence the
name of the rapid, fDalle de Mort," or "Death Rapid."
I could see nothing of the branch party I was in hopes of
meeting, having sent it from Kamloops to try for a line from
I Cherry Creek " to the head of the 1 Arrow Lakes." Returning
up the river great difficulty was experienced in poling our
canoe against the strong current, and we were at the same time
nearly devoured by mosquitoes, as we had to keep close to the
bank. We landed at a place that had evidently been much
used for a camping ground in previous years, and found a very
old blaze on a fir tree. In black: figures as clear as on the
day they were written, were the latitude and longitude, signed
with the name of Mr. Thompson, astronomer and explorer
for the Hudson Bay Company, with the date, a.d. 1828, I think.
I have, unfortunately, lost my original note of this, but my
latitude agreed with his; our longitudes were slightly different.
It was valuable information for me.
When we had nearly reached the point I intended to make
the exploration back to the Shuswap Lake, to see if I could find
a pass by the opening before described as having been seen from
that lake. I camped, and the next day landed with the purpose
of reaching the ridge of the mountain range, and following it to
the boundary line to make certain that should there be a pass I
might not miss it. At the little creek where we landed, I went
through the woods, and on looking into the water below me, saw
a number of salmon, and one big fellow with a stick through his
body, behind the others. This I knew to be the end of a spear
an Indian we met the previous evening had told me he had lost
in spearing a salmon. I called Perry, who was a very powerful
man, and he thought he could catch the salmon ; so he got into
the creek, a short distance below the fish, and cautiously
approached until he managed to make a grab at each projecting
end of the stick. The salmon gave a jump, striking Perry on
one arm, nearly broke it, knocked Perry down, and escaped.
We now ascended a very steep, thickly-timbered mountain sidey
and camped on it. The following day we reached an upper
plateau and travelled through beautiful grassy glades, innumerable
flowers, and most picturesque groves of fir trees, and camped at If
TI  v
the foot of a high peak.* This peak I ascended, and could see a
fine valley extending to the far-off Shuswap Lake, and a continuation
of it running westerly to the Columbia River, and also a valley
extending far to the southward. Was this the anxiously wished-
for pass ? How much depended upon it ? How would it affect
the future prospects of British Columbia and of Canada ? These
and many other questions passed through my thoughts during that
almost sleepless night. Before daylight, leaving my companions,
who could not understand my hurry, to follow after jne, I was off
to the bottom of the valley, and on reaching the stream found the
water flowing westward and ,a low valley to the eastward. I
blazed a small cedar tree and wrote upon it, " This is the Pass for
the Overland Railway," and then pushed eastward to the Columbia
River, which we all reached on the following day. We now
commenced our journey up to the depot for supplies to enable us
to explore a valley which I saw, running far to the eastward into
the Selkirks, and in a direct line with the pass I had just discovered. And though a pass through the Selkirk range was not
to be compared in importance with one through the Gold range—
for one could always follow the valley of the Columbia River from
the east end of the Eagle Pass, and reach any of the passes
through the Rocky Mountains south of the Yellowhead Pass—yet,
it was evident that by shortening the distance, such a pass would
add most materially to the commercial prosperity of our future
railway, provided excessive grades would not be required.
* I wished to name this peak, or rather mountain, " Mount Moody,'I after
my old friend Colonel Richard Clement Moody, of the Royal Engineers ;
and now that the pass first seen from it has really turned out to be all that
I then anticipated, and the railway is now going through it, I trust in any
future maps it may be so named.
On reaching our dep6t I organised for the explorations in the
Selkirks, and was joined by my assistant-engineers, Mr. Ashdown
Green, C.E., and Mr. James Turnbull, late of the Royal Engineers.
Mr. Green had been exploring the mountains to the north of me,
and Mr. Turnbull those to the south. I sent Mr. Green to
explore the valley of Gold River, Mr. Turnbull the valley of the
In-com-opolux at the north-east end of the Upper Arrow Lake, and
went myself to the valley I had seen opposite the pass discovered
from Shuswap Lake. I reached it with a good outfit and Indians, three of whom were Columbia-river Indians. We ran the
| Little Dalles | in a terrific thunder and lightning storm, accompanied with hail, and having a large canoe this time, well
and strongly manned, it was a splendid and exciting trip, the
Indians singing and shouting in g*and style, enjoying it I
think as much as I did. We camped a short distance up the
Ille-cille-waet River, and having given Mr. Turnbull his supplies,
and final instructions, we wished each other farewell, and I turned
my steps eastward, bound for the heart of that rugged Selkirk
range. We toiled through dense underbrush and forests, and I was
taken so sick that I had to camp. Victor, one of the Columbia-river
Indians, boiled some roots and gave me the water to drink, and I
became quite well again. After a hard scramble we reached the
point where the river branches, one valley turning to the northward, the other having a south-easterly course. My Indians had
intimated to me they would not go beyond this point as the winter
was close at hand, and that we could not then cross the range and
reach the Kootanie River. All possible inducements in the shape
of rewards were unavailing, and it was with deep regret that I
had to give up the idea then. I managed to get them to go
some distance up the northerly fork, but the snow coming on we 46
i if
returned.     That south-easterly branch is now adopted by the
Canadian Pacific Railway.    From my experience I believe rich gold
quartz and argentiferous galena mines will be worked in this range.
We ourselves found fair prospects of gold, and some very rich argentiferous galena.    On our journey we killed several porcupines,
which we ate with relish.   They are stupid animals, and we knocked
them on the head with sticks : we also killed some willow grouse
The Indian dog, " Minne-cox," was a great hunter, and would
come several times a day to me to pull out the porcupine quills
he managed to get in his mouth and  lips.     When he got a
grouse on a tree he would watch me carefully until I fired, and
then it was a race to get the grouse first—if he were ahead I
never saw the grouse again.    It was amusing to see this dog
cache (hide away safely) any surplus food he did not need, to be
used on some future day.    On the morning of our proposed return
I aroused one of the Indians, Delina by name, just as the day was
breaking, and he having rubbed his eyes, caught my arm, and in
a mysterious manner and half-whisper, said : 11 see bear ; Hyas
bear," the latter meaning a big or grizzly bear.   I thought the
■bear was close on us in the brush, but the Indian pointed him
out on a m bench " by the side of a mountain torrent, about one-
third of a mile away.  - Perry, myself, Victor, and Delina at once
started to meet him.    Perry was  armed with a small pea rifle,
Victor with a flint rock-B. gun, Delina with a little pea rifle, and
I with a revolver.    It was arranged that Perry and Victor should
make through the brush a short distance above the stream, and
I and Delina straight for the bear, but we were to wait until they
fired.    Delina and I came close up to the bench upon which the
bear was tearing up roots, and he evidently smelt something, for
he sat on his haunches and sniffed the air in all directions.    In
a few moments the report of a gun was heard, when Delina,
climbing up the rock, saw the bear also climbing up a rock slide
just above us.   Another shot was fired by one of the others, and
down came the bear as we stood on the edge of the rock.    He
immediately turned upon us and stood upon his hind legs ; then
we saw how enormous a brute he was, apparently ten feet high. BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Delina's gun snapped, and he called out, "Hyah clattawa"
(Quick—clear out, or run), and we both jumped over the edge
of the precipice, some 15 or 18 feet, expecting the bear would
be on the top of us. In the meantime the others had joined
us, and we rose, when Victor made a shot that struck
the bear's backbone and paralyzed his hind legs, and we all
ignominiously attacked him. He made frantic efforts to get at us
by drawing himself along with his paws, but he was too much
disabled. I fired the contents of my revolver at his head, only
distant five or six feet, but found not a single one cut through
his enormous skull; at last Perry got a bullet through his heart,
and he was dead. He was very fat, and the Indians skinned him,
secured all the choice pieces and his head, and returned to camp,
where they had such a gorge that I could not get them away that
day. They stuck his head on a pole, decorating it with such white
and red cotton rags as they could collect from their tattered clothing
telling me that if they did not do so they would have no luck. Providing ourselves with some of the choice meat, we were ready for a
start next morning. We had left the camp but a short distance
in the morning, Victor and myself being last, when I heard a
peculiar sound behind us. Victor was busy taking his gun out of
the blanket covering, but did not move or take his pack off, and
motioned me to remain still; presently I saw a magnificent Cariboo
running straight towards us, but when some forty feet distant he
went on one side with a beautiful long lope, and a shot from
Victor's gun brought him to the ground. He was a very
beautiful animal and in good condition. I was afraid of a repetition of the bear feast, but the Indians quietly cut off the
best pieces, broke his legs to get the marrow, which they ate raw,
and I then got them off. We only encountered another grizzly
which I walked upon, and was within twenty feet before I saw him ;
he was an enormous animal. We had a good look at each other, and
I made off in one direction and he in another ; if I had had my rifle
with me a better opportunity for a good shot could not have been
had. We duly reached our canoe and returned to our depot and
thence to Seymour, discharging my Columbia-river Indians at the 48
depot. After arriving at Seymour I at once left in a canoe to go
over the westerly portion of the pass I had discovered, but had
hardly started when three miners followed, bringing me instructions
to act as Gold Commissioner, and grant licences, &c. This
necessitated my returning to the Columbia River, but not until
I had completed the exploration of the pass as far as the tree I had
formerly blazed. I then returned, in very cold weather, to the
Columbia River, performed the necessary duties and made my way
to Kamloops, where I had a cordial welcome, and returned to New
Westminster. On my way down the Shuswap River I was detained
a short time arranging with the Indians in regard to their reserves,
which I accomplished satisfactorily, and then visited Adam's Lake.
Here I made the acquaintance of Adam and Eve, an Indian
and his wife, and went a short distance up the lake, thus closing
the field work for that year. BRITISH COLUMBIA.
a.d. 1866.—The office work for the season being completed, I
applied for leave of absence for a short time, but had hardly got
away when I was recalled. A deputation had waited on the Governor
to have various work done on the Columbia River section of the
country, and the miners, merchants, and others were greatly excited
over the gold discoveries made the previous autumn, so that I was
soon off once more to open trails' and prosecute explorations. I
reached the lower end of the great Shuswap Lake, where I met two
old friends, Captain Moffatt and Mr. Joseph McKay, of the Hudson
Bay Company. Captain Moffatt was engaged in building the
steamer Marten, to run from Savona's Ferry, the westerly end of
Kamloops Lake, to Seymour and other points on the Shuswap
Lakes and rivers, and Mr. McKay had just returned from Seymour.
I learnt from Mr. McKay that ice was still on the great Shuswap
Lake, except in places along the shore. Miners and traders were
crowding up, so I hired a large log canoe and started the following
day, dragging the canoe over the ice where we could not find open
water. At Seymour I found houses being rapidly built and everything in an excited state, all being most anxious to get to the
mines. I went over to the Columbia River and found the snow verv
deep for eight miles over the summit plateau. 1 laid out and
commenced a trail from La Porfce, the head of steamboat navigation, above the 49 th parallel, and a short distance below the | Dalle
de Mort." The steamer 149 " arrived on her first trip from Colville
at this time. I now returned to the " Summit," and put a large
force of men to cut a passage for pack animals through the deep
snow. Many of the men suffered from snow blindness, but I got the
trails opened and ran down with two of my Indians and a foreman
to Fort Shepherd. Here I remained a day, when having got a party
together and supplies, &c, &c, for my foreman to put the trail to
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Wild Horse creek in order, I went to Wild Horse creek itself, and
after staying a day went on, following the valley of the Kootanie, to
the point where it turns into the Rocky Mountains, when fording
the river and still following this peculiar great valley along the
western base of the Rocky Mountains, came to the Columbia Lake,
about one and a quarter mile distant from the crossing of the
Kootanie River. The Columbia Lake is the source of the great river
of that name, which has a length of about twelve hundred miles, and
flows nearly north to the "Boat Encampment" in lat. 52° 7' N.,
and then takes a sudden bend and runs nearly south through the
Arrow Lakes into the territory of the United States ; hence the Selkirk range of mountains, which are within this bend of the river,
derived the name by which it was generally known amongst the
early prospectors and others, viz., "The Big Bend." The Selkirk
range does not extend north of the Boat Encampment, but the
Gold and Rocky Mountain ranges come nearly together at this
point, being divided by the valley of the Canoe river, which
has its source in the mountains not far from Tete Jamie Cache, on
the Fraser River. This cache is the westernly end of the pass
of the same name, now more generally known as the "Yellowhead Pass." I now followed the east shore of the Columbia Lake,
which is some eight miles in length, and the valley of the
Columbia through a very pretty country, in places like parks, with
the Rocky Mountains towering above me on the right, and my old
acquaintances, the Selkirks, covered with dense green forests, on
the left. At a short distance below the Columbia Lake I suddenly
rode into a large camp of the Kootanie Indians, and I was as
much surprised as they were. They had a large number of horses,
some of which they had stolen from the " Blackfeet," and as many
of them were rather fine-looking animals, I presumed the Blackfeet
had stolen them from some unfortunate whites. I camped close
to them and had a general visit from men, wTomen and children.
I gave them a little tobacco and they returned me some dried meat,
but whether it was bear, buffalo, or other meat, I could not tell—I
only hoped it was not dog's flesh. Pushing on still through a
similar country, we saw many piles of elk horns bleached quite
white, indicating that those animals must have been very plentiful
at some period in the past. I saw some very fine larch trees,
and in the evening reached the end of the trail and the commencement of the thick woods. During the day I had been joined
by two Indians and a very good-looking young squaw, the wife of
one of the men. He was evidently very jealous of his spouse,
and because of this she suffered a severe knock on the head. She
managed to get me an old log canoe, and sending my horses
back to the men working on the trail, we crossed the river, and at
a short distance came to a little camp of Shuswap Indians, where
I met their head man, " Kinbaskit." I now negociated with him
for two little canoes made of the bark of the spruce, and for his
assistance to take me down the river. - Kinbaskit was a very good
Indian, and I found him always reliable. He knew the Columbia
thoroughly, and proved himself most useful to me at that time
as well as in after years, when I again visited that country during
the time I was in the service of the Canadian Pacific Railway. 52
I had to wait at camp, as an Indian Kinbaskit wished to take
with him was down the river.   I found there w«re at a creek below
that point some bears who came at night for the salmon, which were
there in great quantities at the time, and thereupon went down before
dark with a gun to try and secure one.   I squeezed myself into a
dense grove of thorn bushes in a muddy bend of the stream and
awaited their arrival.   The night was cold, and at last I heard the
bears feeding on the salmon,  but it was so dark I could see
nothing.    The cold increased, and I  thought  I would retreat
to my camp, but at every move I came across a few of the thorns,
and I could not get out.    Shivering in   the  mud  until daylight I found a wretched amusement, and to return without even
having a shot at a bear was most annoying.     Our two canoes
being ready we commenced our voyage, and nothing of very great
importance took place.    I sketched the river, took latitudes and
-estimated longitudes, looked into the westerly ends of the Kicking
Horse and Howse Passes, and found they were favourably situated
to connect with the Eagle Pass.  We ran many rapids and portaged
others, then came to a Lake which I named]" Kinbaskit" Lake,
much to the old chief's delight.    From this lake to the j Boat
Encampment " the water was very bad indeed, the distance being
about twenty-two •miles.    We camped at that old landing of the
Hudson Bay Company's boats, where the Canoe and the Wood
*or Portage Rivers empty their waters into the Columbia.    A very
«ad story is connected with the I Boat Encampment."    Many
years ago, when a brigade was on its way from Colville, among
the passengers by  the boats were   the present Mrs.   Captain
H.   S.  Donaldson,  of Winnipeg,  Manitoba (then a  child), and
her mother.    Some time after the brigade of horses had left
on their way through the Athabasca Pass, the old lady was missed.
A search was made for her, but from that time not the slightest
trace of her could be found. We now ran on down to the mouth of
Gold creek (Wilson's landing), portaged the " Dalle de Mort," and
then on as far as Kerby's landing, where I met Mr. Arthur Birch,
the Colonial Secretary, and Captain H. M. Ball, one of the Grold
Commissioners. I spent the night at their camp, and in the
morning they left for New Westminster, and I returned to French
creek. At orie place, not far from the | Dalle de Mort," seeing
an old hut I landed to find out what it was. As my Indians did
not like to land I asked the reason why, and one of them told me
that several years before a Columbia-river Indian, his wife and
two children were staying in the hut. The Indian went in his
canoe to visit his traps, but night came on, the woman watching
for her husband's return. At last she heard the dip of his paddle
in the water, and saw him step carefully out of his canoe at the
usual landing-place and begin to unload his canoe, when she laid
down again in her blankets. After a time, surprised at his not
coming in, she got up, but could see no signs of the Indian or
canoe, and went to the landing-place to examine the newly-fallen
snow to see, as she expected, his footsteps, but was dreadfully
frightened to find there were not any marks. A day or two afterwards two Indians of her tribe came and told her they had found
her husband's broken canoe at the foot of a bad rapid, but could
find no trace of him. His body never was found, and the wrecked
canoe told the poor woman the mournful tale. The Indians
believing the hut to be haunted by the spirit of the drowned
Indian, do not like to go to it. 54
i m
I remained a- few days at French creek, winding up the season*
business, and paid off my Indians from the Upper Columbia.^ I
had promised them some money, a suit of clothes each, and as
many provisions as they could pack. The morning after my arrival
I went into a store and purchased a box of sardines for breakfast,
out of which I ate a few and left the rest for the Indians, who
appeared to enjoy them very much. After breakfast I took them
into a store, got them clothes and some tobacco, and asked them
what they would have for provisions. They promptly answered,
| Teuass pish " (little fish), meaning sardines. I told them they
would starve on them, but they were bound to have the fish with
" hiyon grease | (plenty of grease), and nothing but the fish, so I
loaded them with as many as they could carry, and they departed
over the mountains homeward bound, shaking hands with me,
saying I was a " Hyas closhe skookum Tyhee," that is, "a very
good and powerful chief." A few days closed my business, and I
left on my downward journey with Mr. White, the Clerk of the
Chief Gold Commissioner. We got a dreadful drenching on our
way to La Porte, and on arriving at Seymour were delighted to
get on board the comfortable H.B. Company's steamer Marten, and
enjoy an evening with my old friend Captain Moffatt, and some
excellent English porter, &c, &c. We had a very pleasant run to
Kamloops, where I stayed over-night at the fort, and then went on
to New Westminster, where I prepared my maps, reports, &c,
and at the end of the year left the service and went to San
Francisco, leaving all my old friends with much regret. BRITISH COLUMBIA.
a.d. 1868-9.—I found San Francisco greatly changed since I
left it ten years ago, so much so indeed that I did not know much
of it. After a short stay I went up over a portion of the Central
Pacific Railway, then in course of construction over the Sierra
Nevada Mountains, and visited Grass Valley, &c. I had the
opportunity of meeting one of the owners of the " Eureka Mine,"
which is a remarkably rich quartz gold mine, and has paid
enormous dividends. I spent some months in San Francisco,
visiting many of the neighbouring towns, where the scenery is in
places very beautiful. There is a good drive from San Francisco to
the Cliff House. The latter is well situated, affording a fine view
over the adjoining portion of* the Pacific Ocean and of the " Seal
Rocks," which are a short distance from and a good many feet
below its level. The rocks were covered with enormous seals, and
it was rather amusing to watch them. I found the rainy or winter
season the most pleasant, as in the summer the strong sea breeze
that blows during a great portion of the day causes the dust tp be
annoying, but the nfghts are cool and enjoyable. I remained in
San Francisco until the " White Pine " excitement took place, and
then with many others went to the interior. Bad weather and
such like induced me to remain in Elko, where I did a most
profitable business for a short time, surveying and painting signs..
Reports of finds of rich silver in the Red Hills on the Awyhee
River induced about eighty of us to go there. None of us knew
the exact road, and in such a great hurry were we to reach our
destination that we travelled at night, got scattered in small parties,
and indeed lost our way. We had a little adventure : as some of
us were riding along a high mountain side we saw a large bear go 56
K 'i':
into a grove of Cottonwood trees in the bottom of the valley below
us. An American miner and myself, leaving our horses with the
rest of the party, crept down to get a shot at him. We had
once a glimpse of the animal but missed him. Some of the party'
then began firing into the grove of trees, which were not large
and we were in danger of being shot, many bullets coming close
to us. To stop this we fired back, taking care that our bullets
went very close while not hitting them, and thus the bear got
away. Travelling through an enormous army of locusts for a
whole day, we arrived at a pretty flat on the Awyhee River, and
close to the " Argenta silver mine," which had caused the excitement. We formed a mining district, appointed a recorder, and
prospected and tcok up claims. I returned to Elko and obtained
a large supply of provisions and mining tools, which were provided
by a gentleman who wished to join me in mining. We returned
and I laid out a city for the original discoverers, which took me
three days. For this I was handsomely paid and given two good
lots as a bonus. Then for a time I did a most remunerative
business as mining engineer, and at the same time sunk several
prospecting shafts on our mines in this and two adjoining
districts. A very severe winter came ,on and we were nearly
starved out, communication being cut off by the deep snow.
Many miners were without provisions, and several of my
acquaintances used to congregate at my shanty to get one
" sauare § meal a day. At last my supplies ran low, so one
day I thought I would go to a pond on the river, where I had
caught trout, and try an experiment. I " fixed " up a giant
cartridge in such a way that it would explode under water, and
made a hole in the ice; exploding the cartridge I ran below the
pond, where there was a small rapid and no ice, when in a short
time the stunned fish began to float down and I secured a good
bag full.   A friend of mine, Judge , was at that time badly
off for provisions, but he had some good whisky and white German
wine, so I told him if he would provide a bottle of each I would
provide a capital supper; the offer was accepted, and we passed
a pleasant evening.    He was anxious to know how I obtained BRITISH COLUMBIA.
the fish, and in a moment of weakness I told him. The following
morning, on leaving my cabin, I was surprised to see a notice
on my door, which was an extract from some law, which informed
me that the killing of fish in the manner adopted by me was a
serious offence, and certainly not in accordance with the law.
At my subsequent fish dinners I was careful not to invite
acquaintances. 58
Making a trip to " Bonno | to see about some of my mines, I
laid out a " city " in a pretty valley below the principal ridges,
and stayed to get some shafts sunk and tunnels driven. The snow
came on, and the few that had remained were short of provisions.
One woman was in the camp, and we had nothing for it but to
get out or starve. A very fine fellow, who had two oxen, said
lie would make a " pung," a sort of a sled with the shafts and
runners in the same piece of wood; I to provide the horse, of
which I had three on the mountain, and take the woman out,
and he going ahead with the oxen to break the trail. He left at
daylight, and I went after the horses, but could not find them,
and after a hard trip through the snow returned at night. On the
next morning I resumed my search, which was successful, and in
the afternoon I started with one man and the woman. The snow
was drifting, and when the darkness came on we could get no
further, so I abandoned the sled, and, placing the woman on
the horse, led it back to our cabin, which we reached after a
dreadful trip, in which the poor woman suffered very much. The
storm did not abate for a day or two. We were in a state almost
of starvation, and concluded to make some " Norwegian snow-
shoes." These snow-shoes are made about eight or ten feet in
length, and four or five inches in width ; they are quite thin and
light, and on flat ground or down hill, glide along easily and swftly.
The whole party having equipped themselves with snow-shoes,
and a heavy pair having been made into a sled with a seat for the
woman, we left on one fine morning, and progressed very well until
we came to a long descent. An accident happened to the man
who was assisting me with the sled, in which it ran down the
declivity, leaving the poor woman in the snow at the bottom,
unhurt, and breaking the sled.   It was now apparent that the sled BRITISH COLUMBIA.
was a failure, and two of the men agreed to help the woman along,
I giving her my snow-shoes, and taking the ones used for the
runners of the sled. They went on, and I remained to rig the
runners into snow-shoes, which after a time I did, but in a very
imperfect manner, not having the proper appliances. Following
their tracks, w^ith the cord I had to use to fasten my feet to the
shoes cutting my feet, I had a long, painful, and dreary walk, and
just as night was coming on overtook the party high up on the
sloping mountain. All were weary and tired; the woman sat
down and cried with fatigue. There was was no shelter, and
nothing but the most dreary of dreary prospects ahead. We
knew there was a wayside tent-house on the stage road, but as
we had, on the recommendation of one of the party who said he
knew all about the country, taken a short cut, none of us knew
exactly where we were, and our guide, the most confused of the
party, was not complimented. A plucky fellow, a Norwegian,
assisted me to pull the woman along, and that dreary walk we
shall never forget. Hour after hour passed. At length I proposed they should stop, and I go ahead to look for sign of
house or shelter of any kind, the rest of the party to remain
and answer my pistol shots should I not be able to find them.
I had not gone far when I saw a distant light in the valley
below us, and returned with the welcome news. We all slid
down the mountain side into the valley, along which we proceeded on tolerably flat ground. I was obliged, at last, to
followr instead of lead, my feet being so sore and feeling quite
used up. The house was not far off and the others reached it, but
I floundered into a deep ravine, and throwing off my hateful snow-
shoes crawled into the place so thoroughly worn out that I lay
down on a pile of wood and slept soundly until the morning. H
1 i
In the morning we were surprised to find one of our party
missing, and strange to say it was the man who had essayed to
guide us. Two of the party and I started back to find him. After
travelling about two-thirds of the distance back to the mining
camp, we espied a black object sitting on the snow, and there
found the unfortunate fellow sitting on his snow-shoes in a half-
dazed state, his feet being slightly frozen. He had completely
lost himself. When we slid down the mountain on the previous
night, he was behind ; the night was dark, and he not knowing
where we were,* got turned round, and was actually retracing his
steps to the place whence we started. The rest of the ensuing
winter of 1869-70 was passed in rather a monotonous manner,
principally occupied in prospecting our mines. A large gambling
saloon had been built close to my shanty, and occasional rows
and shooting scrapes occurred. Several bullets struck my shanty,
which was by no means bullet-proof, so that when I heard a row
for safety I got out of my bunk and lay on the floor. This was a
great nuisance, and getting a large square log I put it alongside
my bed, forming a bullet-proof battery, behind- which I could
sleep in peace. At the near approach of the following winter we
found the mines were a complete failure. We had expended a
very large amount of money, and could not get in a dollar that
was due to us, so abandoning or giving ,away all our remaining
outfit we made for the railway, my, friend securing a free pass and
I selling my horse, saddle, and bridle to pay my fare, to find on
reaching San Francisco only five dollars in my pocket. I took
up my quarters at a good hotel, determined to have one good
night's rest and a substantial breakfast, and then strolled down
Montgomery street  to  California street, wondering what next BRITISH COLUMBIA.
to do. As I was standing there in the forenoon, the Mining Board
of Brokers adjourned, and I met one of those with whom I had
successfully dabbled, in a small way, in stocks. He wished me
to take a venture in some stock he had just purchased and felt
certain it would take a rise. I told him I would take some so
that the margin to be put up should not exceed seven hundred
dollars, and I would meet him when the afternoon Board closed,
but he was to be certain to sell should the stock go up. I hurried
off to see* a very old friend who at that time was very well off,
and requested the loan of a cheque for a few months for the
amount, which he gave me. I then returned, waiting anxiously
for the closing of the Board, when I met my friend, who told
me he had been most successful, the stock having gone up, and
he there and then paid me seven hundred and twenty dollars as
my share of the profits, I had not thus to use my borrowed
cheque, but returned it to my friend that evening with many
thanks, and found myself comparatively rich for a short time.
Not long afterwards, in the early part of 1871, the Utah
mining excitement broke out, and I met a Scotch assayer whom
I had known in Nevada, and who had just returned from
Utah. He was greatly excited about the new silver and lead mines,
and recommended me to go up at once. I found my old mining
partner and we both started for Utah. On arrival at Salt Lake
City I called on the Mormon Prophet, | Brigham Young," from
whom I acquired much valuable information and civility, as I also
did from other Mormons during my stay in that territory. I prospected for some time, until I received a telegram from Ottawa
informing me that the Canadian Pacific Eailway was to be
commenced, and requesting me to leave for Ottawa at once. The
next morning, giving my companions my outfit and mining
interests, I went to Salt Lake City and thence to Ottawa, where
I saw my old friend of early days, Mr. Sandford Fleming, and
Sir John A. Macdonald (at that time Premier of Canada), and
gave them full information as to the feasibility of a line for a
railway through that country, and which is the one now adopted.
After a short stay at Ottawa, having been appointed District '
!   I
Engineer of the country between Shushwap Lake and the easterly
foot hills of the Eocky Mountains, I, with a few other engineers,
&c, returned to the Pacific Coast, and on reaching Victoria,
Vancouver Island, organised our parties and landed the first of
them on the mainland on the day which saw British Columbia
become a portion of the Dominion of Canada, viz., Dominion
Day. I at once called upon my old friend Sir James Douglas,
from whom I received a hearty greeting.
i-Ifc if
it"    ;rf
:_..,.•.-.,.:..       CHAPTER   XXIV.    ..■ . |..':j. '
Having partly organised our parties at Victoria, and purchased
supplies, we sailed for New Westminster, and thence up the
Fraser River. I landed with party S at Fort Hope, the others,
going on to Yale. There I found the men who had engaged themselves as packers, on account of the higher pay, but they knew
little or nothing about packing, and had to be degraded to the
ranks, while others were sent for. This caused a little delay, but
the party got off with a fully-equipped pack train of mules and a
few horses, bound for Wild Horse creek before described, as a
branch of the Kootami River. I followed the others, purchased and
forwarded all the provisions I could get at Yale, and, on my way
to Kamloops, purchased beef, cattle, and pack-animals for the
different parties. We all met at Savona's Ferry, and putting
party T with some supplies on board a bateau, they went
on to Kamloops, to which place I also travelled in a small log
canoe in company with Mr. A. R. C. Selwjm, Director of the
Geological Survey of Canada. At Kamloops we were very busy
'getting the parties equipped for the survey of the North Thompson
River and Yellowhead Pass, which was Mr. Roderic McLennan's
district | and that by the South Thompson, or Shuswap River and
Lakes, the Eagle Pass in the Gold range, and the passes in the
Selkirk and Rocky Mountains, which embraced my district. On
the 15th of August I left for Fort Colville, following the trail
via Okanagan Lake, Osooyoos Lake, and Fort Colville, taking one
of my assistants and three Indians. I had purchased a fine, though
very wild and vicious horse, which wo led the first day, but he
got away, and we had a long chase to capture him. The following
day I rode him, but had proceeded only half a mile, when, as he
was going along very quietly, he suddenly threw me in the most
incomprehensible manner, and we had a long and useless chase, 64
but could not catch him, and the horse, saddle, bridle, &c, I never
saw again. I now went on to the Roman Catholic Mission, where
I stopped over-night, and spent a very pleasant evening with the
priest, Father (I have forgotten his name), and thence to
Osooyoos Lake, where I met Mr. Lowe, from whom I purchased
two horses, and stayed an evening at his house, meeting there
the United States Customs' Officer from Fort Colville. The next
day I went on to Rock creek, where we stayqd over-night. It
was on the way to this point that my surveys were nearly
stopped for good. I happened as I was moving on to tread on a
rattlesnake, which kept striking at my leg with his fangs, but fortunately I had heavy riding boots on, and a sufficient length of
his body not being free, he could not reach above the leather ;
and so I escaped unharmed, which it is almost needless to say he
did not.
Leaving my Indians and pack-animals to follow, I made a
rapid trip to Old Fort Colville, wishing to get there and purchase
supplies, &c, before the object of my trip was known, as supplies
were scarce. I arrived in the evening, and bought up all available
supplies, and chartered the steamer "49," which was laid up to
make a trip to " The Eddy," which is the easterly end of Eagle Pass,
and went on about fourteen miles to the American garrison at
New Fort Colville, where at the adjoining village I purchased
all supplies in the place. This was fortunate, for next day prices
went up 30 per cent. I was very kindly entertained by the, army
officers at the Fort, where I spent the night, and the next day
pursued my journey eastward. The country I passed through
from Kamloops to Colville is a very pretty one, nearly the
whole distance being diversified with beautiful rivers, streams,
lakes, prairies, and mountains. There are some good and
picturesque farms at and in the vicinity of the north end of
Okanagan Lake, those of Colonel Houghton, Deputy Adjutant-
General of Manitoba, and the Messrs. Vernon being delightfully
situated. The Mission is also an attractive place, and there is a
good deal of fair agricultural land about it. I now followed the
pretty agricultural valley of the Colville River, where there are
many farms, and journeying on through Idaho territory, recrossed
the boundary line, and came on the trail from Fort Shepherd to
Wild Horse creek, the country from the boundary line being
generally thickly timbered, rocky, and mountainous.
I overtook my party S a short distance west of the pretty
prairie, known as S Joseph's Prairie," and thence by the same
trail I have before described to Wild Horse creek. Here I
arrived on September 11th, and taking up my quarters in the
abandoned H. B. station, a short distance below the mining camp, 66
went on-to the village where I met Gold Commissioner J. C.
Haynes and the late Mrs. Haynes, finding in both very old
acquaintances, whom I had known in the early Crown Colony
days. An attempt was here made to force me to increase
the pay of the men—a movement instigated by one dissatisfied man, whom I dismissed on the spot, with the assurance
he should never do another day's work for me. The others,
who had all engaged with me for two years, then withdrew. We
now went on to the | Boat Landing," so named from its being the
point where our boats and canoes took the cargoes down the
river, the pack-animals proceeding by land through the thickly
timbered flats bordering the Columbia River. Some of the animals
not arriving, I went back a short distance, expecting to be away
until the following day, but fortunately returned that evening, when
it appeared some one or two of my employes had made improper
overtures to some of the squaws accompanying Indians whom
I proposed to work in the canoes and boats. The Indians wished
to leave, which was a serious matter, so to put an end to such
occurrences, I dismissed the men on the spot, and gave notice that
any similar conduct by men in my employ would meet with like
treatment, and also loss of pay. It might be perhaps regarded
as a rather arbitrary proceeding on my part, but it was unquestionably most advantageous for the success and general
welfare of the expedition. The boats and canoes being loaded,,
we ran on down with the party and supplies to a point a short,
distance above the mouth of the | Blaeberry River," which flows
through the westerly slope of the Howse pass. Here we formed our
dep6t, intending it to be the main depot on the Columbia river for
the surveys I proposed making through the Howse and Kicking
Horse Passes; along the valley of the Columbia River, around th&
I Big Bend," from Kicking Horse to Eagle Pas,s, and across the
Selkirk range by the valley of the Ille-cille-ivaet River and its southeasterly branch, which latter and proposed part I should make
after the completion of the survey through the Eagle Pass.
On the 2nd of October, I gave orders to open a trail and make
a preliminary survey through the Howse Pass, and set the party BRITISH COLUMBIA.
at this work, going on with Indians and horses through the woods
by this pass, with the intention of reaching the easterly end of
the Kootami Plain on the North Saskatchewan River. This spot
is close to, but on the opposite bank of the river, from Mount
Murchieson, so named by Dr. Hector, when he was with the
expedition sent out in the years 1857-8-9 by the Imperial
Government under the command of Captain Palliser. I found
such portions of the country as had been traversed by therm, and
visited by me, most accurately and clearly described, and indeed
found a copy of their reports of the greatest value. On leaving
the valley of the Blaeberry River, and emerging through the
"Blaeberry Nick" into the head waters of the North Saskatchewan, I was enchanted with the grand scenery. In bold
relief before me, stood Mount Forbes with its towering form
partly covered with grassy slopes, partly with thick green timber,
with perpetual snow above, and magnificent glaciers like transparent blue grass in the bright sunshine. Reaching the main
stream we rode over open gravel flats which are covered a$
high water, and followed them to some low partially wooded
sand hills opposite the stream, coming from the north from
Glacier Lake, where we camped. A beautiful clear moonlight
followed, and lighting my ripe, I scrolled along enjoying the
magnificent scenery until I came to a point of a thick grove
of fir-trees that jutted out on the gravel fiats. Resting myself
against a tree, my two little dogs went to sleep at my feet, when
suddenly we were startled by the dismal cry of a panther close
to us, which caused a precipitate retreat to the camp.] The
cry of a panther much resembles that of a child, they grow to
a large size, are cowardly animals, and not to be much feared. . i
We journeyed on for some distance, following the right bank
of the river, on a good well-beaten trail, seeing some old buffalo
skulls and bones, and the remains of a recently killed elk, and
camped near the westerly end of the "Kootami Plain" in a
thick grove of black pine trees, not of any great size. The
following morning we passed through " Kootami" Plain, and
sought in every direction for traces of my brother Frank's
party, who were to extend their explorations from the east
and connect with mine. We forded the river, and finding no
traces of them re-crossed and camped. The Kootami Plain is a
beautiful spot, having open prairies and clumps of trees, to the
beauty of which the surrounding mountains add greatly. I
learnt from Dr. Hector's Journal, that its name originated from
the Kootami Indians coming from the west to trade with the
Indians on the east side of the Rocky Mountains, and it was a
place very much famed amongst Indian hunters for the great
quantity of game to be found there, but which had been killed many
years ago by a disease (and no doubt by the Indians after the
introduction of firearms.—W. M.). I now returned and met the
party a short distance down the. valley of the Blaeberry River,
at a place which we called "Three Creek Flats," as three creeks
form a junction there. The weather now grew colder and it
begun to snow. I found the levels taken by me with a very good
aneroid barometer corrected with a "boiling point thermometer," both of which were of the very best make, correspond
closely with those taken by the "leveller of the party, one
making the difference in height, from a common point on the
Columbia River to another on the "Flat," 1,607 feet, and the
other 1,610 feet. In the morning we all went up, through
the snow, to try and run the line down from a point near the BRITISH COLUMBIA.
" summit," but the snow fell so heavily that we could make no
progress, and returned to our camp after dark, thoroughly
drenched, and feeling very miserable. The next morning we
retreated a short distance further down, in hopes of being able
to get the survey from that point, but the snow fell thicker than
ever, and I gave orders to retreat to the depot. Here we were
busily occupied in plotting the results of our surveys, and in the
erection of the buildings in which the men were to winter. t> set
some men at work building boats for the next summer's work,
and having everything in satisfactory shape on the 4th of
December, bid adieu to party S, and left with my Indians
to cross the Selkirk range, visit party T in the Gold range, and
make my way by the Eagle Pass, &c, to Victoria, as I then
expected to go on to Ottawa. 0
We were all provided with good snow-shoes, without which it
would be impossible to travel in these mountains in winter, except
at a snail's pace, the snow being deep and soft, j The journey down
the Columbia River was monotonous, occasionally enlivened by
some member of the party falling through the ice, to be fished
out by the others. At length we came to the point where I
decided to cross the Selkirks, and strike the head waters of the
Gold River. I wished to see if a pass might not be obtained here,
and a survey of it be necessary as well as that I had already decided
to make by the Ille-cille-waet River, and its south-easterly branch.
We had fearful work ascending the narrow and rugged valley of
the stream we followed owing to the deep, soft snow, dense timber
and underbrush, but at length we reached a high narrow pass
through which we travelled. When we began to descend the
western slope of the mountains we crossed a small lake, with a
glacier on its north side, which .was not far above our level, and at
a short distance we descended a long and very steep portion of the
mountain side, and came upon Gold River. This we followed,
passing through a dense forest of magnificent trees of the usual
description met with in these mountains, such as will doubtless be
of great value in future for the supply of the prairie country to the
eastward of the Rocky Mountains, provided that civilization does
not bring with it destructive bush fires. Wending our way through
the large forest trees, we came in the early part of an evening
on some fresh snow-shoe -tracks leading over a high projecting
part of the mountain to the north of us. Along these tracks we
descended into the valley of French creek, to find ourselves in
the nearly deserted mining town, where, though I had not visited
it since 1866, I met old acquaintances in the miners. We were
gratified in obtaining a good supper in the only store in the place, BRITISH COLUMBIA.
and, discussing a few glasses of excellent rum and water, we slept
soundly on the floor. Next day we remained on the | Creek " to
recruit. I visited the miners' shanties, and also Mr. Vowel, the
resident Gold Commissioner, and invited all hands to spend the
evening with me, when I obtained much information* about the
mining in that part of the country since I was last there. Bidding
■adieu to my friends, I went on the following day only five miles
to the deserted mining town of McCulloeh's Creek, and slept in
■an old shanty, the weather being excessively cold. The next day,
after a fatiguing walk we reached the old steamboat landing,
" La Porte," a short distance below | Dalle de Mort," and found
a solitary old man—Mr. Mchol—in whose cabin we slept. On
the two following days we travelled partly by ice and partly by
land against a strong and excessively cold wind, and reached the
*' Big Eddy," where we found party T in their winter house
engaged in completing the plans, &c, of the line surveyed through
the Eagle Pass. Here we stayed a short time to complete the
-plans, and here Christmas-day also was passed in a pleasant
manner. Several of the party were good musicians and singers,
and having brought a fiddle, flute, and accordion with them, our
evenings were very merry. Once more I resumed my way
and examined the line located. The travelling was bad, as the
snow was soft and deep, and underbrush dense and covered
with much snow, which fell off on our heads and at times got
down our necks, in a way far from pleasant. The 1st of the
new year was a most unpleasant day, and we all succeeded in
having a bath or two in the river, as the ice was not strong'.
The weather continued remarkably warm after we left the
Columbia valley. We now reached the Great Shuswap Lake, and
crossed the narrows at the mouth of Eagle creek, and followed
the south shore of the Salmon River arm for some distance, when
I tried to cross to the north side to examine a low depression that
appeared to connect this arm with the more northerly and almost
parallel one, out of which the Shuswap Biver flows. I was ahead
of the party, and managing to fall through the ice, was nearly
drowned, the rottenness, of the ice and absence of assistance 72
I      I
rendering it a difficult task to get out. We camped, and on the
next day finding open water opposite the depression above-
mentioned, .tied some logs together and rafted ourselves across.
We then examined this valley on the following day, and found
through it a feasible line for the railway. I gave no name to this
little pass, as I could not find out the Indian name for it at that
time. It undoubtedly has such a name, and I would suggest that
it should retain it. On reaching the main Shuswap Lake we
kicked off our snow-shoes, and I may here express my fervent
hope that necessity may never again compel me to have snow-
shoes on my feet, especially in such a country as we passed through
on this long and arduous trip. After an easy journey I reached
Kamloops, and once more took up my quarters in old and
hospitable Fort Kamloops, with my esteemed friend Mr. John
Tait. We now proceeded partly on foot, and partly by other-
modes of conveyance, to New Westminster, and thence to
Victoria by steamer. As soon as I reached the telegraph line-
I was in a position to telegraph to Mr. Fleming, which I did,,
that a railway line via the Eagle Pass and the Columbia River
and its tributary country, was practicable ; and after many yearn
since elapsed, in the exploratory surveys of many other lines/it
is very gratifying'indeed to see mine is the one finally adopted
for the Canadian Pacific Railway. BRITISH COLUMBIA.
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The length of time ifc had taken in getting through all the
mountain ranges left in sufficient time for me to go to Ottawa,
as preparations for the next season's work, on a much larger
scale, were necessary to enable the Canadian Government to
carry out the terms of the Confederation with British Columbia.
I now felt quite certain that the railway would be built
through the country I had examined, and every possible provision was made by me to complete the exploratory surveys
and follow them with the location ones. Late in the evening of
the day preceding the morning of my proposed departure for the
interior, I was astounded to get a telegram instructing me to
abandon all surveys in my district, and take charge of the surveys
through the Yellowhead Pass. That a great mistake was being
made could not but be apparent to me, and I so informed the
Lieutenant-Governor, through whom the message came, but as a
subordinate officer I had to obey orders, and went over to
Portland, Oregon, to get out of the contracts, &c, I had entered
into, and make such other arrangements as the new phase matters
had taken might render necessary. "We had a disagreeable
journey from Oljmpia, Puget Sound, through the dense Oregonian
forests, that extended on either side of that then most muddy
road, breaking the hind wheels of a vehicle, miscalled a stage,
and then enjoying a walk through the mud to Pomphrey's landing
on the Cowlitz River. Here I met an old British Columbia friend,
Mr. McOulloch, the discoverer of the creek of that name, in the
I Big Bend " before referred to, and then in the employ of the
Northern Pacific Railway, who treated me well, and on my
leaving on the little steamer Winat, presented me with two bottles
of excellent whisky. On our way down the Cowlitz River we succeeded in running a snag through the bottom of our rotten little BRITISH COLUMBIA.
craft, and in sinking her in shallow water, but as she was a light
boat we pulled her on the side of the river, and stuffed a mattress
and other things into the hole, and made our way to Montecello,
where we connected the following morning with the steamer for
the city of Portland, which is situated at the junction of the
Willamette and Columbia Rivers. We arrived at Montecello on
Sunday evening, and on reaching the solitary little hotel, we
could find nobody about, but the supper, such as it was, was
laid on the table ; we were all hungry, and rang a bell on the
verandah, which had the effect of bringing a man in a very bad
humour on the scene. This gentleman proved to be a deacon
of the church and proprietor of the hotel, but we managed to
pacify him and secured our suppers and beds. Next day we
arrived in Portland, and took up our quarters in the St. Charles
Hotel, kept by a genial landlord, Mr. Jacobs, formerly of the
St. Nicholas, Victoria, f Portland is the highest point in the
Columbia River reached by sea-going vessels, and was at that
time a very busy and thriving city of about thirty thousand
I went up to Oregon city, a few miles from Portland, on the
Willamette River, where there is fine water power, and where an
expensive canal for river steamers was then in course of construction around the rapids. I met with much civility from the
head-man of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, and travelled
in one of their fine steamers up to Walledu, where we landed and
found a wretched village of miserable houses partially covered
with drifted sand. Thence I travelled to Walla Walla with the
Chief Engineer of a portion of the Northern Pacific Railway, and
his amiable wife. Walla Walla was then a very little town built
on a rather flat country, and during the Indian wars in former
years had been a large military post. After a short stay here we
went on over a tolerably good road to Colville, where I remained
for a short time to make various arrangements, and then pushed
on through Idaho, purchasing all the pack-animals engaged in
freighting our supplies, on my way, so as not to be left at the
mercy of the packers.   When I reached the Columbia river  at 76
the "Boat Landing," on the 14th, and meeting the boats
built in the preceding winter at the Columbia River depot, I
had them loaded, and ran down to that depot, which I reached on
June 15 th, 1872, and met a portion of party S, the others being
further down the river, then opening the trail along it by which
I proposed to convey my party and supplies into the Yellowhead
Pass. An amusing incident occurred here : when I was in
Portland I had become possessed of some bottles of champagne,
which I had packed in a bundle of my blankets, and forgot all
about them; but on overhauling my package the bottles made their
appearance in a good state of preservation, and some of my party
pronounced it to be of a very good quality. That was probably
the first champagne drank on the McGillvray branch of the
Some of the party at the depdt had the scurvy, but not very
badly; and ascertaining it was principally their own fault, 1 gave
them a severe blowing up, and putting the stores, &c, into the
boats abandoned this dreary spot, and ran on to the | Slate
Canon," where the water is bad and not fit for loaded boats
to run with safety. From the upper end of the Slate Canon
there is a curious valley on the east side of the Columbia,
and nearly parallel to it, which runs down to a considerable
stream which I named Placid River, and through this valley
we opened a good pack trail. My men were now all busily
engaged opening this trail and boating down the supplies as fast
as they arrived at the boat-landing. I went down the river
in a small canoe with two Indians to pick out a line ahead.
Arriving at Placid River, I selected the spot to ferry across ; when
finding a short though deep quagmire beyond the river, I tried
to find a better crossing,, but without success. Hearing some
swans, we drew our canoe into a small lake where they were, and
that day we bad a grand hunt. The swans could not rise off the
water, as they had not as yet the new feathers on their wings fully
grown, and with my Henry rifle it was good sport, I only firing at
their long necks. We got several, and returning to Placid River
camped and cooked part of a swan, which was coarse and tough,
but tasted very well. We now walked through the woods, blazing
a line for the trail, and the second day met the party, with whom
I camped ; and as some of the men had behaved very badly to
the Engineer-in-charge, I ordered them up to my camp at the
Slate Cation, where I dismissed them, and sent them back to Wild
Horse creek. We found the country rough in the extreme for
opening up ~a trail, the heavy growth and great quantity of
fallen timber being the most serious cause of delay.   I went ahead 78
with Kinbaskit and two  Indians to Kinbaskit Lake, taking   a
canoe with us, to pick out the most favourable line we could find.
One day I was much troubled how to get along the side of a
mountain south of the lake, and sent my canoe back, retaining
only one Indian.    We scrambled up the heavily timbered mountain side, and there I espied a cub on a large Douglas fir; we
then ran to the tree, and sure enough two cubs were climbing up
as fast as they could go. "Vainly I tried to knock them down with a
small revolver, for they got too high up.  The Indian, Johnny, stood
on some fallen logs at the foot of the tree, and I sat about
twenty feet above him on the steep hill side, when we heard
a crashing of the underbrush close to us, and the old bear showed
herself ; but, as the cubs did not cry out, she did not come down on
us, and after looking at each other for some time we withdrew.
When we got to the large stream at the head of the lake we found
it greatly swollen and most difficult to cross, and after a cold
swim gained the opposite bank and reached our camp, where I
saw Kinbaskit perched on a rock close to my tent, and taking my
jacket off, gave it a shake to knock off the mud, &c, when my
revolver, which was in the pocket, went off, striking the rock
within a foot of Kinbaskit, who took it very coolly.   The next day
Ave had returned to the camp in the afternoon, when the Indians
saw a black bear on the opposite shore of the lake, and went after
it; but came back informing me they had wounded the animal,
and wished to go after him next day.    So I told them to do so,
thinking a little fresh meat would be an assistance to our limited
supplies.    Kinbaskit and the two Indians soon returned with the
bear, but poor Kinbaskit was   rather badly wounded,   which
occurred, as the Indians told me, in the following way.   They
traced the wounded animal by the blood, and found him lying
alongside a log.    Kinbaskit thought he was so badly wounded
he could do no harm, and advanced with  only a heavy stick
in his hand to despatch him; but when quite close the bear
suddenly stood up on his hind legs and struck Kinbaskit with one
of his paws, giving him severe wounds on the scalp and tearing
the flesh of his arm and hand very badly, when the Indian, Tim,. - BRITISH COLUMBIA.
shot the -bear dead. It was quite a surgical work, sewing
and plastering up the old chief's wounds, who appeared quite
unconcerned. A temporary depot was now made at the north
end of the lake. I could not use the boats below this point
with safety, the river being full of rapids nearly the whole distance
to the "Boat Encampment"; and as I was most anxious to
hear how the T party, whom I had sent up the North Thompson
to survey through Yellowhead Pass, were getting on, I sent a
member of party S with Indians. I was much disappointed by
the almost immediate return of the member of my staff, asserting
that he was too unwell to make the journey ; but the Indians went
on and returned on the 14th August, informing me they could
find no traces of my party as far as the easterly end of Moose
Lake, in Yellowhead Pass, at^which point they turned back. I then
decided to go over myself, and, if necessary, proceed as far as the
Tete Jaune Cache. I
■\ \
t i
A large quantity of the supplies were at the north end of
the lake, and under the able superintendence of my Chief Commissariat Officer and Assistant-Paymaster on the Pacific Coast,
Mr. A. S. Hall, whom I put in general charge, as I had perfect
confidence in his energy and push, ,they made good progress
during my absence. Mr. A. S. Hall accompanied me in 1871
from Ottawa, when I commenced my surveys, and remained in
charge of the commissariat department throughout, returning to
Ottawa when the accounts, &c, were being audited. On the
27th of August I began the journey, taking three Indians,
Charley, a Columbia-river Shuswap, and my two young
Indians, Tim and Johnny. We went in as direct a course as
possible, Charley being our guide, and commenced at once to
ascend a steep mountain side to get a shorter way to Mount
Brown, and avoid the thick undergrowth, &c, which we should
encounter in the Columbia valley. We had a most fatiguing
climb up the steep, thickly-wooded mountain side ; the black flies
were tormenting, the day was excessively hot, and though there
was perpetual snow far above us and the Columbia in sight below,
not a drop of water could we obtain. We suffered very much,
particularly two of the Indians who had light packs. At last they
laid down, and Charley and I went on a short distance, and sat
down to rest. I scooped a cool stone out of the ground, and put
it against my throat to see if it would improve matters, when
Charley jumped up, exclaiming, | Chuck 1—which is 1 water." We
hurried on, and presently came to a fine cascade of ice-cold water,
into which our heads went, and we quenched our almost intolerable thirst. I sent Charley back with a can of water to the other
Indians, who soon made their appearance, and having enjoyed the
-water, we all laid down on   the moss,  and slept soundly till BRITISH COLUMBIA.
daylight, when we resumed our journey, and crossing a high ridge,
from which the view was magnificent, particularly of the Selkirk
Mountains, where we could see hundreds of snow-capped peaks.
We now commenced a steep descent by the valley of a mountain torrent, thickly covered with a fine growth "of large timber,
having, on reaching the bottom of the valley, to wade through an
abominable swampy forest with underbrush, where the thick
water, of a colour'like rusty iron, made it imperative on reaching
the Wood, or Portage River, to jump in to clean ourselves. We
then followed the southerly side of the stream for some distance
through heavy timber, and, tying a few logs together, crossed
the river and camped. Going on in the morning for some distance
through a thick forest we reached the gravel beds of the river,
which are covered at high water. We waded the river many
times, and camped at the foot of Mount Brown, opposite the old
camping ground of the H. B. Company, where Mr. Charles, one
of the company's officers, was accidentally shot many years ago.
Here we made a good supper, thanks to a porcupine we had
killed. We now began the steep ascent by the old H. B. Company's trail to reach the depression between Mounts Brown and
Hooker—the | Athabasca Pass |—gaining an elevated valley,
with grassy glades and groves of firs. Where the walking was
fair we made good headway, and camped a short distance north of
the celebrated "Committee's Punch-Bowl." Charley killed a
cariboo, and wTe took the fresh skin with the hair on it to make
moccassins, as we were sorely in need of something to put on our
feet, and cached the meat by making a platform high up three
trees, and peeled the bark off to prevent those cunning little'
thieves, the wolverins, from getting it. Following along, and
gradually ascending Mount Brown, we saw a grizzly bear above
us, and shot a ptarmigan, and then coming on a well-beaten
cariboo trail, reached the top of a ridge with a high conical peak
immediately on our right, and a mass of hard perpetual snow on
the north side of the ridge, down which we went with difficulty,
seeing the fresh tracks of four- cariboo. There was a fine view
from the top of this ridge, the mountains to the north forming a 82
magnificent amphitheatre, some five miles in width, and the
innumerable torrents dashing down the rocks, with the white
foam like silver spray, the thick groves of dark firs, the grassy
glades and many small lakes, or ponds, rendering it enchanting.
On reaching the bottom of the snow, I told Charley he had
better try and kill a cariboo, and we would camp a quarter
mile further on. He did not seem disposed to go, and I said
I thought he was afraid he could not get one. This put that
celebrated mountain hunter's blood in a glow, when he said
in Chinook, " Nika clatawa—quansum mameluce—potlach mika
musket jj" or, " I go—always kill—give me your rifle." I
handed him the gun, and he was off like a shot. We went on a
short distance and camped, hearing two shots in rapid succession,
and shortly after Charley walked into camp with the hind leg of a
cariboo, and, in answer to a question from one of the Indians, he
said, "Mameluce mox" ("I have killed two") ; and produced
two tongues, which were cooked for supper, and found very good. BRITISH COLUMBIA.
I wished to examine a little of the valley that crossed, at right
angles, the direction in which we were travelling. From what I
saw of it, my impression is that there is a pass through from the
Canoe to the Whirlpool River, which at some future day may be
utilised, but I cannot be quite certain of the pass, as my examination was very limited, and, therefore, imperfect. On my way this
morning I was astonished to see two graceful young cariboo come
running up a glade with high cliffs on either side, and look at me.
I did not wish to shoot them, they appeared so tame, so waving
my hat they ran off, but kept returning. I shouted, and they
ran up to the top of the rocks, trotting about; at last they ran
down some distance off, and passed behind a large rock, trotting.
I could not resist the temptation of a flying shot, when they sprang
out of sight, and I supposed I had missed, but one of my Indians,
who had followed me, said % Tenass mowick mameluce "—" The
little deer is killed," and, sure enough, on going to the spot I found
the poor thing dying with my bullet through its neck. I
could not but feel thoroughly ashamed of myself for wantonly
killing such a beautiful creature. Crossing the range ahead of
us, through a wide grassy depression, we came to some small ponds
surrounded with bold mountains and most picturesque scenery.
Out of the ponds flows a stream away to the north, which we
followed through a park-like valley for some distance, and then,
as it rapidly increased in size, we found it dash and roar through'
wild chasms and a rough country, until it forms a junction, a
short distance west of Yellowhead Lake, with the stream flowing
out of it. The stream I followed is the true I source of the
Fraser River, and I had thus been within a comparatively short
space of time at the source of the two large rivers of the Pacific 84
Coast, the Columbia and the Fraser. The country became very
rough, but for. a long distance we got on a narrow open ledge
that much helped us, as it' was clear of timber, and like a
pathway four or five feet in width. My feet were dreadfully
sore, and we had still to pass through some timber, where the
fire had been quite recently, and the burnt moss was still hot and
many fires smouldering. At last we reached the foot of the valley
and waded the stream. Our delight can be imagined when we came
on a newly-cut trail, and prepared to have a meal, but just
then the tinkling sound of a mule bell greeted our ears, and a
minute after I was in the midst of a train of animals that I
found belonged to my trail party in charge of Mr. William C.
McCord, then camped on Yellowhead Lake. I asked the head
packer his name, and he told me MacBrown; this struck me as
a peculiar name. I asked him how he came by it, and he told me
that in the previous year, wishing to join the parties under Mr.
Roderic McLennan on his expedition to Moose Lake, he found
nearly all the parties were Macs, so he thought he should have a
better chance of employment if he were a Mac too, and therefore
substituted MacBrown for Brown. I secured a horse from himT
and a few minutes afterwards passed through the trail party's camp,
and went on to^where the men were at work ; both McCord and the
men were surprised to see me make my appearance by the valley I
had followed. Ascertaining that my survey party was in the
neighbourhood of Moose Lake, I sent for the engineer in charge,
and pulling my boots off my nearly crippled feet, had a good rest
or the remainder of the day.
Kffll     |
III    I Hi
B1BS1I illlliiBlllilllllillllllllllllllll^ 86
That evening, Mr. Mohun, the Bngineer-in-charge of party Ty
Mr. McCord and myself had a long talk over all the proceedings
that had  gone  on since I left them, and learning that Mr.
Sandford Fleming, the Engineer-in-chief of the Canadian Pacific-
Railway, had not as yet passed through, I took four  horses
and began to make my way, with  the  Indians,  through the*
valley of the  "Miette,"  which at that time  without  a trail
was most unpleasant for the greater portion of the distance.   In
going along the bank in a place where the trees were very thick, &
horse with all our provisions tumbled into the stream, and we could
not induce him to come out; he seemed to enjoy the cool water and
freedom from flies it afforded him.    At last we went on to a small
rapid close by and camped, ringing the bell to attract him, and ho
waded down and came out, and we then got our supper.   That
rapid I named if Horse .Rapid," of which more anon. Another hard
forenoon's work brought us to the Athabasca, which we struck at*
the beautiful site of the old Hudson Bay Port, Henry House,
which had entirely disappeared with the exception of a hole that
represented the former cellar, and a pile of stone3 that had once been
a chimney.   This old fort was at the junction of the two routes*
followed by the early trappers and by the Hudson Bay Company ;,
one route going by the T&te Jaune, or Yellowhead Pass, the other
by the Whirlpool River, Committee's Punch-Bowl, &c, to the Boat
Encampment,   and   known   as   the   " Athabasca   Pass."    We
journeyed on, admiring the scenery, and came to Snaring River.
Here  for  a short time we were at a loss to find a ford, but
succeeded in getting over, though, as we found afterwards, by
the wrong ford, and followed a trail by the river that was bad
in places.   At last, on reaching an open bench, we came upon the
main trail and saw the track of boots, which the Indians at once: BRITISH COLUMBIA.
said were "Moneasses," or men from the east, unacustomed to
mountain travelling. I sent an Indian back on my horse with
a note, as I felt almost certain it was Mr. Fleming's party, and
walked back to Snaring River and camped. The Indian returned
after dark and brought me a note from Mr. Fleming, that set all
doubts at rest; we had missed each other, as I took the river
and the other party the other trail.
From a very old but active woman named Marguerite, whom I
afterwards saw at Jasper House, I heard the following story :
Many years ago, before the introduction of firearms in the
mountains, there was a small tribe of Indians, who captured the
mountain sheep, the wood buffalo, and the bear by snaring them,
and had their principal residence on this river, which gave it the
name of " Snaring River." A party of Assineboines, who had
obtained firearms from the traders in the east, invaded this little
band, and shooting all the Indians, they carried off he women and
children, and having skinned the dead Indians took their skins to
trade with the whites, but the old lady was unable to inform me
if they made a profitable trade with the skins.
At daylight I followed and overtook the party just as they
were entering the valley of the " Miette," and I had
the pleasure of forming the acquaintance of the Rev.
Principal Grant and Dr. Marvin; Mr. Fleming and his
son Frank were old acquaintances. We dined on the
bank of the river, and camped at | Hor^e Rapid." In the evening
Mr. Fleming treated us to a glass of punch and a cigar, and the
toasts, itThe Queen " and " The Dominion " were duly drank.
In the morning, being Sunday, we went on a short distance
to McCord's camp, where the Rev. Dr. Grant held divine service,
and we passed a pleasant afternoon. We went on the next day,
expecting to reach the camp of party T in good time. Dr. Marvin
and I went ahead to have supper ready, but a drizzling rain came
on, and a very dark night. Hour after hour passed before we
reached the camp. Once there, we got supper ready, and waited
for the others. At last we concluded that they must have camped,
and we lay down; but after a time they began to straggle in, wet
\ i
V W:'
1s<x\*j— «-<*-
cold, and hungry, and consequently not in the best of humours.
In the morning, after a good breakfast, we parted, they to continue their journey to the Pacific, I to go back to the Columbia
River. On my way back to McCord's camp, which had moved
some miles easterly since I left it, a severe thunderstorm, with
vivid lightning, came on, and we got a thorough drenching, the rain
before I reached the camp turning into snow. The next day I
reached the ford across the Athabasca River, amd camped. Here I
left everything I could possibly do without in a cache, putting my
ammunition and such things as I wanted into a canvas bag, and
whatll did not require in a similar one ; then having forded the
river, I got on an old trail, which proved to be the wrong one, and
had to camp in the woods. In the morning we found traces of
the old trail, and made good progress. We met a cinnamon bear,
who came running straight fqr my horse's head, evidently not
seeing us, and when some twenty feet off turned up the mountain.
One of my Indians, having my rifle at the time, ran after him,
and fired a couple of shots, but without effect. A short distance
further on I saw some cariboo deer, about thirty or forty, and took
one canvas bag off to get out some cartridges, but sad to relate, the
wrong bag had been brought from our last cache at Henry House,
and we had not a single cartridge. I got off, and led my horse
close up to the herd, and it was a pretty sight to see the old and
young playing about. They are very graceful animals, and provided they do not smell you, not very timid. We had nothing for
it but to see them go off. On we went, finding some fresh fallen
snow in the woods, and camping not far from the Committee's
Expecting to meet party S at the foot of Mount Hooker, I
went down the mountain as fast as possible, but could find
nothing of them, and urged my weary horses through the stream
in many places, being most anxious, as the winter was near at
hand. Just as the day was beginning" to fade away we thought
of making a cut off over the long spur of the mountain that
runs down to the south of the Boat Encampment, and led our
horses over the rocks and through the woods until we could not
see, and then lay down cold, wet, and miserable, with our poor
horses without anything to eat. Before daylight, as I lay shivering
in a wet blanket, I thought I heard a bell, and awoke one of the
Indians, who soon said, | Nawitka, ting-ting."—| Yes, a bell."
We led our animals down to the river, and waded along it until I
heard the sound of an axe on a high bank of the river, and called
out. Then I recognised one of my men, who told me that Mr.
Green, then in charge of the party, was there, and he came and
told me that owing to my long absence, and the near approach of
winter, they had concluded that they could not go to the Athabasca
that year, and had just began to build a depot to winter in. I told
him to knock off the work and get the men into camp, as we would
go on to the Athabasca that autumn. The party were at once set
to work to open a^hort trail through the woods, and we got the
animals and a portion of the cargo on the way to the foot of
Mount Hooker on the 2nd of October. I now left them to get
through as fast as possible, and returned to the Athabasca, which
I reached on the 5th October, and found McCord and his party
just commencing to build the depot, afterwards known as the
" Athabasca Dep6t." From him I learnt that party T had probably
left on their return to Victoria, and followed on the next day in THE ROCKS AND RIVERS OP
hopes of catching them. On reaching the | Grand Forks of the
Fraser " I met a mule train, and from the packers ascertained that
there was no chance of my overtaking them. This sudden and
unforeseen return of that party sadly interfered with my operations, and was the cause of material delay in the surveys. I sent
a messenger after thenl, and returning by the depot went on and
brought party S as soon as possible to the summit of the Rocky
Mountains in the Yellowhead Pass, and continued the survey
easterly from that point on the 24th October. Our buildings
were making good progress, and as the winter had set in it was
advisable to kill the cattle we had brought with us from the
Columbia River, as they would only get poor after the snow fell,
so some of us had a grand hunt, and, owing to their wildness, had
to shoot them wherever they could be found.
The weather now began to get very cold indeed, and I took a
trip down to Jasper House to examine the country. I then first
saw that remarkable point of the mountains opposite this old
trading post of the B. Company. The glory of Jasper House
had departed, for in place of the picturesque buildings
described by Dr. Hector, and since pulled down, I found
replaced by two wretched little log cabins. The point of the
mountains opposite the house, referred to above, is known as
"Roche a Miette," or "Miette's Rock," and from old Marguerite
I learnt the following story :—At the time when the buffalo, the
moose, and other large game was plentiful in Jasper valley, an
enterprising Frenchman named f Miette | pushed his way into
this valley, and followed his trapping avocations with success.
One day, seized with a desire to get to the top of the rock, he,
after, a most difficult and dangerous climb, succeeded. The
venturesome Miette then sat on the edge of the cliff, dangling
his legs over it and smoked a pipe, enjoying the fine view his
elevated station afforded; and from that day it has been known
as I La Roche a Miette " by the Indian and half-breed hunters.
I passed the night in Jasper House, where there was only one
single room, and I had therefore some dozen Iroquois half-breeds,
men, women and children, to keep me company.   They were very BRITISH COLUMBIA.
quiet, extremely civil; and the men fine, handsome, athletic
fellows. They presented me with some Rocky Mountain sheep
meat, which was a great treat; and I ordered my Indians to cook
them a good meal out of my scanty stores, which they enjoyed
very much, appearing rather puzzled to make out what kind of a
drink coffee was. Returning to the depot, the reports of the
progress of the pack trains and supplies were favourable ; but the
men engaged in the transport service found the cold and snow,
and consequent want of feed for the animals, was beginning to
tell on them. However, there was nothing for it but to keep
them there a little longer, so I sent word to bring the supplies
to a point some thirty-five miles from our depot,. and then take
all the animals into the Jasper valley. I was very anxious
about the animals, as their loss would cause a most serious
delay in the progress of the work for a long time, if not
stop it altogether. We made good progress with the surrey,
though the weather at times was unpleasantly cold and
windy. A few days before the survey reached the "Fiddle
River " Christmas Day came on. I had previously sent a few
animals to the depot for some supplies, of which we were
very short; but the ice not being sufficiently strong on the
Athabasca River, the animals had been detained, and a good
dinner for Christmas Day was problematical. I paid a visit
on Christmas Eve to the survey camp, to have a talk and
smoke with the staff, some of whom were bewailing the loss of
a dinner on the following day, so I invited them down to partake
of the luxuries in my camp, about two miles away. My stores
consisted at that time of some pemmican, flour, and tea, without
sugar. I had several courses prepared, the first being pemmican
raw, the second pemmican boiled, and in due season the dessert,
which was pemmican fried ; and my guests looked somewhat
disappointed when I informed them they saw all the luxuries
before them, and the only thing we could do was to have a good
smoke, as I had plenty of tobacco, and try and keep warm. The
survey being completed to Fiddle River on the 2nd of January,
and it being impossible to proceed any further with it then, I 92
ordered the trail party to build a small depot there, and having
picked out a favourable place at the north-west end of Lac a
Brule* to winter the larger portion of the animals, I returned to
the Athabasca depot, instructing the survey party to follow. I
made an examination of a portion of the valleys of the Rock
River, opposite Jasper House, and of the Maligne River, nearly
opposite the Athabasca depot, to see if a line for a railway could
be obtained through either of them to the NoVth Saskatchewan,
but found the valleys impracticable for the purpose. We passed
the time pleasantly in our depot, and prepared the plans, reports, I
&c, of the survey for transmission to Ottawa. My hunters kept
us well supplied with plenty of the wild mountain sheep, upon
which we feasted ; and the dog-sleighs, kindly sent me by Mr.
Chief-Factor Hardisty from Edmonton, brought the supplies left on
the Whirlpool River in the previous autumn. The aurora borealis
was, on the fine clear nights, a most magnificent spectacle ; and
many an hour of those long nights I passed watching it. On the
arrival of the last of the dog-sleighs from the little dep6t on the
Whirlpool River, I found that the man left in charge of it—who,
though a good workman, was " a bit of a humbug,"—had his
feet slightly frozen on the way down. This was, however, owing
to his penurious nature, as he would not go to the expense of
buying socks and moccasins, or boots, of which we had a plentiful
supply. He sent for me, being dreadfully frightened of losing his
feet. Seeing, however, there was nothing serious, I made him
put his feet in cold water, telling him it was entirely his own fault,
and as I had no intention of having any of my men laid up on
account of their own foolishness, I should stop his pay and charge
him for his board as long as he was an invalid. Nothing more
was heard of frozen hands or feet after this, and I noticed the
man all right next day chopping firewood in the woods. My head
storekeeper, Mr. R. M. Rylatt, an ex-sergeant of the Royal Engineers, who came to British Columbia with the corps under the
command of Colonel Moody, R.E., in 1858, kept a full table of
meteorological observations. The general deductions from them
are given in one of Mr. Fleming's reports, when he was Engineer- BRITISH COLUMBIA.
in-Chief of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and give information
regarding the climate, &c., &c.
Discharging the half-breeds, who had worked well and faithfully
in charge of the dog-sleighs, I sent them back to Edmonton,
and by them the plans, reports, &c, to be forwarded via Winnipeg
to Ottawa ; and I afterwards found that they reached their destination safely. The same day I went to Fiddle River dep6t to
prepare for the resumption of the survey eastwards. Rf'
m • Pi
B Its
*■ 111
A report from an explorer, which had been left me by Mr.
Fleming's party in the previous autumn, described the country
from the easterly end of Lac & Brule as | an almost level sandy
plain, affording great facilities for railway building."    I thought,
seeing this, we might run the line quickly to the Saskatchewan,
and have ample time to rectify the hurried and most unsatisfactory survey made by party T west of the summit of the Yellowhead Pass ; but my hopes were brought to an end when I started
from Fiddle River, for the very first thing I came against was a
high ridge, and picking out the lowest depression in it, I directed
the line^o be carried over it, and made a hasty trip to find the
expected level plain.    We took two dog-sleighs, but, there being
no snow on the fiat and side of the hill beyond Fiddle River,
Louis, one of the Iroquois hunters, sent back for his two daughters
to pack the loads to the top of the ridge.    One of the girls, who
was a tall and very powerful young woman, took an enormous
load without any difficulty, and, on the party crossing the ridge,
we came to a large pond some two hundred yards in width and
a long way round.    There was about six inches of water on the
ice, so telling the Indians and half-breeds to camp in the woods
on the  opposite side, as night was coming on,   I sat down,
thinking, that as I must get wet feet,  I might as well have
a smoke and get to camp by time the fire was burning and
the supper cooked.    I saw the huge woman wading back, and
wondered why she was returning, but soon found out, for she
told me her father had sent her to pack me over the ice.    I
had travelled by eyerj known  mode, but to   be packed by  a
woman was a novelty, so I protested ; but she insisted, saying I
was much lighter than the load she had just packed over, and
if she did not take me her father would be very angry; so I BRITISH COLUMBIA.
resigned myself to my fate, and was ignominiously packed over.
Louis was very proud of the girl's strenfcgh, and that evening, as
we were smoking a pipe, he pointed out the great advantages in
having such a powerful girl, and, as he wished to get a horse I
had, he made me an offer to make an exchange—I to give him
the horse and a few other things, and take the girl instead, to
which she did not object; but as I had no idea of becoming a
permanent resident of that country, and hardly liked the idea of
presenting her in the civilised world, I was obliged to decline
what might have turned out a troublesome investment in the end.
On reaching the mouth of Prairie River, I saw that the country
was very different to what I expected, and as the snow, except
in places, had disappeared, I returned, examining the Athabasca
for a short distance and the north side of Lac a Brule, along
which a good line for a railway may be obtained.    At a canon, a
short distance from the mouth of the Prairie River, where the banks
are high and a slide had taken place, I noticed very thin seams of
bright, brittle lignite, with intervening layers of ironstone mixed
with clay.    The party had carried the line over the ridge when I
returned, but as the grade was heavy, a line was run round the
face of it to find an easier grade, but it went by some very
unsatisfactory sandhills.   Knowing, however, that I could connect
it from the opposite side of the Athabasca with a good line,
I continued it to  save  time,  and followed the  south  side  of
the Athabasca, running it to Hardisty creek, so that a line on
either side of the river could make a fresh start eastwards from
a common point.    I was camped at this creek with one of my
young Indians, whom I had brought up with me from New
Westminster, when he told me he wished to be paid off, and get a
horse, a gun, ammunition, and some provisions; &c, instead of
money. This was decidedly very inconvenient, as he had been with
me a long time, was a capital cook, packer, hunter, and fisherman.
On pressing him for his reasons he told me he wanted to marry
the " big woman " for whom I would not trade the horse.   I refused
his request, and he was very sulky.   The next day, Sunday, only
Louis and the young Indian being with me, the former complained I
b    •
ii m
of being sick, and I took my rifle and strolled along the river
until the evening.    On my return, I found that Louis had left
and gone after his people to the Smoky River, and my Indian, Tim,
in an excessively bad humour.   They had evidently made up their
minds as to the marriage, &c, and for having at first refused the
female property myself,^nd afterwards prevented my servant from
obtaining it, or rather her, my sins were now being visited upon
me.    I crossed over to the McLeod River, taking four horses, and
examined a portion of that valley and the ridge between the
Athabasca and McLeod Rivers, and found it very high.    On my
return, we followed the Athabasca River for some [distance on
the ice, which appeared strong, but suddenly a great area of it
fell two or three feet, the water not yet having risen enough to
support it, and we had some little trouble in getting our horses
up the slope to the bank of the river.   The survey progressed
over a rough and unsatisfactory country, crossing the ridgfe at the
first available point; always keeping the line for a lower and more
northernly one in* view.   We had hitherto enjoyed fine weather,
and were camped at the summit of the ridge in a thick growth of
large spruce and black pine, when in the forenoon the sky was
completely overcast, and, becoming very dark, the rain began to
fall.    We stopped work and lit a fire under the large forest trees,
waiting for the rain to stop, but it rather increased, and we made
for our camp, getting a thorough drenching.   As evening came on,
the rain turned to snow, and the wind rose until it blew a gale.
We lay in our tents, the trees falling on all sides, expecting each
moment to be crushed to death.   A tree fell across the tent in
which my transit-man and leveller lay, but fortunately did not
hurt them, as their tent was pitched alongside a very large fallen
tree, which saved their lives.   The top of another tree broke off
and struck through a tent of three French Canadians, falling
between them and becoming imbedded about four feet in the
soft ground.   It was a dreadful night, and the storm did not
abate until the next day.    In the morning we cut down the most
dangerous-looking trees, and passed a wretched day.   Our animals
had run off, and it was quite a work to find them, some having BRITISH COLUMBIA.
gone into the open land along the Athabasca, whilst others had
gone to the valley of the McLeod. We next continued the line
down into the valley of the McLeod, through thick woods of
black pine and spruce. One day, the dinner being over, we were
going on with the work, when, as I was ahead with two axemen,
we heard a terrific roaring sound, and saw a sheet of flame close to
us ; we ran back to get on a murkey (a swamp) close to the fine,
the fire close after us, but before we could reach the party in the
rear most of them had bolted back along the line, and were thus
travelling in the direction in which the fire was going. After a
time I tried to go on with the work, but could not find most of
the party, so we made for camp, where we found them all safely.
As they had gone in the same direction as the fire, they had a
hard run to escape it, and were much tired out.
I now sent a train to Fort Edmonton to procure some supplies of
which we were short, as well as beef, cattle, and a few additional
men. There were still lingering touches of the old scurvy, and I
was suffering from a long attack of dysentery, so I instructed the
man in charge to get a few gallons of whisky or other spirits.
Our train with the supplies did not arrive for a few days, and the
cattle some time afterwards. It was on a Saturday afternoon when
the train arrived, bringing two gallons of high wines, of which I
took a half-pint bottle, and distributed the rest among the men.
At this time I was very weak and could hardly drag my legs over
the fallen timber to pick out the line ahead of the party, so I got
a cup of water and laid down in my tent sipping the diluted spirit
as fast and as strong as I could drink it; at last I felt a pleasant
glow come over me and fell asleep, not waging until the morning,
when I felt as well as I had ever felt in my life. The men told me
the dose I gave them completely drove the scurvy away, and I
never heard any more complaints of it. On account of the flies
our work was most disagreeable. The survey, having reached a
pointfnot far from the Pembina River I met f Valad," a half-breed,
with instructions from Mr. Fleming, and at once discontinued the
survey easterly, much to the delight of the party, who were all
m:route for the Wist next morning.
H I   r.
1 K
1 I I
HlPl     f H. F
ri |/|!
:   :■,-,-.•!   -.r|-f . CHAPTER XXXV.  .      ".: :'-\<.,■■■  •'•,:>
After remaining a day to settle with and discharge the men
going to Edmonton, I followed the party. On arriving at the
Athabasca depot the animals were all shod for the mountain
work, and leaving a man in charge of the dep6t and stores not
required for the survey, I proposed to proceed from Moose to
Cranberry Lake. We went on to a point a short distance west of
Moose Lake, where there was a good crossing for a bridge. We
now continued the survey and obtained a good line to connect
with the line run up the North Thompson and Albreda Rivers. A
very curious circumstance occurred just after commencing this
survey. I had crossed over to the north side of the river, and
went to a small prairie on the trail, when I noticed some men and
animals coming from the west, and soon recognised ah old
acquaintance, who handed me a letter, which he was telling me
had been sent up for delivery by Mr. Marcus Smith, then in full
charge of railway works, &c, in British Columbia. I had not
opened the letter, when a man on horseback came on the prairie
emerging from the woods on the east side, whom I at once recognised as Yalad, and he handed me a letter from Mr. Fleming,
written at Ottawa, and conveying in substance the same instructions as were contained in Mr. Smith's letter. The fact of one
being written at Ottawa, and the other at Victoria, and both
reaching me at the same time, formed a curious coincidence.
On bringing the survey to an end, the party proceeded on their
way to Kamloops, and I made a short exploratory trip up the North
Thompson river to see if a pass could be found through the
mountains westward to Quensel Lake. I did not succeed in finding
a pass there, and returned to the forks of the Thompson and
Albreda Rivers, where lay an old canoe. Into this we j umped
and ran the Thompson River to a prairie at | Blue River," where BRITISH COLUMBIA.
we overtook the whole party, and thence went on to Kamloops-
Before crossing the river the last instructions ever given me relative
to the Canadian Pacific Railway, were issued to Mr. A. S. Hall,
and I again took up my abode with Mr. John Tait at the Hudson
Bay Company's Fort. From Kamloops I went on as fast as
possible to Victoria, where I had the pleasure of meeting Mr.
Marcus Smith, and after a short stay there Mr. Smith and I
went to San Francisco. The weather was extremely boisterous,
and Mr. Smith can well say whether it was a pleasant voyage.
We duly reached Ottawa about the first week in January, 1874,
and I found that my plans, &c, had arrived at the office, as I
sent them over by Wells, Fargo & Co.'s express. There being
no room for me in the office, I secured a room in the Parliament
Buildings, and conveyed all my plans to it that evening. I then
went to the Russell House for dinner, which I had just finished
when a boy ran in calling out " The Pacific Office is burning up."
I ran at once to the old guard-house in the Parliament Building
grounds, which was used for the railway offices, and saw them in
a mass of flames and pieces of paper and maps flying through
the air. A vast amount of valuable information was thus lost
to the country, and Mr. Fleming much hampered, as many details
for his reports were destroyed. 100
I now turned my attention to the Red River and the country
tributary to it, and arrived at Winnipeg in the spring of 1875.
We landed at the Hudson's Bay Company's Warehouse, at the
mouth of the Assiniboine, adjoining Fort Garry. The mud was
the most tenacious I ever saw, for all the world like a mixture of
tar and grease. Winnipeg at that time was by no means imposing;
the buildings, with few exceptions, were of wood, and generally
small and badly built. The morning after my arrival, hearing some
gentlemen in the hotel talking about the " Big Stony Mountain,"
I enquired how far it was away, and learning it was only fourteen
miles distant, I thought I would take a walk to see it and spend
the day climbing- about it, as I was tired of looking at the flat
monotonous country through which I had travelled. I walked
north through Kildonan, but could see no mountain, and began
to fear my eyesight must be failing. Seeing a man sitting on a
fence smoking, I enquired where the I Big Mountain | was, and
he pointed out its direction. I was almost ashamed to admit that
I could not see it, when he informed me it was only about five
feet high, and I should have to come close before seeing it. I
lit my pipe and chatted with my new acquaintance, who had been
many years settled in the country, and was one of Lord Selkirk's
original party, and being a Scotchman necessarily very intelligent.
He gave me interesting descriptions about the early settlement of
the Red River; of the retreat of himself and many of his party
into Minnesota for a time ; of the massacre of Governor Semple
and party close to where we were sitting; of the Red River
rebellion, and other information which it was pleasurable to obtain.
I then explored a portion of the shores of Lake Winnipeg for
coal and minerals.    Coal I found none/ but I saw a large deposit
on one of the Big Islands of iron ore of the description known as
kidney ore, and I saw veins of quartz on the east shore that
were mineral-bearing quartz. The rock on the west shore
was limestone and very soft sandstone. I saw some very fine
fossils in the limestone, and at Gull Point, on Big Island, I also
found a meteoric stone about two feet in length and ten or twelve
inches in thickness. I visited the Icelandic settlement at Gimli,
and was sorry to see the wretched land given to these unfortunate
people. In 1876 I undertook a contract to build the first sewers
in the City of Winnipeg, which are circular and constructed of
wood, and in the spring took a contract to build a tramway for
the Hudson Bay Company, over the portage at Grand Rapid, on
the Saskatchewan River. Lord arid Lady Dufferin paid a visit
to this spot, and I took the opportunity of having the last spike
driven by Lady Dufferin : it was also the first spike, though on
a very small railway, driven in the Canadian North-West. A
tram-car was properly decorated with trees, ornamented deerskins,
&c, to convey the Vice-regal party over the road, with an avenue
of green fir trees planted at the end of the track. We also
managed to make a spike and hammer out of steel, which, with
due preparation, looked like silver. Lady Dufferin having driven
the spike kept the hammer, which I had thought of appropriating
as a memento of the occasion; but it is in better hands.
The white fish and sturgeon at times in the Rapid were very plentiful, and the pike, generally called jack-fish, seemed innumerable.
The natives used to scoop up the white fish and pike with scoop
nets fastened to a long pole, and the sturgeon they caught by first
felling with the end of a pole where they lay, and then reversing
the pole, on the other end of which was a strong, sharp iron hook,
they would suddenly jerk the sturgeon outf always beginning with
the fish lowest down the river, and then with those nearest the
shore. In this way I saw five large fellows landed out of a single
pool. The fishermen told me that if they were to fell the sturgeon
with the iron they would swim off, but they did not appear afraid
of the wooden handle, provided it was handled gently. The pike
would bite at anything 11 first tried a red rag, but it was so trouble- lD2i
i   \i
I   I
some to replace it after each throw, that I simply threw in the i
arge hook without anything on it, and they bit just as well.
In 1877 I found the line of the Canadian Pacific Railway was
. likely to go north, crossing the Red River at Selkirk, the
Manitoba Lake at "The Narrows," and thence reach the Pacific
by some northerly pass. I therefore commenced an examination
of the country, spentifthe following summer of 1878 in a
similar manner, and went to Ottawa to obtain the chapters for the
lines I proposed. These were the present air line of the Canadian
Pacific, a branch to connect with the proposed line of the C.P.R.
near Selkirk, and the line now known as the South-Western,
and the intention to ultimately secure an extension of the line
by the route now adopted for the Canadian Pacific through the
mountains, and terminating at Burrard Inlet. This resulted in
the granting of the charter to the South-Western in 1879, and I
returned to Manitoba as Chief Engineer of the Company. A
short time convinced me that I was associated with an element
not congenial, and with a board of directors the reputation of the
majority of whom in the commercial world was very bad, and
who, I felt certain, would never carry out the work I proposed.
I therefore decided, at whatever cost, to cut myself entirely clear
of them, which I did, and it is gratifying to me now to know that
I was not mistaken in so doing, though I have been defrauded
out of the whole of my pay, and a large amount that I advanced
to make up the first deposit required to properly organise the
The Syndicate having undertaken the construction of the
Canadian Pacific Railway, I informed some of the leading men in
it as to the proper line to adopt through the mountain ranges of
British Columbia, and their Engineer, Major A. B. Rogers, met
me twice, when I gave him the information that has led to the
final adoption of the line for the railway by the route I so long
and anxiously struggled for, and upon which the success of the
railway as a commmercial undertaking is dependent, and the
prosperity of British Columbia assured.
The Province of Manitoba being very flat, and any material for BRITISH COLUMBIA.
building substantial and permanent roads most expensive, I saw
that an immense benefit would be conferred upon the country by the
construction of electric tramways, which would also be feeders to
the Canadian Pacific Railway. So, forming a company, I obtained
a charter from the local legislature, but owing to opposition,
which it is impossible to understand, I was unable to take the
necessary steps to get the system into operation, but have no
doubt at some future time the advantages of the proposed system
will become so apparent that it will be undertaken by others.
Note 1.—In concluding this small book, which has to a great extent
been devoted to routes for roads and railways, and the geographical
features of portions of the country, I have not touched much on the
resources of British Columbia. Others have already done so, and the
official report of the Dominion Government of 1883 gives very accurate
statistics and information.
As an agricultural country the extent suitable for settlement is
limited, but in the valleys, where farming can be carried on, vegetables,
grainAand many varieties of fruit are grown and cannot be excelled in
quality. In the Selkirk range, and the more southerly portion of the
Gold range, the wild fruits of various species grow luxuriantly, and it
is to be inferred that when the dense timber and moss with which these
mountains are now clothed is cleared off, grapes of a very good quality
can be grown, and in the course of time wine will doubtless be one of
the products of the country., The fisheries on the coast and in the rivers
are unlimited, and almost all the sea-fish found in northern waters
abound, excepting the cod, the lobster, and the mackerel. There is, it is
true, a species of cod, but different to that caught in the Atlantic; it is
known as rock cod. There are other varieties of fish not found in
the Atlantic, and I may mention the rich and delicate little oo-la-han as
one of them. The timber is magnificent, and is found in large quantities.
Iron and coal are of a very superior quality, and enormous deposits I
exist on Vancouver and the adjacent islands, as well as in other "parts of
..the country.    Copper is also found, as well as lead and silver.
The facilities for shipbuilding and making machinery of various kinds,
for manufacturing railway iron, &c, are unequalled in the world, while
in no portion of the Dominion can a climate be found to compare with
that of the most favoured portions of British Columbia.
Note 2.—On the eve of sending off my manuscript for publication, I
have had the pleasure of reading Mr. Sandford Fleming's last interesting work, " Old to New Westminster/' and of seeing the substantial
approval such an eminent engineer gives to the line for the Canadian
Pacific Railway by that which 1 from the first recommended to the Crown
Colony of British Columbia, and subsequently to that of the Dominion.
I cannot, however, but pay a high tribute to the dauntless energy and
untiring zeal that has characterised and, I am glad to say, crowned with
success the unwearying struggles of my successor in the mountain
surveys, Major A. B. Eogers.—W. Moberly.
i  I
H. BlaCkLock & Co., Printers, &c, 75, Farringdon Road, London, E.C.   (2204.     


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