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BC Historical Books

Report on routes to the Yukon Jennings, W. T. 1898

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[No. 30—1898.]
Toronto, 15th December, 1897.
The Hon. Clifford Sifton,
Minister of the Interior, Ottawa.
Sir,—In accordance with your desire for an interim report, covering the examination of country made by me for a highway or railway route between the Stikine River
and Teslin Lake, B.C., I have the honour to report that I proceeded from Ottawa to
Vancouver, thence up the coast in the Government steamer " Quadra" to Wrangel,
Alaska, and by a small, steamer from the latter point up the River Stikine to Glenora,
and on by canoe for ten miles to Telegraph Creek at the head of steam navigation, and
distant from Wrangel 150 miles, and at an elevation of 540 feet above sea level.
Some ten days' delay was here occasioned through various unavoidable causes arising out of the hurried nature of the trip and the consequent want of a prearranged plan
for transport. However, the assistants and outfit having arrived and pack animals secured, I directed Mr. A. B. Ross to proceed to Glenora and seek a pass to the north by way
of Shakes Creek and also by the Clearwater River, in the hope that a shorter and more
direct route with a lower summit than at Telegraph Creek might be secured.
On the 25th September, accompanied by Messrs. Saint Cyr and Morley Ogilvie as
assistants, the journey to Teslin Lake was commenced, the course for the first 15
miles being up the Stikine trail over a series of high gravel benches and easy sloping
and lightly wooded country to the Tahltan River, where a descent was made and the
river crossed at an elevation of 600 feet, near its confluence with the Stikine, which
occurs in a canon with almost vertical walls of basalt. A sharp climb of 200 feet again
brought us to the top level of the escarpment, thence we continued over an old Hudson
Bay Co.'s trail along the slopes of the left side of the Tahltan valley for 28 miles, to the
forks of the river, the ground passed over being generally irregular and indicating in
many places that clay and gravel slides were of frequent occurrence, particularly about
the lower portion of the valley, while on the contrary the right slope while not so flat
is more regular and the benches are of firmer material. From the forks, to the divide
between this stream and the Koketsi the valley expands, having a bottom width of from
J to 1 mile with pine and spruce clad hills to the south, and easy hillocks and broken
benches to the north or to crest of Level Mountain, a high, gravel covered basaltic
plateau extending to the north. Some seven miles from the forks the course of this
branch of the Tahltan turns to the north and north-west, terminating in Level Mountain, and, where it enters the valley occurs the divide between the Tahltan and Koketsi
formed by the detritus brought down during the flood periods from Level Mountain ;
this divide is almost imperceptible and that at no distant date it is apparent water
flowed from the north Tahltan in both directions. The valley hereabouts is at an elevation of 2,200 feet and is covered with a healthy growth of small pine, poplar and
Immediately after passing this divide, Koketsi Lake or Taku head-water is reached ;
it is some two miles in length and one in width, the shore at the eastern and western
extremities of the lake being marshy, while on the south a mountain with easy foot
slopes extends to the lakeside and the north side is bordered by small rock bluffs and
the gravelly slopes of Level Mountain.
For the next four miles the valley is from a half to one mile wide (excepting at one
point where a fall of 60 feet in the cascades occurs in the stream) with a marshy area and
a small round lake in the middle of it; the valley now contracts somewhat and the hills
descend with steeper yet easy slopes.    At ten miles from the divide a valley opens to
the south and appears a likely course to the clear water. Three miles beyond, and in
the same general N.W.W. course, a level area about one and a half miles square and
timbered principally with cottonwood of good size is reached. Here the Koketsi and
Egnalls Creek join the Sheslay, a large stream rising apparently some fifteen miles south
in snow and ice capped mountains, but its most easterly valley, as far as could be seen,
appeared to extend through low timbered country, and it is by this valley I hope that
my assistant, Mr. Ross, will find a way to the Clearwater River.
The Sheslay is a formidable stream even at this point and flows north through an
open wide valley for fifty miles to the Inklin or Taku River, and is flanked on the west
by snow mountains. The elevation of the flat land at the junction of these streams is
about 1,900 feet, and here the built trail terminates, at an old Hudson Bay Co. post called
" Egnalls," and from thence a course (not worthy of the name of a trail) and made by
miners and others, ascends Egnalls Mountain ; to the north of the flats until an elevation
of some 1,200, or 4,000 ft. above sea level is reached, thence it winds about for two or
three miles in a series of marshy depressions until open rolling country some 300 feet
lower is seen to the north. From the high grounds on Egnalls Mountain a good view
of the head valleys of the Sheslay and Doo-de-dontooya was obtained and if the former
proves practicable to the Clearwater, a shorter route to the north will result. From
this high vantage point it was observed that the Doo-de-dontooya headed in Level
Mountain; and near that of the north fork of the Tahltan, and this country looks
favourable for a route via Telegraph Creek, and will undoubtedly be the shortest course
to Teslin Lake if the Clearwater proves unfavourable.
From Egnalls Mountain the character of the country changes, the valley is from
three to eight miles wide and lies in view for many miles, but while it is a valley in
comparison with the high flanking ranges of Level Mountain on the east, and Heart
Mountains to the west, it has many isolated hills and dunes breaking the general plane
of its surface. It is open and grasslike, but on approaching one finds the surface
covered with loose turf and moss, very wet and unpleasant to travel through, but all on
a hard bottom of gravel and detritus from glacial and volcanic action. Three streams
head in this valley, viz., the Doo-de dontooya, Matsa-tuya and the Koshin, which are
fed principally by streams rising in Level and Heart Mountains. At thirty miles north
from Egnalls, Koshin Lake is situated under a high wooded hill which continues in easy
undulations to the Nahlin. To the east of Koshin Lake, a fine open flat extends for at
least three miles to the foot of the long, regular timbered slope of Level Mountain.
From Koshin Lake to the Nahlin, the course of travel continues for some thirty-
three miles along the slope on the right bank of the Koshin River, through an easy
country, generally wooded with a small growth of spruce, black pine, poplar, alder and
willow, and at a general elevation, falling towards the Nahlin, of from 3,600 to 3,000
feet in the above distance.
The Nahlin is a rapid river (150 feet by 6 feet at flood) flowing in a defined, gravel-
sloped valley some 1,200 feet wide and 225 feet deep. Its direction from the source, in
Level Mountain, is generally west for thirty-six miles, when it turns abruptly to the south
and so continues for eight miles and again curves to the west. In its course it is fed by a
large lake area to the north, it also receives the waters of the Koshin, Doo-de-dontooya
and Sheslay rivers, and, from its confluence with the latter it is lost in name, and
onward to a junction with the Nakina, it is called the Inklin, and thereafter, to a point
of discharge in Taku Inlet it is called Taku.
From the Nahlin River northward for 48 miles the general valley contracts from
20 to 8 miles in width and has in its central section a continuous stretch of rounded
hills all heavily timbered with spruce and pine, while on either side in the low grounds
are many lakes and marshes, the valley to the eastward being the widest and best.
The summit and watershed to the Teslin and Taku occurring at an elevation of about
3,600 feet in the middle of a prairie dividing a large lake in the eastern valley and
only some four miles from the Nahlin River.
In this area the water courses, observed on the higher land to the east, are lost in
a succession of lakes and marshes extending for 25 miles, when finally the waters unite
at the foot of Hoot-sa-gola Lake and thence, after tumbling over " White Swan " Cascades, form, in a defined channel (200 feet by 5 feet at flood), flowing north for eight miles, ON ROUTES TO THE YUKON. 5
between gravel banks nearly 100 feet in height to the south end of Teslin Lake, a sheet
of water from two to four miles wide and 2,400 feet above sea level, and extending
in a north-westerly direction for 60 miles, thence discharging by a navigable river of
the same name into the Lewis River at a point some 100 miles beyond the lake.
While the country over which the so called trail extends between the Nahlin
River and Teslin Lake is not suited for railway purposes owing to its undulating and
elevated character; still a good route for either trail, road, or railway may be had on
either side of the valley proper and preferably by the east side over a very easy country
with light undulating gradients all the way from the head of the Doo-de-dontooya at
Egnalls Mountain. •#
While the whole country is covered with moss and occasionally mire and unpleasant to travel over in unseasonable weather, yet a road can be inexpensively made, as
the soil is good for the purpose and would be dry if relieved of its heavy blanket of moss.
From the Nahlin northward and to the east the high ground continues in a more
abrupt form and should not there be called Level Mountain as some oE the peaks are
rugged and snowcapped, while to the west the same chain of snow-peaks continues
from the head of the Sheslay to Teslin Lake with only one break where the Inklin
passess through it.
Immediately at the end of Teslin Lake and for many miles down its eastern side
•extends an easy, gently sloping bench,, and a terminus can be selected at any one of
various favourable points. The lake for the first ten miles is river-like with two prominent narrows, the water at these points was found to be 4 feet in depth with soft
bottom (on the 15th October), while high water mark indicated 11J feet above the level
then taken, and 8 feet above an observation made in June last.
At Teslin Lake an Indian trail from Taku Inlet terminates. One 7 feet by 9 feet
log shanty dignified by the name of the ? post " was the only evidence of the advance
of civilization in the locality, and it contained but a meagre quantity of supplies.
Teslin Lake was reached on 13th October, and I was fortunate in being able to at
once obtain a "seow " boat, 22 feet long, and a " skiff" boat of smaller size.
In these boats I despatched Messrs. Saint Cyr, D.L.S., and Morley Ogilvie, B.A.Sc,
with three men to survey Teslin Lake and its outflowing river, of the same name, to its
confluence with the Lewis River, but with instructions to Mr. Ogilvie to part company
with Mr. Saint Cyr at the portage leading to McClintock River and Lake Marsh (on the
•Skagway route) and from the point of separation to make a track survey with copious
notes of the elevations, and physical features of the country passed over, and from Lake
Marsh to proceed south to Taku Arm of Tagish Lake, and continue his survey and notes
from where terminated by Dr. Dawson in 1887, on the supposed good route for a road
to Skagway, via White Pass, and where I proposed to re-join him, my intention being
to return to the sea at Juneau by, Taku trail and inlet, (only Taku and Kattine to Atlin,
•etc.,) as I learned that engineers under orders from a private company were examining
that route to Teslin Lake ; however, in this I was disappointed, as neither whites or
Indians were available as packers, and it was impracticable to take horses over the
mountain so late in the season, thus I was forced to return to the Stikine.
As Mr. Saint Cyr's survey of Teslin Lake and River and Mr. Ogilvie's work, as
mentioned above, will form the subject of a later report, I will now only mention that
Teslin Lake was found to be 60 miles long and from 2 to 4 wide, generally straight and
with good depth of water and teeming with magnificent trout. The Teslin River, from
north end of lake continues for 25 miles (to McClintock Portage) in a generally direct
N". N. W.course ; it is wide and of ample depth throughout its whole length for passage
of steamers to the Lewis River.
The return journey was commenced on October 14th over the same route to the
Kokesi and Tahltan divide, thence up the hillside and through a valley to the main or
south fork of the Tahltan ; a rapid stream 80 feet wide and two feet deep, and evidently
draining a considerable area of the high land to the south. The valley from the trail •
crossing extends south-west and is flanked by rolling ridge like hills extending in a
north-west direction and all densely clad with a small growth of spruce and pine.
From the crossing of this stream the route lay in a south-east direction near a small
stream and over easy gravel slopes and benches to the Telegraph Creek divide, which is
m 6
an open, straight gladelike valley from 150 to 300 yards wide, covered in the bottom,
and for a few hundred feet on the slopes with a coarse description of tufty grass and
scrub willows, growing in a wet surface soil.
The elevation of the divide in this pass is 3,600 feet above sea level, or 3,100 feet
higher than the Stikine River at Telegraph Creek, the flanking mountains rise some
2,000 feet higher and are covered with an open growth of small spruce and willow trees,
gradually decreasing in density as the timber limit is reached.
Some 8 inches of snow had fallen, and the two small lakes in the pass were frozen
over. From the summit the course of Telegraph Creek is south-east, straight and gradual;
at about seven miles from the summit the higher slopes on the north side of the Stikine
Valley descend to a wide bench (with isolated hills dotting its general surface), which
extends up towards the mouth of the Tahltan and down to Glenora or beyond.
Telegraph Ceeek was reached on the 22nd October, after a continuous journey of at
least 350 miles. The weather was fine for the time of year. Light rain fell on several
days and two snowfalls of about 5 inches each occurred, but strong | Chinook " winds
soon caused it to disappear. The temperature during night hours almost invariably fell
below freezing point, but not more than 22 degrees of frost was observed at any time.
On the 23rd October I took passage in a canoe, for Wrangel, with the intention of
proceeding to Skagway, and on nearing the Clearwater was fortunate in meeting Mr.
Ross, who had just returned from the exploration of a route up Shakes Creek and over
to the S. Tahltan head. A pass 3,850 feet high and distant 40 miles from the Stikine
was found, but it is higher and much longer than that by Telegraph Creek.
Mr. Ross had finished a plan and report for me of his operations thus far and was
then ready to work up the Clearwater towards the Sheslay as directed.
I requested him to get through as soon as possible, and, if a favourable route was
found, to continue down the Sheslay or send a competent man to examine the slopes of
that river north to the Inklin. I have since heard from him that owing to the low
stage of water and other disturbing influences, due to the lateness of the season, he was
only able to advance some ten miles up the Clearwater, when he decided to retrace his
steps and proceed bv Telegraph Creek trail to Egnalls, and from that point endeavour to
ascend the Sheslay Valley and over into that of the Clearwater, thence to the Stikine and
home. 'r**5v'~'
The Stikine River and its branching head waters rise in the Cassiar Mountains between latitudes 57°20' and 59°20' N. and longitudes 128° and 131 J° W. The main stream
and its upper feeders, the Tanzilla, Tooya, and Tahltan, gradually converge and eventually unite in one grand watercourse within a distance of 16 miles, and from 10 to 26
miles above Telegraph Creek, which is at the extreme head of steamboat navigation and
distant from the sea, at Fort Wrangel, Alaska, 150 miles.
The feeders (excepting the Tooya) and main river run as a rule in deep, and more
or less contracted valleys, with occasional canon walls and generally steep lower slopes,
while high undulating and mountainous country forms the surroundings.
From Telegraph Creek southward for some 30 miles, or to the inland border of the
Coast Range, high gravel terraces or " benches 1 of a fairly regular level and outline are
noticeable especially on the east side of the valley, while near the water low benches are
of more frequent occurrence, greater extent and fewer rocky projections on the river
About 116 miles from the sea the Clearwater River, a large tributary flowing
through an open valley enters from the north-west.
Below the Clearwater and on to within 20 miles of the sea, the general course of the
valley is south, and it is from one to three miles in width, but the river makes many
bends and swings from side to side of it, and the bottom lands are more frequently
divided by sloughs or by channels cut during freshet seasons through the silty and loose
formation. The Klootchman and Little Canons being almost exceptional points where
there is only one channel, confined between rugged but receding rock walls, respectively
300 to 400 ft. apart and J of a mile in length at the former, and 100 to 150 ft. apart
for f of a mile at the latter. In both cases the direction of the river between the rocky
shores is straight. ON ROUTES TO THE YUKON. 7
Below the Little Canon and on to the sea the flat lands increase in extent and the
by-channels in number and volume.
The Och-sa Kieen, Soud, Porcupine and Iskoot Rivers flow into the Stikine from
the east at varying intervals, besides many small streams from glaciers and mountain
clefts on both sides. The Iskoot River which is the largest of the tributaries named,
enters 35 miles from the sea, and ten miles below it the Stikine changes direction to the
west, passes out through the main range of mountains and on through an expansive
valley to its wide delta-like mouth on the coast line, some 12 miles north of Wrangel
and in latitude 56° 40' N. and long. 132° 20' W. The range of mountains cleft by this
river valley is principally of granite rock and grand to look upon, as the peaks are lofty,
rugged and irregular, and some five or six large and many small glaciers are yet to be
seen, but with few exceptions they are "dead." The whole valley and slopes to the
timber limit are clothed with cotton-wood, spruce and alder trees, which decrease in
size and quantity as the interior is reached.
The Stikine River is usually navigable for powerful steamboats of suitable design
to Glenora or Telegraph Creek, a distance of 150 miles, between the 1st of May and a
date sometimes well on in October, dependent of course on the openness of the season
and the amount of rain and snowfall. Its width varies from half a mile on the lower
river to 500 feet above. The depth is generally good and the channel is remarkably
free from snags, sunken rocks or boulders, but at Little and Klootchman Canons respectively 96 and 106 miles from the sea, during high water periods when many drift trees
are running, it is with considerable risk that the passage through these contracted
reaches are made and delays are common, as drift-wood is liable to become foul of the
rudders or wheel. The first 50 miles, or to the Great glacier, is very good water with
a moderate current not exceeding three miles per hour, while from this point upwards
the channel becomes somewhat more tortuous and contracted, with an increasing general
rate of current varying from three to eight miles per hour, however, the exceptionally
swift sections are few and usually not over a half mile in length,
A powerful river steamer should be able to make the Little Cafion in one day's run
from the mouth of the river, and the Glenora or Telegraph Creek on the second day.
The sum of $5,000 could be advantageously spent in removing snags and boulders
and in placing permanent cables for use in the heavy water principally above the Little
I reached Wrangel on the 25th October, where I had the unexpected pleasure, sir,
of meeting you, and as you deemed it unadvisable for me to attempt to examine the
Dyea and White Passes at such a late date, I returned with you on the " Quadra " to
Vancouver where we arrived on the 1st November.
The next day I proceeded to Victoria and obtained from the Surveyor-General of
the province some data which I thought might be useful in this connection, and at once
left for home.
I inclose report on routes examined, accompanied by the following plans and sections :—
Plan from Wrangel up Stikine to Tahltan River.
Plan from Stikine River to Teslin Lake.
Sections on various projected routes.
A package of photographs taken by me showing the general character of the Stikine
River and country traversed.
All of which are respectfully submitted.
I remain, sir,
Your obedient servant,
Mining and Civil Engineer.
Toronto, 11th January, 1898.
The Honourable Clifford Sifton,
Minister of Interior, Ottawa.
Sir,—I have the honour to transmit herewith the following papers relating to the
exploratory work undertaken at your command by myself and assistants late in the
season of last year, over that section of the country north of the Stikine River, B.C., to
theJYukon, and to say that, until Mr. A. B. Ross, C.E., returns, I will not be able to
report further on the portion of the Stikine route lying between the head of the Sheslay
and the Stikine via the Clearwater River.
Papers, &c. :
(1.) Statement  of route followed by myself and party via the Stikine to Teslin
(2.) Report on the Stikine River and routes therefrom to Teslin Lake—with plans
and sections.
(3.) Report on Teslin Lake and the Hootalinqua River by Saint-Cyr.
(4.) Report on the McClintook Portage between the Hootalinqua River and Marsh
(5.) Including remarks  on Taku  Arm  and route from it via Toosliai Lakes to
White Pass, with plans.
(6.) Report on route from Chilkoot Inlet to Yukon via Nordenskiold River (with
plans by McArthur) and approximate estimates of cost.
(7.) Report on route from Dyea through Chilkoot Pass to Lake Bennet, and thence
to Tagish Lake and Hootalinqua, with approximate estimate of cost.
(8.) Report on route from  Skaguay via White Pass, and thence to Lake Bennet
and above route to Hootalinqua River, also, alternative line to point on Lewis
River below rapids, with approximate estimate of cost.
(9.) Report on route from Takou Inlet to Teslin Lake with approximate estimate
of cost.
(10.) Memorandum of cost of prospectors' outfit.
(11.) do electric railway, Stikine to Teslin Lake.
(12.) do waggon road do
(13.) do packing by mule on trail.
In making out approximate estimates of cost of lines over country which I personally have not seen, I wish it to be fully understood that I do so from information as to
character of country given me by the gentleman named, and therefore by comparison
and my general knowledge of British Columbia.
I remain, sir, your obedient servant,
Sir,—In reporting on the result of my observations for a railway route between
Stikine River and Teslin Lake, B.C., I would, however, first refer to the means of
communication between the sea and a suggested point of debarkation on the river, by
mentioning that the Stikine has been navigated by steamers to Glenora and Telegraph
Cieek, a distance of from 140 to 150 miles from the sea since the early seventies, when
the Dease Lake and Cassiar mining excitement was at its height, but while so navigated
during the open season, usually between May 1st and October 20th, the journey has
almost invariably been considered slow, tedious and not without danger, partly owing
to the inferior class of steamers used and partly to the fluctuating state of the water.
At times the river is too low for speed with a reasonable cargo, or, the stream may be
very high and the riffles difficult to make headway against, with the additional
danger of drift trees or snags getting foul of the steering gear or wheel. The latter '
danger is most to be feared where the channel is contracted such as in Little  and ON ROUTES TO THE YUKON. 9
Klootchman's canons where, if any mishap occurred to the vessel's machinery, she would
at once be carried against the rugged rock walls by the swift swirling, disturbed waters,
and sunk by having her planking either torn out or stove in. The distance of 96 miles
between Wrangel and Little Canon can be made by a powerful steamer in one day,
whereas by reason of the swift and difficult water above it takes two days more to reach
Telegraph Creek a further distance of only 54 miles or 150 miles from the sea, therefore, with these facts before one, it seems reasonable that on a route where safe and
speedy transit is contemplated it is advisable to commence the railway section well
down the valley at a point to be determined on below the Little Canon and on the left
bank of the river 96 miles from the sea.
The route from a point below the Little Canon, where suitable dock and siding
accommodation is to be had, on for thirty miles to a crossing of the river near Shakes
Creek, has been laid down on the left side of the river as being the least subject to
snow slides owing to the mountain slopes being more distant and less precipitous, and
to enable the line to be carried through a degression between the eastern termination of
the granite spur through which the Little Canon extends (in a straight cleft) and the
mountain side, thence across Ok-Sa-Ki-een Creek a rather formidable mountain stream
which will require a pile bridge of at least 100 feet in length also protection crib work;
from here to the Klootchman Canon, some 10 miles from the Little Canon the course
will be generally over flat lands, and occasional short jagged and sloping points of
granite and changed rocks and avoiding as far as practicable by-channels or sloughs
some of which will require to be closed by the introduction of rough crib work.
At the Klootchman Canon it will be advisable to carry the line at somewhat
higher level than ordinary to ease the curvature and avoid filling in the water where
they are short sharp indentations in the short line.
From the latter point broken flats and occasional rocky points will have to be
crossed to reach the left shore at the Grand Rapid (a particularly swift section of the
river) where the foot slope of the last spur of the Coast Range proper comes in close
proximity to the river, where a short strong shed will be required, as it is evident that
snow slides annually; passing this spur, a gravel bench will have to be cut into, thence
the line will continue over the Doch-da-on, a stream very similar to the one before
referred to, and on over bottom lands and along the river's side of an almost isolated
ridge of granitic or altered rock facing the clear-water valley, and thence continuing on
gravel benches and short irregular rocky projections and across several minor streams
to a point where the river may be crossed by a bridge about 775 feet in length, placed
at such an elevation as will ensure its safety during high waters periods when the water
level is fully 15 ft. above its lowest mark.
I would here mention that should it be desirable at a later date to continue a
railway to the vicinity of Dease Lake or to meet a line from the Skeena or Masse rivers
the ground ahead is favourable for construction at moderate cost.
Again, should a route, now being examined by one of my assistants, via the Clearwater be found practicable the Stikine would likely be more advantageously crossed
lower down the river, however of this Clearwater route I am unable at present to say
more than that the valley of that river appears open and easy as viewed from the Stikine
From the crossing of the Stikine to the divide between the Tahltan and the Koketsi
streams there is a choice of routes. The first by an immediate and steep ascent along
the right slope of the Stikine valley over rock and gravel formation and through an
indentation in the range where Telegraph Creek has its rise in a regular glade like pass
at an elevation of 3,100 feet above the river level at crossing and distant 27 miles therefrom ; thence down the easy pine clad slope of Arthur Creek to the South Tahltan and
on over flats and light rolling ground to Koketsi divide, a distance of 19 miles from the
pass or 46 from the crossings.
The grades on this section particularly on the Stikine slope will be severe, and
reaching in places to 4 per cent, to ensure moderate construction cost.
The second route follows the right slope of the Stickine with a gradual rise over
better ground than to be had on the Telegraph Creek route, to the eastern or tongue- 10
like end of the range terminating at the confluence of the Tahltans and Stikine rivers
and where the mountains gradually fall away to high rolling timbered hills.
The ascent to this point would be some 1,200 ft. reached in 30 miles, over moderately inexpensive country with gradients which need not exceed 2 per cent.
From this point the route continues along the right slope of the Tahltans in places
in steep and rocky ground with only such light undulations in the grade line, as local
circumstances may economically demand, to near the Forks of the Sh. Tahltan where
the stream should be crossed and the line continued on easy clay and gravel slopes and
benches to the Koketsi divide, or to the same point as described for the first or Telegraph
route a total distance of 59 miles from the Stikine crossing and 12 miles longer than by
Telegraph Creek.
I would here point out that route No. 2 although longer has several advantages
over the other to which due consideration should be given, viz.: The gradients are
lighter so that with the same engine power in about equal time heavier tonnage could
be transported to Koketsi.
The work of construction would be less per mile.
It would approach 12 miles nearer the Dease Lake Disk, and Tooya river basin
than that via Telegraph Creek, therefore more favourably situated for future extension
eastward to Dease Lake, or to meet a line from that district, or the sea coast via the
Naas or Skena valleys.
It is also possible that a route from it to Teslin Lake via the Tooya River is to
be found and, as it may be inquired why that country was not fully examined, I would
state that the time or means at my disposal was not sufficient to enable me to cover,
personally or by assistants available, more country than was examined.
At Koketsi 1,700 feet above the Stikine crossing there apparently occurs another
choice of route for a short distance and to which I again refer to as numbers 1 and 2.
Number one extends from Koketsi up the valley of the north fork of the Tahltan
River to its head, distant say 6 miles in Level Mountain (a vast basaltic, and gravel
covered plateau extending north to the Mahlin River a distance of 70 miles) and at an
altitude of about 1600 feet above Koketsi thence descending (200 feet) slightly for
eight miles through a broken, lumpy and irregular looking valley bounded on the north
by the. escarpment and slope of Level Mountain to the Head of the Doo-de-dontooya
river at Me-a-de-le Lake, a total distance of 14 miles in all.
This route from the Koketsi divide, is through an open valley as far as seen by me
(2 miles) but I am informed by an assistant who examined it that towards the head it is
a series of canons and broken irregular masses of rock intermixed with the gravel on
slopes, however, by commencing to rise with a heavy gradient some distance back on
the last section it is probable that a line may be obtained above the " canon" portion of
the walls which are not usually very high in this section.
The summit once reached, the descent (as viewed by me from an elevation of 4,000
feet at Egnalls Mountains) would be made through the piece of country apparently
composed of broken and disconnected hills as above described.
Number two, or the alternative route, would be a distance of 15 miles from Koketsi
to the head of the east branch of Egnalls Creek, with a rise of 1,400 feet thence in 7
miles a descent of say 150 feet to Me-a-de-le Lake, in all 22 miles from Koketsi, or 8
miles longer than No. 1 by the north fork.
It is evident that with a distance of 15 miles in which to make the rise of 1,400
feet a much easier grade can be had than by way of the north fork, but I cannot
advise such a course unless the whole of route No. 2 be adopted when it would be an
object to incur the expenditure for additional mileage for the sake of obtaining easier
gradients; again, within the limits of this part of the route are several alternative
1st. To keep on easy ground to the right of the Tahltan to Koketsi divide thence
along the southern margin of the lakes of same name, and crossing the stream at Profile
rock and then commencing an ascent of 9 miles along the side hill to the summit of
Egnalls Creek, with a 3 per cent grade easy curvature and comparatively light work
thence from this point descending to Me-a-de-le Lake over the ground before referred to. ON ROUTES TO THE YUKON. 11
2nd. A line should be tried through a high depression north of Profile rock by
commencing the ascent east of the north fork crossing.
3rd. A minute examination should be made up Quartz creek ravine, as it appears
opens to the north.
Only by an instrumental survey, with measured distances can the proper route in
this vicinity be determined, and the base of operations should be established by running
up the north fork and over the summit to Me-a-de-le Lake and returning by Egnalls
Creek and the Koketsi to place of beginning.
From Me-a-de-le Lake for the next 118 miles one line is common to both routes,
and extends northward in a very direct course for 57 miles to the Nahlin river over
flats glades and gentle slopes along the valley near the base of the western shed of
Level Mountain with a small percentage of curvature, easy gradients and light work.
For a considerable proportion of the distance the country is timbered with a small
growth of spruce, pine, scrub willow and alder, the spruce however predominating. The
surface of the ground through the whole valley is covered with a deep growth of moss
and in places " brush " and coarse tufty grass.
The soil consists of light clay, sand and gravel with drift boulders and occasional
masses of basalt and limestone.
The seven or eight streams passed over are small and unimportant; a short pile
trestle being sufficient for each, the names of the largest being the Doode-dontooya
Monahouya-Kaka, Chouya and Ka-hak.
The Nahlin river where crossed on the trail is at least 150 x 6 with 1% fall at
flood, and runs in a valley 250 feet deep with 1£ to 1 slope and is about 1,200 feet wide
to the bottom, but where the line is projected, at a point some 4 miles above, it runs in
a much contracted V-shaped trough about 100 deep and 350 wide.
At the Nahlin river Level Mountain or plateau terminates, but the high ground
continues northward in a more elevated irregular and mountainous form ; and it is at
the foot of its western slope and bordering the eastern edge of an extensive marsh and
lake district called " Grand Valley" that the line is projected in a more westerly course
to a regular easy rolling bench area reaching from the Cascades of " White Swan " river
to and along the margin of Teslin Lake.
On the section of 67 miles between the Nahlin ajid Teslin Lake several streams
are crossed but none of such importance as to require more than an ordinary pile structure. The soil is principally of a sandy gravel nature and very little rock will be met
with on the location line.
From the " Cascades " and to the end of a river (which I have named White Swan)
flowing into the extreme South of Teslin Lake, northward for many miles the slightly
Undulating gravel bench land covered with small spruce, etc., continues; therefore the
point for a terminus need not now be defined beyond the statement that it should be
situated north of the shallow narrows and on the open portion of Teslin Lake at least
ten miles beyond where " White Swan " River enters its estuary-like southern end,
thereby ensuring a longer season of navigation, as the shallow contracted portion doubtless freezes over some weeks before the lake. As Teslin Lake and its outflowing river
of same name will form the subject of another section of this report, I will only say
that both lake and river are good during the open season for navigation by steam and
other craft.
Should the Clearwater valley prove favourable for railway or road construction, a
very considerable saving in distance will be effected to Egnalls mount, where the line
may be united with these above described, or it can be carried down the Sheslay River,
some ten miles, and through a gap near the north end of Heart Mountains to the
Doodedontooya River, thence to a junction with the first line.
STIKINE river to teslin lake, b. c.
Should it be considered advisable to construct a trail from the Stikine River, a
good and short route, with few undulations, and over which fast time could be made, 12
would be to start from Shakes Creek or Glenora, on the Stikine River, and up the right
side of the Stikine Valley on the high benches, thence through Telegraph Creek Pass
and down the slopes of Arthur Creek to a crossing point on the Tahltan below the
present ford, where a bridge 100 feet long in short spans and on piles or bents would be
ample, as I do not think that ice or logs run to any extent in this stream, which is too
deep to ford during several months of the open season.
From the Tahltan the trail would make a slight ascent to gravel benches and
sloping ground, and descending continue on for eight miles along foot of hills to the
Kokesti divide, thence up the north fork to its head in Level Mountain, and over a -
low summit to the head waters of Doo-de-dontooya, thence along foot of slopes of Level
Mountain and on the east side of Mosquito and Koshin valleys, to the Nahlin River,
which would no doubt required to be bridged in a manner as described for the Tahltan. From the Nahlin River the route should continue along the east side of the
valley to Teslin Lake, thus securing firm gravelly ground with slight undulations, and
crossing the few streams encountered where small, and in defined courses. It would pass
through and near good grazing grounds.
A trail constructed on the above course would be about 175 miles in length, and
would cost from $100 to $250 per mile according to its completeness and capacity to
stand the wear and tear incidental to a large amount of travel; and it is likely that the
travel would be heavy, with many more animals passing over than the local " feed " to
be found by the way would sustain, " cache" houses should be erected at reasonable
intervals in which packers doing business on the route coujd store feed and grain. The
trail should also be constructed in a substantial manner.
In bush or scrubby land the clearing should be at least ten feet in width, and the
moss and turf removed for the entire width, that the sun's rays, light and air might the
more rapidly dry up the moisture, and thus help to preserve the road.
The trail base should be at least four feet wide on level or gently sloping ground,
and formed, as far as possible, on a natural foundation from cutting, and the material
removed, if not required for embankments near by, should be " wasted " clear of and
below the elevation of base. A trail so constructed would ensure good footing on ground
so compact as not to be churned into holes, ruts and mire, in wet weather, or so loose
and friable that the water discharged from the clouds or the hill sides above would wash
it out or form guttering channels in its line.
Soft, marshy ground or swales should be logged, brushed and top-dressed with
coarse, gravelly material or broken stone, care being taken to make ample provision for
the passage of water, with ditches above leading to the openings and an off-take ditch to
carry the water away from them. Streams should be sufficiently bridged as their
dimensions demand. , Smaller streams can be economically bridged by structures formed
of round logs, which are to be found where required. They shouid be finished with a
path of coarse gravel or broken stone, held in place by side timbers, securely fastened to
the cross pieces below.
Where fords are practicable they should be adopted (as the pack animals require
water) and care should be taken to see that they have easy and firm approaches, such
crossing places should be freed from boulders and other obstructions to the safe passage
of animals, and flatted side logs should be provided for the passage of pedestrians.
A trail as above described can be built in two months or less from time of commencement, provided that; arrangements are made at an early date for men, supplies
and transport.
Various other routes might be referred to, but as the country generally has the
same characteristics it seems unnecessary to describe them, and as developments occur
and localities demand, so trails as above described may be built in as rapid a manner as
As the cost of freighting is of interest in this connection, the undernoted statement may be of value, but it must be borne in mind that it is based on the assumption that the animals are supplied with food for the greater part of the year, whereas
it is likely that those working on this route would be removed at the end of the season
to a locality where they could be kept in the open and without expense except for the
wages and keep of a herder. ON ROUTES TO THE YUKON. . 13
I also add a list, with cost, of articles which one prospector should take with him
to ensure comfort, and the means of making his venture a success in paying ground.
If prospectors form parties, a saving in articles, cost and transport charges may be
made per man proportionate with the numerical strength of each party.
By the attached report from Mr. Arthur Saint Cyr, D.L.S., who I detailed to make
a track survey and examination of Teslin Lake and the Hootalinqua River, it will be
seen that these waters are navigable during the open season between the 20th of May
and possibly the 1st of November, for such steam and other craft as are suitable for the
purpose referred to, and that no doubts need be entertained as to the depth and soft
bottom in the various narrows near the south end of Teslin Lake, as the water (which
was in the middle of October eleven feet below H.W.M.) keeps up to a good level until
the heavy frosts of October check the outflow from its watershed.
From a miner who spent the winter of 1896-97 On its shores, I learned that Teslin
Lake was frozen over on the 27th October, 1896, and opened on the 18th of May, 1897,
also that the lake is well stocked with trout, white "Dagolly" pike, and " Aconu" fish,
of which I had evidence when there. This is also reported as a good district for moose
and cariboo, also for bears, foxes, beaver and other fur bearing animals.
There are very few Indians living in the district which is apparently hunted over
by, and under the control of a tribe whose headquarters are on the Nakinah River at
head of canoe navigation of the Taku River and distant about 70 miles from the Teslin
The result of the chase is thus lost to Canada as these Indians trade exclusively in
Juneau, now an American town.
I may be allowed to mention that our investigations amply corroborate the statement made by Dr. C. W. Hayes, who traversed Teslin Lake and the Hootalinqua River
in 1891, and whose report thereon is to be found in Vol. IV. of the National Geographic
Magazine, Washington.
January 6th, 1898.
W. T. Jennings, Esq.
M. I. C. E.
Sir,—After receiving the Surveyor General's message and letter dated Ottawa,.
August the 18th, requesting me to place myself under your orders for the rest of the
season and make such surveys as you might require, in connection with a proposed
railway line to the waters of the Yukon River, I discontinued the exploration of the
Torya River Valley at which I was at the time engaged and nearly through with for
the season, and reported to you at Telegraph Creek, on September 20th.
After giving you all the information that I had been able to gather during the
summer exploration on the country between Teslin Lake and Telegraph Creek, I accompanied you on your trip to the lake. There I received your instructions for the survey
of Teslin Lake and Hootalinqua River and proceeded at once to carry them out.
I now transmit to you my report on both lake and river, and the country in their
immediate vicinity.
This survey commenced on October the 14th, and was completed thirteen days
later, on October 27th.
Whenever the weather was favourable observations for latitude were taken with a
pocket sextant, and after being reduced, afforded a good check on the work. 14
The distances I find are as follows :—
Length of Teslin Lake ,,  60J miles.
From Teslin Lake (foot) to Lewis River 139J     "
Total distance 200   miles.
Distance between the foot of Teslin Lake and McClintock
Portage by the river , 42  miles.
Both lake and river lie in a wide and partly timbered valley, the general trend of
which is in a north-westerly direction. Along the lake the valley averages about two
miles in width and along the river one mile.
The water level of the lake was found to be 11 feet below high-water mark.
At two miles from its head the lake contracts, forming narrows which extend fully
a mile in length.
Soundings taken in these narrows revealed a depth of four feet of water with
muddy bottom.
From the end of the first narrows the channel runs along the mouth of a shallow
bay lying on the west side of the lake. The mouth of the bay is about one mile wide.
Immediately beyond the bay the channel is obstructed by a bar with only five feet of
From this point for a distance of four miles the lake is comparatively narrow;
about 600 yards in width. Then another large bay (about two miles across the mouth)
extends one and a quarter mile to the south-west where it receives a large stream which
drains a considerable area of country.
The last narrows (Moose) occur after passing the second bay. The width of the
lake is here reduced to about two hundred yards. A good sized stream empties into the
lake on the east side immediately beyond Moose Narrows and has deposited a large
body of silt forming an area extending nearly to the west side of the lake and leaving a
channel only about thirty yards wide. This narrow channel runs along the west shore
for a distance of nearly half a mile from the narrows.
Here commences the lake proper, and for fifty miles is plain sailing with a good
depth of water until the foot of the lake is reached were the channel is again reduced
in depth by a bar with only six feet of water over it.
Lake Teslin is bounded by mountains of from three to four thousand feet in height
and at some distance in the interior detached snow clad peaks rising to an altitude of
six thousand feet are often to be seen.
Two deep indentations were noticed along the east shore of the lake ; the first one
occurring thirty-six miles from its head ; receives a good sized stream which flows in
from a south-westerly direction.
The other one, which is the deepest, is three miles further on and receives the
Ne-Sutlin-ni River, which is the largest stream entering the lake on that side.
Besides these two rivers there is another one which enters the lake only a short
distance below the Moose Narrows. It heads from the south-east and at its mouth the
Taku Indians have established a fishing station. v
Of the three principal streams which enter the lake on the west side, one was particularly noticed nearly opposite No-Sutlin Bay on account of its valley which is very
wide. This valley extends in a southerly direction, and may possibly connect with the
Nakinah Valleys and leading towards the Taku River, in which case it would afford a
pass from that direction to Teslin Lake.
In the lake are several small islands. They generally lie close to the shore and at
some anterior period were undoubtedly part of the mainland. Their sides are formed
by high bluffs and escarpments.    As a rule the water is very deep close to them.
The Hootalinqua river which flows out of Teslin lake is quite a large stream. It
varies greatly in width at different parts of its course, expanding sometimes to half a
mile, in which case it is partly obstructed by large bars which however leave a deep
though sinuous channel; again in places it divides into several channels thus forming
large islands where timber of good size and quality, is generally to be found; while in
other parts it narrows down to a single channel a few chains in width. ON ROUTES TO THE YUKON. 15
The current which is rather slack for a short distance below the foot of the lake
increases gradually till it reaches a velocity of nearly five miles an hour near the confluence of the Hootalinqua with the Lewis river. Only in a few places, in bends, and
for very short distances was a velocity of six miles an hour recorded.
The prominent feature of the valley in the immediate vicinity of the river is the
high bench which skirts it on either side.
From McClintock Portage down to its confluence with the Lewis, the river is very
crooked and where close to the foot of these benches it has caused extensive land slides
which have left bare the face of the hills, thus forming high cut banks of clay and gravel.
These alternate with flats formed from the materials carried down by the stream during
the season of high water.
Further inland the benches gradually change to rough hills, mostly timbered, and
culminating in high mountain ranges of four thousand feet above sea level.
Eleven miles below McClintock Portage the river divides into two wide channels.
The left hand channel is the principal one. It runs close to the left bank which is here
formed by a cut bank three hundred feet high. This channel is narrow and the water
runs swiftly. The other, although the shorter of the two, is full of bars and is obstructed
by snags.    It is separated from the main channel by a large island.
A careful examination was made of the confluence of the Hootalinqua with the
Lewis River for bars which are likely to occur at a point where two streams meet.
Such a bar here exists and is situated in the Lewis River, some distance above the
mouth of the Hootalinqua and spreads southerly into a large island of which more
later on.
This bar divides the Lewis River into two channels. The main channel follows
close to the left bank, while the other deviates towards the Hootalinqua River which it
actually enters, forcing by its own velocity a passage for itself through the comparatively
sluggish waters of the Hootalinqua after which it again re-enters the main Lewis River.
The bifurcation of the Lewis at this point and the presence of an island covering
the Hootalinqua mouth has frequently caused boat parties of miners intending to winter
there to be carried so far down stream before discovering their error as to determine
them to go on rather than return against the stream.
So said a party of American miners whom I met on the Hootalinqua some six miles
above its mouth, and no doubt accounted for the absence of a number of their friends
who were a short distance ahead of them, and who promised to stop at the Hootalinqua
for the winter. They further explained that they nearly made the same blunder, mistaking the waters of the Hootalinqua, which are a dirty brown colour for those of a
slough or of marshy water.
At the confluence of the Hootalinqua with the Lewis river there is a large island
the sides of which are constantly wearing away Under the action of both streams.
The materials thus eroded are carried down and deposited under the island, causing
a serious obstacle in the form o£ a bar with only fourteen feet of water on it, in a
channel at one and a half chain from the east bank of the river, but it must be kept in
mind that the water was then very low, being ten feet lower than high water mark.
Timber of good quality was seen at several places along the Hootalinqua river. It
is mostly spruce of 18 inches to 24 inches diameter. It grows on the islands and the
flats adjoining the stream.    Some pines and cottonwood of large size were also noticed.
The permanent streams flowing into the Hootalinqua from the high lands on each
side of it are not numerous and are generally of small size.
Only one fair sized stream entering from the east was noticed. It is fifty feet
wide from bank to bank, with a very swift current. The water was two feet deep and
running over large boulders, and I infer from the colour of the water, which is of a
bluish tint, that it heads in a lake in the interior.
K^TJp to November 10th, the day on which I left the river, ice had not formed along
its margin, nor did I see any floating down although the thermometer, for several days,
registered as low as 44 below zero, but a steady falling of the water, averaging two
inches a day, had, however, been observed. ^
I remain, sir, your obedient servant,
McClintock river portage.
Between the Hootalinqua River and Foot of Marsh Lake—29 Miles.
Feeling sure that the correctness of former reports of the navigability of the
Hootalinqua River would be established by the exploration party under my charge, I
deemed it advisable to have this link between the two great sources of the Yukon
examined, that, in the event of the development of the district by the construction of a
rail or wagon road, the department would be fully conversant with the locality. J.
therefore detailed Mr. Morley Ogilvie to assist Mr. St. Cyr in the survey of Teslin Lake
and the Hootalinqua River to the point where the Indian portage trail commences,
then to " track survey " the country to Marsh Lake and thereafter continue the same
work southward on Taku Arm of Tagish Lake to the south end, and returning along
the western margin of the lake, to explore to the White Pass by way of Too-tshai river
and lakes, that course having been much referred to of late as a more suitable route
between White Pass and Tagish Lake than the one in use.
The work having been accomplished I am able to report that the Portage trail
ending on the Hootalinqua was found at a point some 42 miles by river from Teslin
Lake (Lat. N. 60° 50' 14") at an abrupt turn in the river where Mary's Creek, a stream
flowing almost parallel to the Hootalinqua, enters from the west.
The western side of Mary's Creek was followed for some 6 miles to a flat bench
(600 feet above the Hootalinqua and 900 feet above the Marsh Lake) forming the
divide between its waters and those of the McClintock River which from this point
extend in a south-west direction for some 29 miles to where discharged in Lake Marsh
near its outlet. The McClintock is a small stream which passes through an open valley
flanked by high rolling hills and an almost continuous line of gravel and sand benches,
with a bottom area consisting of numerous swamps and hay meadows, the latter predominating especially near its mouth.
The higher slopes of the valley and the bench lands are covered with a growth of
small size black pine, while spruce of fair dimensions was observed in secluded damp
spots, and the swampy bottom lands support a growth of scrub willow.
From the information obtained it is evident that this section of the country affords
a very inexpensive route for a railway, wagon road or trail to the Hootalinqua, thereby
avoiding the canon and rapid waters of the Lewis River.
I might here point out that there exists another trail through the low open valley
between the foot of Teslin Lake and the outlet of Tagish Lake near the military posts,
but time would not permit of its examination.
The shore line of Taku-arm was defined to a point some miles beyond the outlet of
Toot-shai Lake and the latter river and lakes of same name were surveyed and noted to
White Pass, with the result that the course from White Pass to navigable waters on
Tagish Lake was found to be much longer, and through a very much rougher country
than that traversed by the present trail to Lake Bennett.
A railway covering the above named district may be commenced at a suitable
harbour and town site on either Chilkat or Dyea Inlets at head of Lynn Canal, Alaska,
thence up the valley of the Chilkat River for a distance of 20 miles to near the Indian
village of Klookwan at the confluence of the Klenina and Chilkat rivers, where an
elevation of 115 feet above sea level is gained.
The course on this section would be generally straight between the points mentioned,
and principally over bottom lands of alluvial deposit, covered with a growth of scrub,
spruce and alders.
If the west side, or from Pyramid Harbour, is selected, the line will cross the
Kat-se-ka-hin, Tah-kin and Tisku glacier fed rivers, thence up the valley of a sleugh of ON ROUTES TO THE YUKON 17
the Klenina River, whereas on the opposite side of the valley there are no entering:
streams, but a large slough of the Chilkat extends close to the base of the mountains for
a great part of the distance, leaving but little room for a road-bed clear of their foot
slopes, which would, however, have to be used on either side for short distances at
unavoidable points.
From the 20th to the 50th mile the valley of the Klaheena is followed in easy
bottom country somewhat similar to that first described, at the 38th mile where the
Klaheena River is crossed the ascent to the summit (3,280') becomes steeper, necessitating a gradient of 4 per cent for 12 miles to overcome it; but this gradient can be
reduced by more gradual rise on a 2J per cent grade, commencing at the 28th mile
(480') and using the mountain slopes, formed of broken rock, and gravel benches ; or,
another modification is suggested by commencing a 1J per cent gradient at the 28th
mile and using the lower slope to reach a gravel bench at the 42nd mile (1500') thence
continuing in the bottom for the next eight (8) miles, with a 4 per cent gradient to the
summit. However, all the engineering features above expressed can only be fully determined after a careful location survey has been made on each route.
From the summit (3,280') at the 50th mile on to 71J mile (3,200') at the " height of
land " the course is projected over easy, grass and heather covered country with springy
slopes, and composed principally of earthy soils intermixed with loose masses of rock
and boulders.
A branch of the Chilkat is crossed at the 58th mile and the line carried to the back
of a knob at the 59th mile, thence with a slight descent in the next 1J miles a small lake
is reached, and from this point to the " height of land " the line is, with light gradients
and few curves, projected over easy, prairie-like country, which continues to the 73rd
mile where the Alseck River is crossed (3200') and the right side of the valley taken at
foot of heavy undulating, gravelly country to the 81st mile, where the second crossing
(100 ft.) of the Alseck is made (3150').
From this point on to Dal ton's House, situated at the 96 th mile and where the
north and south branches of the Alseck River unite (2,520'), the country is heavier
than the last section, the valley more contracted, and with bluff canon-like walls of clay
and silt, and it is a question which an instrumental survey can alone determine as to
whether it would not be more advisable to keep out of the bottom and upon the slopes
above the bluffs to a point 7 miles beyond Dalton's.
At the crossing of the Alseck a bridge of say 150 ft. in length will be required.
From Dalton's, for seven miles up the north branch of the Alseck River, the same
clay canon-like side slopes continue, then the valley broadens out, with flat side hills
containing many springs and wet spots, to Kluk-shu Lake (2,625') at the 112th mile.
The stream having been crossed at the 103rd mile the line is thus on the east side
of the valley and so continues past Kluk-shu Lake over an easy, lightly wooded benchlike country to Des-a-deash Lake (2,625') at the 117th mile and whose waters flow in both
directions; from here northward for the next 20 miles the line continues over timbered,
sandy side hills, and with light undulating gradients until the Klu-hina River is crossed
at the 137th mile (2,725') thence for the next 5 miles a sharp ascent (2 per cent grades)
over sandy ground is made to reach the altitude of a depression (3,295') between a
bluff-faced knob and the mountain proper.
The line from this point descends with light gradients and over open, grass
covered clay and sand benches and flats to the 162nd mile (2,600') where the Kas-ka-
wulsh River turns abruptly to the west; here an ascent of 500 feet in 5 miles is made
through lightly wooded undulating sand hills to the divide (3,100') of the Alseck and
Yukon waters.
From the divide, at the 167th mile, (3,100') for the next 8 miles the line passes
through a valley about a quarter of a mile wide with alluvial bottom, thence along the
east side of valley on gravel slopes and benches extending along the Hootchei Lakes to
the Indian village of Hootchei, and continuing to the foot of the lake, crosses its outflowing stream at the 190th mile (2,590'), thence along the west bank of the Nordenskiold
river to its forks, about the 230th mile, where a crossing is made, and, in the course of
the next two miles, the branch stream is passed, thence continuing on the right bank
30—2 18
almost to its mouth and Nordenskiold is crossed (1,600') for the last time and the valley
slope of the Yukon gained at a point 5 miles below " Five Finger Rapids," with an
elevation of 1,600' above sea level, and distant from Lynn Inlet 245 miles.
The country traversed from Hootchei Lakes down the Nordenskiold River is of an
open, gravelly bench and flat character, covered with a sparse growth of small spruce
and pine.    The rivers and streams crossed are. unimportant and may he readily bridged.
From the terminal point on the Yukon river to Fort Selkirk is a distance of 57
miles. The country is easy and open, and the River is wide and good for steamboat
I am indebted to Mr. McArthur, D.L.S. (who examined the district), for all verbal
information and photographs used to enable me to furnish this report.
From the said information and a general personal knowledge of British Columbia,
I conclude that a single track railway extending from the sea to the Yukon River, with
all appliances for business will cost approximately $5,635,000 or $23,000 per mile.
Dyea via Chilkoot Pass to Tagish Lake and thence to Hootalinqua River in
Canada, 111 miles.
The town of Dyea is situated at the extreme northerly end of Dyea Inlet of Lynn
Canal in Alaska, Lat. N. 59° 30, and long. W. 135° 22 .   .
There is a good depth of water in the harbour for the largest ocean going vessel,
but to make a suitable landing place considerable expense would be entailed owing to
the high tides and shallow water immediately at the head of the Inlet.
The distance from Dyea to the summit of Chilkoot pass is fifteen (15) miles and
the altitude of the latter point 3,562 feet above sea level, therefore it will be seen that
the average rate of gradient after allowing for loops and curvature will be 4 per cent
and this is only to be obtained by commencing the ascent at the sea and continuing
along the eastern side of the valley on mountain side in heavy rock and earth work
(with occasional snow sheds), throughout the whole distance.
Any modification in the amount of work or cost of construction can only be made
by continuing in the valley bottom, for so many miles more or less and finally ascending
to the summit with such heavier gradients as the ground and distance will permit, and
about as follows, for a distance of 12J miles ; the first 8J miles of which would be on a
gradient of J per cent followed by 2J- miles of 3J- per cent and i\ miles of 4J per cent.
From the latter point to the summit a distance of 2^ miles the ascent would be 2,512
feet or at an average rate of 17 per cent, so steep as only to be overcome by a cable
line or the use of a pack rail. 1111111
The cost of a bottom line would not be as great as the one projected along the
mountain side and of course would not have its capacity on an equal power basis.
From the summit to Lake Lindeman a distance of 8J miles a descent of 1,397 feet,
or say three per cent, average gradient can be had with heavy work in rock, and a considerable amount of curvature.
The next section of 30 miles along the shore of Lakes Lindeman and Bennett to
Caribou crossing at Nares Lake would for the 15 miles, be almost entirely over rugged,
irregular points and hummocks of glaciated granite rock, with about one mile of light
work on a sandy ridge between two lakes mentioned, and the remainder of the distance,
along the easterly shore of Bennett Lake, would be over mixed country, rock and gravel,
not heavy, and with undulating surface. The crossing at Caribou Narrows 600 feet is
unimportant, a sixty foot span with trestle approaches being ample.
From the latter point for a distance of 18 miles to the outlet of Tagish Lake, good
ground for a moderately inexpensive line may possibly be had by following a fairly direct
course, between the points mentioned, with a very low summit to overcome and thereafter a slight descent to the crossing point (2,150') near Tagish village where the river
between Tagish and Marsh Lakes is about 460 feet wide and 12 feet deep, with a silty
bottom of unknown depth. ON ROUTES TO THE YUKON. 19
The next section of 33 miles, extending from the Tagish houses in a north westerly
direction through an open valley and over alow divide to the Hootalinqua River (2,350')
would as far as known be of moderate cost with light curves and gradients, as the country is not abrupt and rocky, there being gravelly hill and terraces as observed on the
McClintock River route between the foot of Marsh Lake'and the Hootalinqua River.
With the exception of a few miles about the summit of Chilkoot Pass, the country
through which this projected line passes is covered with a growth of small pine, spruce,
and poplar and the streams crossed other than these referred to, are small and unimportant.
It is just possible that from Caribou crossing northward 42 miles above the Watson
River valley—to a point below " White Horse Rapids " on the Lewis River—a favourable route may be had (with likely a small saving in distance of railway mileage and
water transport to a common point at the mouth'of the Hootalinqua,) but the waters
of the Lewis River, (called Thirty Mile River) are much swifter and less suitable for
navigation than those of the Hootalinqua, therefore no appreciable gain would be made
by adopting such a course. Indeed a line to the Hootalinqua, would, according to present knowledge of the country, appear to be of greater value as the country to the east
of that river and Teslin Lake is looked upon as likely to develop in a very favourable
The total length of the line over the route described would be approximately 111
miles and the cost probable $27,318 per mile or a total of $3,030,000.
I am indebted to W. Ogilvie for the information given regarding this route and
on which I have formed the above approximate estimate of cost.
123   MILES.
Skaguay is situated some 2 miles from the north end of Dyea Inlet of Lynn Canal,
Alaska, Long. 135° 20' W., Lat. N. 59° 28' and may be safely reached from the open
sea by vessels of any class, but as shallow water extends for some distance from the
shore, long wharfs or landing stages will be necessary to facilitate transfer of cargo
and passengers from and to ships and shore. There is ample room for a town on the
lowlands formed by detritus brought down from the mountains by the Skaguay River.
The valley of this river is open and very suitable for railway construction for
nearly 4 miles, when it becomes contracted with canyon walls in places and of steeper
gradient. At the 12th mile a large branch enters from the left or easterly side after
which the valley contracts gradually to a bald canony gulch in the mountain rock.
The bottom of the valley may be followed for ten (10) miles with such moderate
gradients as it affords,fand thereafter in the next six miles to the summit with an ascent
of 1,770 ft. (or about 5J- per cent). However, this course would not be practicable unless
under special power conditions and at an enormous expense for protection from sliding
rock and snow.
The only feasible way of passing through this rugged defile appears to be by commencing to ascend with an average 4 per cent gradient from about three (3) miles from
the sea, and winding along the mountain side to the left where high above the valley
the slopes are flatter than near the base.
In this way the summit (2,600,) may be reached in a distance of 16 miles, with
heavy rock work, and somewhat costly snow sheds, in .short lengths, at several places.
The next section of 24f miles would be through a broken, hummocky, uneven but
generally level and rocky country, passing near a number of small lakes, and eventually
reaching Lake Bennett ; thence continuing on the same route as projected from Dyea
to the Hootalinqua River, a total distance of 123 miles from the sea.
The streams crossed on this section are small and may be effectively bridged at
small cost.
About the summit level and for some distance on each side the country is devoid
of timber ; elsewhere the usual growth of small spruce, pine and willows is to be found.
From information furnished by Messrs. W. Ogilvie and McArthur, D.L.S., I have
been enabled to furnish this statement, with approximate cost of construction and
equipment at $28,309 per mile or a total of $3,236,000.
145 MILES.
Juneau, one of the principal seacoast towns of Alaska, is situated on the main
shore near the head of Gastineau Inlet, in Lat. 58 degrees 18' N., and Long. 134 degrees
23' W., and is the business centre for Taku Inlet and the mountain country to the east
of it.
The shore lines from Juneau S.E. for 12 miles to Bishop's Point and thence
northerly up Taku Inlet for 38 miles is very irregular, and the mountain slopes are steep,
rocky and rugged, with several " live" glaciers discharging large masses of ice therefrom annually, thus making this part of the route impracticable for railway construction.
The south shore of the Inlet is free from glaciers, but it is rough and irregular, and
therefore too costly.
The Inlet is reported as a very unsafe place for navigators owing to the very high
winds and consequent rough water which prevail here at all seasons, coupled with the
additional dangers due to masses of ice discharged from glaciers fronting on the Inlet,
which, floating about, frequently pack in the various narrows.
However, conceding that during the open season between May and October the
inlet is navigable, especially for vessels of moderate draft, to a point 33 miles by water
from Juneau, or 21 miles from the entrance to the inlet, it appears to me that the railway may here be commenced on flat land immediately to the west of " Twin " glaciers
and continued along the bottom lands and foot slopes forming the north or right hand
side of the Taku Valley to the confluence of the Slocah and Nakinah Rivers at head of
canoe and possibly light draft steam navigation, a distance of 51 miles.
The valley proper is from J- to 1 J- miles wide, with almost continual bottom lands,
timbered with spruce, poplar, aspen and Canadian balsam, but frequently cut into by
sloughs or by-channels of the river proper, which in places lies close to the mountain
foot slopes. The entering streams are not numerous or important, the largest being the
Tallaskaway at the 21st mile, and Salmon River at the 31st mile, but the structures for
these streams would require to be of span work, as a considerable quantity of drift wood
and ice, no doubt, passes down during freshet periods.
From the opposite side of the valley three streams enter, viz.:—the Wright, a
glacier stream, at the 11th mile, the Quorn at the 37th, and the Inklin at the 43£
mile. The latter being the largest feeder to the Taku and draining a vast area, extending eastward 80 miles and including the waters of the Nahlin River heading in Level
Mountain near Tooya Lake, and south 60 miles to the head waters of the Koketsi and
Sheslay, near the Stikine.
The Inklin, Sheslay and Koketsi form a continuous salmon run to Koketsi Lake.
The Nahlin being broken and steep beyond the confluence of the Sheslay, is impassable
by salmon to where the Teslin-Stikine route crosses it.
The Nakinah River, which is 200 feet wide at its mouth and 150 feet above sea
level, should, owing to passage of drift material at freshet times, be bridged with
ample openings.
From the confluence of the Slocoh and Nakinah, at the 51st mile (E. 250 feet), on
to the summit (4,100 feet), at the 111th mile (or a rise of 3,850 feet in 60 miles, 1J per
cent average gradient), the ground found would likely be generally broken, with
moderately heavy work in earth and rock for 75 per cent of the distance. The summit
section of from 10 to 15 miles in extent, and called Ptarmigan flat, is open, moss-
covered, and light for construction. ON ROUTES TO THE YUKON 21
From the summit at 111th mile to the south end of Teslin Lake at the 126th mile
the descent would be 1,700 feet (or to the lake level of 2,400 feet) giving an average gradient of say 2J per cent over sloping earthy side hill ground, timbered with spruce, pine
alder and poplar.
An easier gradient may be obtained by extending the line from the summit to almost any point on the west shore of Teslin Lake beyond its estuary-like southern terminus, but especially on to a terminus near the centre of the lake, as the ground for a
railway is alike favourable, and a terminus on the lake proper would afford at least two
weeks more communication than if placed at the first mentioned point. Thus including
distance for an easy gradient, the total length of the railway line from the head of Taku
Inlet to Teslin Lake would be 145 miles.
Such a line may be operated all the year, but in conjunction with a service on Teslin Lake and the Hootalinqua only between June 1st and November 1st, and would
cost, approximately, say $3,485,000 or $24,034 per mile.
A wagon road starting from the same point and extending 120 miles to Teslin
Lake can be built over this country at a cost of from $1,200 to $1,500 per mile, and a
trail at from $100 to $250 per mile. The road and trail can be operated free from snow
during the period above mentioned.
Food for pack animals is scarce on the lower river, but in abundance from the
summit plateau to Teslin Lake.
I am indebted to Wm. Ogilvie, D.L.S., and C. W. Hayes for information obtained
from their reports regarding the route described as far as the divide, and from my own
observations of the ground from that point to Teslin Lake.
Food and other supplies required by one man for one year's maintenance in the
Yukon District.
400 lbs. flour (Hungarian), at 3£c $ 13 00
500 do bacon, at 13^e ...h  67 50
50 do        180
50 do pilot bread ,  2 00
100 do beans (Bayo), at 3c        g  3 00
40 do evaporated apples, at 6Jc   2 60
10 do          do       onions, at 40c  4 00
40 do          do       potatoes, at 25c ...  .   . .......;  10 00
10 do tomatoes    ...  2 50
40 do split peas, at 2|c .  1 00    •
40 do rolled oats, at 3|c  1 30
50 do sugar (granulated), at 5^c. / 2 63
13 do tea, at 25c  3 25
10 do green coffee, at 25c   2 50
20 do salt, at lc    0 20
1 do pepper      .......   0 40
h do mustard, at 40c      0 20
| do spices, at 60c...-. .>.  0 30
2 do baking soda   0 40
1 doz. Johnson's Extract of Beef, 4 oz., at $4.50 per doz  4 50
3 lbs. soup vegetables, at 33c      1 00
3 do lime juice tablets, at 30c               0 90
1 tin matches :  1 00
1 box candles  1 75
Baking powders in tins    : 10 00
10 bars soap, at 50c, 4 at 50c  1 00
J doz. condensed milk, at $2 per doz  1 00
10 lbs. currants and raisins  0 80
Gross weight, say 1,600 lbs  $ 140 53
In packing food or other supplies, boxes should, as far as possible, be avoided, and
sugar, flour, beans, etc., in addition to the ordinary sacking, be placed in canvas bags
The packages should not be over 30 inches in length, and 14 to 16 inches in diameter,
and not more than 50 lbs. in weight. 22 REPORT OF MR.  W. T JENNINGS, G.E.
Articles required for Boat, Sluice and House Building; also for Prospecting and
Placer Mining:—
1 pocket (magnetic) compass.., W     $   1 00
2 lbs. quicksilver  125
2 gold pans ,  1 50
1 shovel (round point, solid back).      1 25
1 Pick (steel points, medium weight, two handles)  1 50
1 hammer (3 lbs. and one handle). :.. 0 70
*1 chopping axe (3J in., 2 handles)   ' 1 00
*1           do          (2i or 3 inches)  100
*1 hand axe with claw handle        0 50
*1 small handle—each for x cut and rip  2 00
*1 single x cut saw, 4 feet .      ... 2 00
*1 single whip saw and handle light : ,  3 50
*1 eye augur, each §, f, 1^ and 2 inches j , . 3 00
*1 Jack plane \ 0 75
*1 spoke shave, round and flat  0 50
*1 doz. awls—assorted sizes  0 15
*| doz. gimlets   0 25
*J doz. pack needles  0 15
*} lb. twine (pack)    .. .    0 15
*1 bal1 heavy twine '  0 50
*200 ft. J-in. rope .  0 75
*100 ft. 1-in. rope .  1 00
6 lbs. wire nails, each 2-inch and 3-inch	
2       do do      1-inch and lj-inch.........
1 file for each kind of saw (4)	
2 mill saw files, 12-inch, for sharpening axes, &c..
1 small whetstone	
1 sheet emery cloth each, medium and fine	
1 chisel cacb5 ^-ineh, 1-inch, and l|-inch.	
1 common rule	
1 lead pencil	
1 Drawknif e	
3 lbs. caulking cotton for boat	
3 lbs. caulking pitch, mixed, for boat	
2 pairs rowlocks for boat	
1 sheet iron stove with oven and pipes	
1 nest of tin kettles	
1 tin teapot.	
2 bread pans :   ,	
2 wash basins (one for bread)	
1 butcher knife, 9-inch	
1 coffee mill	
2 frying pans, 10-inch	
1 iron fork	
3 iron spoons, long ladle, 12-inch	
6 tin plates	
3 tin bowls    	
1 tin cup . 	
3 tin teaspoons ,	
3 tin table spoons	
3 pairs knives and forks 	
6 yards cotton for dish cloths, &c	
2 canvas buckets, 2-gallon ,   	
$ 24 40
$ 0 60
0 40
0 60
0 25
0 15
0 12
1 25
0 20
0 05
0 50
0 75
0 50
0 75
7 00
1 75
0 40
0 60
0 30
0 25
0 75
0 40
0 10
0 25
0 25
, 0 21
0 10
0 05
0 10
0 75
0 50
3 00
The articles marked thus * in above list are sufficient for a party of six.
The tools enumerated above, also tin kettles and buckets, ample for a party of six
-spoons, plates, &c, for a party of three.
1 pair gum boots \  $ 5 00
1   do long, 12 leather boots ,     3 50
1   do heavy laced boots  3 50
1   do    do   slippers      1 00
1   do rubbers ,  1 00
1   do     do     gloves    ...    1 25
1   do woollen mitts   0 50
1   do goggles, smoked glass  0 50 ON ROUTES TO THE YUKON.
1   do snowshoes and thongs	
1 do moccasins y.
2 suits woollen clothes	
1 heavy overcoat	
2 drill shirts	
2 pair canvas and blue jean trousers 	
3 pairs heavy woollen socks	
2   do   medium        do
2   do  knickerbocker stockings	
2 suits heavy woollen underclothes    ...
2 do  medium do 	
1 felt (soft) hat	
1 heavy knit cap with ear banflap for winter use..
1 necktie	
1 woollen comforter .	
1 pair woollen mitts	
1 do braces 	
2 skeins black linen thread	
2   do   white       do	
2   do   light drab linen thread	
2 papers needles to suit	
2 darning needles t	
1 hank each black and white yarn	
An assortment of buttons	
1 buckskin 	
1 pound babiche for snowshoes ,
5 00
1 25
30 00
10 00
3 00
3 00
1 50
1 00
1 20
4 00
4 00
1 50
0 50
0 50
0 50
0 50
0 50
0 10
0 10
0 10
0 10
0 06
0 20
0 10
1 00
0 25
1 tent, 6 ft. x 8 ft., 10 oz. duck with 2 ft. wall (good for two men)  10 00
1 dunnage bag, 30-in. x 16. in. diameter, canvas  =  1 00
1               do                         do                   oiled  1 25
1 tarpaulin (10 oz.) 6 ft. x 8 ft. (do for boat sail and for bed)  3 00
1 oiled cotton tarpaulin, 6 ft. x 6 ft  1 50
2 pairs blankets, 4 points and bag for ditto  18 00
1 small looking glass  0 15
1 towels  0 50
1 towel, bath	
1 comb	
1 brush, each, teeth, 25c; hair, 75c , 	
1 doz. (3 grs.) quinine pills	
1 box anti-bilious pijls     	
1 small roll sticking plaster tape , ")
1 do       lint }
2 bottles painkiller I
2 bottles Jamaica ginger }-Good for a party of six...
1 small bottle chlorodyne I
1 pot vaseline     I
1 scissors, ordinary J
0 50
0 10
1 00
0 25
0 25
0 25
0 10
0 40
0 30
0 25
0 25
0 25
$39 30
1 gill net, 3 lbs,, say 50 ft. ^long, 3-in. or 3|-in. mesh when stretched  3 00
150 ft. deep sea line for ditto  0 50
3 doz. assorted eye fish hooks    . 0 20
3'short common fishing lines  0 10
2 trowling lines, 100 ft. each  0 60
2 trowling spoons  0 80
2 extra triple hooks, heavy for "gigging " fish  ,  0 15
1 lb. sheet lead  0 07
1 lb. buckshot  0 07
] rifle, light, say 44  15 00
50 do   cartridges, bullet  1 50
50 do       do          shot  1 50
1 straight knife, wooden handle, blade 6-in. long  0 25
1 light belt and sheath for knife  0 50
$24 24
Total.....  $338 56
The above articles are sufficient for a party of six. 24 REPORT OF MR.  W. T. JENNINGS, O.E.
Length—165 miles.
Five power stations complete with, hydraulic plant, &c    , ")
Twenty large cars fitted with 4 motors each., I
Railway line fitted with feed and other wires, &c I
' Dynamos and " boosters "      ...    [-$2,850,000 00
Railway line-light rail   . I
Wharf at each end and also freight houses :' [
Two construction engines and 40 cars J
Annual Cost of Opeeation.
For six months $ 55,000 00
Interest and depreciation on cost $2,850,000 at 10 per cent. ,    285,000 00
Total $   340,000 00
Say 3 steamers ply on Stikine, bringing on average 100 prospectors per day for
4 months—12,00D passengers—
165 miles rail haul at 5 cents per mile—$8.25 $ 99,000 00
And | of a ton of freight per man—9,000 tons at $50 per ton    450,000 00
549,000 00
Expenses as above ,       340,000 00
Profit and loss    .    $   209,000 00
Calculated cost of mule team wagons, &c, delivered at, say, Glenora, food and
expenses, for a season's work of six months' teaming between above points—150 miles
each way :—
Ten large team mules, delivered, $100 each       $1,000 00
Ten sets harness, &c, $25 each     250 00
Wagons, tent, kitchen, &c  500 00
Total cost of plant	
Interest and depreciation, 15 per cent	
Keep of animals, 6 months=180 days; each animal 16 pounds hay and 10 pounds
oats per day; 10x16=160x180=28,800 pounds hay at $40 per ton	
10x10=100x180=18,000 pounds oats at $40 per ton	
Teamster, 6 months, at $75	
do do      food at $15	
do       boy and food	
Repairs and shoes, &c	
Say, 10 trips in season, each of 3 tons net=30 tons—
Cost per ton.     $67. 12
Government toll on roads=one-half cent per pound       10 00
Total, per ton j              77 12
=3'856 cents per pound.
As a considerable quantity of green "feed" is to be had en route during the greater
part of the season, the amount of hay may not be required.
W. T. J.
$1,750 00
$576 00
360 00
450 00
90 00
125 00
150 00
$ 262 50
1,751 00
Materials, &c, required for One Mile of Track in position on formation.
Steel rails, 56 lb. per 1. yd., 88 tons, $30   	
Angle plates, 2 ft. long, 18 lbs. each, 176 joints, 4 bolt holes, 704 plates at 18 lbs., 12,600 lbs.
at 2 cts	
Bolts, f-in., round, oval neck, 1 lb. each, 1,408 lbs. at 3£ cts	
Spikes, 5J x & in., 6,000 lbs. at 2£c	
Ties, spaced, 2 ft., centre to centre, 3 ft. 6 in. by 8 in. face, 2,640 at 25 cts	
Washers, rubber	
Tracklaying per mile , $   250 00
Ballasting per mile, 2,000 cubic yds. at 40c   .....       800 00
Steel rails, 70 lbs., 110 tons at $30	
Angle plates, 30 lbs., 704 plates, 21,120 lbs. at 2 cts,
Bolts (6 bolts) 1 lb. each, 2,108 lbs. at 3J cts 	
Spikes, 5^ x & in., 6,500 lbs. at 2| cts 	
Ties, 2,640 at 25 cts	
Tracklaying per mile $  250 00
Ballasting, 2,000 cubic yds. at 40 cts       800 00
$ cts.
252 00
49 28
150 00
660 00
25 00
3,776 28
1,050 00
4,826 28
3,300 00
422 40
73 98
162 50'
660 00
25 00
4,643 88
1,050 00
5,693 88
Cost of constructing One Mile of Railway.
Clearing 9 acres at $25	
Close cutting 2 acres at $35 ..  .,	
Grubbing 2 acres at $50  .	
Earthwork, 15,000 yds. at 25 cts	
Rockwork, 1,000 yds. at $1    ,	
Engineering, $600; stations, &c, $150; water supply, $150 ; telegraph line, $110.
Contingencies 10 per cent.
Permanent way :  Light rails, 561
Total... i
225 00
70 00
100 00
3,750 00
1,000 00
800 00
1,010 00
350 00
$7,305 00
730 50
$8,035 50
$4,826 28
$12,861 ' 26
Clearing 9 acres at $20   ..   	
Close cutting 2 acres at $30.  .	
Grubbing \ acre at $50 \	
Earthwork, 20,000 cubic yards at 25cts     	
Rock work, 20,000 do $1  	
Structures    \ ! 	
Engineering, $700; telegraph, $110; stations, &c., $150: water supply, $150.
Contingencies 10 per cent.
Permanent way, heavy rails, 70 lbs..
36,246 00
Clearing 9 acres at $25	
Close cutting, 3 acres at $35	
Grubbing, 2 acres at $60	
Earthwork : 4 ft. bank, 15 ft. base, 3,000 ft.
Rock work : 5 ft. cut, 22 ft. base by £ to 1 s
Structures ,	
Engineering, $700; telegraph lines, $110 ; stations, etc., $150.
Water supply, $150	
Sidings ,	
330 ft. at 25c 'f^tr?
s, 2,300 ft., 10,350 ft. at $1..
Contingencies, 10 per cent..
Permanent way, light rails, 56 lbs.
$   cts.
225 00
105 00
120 00
2,332 50
10,350 00
1,000 00
1,110 00
400 00
15,642 50
1,564 25
17,206 75
4,826 28
22,033 03
Stikine Section—30 Miles.
30 miles of railway line complete at $22,000
Dock, sidings and freight house	
Bridge over river	
$     cts.
660,000 00
6,000 00
80,000 00
746,000 00 ON ROUTES TO THE YUKON. 27
Whole Section, Stikine River to Teslin Lake.
$     cts.
30 miles as above      746,000 00
125 miles, light, at $13,000 .
30 miles, heavy, at $36,000	
23 miles, medium, at $22,000...
208 miles, say $19,000 per mile-
Grand total.
1,625,000 00
1,080,000 00
506,000 00
3,957,000 00
A wagon road may be constructed on the general course referred to for a trail but
with a slight addition in length due to the fact that it should be carefully located with
gradients not exceeding 5 per cent and these only at unavoidable points.
The clearing should be made at least 25 feet in width, and the moss, &c, removed
from the area to be occupied by embankments, and from the slope above side hill
cuttings. Si^Ss ~-31
The road should have a base at least 12 feet, and, where made on ground sloping
transversely, be formed two thirds.in cutting.    Passing places should be provided.
To thoroughly sustain heavily loaded wagons the bridges should be designed and
built on a more substantial plan than suggested for a trail.
In other respects where applicable, the mode advised for trail construction may be
A substantial road can be built on the above route or any practicable course,
between the same points in 90 days from time of commencement, for a sum not
exceeding $ 1,400.00 per mile.
Cost and maintenance of a mule train on route between Stikine River and Teslin
Lake, also estimate of season's results in packing a round trip distance, of say 300 miles,
and allowing that the beasts be well fed and cared for :—
Cost of pack train consisting  of 50  animals large, young and strong with
" rigging ", &c, complete.    Delivered at Telegraph Creek  $3,750 00
Interest on and depreciation of outfit at 15 p.c. per annum  562 50
Feed—75 tons chopped stuff at $40    3,000 00
Feed—40 tons hay at $15 f.  600 00
1 herder and general man, per annum :  .. 600 00
1 herder and general man's food, per annum    150 00
1 foreman packer, 7 months at $150 ,   ... 1,050 00
3 ordinary     "                "          $75  1,575 00
1 cook for      I       6 months at $60 ,  360 00
Food for 5 men             "       season *  400 00
Repairs to rigging, shoes, &c\  300 00
Total  $8,597 50
Allowing five animals for packers' use and three out of service, this admits one
carrying kitchen and food for packers, and one distributing food along trail, &c, leaving
forty paying pack animals.
Estimating that eight round trips be made in the season, each animal carrying 300
lbs. paying cargo.
300 x.40 — 12,000 x 8 — 96,000 lbs. at 9c. per lb. or net cost   $8,640 00
$2,880 00
The above mule train would thus only be able to convey one year's food supplies
and outfit for 48 prospectors; therefore, if a large number pass over this route, it will 28 REPORT OF MR.  W. T. JENNINGS, G.E.
require more animals to transport them than can find food along the trail for their
maintenance, therefore it is obvious that a supply of grain, &c, will have to be distributed along the trail and cached, in readiness for feeding when the grass gives out or is
destroyed by fire or frost.
Assuming that one person consumes 4 lbs. of food per day and the charges therefor
are as under :—
1^ lbs. bacon at 13^ cts     20 cts.
U lbs. Flour at 3£ cts        5   "
flb.Beans         2   |
I lb. Sugar, tea, apples, &c       10   " 37 cts.
Freighting from Victoria or Vancouver to Stikine River.      4   "
" Stikine to Teslin, 12 cts ,     48   "
Cost of one day's supplies for one man at Teslin Lake      89 cts.
In conclusion, I may state that provided all arrangements are made and the location
determined upon by April next the line of railway by either route shown on the plan can
be completed and in operation by September following, at a cost of four million dollars,
that portion situated on the Stikine River below the crossing, including the bridge,
costing |746,000 of the total amount.
I remain, sir, your obedient servant,
W. T. JENNINGS, M.I.C.K  iff    


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