MINISTEE OF LANDS
FOR THE PROVINCE OP
YEAR ENDING 31st DECEMBER
THE GOVERNMENT OF
THE PH01MCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA.
AUTHORITY OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY.
Printed by William H. Ctjllin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1915. Victoria, B.C., January 28th, 1915.
To His Honour Frank Stillman Barnard,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour:
Herewith I beg respectfully to submit the Annual Report of my Department, for
the year ending December Slst, 1914.
WILLIAM R. ROSS,
Minister of Lands. PART I.
BEBABTMEET OE LAEBS. TABLE OF CONTENTS,
Eeport of the Deputy Minister of Lands 7
Report of Office Statistics 8
Report of the Superintendent of the Pre-emption Inspection Branch 12
Report of Inspectors—
Coast District 14
Port George and Cariboo Districts IS
Hazelton and Fort Fraser Districts 19
Nicola, Kamloops, Similkameen, and Osoyoos Districts 22
Kootenay District 25
Skeena District* 26
Report of Adviser in Charge of Dry-farming Experimental Work 28 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS.
REPORT OF THE DEPUTY MINISTER OP LANDS.
Victoria, B.C., January 28th, 1915.
Hon. William R. Ross, K.C.,
Minister of Lands, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the Annual Report of the Department of Lands for the
twelve months ending December 31st, 1914.
By reference to the statistics of the head office of the Lands Branch it will be seen that the
revenue of the head office for the year was $589,687.36, as against $946,944.23 for the previous
year. Of this sum, $449,050.53 was brought to account as land-sales; the two other items of
importance being $54,471.26 as land rentals and $57,700 as fees received for licences under the
" Coal and Petroleum Act." Under both of these headings there was a marked decrease from
the revenues of the past year, due chiefly to the inability of lessees and licensees to meet their
Landjsales for the year throughout the Province totalled 45,036 acres, of which 5,403 acres
represented the sale of surveyed lands and 39,632 acres the sale of unsurveyed lands. These
figures indicate the smallest sales of Crown lands since 1904, and the sales for the previous year
aggregated 421,262 acres.
On December 31st, 1914, there was outstanding as deferred payments and arrears in connection with surveyed lands approximately $5,804,260, and in the matter of lands remaining
unsurveyed the arrears have been estimated at $3,216,788, and on account of townsites and
suburban lands the deferred payments and arrears amount to $3,178,059. These figures represent
the amount due on account of principal; no interest being shown.
In the matter of land-settlement, greater progress was made during the year than during
any former period in the history of the Province; the issue of pre-emption records having reached
the total of 4,304—a marked increase over the previous year, and a steady growth since 1905,
for which year the figures were 955 records.
During the year 114,410 acres of reserved lands were opened to pre-emption entry. Of this
acreage, approximately 90,000 acres represent lands which had been closed to pre-emption pending survey, and the remaining 23,710 acres represent logged lands which had been subdivided
prior to opening for entry. These lands were divided into 979 pre-emptions, and at the openings
382 of the parcels were filed upon. The greatest demand was for the logged lands near the
Coast, and, with the exception of the area opened in the vicinity of Kennedy Lake, on Vancouver
Island, all the logged lands on the Coast were applied for on the first day on which they were
opened to entry.
During the year 3,668 of the pre-emptions throughout the Province were inspected by officers
of the Department with a view to securing compliance with the provisions of the " Land Act"
as to occupation and improvement, with the result that 899 of the outstanding records were
cancelled, chiefly on the ground of non-residence. In many of these cases the delinquent pre-
emptors were given an opportunity of taking ont new records for the lands formerly held by
A number of sales were held during the year of townsite property owned by the Province.
The most important of these was the sale of lots in the townsites known as Fort George and
Prince George, at which sales aggregating $771,505 were made. Smaller sales were held at
Quesnel, McBride, and Clinton to meet such local demand as there was for town lots in these
In the matter of surveys, there were 1,012,000 acres added to the surveyed area of the
Province as the result of the 1914 season's work. Of this acreage, 100,000 acres represent lands
already held under pre-emption, and 8S4,000 acres were added to the acreage available for pre- D 8 Report op the Minister op Lands. 1915
emption. The remaining 28,000 acres represent lands held under applications to purchase, in
which cases the cost of survey becomes an added charge in connection with the land-purchase.
The results accomplished in surveys for 1914 are slightly in excess of the acreages surveyed
in 1913. Since 1907 the total acreage surveyed by the Province is given at 4,895,910 acres, of
which area 950,000 acres have been Crown-granted to pre-emptors or are held under pre-emption
record; 250,000 acres are held in reserve for sale by public auction; 800,000 acres have been
reserved for University purposes; 500,000 acres represent sales of various descriptions; and
2,395,910 acres remain available for pre-emption entry.
In the dry-farming experiments carried on during the year in Lillooet and Nicola Districts
under the supervision of Professor W. J. Elliott, with a view to determining the agricultural
values of large areas in the Interior, marked interest was manifested. From the report submitted covering the first year's practical work it is evident that very gratifying results were
secured on the Lillooet Farm, but in the Nicola the grasshopper pest very seriously interfered
with the experiments made.
The report of Professor Elliott, which is appended, will be read with interest.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
ROBERT A. RENWICK,
Deputy Minister of Lands.
REPORT OF OFFICE STATISTICS.
; ' January Sth, 1915.
R. A. Rentviclc, Esq.,
Deputy Minister of Lands, Victoria, B.C.
Sie,—I have the honour to submit herewith tabulated statements covering the volume of
work carried out iu the Department and the different land agencies in connection with the
administration of the lands in the Province during the year 1914, as follows:—
(1.) Statement showing the number of pre-emption records, certificates of improvements,
and certificates of purchase issued by the different agencies:
(2.) Statement of Crown grants issued, divided into the different classes of such grants;
also showing the total acreage Crown-granted of pre-emptions, mineral claims, and
(3.) Statement of coal-prospecting licences, coal leases, and sundry leases issued, showing the money collected in connection therewith and the approximate area thereof:
(4.) Statement of land-sales, showing the area of surveyed and unsurveyed lands sold:
(5.) Statement showing the revenue received by the head office at Victoria, giving in
tabulated form the amounts received each month:
(6.) Comparative statement of the different items covered by the foregoing statements
since the year 1902.
I have, etc.,
Secretary to Department of Lands. 5 Geo. 5
PRE-EMPTION RECORDS, ETC., 1914.
CROWN GRANTS ISSUED, 1914.
Town lots 119
Reverted land 13
Reverted minerals 10
" School Act" 2
Total Acreage deeded.
Applications for Crown grants 1,311
Certified copies of counterfoils 21
Mineral claims 8,830.55
Purchase surveyed land 41,348.74
Purchase unsurveyed land 116,470.91
245,244.7S D 10
Report of the Minister op Lands.
REPORT ON COAL LICENCES, LEASES, ETC., 1914.
Surveyed lands sold 5,403.71
Unsurveyed lands sold 39,632.89
Total lands sold 45,036.60 5 Geo. 5
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REPORT OF THE INSPECTION BRANCH.
January 6th, 1915.
R. A. Renwielo, Esq.,
Deputy Minister of Lands, Victoria, B.C.
Sie,—I have the honour to submit my report of the work of the Inspection Branch for the
The inspection of pre-emptions has been continued systematically, and every district in the
Province, except Stikine, Atlin, and Peace River, has been visited by the Inspectors. With the
exception of a small percentage of isolated claims, a complete inspection and report has been
made in respect to practically all of the older pre-emptions. In most of the districts all of the
records of more than a few months' standing have been attended to. The work in the other
districts has not been so complete, but very good progress has been made.
The lack of an Inspector for the Skeena Division, referred to in my last report, was overcome by the appointment of C. L. Cullin, who assumed his duties as Inspector for that Division
on April 1st, 1914.
The following is a summary of the pre-emptions inspected and reported upon by the six
Inspectors who have been operating in the field during the past year, from which it will be
seen that with only one more Inspector 2,171 more claims were disposed of than during the year
1913. The statement also shows a comparison with the year 1913 of the pre-emptors notified, the
records cancelled, etc.
In Good Standing.
the Result of
Total notified .
Total cancelled as result of notification
Total not dealt with 5 Geo. 5 Report op Inspection Branch. D 13
A total number of 3,668 pre-emptions were inspected, of which 1,970 were found to be legally
held, the pre-emptors being in occupation of and improving the land. Of the remainder, a considerable proportion contain improvements of more or less value, but were not occupied, and the
others do not show any signs of occupation or improvement.
In view of the reported non-occupation, 1,698 pre-emptors were notified to show cause why
their records should not be cancelled. So far as reported, 899 of these have been cancelled,
either on account of the failure of the pre-emptors to satisfy the Commissioner of their good
faith, or no reply was received to the notification, while some yet remain to be reported upon.
A number of the parties whose records were cancelled were permitted to rerecord on account of
having improvements on the land, but who had failed, either through carelessness or a misunderstanding of the law, to occupy their claims. It would have been a hardship in many of these
cases not to give them another chance, and I think the course pursued under the circumstances
was a proper one. Many of the cancelled records should be properly classified as abandoned,
for the reason that they were old records of long standing which should have been cancelled or
abandoned years ago, the pre-emptor never having occupied or made any attempt to improve the
lands, some of which had, in fact, already been taken up by other parties under new records.
For this reason the percentage of cancellations is not so great as the figures would make it
The work of cheeking the records of the agencies with those of the Department, which was
commenced in the year 1913, was continued as the Inspectors visited each district, so that now
we have in the head office correct data as to the standing of each record in the local offices.
The experimental stage has, I take it, now passed, and I have no hesitation in stating that
the work can be carried on along the lines adopted in an effective manner. With the completion
of the general inspection which has been going on since the inception of this Branch, the Inspectors will have more time to devote to the supervision of improvements and the new settlement
which is taking place. The work has also been carried out with very little friction between the
settlers and the Inspectors, the percentage of complaint being very small. Objections were
lodged against the cancellation of a few claims, but on investigation it was proved that such
objections were not well founded. On the whole, I consider this speaks very well for the care
taken by the Inspectors in making their examinations and reports. In addition to the inspections
shown in the above table, the Inspectors were called upon frequently during the season to make
special reports on matters arising in connection with the administration of lands, also to examine
and report upon townsite subdivisions to assist in selection of the interest accruing to the Crown.
In their journeys through the country the Inspectors have been able to gather a great deal
of information as to vacant lands, and also particulars as to the character, etc., of the different
sections of the country. This information has already been of considerable assistance to settlement and will in the future be of value in that line.
I am satisfied that the past year's operations have succeeded in demonstrating to a considerable extent the benefit the Province will derive from the system of inspection. The reports show
clearly that the majority of those pre-empting land are doing so with the intention of becoming
actual settlers, and the desire to improve and utilize the same for the purpose of making permanent homes.
There is every indication that the laws are being more closely observed, that more land is
being cleared and otherwise improved. Of course, there are some amongst the pre-emptors who
are not genuine settlers, and whose object is either to surrender their right to the land at the
first opportunity for a consideration, or to hold it for the statutory period with as little occupation and improvement as possible until they can acquire title. Inspection will go a long way to
stop such procedure, but it is noticed that it is this class of pre-emptor who generally enters the
strongest protest and makes the most trouble when his evasion and abuse of the regulations are
discovered and proceedings taken to cancel his record.
I am submitting herewith reports from each of the Inspectors which do not require any
comment, as I think they clearly indicate the nature of the work accomplished and the advantages
to be derived therefrom.
During the year twenty-five townsite subdivisions in various parts of the Province, of which
plans had previously been filed, were examined on the ground, either by the Inspectors or some
other official of the Department, who reported as to the physical features, etc., of these subdivisions, on the strength of which the one-quarter interest accruing to the Crown was duly D 14 Report op the Minister of Lands. 1915
selected and the necessary steps taken to obtain conveyance to the Crown of the blocks and lots
so selected. The majority of these subdivisions are located along the line of the Grand Trunk
Pacific Railway, or in proximity thereto, but it is impossible at the present time to express any
opinion as to their importance or future prospects. It seems to me, however, that in some cases
a great many more lots have been subdivided as townsites or as additions to existing townsites
than the present conditions warrant, or will be required for a legitimate purpose for many years
to come, if at all.
Auction sales were held of Government lots in the following townsites on the dates specified,
viz.: McBride, April 29th, 1914; Quesnel, May 14th, 1914; Fort George, Prince George, and
South Fort George—at Vancouver, May 19th, 20th, and 21st, 1914, at Victoria, May 26th and
27th, 1914, at Prince George, June 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th, 1914; Clinton, August 20th, 1914.
I attended, as the representative of the Government, all of these sales, which, with the exception of the Clinton sale, were conducted by agents specially appointed for the purpose. The.
Clinton sale was conducted by the Government Agent at that place. I can safely say that the
sales were all carried out in an efficient and satisfactory manner, having in view the best
interests of the public. The lots in these townsites were put upon the market in order to satisfy
the demand brought about by the development of the country, and the results were highly satisfactory, taking into consideration the prevailing conditions, which in every case had undergone
considerable change between the time the preliminary steps were taken and the date of the sale.
Some lands were also offered at auction on August 25th, 1914, at Vancouver, in the form
of cut-over timber limits in the vicinity of Howe Sound and Sechelt, which had been subdivided
into parcels of approximately 40 acreas each, but the sale did not prove successful, only three
parcels being disposed of out of twenty-three offered. In putting this land on the market it was
considered that on account of its close proximity to the city of Vancouver and its favourable
situation generally, also the prevailing prices of property in the same neighbourhood, such land
had a greater value than ordinary Crown land, and, as such, should be disposed of at public
auction to the best advantage. In the meantime, however, conditions underwent a marked
change, and when the sale took place the demand which existed before had disappeared.
Since my last report this Branch has obtained suitable office accommodation in the main
Department, with easy access to the books and records, giving us better facilities for carrying
on the business of the office, more especially in filing, indexing, and tabulating the reports of
the Inspectors in such manner that they and the records and files to which they relate may be
referred to without any loss of time. All of the correspondence of this Branch pertaining to
pre-emptions, townsites, leaseholds, auction sales, sites of public buildings, and various other
matters that we are frequently called upon to attend to passes through the books of the main
Department, and I am therefore unable to give any statislcs in connection therewith. These,
however, will be included in the report and statement relating to the business of the Department.
I have, etc.,
Superintendent, Inspection Branch.
REPORT OF INSPECTOR OF PRE-EMPTIONS, COAST DISTRICT.
Victoeia, B.C., December 2Sth, 1914.
H. Cathcart, Esq.,
Superintendent, Inspection Branch, Victoria, B.C.
Sie,—I have the honour to submit my report for the past year on the inspection of preemptions in Rupert, Vancouver, New Westminster, Lillooet, and Nanaimo Districts.
On December 23rd, 1913, I returned from a visit of inspection on Saltspring Island. The
majority of the pre-emptions inspected there were taken up during the past year principally as
pasture for sheep, and in a few cases as chicken-ranches. The character of the land where these
pre-emptions are located is rough, rocky, and in places mountainous, with possibly a few acres
in patches which could be brought under cultivation. The altitude is from 500 to 2,200 feet 5 Geo. 5 Coast District. D 15
and wherever cultivation has taken place on Maxwell and Musgrave Mountains all roots, small
fruits, oats, timothy, and clover thrive well. In my estimation, the greater portion of these
pre-emptions would make good pasture for sheep.
On January 6th, 1914, I left Nanaimo by launch for Lasqueti Island, situated about twenty-
six miles in a northerly direction from Nanaimo. I started my inspection from the east end
of the island, and proceeded by Government trail, which runs in a north-westerly direction for
ten miles and ends in the vicinity of False Bay. The pre-emptors, with the exception of a few,
are making good progress on their land; they mostly have fairly good homes and small areas
of cultivated land. The soil on most of these pre-emptions is very productive, as roots of various
varieties, small fruits, fruit-trees, timothy, oats, and clover do exceptionally well; wheat has
also been grown with success. The climate is somewhat similar to that of Victoria; the snowfall
is very light, and lies on the ground for about two weeks and seldom exceeds a foot in depth.
The quality of the timber is poor, although what is considered fair is being logged on a few of
the pre-emptions. Lasqueti Island at the present time is isolated, and the people who wish to
come or go from Vancouver or Nanaimo must do so by launch, as there is no steamboat connection with the island, consequently freight charges are high. There is a Government wharf
near Tucker Bay, on the north side of the island. The population of Lasqueti Island is in the
neighbourhood of 100. There are some splendid blocks of land on this island which were purchased several years ago, and with the exception of a few quarter-sections which are held under
timber lease, about all of the land that is available for settlement is taken up.
On February 2nd I proceeded to Friendly Cove, Nootka Island, and made an inspection from
Friendly Cove to Bajo Point, a 'distance of approximately twelve miles. The first six miles
and a half I covered by Government trail, which passes through a wet and swampy country,
broken at times by small hills and rather broken country. The land in the vicinity of Bajo
Point is in my estimation, the best portion suitable for agriculture, it being fairly level, and in
most cases back a short distance from the shore; clearing is easy, the timber consisting of pine
and scrub cedar, with occasionally small patches of nearly open land. The soil on some of these
pre-emptions consists of black loam with a clay subsoil. The pre-emptors as a whole seem quite
contented with their land, although very little has been grown, as they have given most of their
attention to slashing and the making of trails.
Vargas Island and Low Peninsula.
I arrived at Clayoquot on February 7th, secured a launch, and made a complete inspection
of Vargas Island. The pre-emptors on this island are making headway on their land. They are
able to grow roots, small fruits, and fruit-trees appear to do well. As a whole, the pre-emptors
are a good class of settlers and have built themselves good homes.
The inspection of the Low Peninsula from Tofino up Browning Passage to the head of Mud
Bay I made by launch, and from there I proceeded in a south-easterly direction along the shore
of Long Beach and Wreck Bay, making a complete inspection of all pre-emptions through to
the head of "Ucluelet Arm. The majority of the pre-emptions are situated from one to two miles
back from the shore. The pre-emptors in this locality have made good progress on their land,
considering the difficulties they have to contend with, as all provisions, etc., have to be packed
on their backs over a very wet and swampy trail. This part of the country is somewhat similar
to that of the northern end of the island near Nahwitte or Stranby, it being very wet land which
will have to go through a process of draining in order to get the sourness from the ground.
Very little in the way of produce has been grown yet, although on a few of the places I
visited roots have been grown with success. The Government has a portion of a road built from
the head of Ucluelet Arm, which is heading towards Long Beach, and when completed will be
of great assistance to the pre-emptors, and will solve the difficulty of getting supplies and implements to the pre-emptions. The rainfall throughout the Low Peninsula is considered heavy at
times, and the timber as a whole is poor, consisting of hemlock and scrub cedar. D 16 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1915
Salmon River Valley.
I arrived at Sayward, Salmon River, on April 12th, and proceeded about twelve miles up the
Salmon River to the junction of the Memekey River, making a thorough inspection of all preemptions throughout the Salmon River Valley. I was very much surprised at the large amount
of agricultural land I passed through, and also at the small amount of land that has been
cultivated by the pioneers of this valley, although I must say the pre-emptors who have taken
up land during the past year are doing exceptionally well, and observing the Act closely.
The clearing of land on the Salmon is fairly heavy. The soil on the bottom lands is a sandy
loam, and the soil on some of the lower benches and bench land a red loam, with clay and gravel
subsoils. The growth of grasses is rank throughout the valley. Rainfall is fairly heavy,
although some seasons an exceptionally fine summer is experienced. Snowfall last winter was
1 foot and lasted for only a few weeks; although some years the snowfall is much heavier and
lies on the ground for three or four months. Wheat, oats, timothy, clover, peas, fruit-trees,
and small fruits of various varieties do exceptionally well. Potatoes are rated in the same class
as Ashcroft potatoes. From information I have received and from what I have observed throughout this valley, I estimate there are no less than 35,000 acres of land in the Salmon River Valley.
I returned to this valley on October 20th to make an inspection of the 40-acre blocks which
were thrown open for pre-emption on June 16th, 1914. Although the majority of this land is
very hard clearing, on account of downfall timber and large stumps, several of the pre-emptors
have made good progress in slashing and clearing their land, and when the inspection was made
there were twenty-four fairly good homes built on this tract. These new pre-emptors have gone
the right way to open up this valley. They removed all the ties from the railway-grade (abandoned by the Hastings Mills Company after logging this portion of the valley), about nine miles
in length, and have now a splendid wagon-road to grade through most of these pre-emptions.
Several of the pre-emptors have brought their wives and families on the land and they appear
to be quite satisfied.
On April 22nd I made the inspection of Read Island from Heriot Bay by the Government
launch " Geraldine R.," which was put to my service by Mr. McKay, the Timber Inspector of
the Forest Branch. The pre-emptors on this island have, in a majority of cases, made splendid
headway on their pre-emptions, although the clearing of the land is fairly heavy. Several of
these pre-emptors are raising fruit and vegetables with good results, .and seem to have no
trouble in disposing of their produce to adjacent logging camps, etc.
Olsen Lake Valley.
On completion of my inspection in this vicinity, I left by steamer for Powell River. On my
arrival there I secured a launch and left for the Olsen Lake Valley. This valley, which is about
one mile wide by three miles and a half long, is fairly well settled, there being twenty-one
pre-emptors, with a population of forty-one all told. I estimate there is approximately 1,000
acres of agricultural land in this valley which could be farmed to derive a profit. Roots and
small fruits do exceptionally well throughout this locality, and I am of the opinion that fruit-
trees could be raised with success on the sloping hillsides or bench land. The market for all
produce would be Powell River and adjacent logging camps.
I am informed by Otto Lasser, a pre-emptor of this valley, that there are about 500 acres of
agricultural land up the Theodosia River from Lot 10 which is open for settlement.
San Josef Valley. i
On June 20th I arrived at Holberg to make an inspection of the northern part of Vancouver
Island, including Townships 37, 38, 43, and 44. About half of Township 37 is hilly and mountainous, the balance being fairly good agricultural land, especially the lands that lie adjacent to
the San Josef River. These lands are fairly heavily timbered, with dense windfall in places; the
balance of the land being rolling, wet, scrub cedar, and pine lands. The mountains of part of
this township form the watershed of the San Josef and Mac Jack Rivers. These rivers flow
westerly into the Pacific Ocean. 5 Geo. 5 Coast District. D 17
The valley of the San Josef River, which lies in Townships 37 and 41, containing approximately 7,000 acres of agricultural land, is one of the most fertile valleys on Vancouver Island.
Small fruits, timothy, oats, and clover are successfully grown. The soil is a sandy loam on the
bottoms, and splendid results are received from the growth of grasses, roots, and small fruits
the first year. All the agricultural lands on the northern portion of Township 41, and the
greater portion of 43 and 44, with the exception of a few hundred acres at Sea Otter Cove, and
some scattered acreage on Mary and Fisherman Rivers, are wet, rolling, scrub cedar, and pine
lands, which require from two to three years to bring into a fit state for cultivation, as the
greater part of it is sour, and has to be put through a process of draining and a thorough cultivation of the top soil in order to get the acid from the ground. I would suggest that this portion
of the country would be a good field for the Agricultural Department to experiment in.
There is a splendid wharf at Holberg about 2,600 feet in length, and some ten miles of
wagon-road which is fairly passable in summer. The Government is doing good work this year
on the trail from the end of the Holberg Road towards the north end of the Island. Mr. Stevens,
in charge of the road-work, has run lines to grade, and is building a splendid horse-trail, which
will later on, as cultivation advances, be widened into a wagon-road. This class of trail throughout is meeting with approval.
Horse and Green Lake Country, Lillooet District.
I left Clinton on August SOth for the 70-Mile House, on the Cariboo Road, from which point
I secured a saddle-horse and left for Horse and Green Lakes. I am of the opinion that this
section of the country would be a good dairy and cattle country. Land can be obtained throughout a good portion of this high altitude (3,500 feet) for pre-emption, but from what I have
observed, I would not advise any one to acquire these lands thinking to make a success from
fruits or roots, as very little results have been obtained so far. On the completion of my
inspection of these high altitudes, I left for Lillooet and inspected the country along the Fraser
River to Texas Creek, a distance of twelve miles.
I was very much impressed with the possibilities of this part of the country on the completion of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway, as the pre-emptor will then be able to market all
his produce. This is the ideal spot for the small farmer, as fruits and small fruits do exceptionally well here. Peaches, cantaloups, tomatoes, and watermelons are grown with success, the
altitude being 750 to 1,100 feet. There is little or no land open for pre-emption in this locality.
On October 17th I made an inspection of all pre-emptions on Calvert Island, and found that
the majority of the pre-emptors have made good headway in clearing their land, although they
have had very little results from the soil so far. The character of the soil and land is somewhat
similar to that on the northern end of Vancouver Island—rolling, wet scrub cedar, hemlock, and
pine lands, which take from two to three years to bring into a fit state for cultivation. The
Government, has built a mile or so of trail in the valley this year, and at present a wharf is
being built at Safety Cove.
Nahwitte and Township 42.
On November 25th I arrived at Shushartie Bay and proceeded by trail to Nahwitte, inspecting scattered pre-emptions on the way. Upon leaving Nahwitte I made a thorough inspection of
all pre-emptions south and east for a distance of eight miles inland. I visited some of these
pre-emptions in the fall of 1913, and am pleased to say the visit had a good effect upon the
pre-emptors, who are slashing and clearing their land. A good horse-trail built to grade is what
is required very badly into these pre-emptions, as the pre-emptors experience great difficulty in
packing their supplies on their backs over these partly open, wet, and rolling lands. If this
difficulty was solved it would enable the pre-emptor to spend the greater portion of his time
getting his land into a fit state for cultivation. The character of the land in this vicinity consists
of chains of partly open, wet meadows, rolling, and at intervals broken by creeks. The timber
is poor, consisting of scrub red and cedar, hemlock, and pine.
From Nahwitte I left for Cache Creek, Stranby Post-office, inspecting several pre-emptions,
on the way which I was unable to visit last year.
2 D 18 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1915
Upon leaving Cache Creek I made almost a complete inspection of Township 42. A good
portion of the east half of Township 42 is rolling, hilly, and broken, wet land, with scrub cedar
and pine growth.
Several of the pre-emptions inspected in this Township were taken up for speculation by
people who were never in the country. In the various localities I have visited in the course
of my inspections, small areas of scattered parcels of land may be obtained for pre-emption, but
I found no large areas of Crown lands which would be available for this purpose.
During the past year I have reported on 830 pre-emptions, and have also made several
special inspections for the different Government Agents in the districts which I represent.
I have, etc.,
Jas. W. Smith,
Inspector of Pre-emptions.
REPORT OP THE INSPECTOR OF PRE-EMPTIONS, FORT GEORGE AND
January 10th, 1914.
H. Cathcart, Esq.,
Superintendent, Inspection Branch, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit my report as Inspector of Pre-emptions in the Fort George
and Cariboo Districts.
The first inspection of the year was carried out in February in the vicinity of Dragon Lake
and Quesnel. Considerable laxity had been shown by a large proportion of the pre-emptors in
this neighbourhood, many of whom were residents of Quesnel and in no sense bona-fide settlers.
In March a trip was made south of Tete Jaune Cache to Cranberry Lake, Canoe River, and
xllbreda Summit. Most of the pre-emptions there are grouped in a wide level valley around
Cranberry Lake. It is a typical mountain valley, and the soil between the flanking ranges is
about equally divided between clayey creek-bottom land and flat jack-pine benches. These latter,
in the opinion of F. W. Lindsay, who is settled here, and who was formerly interested in an
irrigation project in the Okanagan, will, with irrigation, prove good fruit land. There are
several streams available for this purpose, and he has installed a water-driven sawmill on his
property to cut lumber for building a flume to bring water on to his land. Up to the present,
no one has experimented in fruit-growing in this neighbourhood, though, as far as I can learn,
the climate would be very suitable for this purpose.
South of Cranberry Lake down the Canoe River the valley is narrow, with a strip of good
bottom land lightly timbered following the course of the river. Up to the Albreda Pass is
another narrow strip of fertile land bounded by steep hills, which at the summit widens out
into swampy meadows.
The Canadian Northern Pacific Railway traverses this valley, skirting Cranberry Lake on
the east side, crossing the Canoe River, and entering the Thompson River Valley by way of
Albreda Pass. A good deal of speculative filing was done here by non-residents, who have since
had their records cancelled.
The next district visited was north of the Nechako, with the usual result of weeding out the
non-residents. This section of country has been fully described before.
In May a trip was made by canoe down the Fraser from Fort George to Quesnel, special
attention being paid to the pre-emptions along the right-of-way of the Pacific Great Eastern
Railway, which generally follows the eastern bank of the Fraser. The land here is very variable,
there being patches of good land and of worthless, broken, and gravelly country. At the time
of my visit the land had not been surveyed, and most of the pre-emptions were confined to the
good land on old burns and to such land as carried a good growth of tie-timber. I understand
that since then most of the surveyed land has been taken up without regard to its quality,
because it is contiguous to the railroad right-of-way. The journey was continued from Quesnel
on horseback down the Cariboo Road to 150-Mile House, and thence to Horsefly and Beaver 5 Geo. 5 Fort George and Cariboo Districts. D 19
Valley back to Quesnel. Apart from non-resident pre-emptors, a condition found here was the
number of pre-emptions being held by those who had already proved up on one pre-emption and
taken up a piece of land adjoining in order to increase their holdings while still continuing to
reside on their original holding. They all seemed satisfied that they were fulfilling all the
requirements, and strongly resented the idea that they should take up their residence on their
On the route traversed the agricultural land is almost wholly confined to creek- and river-
bottom land, the rest of the country being too broken and gravelly to provide anything but a
limited range for stock.
On my return to Fort George, I went up the Fraser to Giscome Portage, and the rest of the
year was occupied in making a systematic inspection of the country between Giscome and Willow
River and the Little Salmon River, joining up to the block inspected in May, and thence westward to Chief, Hoodoo, and Murch Lakes, taking in the whole of the surveyed land which had
not been already covered.
While there has been a good demand for land in the past year, over 900 records having been
issued in the Fort George Land District alone, I am unable to report much progress in land-
development. This, of course, is largely due to the financial depression which has prevailed,
and also to the fact that the completion of the Grand Trunk Pacific has diminished the supply
of ready money circulating in the country. Many were looking to the continuation of the construction of the Pacific Great Eastern northwards to provide them with a grub-stake for the
winter and a market for their produce next summer, and the stoppage of this work has been a
keen disappointment to the community. Several large lumbering outfits who were to have
operated this year, providing employment for hundreds of men, have also shut down indefinitely
since the outbreak of the w7ar.
Of pre-emptors who have obtained their Crown grants, few indeed are in residence to-day.
and the development of the country has received a set-back from which it will take a long time
I have, etc.,
Inspector of Pre-emptions.
REPORT OF THE INSPECTOR OF PRE-EMPTIONS, HAZELTON AND FORT FRASER
January 7th, 1915.
H. Cathcart, Esq.
Superintendent, Inspection Branch, Victoria, B.C.
gIE;—i have the honour to submit the following report of my operations during the past
After completing the inspection of the Hazelton District, which was carried out during the
winter and early spring, I proceeded to Fort Fraser to take up the pre-emptions in that district,
examining eii route the claims in the vicinity of Rose, Decker, Burns, and Fraser Lakes. The
valley, which is traversed throughout its entire length by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway,
contains only a limited amount of good agricultural land, mostly open meadow and rolling bench
land; the balance being hillsides more or less thickly timbered, with soil of poor quality. The
valley could be well utilized for range purposes, there being good feed amongst the timber and
in the foot-hills of the mountains.
With the exception of a few claims taken up here and there, no settlement is found until
the Town of Endako is reached. In this neighbourhood a number of claims have been recorded
during the past year. The land here is principally rolling bench and hillsides; the soil is fairly
good, but the land is rather heavily timbered. The settlers will, in time, have a ready market
for any produce grown, as Endako, being a divisional point, will no doubt support a large
population. D 20 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1915
The next place visited was Fraser Lake. Here are found some of the oldest residents in
the district, many of whom have made extensive improvements on their properties, notably Mr.
Peters and the Hudson's Bay Company. Oats grown on the latter's property during the past
year averaged 105 bushels to the acre, which goes to show the great fertility of the soil in this
neighbourhood. Practically all of the land in this vicinity has been already acquired, having
been taken up years ago.
After completing my duties at the Government office in Fort Fraser, my next trip of inspection was to the settlement on the north side of the Nechako River, which is nine miles due north
from Fort Fraser. This settlement can only be reached at present by a poorly constructed trail.
However, I understand it is the intention of the Government to build a wagon-road in the near
future. The claims taken up here are about thirty in number, the majority having been recorded
during the past two years. Owing to the labour involved in clearing—the land being thickly
timbered—there has not been much improvement made, although the settlers are nearly all
bona-fide residents, who hope eventually to make this section of the country one of the most
productive in the district.
During the months of June and July I was engaged in examining the claims in the Nechako
Valley, which contains one of the largest areas of agricultural land in the interior of the
Province, and is splendidly adapted for all kinds of farming, more especially dairying and the
raising of hogs and cattle. Hay, oats, barley, rye, etc., can be grown in unlimited quantities,
besides vegetables of all descriptions.
The valley generally is well supplied with good wagon-roads. Besides the main road, which
runs through the centre of the valley and to the extreme eastern end, there are numerous crossroads, providing the settlers easy access to different points along the Grand Trunk Pacific
In describing the Nechako Valley in detail, I would begin by taking Fort Fraser as a starting-
point. From here to Nulki Lake, a distance of fifteen miles east, the valley is composed chiefly
of rolling bench and table land, with a southerly slope towards the Nechako River, all of which
is more or less timbered with poplar and jack-pine. The soil on the higher levels is principally
heavy clay silt, which gradually gets lighter in character on approaching the river, the bottom
lands being light sandy loam of a highly productive nature. A large number of pre-emptors are
located here. The majority are busily engaged in clearing and endeavouring to make permanent
From Nulki Lake to the Stony Creek Indian Village, a distance of twelve miles, the land is
practically level, the soil and timber being of the same character as previously described.
From Stony Creek south to Corkscrew Creek a number of the earliest settlers have located.
The land here is principally bottom and low bench, the soil being a rich black loam and easily
cleared. Most of the ranchers here have large areas under cultivation, the crops consisting
chiefly of oats and hay, which found a ready market during the construction of the Grand
Trunk Pacific Railway. Since this demand ceased, the ranchers have gone in for stock, having
imported during the past summer several car-loads of young cattle. A few miles beyond Stony
Creek the valley spreads out to a width of about fifteen miles, from the foot-hills on the south
to the Nechako River on the north, extending in width to its eastern terminus. This whole
area with little variation is one solid block of first-class agricultural land. There are few
settlers until one reaches Townships 8 and 9, commonly known as the Mapes Settlement. Here
is found one of the largest and most progressive communities in the district, 150 settlers in
all, most of whom are diligently engaged in improving their holdings. The land is similar
to other parts of the valley, with the exception of a few thousand acres of wet meadow land in
Township 8, the drainage of which has been successfully carried out by dint of hard labour
and expense. Besides a general store and post-office, there has also been established a public
Leaving Mapes and going north-west to the Nechako River, which is crossed by a ferry
at Milne's Landing, another large settlement is located. Many of the residents here are old
Klondikers, who staked their claims as early as 1900. Owing to this section of the country being easily cleared, there has been more actual farming done than in most parts of the district,
a number of farmers having as much as 100 acres under cultivation. Hay, oats, barley, and
vegetables are the principal crops. The pre-emptors generally are engaged in mixed farming,
most of the produce being fed to stock, principally cattle and hogs, which when fattened are
easily disposed of at a good figure.
My next trip of inspection was to Stuart Lake. The easiest means of access to this district
is by way of Vanderhoof, a thriving town on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. From here
the Government has recently constructed a good wagon-road to the lower end of Stuart Lake,
a distance of forty miles. Along this road are large areas of good agricultural land, with
numerous open patches, the remainder of the country, with the exception of a few jack-pine
ridges, being lightly timbered with small poplar.
Upon arriving at Stuart Lake, I first examined the claims in the Necoslie Valley, lying due
east from Stuart Lake. The land here is very level, the soil particularly rich, although covered
with a thick growth of small jack-pine, spruce, and poplar. The pre-emptors located here,
twenty in number, are of recent arrival, and have done considerable work. Good buildings
have been erected, and a number of acres cleared and cultivated; the crop, which consisted
principally of vegetables, did exceptionally well. On returning to Stuart Lake, I next examined
the pre-emptions in the vicinity of and along the north shore of the lake. The few settlers hero
have made very little progress in the way of farming. The land, however, is very good, being
easily cleared and well adapted for all kinds of farm produce, likewise for raising cattle, there
being splendid feed on the lower benches and hillsides. On the south side of the lake there is
only a limited amount of good agricultural land, most of the hillsides being heavily timbered
with spruce and jack-pine of good commercial value.
Francois and Ootsa Lake District.
This district can be reached by several different routes, the most favoured being by way
of Burns Lake, a station on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. At this point there is an up-to-
date hotel, general store, post and telegraph offices. From here to the north side of Francois
Lake a good wagon-road has been built, covering a distance of fourteen miles. Francois Lake
is a beautiful stretch of water sixty-five miles in length and between two and three miles wide,
on which two gasolene-launches make regular trips, carrying freight and passengers at reasonable rates. A number of the settlers here have large areas under cultivation, notably Mr.
Harris, who has over 300 acres in crop. Oats, hay, barley, and vegetables are grown extensively. During the past year the Government established an experimental farm on Mr. Harris's
property, which is proving a great benefit to all the settlers. On the north side of the lake,
with the exception of a number of claims at the western end, there is no land available for
settlement. As a rule the country is lightly timbered with small poplar, and the soil, which
is very fertile, consists of a deep black loam with a clay subsoil. The majority of the settlers
here are engaged in mixed farming, some of them having between thirty and fifty head of cattle.
The south side of the lake has very few settlers, owing to the land being heavily timbered,
involving much time and labour in clearing.
The district lying between Francois and Ootsa Lakes is most suitable for mixed farming,
and especially dairying. Large areas of open land frequently occur which could be brought
under cultivation with very little effort. The land generally is of a rolling nature and the
soil highly productive. Splendid grazing land is to be found throughout the district, besides
numerous lakes of various sizes. The settlers here, the majority of whom are located on the
north side of Ootsa Lake, are engaged principally in raising cattle and dairying on a small
In conclusion, I would state that in all parts of the Fort Fraser District which I have
visited there are still numbers of good pre-emptions to be Bad, most of which would be well
worthy of investigation by prospective settlers.
I have, etc.,
Chas. E. Bailey,
Inspector of Pre-emptions. D 22 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1915
REPORT OF THE INSPECTOR OF PRE-EMPTIONS, NICOLA, KAMLOOPS, SIMILKAMEEN,
AND OSOYOOS DISTRICTS.
December 31st, 1914.
H. Cathcart, Esq.,
Superintendent, Inspection Branch, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit my report as Inspector of Pre-emptions for Nicola, Kamloops, Similkameen, and Osoyoos Districts. My report will principally cover the country not set
forth in my report of last year.
In the vicinity of Aspen Grove several settlers have come in during the past season, and
brought stock with them in the expectation of going into dairying, and as there is an abundance
of summer feed in that vicinity, consisting of peavine, lupine, and other wild grasses, their only
difficulty will be getting land enough cleared for the growing of winter feed. Diairying is bound
to become the coming feature of the Nicola District; the people on the pre-emptions and on small
holdings are all anxious to get dairy cows, but the chief drawback is the disposing of the butter,
as where made upon farms in a small way the quality and quantity prevents shipping it any
distance; therefore the establishing of creameries at the most central points, say Merritt, and in
the future at Princeton, would simplify matters in the way of dairying, which industry, as every
farmer knows, is the foundation of mixed farming.
Through Otter Valley and over Pyke Mountain to the head of One-mile Creek there is
considerably more meadow land; consequently a number of beef cattle are grazed during the
summer over the vast acreage of open timber land.
Following down One-mile Creek, the valley becomes very narrow and has very little range
land connected with it. The pre-emptions in most leases run a mile by a quarter on account
of their being so narrow, but the land is exceptionally good. It is a beautiful stretch of country,
with several clear, small lakes abounding with fish. Most of the settlers here have dairy cows,
hogs, and poultry.
On going up Summers Creek one finds the valley similar to that of One-mile Creek, but the
settlement is not so far advanced, as the road has only been constructed a short distance. The
settlers are, however, certainly making headway, and where the bottom land is cleared abundant
crops of hay are grown. Approaching Missezula Lake the valley is very narrow and the clearing
heavy. On the bench lands approaching Five-mile Creek some of the settlers are well established in mixed farming, and very good returns are received from grain-growing on the open
benches. Along Five-mile Creek to Osprey Lake the majority of settlers are Americans and
very progressive, all with splendid gardens of vegetables of all k