MINISTEE OF LANDS
FOB THE PROVINCE OF
YEAR ENDING 31st DECEnMBER
THE GOVERNMENT OF
THE PROVME OF BRITISH COLUMBIA.
AUTHORITY OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY.
Printed by William H. Cullin, Printer to tbe King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1916. Victoria, B.C., March 22nd, 1916.
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 31st, 1915.
WILLIAM R. ROSS,
Minister of Lands. PART I.
DEPARTMENT OE LANDS. TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Report of the Deputy Minister of Lands 7
Report of Office Statistics 8
Report of the Superintendent of the Inspection Branch 12
Reports of Inspectors—
Coast District 14
Fort Fraser and Fort George Districts 19
Osoyoos, Similkameen, and Kamloops Districts 22
Kootenay and Lillooet Districts 23
Skeena District 23
Report of Adviser in Charge of Dry-farming Experimental Work 27 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS.
REPORT OF THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS.
Victoria, B.C., March loth, 1916.
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
year ending December 31st, 1915.
It will be noted that there has been a marked curtailment throughout the year in the
activities of every branch of the Department as a result of conditions induced by the war.
In the matter of land-settlement, the check has not been so marked as it has been in other
directions, as for the year there were 2,277 pre-emption records issued, as against 4,304 for
the previous year, which in view of the heavy enlistment for military service, taken with the
depressed financial condition, should be considered fairly satisfactory. Of the records issued
during the year, 1,651 were for lands which had been surveyed by the Department, and 626 were
for unsurveyed areas.
An encouraging measure of success was met with in the opening to pre-emption entry of
lands which had been logged over, as well as lands which, for one reason or another, had been
closed against entry. In all, 699 parcels of this nature were offered to pre-emptors during the
year, and 205 parcels were filed upon. During the previous year 979 parcels were opened in
a similar manner, and at the close of 1915, of the total number offered, 417 parcels were taken.
This left at the close of the year approximately 1,000 parcels of land of this class still available
for settlement. A considerable percentage of the parcels opened were subdivided into 40-acre
blocks fairly accessible to markets, but consisted of lands requiring a heavy clearing.
The reports of the Pre-emption Inspection Branch indicate satisfactory progress is being
made by the pre-emptors throughout most of the land districts. In the northern section of the
Province, which is being opened up by the new railway systems, there is a prevailing tendency
on the part of pre-emptors to increase their acreages under cultivation, and the owners of
purchase land have also made substantial improvements to their holdings with a view to escaping
the wild-land tax. The suitability of a very large section of the Northern Interior for agricultural and stock-raising purposes has been convincingly demonstrated, and the next consideration
to be dealt with will be the reaching of profitable markets for the products of the land. This
will be a matter of first importance to the pre-emptor who, for financial reasons, is unable to
equip himself for mixed farming.
The experiences of the past two years appear to justify the departure of reducing the size
of pre-emptions in the timbered areas in the Coast section from 160 acres to holdings of approximately 40 acres. It ensures the pre-emptors the advantages of closer settlement, and inspections
made following settlement of lands of this class establish the fact that better compliance is
made with the requirements of the Statute as to residence, and much more satisfactory progress
is made with the clearing of the land and the bringing of the same under cultivation. An
endeavour is made to open logged lands as speedily as possible following the termination of the
timber-holding title, and during the past season some 200 parcels have been surveyed and will
be ready for opening to pre-emption in the spring.
Very small payments were received on account of outstanding balances on land-sales as at
December 31st, 1915. The total amount outstanding on account of principal on land purchases
with respect to lands which had been surveyed was $7,132,676; the total amount outstanding
on account of principal in connection with lands which have yet to be surveyed is taken approximately at $1,691,652; and the amount outstanding in connection with the sale of townsite
properties and suburban lands is approximately $3,167,730; or a total on account of principal
under the three headings of $11,992,059. B 8 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
With respect to townsite lots and surveyed lands purchased at public auction, provision was
made to permit the purchaser of more than one parcel or lot to retire from one or more parcels
and have the deposits paid in connection with the parcels surrendered applied in discharge of
the moneys due upon the parcels to which the purchaser elects to take title. Under this arrangement small payments have been received in completing titles in a number of instances, and the
total of outstanding arrears has been reduced with the surrender of a number of parcels.
Of the lands held under purchase agreement and not yet Crown-granted, 2,291,662 acres have
been surveyed, and at the close of 1915 there remained unsurveyed approximately 418,064 acres,
the total under this head having been reduced by the survey of 364,431 acres during the years
1914 and 1915.
Under the heading of " Land-sales " the aggregated sales for the year were 9,510 acres, of
which 1,655 acres were surveyed at the time of application.
The area of Crown lands surveyed by the Department during the year 1915 was 127,000
acres, as against 1,012,000 acres surveyed during the preceding year, and the private surveys
completed during the year totalled 615,300 acres, as against 1,442,200 acres surveyed in 1914.
At the close of the year 1915 the surveyed lands available for pre-eniptors was computed at
2,395,980 acres. As will be seen on reference to Table D attached to the report of the Surveyor-
General, the bulk of these lands are situate in the Districts of Cariboo, Lillooet, and in Ranges
4 and 5, Coast District.
The report of Professor Elliott covering the past year's operations at the dry farms in
Lillooet and Nicola Districts, which is appended, has a considerable interest in connection with
the development of the semi-arid areas of the Province.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
R. A. RENWICK,
Deputy Minister of Lands.
REPORT OF OFFICE STATISTICS.
January 7th, 1916.
R. A. Renwick, Esq.,
Deputy Minister of Lands, Victoria, B.C.
Sib,—I have the honour to submit herewith tabulated statements covering the volume of
work carried out in the Department and the different land agencies in connection with the
administration of the lands in the Province during the year 1915, 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 1903.
I have, etc.,
Secretary to Department of Lands. 6 Geo. 5 Office Statistics.
PRE-EMPTION RECORDS, ETC., 1915.
CROWN GRANTS ISSUED
Town lots 36
Reverted land 7
Reverted minerals 29
" School Act " 6
Applications for Crown grants 734
Certified copies of counterfoils 27
Total Acreage DEEnEn.
Purchase surveyed 9,592.12
Purchase unsurveyed 15,086.99
Mineral claims 8,364.34
Total 75,225.00 B 10
Report of the Minister of Lands.
REPORT OX COAL LICENCES, LEASES, ETC., 1915.
LAND SALES, 1915.
Surveyed lands sold 1.655.00
Unsurveyed lands sold 7,855.14
Total lands sold ' 9,510.14 6 Geo. 5
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REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE INSPECTION BRANCH.
January 27th, 1916.
R. A. Renwiek, Esq.,
Deputy Minister of Lands, Victoria, B.C.
Sik,—I have the honour to submit my annual report covering the work of the Inspection
Branch of the Department of Lands during the year 1915.
Practically every district in the Province where any number of outstanding pre-emptions
are located was visited by the Inspectors, who have carefully examined and reported upon a
total number of 2,282 claims, as detailed below:—
Pke-emptions inspected in 1915.
Alberni 148 New Westminster
Cranbrook 86 Osoyoos 274
Fernie 22 Revelstoke 7
Fort Fraser 149 Similkameen 118
Fort George 137 Skeena 307
Golden 32 Slocan 4
Hazelton 47 Vancouver 439
Kamloops 80 Victoria 66
Nanaimo 41 Total 2,282
These reports show the value and extent of the improvements made, including buildings,
slashing, clearing, fencing, ditching, etc. Considerable development is noticed in many localities
and general progress is evident throughout, although the conditions prevailing have not been
favourable, owing in a great measure to lack of means for the support of the pre-emptor and
those depending on him while carrying on clearing and general development, a great many
having to temporarily leave their claims for the purpose of obtaining employment elsewhere,
both to gain means of present support and to provide capital for future development of their
claims. A great many pre-emptors from all parts of the Province have also enlisted, a number
being already at the front, and many more are among the various regiments being made ready
for active service, while others are engaged in England and elsewhere in the manufacture of
war munitions. Provision has been made for protecting these pre-emptors by leave of absence
while they are away from their claims serving in any capacity connected with the war. During
their absence their claims are naturally lying idle, and in consequence considerably less has been
accomplished in the way of development of the land than would otherwise have taken place
under normal conditions.
In view of the general depression existing and the number of pre-emptors leaving in connection with the war, the Department has been forced to exercise due care in dealing with cases
of reported breach of the pre-emption regulations, and all possible discretion and the utmost
leniency consistent with the requirements of the Statute has been practised in connection with
such cases; consequently cancellation has only been resorted to where very flagrant disregard
of the Statute has occurred.
The demand for land during the year for settlement purposes has been very fair—2.277
new records having been issued—practically every section of the Province being represented,
the majority going to the Northern Interior tributary to the line of the Grand Trunk Pacific
Railway, including the Fort George, Fort Fraser, Hazelton, and Prince Rupert Divisions, also
the Lillooet and Cariboo Districts. This is no doubt accounted for, to a large extent, by the
building of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and the Pacific Great Eastern Railway, which have
been the means of opening up and bringing within easy reach of markets, etc., areas of good
lands which were heretofore practically isolated. The surveying and mapping-out of the country,
which has been carried out in recent years, has also largely assisted in this settlement. Considerable pre-emption has also taken place along the coast of the Mainland and on adjacent 6 Geo. 5 Report of Inspection Branch. B 13
islands, as well as the west coast and north end of Vancouver Island, and in the Kamloops,
Similkameen, and Cranbrook Districts, and gradual progress is being made in clearing the land
and bringing it under cultivation, 065 certificates of improvements having been issued by the
various Land Commissioners throughout the Province, indicating that that many pre-emptors
had made the necessary amount of permanent improvements to entitle them to prove up on their
Continuing the system adopted for settling lapsed and cut-over timber limits, expired timber
leases, and other reserved lands, considerable areas of such lands situated in various parts of
the Province, the Northern Mainland Coast, Vancouver Island and adjacent islands, also in the
East Kootenay District, which had previously been subdivided into 40-acre parcels and upwards,
were thrown open to pre-emption during the year with a fair measure of success; those parcels
most easy of access being eagerly sought for, while the demand for the more remote ones was
not so great. Those which were not taken up, however, are still available, and there is no doubt
they will be all settled up at no very distant date. It is anticipated that more lands of this
nature will become available as the timber is cut and the limits revert to the Crown, and the
system adopted of subdivision into 40-acre parcels before opening for settlement appears to be
satisfactory, and there is every reason to believe that it will be the means of establishing many
thriving communities throughout the country. Wherever the Inspectors have visited these
settlements it is found that good progress is being made, generally in the way of clearing,
The individual reports of the Inspectors, which are submitted herewith, indicate the nature
of the work accomplished, aud give an idea of what is being done by the settlers in the various
parts of the Province. On account of the resignation, at the beginning of the year, of G. Wallace,
the Inspector for the Fort George and Cariboo Districts, who enlisted and is now at the front—
no appointment having been made to fill the vacancy—it was found necessary to make a redivision
of the districts among the other Inspectors, and the year's work has been carried on with one
Inspector less than the previous year.
The results, however, are satisfactory, although the actual number of claims inspected is
considerably less than the previous year, but this is accounted for, to a large extent, by the fact
that the Inspectors have been, in addition to the regular routine work of inspecting, called upon
to perforin a great many duties pertaining to that office in the way of special inspection and
various other matters in respect to which the Department and the local Commissioners required
information in administering public affairs, which will, to a large extent, offset any apparent
shortage in the returns. In view, however, of the new settlement which is taking place, thereby
adding to the number of existing pre-emptions, it is doubtful whether the work can be carried
on to advantage with the present staff; at least, it might be necessary to make arrangements to
fill the existing vacancy.
I have also to mention the fact that J. F. Tait, clerk in this Branch, who enlisted in the
30th Battalion and left here early last year with the Canadian Forces for the front, having been
wounded in the engagement at Festubert, received his discharge and has returned, resuming
his duties on November 1st. Although his wound has rendered him unfit for further active
service, it is gratifying to know that he was not disabled nor injured in health so as to prevent
him performing his usual official duties.
During the month of August J. Hutchison, Chief Pre-emption Inspector, in company with
R. E. Benedict, Chief of Operation of the Forest Branch, made a trip of investigation through
the Lillooet and Cariboo Districts for the purpose of obtaining data with a view to arriving at
the best policy for the administration of the public domain, having in mind the utilization, to
the best advantage, of the lands for agricultural, grazing, and other purposes. While making
their investigation a large number of applications to lease Crown lands, principally for grazing
purposes throughout these districts, were looked into and reported upon, thus enabling the
Department to dispose of the same in a comprehensive manner.
A demand having arisen for the lands remaining under reserve in the valley of the South
Fork of the Fraser River in the vicinity of the town of McBride, the same were subdivided into
parcels of approximately 40 acres each, and offered for sale by public auction, an upset price
of $10 per acre, with improvement conditions, being placed thereon. This was considered the
best means, in the public interest, of disposing of the same, as they are practically all first class
and have a greater value than the ordinary waste Crown lands. The auction was held on May B 14 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
25th last, but was not successful, only a small number of the parcels being sold after the auction
at the upset price, and few others have been disposed of since from time to time in a similar
manner. This is owing not so much to the demand having ceased as to the altered conditions,
and I have no doubt that when an improvement takes place all of this laud can be sold on the
same terms or even at an advanced price.
I went to McBride in connection with the sale which was conducted by T. W. Heme, Government Agent for the Fort George Division, through whose office the said land is now being dealt
with. On my way back I took occasion to visit the agencies at South Fort George, Fort Fraser,
Hazelton, and Prince Rupert, and, at the same time, had an opportunity of seeing a good portion
of that country, and was much impressed by the extent of the arable land and the possibilities for
development and production which this country offers, and which, to all appearances, is bound
to take place in the near future.
Selection was effected during the year of the interest accruing to the Crown in three town-
site subdivisions only, all of which are small and unimportant. The activity which existed in
this class of subdivision during the past few years has almost entirely subsided, which may be
attributed to the altered conditions and to the fact that the supply is already greater than the
In conclusion, I may state that, although a falling-off is noticed in some lines, the business
of the Branch has been well up to the average, consisting not only of the ordinary routine work
of dealing with the Inspectors' reports and the many questions which arise in that connection,
but of a variety of matters which we are called upon from time to time to attend to.
I have, etc.,
Superintendent, Inspection Branch.
REPORT OF THE INSPECTOR OF PRE-EMPTIONS, COAST DISTRICT.
December 24th, 1915.
H. Cathcart, Esq.,
Superintendent, Inspection Branch, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report of my operations as Inspector of
Pre-emptions during the year 1915:—
On February 12th I left Vancouver to make an inspection of 40-acre lots which were recently
thrown open for pre-emption near Grief Point, some three miles and a half in a south-easterly
direction from Powell River. On this same trip I also made an inspection of the 40-acre lots
one mile north of Powell River. Most of the lots in these two blocks are occupied by a good
class of pre-emptors. They have fairly good land, which has been logged and burnt over, but
it is rather heavy clearing on account of the stumps. However, these people are making good
headway in the clearing of their land and seem quite contented. A few have brought in their
wives and families. These pre-emptors could derive a profit from their pre-emptions in time
on account of the close proximity of Powell River, which has a large paper-mill and has a
population of from 1,200 to 1,500 at times.
Surge Narrows to Jackson Bat.
Upon completion of my work at Powell River, I took steamer to Heriot Bay, at which place
I secured a launch and left by way of Surge Narrows and Okisollo Channel for Thurston Bay,
inspecting all pre-emptions en route. At Thurston Bay I secured the Government launch " Eunice
B." (which was put at my service by Mr. McKay, of the Forest Branch) and proceeded to
Jackson Bay on special work for the Department. When this work was completed I left by
way of Shoal Bay, Johnstone Strait, and Okisollo Rapids to Read Island, making a thorough
inspection of all pre-emptions en route. The greater number of these pre-emptions are taken
up by loggers and fishermen. 6 Geo. 5 Coast District. B 15
On March 10th I left Victoria by the steamer " Tees " for Clo-oose on a special trip of
inspection. During my visit there I also made an inspection of all pre-emptions on Nitinat
Lake. I found the majority of these pre-emptors had made very little headway towards cultivation, accounted for by the heavy clearing and also by the heavy rainfall.
On March 29th I left Victoria by steamer for Ganges Harbour, Saltspring Island, and made
a thorough inspection of all pre-emptions throughout the island. With the exception of several
hundred acres of undulating land, situated at an altitude of from 1,500 to 2,000 feet on Musgrave
Mountain, the character of the land where these pre-emptions are located is rocky, rough, and
mountainous, with possibly a few acres in patches which could be brought under cultivation.
[ noticed that wherever cultivation has taken place, especially on Maxwell Mountain, all roots,
small fruits, timothy, etc., appear to thrive well. I consider that the greater portion of these
pre-emptions would make good pasture for sheep. The majority of the pre-emptors on Musgrave
Mountain are making good progress on their land, having fairly good log cabins and small areas
of cultivated land.
Upon completion of my work on Saltspring Island, I proceeded by steamer to Deep Cove,
Saturna Island. With the exception of a small area which lies in a narrow draw between Deep
Cove and Lyall Harbour, the land covered by these scattered pre-emptions is mostly rocky and
mountainous, chiefly suitable for the pasture of sheep, the scattered areas of good soil on the
slopes and mountains being utilized for the cultivation of roots, etc. The climate of this island
is somewhat similar to that of Victoria.
Half Moon Bay.
From Saturna Island I proceeded to Half Moon Bay on special work for the Government
Agent of Vancouver, and inspected several pre-emptions in that vicinity. Some of these pre-
emptors have fairly good places, the soil being good, but as yet they have not made as good
headway as could be expected. During my visit the pre-emptors were employed building a
Government trail back to these pre-emptions, and better results may be looked for in the near
On April 25th I had occasion to make another inspection of Texada Island, and was very
much pleased to see the good results since my first inspection. The majority of the pre-emptors
on the bench land have ditched their open swamps, and good results are looked for, as timothy,
roots, etc., have been grown successfully in that vicinity. Some of the pre-emptors on the bush
and timber land have made splendid headway in the slashing, clearing, and stumping of their
land, and have built themselves good houses from logs and split cedar.
Along the Route of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway.
Upon my return from Texada Island, I left to make an inspection of the pre-emptions
adjacent to the Pacific Great Eastern Railway, taking in Alki, Summit, and Green Lakes, as
far as the Lillooet boundary. The difficulty of access to this country has been solved by the
construction of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway. This company operates a passenger-train
daily from Newport to Lillooet.
From Daisy Lake to Summit Lake the pre-emptions are scattered, as the agricultural land
lies in patches in a rolling and broken country. The bottom land which lies between Summit
Lake and Green Lake, consisting of about 1,500 acres, is without exception the best portion of
agricultural land as far as the Lillooet boundary. Some of the pre-emptors in this district are
making good improvements, especially on Green and Summit Lakes, and have built themselves
good homes. I might say that a good many of the pre-emptions throughout this vicinity were
taken up for the large amount of tie-timber which was on them, and others for merely speculative purposes, but this is being stopped by the system of inspection now being carried on. B 16 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
On the completion of my inspection along the Pacific Great Eastern Railway, I returned
to Brackendale and went through the Squamish Valley as far as Madden Ranch, inspecting
the few scattered pre-emptions which are in this valley. I noticed while passing through that
the greater portion of these bottom lands, which are especially suited for mixed farming and
adapted for all roots, small fruits, hops, timothy, and clover, are covered with a second growth
10 to 15 feet high, showing that this land is no longer utilized for farming. This can be
accounted for by the high values placed upon the land throughout this section of the country.
Different Islands and Channels in Range 1, Coast District.
On May 24th I left Vancouver on a special trip of inspection to the Pearce Island Group,
situated in the vicinity of Alert Bay. On completion of my work there, I secured a launch
and left on a cruise, taking in all the isolated pre-emptions by way of Village Island, Beware
Channel, Clio Channel, and Minstrel Island, as far as Tsakonu Cove, Knight Inlet; returning
•by way of Minstrel Island, Chatham Channel, and Havannah Channel to Port Harvey. Upon
completion of my inspection at Port Harvey, I left by way of Johnstone Strait to Blinkinsop
Bay, where I inspected a few scattered pre-emptions. I then proceeded up Johnstone Strait
to Cracroft Island and inspected a few pre-emptions as far as Boat Harbour, and from there
returned to Alert Bay. Several of the pre-emptions visited had been taken up years ago,
principally to take whatever timber was near the shore, and then were deserted. Since my
inspection these records have been cancelled by the Government Agent. Most of the pre-emptions
inspected have been taken up by loggers and fishermen, who have small patches of cultivated
land and are making a home. There are many very pretty spots throughout these different
channels with small patches of good land, and although the clearing is fairly heavy they will
all in time be taken up.
Takush Harbour and Millbrook Cove.
On June 10th I left Vancouver for Takush Harbour, Smith Sound, near the entrance of
Queen Charlotte Sound, and made a thorough inspection of all pre-emptions in this vicinity, as
■well as those at Millbrook Cove. This scrub cedar and pine land is somewhat similar to the
land on the northern end of Vancouver Island, consisting of chains of partly open wet meadows,
with stretches of rolling land between. The greater portion of the land taken up by the pre-
emptors is agricultural land. The growth of timber is poor, being chiefly scrub cedar and pine.
I am of the opinion that these lands will in time make good farming lands, but in order to
bring them to a fit state of cultivation they would .have to be well ditched, and a continuous
working of the top soil would be necessary in order to take the acid or sourness from the ground.
The rainfall on this part of the Coast is very heavy during certain seasons of the year. These
pre-emptions have been taken up only a short time, consequently very little has been grown on
the land as yet. From what I have observed of these pre-emptors I have no hesitation in
saying that most of them will make a success of their undertaking. A good portion of them
work during the fishing season for the cannery at Smith Inlet, returning to their land for the
balance of the year.
From Takush Harbour I left by launch for Calvert Island, which is situated about twenty
miles in a north-westerly direction from Takush Harbour. I found that the majority of the
pre-emptors (some with their wives and families with them) have made splendid headway on
their land, and some of them are beginning to get good results, having overcome the difficulties
in draining and cultivation of the top soil. All land throughout this island is somewhat similar
to that on the northern end of Vancouver Island, being wet scrub cedar and pine land, which
takes two or three years to bring into a fit state of cultivation. The pre-emptors have built a
good trail for a few miles up the valley for the Government, and there is a splendid wharf at
which the Union Steamship Company's steamers call once a week with mail and supplies. 6 Geo. 5 Coast District. B 17
Bella Coola Valley.
Upon leaving Calvert Island, I took steamer to Bella Coola and made an inspection from the
mouth of the Bella Coola River thirty-five miles up the valley as far as the Advent Settlement.
I also inspected a number of pre-emptions from Hagensborg, eight miles up the Salloont Valley,
where some of the pre-emptors are making a splendid showing in the slashing, clearing, and
stumping of their land, and are cultivating the same in oats and roots. With the exception of
a few scattered pre-emptions throughout the. main valley of Bella Coola, the improvement to
the land is not what could be expected, considering that there is a splendid road for thirty-five
miles up this valley. The main object of many of the pre-emptors who took up pre-emptions
years ago in this valley seems to have been to acquire as much land as possible, for, at the
expiration of the allotted time required by the Act, they obtained their certificate of improvement and Crown grant and immediately took up another pre-emption. Consequently several
hundreds of acres of good arable land is lying idle which otherwise could be farmed, and at
the same time would make a greater and more prosperous settlement, as a market could be
easily obtained for all produce at Vancouver, Prince Rupert, and the different canneries and
camps along the Coast.
On July 20th I visited and made an almost complete inspection of Cortes Island. Since my
first inspection of one year ago the pre-emptors as a whole have made good, and generally
throughout this island seem to be a good class of settlers. They have built good dwellings,
are cultivating the land in a workmanlike manner, and seem quite contented. There are several
good roads and trails on this island which are of great assistance to the pre-emptors. All farm
produce appears to grow well here, and poultry and hogs are raised with great success, for
which a ready market is found at Powell River and Vancouver.
40-acre Lots, Okeover Arm and Lund.
On August 18th I arrived at Lund and walked through to the head of Okeover Arm, making
an inspection of the 40-acre lots which were thrown open for pre-emption on May 18th, 1915.
Many of these lots were taken up, but only a few of the pre-emptors were in possession. Of
these, some were engaged building their cabins and slashing, while others were making trails
in order to pack in -to their land. These lots are generally rolling, hilly, and in patches broken
with slopes which have been logged and partially burnt. I am of the opinion that fruit-trees
could be grown here as the soil is sandy and gravelly.
Returning to Lund, I inspected the 40-acre lots in that vicinity, and found that the pre-
emptors who have the water-front lots were all in occupation, had built good homes, and had
made small slashings and clearings. The agricultural land here is limited to small areas, the
balance being rocky, hilly, and broken.
After inspecting these 40-acre lots I took a launch and proceeded to inspect the pre-emptions
along Desolation Sound and Homfray Channel, calling in at Melanie Cove to visit the 40-acre
lots which were thrown open there for settlement on May 18th, 1915. I made no inspection or
report on these lots as there was no one in occupation. I then continued along the shore of
Homfray Channel as far as Forbes Bay, taking in all pre-emptions on both sides of the channel.
The majority of the pre-emptors have good clearings and small patches under cultivation. The
land which is available for cultivation lies in small patches, the balance being rocky and
Saginaw, Ruby, and Killarney Lakes.
Upon completion of my work in the vicinity of Lund, I left for Pender Harbour and inspected
a few scattered pre-emptions as far as the entrance to Saginaw Lake, where I secured a boat
and proceeded up to the head of the lake, a distance of about six miles. From there I walked
through to Ruby and Killarney Lakes and inspected all pre-emptions bordering on these lakes.
The pre-emptions throughout this locality are scattered on account of the rough and hilly nature
of the country. The majority of the pre-emptors have fairly good homes, although as yet they
have done very little towards cultivation of the land, as this portion of the country is isolated
at present, means of access being uncertain at times.
2 B 18 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
40-acee Lots near Sechelt.
On .August 26th I arrived at Sechelt and made an inspection of the 40-acre lots which were
thrown open for pre-emption on May 18th, 1915. These lots are about one mile and a half from
Sechelt, which is only about thirty-five miles distant from Vancouver and is one of the favoured
summer resorts. A good road, which has been of great assistance to the pre-emptors, has been
built from Sechelt through these lots. The greater portion of the land covered by these lots
is good agricultural land, in easy reach of the water-front and close to Sechelt, so naturally
there was a great demand for them when they were thrown open. Most of the pre-emptors have
made good progress in the slashing and clearing of their land, and when the inspection was made
they were all in occupation. Several of them have brought their wives and families with them,
have built fairly good homes, and appear to be quite satisfied.
Kains Lake Vicinity', Rupert District.
On September 15th I arrived at Hardy Bay to make an inspection of the pre-emptions in
the vicinity of Kains Lake, about twelve miles westerly by trail from Hardy Bay. I was much
surprised at the large amount of agricultural land I passed through, and also by the small
amount of land which has been cultivated by the earlier pre-emptors during the last two years,
although I must say that the pre-emptors who have taken up land during the past year are doing
exceptionally well. Some of them have already slashed and cleared their 5 acres required by
Vicinity of Nahwitte and Shushartie, Rupert District.
Upon my return to Hardy Bay, I took steamer to Nahwitte and made several special
inspections there. I also made a thorough inspection of all pre-emptions south and east for a
distance of eight miles from Nahwitte. The majority of the pre-emptors have made splendid
headway during the past year, are observing the Act more closely, and are obtaining good
results from the cultivation of their land, especially in roots.
On completion of my inspection in the Nahwitte locality, I proceeded by trail to Shushartie
Bay and made an inspection of the 40-acre lots which were thrown open for pre-emption on
October 17th, 1913. These are situated in Township 24, about four miles southerly from the
head of Shushartie Bay. Although several of these lots were taken up, no one has resided
on them on account of the difficulty of access. The trail is practically useless for future settlement on account of the steep grades which one has to overcome in order to get into this land.
I am of the opinion that these lots will never be resided on until a good trail, built to grade,
is made, as the difficulty of packing supplies over this steep and mountainous trail is out of
the question altogether.
V.irgas Island and Low Peninsul-v.
On November Sth I left Victoria by train for Alberni, and from there proceeded by steamer
to Clayoquot. There I secured a launch and made a complete inspection of Vargas Island.
I found that the majority of the pre-emptors on this island have done very well, though some
of them have shown very little tendency towards the cultivation of the soil, although they have
built themselves fairly good homes.
The inspection of Low Peninsula from Tofino up Browning Passage to the head of Mud
Bay I made by launch, and from there I proceeded along the shore of Long Beach and Wreck
Bay, taking practically the same route as I did on the previous year's inspections. A great
many of these pre-emptors, having obtained their certificates of improvement, have left their
claims, partly on account of the hard times, as very little work can be obtained at the present
time in this vicinity. Very little in the way of produce has been grown, although on a few
scattered places roots of various varieties are grown with success.
40-acre Lots, Kennedy Lake.
Leaving Long Beach, I struck inland and made a thorough inspection of the Kennedy Lake
lots. These were thrown open for pre-emption on June 16th, 1914. aud were mostly taken up,
but on account of the lack of trails throughout this block of lots the greater portion of them 6 Geo. 5 Fort Fraser and Fort George Districts. B 19
have never been occupied for any length of time, for after the pre-emptor has built his cabin
he leaves his land, as the difficulty of packing in supplies and implements is in most cases too
great. The clearing of the lots which lie in close proximity of Kennedy Lake is hard, the
timber consisting of spruce, balsam, hemlock, and cedar. The balance of these lots are chiefly
scrub cedar and pine land. The rainfall throughout this part of the country is fairly heavy.
On December 12th I left Nanaimo by steamer for Lasqueti Island, situated about twenty-six
miles in a northerly direction from Nanaimo. Since my last visit to this island the pre-emptors
generally have made fair headway with the slashing, clearing, and stumping of their land, and
have got splendid results from the soil, as the land is very productive. Roots of various
varieties, small fruits, fruit-trees, timothy, oats, and clover do exceptionally well, and squash
and citron, etc., are also grown with great success. The Union Steamship Company's steamer
" Cowichan " now makes weekly trips from Vancouver by way of Nanaimo to Lasqueti Island,
and the pre-emptor is now enabled to get supplies and implements much cheaper than before.
Most of the pre-emptions which have been taken up during the past year are rough, rocky, and
broken, with small patches of good soil on them. The balance is a fair pasturage for sheep and
a limited number of cattle. Hogs, mutton, chickens, and eggs, on a small scale, are exported
and find a ready market at Nanaimo and Vancouver.
Victoria District. I
During the year I have also made inspections throughout the Victoria District, including
Sooke, Otter, Metchosin, Goldstream, and Highland Districts, and found that, with the exception
of a few scattered pre-emptions, a much better showing had been made on the land than in the
previous year. The pre-emptors are now generally in bona-ficle occupation, have cultivated
patches, and made small clearings. The land covered by these pre-emptions is mostly mountainous and rocky, with small scattered areas of swampy land, chiefly suitable for pasture, the
small areas of good soil being utilized for garden, as roots, small fruits, and fruit-trees of
various kinds are grown throughout these districts.
Further information regarding the characteristics of Saltspring Island, Half Moon Bay,
Texada Island, Squamish Valley, Calvert Island, Bella Coola, Cortes Island, Kains Lake,
vicinity of Nahwitte, Vargas Island, Lasqueti Island, and the land along the route of the
Pacific Great Eastern Railway is contained in my reports of 1913 and 1914.
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 694 pre-emptions, and have also made several
special inspections for the different Government Agents in the districts which I represent.
I have, etc.,
J. W. Smith,
Inspector of Pre-emptions.
REPORT OF THE INSPECTOR OF PRE-EMPTIONS, FORT FRASER AND FORT GEORGE
January 20th, 1916.
H. Cathcart, Esq.,
Superintendent, Inspection Branch, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—In submitting my report as Inspector of Pre-emptions for the Fort Fraser and Fort
George Districts, I would first mention that from an agricultural point of view the past season
has been the best in the history of the Northern Interior. The very early spring, combined with
ideal conditions during the summer months, was the means of producing splendid crops of all
varieties, and especially hay and oats. The latter crop, I am pleased to note (owing to the big
demand in Prince George and elsewhere), has been almost entirely disposed of by the farmers B 20 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
at a good figure. Hay was sold at $15 per ton and oats at $28 per ton, these rates leaving a
good margin of profit to the growers. It is also hoped the farmers will succeed in finding a
market for their potatoes, the crop being an exceptionally heavy one, the average yield running
between 6 and 8 tons to the acre. This may be looked upon as a splendid showing, considering
the land has only been under cultivation for a very few years. In parts of the Fort Fraser
District ploughing was started as early as March 15th, becoming general throughout the district
by April 1st. Although this was nearly three weeks earlier than any previous season, it is nevertheless quite apparent that, as the country gets settled and more land cleared and brought under
cultivation, the climate rapidly changes, and becomes less susceptible to frost every year. To
correct an erroneous impression held by so many people, especially in the Coast cities, I would
state, from personal observation and careful inquiries made throughout the different sections
visited, that the only frost recorded during the past summer occurred on May 14th, doing little
or no damage, as the crops at that time were only slightly advanced.
During the past year there were about 400 claims recorded in the Fort George District and
about 245 in the Fort Fraser District. Although this is a considerable falling-off from the
preceding year, it is, however, a good showing, considering the general depression prevailing
throughout the country at the present time. It is gratifying to note that the majority of the
pre-emptions recorded were by experienced farmers from the Prairies, many of whom brought
their families along, together with machinery, horses, cattle, etc., with the intention of making
permanent homes for themselves. It is this class of settlers that the country is mostly in need
of, it being very noticeable that many of the pre-emptors holding land at present, although
having the best of intentions, are not practical farmers. Consequently there is not as much
development shown as there otherwise would have been. Another factor which helped to
retard the progress of the country was lack of transportation, but since the completion of the
Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, which has greatly reduced the cost of all commodities, there will
undoubtedly be a much greater showing made in the future.
During the past season a larger acreage has been brought under cultivation than formerly..
This applies more particularly to the older residents, many of whom were able, through the high
prices obtained for their produce during the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway,
to accumulate sufficient money to purchase up-to-date machinery, thereby enabling them to bring
their land under cultivation at a minimum of cost. It is quite apparent that the high tax placed
on wild land by the Government is beginning to take effect, judging from the activity shown by
a number of the purchasers of large areas, who realize, no doubt, that it is far more profitable
to improve their holdings, thereby making the land self-supporting.
Among the purchasers who are making extensive improvements is Mr. Bostrom, the well-
known railroad contractor, who has acquired a large area on the north side of Iatalaska 'Lake,,
situated midway between Francois and Ootsa Lakes. It is Mr. Bostrom's intention to go in
extensively for mixed farming, and particularly the raising of cattle. During the past seven
months a big force of men have been given steady employment erecting suitable dwellings,
barns, stables, etc. In clearing the land Mr. Bostrom intends using up-to-date methods, having
installed a large donkey-engine for that purpose, and he expects to have at least 100 acres
under cultivation during the coming summer, the land being lightly timbered. The Nechako
Land Company, who have large holdings in the vicinity of the town of Vanderhoof, are also
making big improvements. Besides erecting numerous large buildings, they have cleared and
fenced during the past year over 300 acres. I am informed by Dr. Evans, the local manager,
that it is the intention of the company to clear at least 600 acres, all of which they propose-
bringing under cultivation as soon as possible.
My work in the Fort Fraser District during the past summer consisted principally in
revisiting the same sections of country described in my report of last year, the only exception
being the Stuart River District, which I visited early in June. Through' the kindness of Mr.
Stevens, the Fire Warden, I was able to make the trip down Stuart River for a distance of'
forty miles by launch. The river, as a general thing, is a shallow, slow-running stream and
navigable for boats of light draught at all stages of water; that is to say, for a distance of forty-
five miles from its source. Below this point a series of canyons are met with, rendering navigation with motor-boats a very difficult matter. The land along and immediately adjacent to-
Stuart River, consisting principally of bottom land, is very limited in extent, nearly all of which
has already been taken up. However, back from the river for a distance of three to four miles 6 Geo. 5 Fort Fraser and Fort George Districts. B 21
on both the north and south sides there are large areas still open for pre-emption. These areas
consist principally of level and high rolling bench land, lightly timbered and interspersed with
numerous open meadows, many of which contain a luxuriant growth of wild grasses. This
applies more particularly to the land on the north side of the river. At present there are only
twelve pre-emptors located here, owing, no doubt, to the great difficulty one has in getting into
the country. Besides the river route, the only other means of access is by a very indifferent
trail twenty miles in length. The Government, however, is contemplating building a wagon-road
from near the town of Vanderhoof to a point on the river known as the old ferry landing. On
the completion of this road a large influx of settlers may be looked for.
Fori George District.
Upon arriving in Fort George early in July to assume my duties in that district, I was
engaged for a considerable length of time making special trips for the Government Agent to
various pre-emptions scattered throughout the district. On the completion of this work I took
up the general inspection of the claims situated in the vicinity of Chief, Hoodoo, and Ness Lakes,
and likewise Salmon River. As this section of the country, as well as the whole of the Fort
George District, has been most adequately described in Mr. Wallace's reports of 1913-14, I will
not attempt to make any further remarks in that direction. The Government is at present
constructing a bridge across the Nechako River to replace the ferry, which is found inadequate
for the requirements of the settlers located in the above-mentioned districts. Besides the bridge,
which will be a great boon to the settlers generally, large sums of money have been spent in
extending the wagon-roads, notably to Giscome Portage, Hoodoo and Ness Lakes. Although
a great number of pre-emptions have been taken up here, there has been very little actual
development owing to most of the pre-emptors being men of very small means. Since more
wagon-roads have been supplied a much better showing may be looked for. The settlers
generally are engaged in growing vegetables in a small way.
In the vicinity of Salmon River and along the projected route of the Pacific Great Eastern
Railway to the Peace River it is proposed establishing a colony of Mennonites. These people
are at present located in Saskatchewan, but, owing to the severe winters, are in quest of a more
congenial climate. Mr. Seal, the representative of this colony and who visited the district last
fall, is very much impressed with the country for mixed farming and has decided to locate here.
.Is the Mennonites are known to be expert farmers and likewise good settlers, their coming
will be quite an acquisition to the district. The whole of the Fort George District was
undoubtedly at one time very heavily timbered, judging from numerous large stumps and
down timber that is to be seen in the burnt-over areas.
The soil generally is of a lighter nature than that of the Nechako Valley, being a dansy
chocolate loam -with a clay subsoil.
For the benefit of intending settlers, I will enumerate the different kinds of vegetables
observed growing throughout the various localities I have visited; that is to say, within a
radius of twenty miles of the town of Prince George and 200 miles east through the Fraser
River and Ronch Valleys. Besides the usual common varieties such as peas, cauliflower,
potatoes, etc., tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, vegetable marrow, corn, beans of several varieties,
and citrons will grow in abundance. With the exception of tomatoes, which were ripened
indoors, all of the other vegetables were matured independent of artificial means, and in most
cases in land that had received little or no cultivation. I might also add that on four different
claims in the vicinity of Chief Lake a number of tobacco-plants were set out, all of which grew
splendidly, many of the leaves attaining a length of nearly 3 feet.
This will give some idea of the climatic conditions existing throughout the Fort George
I have, etc.,
Chas. E. Bailey,
Inspector of Pre-emptions. B 22 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
REPORT OF THE INSPECTOR OF PRE-EMPTIONS, OSOYOOS, SIMILKAMEEN, AND
Vernon, January 13th, 1915.
H. Cathcart, Esq.,
Superintendent, Inspection Branch, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—In the Osoyoos District there is a slow but steady increase in the clearing of land and
acreage under cultivation. Such conditions are particularly noticeable in the vicinity of Lumby
and about Trinity Valley. Families are being supported from the returns of pre-emptions, as
once this land is put under cultivation it yields enormous crops; on account of the large dead
cedar-stumps and thick undergrowth of small scrub, however, this land requires a considerable
amount of capital and labour to clear it. There are a few odd quarter-sections still available
In the vicinity of Mable Lake and up the Shuswap River the pre-emptions are principally
on logged-off timber lands, and the scattered timber left enables the settler to make sufficient
money in winter, by putting this in the river for the logging companies, to enable them to remain
on their places and clear land during the summer; therefore one sees a greater amount of
acreage put under cultivation in this locality than in places not so fortunately situated. The
land about Mable Lake is very productive, but most of it is very rough, with steep side-hills.
In going farther east into Township 57, a very fair amount of clearing has been more easily
accomplished on account of the timber having been burned some years ago. The land is of a
poorish quality, the surface soil also having been burned oft'. The bottom land along the creek
is excellent, but clearing is heavy and expensive; consequently very little has been done. Along
the Harris Creek Valley some extra clearing has been done this year; the land is a deep black
soil, producing abundant crops of hay; some clearing is light, being alder and willow, but the
fir bench land is very heavy.
Coming west into Townships 6 and 3, some good work has been done, as the settlers have
the advantage of being able to sell the wood for fuel in Vernon, and in this way lessen the
expense of clearing the land.
Following down the west side of Okanagan Lake, very little improvement has been done
until one reaches Bear Creek, excepting by a few settlers at White Man's Creek who have cleared
several acres and planted small orchards. A new road has been constructed about ten miles up
Bear Creek, enabling the settlers to get their supplies in and their vegetables and other products
out to market. Land-clearing is very expensive in this valley, being heavy fir and pine timber
land; very little has been done this year.
In the vicinity of Westbank and Trepanier Creek development-work has not been undertaken
In Meadow Valley and other small valleys to the west of Summerland a small amount of
land has been cleared and put under cultivation, but most of the pre-emptors have been engaged
in hauling logs to the box-factory located in Meadow Valley.
In Township 27 and vicinity of Mission Creek many improvements have been made on
several pre-emptions, and although the elevation is rather high, good crops of potatoes and
other vegetables as well as grain are being raised.
In Maron Valley and near White Lake and Yellow Lake some pre-emptions have beeii taken
up for range purposes and have very little cultivable land; there are others being cultivated
and good crops produced. These pre-emptions run about 20 per cent, of good land, the balance
being range land.
In the vicinity of Keremeos there are a few scattered pre-emptions, some of which are along
the river-bottom, and a few acres have been cleared and put under cultivation this year. The
clearing is principally alder and cottonwood, a stretch of good land extending for some miles up
the Ashnola River; and while all the land joining the river has been pre-empted, there is still
some on the high benches available for settlement. Very little clearing or development-work
has been done on any of this land, as there is no road and in most places a very poor trail; the
clearing in some places will be heavy, as the timber is very thick, though small. 6 Geo. 5 Kootenay and Lillooet Districts. B 23
On the benches to the west of Hedley there are some good pre-emptions and considerable
land-clearing has been done this year; there is plenty of moisture on these high bench lands
and good crops of hay and grain can be grown.
On Darcy Mountain near Princeton the land is good and very productive, but the clearing
is heavy, and there being no sale for any quantity of wood it is a difficult task to make any
headway where the settlers have to burn the timber on the ground.
Going thence into the Kettle Valley, in the vicinity of Fife development-work has progressed
favourably; most of the inhabitants here are Italians and make good settlers. The clearing is
heavy, timber small, but very thick. On the North Fork of Kettle River some progress has been
made, but in most places the clearing is hard; most of the land has been logged off; the stumps
are large and the undergrowth is thick.
More progress has been made on the high bench lands near Grand Forks than any other
part of the Similkameen. Some nice homes have been carved out, with excellent improvements.
The settlers get sale for their wood in Grand Forks and the clearing is not very heavy; the soil
is deep sandy loam with plenty of moisture, and produces grand crops of vegetables and grain.
In the vicinity of Rock Creek, Bridesville, and Anarchist Mountain very little work has
been done this year. Nowhere will better returns for labour be received than on Anarchist
Mountain; the soil is a deep rich loam and produces heavy crops of grain; 54 bushels per acre
was the returns on one place this year. There are some very good quarter-sections available
for pre-emption in this locality.
Up the Clearwater River is an entirely new section of the country, only surveyed last year.
As yet it has not been opened up by roads nor trails (excepting for the first ten miles) ; nevertheless quite a number of pre-emption records were taken ont in the past year, though owing
to the " call to arms " very little development-work has been done. This section, like most of
the North Thompson country, is broken and rugged, with sections of exceptionally good land
and easy to clear, this running into rugged cliffs and thence into open meadow lands and swampy
flats. About Myrtle River the land is similar to that of Clearwater, and will take a considerable
time to get roads and trails cut through to open up the country and so make travelling in and
out not a difficult task.
In the neighbourhood of Black Pool and Mount Olie a fair amount of improvement in the
way of land-clearing has been accomplished. In the low bottom lands the growth is heavy
cottonwood and birch, while on the benches, which have been mostly burned over, small dead
fir and tamarack are encountered.
About Chinook Cove a greater amount of development-work has been done, especially in
clearing and building, this past year than usual, and considerable extra acreage is ready for
crop next year. The improvements to the roads and the new bridge over the Thompson River
have been a great help to the settlers.
On the Barriere River and Lakes development has not gone on as usual, as most of the men
from this section are in military service. I have, etc.,
Inspector of Pre-emptions.
REPORT OF THE INSPECTOR OF PRE-EMPTIONS, KOOTENAY AND LILLOOET
Fernie, B.C., December 13th, 1915.
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 Kootenay
During 1915 my inspection-work has extended over East and West Kootenay and a part of
In the Fernie District, on the west side of the Kootenay River, in the vicinity of Dorr, quite
a number of pre-emptions have been taken out. The land is rolling and sandy and very productive where water can be got for irrigation. On Elk River, north of Michel, the settlers are all
doing well and have had excellent crops this year. B 24 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
In the Cranbrook District, between Cranbrook and Kimberley, the land thrown open has
been nearly all taken up, mostly in 40-acre tracts. The land is of a light sandy nature and a
lack of water makes it very difficult to make a living off the land. The same condition arises
on the Kootenay River, east of Waldo, although here the soil is of a better quality. On account
of the gravel subsoil, I do not think dry-farming would prove successful.
In the Nelson District the land taken up on the Slocan River is a rich sandy loam. The
clearing is slow, but in time will give a good account of itself. There is quite a block of land
on the Little Slocan which when thrown open will make excellent agricultural land. There are
a number of places taken up east of Burton, on Cariboo Creek. The land is rough and very
high and not suitable for agriculture.
Most of the land along the Arrow Lakes is good, but in small quantities and scattered. In
the Revelstoke District the best land has been taken up and very few pre-emptions taken out
The Slocan District is mostly taken up. The pre-emptors are all doing good work.
In the Golden District the settlers, mostly living on their places, are making slow progress
clearing. A road has now been completed from the Windermere Valley to the Kootenay, affording facilities for getting in and out which is a great benefit. The land is high and will be
suitable for hay rather than for grain. The settlers along the west side of the Columbia River
are doing some good work. Now that a road has been completed from Wilmer north, conditions
are much improved.
I made 272 inspections in the Lillooet District and found less than half of the pre-emptors
improving their land, or even living on it. The country east of the Cariboo Road, in the
Bonaparte country, is of a rolling nature interspersed with numerous small natural meadows
which produce a good quality of hay for winter consumption. The vegetation is good all through
here and would make a fine dairy country. Along the Chilcotin River the banks are very high
and rough, and the benches farther back are rocky and dry. This is a grazing country, and
although cattle-raising is the chief industry, I fancy it would make an ideal sheep-range. The
land is of a sandy nature. Fruit and vegetables do well along the river bottoms of the Chilcotiu
and Fraser Rivers.
The majority of the settlers in the Lillooet District seem to have a very poor idea of their
duties as pre-emptors.
•I have, etc.,
W. A. Wilmot,
Inspector of Pre-emptions.
REPORT OF THE INSPECTOR OF PRE-EMPTIONS, SKEENA DISTRICT.
Prince Rupert, December 31st, 1915.
H. Catheart, Esq.,
Superintendent, Inspection Branch, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to report herewith the work of inspection carried on in the Skeena
Land District during the year.
Kitimat Valley and Kumeolon Inlet.
These districts were visited about June 15th. The conditions prevailing there are about the
same as in 1914. A few of the pre-emptors have increased the areas of clearing and cultivation.
A small number of new records have been issued for the district. Lack of connection with the
outside is staying development for a time. As soon as this is obtained a marked change will be
noticed. Kumeolon Inlet, located to the north of the entrance of Kitimat Arm, is as yet a very
new territory, there being only a few settlers. Two of the permanent ones have made good
Starting April, in the neighbourhood of twenty-two pre-emptions were inspected. A considerable amount of work has been done since the fall of 1914. In the upper portion of the
valley beyond Kitsumgallum Lake over thirty people wintered. The season was very mild. 6 Geo. 5 Skeena District. B 25
The lowest the thermometer showed on the shores of the lake was 2 below zero, and back on
the flats a few miles 6 below, with an average of barely 2 feet of snow. This spring the settlers
have been slashing and burning. Many have set out varieties of fruit-trees, the excellent
.showing made in the lower part of the valley, closer to the railroad, inclining them to the
belief that apples, cherries, etc., will do well. The timber on the flats is not very large. On
the river-bottoms it is heavier, but the soil is richer. In several instances the pre-emptors have
cleared a sufficient amount in the timber to make a garden, and then transferred their labours
to the benches, where they expect to raise hay and grain for feed. Once good communication
is established with the railroad this portion of the district ought to forge ahead.
About July 17th a tour of this valley, tributary to the Skeena Valley, was made. The road
to Lakelse leads from Terrace, on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad, ninety-three miles from
Prince Rupert. It is one of the oldest-settled areas of the district. The land is mostly taken
up, although there are quarter-sections and fractions here and there yet vacant. Much has
been written in the past of the richness and fertility of the soil, and all that has been said has
been borne out by the splendid showing made at the Prince Rupert Agricultural Exhibition of
1914, the roots and fruits exhibited being of first-class quality and size, and the yield per acre
During the month of August Nass Valley was visited and inspection made. It is as yet
somewhat remote from railroad and steamboat lines, but this condition is borne in mind by
the settlers themselves. The roads and trails throughout the valley enable all to reach their
holdings with vehicle or horse, only those on the extreme limits having to do any packing.
Considering the present depression, a fair amount of progress has been made by the pre-emptors.
Satisfactory experiments have been made in raising varieties of grain and alfalfa. During
the summer daylight covers a large percentage of the twenty-four hours, tending to rapid growth
and maturity. Along the upper part of the valley there are considerable areas of open land
where cattle will find plenty of grass and peavine, and on the slopes grazing may be found till
late in the fall.
Queen Charlotte Islands.
Only the northern part of Graham Island was inspected during the season of 1915, covering
places adjacent to Masset, Oeanda River, Port Clements, and Sewell. In the neighbourhood of
fifty reports were made. This section of the Skeena District has been and still is suffering from
handicap in the lack of connection and communication with the Mainland. For a time last
summer service was almost discontinued, and then a fortnightly boat service was established.
The passage of time and an increase of population and output will bring about the remedy.
The soil is very productive and the climate very mild, being conducive to the growing of roots,
vegetables, and berries, and there seems to be no reason why, in the near future, hogs, goats,
sheep, and chickens should not play an important part in the revenue-getting industries of the
island. As has been previously stated, cattle do remarkably well, winter feeding being an
almost negligible factor. A considerable amount of draining is necessary in order to bring
into use and cultivation a large amount of open country. At present in the sloughs at the
entrance of creeks and in the swamps, partially covered with water during the rainy season,
grass grows luxuriantly. During the past season strawberries were sent from the southern
■end of the island the equal in quality and size of any from other sections of the entire district.
At the Prince Rupert Agricultural Exhibition this year first prize was awarded to the east coast
.associations of the island for the excellence of their showings in the products of agriculture.
On April 12th an inspection trip was made to Banks Island, taking in on the way Gilbert
Island, Spicer Island, in the Beaver Passage, and the north-west portion of McCauley Island,
where two pre-emptions had been recorded. Owing to stormy weather it was afternoon of the
third day before a landing was made on Banks Island. There are now in the neighbourhood
•of seventy-five pre-emptions recorded on Banks Island, of which a very small percentage are B 26 Report of the Minister of Lands. .1916
not in good standing. The majority of the pre-emptors are Swedes and Norwegians. Early
this spring a small colony of Italians established in the neighbourhood of the outlet of Dead-
man's Creek, at the north end of the island. These foreign-born people make first-class settlers.
They are good workers, thrifty, and, as a rule, bring with them a knowledge of agriculture..
Most of them take up land with the idea of making homes for themselves and their children.
They are not deterred by the difficulties that always beset the pioneer, accepting obstacles as
a matter of course, to be overcome by hard work, time, and patience. Considering the present
means of communication with the Mainland, the same being by privately owned gasolene-
launches, a very considerable amount of work has been accomplished. Horses and a few
implements have been taken over on scows and ploughing started. As time goes on there is
no doubt better service will be provided. These pioneers have the right idea; that of helping
one another in the erection of dwellings and ditching, the last being the first and greatest
essential to the cultivation of the soil and the future prosperity of the island. Last winter
there was only a flurry of snow, and frost was barely in evidence. Cattle may run out all
winter without risk and should be in fine condition in the spring. At present there is plenty
of pasturage for a limited number of stock. There is not nearly the covering of moss as is
popularly supposed. In some places it is from 4 to 8 inches deep, but in most instances much
less. There are extensive areas where moss does not appear. The soil is a light sandy loam,
and, as the country is mostly rolling, it should be no great task to drain a considerable amount
of land by a system of co-operation in ditching.
During July the pre-emptions on Porcher Island were inspected. A marked improvement
was noticed over last year. Some new settlers have taken up occupation, and the older ones
have increased their clearings and are raising a greater amount of produce. Fowls do splendidly..
The past season Porcher Island eggs commanded the highest price on the market, and the
demand more than equalled the supply. There is plenty of room for development and expansion
in this particular branch of farm-life, and when business methods are introduced there is no-
doubt as to the profit. The roots and other produce from the island court comparison with
any from other sections of the district. It is the intention of some of the settlers to turn their
attention to hog-raising. This should be a successful enterprise. Sheep-raising has been tried,
but up to the present time has not proved a success. The cause of partial failure may be
attributed to those who made the venture not being properly prepared fo look after their stock..
The climate and other conditions are in favour of this particular business.
Waterfront and Islands adjacent to Prince Rupert.
Now that other than British fishermen may buy bait and dispose of their catches at Prince
Rupert, boats from Alaska and the United States will join the fleet from time to time. A great
many independent fishermen, owning their own small craft and gear, follow the halibut and
salmon fishing. There are numbers of islands in the vicinity of Prince Rupert where there is
good harbourage and shelter for their boats and ideal spots for homes. It is almost a certainty
that as soon as the fishing industry becomes permanently established a percentage of the men
engaged will be imbued with the idea of taking up a piece of land in order to have a home for
themselves and their families. When the fishing season is over, time may be profitably spent
in clearing the ground and cultivating the soil. They have their own boats to carry ont whatever necessaries are required, and, in time to come, to bring back to market the product of
labour. Every inducement holds forth. The cost of living on a pre-emption, once the initial
expense has been met, is very small compared with that of the city. Vegetables of all kinds
may- be raised, and chickens pay for themselves in a short time, and fish, fresh, salted, and
smoked, are to be had for the catching and curing. House-reut, the cost of fuel and water isi
entirely abolished, and the expense attached to clothing is next to nothing. Add to this the fact
that during the open season there is always the chance to get deer, ducks, geese, and grouse.
AVild berries grow in abundance. Couple all these with an amount of diligence and intelligence
in the cultivation of the soil, and we have, figuratively, " a land of plenty."
I have, etc.,
C. L. Cullin,
Inspector of Pre-emptions. 6 Geo. 5 Dry-farming Investigations. B 27
REPORT ON DRY-FARMING INVESTIGATIONS IN LILLOOET AND NICOLA DISTRICTS.
By Professor W. J. Elliott.
December 21st, 1915.
Hon. William R. Ross, K.C.,
Minister of Lands, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit herewith a report covering the experimental work undertaken on the Dry Farm at 105-Mile House on the Cariboo Trail, and at Quilchena, located on
the Commonage south of Nicola, B.C. As will be remembered, the experiments were begun at
your direction during June, 1913, the purpose being to determine the value of certain so called
dry areas of British Columbia for agricultural and settlement purposes. The report covers the
period from September 1st, 1914, to August 31st, 1915, and includes a full record of the crops
grown during the summer of 1915.
While the present report deals particularly with the record of the crops grown during the
past summer, yet we may frequently refer to the 1914 results that appeared in your report for
the Department of Lands for last year, so that we may have a comparison of results. For it
must be borne in mind that it is only an average over a series of years that gives accuracy to
records of this kind.
This report, like last year's, includes the records of rainfall and snowfall, temperature
records, and, in addition, actual records obtained by the growing of a variety of crops under
various conditions. Some of the results of last year suggested that we might with profit
undertake a " date of seeding " experiment with certain grains, and also a " rate of seeding "
experiment. These were tried out this year on both farms, and the results will be found
properly tabulated below.
105-mile farm report.
Preparation of Soil at 105-Mile House.
The land for the 1915 crop was broken during the spring and early summer of 1914, and as
it was all native sod the results recorded below are those of the first crop grown upon the land.
The ploughing had been done very thoroughly, .and the frequent cultivations that were given
during the summer prepared a very excellent seed-bed. The last thing in the fall all of the
slopes were ridged with the disk by facing each pair of disk-blades toward each other. This
was done crosswise of the slopes, the purpose being to catch as much as possible of the melting
snow in the spring. The plan was very successful, as the foremen report that very seldom,
if ever, did the snow-water in the depressions break through the small ridges left by the disk
to run off the land and be lost for the crop.
Character of Spring at 105-Mile House.
The spring of 1915, like the spring of 1914, opened up with a considerable amount of cold,
backward weather. There was also much more wind than in 1914, and it was feared that this
wind might make a heavy draught upon the stored-up moisture on our cultivated fields, but
the results that are herewith given are splendid evidence of the fact that the cultivation had
been thoroughly accomplished.
In comparing April, 1915, with April, 1914, we find that the former was, on the average,
slightly cooler than the latter. The average maximum and minimum temperatures respectively
for 1914 were 50.5 and 31.8 degrees, while the corresponding averages for 1915 were 48.7 and
29.6 degrees. For the same month the highest and lowest temperatures recorded during 1914
were 66 and 22 degrees respectively, while the corresponding highest and lowest for 1915 were
58 and 24 degrees. The above figures are mentioned particularly because April is the principal
seeding month for both wheat and oats. The lower temperatures for 1915 as compared with
1914 seem to have no evil effect upon the proper germination and sprouting of the grain, and
upon the final very excellent results that were obtained with practically all crops grown. B 28
Report of the Minister of Lands.
Precipitation at 105-Mile House.
The general impression is that the precipitation for 1.915 was greatly in excess of that of
1914, and while there is more precipitation recorded at the 105-Mile Station for 1915 than for
1914, the excess is not nearly as large as is imagined. The following table gives the precipitation at 105-Mile House by months, from September 1st, 1913, to August 31st, 1914, as compared
with that from September 1st, 1914, to August 31st, 1915:—
Table 1.—Precipitation by Months.
from Sept. 1st,
1913, to Aug.
from Sept. 1st,
1914, to Aug.
from Sept. 1st,
1913, to Aug.
from Sept. 1st,
1914, to Aug.
It will thus be seen that the precipitation for 1914-15 is not nearly as large as popular
opinion would suggest. As a matter of fact, it is only 4.11 inches greater than for the corresponding months of 1913-14, and in any event 15.05 inches (the total for twelve months) is
regarded as a comparatively light rainfall. There are one or two significant facts about the
rainfall as given above, and to bring this out more clearly it will be better to put these figures
in the form of a chart or diagram. In this way the various points may be seen much more
clearly. In the following chart the precipitation by months will be given. The figures representing September 1st, 1913, to August 31st, 1914, will appear as a straight line, while those
representing September 1st, 1914, to August 31st, 1915, will appear as a dotted line.
Chart 1.—Shoioing Monthly Precipitation from September 1st, 1913, to August 31st, 1914, as
compared with that from September 1st, 191.,, to August 31st, 1915.
The two records as they appear in the above diagram are alike, generally speaking, in the
fact that the precipitation is light from the end of September to the end of May. During the
winter of 1913-14 most of the snow came in January and the early part of February, while in
1914-15 the majority of the snow came in December. This variation is no more than that
which occurs in any part of the Western Provinces. 6 Geo. 5
During March, and particularly during April and the fore part of May, rainfall is comparatively light, which is an advantageous thing, as April and the fore part of May are the
seeding months. A light precipitation is desirable, as there would, therefore, be little to
interfere with the cultivation, etc., necessary for an early seeding. But the most significant
fact is noted in the high precipitation during the months of May, June, and July, or the months
that are the growing and filling months for the grain. It will be noted that during 1915 May,
June, and July have each over 2 inches of precipitation. This is more than was received during
the corresponding months of 1914. However, it will be seen that in both years good rains fell
in May, June, and July, or just when the crops needed them most for proper filling and maturing.
Average Temperature by Months at 105-Mile House.
In this table a comparison is also given between the average temperatures from September
21st, 1913, to .-iLUgust 31st, 1914, and those from September 1st, 1914, to August 31st, 1915.
Table 2.—Average Temperatures for Corresponding Months during 1913-14 and 1914-15.
Month of Year.
From the above table it will be noted that the average daily maximum for 1913-14 is higher
than that for 1914-15 by 2.25 degrees, while the average daily minimum for the corresponding
period is in favour of 1914-15 by 0.53 degree. In other words, the average day temperature of
1013-14 was higher than the day temperature of 1914-15 by 2.25 degrees, while the average
night temperature for 1914-15 was higher than that of 1913-14 by 0.53 degree. There is this
general statement to be made regarding the temperature at 105-Mile House, and that is, it
seems to be well adapted to the production of splendid crops, as both those of 1914 and those
of 1915 have abundantly demonstrated.
Crops grown at 105-Mile House.
All of the seed used for experimental work at 105-Mile House was produced on the farm
last year, and consequently is home-grown seed.
The general spring conditions were quite favourable for the seeding and germination of the
grain, and it is interesting now to turn to the actual results from the various crops to see
the splendid records obtained at 105-Mile House.
The following chart gives particulars regarding the various wheat-crops grown with respect
to date of seeding, rate of seeding, date cut, days to mature, yield per plot, and corresponding
yield per acre:— B 30
Report of the Minister of Lands.
Table 3.—Giving Full Particulars regarding the Variety of Wheat Test.
Huron . .
In all, six different varieties of wheat were tried, and produced from 60 bushels per acre
in the case of Marquis to 18 bushels with the Prelude. It will be noted that, with the exception
of Prelude, all the yields are very good, and in the case of the Durum, Huron, and Marquis
varieties are quite exceptional. The yield of 60 bushels in the case of the Marquis wheat
deserves special mention, as this yield compares favourably with the best of the wheat yields
on the Prairie. In addition to this, the Marquis is regarded as one of the best milling wheats
grown. Just why the Prelude should produce only IS bushels per acre is somewhat hard to
explain, because the same wheat on the Quilchena Farm produced the splendid yield of
■ 37 bu. 52 lb. per acre. This variety will be tried again next year as it is a valuable milling
wheat, and in addition has the distinction of taking fewer days to mature than most other
varieties. Both points are important in desirable wheat for the 105-Mile District. In the case
of Galgalos, we have another good milling wheat, and, as will be noted from the table above,
.a wheat that matures in the shortest time of any of those tried. In fact, the Prelude is
supposed to be our earliest Canadian wheat, but, as will be seen, the Galgalos matured in even
less time than did the Prelude. The Galgalos wheat was imported by the writer from Northern
Montana, where on the State Experimental Farm it has given very favourable results for the
past two years. The success of the Marquis, Red Fyfe, Galgalos, and Huron varieties augurs
well for the 105-Mile District as a successful wheat-producing area.
" Date of Seeding " Experiment.
Some of the yields recorded last year suggested the necessity of trying some experiments
to determine, if possible, the proper date for the seeding of wheat, oats, and barley. A table
follows covering a " date of seeding " experiment for wheat. For this experiment the Ghirka
wheat was used. It may be remembered that the Ghirka wheat produced our largest yield last
year—viz., 32% bushels. This wheat was secured two years ago from the Montana Agricultural
Experimental Station and had given good results in the dry belt of Northern Montana. That
it is adapted to the conditions at 105-Mile House is evidenced by the splendid yields recorded
Table //.—Date of Seeding with Ghirka Wheat.
The first plot was seeded April 10th and the other plots were seeded at one-week intervals
until four plots were seeded. All plots were seeded at the rate of 1 bushel per acre. The yields
of the first three plots are in the order of the date of seeding, with a very decided advantage in 6 Geo. 5
favour of the April 17th seeding. The result from the May 1st seeding produced almost as
much in yield as the April 24th seeding. It would appear from the above that a seeding date
prior to April 17th is not at all suitable to conditions at 105-Mile House. By glancing at the
" days to mature " column it may be noted that they are just the opposite of the " date of
seeding." In fact, there is an astonishing regularity in the drop of seven days in the time
required to mature any one plot as compared with the time to mature the plot that was seeded
one week previously. So that we might infer from the above results that, in so far as 1915
is concerned, some date between April 20th and May 1st would be about the best time to seed
Rate of Seed per Acre.
This experiment was also tried with Ghirka wheat.
15th, and all took the same number of days to mature.
All four plots were seeded on April
Table 5.—Rate of Seed per Acre with Ghirka Wheat.
The four plots were seeded as follows: Vi, %, 1, and lVt bushels per acre; and while
there is not as great a difference in the yields as might be expected, yet these arrange themselves almost in the order of the rate of seeding. All yields are exceptionally good for dry-land
results, and what little advantage there is seems to be in favour of a seeding at the rate of
1 bushel per acre. Experiments such as these, however, are valuable just in proportion to the
number of years that are represented in the results.
Variety Test with Oats.
In this experiment three varieties of oats that gave good results last year were tried,
following table will give the results of the experiment:—
Table 6.—Experiments ivith Three Varieties of Oats on Vx-acre Plots.
Variety of Oat.
O.A.C. No. 72 . .
The yields this year are larger than those of last year. In fact, the three yields recorded
above would stand as exceptional yields under any condition.
Larger Experiment with Oats.
The three varieties of oats mentioned in the above table, together with a Sixty-day oat,
were tried on a larger scale. In this experiment the Abundance, O.A.C. 72, and Sixty-day oats
were each seeded on a 3-acre plot, while 5 acres were used for the seeding of the Banner oat.
As might be expected, the yields are not as large as those produced on the smaller areas, yet
the results are very good indeed. B 32
Report op the Minister of Lands.
Table 7.—Experiment with Larger Areas of Oats.
Variety of Oat-
O.A.C. No. 72 ..
i » 7
It will be noted that all four varieties were seeded at the same rate per acre, and, in
addition to this, were seeded from two to nine days later in the spring than were the plots
recorded in Table No. 6 above. We think, perhaps, that the later seeding may account somewhat for the smaller yields obtained, but we will have something to say on this point later
when the results of our " date of seeding" experiments are recorded. The above table also
shows that the same varieties grown on a larger plot mature in from two to ten days less time.
Special attention is called to the Sixty-day oat recorded in the above table. This oat was also-
imported by the writer from the dry areas of Montana two years ago. It produced 38 bushels
per acre in 1914 and 58 bushels during the past summer. While the above yields are perhaps
not large, yet for a dry-land area and for larger plots they are indeed good yields.
" Date op Seeding " Experiment.
For the experiment regarding the " date of seeding " of oats the New Market variety was
selected. This variety was grown last year on a 17-acre field and produced 39 bushels per
acre. Each plot was seeded at the rate of IV2 bushels per acre. The first plot was seeded on
April 15th, and another plot seeded one week later, and this was continued until all five plots
were sown. As will be noted from the following table, the dates of seeding were as follows:
April 15th, 22nd, 29th, May 6th and 13th.
Table 8.—" Dale of Seeding " Experiment with New Market Oats.
It will be noted that the plots seeded on April 22nd matured in seven days less time than
did the one which had been seeded one week earlier. The plots seeded April 22nd, 29th, and
May 6th all took practically the same time to mature, while that which was seeded on May
13th actually matured seven days earlier than that which was seeded one week earlier, but
the yield for the last-sown plot is the smallest of all. In the yields per acre, which is really the
important consideration., the plot seeded April 22nd gave the best returns in the enormous yield
of 105 bu. 30 lb. per acre. The yields from the plots seeded April 29th, May 6th, and May 13th
are in the exact order of the date of, seeding, producing 96 bu. 8 lb., 85"bu. 26 lb., and 83 bu. 2 lb.
respectively. So that from the above experiment and for the year 1915 April 22nd seems to be
about the best date for the seeding of oats.
" Rate op Seeding " Experiment with Oats.
It was also thought advisable to try a " rate of seeding " experiment with oats. The New
Market variety was used in this test and the results were as follows:— 6 Geo. 5
Table 9.—" Rate of Seeding " Experiment with Oats.
In the above experiment the five plots were all seeded on the same day at the rate of 1%,
iy2> 1%, 2 and 2% bushels per acre. It will be noted that 1% bushels per acre seems to give
the best results, and while the 2- and 21/4-bushel rates of seeding give first-class returns, yet
they do not compare with the 1%-bushel seeding. The l!/4- and lyj-bushel rates seem to be
entirely too light to suit conditions at 105-Mile House. This experiment shows clearly the
necessity for a knowledge of the most suitable rate to seed per acre, because in the one case
we may seed so light that we do not make full use of the stored-up moisture in the soil, and
in the other case we seed too heavy for the stored-up moisture, and not only waste seed in
the seeding, but actually cut down the final yield per acre.
Only three different varieties of barley were tried—the Smyrna, White Hull-less, and
Mensury. Two of these were seeded on May 17th and the White Hull-less on May 21st.
There was no particular motive in testing these barleys out in a comparative way, because
they are very different in many respects. For instance, the White Hull-less is, as its name
implies, a barley that hulls out just like wheat at threshing-time. The Mensury is a six-rowed
variety. Both the Mensury and White Hull-less were tried last year and only gave us fair
Table 10.—Yields from Three Varieties of Barley.
The Smyrna barley, which appears at the head of the list, is a new variety received from
Professor Atkinson, who is in charge of dry-land investigational work in the State of Montana.
A small 5-lb. package of this sample was received, and the results are estimated from the actual
yield from a yu-acre plot. This barley has given splendid results in Montana, and apparently
will suit the dry areas of British Columbia. It grew rapidly and, as will be noted, matured in
less time than either of the other varieties. Mention is made particularly of the White Hull-less
variety that produced 54 bushels per acre. This barley only produced 9 bu. 28 lb. last year, and
it is remarkable that the yield should be so very large for the past summer. It will be well
to introduce a " date of seeding " and " rate of seeding" test for this variety, as its success
means much in the way of stock-feeding for settlers who may come into the district. This
year's results promise well for White Hull-less barley.
Date of Seeding with Two-rowed Chevalier Barley.
The Two-rowed Chevalier barley produced the best results last year, and all the seed
produced was saved for a " date of seeding" experiment in 1915. During the past summer B 34
Report of the Minister of Lands.
this variety has again produced more largely than any other variety. In fact, it leads any
other variety by 7 bu. IS lb.
Table 11.—Result of " Date of Seeding " Experiment with Two-rowed Chevalier Barley.
per Plot. per Acre.
It will be noted that the yields per acre are in the exact order of the date of seeding per
acre. There is a difference of eleven days in the time required to mature the 66-bu. 36-lb. crop
and that required to mature the 50-bushel crop, but the longer time required to mature the
former plot produced 16% bushels more per acre than in the latter case. It is apparent that
in this experiment, and also in the " date of seeding " experiment with oats, the plots that were
seeded late in the spring and which, therefore, matured in a comparatively short time have
produced lower yields than those that were seeded earlier, and consequently required more
days to mature. One of the chief reasons for this is no doubt the fact that crops that are
started as early as possible in the spring have ample moisture for growth and are well grown
by the time the warm weather comes on. By this time the crop itself has grown to such an
extent that it shades the ground and thereby prevents evaporation. It thus saves for the final
maturing of the crop the soil-moisture which might otherwise be lost by evaporation.
Experiment with Field-peas.
Two varieties were tried—the Canadian Beauty and the Prussian Blue. The seed was
home-grown, and the plots produced as follows:—
Table 12.—Test with Two Varieties of Field-peas.
Both varieties were seeded on the same day, but it required five days more time to mature
the Prussian Blue than was necessary in the case of the Canadian Beauty. The yields are not
by any means large, but the quality of the grain is excellent.
The Premost flax was the only variety tried. The seed was received from the Qnilchena
Station, where it had done fairly well. It may also be remembered with interest that the
plague of grasshoppers which visited the Quilchena Station in 1914 scarcely injured this variety
of flax at all. The Premost flax was seeded on May 21st, was cut September 4th, thus requiring
106 days to mature. It produced 115 lb. on a i/i-acre plot, or at the rate of 7% bushels per
acre. This is not a large yield, and yet the flax is of sufficient value to warrant it being tried
under various conditions another year. 6 Geo. 5
Numerous plots were seeded on both the Quilchena and 105-Mile Farms to various kinds of
grasses and legumes. On the Quilchena Farm the crops were cut for hay. The results will
appear at the proper time under the Quilchena report. At 105-Mile House the plots of grasses
and legumes were used as pasture for sheep. There were eight sheep in the flock, which
averaged 132.2 lb. each, or a total of 1,058 lb. The pasturing on the various plots was as
follows: May 14th to 29th, on Vx acre of brome-grass; May 29th to June 20th, on Vx acre
white clover and Vx acre common red clover; June 20th to July 20th, on Vx acre of alsike and
% acre mammoth red clover; July 20th to August 1st, on Vx acre alfalfa; August 1st to 12th,
on 14 acre brome-grass and Vx acre rape.
As the sheep were moved back on to the brome pasture for the second time on August 1st
the total area represented in the pasture experiment amounts to 1% acres. The beginning weight
of the sheep was 1,058 lb. and the finishing weight, 1,430 lb., thus representing a production of
373 lb. of mutton on 1% acres. At the exceedingly moderate estimate of $7.75 per hundred, the
373 lb. represents a value of $28.90 for 1% acres, or $16.51 per acre. These figures are slightly
under those of last year for the sheep-pasture experiment, but the character of the sheep will
easily account for the difference. The 1915 sheep were not by any means as good a class of
feeders as were those secured during 1914. However, they were the only sheep that we could
get, and consequently we had to do what we could with what was available. This pasture
experiment will be continued.
During the early summer of 1914 some land was broken on a lower portion of the farm and
within a short distance of Watson Lake. This ground was given special care in the way of
cultivation, and by August the sod seemed to be well decomposed and a very excellent tilth was
secured. Timothy was seeded on this land at the rate of 6 lb. per acre. It may be remembered
that the latter part of the summer of 1914 was quite dry, and though the timothy-seed sprouted,
yet the growth that it made during the fall was quite disappointing. It did not seem to stool
out and thus produce a fair growth the first season. However, it came through the winter well
and was harrowed early in the spring to loosen the soil surface and hold the moisture. It grew
well and at haying-time produced a rather remarkable crop of timothy-hay. In all, there were
some 12 acres seeded to timothy, and the measured stack showed a crop of 16 tons, or at the
rate of iy3 tons per acre. This is an excellent showing on dry land with only 15.05 inches of
rainfall. It will be of much interest to see how the crop will produce during next season.
There is perhaps nothing new to report regarding the success of the vegetables tried at
105-Mile House. Practically every vegetable that was grown produced splendid returns. In
fact, the vegetable-garden at 105-Mile House looked just like any other well-kept and productive
garden that one might find. The vegetables that did well include all the staples, such as turnips,
beets, peas, rhubarb, parsnips, radish, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, etc.
Potatoes grown at 105-Mile House.
Three varieties of potatoes were tested out on ys-acre plots, and one variety was grown on
a y,2-acre plot. The results were as follows:—
Table 13.—Comparison of the Yields of Four Varieties of Potatoes.
„ 13 140
„ 13 139
73.8 B 36
Report of the Minister of Lands.
It should be mentioned that the yields here recorded are of marketable potatoes, as all
small non-marketable potatoes were eliminated before the weights were taken. The yields are
very fair and the quality of the potatoes for table use cannot be excelled. There is no doubt
about the fact that excellent potatoes may be grown in the 105-Mile District on the dry-land
areas, and that the growth of marketable yields as reported above will mean much to those
who may eventually take up land in this district.
Preparation op the Soil at Quilchena.
Generally speaking, the same method was followed at Quilchena as at 105-Mile House in
the preparation of the land. Some 40 acres were broken during the summer of 1914. This
newly broken land was thoroughly cultivated and ridged with the disk in a similar manner to
that at 105-Mile House. In the spring of 1915 a stroke of the harrow reduced the ridges to the
common level of the ground and our seed-bed was ready.
Spring Conditions at Quilchena.
The precipitation records for Quilchena are very close to those for 105-Mile House. The
figures from September 1st, 1914, to August 31st, 1915, for each farm are: Quilchena, 15.203
inches; 105-Mile House, 15.05 inches. We shall herewith submit a table showing a comparative
monthly record of the precipitation at the Quilchena Station, covering the year September 1st,
1913, to August 31st, 1914, as compared with the year September 1st, 1914, to August 31st, 1915:—
Table H.—Precipitation Table, covering Corresponding Months in 1913-14 and 1914-15.
from Sept. 1st,
1913. to Aug.
from Sept. 1st,
1914, to Aug.
from Sept. 1st,
1913, to Aug.
from Sept. 1st.
1914, to Aug.
Here again those who expected that the 1914-15 rain records would reveal a precipitation
that was greatly in excess of that of 1913-14 were disappointed. As is the case at 105-Mile
House, there is a larger rainfall, but not nearly as large as was anticipated. True, the records
show that we had 4.S63 inches more in 1914-15 than in 1913-14, yet it must be remembered that
the rain recorded for Quilchena for 1913-14—viz., 10.34 inches—is an exceedingly small rainfall,
and that a rainfall that is even as much as 15.203 inches is still regarded as a very limited
precipitation. It is somewhat of a generally accepted fact in irrigation districts that where
the precipitation falls below 20 inches it is then advisable to prepare for irrigation. This year,
at Quilchena and 105-Mile House, when every one thought that we were getting such an abundance of rain that we might be classed as " wet areas," we are still approximately 5 inches
below the mark where it is thought that irrigation is regarded as necessary. We shall submit
the above table in the form of a diagram, so that the precipitation at the various times of the
year may be more clearly seen. In the following diagram the 1913-14 precipitation will be-
indicated by a straight line, while that for 1914-15 will appear as a dotted line:— 6 Geo. 5
Chart 2.—Showing Diagram of Precipitation, Records from September 1st, 1913, to August
31st, 1914, as compared with September 1st, 1914, to August 31st, 1915.
2. Inches ,
Generally speaking, the two precipitations represented in the above chart are much alike
from September to April, with the one exception of the month of January. During January,
1914, the precipitation reaches 2.61 inches as compared with 0.85 inch in January, 1915. The
general tendency of the two lines for May, June, July, and August is much the same, although
the 1914-15 rainfall is considerably more than that of 1913-14. The 1914-15 chart confirms last
year's (1913-14), in that there is much more rain in the summer months, when the grain needs
it for filling, than at any other time of the year. This fact is very significant as far as the
possibility of producing crops is concerned, because of the opportuneness of the rain. For it
is a well-recognized fact that a district may do with a very much lighter rainfall if the rain
that does come falls during the growing and filling months of the grain. This is a similar
condition to that found at 105-Mile House, and augurs well for the success of both districts.
Comparative Temperature Table por Quilchena.
In the table below the average monthly maximum and minimum temperatures are given, as
well as the average highest and lowest monthly temperatures. These are recorded for the two
years, September 1st, 1913, to August 31st, 1914, and September 1st, 1914, to August 31st, 1915.
Table 15.—Average Temperatures for Corresponding Months during 1913-14 and 1914-15.
Highest Temperature during Month.
Lowest Temperature during Month.
November . .
December . .
January . . .
17.2 B 38
Report of the Minister of Lands.
A glance at the above will show that there is not a great deal of difference between the
average temperatures for 1913-14 and 1914-15. However, the average day temperature for
1913-14 is slightly higher than that for 1914-15. There is also a very slight advantage in favour
of the night temperature for 1913-14 as compared with 1914-15. It will also be noted that the
winter of 1913-14 was considerably colder than the winter of 1914-15. During four months of
the former the thermometer reached zero or below, while it only went below zero during two
months of the latter.
Crops grown at Quilchena.
Much the same kind and number of experiments were undertaken at Quilchena as were
tried at 105-Mile House. There was this exception, however, that different grains were used
for the " date of seeding " and " rate of seeding " tests. All the tables submitted, giving the
results of the various grain tests, will include variety of grain, date seeded, rate of seed, date
headed out, date cut, days to mature, size of plot, yield per plot, and yield per acre.
Tests with Various Wheats.
In this experiment a variety of wheats have been tried, the purpose being to select those
that seem to be particularly suited to the Quilchena District. Among the wheats grown are
some that are known as first-class milling varieties. It will be noted that the three wheats that
stand at the head of the list in the matter of production come under the head of good milling
Table 16.—Yields from Various Varieties of Wheat.
Of the varieties tried the Ghirka heads the list, as it did at 105-Mile House in 1914. Red
Fyfe is second and Marquis third in point of yields. This is a first-class showing and speaks
well for the adaptability of the Quilchena District for the production of desirable wheats, as
all three are splendid milling varieties. Two other varieties that are regarded with favour
as milling wheats are the Prelude and Galgalos. The Prelude occupies the same position this
year as it does at 105-Mile House, which is only sixth place. It may be that this particular
variety may need to become more acclimated to the district; thus we may obtain better results
from our own home-grown seed. The Galgalos seed was secured in Northern Montana, but was
received too late in the spring to give it a fair chance in the above test. It will be noted that
it was seeded on May 12th, or twenty-one days after the seeding of the rest of the varieties.
Another point that is worth while noting is the fact that it requires an average of 122.5 days to
mature the Marquis, Huron, Durum, Red Fyfe, Galgalos, and Prelude at 105-Mile House, as
compared with an average of 129.1 days for the same varieties at Quilchena. This is a surprising
fact when it is remembered that the 105-Mile House Station is so much farther north than is the
Quilchena Farm. Farther on in this report will be found a record covering the germination of
all grains at Quilchena. It will be noted the very excellent vitality of all wheats listed.
" Rate op Seeding " Test.
In this experiment the Red Fyfe variety of wheat was used. Four plots were each seeded
on the same day, and the seed used was at the rate of y2, %, 1, and 1% bushels per acre.. 6 Geo. 5
Table 17.—" Rate of Seeding " Test with Red Fyfe Wheat.
In the above table there is only a difference of 2 bu. 40 lb. between the highest and lowest
yields. In addition to this, all plots matured in the same number of days. While the 11/4-bushel
seeding seems to give the best results in this test, yet we do not feel justified in drawing anything in the nature of a definite conclusion from the above figures. The same experiment will
be tried next year, and we shall hope for more conclusive results. There is this to be said,
however, that'all four results shown under this test are very good indeed, and would be creditable
yields under conditions where moisture was abundant.
Test with Various Oats.
The same purpose was in mind in testing out the varieties of oats as was the case in the
testing of the wheat—viz., the determining of the varieties best adapted to the Quilchena
District. In all, six varieties were tried, and the following gives in a tabulated form the
Table 18.—Test with Various Kinds of Oats.
Garton No. 22
O.A.C. No. 72
In the above table two varieties of oats produced 90 bushels or better per acre, three
varieties produced 80 bushels or better per acre, and only one variety fell below the 80-bushel
point—viz., the Sixty-day oat, with 64 bu. 8 lb. per acre. However, when the number of days
required to mature this oat is considered, the reason for the comparatively light yield is seen
at once. This is a very early ripening oat, and," as a matter of fact, ripened 16.4 days earlier
than the average of all the rest of the varieties. All yields, however, are good. If the Sixty-
day variety is eliminated, the other five are exceptional indeed. They would be considered as
very considerably above the average produced under most favourable conditions. Even if the
first five exceptional yields were eliminated, then the yield of 64 bu. 8 lb. would not be by any
means regarded as a small yield. In fact, it would be a very creditable yield under ordinary
" Rate op Seeding " Test with Oats.
In this test the Garton No. 22 oat was used. All six plots were seeded on the same day
and at the following rates: %, 1, 1%, iy2, 1%, and 2 bushels per acre. The Garton No. 22
oat tried in this experiment was a new variety introduced into this experimental work for the
first time. B 40
Report of the Minister of Lands.
'■ Rate of Seeding " Test with Garton No. 22 Oat.
Garton 22 ....
The above six plots were all seeded on April 23rd, and the results would rather indicate
that the heavier seeding has given the best results. It is a surprising fact, however, that the
%- and 1-bushel seedings produced better results than the ly,- and iy2-bushel seedings. This
somewhat interferes with the theory of the heavier seeding producing uniformly better results.
It is simply another case where an accurate statement can only be deducted after years of
experimentation. An important point to be observed is the fact that all yields reported are
very good indeed for dry-land conditions, and further substantiates the contention that these
areas may ultimately be used profitably for farming purposes.
Nine-acre Bulk Crop op Oats.
To test the possibility of oat production in even a more convincing manner a 9-acre field
was seeded to Garton No. 22. This field was seeded three days after the plots of the above
table, and matured in 123 days, or in seven days less time than the average of the plots recorded
under Table 18. The field produced a total of 727 bushels, or on an average 80 bu. 7 lb. per
acre. This is certainly an enormous yield for a field of this size. The field was seeded at the
rate of 1% bushels per acre.
Test with Various Barleys.
In all, four different varieties of barley were tried. The same statement may be made with
reference to the Quilchena test as was made regarding the 105-Mile House experiments, to the
effect that the varieties of barley tested were so different in character that no particular thought
was given to comparative yields from each. The experiment was simply to test different varieties.
Table 20.—Results of growing Various Barleys.
The Smyrna barley, which produced the largest yield, was imported from Montana, and as
only a 5-lb. package was received it was seeded at a very light rate per acre, to give it ample
opportunity to stool. It was therefore grown on a y8-acre plot and produced at the rate of
87 bu. 24 lb. per acre. The yields of the Mensury and Two-rowed Chevalier are excellent, and,
like many of the results obtained at both stations, would be remarkable yields wherever secured.
The yield of 70 bu. 16 lb. for White Hull-less is considerably above the average, and augurs
well for the production of such grains as will be necessary for the feeding of live stock. 6 Geo. 5
Rate op Seed per Acre with Barley.
In this experiment four y-acre plots were seeded to Two-rowed Chevalier barley at the
rate of %, 1, 1%, and 1% bushels per acre respectively. All plots were seeded on the same
■day and all were cut on the same day. The tabulated results are as follows:—
Table 21.—Results of Rate Seeding with Two-rowed Chevalier Barley.
The results as given above show that all rates of seeding gave excellent results, and while
the 72 lb. or 1V-2 bushels to the acre gave slightly the best results, yet it is not so very much
greater than that obtained from the 36-lb. or %-bushel seeding. Just why the 60-lb. seeding
should give the poorest results is hard to explain. However, this particular plot is only slightly
below the rest, and as all the results may be regarded as very good, we are therefore unable
to draw any definite conclusions from the above. This experiment stands in the same position
as do some others where it is impossible to* deduce definite results from the first year's work.
It will require the results of a series of years to give records that may be regarded as authentic
and dependable. It is interesting to note the results of the above experiment in comparison
with the one that follows. In both experiments our own home-grown seed was used. It will
be noted that the experiment as given under Table 21 was seeded on April 23rd, while the first
plot to be seeded in the following experiment was seeded two weeks later, or on May 7th. The
three other plots in the following experiment were seeded respectively on May 15th, 22nd, and
29th, or at intervals of one week. The point to be noted here, however, is the fact that the
earlier seeding (April 23rd) has given very much better results than any of the subsequent
Date of Seeding with Two-bowed Chevalier Barley.
In this test four y-acre plots were used and each was seeded at the rate of 60 lb. or 1%
bushels per acre. As noted above, the four plots were seeded one each on May 7th, 15th, 22nd,
.and 29th, or just seven days apart.
Table 22.—Results of Date of Seeding Two-rowed Chevalier Barley.
It will be noted that the later the seeding the quicker the plots head out, and also the
shorter time required to mature. For instance, there are seven days difference in the date of
seeding of the May 7th and 15th plots, but there are only two days difference at the time of
heading out, and at the time of ripening the May 15th plot had matured in eight days less time
than the May 7th plot. If comparison is made of the seedings of May 15th and 22nd and those
of May 22nd and 29th in the same manner, it will be found that the above facts may be applied
more or less regularly throughout. It must, however, be borne in mind that a very short B 42
Report of the Minister of Lands.
ripening period is not always desirable. This will be seen in the case of the May 7th seeding,
which required 127 days to mature as compared with 119 days in the case of the May 15th
plot, yet the former produced 8 bu. 24 lb. more per acre than the latter. This is also true in
comparing the May 15th and the 22nd seeding, but does not follow in the case of the May 22nd
and 29th seedings.
It is necessary to mention one thing in connection with the above experiment, and that is
that the plots seeded on May 22nd and 29th were both injured somewhat by a frost that came
on September 10th. The plots sown on May 7th and 15th were sufficiently mature so that the
September 10th frost did no damage whatever, but the two later-sown plots were still somewhat
green and consequently were slightly injured.
The last two tables submitted above would indicate that the proper time to seed barley is
somewhere between April 23rd and May loth. These two experiments will be conducted again
next year for the purpose of establishing something that may be relied upon with a fair degree
Experiments with Two Varieties op Field-peas.
The same two varieties of field-peas that were tried last year were again grown during the
past summer. The Canadian Beauty pea was grown on a y-acre plot, while the Prussian Blue
was grown on Vs acre. Both varieties were seeded on the same date, and the following is the
Table 23.—Results obtained from Two Varieties of Field-peas.
It will be noted that the Prussian Blue, which was seeded only at one-half the rate per
acre that was used in connection with the Canadian Beauty, required less time to mature by
eight days. With such a light seeding a very rank growth of vine and a prolonging of the date
of maturity might easily have been expected. Yet, in spite of this fact, it was found that it
requires only 134 days as compared with 142. This point is in its favour as a suitable variety
for the Quilchena District, for the tendency is for pea-vines to grow so late, in the fall that
they are caught with the early fall frosts. This fact is also true in the growing of peas on the
Prairies. Consequently, those that require a short time to mature are eagerly sought after.
Both varieties above produced very good yields. In fact, the yield of 27 bushels per acre-
on a %-acre plot is excellent for the Canadian Beauty. We are very much encouraged in the
growing of peas on both the dry farms. The importance of this crop is apparent when we
remember that pea-meal added to barley-chop makes a very excellent fattening food, particularly
In this test only one variety, which was home-grown seed, was tried. It will be remembered
that the grasshoppers failed to damage this particular variety seriously last year. It grew
splendidly and produced very superior seed. In fact, the seed showed an official germination
test of 100 per cent. The result from the growing of the Premost variety of flax was as
Table 2n}.—Results from Premost Flax Plot.
16 56 6 Geo. 5
The above flax is the latest developed variety in Canada, and is also one of the earliest
maturing varieties. A yield of 16 bu. 56 lb. is very creditable indeed.
One plot of fall rye was sown on September 8th, 1914. It sprouted well and produced a
very excellent growth during the same fall. The next spring it grew rapidly and was harvested
on August 14th. The results from the fall rye plot are as follows:—
Table 25.—Results from Vx-acre Plot of Fall Rye.
Aug. 14, 1915
The fall rye produced 53 bu. 14 lb. per acre, which was a very large yield. There is no
doubt about the fact that this crop will grow and produce excellent results on the Commonage.
It may be used to good advantage as pasture in the fall, and still produce excellent returns the
following year. It has also proven to be valuable as an early spring pasture. In some instances
we have known it to be pastured until June 1st, and then allowed to mature and produce a fair
amount of good seed.
Germination op Grain at Quilchena.
Before turning to a discussion of the grasses, roots, and vegetables grown at Quilchena, an
official germination test of the samples of grain grown on the various plots on the Quilchena
Commonage is appended. It is found that 86.3 per cent, of all grains have a germination of
90 per cent, or better, which is regarded as very good indeed.
Table 26.—Complete Germination Record of all Grains produced at Quilchena.
Pe r ce n t<i °"6
Varieties of wheat— Germination.
Marquis : 99.5
Red Fyfe 98.5
Varieties of oats—
O.A.C. No. 72 99.5
Abundance (Regenerated) 99.0
Garton No. 22 97.0
Varieties of barley—
Two-rowed Chevalier 100.0
White Hull-less 97.5
Varieties of peas—
Canadian Beauty 94.5
Prussian Blue 93.0
Variety of flax—Premost 100.0
Variety of fall rye—Fall rye 99.5 B 44
Report of the Minister of Lands.
In the germination results as given for the wheats it will be noted that all except two are
above 94.5 per cent. In the case of Ghirka it is only 84.5 per cent. Just why this should be
cannot be imagined, as the Ghirka wheat was seeded at the same time as the majority of the
wheats, and was cut when fully matured on September 6th. The Galgalos shows a germination
of 88.5. This in itself is not by any means exceptionally low, but may be accounted for by the
fact that the Galgalos was received from Montana very late and was only seeded on May 12th.
This, no doubt, partially accounts for the comparatively low germination test. If it had been
seeded at the same time as the rest of the wheats, it is anticipated that the Galgalos would have
had a vitality that would be just as high as the other varieties. This same variety has given
very superior results in the dry-farm tests in Northern Montana. With the exception of these
two varieties, the germination of the wheats is very creditable indeed.
All of the oats are over 97 per cent, germination, which is very exceptional. Three of the
four barleys are over 97 per cent, in vitality. The Smyrna, which is only 86, was received from
Montana late in the spring, and consequently has not had an equal chance with the rest of the
barleys. The two varieties of peas have respectively a 93 and 94.5 per cent, germination, which
is good; while the Premost flax with 100 per cent, and the fall rye with 95.5 per cent, are very-
excellent germination records.
Tame Grasses and Legumes.
It will be remembered that y-acre plots were seeded to a variety of tame grasses and
legumes, so that we might compare same in the matter of hay production. The following table
will give the results obtained from the various plots:—
Table 27.—Results of Tame Grass and Legume Tests.
per Plot. per Acre.
Timothy April 18,
Brome „ 21,
Mammoth red clover
Common red clover . .
July 16, 1915
Most of the yields for the various grasses and legumes are really remarkable, and are in
fact much larger than anticipated. The above results are somewhat abnormal because of the
fact that they are the first crop produced on land that was broken in 1913. This land was broken
and thoroughly cultivated in 1913 and the grass-plots sown in the spring of 1914. On account
of the grasshopper plague in 1914 the most of these plots were eaten down to the ground. They
did not therefore grow very well, and consequently very little of the available plant-food in the
soil was called for. Thus the crop of 1915, aided by opportune showers during the summer, found
very congenial conditions for growth, and with the large amount of available plant-food ready
to be taken up produced the large crops noted above. There was nothing abnormal in the method
that was followed, either to cultivate for or to seed the grass and legume crops, but the grasshoppers prevented some of them growing in 1914, which saved both plant-food and moisture for
the 1915 crop. We feel it necessary to make the above explanation to account for the very large
yields recorded in the above table; and while we confidently expect to have good yields from
our grass and legume plots next year, yet it would be beyond reason to expect yields comparable
with the above. The yield from the timothy-plot is very exceptional for dry-land work, and it
is rather surprising to see it larger than the brome-grass yield, which is also large. The red-top
occupies its relative place in this list as a producer, as compared with timothy and brome-grass.
Of the legumes, the mammoth red clover produced almost 2% tons per acre, which is very good
indeed; the common red clover 1% tons, while the alsike and alfalfa produced slightly over iy
tons. The legume results are regarded as somewhat normal yields because of the fact that, 6 Geo. 5
with the exception of alsike, they suffered comparatively little as a result of the grasshoppers
in 1914. In fact, the grasshoppers did not seem to relish the alfalfa at all. As these legumes
produced fair stands in 1914, the soil-moisture would be largely used up, and this would leave
conditions for growth in 1915 almost normal. The yields from the four leguminous crops are
very encouraging. If these grow successfully, the hay problem for the settler is practically
Spring Rye Hay Crop.
Heretofore we have had to draw all our hay for the work-horses on the Commonage from
the Minnie Lake District, and as this hay had to be purchased it has been an expensive item.
Last spring it was decided to sow 15 acres to spring rye, and by cutting it very early in the
bloom intended to provide our own hay.
The success of this plan has been far beyond our expectations, for we cut and stacked one
crop, and with an opportune rain or two a second crop came on, which was cut and produced
about another one-fifth crop. To give some idea of the crop that was cut from this spring-rye
field, the foreman in making a report said: " We are now cutting the spring rye, which is a
bumper crop. The binder is being run wide open, with the reel in the top notch, and the knotter
as far back as it will go." The crop at maturity stood over 5 feet high, and produced 32 loads
all told on the 15 acres. The foreman had no means of weighing the rye, but is quite satisfied
that it would yield easily 1 ton to the load, which would give a yield of over 2 tons to the acre.
This rye is all properly stacked, and we think that we will have practically all the hay we shall
need until next fall.
Roots and Potatoes.
Several varieties of potatoes were grown. The Sutton's Reliance, Beauty of Hebron, Gold
Coin, Duke of York, Early Ohio, and Sharp's Victor were tried in y-acre plots, while Remiie's
Reliance was tried on a y20-acre tract. The results were as follows:—
Table 28.—Results from Various Plots of Potatoes.
Beautv of Hebron
In comparing Rennie's Reliance with the rest of the varieties, some allowance will necessarily
have to be made on account of the fact that it was grown on a much smaller plot than the rest.
However, it is apparently a first-class yielder. Of the other varieties, Sutton's Reliance holds
first place, as it did last year. Beauty of Hebron again takes second place, which is the same
as that occupied last year. The rest of the varieties vary considerably from the previous year's
yields. While the above yields are not large, yet the quality of the potatoes grown on the
Commonage is very excellent. The potatoes boil and bake well, producing a first-class mealy
At Quilchena two kinds of carrots were tried, the White Field and Red Table varieties-
There were each grown on a y10-acre plot of ground. B 46
Report of the Minister of Lands.
Table 29.—Result of growing Ttvo Varieties of Carrots.
The above yields are very good indeed, and as the quality was excellent, it indicates what
may be done on the Commonage in the way of roots. The field-carrots will be fed to the horses
during the winter.
To say much about the possibility of growing vegetables at Quilchena is to repeat what was
said last year, and what has been said with reference to the possibilities of vegetable-growing
at 105-Mile House. The simple fact of the matter is that all ordinary garden-vegetables grow
excellently. Beets, onions, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, peas, turnips, etc., of good size
and quality were exhibited at Nicola and Merritt. Those exhibited would do credit to any
COMPARISON BETWEEN 105-MILE CONDITIONS AND THOSE AT QUILCHENA.
It is interesting to look at a few comparisons between the Quilchena and 105-Mile Districts.
While the one district is considerably farther north than the other, yet there are conditions
of climate, temperature, etc., that enter into the growth of crops, and the actual results are
surprising, in that there seems to be a very great similarity in the conditions influencing the
growth at the two points.
As has already been mentioned, the precipitation at both points is very much alike.
Table 30.—Tabulated Rainfall at Quilchena and 105-Mile House.
Month and Year.
September 1, 1913, to August 31, 1914
1, 1914, to „ 31, 1915
Thus, there is only a difference of 0.246 inch between the two districts in the total rainfall
for two years.
A glance at the average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for both 105-Mile House
and Quilchena will prove to be interesting. In striking the average for two complete years, we
find the following: At 105-Mile House the average maximum temperature is 50.29 and the
average minimum 30.1; for Quilchena the corresponding maximum and minimum averages are
49.9 and 30.37. 6 Geo. 5
The following chart shows the average monthly maximum and minimum temperatures for
the Quilchena and 105-Mile Stations for September 1st, 1913, to August 31st, 1914, and September 1st, 1914, to August 31st, 1915:—
"— — -»rl
The dotted lines show the average maximum and minimum temperatures, covering two years, at 105-
Mile, and the straight lines show the averages at Quilchena.
From the above chart it will be seen what a very great similarity and uniformity there is in
the temperatures at the Quilchena and 105-Mile Dry-land Stations.
General Growth op Grain at the Two Stations.
The following table is inserted to show the relative height of the grain grown at Quilchena
and 105-Mile House. Samples were taken from all the growing crops on both farms during the
first week in August, and a comparison was made of these crops as to general growth up to that
time. The table will be found to give a comparison of the height of the grain at both stations.
Where blanks appear among the grains, that particular variety was not tried at the particular
station. In the matter of the blanks appearing for the grasses and legumes at 105-Mile House,
it will be remembered that these plots were used for pasture purposes, and consequently no
heights are given. B 48
Report of the Minister of Lands.
Table 31.—Shotcing Comparison of Height of the Grain growing at Quilchena and 105-Mile House
during the First Week of August.
Fall rye (green feed) ....
O.A.C. No. 72
Regenerated Abundance . .
Garton No. 22
Sixty-day (Montana) (bulk
Abundance (bulk crop) ..
Banner (bulk crop)
O.A.C. No. 72 (bulk crop)
Timothy (cut with mower)
Brome (cut, etc.)
Redntop (cut, etc.)
Mammoth red clover (cut
Common red clover (cut
Alsike (cut with mower) ..
Alfalfa (cut with mower)
Sept. 8, '14
One peculiar fact may be noted in the above table, and that is the height of the grain in
the same number of days or even in less time is greater at 105-Mile House than at Quilchena.
This fact seems to be more or less uniform.
Another fact that is worthy of notice is that when the same variety of grain is grown at
both stations, that grown at Quilchena is much more leafy than that which is grown at 105-Mile
House. There was at least 50 per cent, more leaves on the former than on the latter, and this
fact was quite evident with all varieties of wheat, oats, barley, peas, and flax. 6 Geo. 5 Dry-farming Investigations. B 49
Summer Frosts at Both Stations.
Table 32.—Comparison of the Dates on which Summer Frost occurred at Both Points.
* Seeding begun.
4 B 50 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
A chart has been prepared showing the dates on which a degree or two of frost occurred
during the crop-growing months—viz., from April until September. As a matter of fact, the
crops were not sown until after the middle of April and were practically all harvested by
September 1st, although some of the later-sown crops in the " date of seeding " experiment were
harvested about September 10th.
Seeding commenced on April 17th at 105-Mile House and on April 21st at Quilchena. These
dates were exactly nine days later at both places than in 1914.
After April 17th, when seeding commenced at 105-Mile House, from 2 to 7 degrees of frost
was experienced every night until April 29th. Some of the grain was in the ground, but, of
course, was not injured by the frost. Outside of April frosts at 105-Mile House, the few scattered
summer frosts were much the same as last year. These were only a degree or two at a time,
and so far as the growing crops were concerned, no evil effect was apparent at any time. In
fact, the uniformly large crops produced on both farms is abundant evidence of the fact that
these frosts do very little, if any, damage at all.
Summing up the foregoing, as covering the results obtained in the actual growing of crops
at Quilchena and 105-Mile House:—
(1.) There were six different varieties of wheat tried at 105-Mile House, with an average
of a trifle over 48 bushels per acre for all varieties; and eight varieties at Quilchena, with an
average of 40 bu. 4 lb. for all varieties grown. These yields are excellent. There was not a
failure with a single wheat crop.
(2.) Three different varieties of oats were tried at 105-Mile House, which produced an
average of 90 bu. 2 lb. per acre. Six varieties were tried at Quilchena, which produced an
average of 80 bu. 8 lb. per acre. These yields are again very excellent, and there were no
failures at all among the oat-crops.
(3.) Three different varieties of barley were grown at 105-Mile House, with an average
of 51 bu. 15 lb. At Quilchena four varieties were grown, producing on the average 79 bu. 38 lb.
Again, there were extra heavy yields and no failures whatever among the barleys.
(4.) Among the peas, flax, and fall rye crops, from fair to excellent results have been
(5.) Among the hays produced at Quilchena all the results are good and many are excellent.
(6.) At 105-Mile House the results from the pasturing of sheep have been good. The value
of the mutton produced on an acre amounted to $16.51.
(7.) Various varieties of potatoes were tried on both farms, and the results were very
encouraging. The quality of the potato for table use was excellent.
(8.) All common vegetables have done splendidly on both farms.
After carefully considering results obtained at both 105-Mile House and Quilchena for the
two years that work has been carried on, we cannot help but feel gratified at the results that
have thus far been obtained. We further congratulate the Hon. W. R. Ross. Minister of Lands
for the Province of British Columbia, in the fact that the results so far secured justify him in
his opinion that these vast so-called dry areas of British Columbia may be of much more value
to the Province than when used simply for range purposes.
W. J. Elliott,
Adviser in Charge of Dry-land Investigation Work. PART II.
STJEYET BEANOH. TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Report of the Surveyor-General 53
Report of the Chief Draughtsman 57
Appendix to Report of Chief Draughtsman 61
1. Francois-Ootsa Lake District, by A. W. Harvey 66
2. Vicinity of Fraser Lake, by F. Butterfield 67
3. Pre-emption Reserve, South of Willow River Basin, North-east of Fort George, by
A, H. Holland 73
4. Quesnel River Valley, Beavermouth to Quesnel, by R. W. Haggen 74
5. Lillooet District, between 111-Mile Creek and 52nd Parallel, by A. S. Cotton 76
6. East of 83-Mile House, Lillooet, by W. S. Drewry . 77
7. Knouff and Badger Lake Valleys, by R. H. Lee 80
8. Vicinity of Quilchena, Mamete Lake, and Otter Valley, by O. B. N. Wilkie 81
9. Vicinity of Osprey and Penask Lakes, by R. P. Brown 82
10. Expired Timber Licences in Columbia River Valley, by H. C. A. Cornish 85
11. Expired Timber Licences near Little Slocan River, Kootenay District, by A. H. Green 87
12. Vicinity of Stillwater, St. Vincent Bay, and Sechelt Inlet, by J. E. Laverock 88
13. Expired Timber Limits on Okeover Arm, Powell Lake, and Secret Cove, by N. F.
14. Expired Timber Limits in Sayward District, by H. H. Roberts 95
15. Sayward and Coast Districts, by F. Tupper 97
16. San Josef and Cape Scott Districts, by H. H. Browne 100
17. Vicinity of Cape Scott, Northern Vancouver Island, by L. S. Cokely 101
18. Flores Island, by H. N. Clague 103
19. Township 4, Graham Island, by F. Nash 104
20. South-east of Graham Island, near Skidegate Inlet, by J. C. A. Long 105
21. Photographic Survey in Okanagan Valley, by R. D. McCaw ' 107
22. Boundary between Alberta and British Columbia, by A. O. Wheeler 112
23. Exploratory Survey North of the Peace River Block, by G. B. Miiligan 117
Weather Record in North-eastern Portion of Province, 1913 and 1914, by G. B. Miiligan .... 132 REPORT OF THE SURVEYOR-GENERAL.
December 31st, 1915.
The Hon. William R. Ross, K.C.,
Minister of Lands, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report of the Survey Branch of the Lands
Department for the year ending December 31st, 1915:—
The conditions under which the work of this Branch has been carried on during the past
year have been abnormal. For several years past the annual appropriation for surveys has
been so large as to permit of extensive surveying operations being carried out, the occupation
of land by pre-emptors has been going on in all parts of the Province, and the statutory provision providing that the survey of all timber limits must be completed within a definite time
has resulted in the survey of a large area of timbered land. This year, on the contrary, owing
to conditions arising from the war, the vote for surveys has been reduced very materially,
immigration to the Province has practically ceased, and the financial conditions prevailing have
rendered it impossible, in the majority of cases, for the owners of rights to timbered and other
lands to proceed with the survey of same. Consequently the area surveyed during the year is
a fraction only of what has been done in recent years. The area surveyed by this Branch
during the j-ear 1914 was 1,012,000 acres; this year it was 127,000 acres. The area surveyed
privately in the former year was 1,442,200 acres; this year it is only 615,300 acres.
In the report for the year 1912 the programme of the Branch was outlined in detail, and
included the definition by survey of district boundaries, the survey of vacant Crown lands
adjacent to railways under construction, the tying-in of all isolated surveys made at an earlier
date, and the preparation of land maps of various sections of the Province.
With 2,000,000-odd acres of vacant Crown lands surveyed in advance of settlement adjacent
to the new railways, practically all the district boundaries defined for which there is any
pressing necessity, and with complete land maps of practically all the inhabited sections of the
Province, the programme referred to may fairly be said to have been so far carried out as to
render it possible for the activities of the Branch to be materially reduced until the revival
which may be anticipated at the end of the present war without serious inconvenience to the
interests of the public.
Active surveying operations should be resumed in advance of the revival of immigration,
and in the interval surveys should invariably be carried out where the same appear to be
required, as otherwise the good results obtained by the extraordinary efforts and expenditure
of recent years will be lost.
With the exception of the survey of the Alberta - British Columbia Boundary and the
topographic survey of the Okanagan Valley, no survey-work has been undertaken by the
Branch for which there was not an immediate and pressing necessity, and the surveys made
consist almost entirely of the subdivision of logged-off lands, which, under the present practice
of the Department, are subdivided for settlement before being withdrawn from the reserve
covering timbered lands, including lands from which the timber has been removed, and the
survey of areas in which actual settlement was taking place and where it was apparent that
complications would arise were the survey left in abeyance until such time as pre-emptors had
made improvements of some material value.
As land surveys made for administrative purposes by any branch of the Government service
are made under the direction and at the expense of this Branch, a proportion of the annual
appropriation is each year consumed in necessary work which does not show in the annual report
of this Branch. In planning out the season's operations, provision had to be made for expenditure of this nature, which, with the greatly reduced vote at the disposal of the Branch, would
consume a proportionately larger share than is usually the case.
The practice of former years of sending out surveyors for the entire season in charge of
large survey parties was this year abandoned. No parties were sent out in the early spring,
and to a limited number of surveyors two or three months' work only was allotted during the B 54 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
summer months, while the strength of the parties was very materially reduced, and, as already
stated, the surveyors were assigned to districts where there was absolute necessity for surveying
to be done. The results may, on the whole, be considered satisfactory. The average cost of
survey per acre is greatly in excess of that of former years, which was only to be expected, as
the most economical way of surveying Crown lands is to carry on operations on a large scale;
but, on the other hand, the Branch may fairly be said to have succeeded in doing all the work
throughout the Province for which an actual necessity has arisen, in addition to subdividing for
settlement the best areas of logged-off lands in accessible localities.
It has been pointed out in former reports that the area of land surveyed privately must
rapidly decrease from year to year, owing to the reserve from sale or lease of the greater
portion of the Crown lands of the Province, and the gradual completion of the survey of" lands
already under application and timber licence. The phenomenal decrease in the area surveyed
this year is, however, due in great part to the financial conditions arising from the war, and
from figures given in the report of the Chief Draughtsman, attached hereto, it will be noted
that the Branch has this year avoided, as far as has been practicable, insisting on such surveys
being carried out.
The natural effect of the reduction in the area surveyed has been to reduce the volume of
work to be handled by the office staff. The great majority of the staff of this Branch are
temporary clerks and draughtsmen who were appointed in the year 1911 on the reorganization
of this Branch, and it is a source of no little gratification to be able to report that the enlistment of members for foreign service has reduced the strength of the staff automatically with
the reduction in the quantity of work to be handled. The staff, including that of the Geographic
section, numbered, at the beginning of the war, sixty. It was, at the beginning of the year,
forty-seven, and is now thirty-five, and in the latter figure is included one junior whose appointment became necessary from the fact that every junior on the staff had joined the colours.
In assigning survey-work to surveyors, care was taken to select men who have during recent
years made surveys for this Department, and have consequently, to a greater or less degree,
neglected their private practice, as it was felt to be only fair that men who had worked for
the Department in busy years should be given preference in lean years.
The sudden closing-down, occasioned by the war, of all activity in the matter of land
surveys is naturally a serious matter for the members of the surveying profession throughout
the Province. The situation has, however, been relieved by the enlistment for foreign service
of eighty-nine British Columbia land surveyors, or slightly over 40 per cent, of the total number.
In the reports of former years will be found a general description of the physical characteristics of the various sections of the Province, as well as of the nature of the survey-work carried
on in each, and the general organization of survey parties. It is consequently unnecessary this
year to describe at length the field operations, but in the brief summary which follows the
sections into which the Province has been divided for descriptive purposes is adhered to.
In the Central Interior of the Province—that is, the area lying between the Coast and the
Rocky Mountains and to the north of the Dominion Railway Belt, and being the section through
which the new railways are constructed or are approaching completion—the work of this Branch
during the past years has been very extensive, and in this section there are now over 2,000,000
acres of land surveyed in advance of settlement. This year the number of parties employed in
this section was reduced to seven. The following surveyors were employed in the localities
A. W. Harvey Between Francois and Ootsa Lakes.
F. Butterfield Vicinity of Fraser Lake.
A. H. Holland North-east of Fort George.
R. W. Haggen Quesnel River.
A. F. Cotton Eastern Portion of Lillooet District.
W. S. Drewry Sheridan Lake.
R. H. Lee North Thompson River.
In all cases these men had smaller parties and were employed for a shorter period than has
been the practice in recent years, and work was allotted to them where there was an actual
demand for the survey of laud arising from actual settlement taking place. 6 Geo. 5 Report of the Surveyor-General. B 55
It is interesting to note that surveyors working in this section can now reach their work by
the Grand Trunk and Canadian Northern Pacific Railways, thus avoiding the long and expensive
journey over the Cariboo Wagon-road from Ashcroft, and the expense to the Department of large
pack-trains to keep the parties in supplies during the season.
In the Southern Interior—that is, the section of the Province lying between the Coast and
the Rocky Mountains and to the south of the Dominion Railway Belt—the number of the parties
employed was five. The following is a list of the surveyors employed and the localities in which
they were engaged:—
O. B. N. Wilkie Nicola District*
R. P. Brown Princeton Crossing.
H. C. A. Cornish Blueberry Creek, West Kootenay.
A. H. Green Little Slocan River, West Kootenay.
A. W. McVittie Moyie River, East Kootenay.
For many years past the work done by this Branch in this section has not been extensive.
The section in question comprises the older-settled portions of the Interior, and the quantity of
vacant Crown land available in any one locality would not warrant the employment of large
survey parties. The work this year has been similar to that carried on in former years—viz.,
the survey of comparatively small areas where active settlement is taking place and the subdivision of logged-off timber lands.
The mountainous nature of the Mainland Coast of British Columbia, and the fact that the
river-valleys and flat land generally are covered by a heavy growth of merchantable timber held
under timber licences or leasehold, has rendered it impossible for this Department to make
extensive surveys. The practice of recent years has been continued, and the work practically
confined to the subdivision into small holdings for settlement of logged-off land. The following
surveyors were employed in the localities indicated:—
G. J. Jackson Gibson Landing.
J. E. Laverock Sechelt Inlet.
N. F. Townsend Malaspina Inlet.
H. H. Roberts Read Island.
F. Tupper Alert Bay.
Subdivision in this district is into parcels of 40 acres, as against 160 acres elsewhere in the
Province. The number of such holdings surveyed this year is approximately 200, any or all of
which can be made available for pre-emption in the near future.
Experience the last few years has shown that lands of this nature are in active demand,
due no doubt to the facilities for water transportation and the proximity to the larger cities of
the Lower Mainland Coast.
The conditions on Vancouver Island throughout that portion under the jurisdiction of the
Provincial Government, with the exception of the northern end, are similar to those of the Coast
District above referred to.
A considerable portion of Rupert District, at the northern end of the Island, is comparatively
level, and in the early history of the Province a system of townships was projected on the maps
of the Province and outlines were laid down on the ground. Owing to the incompleteness of
these surveys, very considerable confusion has arisen in recent years when actual settlement
has taken place, and during the past few years the entire area has been resurveyed. This work
is now approaching completion.
During the past season H. H. Browne and L. S. Cokely were engaged on this work.
In addition to these surveyors, A. I. Robertson was employed in the vicinity of Nitinat Lake,
and H. N. Clague in the surveying of logged-off lands on the west coast.
Queen Charlotte Islands.
F. Nash and J. C A. Long were employed in completing work undertaken in former years
in the vicinity of Skidegate Inlet. B 56 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
During recent years very considerable surveying-work has been done by this Department
on Graham Island, with the result that nearly all the arable portions of the island and lands
held under coal-prospecting licences have been surveyed, and the conditions arising from the
confliction of stakings referred to in previous reports have been adjusted.
Topographic Survey of Okanagan Valley.
R. D. McCaw continued this year the survey of the watershed of Okanagan Lake commenced
by him at the beginning of last season. This work differs entirely in its nature from other
work done by this Branch, and was undertaken originally at the request of the Water Branch.
The photo-topographic method enables a surveyor to obtain in a comparatively short season
topographical information in-regard to a considerable area of country. The work involved in
the compilation of plans, etc., from this information takes, however, considerably more time
than is the case with surveys made by other methods.
In view of the comparatively small expense of a photo-topographic survey and the value of
the information obtained, it was considered advisable this spring to continue this work. The
field-work done will permit of the mapping of about 325 square miles of country, much of which
is the more valuable fruit-growing section of the Okanagan Valley, maps of which will be of
the utmost value in considering the question of irrigation. The Branch is again indebted to
E. Deville, Esq., LL.D., Surveyor-General of Dominion Lands, for the use of photo-topographical
Interprovincial Boundary Survey.
The survey of the boundary between the Province of Alberta and British Columbia was, by
arrangement between the Governments of the Dominion, Province of Alberta, and this Province,
placed under direction of a Commission, the cost being borne in equal proportions by the three
Governments. The work has been carried on for two years, and it was considered inadvisable
this year to suspend operations. At a meeting held in Edmonton in May last, between the
Surveyor-General of Dominion Lands, the Director of Surveys of the Province of Alberta, and
the Surveyor-General of British Columbia, it was decided that the work be proceeded with under
a reduced appropriation. The report of A. O. Wheeler, B.C.L.S., Commissioner for British
Columbia, is attached hereto and describes in detail the work of the Commission.
In addition to the above-mentioned surveyors who were employed on more or less extensive
survey-work, seven surveyors were employed at various times for short periods on miscellaneous
surveys throughout the Province.
The surveys above described are those made under the direction and at the cost of this
Branch. The Branch has, however, a general supervision over all surveys of Crown lands
throughout the Province made at the expense of private parties who may have acquired
interests in unsurveyed Crown lands by pre-emption record, application to purchase or lease,
coal-prospecting or timber licences, etc. This Branch also deals with the notes of survey of
rights acquired under the " Mineral Act." Surveys of this nature are generally termed " private
As already stated, the area surveyed by private survey is this year a fraction only of that
done in recent years. The Appendix to this report', Table A, gives the area of every class of
survey for each year from 1900 to date, the figures given being the amount of land the field-
notes of which have been dealt with and gazetted during the calendar year. As, however, the
end of the calendar year follows so closely the end of the surveying season, a large volume of
field-notes is, as a rule, dealt with in the following year. The table is therefore not strictly
accurate, but furnishes, under ordinary circumstances, a fair comparison between the work done
each year. This year, however, it is probable that practically all field-notes of surveys made
during the year 1915 have been dealt with in this office, and the figures given are therefore
relatively higher than they should be, as they include a portion of the work done in 1914 and
nearly all that done in the current year. 6 Geo. 5 Report of the Chief Draughtsman. B 57
In concluding this report, some reference to the Geographic section would appear to be in
order. This section of the Branch was organized in 1912 to prepare and to superintend the
publication of lithograph maps. For some years prior to the above date no lithograph maps
had been published by this Department, and there was an insistent demand on the part of the
public for new and up-to-date maps. G. G. Aitken resigned from the staff of the Geological
Survey at Ottawa to assume the position of Chief Geographer, and gathered around him a staff
of technical draughtsmen, with the result that it may be fairly claimed that the maps published
by the Province of British Columbia are not only more numerous, but are equal in every particular to the best maps published by any Province in the Dominion. Mr. Aitken, together with
the majority of the members of his staff, have obtained leave of absence and are now in training
for military service at the front. It is therefore improbable that during the continuation of
the war the remaining members of the staff will be able to do more than keep up to date and
republish existing maps.
Attached to this report will be found that of the Chief Draughtsman, which describes in
detail the work of the general staff for the past year, and refers to that of the Geographic
Following the procedure of former years, there is attached to this report the reports of
surveyors who have been employed during the season on field-work, and attention is particularly
drawn to the report of G. B. Miiligan, B.C.L.S., on the Peace River District, which was received
too late to incorporate in the last Annual Report, and which describes his explorations during
the years 1913 and 1914.
All tabular statements of comparative statistics, etc., which have appeared in former reports
are this year attached as appendices.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
G. H. DAWSON.
REPORT OF THE CHIEF DRAUGHTSMAN.
G. H. Dawson, Esq.. December 31st, 1915.
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report on the work of the Survey Branch
for the year ending December 31st, 1915:—
The work of the General Office has been carried on along the same lines as in 1914. There
has been a considerable decrease in the volume of work handled owing to the reduction in the
amount of surveys being made. There has been a reduction in the staff from thirty-seven at
the beginning of the year to thirty-one at the present date, being a total reduction of about
40 per cent, since the beginning of the war. These figures are exclusive of the Geographic
Sub-branch, which will be referred to later. It is satisfactory to note that as work decreased
there has been a corresponding decrease in the staff, which has been brought about entirely
by the enlistment of certain members in the Army.
During the year, 1,774 field-books have been received, containing notes for 2,836 lots. During
the same period, 4.184 lots have been plotted and gazetted and tracings prepared and forwarded
to the Government Agents. The following table gives an analysis of the acreages of gazetted
surveys for the year:—
Pre-emption records 22,745.9
Purchase claims 41,550.6
Mineral claims 8,339.4
Timber licences 512,628.0
Coal licences 29.245
Lease of lands and foreshores 841.4
British Columbia Government 705,170.0
Total 1,230,520.3 A comparison of these figures with those of the previous years as far back as 1900 can be
made by referring to Table A attached to this report. There has been a marked decrease in
all private surveys, with the exception of mineral claims, in which there is a slight increase,
which would tend to indicate that the war has had no depressing effect on the mining industry
of the Province.
The practice adopted last year of gazetting the acceptance of mineral claims only when
the owner gives notice of his intention to apply for certificate of improvements has been continued this year. The figures given in Table A are for surveys actually gazetted, whereas the
acreage of mineral claims for which field-notes have been received during the year amounts to
16,546 acres, as compared with 16,167 acres for the previous year.
It might also be explained that a greater portion of the acreage included in the item " British
Columbia Government" in the above table refers to areas surveyed during 1914, the field-notes
of which were not received or could not be dealt with until the early part of 1915.
Notices and Extensions op Time to Survey.
During the past year notices to survey were issued, affecting thirty-four timber licences,
and extensions for various periods were granted for thirty-nine licences. Extensions of time
to survey applications to purchase land were granted to 212 applicants, twenty-four of these
being first extensions, and the remainder covering applications outstanding for one year or
more and granted with the forfeiture of rights of priority over any subsequent applications
which might be involved and which might be surveyed in the meantime.
During the year railway-location plans have been received for 250 miles of line. Plans of
survey of right-of-way for 755 miles have been filed and dealt with. These plans are used for
the elimination of right-of-way from adjoining lands when available, and subsequently as a basis
for granting the right-of-way to the railway company. Plans have been examined and accepted
for Crown-granting purposes for 300 miles of right-of-way.
All applications for land under the " Land Act " are referred to this Branch for a clearance
report as to the status of the lands applied for. During the past year forty-three applications
to purchase and 2,500 applications for pre-emption have been dealt with. The corresponding
figures for 1914 were 201 and 4,283 respectively. All applications, when cleared, are entered
on departmental reference maps, as are also cancellations of pre-emption records, of which 1,590
were noted. Crown grants to the number of 676 have been cleared, as well as 19S applications
for coal licences or leases—224 for hand-loggers' licences and 413 timber sales or permits.
In addition to the above, the staff has been called upon to issue clearances to the Forest
Branch in connection with timber licences applied for in perpetuity and licences issued over
old timber leases. Numerous areas which have been found on examination by officials of the
Forest Branch to be timber lands within the meaning of the " Land Act" have been noted on
departmental reference maps. Upon receipt of advice of the cancellations and expiration of
certain rights under the " Forest Act," suitable notations are made on the maps.
Owing to the reduction in staff and the large amount of Government surveys made during
1914 which required to be dealt with during the early part of the year, it was impossible to
devote as much attention as might otherwise have been done to the remaking of departmental
reference maps. Twenty-two maps were remade this year, covering an area of 46,620 square
miles. The majority of these cover the older portions of the Province and contain more detail
than maps of the more outlying portions. The style of these maps is being constantly improved,
and considerable care and attention is taken to have the information as complete and authentic
Information supplied to Surveyors and Others.
A nominal charge is made for the preparation of copies of field-notes, blue-prints, etc.,
applied for by surveyors in private practice or by other parties who may require information
which takes up more or less of a draughtsman's time. The revenue derived from this source
during the year amounts to $1,660.89. The Division dealing with this work dealt with 653 6 Geo. 5 Report of the Chief Draughtsman. B 59
letters, of which 420 were requests for blue-prints and the remainder for copies of field-notes,
plans, etc. Copies of 2S7 sets of field-notes and 865 tracings were prepared in this connection.
The following is a statement of the number of blue-prints made during the year:—
Counter orders 431
Mail orders 690
Government Agents 1,697
Works Department 1,545
Forest Branch 762
Water Branch 190
There have also been prepared 647 tracings in duplicate to be attached to Crown grants,
as well as sixty-seven tracings, also in duplicate, to be attached to leases of coal lands, foreshore, etc.
In addition to the work outlined above, the drafting of instructions to surveyors, routine
correspondence occupies a large amount of time and attention. The records show that 8,219
letters were received and 7,068 sent out during the year.
The accountant has dealt with survey accounts to the amount of $229,842.
Considerable miscellaneous work of which no detailed record can be given has been attended
to, such as the preparation of descriptions, special maps, reports, and the compilation of statistics
from departmental records.
The work of compiling the volume of reference to the general reports and information of
interest pertaining to various parts of the country referred to in previous reports has been
continued and brought up to date, as well as the classification and mounting of photographs.
The time spent in this compilation has been amply justified by the convenience afforded by it
in obtaining a reference to all available data regarding any particular section of the Province.
The photographs, being arranged to conform in system with the reference volume, are readily
available to illustrate the reports.
A commencement has been made on the preparation of special plans of surveyed vacant
Crown lands, showing by means of annotations the nature of the ground, character of soil, and
other information contained in the field-notes that might be of interest to a prospective settler.
In recent years surveyors employed on Government surveys have been required to furnish plans
on tracing-linen showing this information, and blue-prints are forwarded to the Government
Agents in whose districts the lands are situated. The plans now being prepared cover areas
for which no surveyors' plans of this nature were furnished, and it is hoped that the blue-prints
of these which are being supplied to the various recording offices will be of some assistance to
A summary statement of the office-work and the corresponding figures for 1914 will be found
in Table E attached to this report.
The staff of the Geographic Sub-branch has been very much depleted during the year owing
to the enlistment in the Army of five of its members, including G. G. Aitken, Chief Geographer,
leaving only three men to carry on the work during the coming year.
The following is a list of the maps which have been published during the year:—
No. 3a. Fort George. Revised and printed.
,, 3b. Nechako. Revised and printed.
„ 3d. Bulkley A'alley. Recompiled and printed.
„ 3f. Chilcotin. Revised and printed.
,, 3g. Quesnel. Revised and printed. B 60 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
No. 3h. Tete Jaune. Revised and printed.
,, 3j. North Thompson. Revised and printed.
„ 3k. Lillooet. Recompiled and printed.
,, 3l. Graham Island. Compiled and printed.
„ 3m. Prince Rupert. Compiled (not yet printed).
No. Iem. Kootenay, Osoyoos, and Similkameen, showing Mining Divisions.
„ Ier. Kootenay, Osoyoos, and Similkameen, showing Land Recording Divisions.
Scale, 7.89 miles to 1 inch.
„ 1g. Cariboo and Adjacent Districts. Scale, 7.89 miles to 1 inch.
All pre-emption maps were republished with the exception of the Stuart Lake and Peace
River Sheets, for which the additional information available did not justify a new issue. A new
sheet of the pre-emptors' series, covering the area lying between the Bulkley Sheet and the
Coast, and known as "No. 3m, Prince Rupert," has been compiled and will be ready for the
printers early in the new year.
The map of the Kootenay, Osoyoos, and Similkameen Districts on the scale of 7.S9 miles
to 1 inch, described in the report of the Chief Geographer for 1914, was the first of a series
of geographic maps and was issued in April last. Another map of this series, entitled " Cariboo
and Adjacent Districts," is now in the hands of the printers, and it is expected that it will be
available for distribution before the end of January. The map covers the greater portion of
what is generally termed the Central Interior of the Province.
A geographical map on the scale of 17.75 miles to 1 inch has been compiled of the northern
portion of the Province, showing the information otrtained through various exploratory surveys
carried out during recent years. This map has been delayed by reason of the reduction in the
staff, but it is hoped that it will be possible to publish it some time during the coming year.
No new maps of the land series have been published this year, but a partial compilation has
been made of the northerly portion of Vancouver Island, which when completed will conform
with the map of the southerly Vancouver Island published in 1913.
In addition to the above, several maps of a miscellaneous character have been prepared and
printed during the year, including a map of the Province showing the Provincial electoral
districts as defined by the " Constitution Act" as amended in 1915, and smaller compilations
for insertion in pamphlets issued by the Department.
A number of maps have been prepared for printing for the Department of Mines to be
inserted in the Annual Report of that Department. Certain sketches were also drawn for the
report of the Fisheries Department.
It is proposed during the coming year to keep up to date as far as possible by correcting
and republishing, when necessary, the existing maps, as with the small staff remaining it will
probably not be possible to undertake any new compilations beyond the completion of the map
of Northern British Columbia already referred to.
I have, etc.,
J. E. Umbach,
Chief Draughtsman. 6 Geo. 5
Appendix to Report of Chief Draughtsman.
APPENDIX TO REPORT OF CHIEF DRAUGHTSMAN.
Table A.—Showing Acreages of each Class op Surveys gazetted each Tear since 1900.
1900 . .
1911 . .
Table B.—Showing Proportion of Government Surveys to Total Land Surveys since 1900.
of Govt. Surveys to Total.
1900 to 1906
1907 to 1911
Table C.—Showing Number of Alienated Parcels and Approximate AcrEoVges remaining
UNSURVEYED AT THE END OP EACH OF THE TEARS 1912, 1913, 1914, AND 1915.
Pre-emption records . .
Totals . .
4,064,000 B 62
Report of the Minister of Lands.
Table D.—Showing Areas of Surveyed Lands available in the Various Land Districts.
Coast Range 5 238.004
Coast Range 4 205,785
Queen Charlotte Islands 213,477
Peace River 126,SS6
Sayward and New Westminster 16,430
Note.—This table does not include some of the smaller districts in which the amount of surveyed
lands available for pre-emption is practically negligible.
Table E.—Summary of Office-work for the Year 1915 and Comparative Figures for 1914.
Number of field-books received
lots gazetted and tracings forwarded to Government Agents
miles of railway-location plans received
miles of right-of-way plans received
applications for purchase cleared
applications for pre-emption cleared
cancellations and abandonments of pre-emptions
reference maps compiled
reference maps retraced
Crown-grant applications cleared
letters asking for information dealt with
letters asking for blue-prints dealt with
Total number of letters received by Branch
,, „ Crown-grant and lease tracings made in duplicate
„ „ blue-prints made
Total revenue from information, blue-prints, maps, etc
$1,660.89 6 Geo. 5
Appendix to Report of Chief Draughtsman.
Table F.—List of Lithographed Maps.
Title of Map.
British Columbia. In four sheets. Showing roads
and trails, railway systems, etc
British Columbia. In one sheet. Showing Land
British Columbia. In one sheet. Showing Land
British Columbia. In one sheet. Showing Mining
Kootenay, Osoyoos, and Similkameen. Showing Mining
Kootenay, Osoyoos, and Similkameen. Showing Land
British Columbia. In one sheet. Showing Electoral
Cariboo and Adjacent Districts. Showing Land Recording Divisions (probable date of publishing, Jan. 1016)
Southerly Vancouver Island
New Westminster and Yale Districts
Graham Island, Queen Charlotte Islands
Upper Elk River Sheet
Duncan River Sheet
Sayward District, Sketch-map of
Yale District and Portion of Adjacent Districts
Rupert and Coast Districts, Portions of
New Westminster and Vancouver Island, Portions of. .
British Columbia, South-west Portion of. (Second iss.)
Kootenay District, East and West, showing Mining Divs.
Northern Interior. (A. G. Morice.)
British Columbia. In two sheets
Kootenay District, East, Triangulation Survey of ....
Osoyoos District, Portion of
Kootenay District, West Division, and Part of Lillooet,
Yale, etc., Mining Recording Divisions
Kootenay District, West, Portion of
Vancouver Island, West Coast, Portion of; Clayoquot
18 m. to 1 in.
30 m. to 1 in.
30 m. to 1 in.
30 m. to 1 in.
7.89 m. to 1 in.
7.80 m. to 1 in.
30 m. to 1 in.
7.89 m. to 1 in.
4 m. to 1 in.
4 m. to 1 in.
8 m. to 1 in.
1 m. to 1 in.
% m. to 1 in.
t In course of printing.
* Out of print.
f In course of compilation.
Note.—To avoid misunderstanding, applicants for maps are requested to state the " Map Number '
of map B 64
Retort of the Minister of Lands.
% inch to 1 mile.
1 inch to 1 mile.
% inch to 1 mile.
1 inch to 1 mile.
Vi inch to 1 mile.
1 inch to 1 mile.
Table G.—DepoVrtmental Reference Maps.
Price-list of Blue-prints.
1. West Coast, V.L (Barclay Sound, Southerly) Scale, 1 inch to 1 mile.
1a. West Coast, V.L (Barclay Sound, Northerly) „
2. Nootka District „
2a. Rupert District (South Portion) „
3. Kingcome and Seymour Inlets ,,
3a. Rupert District (North-west Portion) ,
3b. Johnstone Straits ,,
4. Knight and Bute Inlets ,,
4a. Sayward District „
5. Texada Island and West Portion N.W.D
5a. Jervis Inlet ,
5b. Howe Sound and Squamish Valley
5c. Harrison Lake ,,
6a. Nicola ,,
6b. Princeton „
6c. Ashnola River „
7a. Kettle River ,,
7b. South Half of Okanagan Lake to Boundary-line „
7c. North Half of Okanagan Lake . . . „
7d. Lumby and Vicinity „
11. Murtle Lake „
11a. North Thompson ,,
12. Ranges 2 and 3, Coast District Scale,
12a. Bella Coola Valley Scale,
14. Ranges 4 and 5, Coast District „
14a. Portion of Skeena River and Kitsumgallnm „
14b. Gardner Canal and Vicinity Scale,
15. Moresby Island, Northern Portion Scale,
15a. „ Southern „ Scale,
16. Graham Island, N.E. Portion Scale.
16A. „ S.E. „
16b. „ W. „
17. Portland Canal
17a. Skeena River from Lome Creek to Kispiox River
17b. Nass and Kitwancool
18a. Moose Lake and South Fork of Fraser River
20. Moricetown and Bulkley River
21a. Fraser Lake and Nechako Townships
21b. Francois Lake and Oosta Lake
21c. Douglas Channel
22. South Fork of Fraser River
22a. Fort George and Vicinity
22b. Portion of Nechako River and Cluculz Lake
22c. Blackwater and Mud River
22d. Fraser River, Vicinity of Quesnel
22e. South Fork of Fraser River
23. Quesnel Lake (East Arm)
23a. 150-Mile House, Barkerville and Quesnel Lake
24a. Anderson and Seton Lakes, Lillooet
24b. Fraser River, Lillooet District
25. Portion of Ranges 2 and 3, Coast District
26. Porcher and Adjacent Islands
27a. Fraser River (Alexandria, Southerly)
27b. Lac La Hache and Northern Lillooet
28. North Part of Babine Lake Scale,
28a. Stuart and Babine Lakes Scale,
29. Chilcotin, West 124th Mer „
29a. Anaham and Abuntlet Lake „
29b. Nazko and Chilcotin Rivers „
30. Bonaparte River and Canim Lake
31. Bulkley Valley ,
32a. Tatlayoko Lake „
32b. Head of Bute and Knight Inlets „
34. Lot 4593, West Portion Scale,
34a. Lot 4593, East Portion „
35. Islands, S.E. of Vancouver Island Scale,
3Sa. Groundhog Coal Area, East of Meridian „
Vi inch to 1 mile.
1 inch to 1 mile.
2 inches to 1 mile.
1 inch to 1 mile.
50 6 Geo. 5 Appendix to Report of Chief Draughtsman. B 65
Table G.—Departmental Reference Maps—Concluded.
Price-list of Blue-prints—Concluded.
3Sb. Groundhog Coal Area. West of Meridian Scale, 1 inch to 1 mile $1 50
38c. Upper Nass River „ „ „ 1 50
39. Euchiniko Lake „ „ „ 1 00
40. Tetachuck and Eu'cku Lakes „ „ „ 2 00
42. Big Bend, Kootenay District ,, „ „ 1 50
42a. Adams Lake and River „ „ „ 1 50
42b. Canoe River „ „ „ 1 50
42c. Cedar Creek, Columbia River „ „ 1 00
43. Peace River, South of Dominion Government Reserve . . . ,, „ „ 1 00
45. S.E. Foreshore of Vancouver Island „ „ ,, 1 00
46. Saanich District and Islands „ ,, „ 1 00
47. Peace River, West of Dominion Government Reserve . .. ,, „ „ 2 00
48. Lake McLeod „ ■ „ 2 00
49. Pine River, Peace River District ,, „ ,, 1 50
50. Parsnip and Peace Rivers , „ „ 1 50
51. Finlay River , „ „ 1 50
52. Atlin Lake Scale, % inch to 1 mile 1 00
lS-9s. Rossland and Vicinity Scale, 1 inch to 1 mile 1 00
17-9s. Nelson and Creston Vicinity „ „ ,, 1 00
16-9s. Moyie River , „ , 1 00
15-9s. Elko Vicinity „ „ „ 1 00
15-9n. Fernie and Crow's Nest Vicinity „ „ „ 1 00
16-9N. Cranbrook and Kootenay River „ „ ,, 1 00
17-9N. Kaslo and Kootenay Lake „ ,, ,, 1 00
18-9n. Edgewood and Lower Arrow Lake „ „ ,, 1 00
15-0. Elk and White Rivers „ „ „ 1 00
21-23. Duncan Lake and Columbia Lake „ „ „ 1 50
1S-20. Nakusp and Vicinity „ „ „ 1 50
27-29. Columbia River, Winner, and Spillimacheen ,. „ „ 1 50
30-32. Trout Lake and Upper Arrow Lake ,, „ „ 1 50
Note.—These reference maps show lands alienated and applied for, " Timber Limits," " Coal Licences,"
etc., surveyed and unsurveyed. They are compiled from all available data and are constantly being amended,
and their accuracy is therefore not' guaranteed. They were prepared originally for Departmental use, and,
having proved of value to the public, are now on sale. B 66 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
FRANCOIS-OOTSA LAKE DISTRICT.
By A. W. Hakvey.
Victoria, B.C., October 19th, 1915.
G. H. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—In accordance with your instructions of last July, I proceeded to Ootsa Lake and
surveyed the area left vacant in the vicinity of Skins Lake, containing approximately fifteen
sections. The country lying between Ootsa Lake and Skins Lake is very rough and rocky.
Lots 2538, 2545, and 2546 being worthless. The eight sections lying to the west of Sections
253S and 2543 contain a considerable quantity of good land, the country being rolling and
timbered lightly with small poplar, pine, and spruce. The soil is similar over the whole area,
being a light clay loam, gravelly on the ridges. There are numerous small lakes and swamps.
To the north along Cheslatta Creek I completed the survey of the sections having this
creek for the south boundary. This stream, after leaving Skins Lake, runs through two small
lakes and is from 15 to 50 links wide, in a well-defined channel, and contains running water
throughout the year. I have used this stream as the northern boundary of Lots 2542 and 2548.
On the completion of this work I moved to the west end of Uncha Lake, where I surveyed
nine and a half sections. The land along the stream connecting Takysie and Uncha Lakes is
good and comprises numerous small meadows and willow-swamps. The uplands are lightly
timbered with pine, spruce, and poplar, and the soil is a clay loam, with a gravelly subsoil.
Lots 2563, 2564, and 2565 are somewhat rough and broken. After the completion of this work
I returned to Burns Lake, where I arrived on September 11th.
The Francois-Ootsa Lake District contains more good, open farming land than any other
portion of Northern British Columbia. The country is broken by numerous ranges of hills
varying in height from 300 to 1,000 feet above the elevation of the larger lakes. The southern
slopes of all these hills are practically devoid of trees and covered with a heavy growth of grass,
peavine, and fireweed, reaching a height in places of over 6 feet, interspersed with clumps of
willow-bush and poplar. The northern slopes are generally moss-covered and thickly timbered
with pine and spruce. Balsam also is found on the higher hills.
The soil in these ridges is chiefly a light clay loam, dry and gravelly, covered on the
southern slopes by a layer of black loam varying in depth from a couple of inches to over a
foot, and formed by the annual decay of the rank vegetation.
The valleys between these ridges contain a very large quantity of excellent land. Hay
meadows are very numerous, also large willow-swamps, most of which are easily drained and
brought under cultivation. The soil in the bottoms is a heavy clay loam with a covering of
vegetable mould. On the benches the soil is lighter, with a mixture of sand, and the timber
consists of small poplar, pine, and spruce from 3 to 15 inches in diameter.
The climate is generally dryer and warmer than the average of Northern British Columbia,
the summer frosts being less frequent and severe than in other districts and the rainfall in
the summer very light.
There are numerous settlers in the country, most of whom are located along the north
shores of Francois and Ootsa Lakes, and along the wagon-road from Burns Lake to Ootsa,
which has been nearly completed this summer.
Vegetables, such as potatoes, turnips, carrots, etc., can be grown to perfection in this
district and yield very heavy crops. Very few attempts have been made to grow fruit, but
berries and the hardier fruits should be raised successfully. The winters are long, but not
so severe as in the Bulkley and Nechako Districts. Snow lies on the ground from four to five
months in the year and averages about a foot in depth. The lakes are frozen for about three
and a half to four months.
Lakes are more numerous in this district than in any other part of British Columbia, and
fish are very abundant. In Francois Lake the trout, both grey and rainbow, grow to a very
large size, the grey trout especially being taken occasionally as large as 40 lb. In Ootsa Lake
the grey trout is not found, and the rainbow are much smaller than in Francois Lake. Most
of the small lakes are also full of fish, trout, whitefish, suckers, and a coarse species of chub
which are very poor eating. 6 Geo. 5 Vicinity of Fraser Lake. B 67
Game is not very abundant, though deer are fairly plentiful, and moose and caribou are
occasionally seen. Grouse and rabbits are numerous, but not as abundant as in other districts.
The chief difficulties of the new settlers in the country are lack of transportation facilities
and a market for their produce. The only road through the district is that from Burns Lake
to Ootsa, and the suitable land on this road and adjacent to the large lakes has all been taken up.
The chief crop grown in the country is potatoes, value about 1 cent a pound, and it does not
pay to haul these to the railroad. The future of the district depends on the cattle industry,
the country being essentially adapted to stock-raising. The range on the hills is very extensive
and the snowfall light. With greater transportation facilities and a better market, the Francois-
Ootsa District should have a great future.
I have, etc.,
A. W. Harvey, B.C.L.S.
VICINITY OF FRASER LAKE.
By F. Butterfield.
November 30th, 1915.
G. H. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following general report on Fraser Lake District:—
The old surveys in this district, owing to the physical nature of the country, were often
disconnected; fractions were thus created, and in many instances excellent lands neglected.
Such lands as these have become valuable of recent years, and many settlers have found vacant
unsurveyed land and good homes in localities where the majority have passed without examination.
The survey of such pieces comprised a considerable portion of the past season's work, and
I believe I am correct in stating that at the close of the season all pre-emptions immediately
south and west of Fraser Lake and east of Savory, in the Endako Valley, were surveyed. In
addition to these, considerable land has been surveyed in advance of settlement.
The survey of land ahead of settlement in this district, while highly satisfactory when
completed, requires an excellent knowledge of the country to carry out. Even with such
knowledge, unless, by chance, outside information is obtained, a stray tract of land might
easily escape notice. Rocky lands and agricultural pieces are freely interspersed, and I would
advise the intending settler to bear this in mind when in search of a suitable location.
The influx of settlers during the past year has been very satisfactory. The sudden realization of the country's possibilities actuated by the comparatively recent advent of the Grand
Trunk Pacific Railway has raised the restriction which the settler placed on the extent of his
tilled land, and such an advance has been made in quantity of produce in 1915 over former
years that great difficulty has been experienced in finding sufficiently large markets. Surplus
and unmarketable produce, however, is now being used in many instances to feed recently
imported stock, and the farmer is neither suffering loss nor has he any regrets. At the close
of the season potatoes were selling at 1 cent and turnips at Vi cent per pound.
A number of farmers and settlers are experimenting with fruits, and while it will be some
years before the large fruit-trees are yielding, there seems absolutely no reason why an immediate
result of a satisfactory nature should not be attained with' the smaller varieties. To substantiate the belief that it is a small-fruit country, I would mention that wild fruits have during
the season been very prolific. Black currants more particularly came under notice, and for
weeks there was hardly a day that black currants in some form or another did not find a place
on the camp table. Wild strawberries were also very plentiful, but were unmolested by us, as
the currants were more easily picked.
Tearly the residents of the district learn more of the adaptabilities of the local soil and
climate, and last summer, on the shores of Fraser Lake, tomatoes of good quality matured and
ripened in the open. This, I believe, was the first attempt at growing tomatoes in this district,
and no doubt such success will be an incentive to their more general growth in the future.
Some of the older settlers are breeding cattle, and expect to reap substantial remuneration
for their efforts shortly. The war has affected the development of this part of the Province, B 68 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
in common with others, and many of the better-known faces of the Northern Interior are away
on active service. However, development continues, and settlement in a slow, steady way
promises a prosperous day when the world's business once more becomes normal.
Fraser Lake is situated at the east end of Endako Valley, and is fed by the combined waters
of the Endako and Stella Rivers. It is drained by the Nautley River, which carries its overflow
to the Nechako River, only one mile distant. At this point the Nechako River makes its big
bend, changing direction from about N. 40° W. to east. The Nautley is navigable by launches
only on high water, and at low water it is only by dint of perseverance and much hauling over
stones that any craft may be taken from the Nechako River to Fraser Lake. The lake is about
2,250 feet in altitude and is encompassed by low hills. On the north side these are more
prominent, but on the south they do not rise so high, and while the country is much broken
and very irregular, the relative amount of rock is comparatively small. The timber consists
chiefly of poplar and jack-pine, the latter found occasionally growing amongst the former.
The theory that jack-pine flourishes only on useless and unfertile soil is being exploded.
Jack-pine does grow in places where it is hard to credit the existence of any nourishment, but
it does not necessarily follow that a lack of sustenance is requisite for its growth. In order to
dispel the idea that jack-pine land is invariably useless, I would emphatically state that I have
seen equally good crops taken from former jack-pine land as from neighbouring poplar. Jack-
pine needs very little moisture, and sometimes, in consequence, grows profusely in localities
where other trees cannot exist. It has been said that the soil in which jack-pine has grown
for some years is intensely resinous and is thus rendered unsuitable for herbage. This may be,
but nothing has ever come under my observation to lead me to any decision on this point.
The Endako Valley proper is only about one mile in width in some places, but, nevertheless,
possibly receives more attention from incoming settlers than any other portion of the Fraser
Lake District. The soil of this valley is rich in the bottom lands, but inclined to rock on the
higher levels. As a fair proportion of the season's work was performed in this valley, I propose
going more into detail later.
Throughout the district the beaver has contributed to the formation of meadows by damming
the waterways at the narrow points, and though many meadows so formed are wet, they can,
without exception, be drained and brought under cultivation.
Light timber is general, rendering slashing, clearing, and road-building as simple and
inexpensive as possible.
The past summer experienced absolutely no frost, and undoubtedly the reduction of the
wet, moss-covered bottoms, sometimes, and to my mind incorrectly, termed " muskegs " by the
farmers, has materially assisted in the remedy of this evil.
The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway skirts the south shore of Fraser Lake, coining from the
west by way of the Bulkley, and from the east by the Fraser and Nechako Valleys. Fraser
Lake is reached by train in about fifteen hours from Prince Rupert and four hours from Fort
George. Numerous wagon-roads and trails traversing the districts in all directions give ready
access to outlying points. New trails and roads are in course of construction, and others, I
nnderstand, under consideration, which will further facilitate transportation by providing
shorter routes to the railway.
Farming and Agriculture.
No class of farming or agriculture has been pursued sufficiently to prove its limitations, but
judging from the crops of the past two years the vicinity of Fraser Lake compares favourably
with other cultivated districts of the Northern Interior. Prevalent opinion has favoured the
growing of garden-truck as the most remunerative branch of agriculture, but a superabundance
of vegetables on this account, together with bumper crops, recently threatened a glut of the
While cattle-raising is still in its infancy, its success has been established, but the presence
of cattle, horses, pigs, chickens, etc., together with oats and hay sufficient for winter consump- 6 Geo. 5 Vicinity of Fraser Lake. B 69
tion, suggests mixed farming as the ultimate aim of the local farmer. The existence of coyotes
probably discourages sheep-farming, and though some residents are seriously considering sheep
as an adjunct to their mixed farms, no attempt has been made to test their success. As a
specialty, the preparation of stall-fed cattle for Coast markets would, in consideration of the
excellent location, the luxuriant growth of herbage for stock, and the amount of excellent
winter feed which may be cheaply grown by the farmer, appear to be the most lucrative. It
is a general local belief that ultimately the district will hold a prominent place in the beef-
producing districts of Canada.
Oats are being grown with great success, and from actual weights and measurements taken
this year an individual crop of oats was found to average slightly in excess of 100 bushels to
the acre. The potato-crop is usually highly satisfactory, and the past year's is no exception,
some of the yield even weighing over 3 lb. each. A -short list of prices of produce, etc., is
appended, and it is hoped may render the foregoing more comprehensive.
Disintegrated clay has, by years of nature's working, been deposited over a considerable
area of the district, ultimately producing by association with sand, gravel, and other ingredients
a sandy soil. This varies greatly, occasionally presenting a fine silt appearance which suggests
the entire absence of sand, and again showing a decided preponderance of gravel. The latter
soil is found usually on the higher levels, where the absence of moisture is also manifest.
Vegetable mould, red and black loams are present along the river-bottoms and in most of the
lower altitudes, except where summer fires have burnt deep into the surface soil. The fertility
of the lower lands is unquestioned, and the luxuriant growth of peavine or vetches, fireweed,
etc., gives ample evidence.
During the summer careful readings were regularly taken each morning of the maximum
and minimum temperatures, and the precipitation during the preceding twenty-four hours. A
table based on these observations is appended. It should be stated here that for portions of
the months of July and August the thermometer was stationed on the edge of a moist meadow
of some 70 acres in extent, a decidedly cold place, resulting in temperature-readings several
degrees lower than the average temperature elsewhere. The appended readings deal only with
the past summer months, and as no winter records are at hand the tabulation must remain
incomplete. The respective localities of observations are shown, and the months are broken
the better to distinguish the climatic conditions at each point. The best information the incoming
settler may obtain for determining the suitability of the climate may be gleaned from the foregoing reference to the district's farming adaptabilities.
It is worthy of note that during the summer months no single instance of frost was recorded,
except in such places as were locally affected by the near existence of wet meadows.
Under normal conditions—that is, with the average amount of road-construction, railway
improvements, etc.. in progress—the vegetable production far exceeds the need of the local
markets. The fluctuations of these markets are materially enhanced by outside labour being
occasionally imported for the purpose of hastening railway-work, but never do the meat and
dairy markets ebb so low that their requirements can be met by local supplies. The importation
of beef, eggs, butter, etc., is regular, and ample room is left to warrant much development and
increase in stock on the part of the farmer. Prince Rupert and Prince George, being comparatively large towns, receive their farm produce by train, and in the competition for their
desirable patronage the district surrounding Fraser Lake is by merit destined to become noteworthy.
New arrivals are often dependent on this phase of the situation to give them a " start."
Dearth of employment was general during the past summer months, but this unsatisfactory
state of affairs is quite exceptional and not in the least peculiar to the district. The war is
easily traced to be the cause, and no doubt the same trouble has been experienced in most B 70 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
countries of mixed agricultural tendencies the Dominion over. Lack of employment, however,
has never been so conspicuous or serious as to leave hunger in its trail, and the new pre-emptor
can be assured that he can always find an older-established farmer who, in return for labour,
and failing all else, will give him at least a living until something more substantial presents
itself. The wheat-crop proved the safety-valve last summer, and large numbers of men left
for the Prairie Provinces to earn themselves a grub-stake. It is the usual thing for farmers
to aid one another in their more arduous tasks. In this way fewer expenses are incurred and
all work in accord and unison. It is impossible to mention the many sources of employment
which await the needy settler's investigation. Demand for manual labour is usually sufficient
for all who require it, while frequently stores, railway offices, etc., require additional help,
which caii often be fitted in and arranged to suit the settler. In addition, a resourceful man
can usually find a means in this new country of earning money sufficient for his immediate
needs without being dependent on what may be offered him.
Much has been said and written pertaining to the Northern Interior natives, and authentic
information, valuable to the student of the Province's early history, has been presented from
time to time. From these writings and present-day observations we note a remarkable change
in their daily lives, the more remarkable as the last few years appear to have evidenced practically the entire change. Indeed, during the past twelve months, the Indian has surpassed
himself, no doubt to a large extent through necessity, but probably influenced also by the
sound advice of the Indian Agent.
As far back as history takes us, the Indian has been largely dependent on fish, and had
he not displayed a sudden increase of energy and interest in agriculture, the recent failure of
salmon would have caused much greater distress than it has done. The Indian has always
delighted in the possession of horses and carries his delight to a ridiculous extreme. Often
"hard-up," he still retains at least one horse, and only in desperation will he condescend to
part with any. The cayuses are invariably inferior beasts when owned by the Indian, but to
him a horse is apparently indispensable. To my knowledge, the local Indian Agent has for years
attempted to demonstrate this folly, and advised the acquisition of cattle in place of superfluous
horses. At last it would appear some Indians are acting upon this good advice.
On one Indian reserve east of Fraser Lake may now be found over fifty head of cattle;
Nautley Indian Reserve boasts six; while Stella Quo has about thirty to its credit, most of which
are under the ownership of a single individual. In addition to cattle, great progress has taken
place in agriculture, and in place of a few small scattered garden-plots, with contents stunted
for lack of proper attention, now large tracts of garden produce and cereals are cultivated and
receive comparative care.
In illustration, within the past year the Stony Creek Indian Reserve raised 230 acres of
oats and 30 acres of garden produce; Nautley Indian Reserve grew about 10 acres of oats and
the same amount of garden produce; while the Indians of Stella Quo cultivated in all about
35 acres, 15 of which were in oats, 15 in produce, and about 5 acres in timothy-hay. Oats and
potatoes did particularly well on all the Indian reserves, but some of the garden produce was
not a success.
Such oats as were not cut green for feed ripened nicely, though the number of black oats
would suggest the advisability of a change of seed. As before stated, probably poor fish-catches
induced the Indians to devote more time and attention to agriculture. Some never caught a
salmon the whole season through, and those who were luckier or more skilful obtained very
few. At the close of the survey season; however, the larders were being filled with venison to
compensate for fish-failures, and many deer were falling victims to the native hunters' rifles.
Some of the women are skilled in the use of the needle, and while their taste in design is
often crude and decidedly Oriental, the patience and perseverance they employ excites admiration. Civilization is teaching them much useful knowledge, but while it is doing this, they are
surely becoming less adept in their former crafts. Amongst other things, the arrangement of
beads and mingling of silks in that peculiar manner is being forgotten, and patience is becoming
less of a trait in their character. Nevertheless, a few women are yet to be found in Fraser
Lake District who can display true Indian skill in both silk and bead arts. 6 Geo. 5 Vicinity of Fraser Lake. . B 71
Fish and Game.
The country is endowed with a fair quota of fish and game, though the hunting and sometimes the fishing usually involves considerable labour. Practically every stream is a trout-
stream, and every lake of fair size has its whitefish. Salmon are usually plentiful during the
season in both lake and stream, but, as before stated, the past proved exceptional. For trout
I would especially mention the falls in the Stella Quo, where good catches are made annually
with rod and fly. It appears any bright-coloured fly of liberal dimensions is good, but a small
fly is less successful. Deer are plentiful, more so this year than usual, but grouse of all species
are now very scarce in the settled vicinities. Deer are difficult to locate while the ground is
bare, as they are so scattered and do not congregate or habitate any particular spots. They
wander through a large expanse of country, and.therefore little attempt is made to hunt them
until the first fall of snow, when the expert hunter tracks them to a stand. In the outlying
portions of the district grouse are still in fair numbers, but more easily affrighted than before
the days of railway-construction. Chief amongst the fur-bearing animals is the beaver, which
has done so much towards the preparation and formation of land. They are being killed out
expeditiously by the settler draining land, who finds them a pest, as they rebuild with such
rapidity the dams which he is endeavouring to destroy.
South of- Fraser Lake-Cheslatta Trail.
That portion of the district south of Fraser Lake which more particularly came under
notice is within six miles of the lake-shore and, with the exception of about 1,000 acres, west
of the Old Cheslatta Trail. This trail leaves the south shore wagon-road about six miles west
of Fort Fraser and, continuing westerly, skirts the shore of Dry William Lake; then, turning
southerly, passes Klez Lake on the west shore.
Old lines of prior surveys for the most part defined the limits of survey, while the foot-hills
of the Nithi Divide rendered it inadvisable to continue the system farther south. While surveying the westerly portion of this tract camp was located about one mile south of Mud Lake
on the edge of an extensive meadow. This meadow, indirectly formed through the activities
of beaver, and only a few years ago perpetually under water, has now been drained and transformed into one of the finest hay meadows of the district. Timothy grass (I'hleum pratense)
has been sown, and is quickly choking the coarse, native swamp-grass out of existence. Another
large meadow, still in its native state, is situated about half a mile east of here, and other
smaller ones exist in the neighbourhood. The surrounding country is clothed in spruce, poplar,
and jack-pine, the spruce being particularly heavy in the close proximity of the meadows. In
the poplar and spruce localities the soil is excellent, but almost all this land is now alienated.
The vacant lands south of Dry William Lake and west of the Cheslatta Trail as far south as
Chowsunkut Lake are mostly covered with poplar. The trail itself follows high gravelly and
rocky ridges, but leaving the trail westerly the soil improves, ultimately consisting of black
loam and light vegetable mould, while rock only occasionally appears on the surface. The
whole of this tract is entirely unsettled, and is seldom traversed except by the few Indians who
trap through the district. Filed with the field-notes is a short description of each separate
Stellaco and Vicinity'.
Stellaco is situated about one mile west of the Indian reserve of the same name at the
west end of Fraser Lake. In the days of railway-construction it was one of the busiest places
along the line, but is now just the farming community it was in former days. Stellaco lacks
a railway-station, but boasts both a post-office and a school. The settlers are extremely industrious, and their industry is vouched for by the magnificent crops of vegetables. Almost
without exception the residents are " old-timers " who took up land years before railway communication, when the Hudson's Bay Fort, near the present Fort Fraser (eighteen miles distant
by trail), was their nearest store and neighbour. No speculative reason prompted these men
into the acquisition of the land, and though their holdings through years of cultivation and
through the asset of railway facilities are now very valuable, they have not been sold, but
rather the owners have increased the scale of their agricultural activities and set a fine example
to the countryside. B 72
Report of the Minister of Lands.
There are no stores at Stellaco, all necessary provisions, etc., being purchased at Endako,
which is about three miles and a half distant. Stellaco would not be worthy of mention were
it not for the fact that its residents to-day were its settlers and agriculturists before Endako
or a railway divisional point was thought of.
A few quarter-sections of land open to the settler for pre-emption in this vicinity are bounded
on the south by the Stellaco River. The falls of the river, while being noted for trout, should
prove an unending source, should local industry ever require power.
Endako and Savory.
Endako is a divisional point of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, and as such has attracted
much attention from incoming settlers. The valley of the Endako is very narrow and does not
permit extensive settlement, but, nevertheless, vacant lands, and strangely some of the best, do
exist, more particularly in the vicinity of Savory. Savory is the first flag-station west of Endako
and is distant about seven miles, has no population, and consists of the station-house only. A
few pre-emptors residing within a few miles distance utilize the station when incoming freight
The land hereabouts apparently has been little explored by the land-seeker, as excellent
laud, possibly the best in the country, may be found within two miles of this station and around
Savory Lake and Loch Garry still lying idle. Willow bottoms, meadows, and poplar slopes
constitute a sufficiently complete description to obviate the necessity of exemplification of the
desirability of these lots. To convey a more adequate impression of the excellencies of some
of this district, I might say that one individual settler has slashed 70 acres since obtaining
his pre-emption record in June, 1913. The majority of this is burned and a fair proportion
of it brought under barley, oats, and vegetables, all of which have been very successful.
East of Savory little unalienated land of agricultural value remains, though an occasional
isolated pre-emption, as has been before explained, might be found which has escaped previous
Prices of Produce, etc.
Wheat, $1.25 per bushel; oats, 1% to 2 cents per pound; oat-hay, $25 per ton; oat-straw,
$7 per ton; hay (timothy), $20 per ton; hay (swamp), $10 per ton; potatoes 1 to 2 cents per
pound; turnips, % to 1% cents per pound; cabbages and beets, 3 to 4 cents per pound; onions,
5 cents per pound; beef, 20 to 25 cents per pound; mutton, 25 cents per pound; milk, 5 cents
per pint; eggs (local), 50 to 60 cents per dozen; eggs (imported), 35 to 40 cents per dozen;
butter (local), practically unobtainable; butter (imported), 45 cents per pound; groceries, add
1% cents per pound to Coast prices.
TemperoAtures and Precipitation.
Locality of Observation.
July 6th to 25th (20 days)
At Stellaco, three miles and a half
east of Endako.
July 26th to 31st (6 days)
Foote's meadow, about three miles
August 1st to 22nd (22 days)
south of Frasertown.
August 23rd to 29th (7 days)
Dry William Lake.
August 30th to 31st (2 days)
September 1st to 12th (12 days) . ..
September 13th to 30th (18 days) . .
October 1st to 2nd (2 days)
I have, etc..
F. Butterfield, B.C.L.S. 6 Geo. 5 North-east of Prince George. B 73
PRE-EMPTION RESERVE, SOUTH OF WILLOW RIVER BASIN, NORTH-EAST OF
By A. II. Holland.
Vancouver, B.C., December 4th, 1915.
G. H. Dawson, Esq.',
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—In accordance with instructions, I completed the survey of that portion of the
agricultural lands held under reserve for pre-emption which lie about twenty miles north-east
of Prince George, on the south side of the Willow River basin.
Leaving Prince George on July 2nd, we were able to take a wagon-load of supplies to
within three miles of our work over the new wagon-road which was then under construction
and has since been completed, running easterly from Prince George to the Willow River.
Another wagon-road has also been started from a point about twelve miles east of Prince
George, running northerly through the area surveyed this year to Willow River Station, on
the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, and this road, when completed, will give all this section
■easy access to a market.
From our first camp on the wagon-road we built during the season twelve miles of horse-
trail, connecting up with the trail built by the Forest Branch on the south bank of the Willow
River, and thence back through the country surveyed to the end of the new wagon-road being
■constructed to Willow River Station, enabling us to take supplies to our work from either the
town of Willow River or Prince George, as required. There is also a good horse-trail running
in easterly from the railroad at Shelly Station, so that the whole area is easily accessible to
The country is more or less heavily wooded with a growth of balsam, spruce, and some pine
to 18 inches, which is of little commercial value and makes fairly heavy clearing, but the
settlers could save some of the timber for railway-ties, for which there should be a constant
if not heavy demand, and so lessen the cost of the clearing, which would otherwise run from
$50 to $80 per acre.
This area would be classed as bench land, lying as it does from 300 to 500 feet above the
Fraser River, and is practically level, though cut by the drainage of some small tributaries
of the Willow River, and is all suitable for settlement save a few quarter-sections on the south,
where there is a rocky outcrop, which is mineralized, and where during the past season several
mineral claims were staked and some assessment-work done; though with what results I do
The soil is clay or silt, with a subsoil of blue clay, and wherever cultivated has given
■excellent results to the settlers, whose gardens contained all kinds of root-crops. In one case,
where oats were seeded, there was a splendid showing, indicating that the country is specially
adapted for mixed farming.
There is abundant rainfall in the spring, and this year we had showery weather till the
middle of July, followed by six weeks of extremely warm weather which averaged a minimum
of 50 degrees and a maximum of 80 degrees, giving the best conditions for ripening the crop
before the first frosts of the season, which this year came on September 9th; and then only
•of a few degrees, so that some root-crops were not raised until the last week of the month.
The majority of the settlers on the ground are making a good showing, slashing and clearing
from 3 to 10 acres each, besides putting up good cabins, and the action of the Government this
year in building roads and trails in this district will help the settlement wonderfully.
The game of the country is not abundant, seemingly being driven back by the railroad-
construction of the last few years and by incoming settlers, but we saw many signs of moose
and deer in the autumn of the year, and the small game, such as grouse and rabbits, are plentiful.
Living costs in this district are also much lower than they have been in my experience of
the country for the last five years, as the settlers are no longer handicapped by having to pay
enormous freights as in the past, there being .none of this area more than eight miles from a
station on the railroad.
I have, etc.,
Arthur H. Holland, B.C.L.S. B 74 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
QUESNEL RIVER VALLEY, BEAVERMOUTH TO QUESNEL.
By R. W. Haggen.
Quesnel, B.C., October 5th, 1915.
G. H. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—The surveys made by me during the past season cover the lands lying along the west
bank of the Quesnel River, between Beavermouth and the mouth of Slate Creek, and also lands
suitable for settlement along the road in course of construction from Quesnel to Hydraulic,
between Dragon Lake and Quesnel River. In addition to this, a tie was made along the
Cariboo Road from the 13-Mile House to Cottonwood, where connection was made to an old
tie from lots on Swift River. The ties made will enable various blocks of lots, some distance
from the Fraser Valley, to be accurately shown on the departmental maps, while all lands
suitable for settlement in the locality where I was employed are now surveyed.
The flats in the valley of the Quesnel are not wide, the average width being from 30 to>
60 chains, but they contain some excellent farming land, the best of which is now held under
pre-emption record. The soil in the valley is generally a loam of considerable depth, overlying
a gravel subsoil. The climate is excellent, there being a heavier precipitation than in the
Fraser Valley, rendering irrigation quite unnecessary, except for ensuring a good crop of hay.
I saw good crops of grain and vegetables at different places along the valley.
Gerimi Gravel, the pioneer farmer of the valley, whose ranch is at Twenty-six-mile Creek,
has several hundred sheep, and now cultivates some 50 acres of land on the home ranch, to-
which he adds new fields each year. He irrigates the hay-fields. Mr. Gravel assures me that
the winter climate of the valley is so mild that horses and cattle can rustle on the range all
winter; however, the range is very limited, insufficient to permit large herds of stock to be
Originally the valley was wooded with a forest of cedar, but an old fire cleaned it out
almost entirely, there being now only scattered patches of a few acres of cedar; old stumps
and many windfalls are all that remains of the old forest. In many places the land is almost
open, grassy, and capable of being brought under cultivation at a very low cost. In a few
places, and especially on some of the hillsides, the brush is as dense as one would find in
almost any part of the Province.
The hills on either side of the valley are very steep, broken, and covered with numerous
windfalls and brush. A number of small creeks are found along the hillsides, but these sink
in the gravel as soon as the flats are reached.
At the Sardine Flats, near Sardine Creek, is found the largest flat, it comprising some 750
acres of land which is fairly level and easy to clear; the value of this flat is mitigated by the
poor quality of the soil over the greater portion of it.
In the valley proper seventeen parcels of land were surveyed; of these, six are held under
pre-emption record, but the others are suitable for settlement and will undoubtedly be taken
up when local conditions warrant an extension of the farming industry.
Land near Slate Creek.
Along and near the new road from Quesnel toward Hydraulic I surveyed six parcels in the
pass to the north of Dragon Mountain. These lie near the head of Slate Creek. Five of these
parcels are pre-empted already, and the sixth contains some good land. The best land is on a
bench in the west half of Lot 9130. The soil is excellent, there are several springs, and the
clearing would not cost more than $25 per acre. This land is about twelve miles distant from
13-Mile House to Cottonwood.
There is no agricultural land along this portion of the Cariboo Road. Hay is cut at
Fifteen-mile Lake. The land is quite high, hilly, and undulating, the vegetation consisting
of a growth of jack-pine and spruce. At Cottonwood there is a large ranch owned by the John
Boyd Estate. There are patches of good land in the Cottonwood Valley below here, and good 6 Geo. 5 Beavermouth to Quesnel. B 75
land on Swift River (the South Fork of the Cottonwood) above Coldspring. At Cottonwood,
which is twenty-one miles from Quesnel, there are store and stopping-house, post and telegraph
offices. At the 13-Mile House (Locke's) there is a telephone-office on the Government Telegraph
In all, during the eight weeks I was in the field, 3,320 acres of land were surveyed, which
involved the running of 39 miles of line, and 18.6 miles of tie-lines to various lots were run.
The old French Road, which continues from Quesnel to Quesnel Forks, leaves the Cariboo
Road at Kersley, fourteen miles south of Quesnel, crosses over the range dividing the Fraser
and Quesnel Valleys at an elevation of about 3,500 feet, and enters the bench land along the
Quesnel Valley some five miles below Beavermouth. It follows the Quesnel Valley for some
distance, reaching Quesnel Forks by way of Bullion. The road is rough and hilly between the
Quesnel Valley and Kersley, and is not popular with teamsters; consequently it is little used,
freight for Quesnel Forks and the Keithley District being brought from the 150-Mile House via
the road from Mountain House. A new road, which will eliminate the bad summit, is now
under construction from Quesnel, following around the north end of Dragon Lake, through
a low pass to the north of Dragon Mountain, entering the flats along the Quesnel River in
Lot 8719. This is the present end of the road, construction to this point being completed in
September of this season. Approximately seven miles of road has yet to be built before
connection is made with the French Road. Horses can be taken along the valley between
the roads, but there is no trail worthy of the name below Lot 4635.
Since the early " sixties" the Quesnel Valley has proved excellent for mining, large
quantities of gold being shipped at various times. Chiefly flour gold is now found. Several
dredges have been built at different places along the valley, but have not been a success,
though the Hall dredge worked for several years. I have heard that one dredge is still
working at Seven-mile Creek, but do not know whether this is the case. However, a number
of diggers work along the bars of the river each season, and get a considerable quantity of
gold. Some white men have told me they can average $3 per day working with a rocker. In
mining of this nature, as with other branches of the industry, luck plays a great role.
Occasionally a digger strikes a good pocket, taking out a good many days' wages in a few
hours. These cases are, however, exceptional.
The flour gold on these bars is brought to them each season by the freshets, presumably
from pockets of gold in banks which cave in. The dirt put through the cradle is taken from a
depth of only a few inches from the top of the bar. Considering the small amount of dirt
that can be handled through the rocker in the course of a day, I do not consider it any
exaggeration to say that the average yield of the ground worked is $1 per yard. On first
thoughts it seems strange that dredges do not make huge profits working these bars. Unfortunately the flour gold is difficult to save where a high force of water is used; even the rockers
are reputed to save only half the gold that goes into them. Then, again, while the digger
works only the pay-dirt on a bar, the dredge has to shovel to a considerable depth in order
to work itself ahead; having, in consequence, to handle a very large yardage from which no
return can be derived.
A syndicate whose name is well known throughout even more than the mining world is
starting investigations along the valley to ascertain whether or not it will prove a good
investment to put in large dredges of a new design.
With the closing of other avenues of employment, a number of men have been mining this
year; pre-emptors who could get very little other work, and had no market for the produce
they raised, have made their grub-stake at. mining. The companies working in the Barkerville
District have also had a good season, and it is certain that the aggregate gold shipment from
Cariboo will exceed that of any one of the past ten seasons. It is estimated to be double that
of last year. New prospects, which give promise of developing into good mines, have been
worked on the North Fork of the Cottonwood and on Willow River. A find, which caused B 76 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
considerable excitement, was made near Swamp River, some thirty miles east of Barkerville,
but, apart from the finding of a few nuggets and some coarse gold, no deposit of value was
struck. The indications are that a good deposit exists in the locality, but it is difficult to
prospect. It is far from improbable that a find may be made there in the early future.
At the present time there is no market available for farm produce raised in the district.
The local market is very limited and, until the Pacific Great Eastern Railway is completed,
outside markets are inaccessible for anything except beef. On all the farms in the district
there are large crops in stack, while there is no immediate prospect of selling them.
A number of the pre-emptors in the district, as well as many others, have answered the
call to arms; the number enlisting from the new Cariboo Electoral District is nearly 200. In
proportion to population this exceeds 15 per cent, of the total, and is about 30 per cent, of the
number of names on the voters' list.
In the Quesnel Valley there is a fair number of black bear, deer, and grouse. The Beaver
River, which enters the Quesnel at Beavermouth, is a renowned trout-stream.
I have, etc.,
Rupert W. Haggen, B.C.L.S., D.L.S.
LILLOOET DISTRICT, BETWEEN 111-MILE CREEK AND 52nd PARALLEL.
By^ A. S. Cotton.
New Westminster, B.C., November 30th, 1915.
G. II. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—In accordance with instructions dated August 6th to survey pre-emptions and examine
that portion of the Lillooet District lying between 111-Mile Creek and the 52nd parallel, I proceeded to the 115-Mile House and found everybody busy harvesting, and could not get any men
to work until that was over, which was not until September 1st.
The building of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad has made a wonderful change all along
the old Cariboo Road. A few years ago all the freight was hauled over this well-known route
from Ashcroft, and countless freight-wagons were seen going to and fro. To-day it is vastly
different, as all now goes by rail to Prince George. The completion of the Pacific Great Eastern
will still more reduce the traffic, thus compelling the ranchers to turn their attention to farming,
and judging from what I saw this season, they should not have any fear. All those who tilled
their land were well repaid, as there was a banner crop from one end of the road to the other.
In the area examined and surveyed by me this season there is room for quite a number of
settlers, provided they do not want open meadow land, which was the custom a short time back.
The bush land will amply repay the clearing. The object of my visit to this section of the
district was to obtain information regarding the country lying south of the 52nd parallel and
Timothy Mountain Lake, and I found that there are about thirty square miles of grazing land
and on which a considerable amount of hay could be cut. It is rather too high for general
farming, but is well suited for summer range.
Timothy Mountain Lake is a beautiful sheet of water four miles long and half a mile wide,
the north side of which is some of the finest land in the Province, easily cleaned and well worth
taking up. It is only eight miles from the 115-Mile House and a fairly good wagon-road leads
to it. The same can be said of a strip on the north side of Green Lake, while the greater portion
lying between Timothy Lake and Chub Lake is a little more rolling and is well worth taking up.
The soil is excellent and the timber is not dense. Good feed is to be found everywhere. 6 Geo. 5 East of 83-Mile House, Lillooet. B 77
Lying to the east of Railroad Lake is a good-sized flat of good soil. At present it is covered
with second-growth pine. The old Horsefly Road runs through it, making it accessible.
Little Timothy Mountain is a landmark. It can be seen from miles around. It is of
volcanic origin and abounds in magnetic iron. It stands out in bold relief.
Of the game, I cannot say much, as very little was seen, but on every stream beaver are
A sketch-map showing the main topographical features accompanies this report.
I have, etc.,
A. S. Cotton, B.C.L.S.
EAST OF 83-MILE HOUSE, LILLOOET.
By W. S. Drewry.
November 28th, 1915.
G. H. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sib,—I have the honour to report that, in accordance with instructions, a tract comprising
some 15,000 acres has been subdivided to meet the requirements of advancing settlement. The
area dealt with lies east of 83-Mile House on the Cariboo Road, joining lands surveyed by the
undersigned in 1914 east of Horse Lake, and stretching north and east of Sheridan Lake to
Bridge Lake. It is a comparatively regular plateau lying between North Bonaparte River on
the south, embracing Upper Bridge Creek Valley on the north, and extending westerly from the
mountains along the North Thompson River to the Pacific Great Eastern Railway, which
fallows, in part, the foot of its westerly slope.
The plateau is relieved by a few fir-crowned ridges which assist in watering the country
from the increased precipitation of higher altitudes, and also afford valuable range for stock,
since bunch and other succulent grasses, peavine, and lupine grow luxuriantly among the open
The lava floor of the country is elevated along the westerly side of Bridge Lake, towards
which it presents an escarpment rising some 300 or 400 feet above the water. This ridge is
the only rock-exposure noted, and is worthless except for scenic effect. Being easily accessible
and commanding a wide range of country, it might possibly be used as a look-out station in
There are many lakes varying in size, the largest being Bridge and Sheridan Lakes, each
some five miles long by three wide. The former has bold shores, contains several islands and
shoals, and its water has a slightly peaty appearance.
Sheridan Lake, draining into Bridge Creek, is an interesting as well as lovely sheet of
water. There are no creeks of consequence flowing into it, and its apparent outlet near its
north-west angle seldom shows a run of water. But the lake-water is very clear and pure
and must come from deep-seated springs, its level being well maintained. This can hardly
be the result of balance of inflow and evaporation, since the water would probably long ago-
have become unfit for use, it being ice-covered during the winter. Its eastern limit is only a
few hundred feet from a creek flowing into Roe Lake, the surface of the creek having been
ascertained to be 14.7 feet lower than that of Sheridan Lake. It is therefore possible that
there is a strong seep or underground connection through the intervening ridge, although no
indication of it was found.
Bridge Creek, coming from the mountains along the North Thompson River, enters Bridge
Lake near the centre of its westerly side, arid leaves at the north-west angle; enlarging into
Lesser Fish Lake at a distance of about a quarter of a mile, forming a sheet of water about
one mile east and west by half a mile wide. B 78 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
The creek flows from its western extremity, following a circuitous course for some two
miles, when it again enlarges into Roe Lake about one mile long and half a mile wide. From
Roe Lake the stream flows northerly and westerly in a deep valley to Horse Lake, eventually
discharging through Canim and Mahood Lakes into the North Thompson River.
No other creek of any importance was encountered, but there are numerous springs and
brooks affording an excellent water-supply. Wells not exceeding 12 or 15 feet in depth yield
good water, there being little or no alkali in the soil.
The deep valleys of North Bonaparte River and Bridge Creek serve not only in unwatering
the country, but also appear to drain off the cold air, so that there seems to be a greater freedom
from frost in the uplands than in the valleys. The phenomenon would appear to be explained by
the heavier, colder air naturally seeking the gutters, leaving a warmer stratum above it, thus
having a marked effect when the temperature approaches freezing-point.
The region is most easily reached at present by the Cariboo Road from Ashcroft to 70-Mile
House, and thence by the North Bonaparte Road north-easterly some thirty-one miles, from
which point a rough road leads northerly some six miles to Roe Lake, whence possible roads
radiate to various points within the lands surveyed, connecting with a road cut out following
Bridge Creek Valley to 100-Mile House on the Cariboo Road.
The completion of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway will, however, entirely alter the whole
transportation problem, Roe Lake being only some eighteen or nineteen miles from the railway
on the Horse Lake Summit.
An easily constructed road, crossing Bridge Creek about one mile and a half north of Roe
Lake, and running almost directly west north of Sheridan Lake, passing through first-class
country, would be free from steep hills or swamps, and connect with the road system begun
in the Green and Horse Lake sections; making the best route to either 100-Mile or 70-Mile
Houses on the Cariboo Road. Utilizing road already cut out, there remains only some eight
miles to open this proposed road to the railway.
Some improvements in the local roads connecting with the above trunk road would begin a
vein system, which will be required by the increasing settlement in the vicinity of Roe Lake,
which has every indication of becoming an important and prosperous dairying and grazing
community. The above remark applies not only to the Roe Lake locality, but also to an area
embracing some 40,000 acres, which would also be served.
A school and Roe Lake Post-office have been established a short distance south-east of
Roe Lake, the mail arriving weekly via 70-Mile House.
The soil generally is black loam varying from 4 to 18 inches in depth, with a clay subsoil on
which in places is an ash-like deposit, possibly the result of the destruction by fire of the great
fir forest which covered the country perhaps over a century ago. The variety and luxuriance
of the vegetation amply proves the fertility of the soil, and also bears testimony to the sufficiency
of precipitation. During the early part of last summer there was too much moisture, so that
both grains and grasses grew so rankly as to be unable to sustain themselves erect. In many
places wild grass and peavine were found standing from 3 to 4 feet high, which growth was
not confined to the valleys alone, but was found also on the ridges, although generally to a
somewhat lesser extent.
The productivity of the soil and suitability to farming purposes is not a matter of conjecture,
but an accomplished fact. At different points fine crops of timothy, wheat, oats, barley, and
rye were noted. Root-crops of turnips, beets, and carrots were very successful; several turnips
weighed averaging above 5 lb. each. Clover of different varieties has been tried .and appears
to do very well. Mr. McDonald, of Lac Des Roches, reported having a good crop of alfalfa;
but, so far as informed, he is the only settler in the district who has tried to grow that fodder.
The gardens visited were somewhat surprising, both in variety and excellence of product,
embracing potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, peas, lettuce, radishes, cabbage, cauliflower, rhubarb,
etc.; in fact, almost everything which could be expected to grow at that altitude. 6 Geo. 5 East of 83-Mile House, Lillooet. B 79
Some of the garden-tracts have been planted for the first time; but others have been
cultivated for several years, the owners reporting that as yet they have had no failure from
frost or lack of precipitation. Particularly the lettuce grown was of surpassing crispness and
delicacy, and it is thought that celery of similar quality could be produced.
On the places of Mr. Holland, east of Roe Lake, and Mr. Smith, at the outlet of Bridge
Lake, apple-trees, packed over the mountains from the North Thompson Valley, were planted
out late last spring. On the first-named place a growth of about 3 feet was observed, while at
the latter a growth of 2 feet was measured. As Mr. Smith moved on his land only last spring
and the young trees were placed in newly broken ground, the result must be looked on as very
satisfactory. It is probable that the trees will not " winter-kill," as there will be ample snow
covering to protect the roots; but possibly late frosts in the spring may prevent their bearing,
although good apples have been grown at Rossland at about the same altitude above sea. It
will be decidedly interesting to learn the result of the experiment.
Although this section of the Province is suited to farming, it is believed to be pre-eminently
a dairying and grazing country, as there is luxuriant pasture throughout, and there will always
be ample summer pasturage on adjoining lands not adapted to easy cultivation.
Several settlers make excellent butter and cheese, production being limited to the local
market, as Clinton, the nearest town, is some sixty miles distant by road.
With some improvement in roads and the completion of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway,
the establishment of a cheese-factory or creamery would no doubt greatly assist in developing
the district along the lines to which it is naturally adapted in a marked degree.
The character of timber observed varies greatly in size, quantity, and quality; the ridges
generally being covered with an open growth of fir from 24 to 60 inches in diameter. Some small
patches of thick jack-pine are found, but for the greater part the land carries a very open
growth of lodge-pole pine and poplar, through which are practically prairie openings up to
20 acres or more in extent. There are some spruce-swamps and willow-swales, but they are
The lodge-pole pine affords excellent building-logs on account of its habit of straight, clean
growth, sometimes holding its size and being without a limit for 40 or 50 feet from the ground.
As small groves of trees up to 18 inches diameter were found, it is possible that they may be
utilized for finishing lumber. At present all lumber used is hauled from Clinton or Lac La
Hache, a trip occupying from five to eight days, or is whipsawed on the ground.
On nearly every 160 acres surveyed there is a considerable area which could be cleared for
probably not more than $20 per acre, figuring labour at $2 per day. Some of the more heavily
timbered land might cost from $50 to $70 per acre to clear and grub; but there is plenty of
more easily cleared land, so that it would not be necessary to undertake the heavier clearing
until the return obtainable from the land would warrant the expenditure.
Taking land at $60 per acre, interest at 6 per cent., and estimating a safe production of
2 tons of timothy or other hay to the acre, the superiority of the fodder produced over hay made
on the wild meadows would probably more than make up the interest difference in cost; while
in the case of land costing $300 per acre, the difference in quality would not offset the interest
charge in converting the hay into a more valuable commodity such as beef. The figures stated
above illustrate the necessity of low-priced lands if people are to be induced to enter agricultural
During summer the days are usually bright and warm, with cool nights; while in winter
a clear, dry cold is experienced, but not of such intensity as to prevent cattle and horses running
out all winter, it, of course, being necessary to feed them when the snow becomes deep. A
provision of 1 ton of hay per head of stock carried is considered ample security, and quite often
only a part of it is required.
Light summer frosts are not unknown, but have not been of such severity or frequency as
to discourage the settlers. In fact, from all reports of the Roe Lake section, but little damage
has arisen from this cause. It is considered quite probable that summer frosts will cease
entirely with the clearing-up of the country, as has occurred elsewhere. B 80 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
The duration of seasons is not unlike that of Western Alberta; but, excepting an area about
Green Lake, the precipitation is thought to be greater both in summer and winter, and snow
lying from 2 to 2% feet deep in midwinter. In some years a light snowfall occurs late in
October, but disappears quickly ; no considerable amount coming until about Christmas, although
in 1911 there was deep snow in November.
On the whole, the winter climatic conditions are thought to be much more favourable than
those in the greater part of Ontario ; while the shelter of the forest ridges renders the physical
condition superior to that of Alberta.
Game and Wild Animals.
Remarkably little game, either bird or animal, was observed in any part of the country
surveyed. The wetness of the early summer may account in part for the scarcity of game
birds, as such a condition interferes with nesting and hatching of eggs. The great increase
which is taking place in the number of horned owls and hawks has probably also a great deal
to do with it. Nearly all men who live in the forest for any length of time know that these
birds of prey do attack and destroy game birds as well as rabbits and vermin. If a moderate
bounty were granted as an incentive to the destruction of horned owls, it would be a double-
barrelled protection to game birds; because, since owls have a habit of perching on the tops
of old snags or other prominent objects when watching for prey, and are usually taken by small
traps placed on such points, it has been found by trappers that about as many hawks as owls
are caught, the habits of both birds being similar in some respects.
A few willow and sharp-tailed grouse were obtained, and in October a few mallard and
other wild ducks were shot. Rabbits are fairly plentiful, but not numerous; the constant toll
exacted by coyotes and owls keeping the numbers down. Only three deer were seen during
the season, and very few tracks were noticed. No bears were encountered, and very few signs
of their presence were observed. Coyotes were numerous, treating us to nightly serenades
throughout our stay. Their musical efforts at close range frequently kept us awake, causing
the men to say anything but their prayers. It is extremely difficult to get a shot at them, as
they are very wary, and suspicious even of a nice piece of meat with a little strychnine enclosed.
Two musk-rats and one mink were trapped in our store tent, which they endeavoured to raid.
Otter slides were observed at various points along the lakes, but none of the animals were seen.
Beaver are plentiful along the streams and in some of the lakes. In many places they
have flooded considerable areas of what might be made good hay meadow, and this will no
doubt lead to their extermination as the country is settled.
I have, etc.,
W. S. Drewry, B.C.L.S.
KNOUFF AND BADGER LAKE VALLETS.
By R. H. Lee.
Kamloops, B.C., October 20th, 1915.
G. II. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report on my season's work during 1915
in the Knouff and Badger Lake Valleys, from the Dominion Lands Belt northward. The work
this season had to do almost wholly with lands already located and recorded as pre-emptions,
only four lots of Crown lands being surveyed.
The valley, including bench and bottom land, is from one to two miles in width from east
to west, of uniform, regular surface, with a slight slope from the foot of the main mountain
range toward the lakes, which lie in the middle of the valley and form a chain from north to
The soil is a good clay loam, remarkably free from stones and gravel, and especially suitable
for mixed fanning, vegetables, hay, and grain giving splendid returns, unsurpassed by any
other section of this district. 6 Geo. 5 Quilchena, Mamete Lake, and Otter Valley. B 81
The land is well watered by creeks and springs, giving good sub-irrigation, so that under
ordinary conditions artificial irrigation is quite unnecessary.
The valley occupies an old burn, and is covered with a young growth of poplar, alder, and
willow. There is no standing timber of any merchantable value. The surrounding hills and
mountain ranges are sparsely timbered and suitable for grazing, producing a good growth of
bunch-grass and peavine.
The climate is good and very favourable for farming—about the same as Kamloops, with
perhaps cooler nights. The springs are eariy and moist; summers and falls are very warm and
dry, though showers are quite frequent. The winter lasts about three months, with an average
snowfall of about 12 to 18 inches. The annual precipitation makes irrigation quite unnecessary.
Water Power and Storage.
The possibilities for power-development are negligible, there being no creeks of any size
flowing down the sides of the mountain ranges. Water records are held on Upper and Lower
Knouff Lakes and on Sullivan Creek, which drains them, and the water used for the irrigation
of lands in the lower part of Sullivan Valley. A water record is also held on Badger Lakes.
Badger Creek is dammed at the northern end of Badger Lake, causing it to overflow into smaller
Badger Lake to the west, and a ditch from this carries the water to the upper part of Sullivan
Valley, where it is used for irrigation.
The Government-built wagon-road which branches off from the Heffley-Louis Creek Road at
Alfred Devicks, some six miles from the North Thompson Valley, extends only as far as the
lower end of Upper Knouff Lake. From this point some of the pre-emptors have continued it
northward some five or six miles to Lot 3318, at the north end of Badger Lake. In addition
to these main roads, these same settlers have built branch roads into Lots 4009, 4010, and 4014.
There is also a rough wagon-road running from Lot 331S north-westerly to the mouth of Badger
Creek, on the North Thompson River.
We saw very little game during our season in the valley, but the settlers stated that deer
were quite plentiful in the late fall and winter.
I have, etc.,
R. H. Lee, B.C.L.S.
VICINITY OF QUILCHENA, MAMETE LAKE, AND OTTER VALLET.
By O. B. N. Wilkie.
G. H. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—The adjustment and other surveys assigned to me near Quilchena, Mamete Lake, and
Otter Valley have been carried out, separate reports on each being prepared for your Department. The localities referred to are in the vicinity of Merritt, which is reached by a branch
of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and is about forty miles south from Spences Bridge, on the
main line. From Merritt the Kettle Valley Railway Company operates trains through Southern
British Columbia via Princeton, Penticton, Greenwood, Grand Forks, and Nelson, and joining
the Canadian Pacific Railway main line again near Medicine Hat, Alberta; the towns referred
to all being important as agricultural or mining centres. My party was organized at Merritt,
which is the centre of an agricultural community, where general farming is successfully carried
on, the land generally requiring irrigation for most crops. Good roads radiate from Merritt
in all directions, which enables the farmer to market all the products. Stock-raising is carried
on extensively. B 82 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
About six miles from Merritt a large tract of land has been set aside as a commonage for
pasturage purposes, thus enabling the small land-holder to use his entire holding for planting
crops, letting his stock pasture on the commonages near by. Sheep-raising is also carried
out very successfully in the district. Fruit-growing has been gone into on a small scale.
Small fruits do well in portions of the district, as well as the hardier varieties of trees bearing
Several coal-mines employing a number of men are operating in the vicinity of Merritt.
Recently there has been a certain amount of activity in copper-mining, ore having been shipped
from the Aspen Grove section. Some properties in the Mamete Lake country are also being
Logging is carried out extensively along the Coldwater River for the Nicola Valley Pine
Lumber Company, which operates a mill at Canford, about ten miles from Merritt; another
mill has been completed at Brookmere, on the Kettle Valley Railway, about twelve miles from
Crops throughout the district have been excellent, grain doing particularly well; the
British Columbia Government Experimental Dry Farm at Quilchena, which is at an altitude
of 3,8C0 feet above the sea, having results as high as 90 bushels per acre with oats. Grasshoppers, which had done so much harm last year, were not in evidence this season.
In general the Nicola Valley Land District consists of undulating country varying from
open bunch-grass valleys and hills to timbered mountains. The whole is interspersed with
natural meadows and willow bottoms. Farming is carried on within altitudes from 1,500 to
4,000 feet, though stock-raising predominates. Above this elevation the country is usually
timbered grassy land, with occasional meadows and willow bottoms, upon which large herds
of cattle range during the summer and autumn.
The average altitude of the district lies between 1,500 and 6,000 feet above the sea. The
climate is very bracing and healthy and has a light rainfall. The district is well served with
good wagon-roads as well as railway facilities. The Canadian Pacific Railway follows up the
Nicola River from Spences Bridge to Nicola, connecting with the Kettle Valley Railway at
Merritt, from which point the Kettle Valley Railway runs up the valley of the Coldwater for
some thirty miles, where it crosses over to and runs down the Otter Valley to Princeton, and
on through to the southern portion of the district to Penticton.
A Government telephone system connects up all the principal towns through the entire
Game is plentiful in these parts, consisting chiefly of grouse, ducks, geese, prairie-chicken,
deer, and rabbits. Bear, cougar, lynx, and coyotes are also found. There is excellent fishing
in the many lakes and streams.
I have, etc.,
O. B. N. Wilkie, B.C.L.S.
VICINITY OF OSPRET AND PENASK LAKES.
By R. P. Brown.
December 15th, 1915.
G. H. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report on my work in the vicinity of Osprey
Lake, Kamloops District, during the past season:—
Osprey Lake (elevation 3,600 feet above sea-level) is situated on the summit of the Trout
Creek Pass, between the Okanagan Valley and the Similkameen River. The Kettle Valley
Railway passes through this divide, Osprey Lake being at Mile 40 west of Penticton. The land
to the south of Osprey Lake is mountainous, broken up, rocky, and covered with a dense growth
of small jack-pine, with small areas of cultivable land, which, however, are so isolated as to be
practically valueless. 6 Geo. 5 Vicinity of Osprey and Penask Lakes. B 83
To the north-west of Osprey Lake the hills are low-lying, and in the valleys there are
numerous stretches of meadow land, either open and growing natural wild hay, or covered
with small willow-scrub. These meadows are in many places partly under water owing to
beaver-dams, but drainage can easily be obtained by cutting these dams and allowing the
creeks to resume their natural channel.
The lower slopes of the bills consist of level benches and gently sloping terraces,' growing
scattered jack-pine, willow, and alder-brush. The soil is a sandy loam, free from rocks. The
higher slopes are steeper and rocky in many places, and not suitable for agricultural purposes.
Osprey Cheek Valley.
The areas of agricultural land are small and scattered, but being contiguous to the Kettle
Valley Railway are valuable for mixed farming. In this section I surveyed twelve pre-emptions,
two lots of 160 acres each, and one lot of 82 acres.
From Osprey Lake I moved camp to the East Fork of Siwash Creek, which empties into
Five-mile Creek, draining into the Similkameen Valley. Siwash Creek lies about two miles
north from Osprey Creek Valley, and flows in a south-westerly direction parallel to Osprey Creek.
For a stretch of about four miles down the creek there are meadows of an average width
of 12 chains, caused by numerous beaver-dams which were built many years ago. The meadows
are partly open, growing natural meadow-hay, and partly covered, with thick clumps of willows.
The meadows would grow good crops of wild hay, and if ploughed and seeded to timothy would
eventually become very valuable. The cost of putting this land ready for cultivation would
be, approximately, $15 per acre.
On either side of these meadows are level benches from 5 to 15 chains wide. The bench
soil is a sandy loam with a considerable supply of humus, in which oats would grow well. This
is evidenced by experiments made by J. S. Chapman, of Princeton Crossing, who, two years
ago, cleared a few acres of jack-pine bench land, which he then ploughed and seeded to oats.
The first year the crop was poor and only useful for grazing purposes; but this year, being the
second year, a good crop was obtained, the straw growing to an average height of 30 inches
and heavily headed. On this branch of Siwash Creek I surveyed one pre-emption and twelve
lots of 160 acres each.
From the East Fork of Siwash Creek we moved camp to Kirton Siding, which is in the
valley of Trout Creek at Mile 25 on the Kettle Valley Railway, west of Penticton, and in the
Osoyoos District. In this vicinity I surveyed two lots of 320 acres each.
Between Osprey and Penask Lakes.
In accordance with your instructions, I made a general examination of the country lying
between Osprey and Penask Lakes, with a view to the production of a rough sketch showing
the main topographical features, and also to determine the amount of land suitable for agricultural purposes at the headwaters of Trout Creek and its tributaries.
From Osprey Lake, about twelve miles in a northerly direction to the summit of a range
of hills running nearly east and west (elevation about 6,000 feet above sea-level), which is the
divide between the Okanagan and Nicola drainage, the country is at an elevation of from 4,500
to 5,000 feet above sea-level, and is densely timbered with small jack-pine and windfall in many
places. The soil is sandy loam, with a few to many stones on the ridges, rock outcropping in
many places, and a few small areas of wet, boggy land, growing spruce-trees and dense willow-
brush. There are a number of small lakes in this vicinity, most of which are teeming with
Headwaters of Trout Creek.
From the head of Trout Creek to the forks, a distance of about eight miles, there is a stretch
of bottom land, about five miles long and about 10 to 30 chains wide, either open and growing
natural meadow-hay or covered with willow-brush; and on the north bank of the creek there
are benches and gently sloping terraces, from a quarter to half a mile wide, growing scattered
jack-pine, poplar, and willows—in all, about 2,000 acres of land suitable for agriculture.
This is the headwaters of the north branch of Trout Creek. The country is composed of
natural hay meadows, of which the greater part is covered with water from 1 to IS inches B 84 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
deep, caused by recently-built beaver-dams across several narrow places; and on the north
side of these meadows there are jack-pine benches, with good soil free from stones—in all,
about 2,000 acres suitable for growing hay.
This creek is on the-east branch of Trout Creek, bottom land, either open and growing
natural meadow-hay or covered with willow-brush; and on the south bank of the creek the
land is half open and gently sloping, on which the soil is a sandy loam and free from rocks—in
all, about 1,600 acres of agricultural land.
In the basins of Trout Creek and Siwash Creek deer are fairly plentiful, and there are a
few black and brown bear, two black bear having been seen during the season. Coyotes, lynx,
beaver, and Franklin grouse are numerous, while in the creeks and lakes excellent fishing can
be obtained. Whitehead Lake, Tepee Lakes, and Saturday Lake being especially well stocked
with trout up to 4 lb. in weight.
Penask Lake lies about twenty miles due north of Princeton Crossing. There are four
trails into this vicinity: (1.) From Princeton Crossing, on the Kettle Valley Railway; thence
running up to the headwaters of Trout Creek; thence crossing over to the head of Penask Creek,
and down this creek to Penask Lake. With the exception of three miles along Penask Creek,
this trail is dry and open from down timber. (2.) Leaving the Princeton-Summerland Wagon-
road about one mile west of Osprey Lake; thence in a north-westerly direction, crossing over
the East Fork of Siwash Creek, by Tepee Lakes, Saturday Lake, and over the headwaters of
Siwash Creek, to the headwaters of Quilchena Creek, and down the latter creek to Penask Lake.
From the summit of Siwash Creek to Paradise Lake, on Quilchena Creek, the trail passes
through a succession of meadows, which are too wet and boggy for the passage of horses until
the middle of July. (3.) From Peachland, following up Trepamiier Creek to the headwaters
of the South Fork of Trepamiier Creek, and thence north-westerly to Hazoon Lake. (4.) From
Aspeii Grove; thence following the Douglas Lake Wagon-road a distance of about twenty-five
miles to Quilchena Creek; thence along a wagon-trail following up Quilchena Creek to Penask
From the foot of Penask Mountain, the summit of which is about eight miles due south
of Penask Lake, and is the highest point in the range of hills dividing the Okanagan and Nicola
drainages, the land slopes gently to Penask Lake, and is undulating country, the ridges and
higher levels growing dense small jack-pine and windfall in many places. There are numerous
small watercourses, which are a succession of meadows and lakes. The meadows, ranging in
area from 20 to 400 acres, are in some places covered with small willow-brush, but the greater
part is open and growing natural meadow-hay.
At Hazoon Lake, which lies about three miles east of Penask Lake, about twenty settlers
have located pre-emptions during this last summer. Mr. Sellers, who owns a ranch at Hazoon
Lake, cuts about 500 acres of natural meadow-bay annually, driving cattle in from either
Peachland or Princeton to feed during the winter months.
Owing to the lack of transportation facilities at the present time, settlers who do not own
stock can make good returns by contracting to winter or fatten cattle for ranchers and butchers
resident in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, who are finding it more and more difficult
to obtain hay.
Owing to the dense growth of small jack-pine in this vicinity, and in many places windfall,
it was impossible to make an estimate of the area of land suitable for settlement; but from
what the writer saw and from information obtained from Mr. Sellers there are meadows and
level benches, totalling a large acreage, suitable for agriculture.
I have, etc.,
R. P. Brown, B.C.L.S. 6 Geo. 5 Expired Timber Licences, West Kootenay. B 85
EXPIRED TIMBER LICENCES IN COLUMBIA RIVER VALLEY, WEST KOOTENAT.
By H. C. A. Cornish.
December 9th, 1915.
G. II. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report of my subdivision into lots for
pre-emption of expired timber licences, previously surveyed as Lots 7169 and 7172, and
unsurveyed Timber Licence No. 12214:—
These were adjoining timber licences situated on the west side of the Columbia River about
twelve miles north of Trail, and comprise a tract of land running from Blueberry Creek on the
south to within two miles of Castlegar Junction on the north. In general they consist of large
benches rising above the Columbia River and bounded on the west by rocky mountain-slopes.
In accordance with your instructions, only such land as was suitable for agriculture was
subdivided. Where there was practically no waste land it has been cut up into 40-acre lots,
and where there are rocky outcrops larger lots were surveyed, giving to each lot about 40 acres
of good agricultural land.
The character of the soil varies greatly with the locality. The upper benches throughout
the Columbia River Valley, being geologically older, are invariably richer in soil than the lower
benches, which are of a lighter sandy loam. On the lower benches irrigation is sometimes
thought to be necessary for the growing of small fruits and vegetables, but many of the ranchers
along the valley have adopted dry-farming methods with great success. The upper benches,
which lie closer to the sides of the mountain, have natural sub-irrigation, and numerous small
springs are found along the hillsides.
Lot 7109 adjoins the railroad just north of Blueberry Creek, and consists partly of a low
bench just above the level of the railroad and partly of a large upper bench along the westerly
side. Six lots were surveyed, totalling 320 acres. The soil is a light sandy loam, the typical
fruit land of the Kootenays, and with the exception of the northerly end, where there are a few
rocky outcrops, there is no waste land. A small creek flows through the north end of this lot,
and if it is thought necessary to irrigate, an abundance of water can be obtained from Blueberry
Creek by a flume or pipe.
Lot 7172 adjoins Lot 7169 on the north. Nine lots were surveyed on this licence, totalling
430 acres. Towards the westerly or upper side of this tract there are many rocky outcrops
of small area, but the soil between these outcrops is a rich deep loam, particularly suitable
for vegetable-growing. The central and easterly portions comprise a large level bench, which
is some of the best agricultural land in the district, being a deep loam, free from stones. The
north end of this tract has been burnt over and the soil is of a lighter nature as the result of
the burning, but it is all good agricultural land. A small creek runs through the north end.
Only three 40-acre lots were surveyed on Timber Licence No. 12214, the balance of this
tract being covered by an overlapping timber claim and is not at present available for settlement. The soil on these three lots is a rich loam, with a few rock-outcrops of small area.
A small creeks runs through the land.
An examination was also made of Timber Licence No. 35977, surveyed as Lot 7165, which
lies about half a mile south of Blueberry Creek. No land suitable for settlement was found
on this licence, which covers a tract of rocky, broken hillside, and in accordance with your
instructions no subdivision was made.
The area which has been subdivided is all excellent agricultural land which has only
escaped previous settlement by the fact that it was held under timber licence. It was at one
time heavily timbered, but the majority of the timber has been logged off, and in the course
of logging operations much of the necessary clearing of the land, which would otherwise devolve
on the settler, has been done. A large part of the timber was cut many years ago, and the
stumps are sufficiently rotted to make clearing an easy matter. Good logging-roads have been
built throughout the whole of the subdivided land, which will be of considerable value to the
settler. Timothy hay and clover are widely spread over the land where the horses have been B 86 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
used in the logging operations, and natural feed for horses and cattle has thus become plentiful.
Hay was observed there growing 8 feet high.
The fruit-growing industry has passed the experimental stage in this district, and it is
firmly established that all varieties of apples, pears, plums, cherries, and small fruits, etc., can
be grown to perfection. The Doukhobor settlement on the other side of the Columbia River,
opposite this land, has done much to prove what can be grown in this district. In addition
to all ordinary fruits, they have this year demonstrated that peaches of fine quality can be
ripened there, and they are now experimenting with grapes.
The climate of the Kootenay District is universally admitted to be ideal from the point
of view of the farmer and fruit-grower. The average rainfall is about 30 inches, which is ample
to provide the necessary moisture for the growth of crops. Crop-failures have not occurred in
the district. The climate is mild and free from extremes of temperature. The lowest recorded
temperature is 11 degrees below zero, and on an average year the thermometer does not fall
below zero. The length of winter varies with the season, but as a general rule the first snow
falls between December 1st and December 15th, and is gone again by the middle of March.
Summer frosts are unknown.
Accessibility and Markets.
The surveyed lots are easy of access and there is no difficulty in marketing the produce.
The Canadian Pacific Railway adjoins the southerly portion of the tract, running south to Trail
and Rossland and north to Castlegar Junction, from which point railways run east to Nelson
and through to the Prairies, and west to the Boundary District and through to the Coast on
the newly completed line. A steamer service runs north from Castlegar up the Arrow Lakes,
connecting with the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Good wagon-roads run to
Trail, Rossland, and Nelson, and there is a Government ferry across the river opposite this land.
The local market for farm produce has always been good, and with the great mineral wealth
of this district, the steadily rising prices of metals, and the consequent increasing activity of
the mines and smelters, an increasing population may be expected, and a correspondingly larger
market. The recent enlargements of the Trail smelter and the construction now going on there
of a zinc plant on a large scale will have a beneficial effect on the whole district. The lumber
industry, while not carried on on a large scale, gives employment to a number of men. The local
market absorbs the greater part of the output, and there is always a good demand for mine
timbers at the Rossland mines.
Game is plentiful, and deer seem to be increasing in numbers as a result of the protective
measures of the Government, and the gradual killing-off of the cougar and coyote, which prey
on them. It is against the principles of the Doukhobors to kill any living animal, and the
Doukhobor settlement is gradually becoming a haven of refuge for all animals. White-tail deer
are found on all the valley benches and black-tail deer on the hills above. The Columbia River
continues to provide good trout-fishing, but the indications are that the river below the Arrow
Lakes will need restocking if the supply is to be kept up.
The opening of this land for settlement offers an exceptional chance for settlers to establish
themselves in a district that is already in an advanced stage of development. There are stores
and post-offices at Blueberry Creek and Castlegar, and the train service of two daily trains in
each direction and good roads to the distributing centres give excellent facilities for marketing
I have, etc.,
H. C. Athelstan Cornish, B.C.L.S. 6 Geo. 5 Expired Timber Licences, Kootenay District. B 87
EXPIRED TIMBER LICENCES NEAR LITTLE SLOCAN RIVER, KOOTENAY DISTRICT.
By A. H. Green.
August 28th, 1915.
G. H. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following general report on the operations of my party
during the months of July and August while engaged in a survey on the Little Slocan River,
My work consisted of the subdivision of expired Timber Limits Nos. 9518, 10382, 10400,
10401, and any Crown land adjoining them; consequently I surveyed this area into Lots 12293
to 12322, inclusive, which lots take in about 200 acres of Crown land lying south of the last
two mentioned limits. The soil of these lots, taken as a whole, is a sandy loam, with the
exception of about 360 acres in the northern part of Limits 9518 and 10382, which is nearly
solid rock, being a steep mountain-side with a southerly slope. This area was given a lot
number, as its survey was practically complete when its adjoining lots were surveyed. The
lots which make up the greater part of Limit 9518 are situated on a dry bench, the southern
portion being stony and covered with jack-pine and buck-brush, the northern portion somewhat
heavier, being a sandy loam and covered wdth fir, tamarack, cedar, and birch. The lots comprising the southern portion of Limit 10382 are all on bottom land from which the merchantable
timber has been taken, leaving broken scrub timber, stumps, and heaps of brush. The soil is
light and sandy.
Lots in Limit 10401 are made up mostly of bench land, with a narrow strip of bottom land
along the river. The soil is sandy and covered with scrub timber, second-growth fir, pine, and
tamarack, and a thick growth of hemlock underbrush.
Lots in Limit 10400 are made up of a series of benches, those in the southerly portion of
the limit running in an easterly and westerly direction, and those next to the east boundary
of Lot 4599 running in a north-westerly direction. These lots are covered with a thick, second
growth of fir, cedar, pine, tamarack, and willow; the soil is sandy on the benches and rocky
down on the lower ground next the river.
Lots 12318 and 12319, lying on the north side of the river, have a considerable amount of
merchantable timber, mostly bull-pine and fir, and although it is very scattered, it should,
however, be worth the cutting, as it is near both the wagon-road and the river. Lots 12320,
12321, and 12322, being the portion outside the limits, are on a hillside with a gradual northerly
slope. The soil is a sandy loam, with scattered rock intermixed. A small creek called Four-
mile Creek crosses the east boundary of Lot 4599 about a mile and a quarter south of the
north-east corner of said lot, and, running in a north-easterly direction, passes through seven
of the subdivision lots, and enters the Little Slocan River about a mile and an eighth east of
the west boundary of the subdivision. This creek at low water is on an average of 10 feet wide
and would be able to supply water for irrigation to the various lots through which it passes.
There are other small creeks in the spring, but most of these dry up during the hot weather
of summer. All the lots in the subdivision will be difficult to clear and bring under cultivation,
but they are all suitable for mixed farming, and the present growth of hay along the river-banks
suggests stock-raising on a small scale.
These lots are situate in the lower valley of the Little Slocan River, and extend from the
westerly bank of the main Slocan River at Vallican westerly for a distance of approximately
three miles and a half. For several years past logging companies have run logs down the
Little Slocan River, in several places causing jams, which, together with the spring freshets,
have caused the river, near its mouth, to overflow its low banks; consequently, through Lots
12293, 12294, 12296, and 12297, the river-bed has become very wide, with here and there two
channels. For this reason, although the average width of running water is over a chain and
the crossing of the river considerably difficult at high water, it has been considered unwise to
adopt the river as a boundary for the four above-mentioned lots. On the other hand, in consideration of the fact that the river is difficult to cross throughout the greater part of the
summer, it was thought that it should be adopted as a boundary wherever the banks became B 88 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
higher and the channel more definitely cut out. In the survey of Lot 10402, George Soucey's
pre-emption, the river was taken as the southerly boundary; hence from the east boundary of
this lot westerly to the east boundary of Lot 4599 the river has been taken as a boundary of the
lots adjoining it.
Vallican, on the Canadian Pacific Railway line from Nelson to Slocan City, is the nearest
railroad point to this section. It is distant, approximately, twenty-four miles from Nelson and
nineteen from Slocan City. A daily train runs over this route, and a return trip from Vallican
to Slocan City can be made inside of five hours' time. A branch Government wagon-road
connecting with the main Slocan Road at Vallican crosses the Slocan River at this place, and
extends up the Little Slocan River a distance of about eleven miles to what are known as
the lower lakes. From here northward a tote-road follows the easterly side of the lakes and
river until it reaches a point on the headwaters of the river, called Beaver Creek, at a distance
of about eight miles from Slocan City. Here it crosses Beaver Creek, runs north-easterly along
the north-westerly side of said creek, crosses Robertson Creek near the summit of the pass, and
after winding down the various benches and hillsides on the north side of this creek, finally
completes its way into Slocan City, making a total wagon route—Vallican to Slocan City via
Little Slocan—of approximately twenty-six miles. From the lower lake northwards this tote-
road goes through a stony country, and in many places, especially along the shore of the upper
lake, the rocks come nearly to the water's edge. Having completed the lower survey on August
20th. I moved up the river to a point on Sub-lot 1, Lot 7161, about half a mile north-east of the
upper lake, where I made camp the second time, the distance between camps being about fourteen
miles. In traversing this route I could see by reference to the map that Sub-lot 2 of Lot 7161
took in all the available agricultural land, but the valley in which was Sub-lot 1 seemed to be
wider; consequently I considered it necessary to run out the south-easterly boundary of this
sub-lot to make sure of the territory it included. It was found that, although the most northerly
corners on this boundary were quite low down, yet to survey pre-emptions back of this sub-lot
would be considered unwise, as they would take in mostly all rocky mountain-side. Again,
between the lower and upper lakes, where enters Hoder Creek, there is a little bench land west
of the survey-line of Sub-lot 2, but there is not enough to permit of the survey of even one good
lot. The only land available, therefore, for agricultural purposes is that in the two sub-lots
land 2, which, if it could be subdivided into lots extending clear across the river or valley, would
make very suitable ranches.
Having satisfied myself that I would not be justified in making pre-emption surveys in this
vicinity, I wired you from Slocan City to this effect, and received your instructions to close
operations. I moved camp on the morning of August 27th by way of Slocan City, and reached
Nelson in the afternoon of the same day.
I have, etc.,
A. H. Green, B.C.L.S.
VICINITT OF STILLWATER, ST. VINCENT BAT, AND SECHELT INLET.
By J. E. Laverock.
December 20th, 1915.
G. II. Daivson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to report regarding lands surveyed by me during the past season
at various Coast points within a day's travel of Vancouver, consisting partly of logged-off lands
requiring subdivision before being opened for pre-emption, and partly of adjoining recorded
pre-emption claims requiring survey.
The first tract dealt with lay in the vicinity of Stillwater, a steamship landing on the east
shore of Malaspina Strait about sixty-three miles northerly from Vancouver. The land open
for pre-emption in the above vicinity lies about three-quarters of a mile back from the shore,
and extends in an irregular belt some two miles easterly and westerly from Stillwater. Of the 6 Geo. 5 Stillwater, St. Vincent Bay, and Sechelt Inlet. B 89
area to the east a large proportion was found to consist of rocky ridges and stony, poor soil.
In the area to the west of Stillwater the soil and lay of the land improve greatly, and here
ten 40-acre pre-emptions and four recorded claims were laid out.
The soil on these claims is in general a light loam of good depth and fair quality, though
eontaining some gravel. The above conditions are varied by small areas where a wet, black top
soil has accumulated in depressions, and by other areas, particularly on ridges, where gravel
is more prevalent than desirable.
These lands have been logged off in recent years, but the remaining debris, stumps, and
cull timber will still make thorough clearing laborious work. As logging operations have,
however, removed the heavy overhead growth and opened roadways, the more easily cleared
areas on these claims, though scattered, can be brought into use, while the stumping and heavier
clearing is more gradually carried out.
It is maintained by residents and others having knowledge of that part of the Coast from
Jervis Inlet to a distance some thirty-five miles north that the rainfall in this section is less
than that recorded on other parts of the Coast north or south. As the lands in question lie
within this partial dry belt and are also naturally well protected, I would judge them to be
specially adapted to poultry-farming or the growing of small fruits. Excellent general garden
produce, including strawberries and tomatoes, are grown at Wulfsohn Bay near by, and judging
by the quality and prolific growth of wild blackberries on these logged-off lands other small
fruits should do well.
As the recorded pre-emptions included in the surveys made in this vicinity had been recently
taken up, little progress had been made on them outside of the erection of dwellings and the
making of small clearings about them. On Lot 4409 J. Goldsmith has a vegetable-garden which
shows particularly well for a first cultivation of its soil.
The Brooks, Scanlon & O'Brien Logging Company have the terminus of their logging-railway
at Stillwater, where the company also maintains a store as well as camp accommodation for their
booming and railroad crews. There is a post-office and Government Telegraph Station here.
As the wharf and adjoining lands at Stillwater belong to the logging company, general access
by pre-emptors to near-by lands will have to be had from the Government wharf on the east side
■of Wulfsohn Bay. This wharf is centrally situated with regard to lands surveyed and is connected by a branch road with the projected and locally completed through road from Powell
River to Thunder Bay.
During the past summer the All Red Steamship Line operated a daily boat either way
between Vancouver and Powell River, but expect to reduce this service by half during the
winter. This line, supplemented by the service of the Union Steamship Company, gives good
accommodation along this part of the Coast, either for the marketing of produce or general
travel. This frequent steamship service puts pre-ernptors on the lands under discussion in
touch with the Vancouver market, and also with the demand for produce of the large logging
companies operating in normal times at Myrtle Point, Wulfsohn Bay, and Stillwater. There
are also quarries at Hardy and Nelson Islands employing a considerable number of men.
The lands about Stillwater are well watered by small creeks and springs, and a stream
known as Eagle River also flows through them. This river is the outlet for the Gordon Pasha
Lakes, Horseshoe Lake, and Dodd Lake, having in themselves a total area of twelve square
miles and a watershed some ninety square miles in area. The river has a length of about three
miles and a half and a fall from its source in the First Gordon Pasha Lake of 325 feet. The
rapid fall of the river as it approached tide-water, together with favourable conditions for
dam-sites, etc., would seem to give this stream possibilities as a water-power, and it might
profitably be gauged by the Water Rights Department.
St. Vincent Bay. i
On completion of work at Stillwater the party was moved to St. Vincent Bay, Jervis Inlet.
This bay lies on the northerly shore of the inlet, some nine miles up from Malaspina Strait aud
at the entrance to Hotham Sound. It is flanked by extended headlands, and on that forming
the northerly boundary of the bay several pre-emptions have been taken up. Though these have
been recorded as 160-acre claims, a large part of this area is taken up with rock knolls and
ridges, and the area of good land is confined to small swampy areas lying in depressions or
ravines. Some exception might be made in regard to A. Fletcher's claim, Lot 3256, where an B 90 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
area of 25 acres of swampy bottom land with firm black soil occurs at north-east corner of
the claim. As this was formerly timbered with cedar, clearing will be heavy, and drainage
will also be required.
These claims have recently been put under record, and little progress has been made on
them beyond erecting dwellings or clearing small garden-patches. On Lot 3257, at the northwest angle of the bay, however, the pre-emptor, Robert Heard, has a very fine garden of 1%
acres on a bench at the water's edge. This bench formerly supported a growth, mostly large
maples and alders, which in time had accumulated a considerable depth of leaf-mould. The
pre-emptor has by dint of considerable hard work cleared and graded this bench, but has now
the satisfaction of having a plot of the finest soil on which a variety of vegetables, herbs, and
fruits grow in great abundance and perfection.
On the west side of St. Vincent Bay certain logged-off lands, formerly comprising Lot 769,
were under instruction for survey into pre-emptions. These lands were found to be little
favoured as to contour or soil, a part of their area being taken up with rocky bluffs and knolls,
and of the balance a greater part lies on a steep slope which rises from a narrow, irregular
bench skirting the shore. Small patches of good land occur on this lower bench, but on the
side-hill the land is light and gravelly, increasing in this respect as it ascends. On account of
the above conditions only three lots were laid off along the shore in this tract.
St. Vincent Bay is well protected by the headlands forming its northerly and southerly sides
and by the high slope on its western side. It is also attractive from a scenic standpoint, both
in itself and as to its surroundings. However, outside of being developed for summer-resort
purposes at a later date, I cannot see any great possibilities for the greater part of the lands
Following the completion of the work in the above vicinity, a number of surveys were made
on the eastern side of Sechelt Inlet. These surveys largely comprised recorded lands where
overlaps, etc., made survey desirable. This inlet has a length north and south of some twenty-
one miles and an average width of about one mile and a half. Two branches known as Narrows
Arm and Salmon Arm extend north-easterly from it, some ten miles and seventeen miles
The main inlet has two features perhaps worthy of remark. One is that had it extended
three-quarters of a mile farther south it would have cut through to the main Coast again at
Sechelt. The intervening neck of land is low-lying and crossed by a good wagon-road, thus
making the southern end of the inlet accessible from the outer Coast and main line of travel.
As a second feature I would remark the existence three miles from the entrance to the
inlet of what are known as the Skookumchuck Rapids. Here the inlet channel is restricted
by headlands as well as by islands and sunken reefs. The area of the inlet inside these rapids
is about thirty-five square miles, so that during a change of tide a large volume of water has
to rush through this restricted channel, and being set into commotion by the irregularities of
the same produces rapids which are a sight well worth seeing. These rapids are, however,
somewhat of a hindrance to navigation, for with average tides they are only safely navigable
during half-hour periods at slack water.
To the north of these rapids the lands along the eastern shore of the inlet feasible for. use
are confined to the small benches occurring along the water-front. Back of these the land rises
steeply, and such upper benches as occur are difficult of access.
The soil on the benches along shore is of good quality, containing much humus or mould,
and though these benches are limited to a few acres in area they make comvenient home-sites.
As such they have been taken advantage of by fishermen who ply their trade in the fishing-
grounds off-shore, and who work on their pre-emptions in off-seasons and spare time. No
extensive clearings have as yet been made, but each settler grows enough potatoes and other
vegetables for domestic use.
Along this eastern shore little heavy timber occurs, the growth being largely fir and hemlock
averaging 8 inches in diameter, with patches of alder along shore.
In the vicinity of the Skookumchuck and other such rapids along the Coast marine life in
various forms is exceedingly abundant, due probably to such localities offering better oppor- 6 Geo. 5 Stillwater, St. Vincent Bay, and Sechelt Inlet. B 91
tunities for feeding. The above fact would seem to have some bearing on the existence near
the above rapids of the fishing-grounds formerly referred to.
The staple fish caught on these grounds is the grey cod. Other varieties of cod are also
found, and spring and other classes of salmon are fished in season. The fish are sold as caught
to buyers, who operate large launches out of Vancouver and make this the northerly end of
their collecting trips.
Along the eastern shore of the Skookumchuck Rapids the land is low-lying and extends
back for about one mile in the form of low benches and slopes before rising steeply. South of
the rapids the eastern shore of the inlet is paralleled for half a mile by a low rocky ridge, with
a belt of good level land behind it. This condition in turn gives way to a low sloping bench
along shore backed by steep slopes, and in continuing southward to Narrows Arm the water-front
becomes steep and rocky.
On these various areas the general soil is a reddish loam of good quality, but areas of a
fine silt soil, others of brown mould, and others of marshy land with black soil also occur.
The timber-growth on these lands is mostly second-growth fir averaging 10 inches diameter.
With this grow hemlock, cedar, and in places tracts of alder. Scattered sticks and small patches
of merchantable fir also occur.
On completion of surveys along Sechelt Inlet as far south as Narrows Arm a connecting
traverse was made up the west shore of the latter, and three lots laid out adjoining the narrows
from which this arm takes its name.
The claim under record here, Lot 4438, contains some 5 acres of good soil, where a growth
of large maples has accumulated a depth of mould. Of the balance of the claim, part is stony
land and part also steep. Of the other two claims taking up the available land in this vicinity,
the tillable area is confined to a small flat along shore. Although logged over, clearing on all
land hereabout will be heavy.
Narrows Arm has an average width of three-quarters of a mile, but at the " narrows " this
width is reduced for a short distance to 100 yards. The tidal current here is not excessive or
The shores of the arm are paralleled by high mountain ridges which in places rise steeply "
from the shore, but in other places the shore recedes in low slopes or flats for half a mile or
more before rising steeply. These flats are almost entirely timber lands under licence, so that
for the present little land is available for pre-emption on this arm.
Storm Bay. \
Surveys were now continued on the headland separating Narrows Arm from Salmon Arm.
The west shore of the headland is followed by a broken rock ridge, but behind this a valley
runs south from Storm Bay, at the north-west angle of the headland. On the shores of the
bay and in this valley several claims have been recorded, surveys of which were carried out.
In this valley the general contour is level and the soil is a dark loam of good quality.
Though this valley has been logged over, clearing will be heavy, there remaining much rough
cull timber, both cedar and fir, and in places the second growth is of large size.
As claims in this locality with one exception have been recently taken up, little work has
as yet been done on them. On W. Gregg's claim, Lot 32S5, however, a dwelling and outbuildings
have been erected and some clearing done.
Though its southerly end is only some thirty-one miles from Vancouver, little general
development has as yet taken place on 'Sechelt Inlet. Direct entrance to it by water is roundabout and made awkward by the rapids formerly described, so that it has as yet no regular
steamship service, nor is it travelled to any great extent by small craft. It is thus not so well
known or so attractive to settlers as it might otherwise be. However, as the present settlers
become better established and there is a revival of the logging industry, a regular launch service
on the inner part of the inlet could be established, connecting with the main Coast across the
portage at Sechelt. B 92 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
The Union Steamship Company's boats make a weekly call at the entrance to the inlet, and
a weekly mail for the southerly part of the inlet comes by way of Sechelt to the post-office at
Shaw's Cove, on Lot 3746.
Several shingle-bolt camps now operate along shore and local pre-emptors have been finding
work in these cutting bolts. A shingle-mill at the head of Salmon Arm has large contracts and
provides a market for these bolts. These constitute the local industries and market at present.
I have, etc.,
J. E. Laverock, B.C.L.S.
EXPIRED TIMBER LIMITS ON OKEOVER ARM, POWELL LAKE, AND SECRET COVE.
By N. F. Townsend.
December 7th, 1915.
G. H. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
■Sir,—I have the honour to report on the surveys carried out on Okeover Arm, Powell Lake,
and Secret Cove. The work at Okeover Arm consisted of subdividing some expired timber leases
into lots of approximately 40 acres, omitting such areas that had no agricultural possibilities.
Okeover Arm, the southern arm of Malaspina Inlet, is about fourteen miles from Lund by water,
and from three to four miles from that settlement by trail. It can easily be reached from Lund
by small boat or launch, as well as by trail, the passage by water being well protected for a
considerable part of the way before the mouth of Malaspina Inlet is reached, by the Ragged
Islands, and when once in the inlet there is not much danger. The arm shallows towards the
end, but is navigable for tugs and small craft, provided, of course, they are in the hands of
persons having a knowledge of these waters. Through the flat at the southerly end of the arm,
which is an Indian reserve, flows a small stream, at the mouth of which a native oyster, rather
larger than the Olympia oyster, is found in small quantities. On the western side, near the
• head, there are a few settlers, and a school-house has already been built. The arm has a width
ranging from three-quarters to one mile, and is protected on the west by a ridge having an
elevation of between 300 and 400 feet, and from the north by the narrows; consequently there
is seldom any heavy sea. Lund, the nearest regular point of call for steamers, is well served
by the Union Steamship Company, there being several boats a week. It is about eighty miles
from Vancouver and is in what is known as the semi-dry belt of the lower Coast; that is to say,
the precipitation in that vicinity is considerably less than in the districts to the north and south.
Lund itself is provided with a post and telegraph office, a good store, hotel, and a machine-shop
where ordinary repairs can readily be made. It is the centre for the logging industry for the
neighbourhood, and is at times largely patronized as a summer resort.
As regards the area embraced in the survey, it lies on the east side of the arm about a mile
and a half from the head, thus having a westerly aspect. Generally speaking, the land rises
abruptly from the shore to a height of about 100 feet and then goes back in a series of slightly
sloping irregular benches, and gravelly and rocky ridges to the mountain. Some of these
benches are saucer-shaped and contain small swamps and patches of good soil. The best of
these patches is to be found on Lots 4521, 4524, and 4525. Most of the land has been logged
off, but apparently a large fire swept over the southern portion before the logging operations
were finished; thus there is a good deal of dead and burnt standing timber, as well as a
considerable quantity of fallen debris. At the north end there is more standing timber and
reproduction. The timber is, however, generally small and scattered. This zone is more broken
up and rocky than the south end, but between the ridges of rock are several small patches of
good-looking soil, somewhat swampy. The contour of the country is, however, such that drainage
could easily be accomplished. The eastern side attains an elevation of about 700 feet, has all
been burnt over, and is comparatively free from underbrush. The soil is gravelly, but here again
occur patches of good soil between the ridges. Owing to the fact that at one time there were
logging camps on the leases there are several skid-roads. These in many places are overgrown
with brush and have fallen into decay, yet even now they provide an easy access to many of the 6 Geo. 5 Expired Timber Limits on Okeover Arm, etc. B 93
lots. These roads, as a rule, follow the low places, and most of the best land is adjacent to them.
Taking it all round, there is a moderate water-supply, and, even this summer, which was
unusually dry, some of the creeks had plenty of water in them, while in the low places there
were generally a few small water-holes. Owing to its situation the climate is very temperate,
and judging from the results obtained by Mr. Vaughn in his garden, it is evident that vegetables
caii be grown successfully if properly attended to. From him we were able to obtain cucumbers,
tomatoes, cabbage, and lettuce, all grown and ripened out-of-doors in July. Owing to prevailing
conditions there is at present not very much logging going on in this vicinity, but there is still
a large quantity of timber to be cut on and adjacent to Malaspina Inlet. The fact that the
paper-mill at Powell River is running full time should provide a ready market for any timber
capable of being manufactured into pulp. Fishing is another industry carried on in the neighbourhood. There is a run of salmon up Toba Inlet in September and October, and some canneries
establish temporary camps there for the purpose of buying fish from the fishermen. Many of
the settlers take advantage of this and fish during the season, which greatly assists them in
making a livelihood. At certain times there is good fishing in the arm itself, but hardly on a
commercial scale. Deer are said to be fairly plentiful and a few grouse were seen.
Here, as at Okeover Arm, the work consisted of subdividing an expired timber lease into
40-acre lots. The lease in question is situated about eight miles from the foot of the lake.
Powell River, the site of the Powell River Paper Company's plant, is a thriving place and
impresses one as wearing an air of general prosperity. It has a daily connection with Vancouver..
Besides the paper-mill, there is a shingle-mill in course of construction at the foot of the lake,
and several logging-camps on the lake itself. At present the means of transportation from the
wharf at Powell River to the lake, a distance of about a mile, is not very satisfactory and is
rather expensive. There is a weekly mail service up the lake, and by arrangement mail will
be delivered at almost any point at least once a week.
Powell Lake itself is a large sheet of water some twenty-five miles in length. The mountains
rise rapidly from the shore, and the few flats that originally existed have been considerably
reduced in size by the raising of the level of the lake for power purposes. Respecting the area
embraced in the survey, it may be divided into two pieces. One at the head of a large bay,
and the other near the south-east extremity of the same bay. These two areas are separated
by a steep, barren rocky hill. At the north end there was at one time a very much larger flat
than at present. Generally speaking, the country slopes back rather rapidly from the lake.
The soil is a gravelly loam, with heavy underbrush and small timber. Towards the northern
extremity of that portion of the lease surveyed there is a nice well-watered flat with good soil.
The western side is rough, brushy, with much dead and rotten fallen timber. It was only
possible to get in four lots in this parcel of land. Most of this has been logged, but there is
a good deal of small standing timber left. The bed-rock is granite, which in several places
conies to the surface and forms bluffs. This area is well supplied with creeks, which flow through
small ravines. As regards the southern lots, they consist of low passes with good soil, lying
between gently sloping hills. This does not apply to Lot 4536, which consists of an amphitheatre,
with steep and precipitous bluffs on the north and west sides, sloping gradually down to a
picturesque and well-sheltered bay. The soil on these lots is a sandy loam in which good
vegetables can be grown. They are all well supplied with springs. This part has been thoroughly
logged and burnt over, but there is a good deal of fallen timber. On the slopes the soil is more
gravelly, and even rocky in places. These lots all have small bays on them where boats can be
safely kept, a boom of some kind being absolutely necessary on the lake owing to the vast
amount of driftwood which in many cases prevents a landing being made.
Powell Lake seems to be included in the semi-dry belt which exists along this part of the
Coast, and being hemmed in by high hills it gets very hot there in summer. This season the
heat wyas intense, and as there was no rain during the summer everything was parched, and to
obtain satisfactory results it was necessary to resort to watering. Whether a system of pumping
from the lake would be feasible is a question, but if water can be got on the land it would no
doubt greatly enhance its value. Owing to the close proximity of this subdivision to Powell
River there should be a ready market for any garden-truck that can be raised. B 94 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
Powell Lake is a very favourite resort for sportsmen, there being excellent trout-fishing in
the creeks that flow into it, while in the lake itself there is at times very good fishing. Deer
are said to be plentiful, and bear and goat can be found in the adjoining hills. Motor-boats and
guides can be obtained at Powell River.
Secret Cove, which was apparently the name originally given to a narrow inlet of about
three-quarters of a mile in length, lying to the south-east of Turnagain Island, as now generally
understood, embraces in addition all the water lying between that island and the Sechelt
Peninsula. This latter sheet of water, though of comparatively small extent, being less than
a quarter of a mile in width and navigable for perhaps twice that distance in the other direction,
forms a naturally picturesque and admirably sheltered harbour for small craft, and is much
used in stormy weather, more particularly as a refuge for tugs and log-booms. There is a good
entrance at the south of Turnagain Island, and at high tide a narrow channel, separating the
northerly end of that island from the mainland, admits of the passage of rowboats. This,
however, is dry at low water.
At present the steamers plying along the Coast do not make Secret Cove a calling-point,
although provided sufficient inducements offer, they will as a rule land passengers and freight
there. The nearest regular point of call is at Half Moon Bay, a distance of about four miles
by the Telegraph Trail. The All Red Company's steamers call there three times a week. At
the latter settlement is a post and telegraph office and a small store. Buccaneer Bay, on Thorn-
manby Island, about three miles distant, is served by the Union Steamship Company. Like Half
Moon Bay, it is a very popular summer resort.
The principal industry in the neighbourhood is fishing, and there has recently been established a herring-curing plant at Pender Harbour, about ten miles farther up the Coast. Several
varieties of salmon and cod are plentiful in Secret Cove and immediate vicinity, and many
fishermen make the sheltered inlets of Secret Cove and adjacent natural harbours their headquarters during the season. The shore-line of the cove is rather rough and broken, the land
rising steeply from the shore for a little, and then sloping back more gradually. As is usually
the case, the skid-roads run through the lowest and best places, and are of great assistance in
getting to some of the lots. The two westerly lots, being on the outside, are somewhat exposed
and there is no shelter for boats; the remaining ones that front on the water are all protected.
Numerous small creeks cross the northern boundary, and these were, without exception, all dry
in September; in fact, owing to the unusually dry season, all the creeks except the one on Lot
4550 were empty. This would appear to be exceptional, as at one time there were logging camps
near the beach and tugs frequently called in for water, which was obtained from a creek running
Into the cove near the south-east of Lot 4541.
The whole piece subdivided is broken up by rocky ridges, between which are small patches
<of loamy soil, covered with brush in some places, and inclined to be swampy in others. On
many of the ridges there is a good covering of grass which might make good feed for sheep.
In some parts the timber has all been cut, but there are still small stands of fir remaining.
'Some prospecting for mineral has been done along the shore, there being two short tunnels
and a pot-hole or two. These seem to have been abandoned some time ago. The country
appears to be too much broken up to prove a profitable mineral zone. A fair trail follows
the Dominion Telegraph Line through the subdivision, and is traversed once a week by the
linesman from Pender Harbour. This trail, though somewhat rough in places, could easily be
There are only a few spots where the settler can at once begin farming operations, and in
most cases it is necessary to commence by clearing sufficient space to build a house. The land
under review, being expired timber leases, has for the most part been denuded of the best
timber, and is consequently comparatively cleared, although it would be unjust to .say that
logged land comes under the category of cleared land ready for cultivation. Until the present
" Forestry Act" came into force it was not considered necessary to clean up and burn the debris,
the result being that on these old limits there are great tangles of useless logs, tops, and limbs
matted and mingled together in a confused mass. Under present conditions matters have
improved in this respect, but at the same time the stumps have to be removed before satisfactory 6 Geo.
Expired Timber Limits, Sayward District.
results can be obtained. The actual cost of clearing varies considerably. The cost of clearing
the southern part of the land at Powell Lake would be probably in the neighbourhood of $150
per acre, while that at the northern end would cost nearly twice as much.
At Powell Lake there is a good deal of logging going on, while at Okeover Arm there is
lumbering and the fishing, and at Secret Cove there is the fishing, on which the settlers can
rely to some extent as a means of assisting them to make a living.
As to markets, all these lots are within a reasonable distance of steamboat landings, and
there is a good local demand for fruit and vegetables at the near-by summer resorts and camps.
I have, etc.,
N. F. Townsend, B.C.L.S.
EXPIRED TIMBER LIMITS IN SAYWARD DISTRICT.
By H. H. Roberts.
December 11th, 1915.
G. II. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—The lands surveyed are situate on Cortes, Read, Quadra, and Maurelle Islands, in
Sayward District. Viewed from the water, these islands present a somewhat rugged and
mountainous appearance, and the observer might be led to infer that they contain little land
suitable for agricultural purposes. A closer inspection, however, will prove that behind a rough
and rocky shore-line can be found land suitable for settlement. As yet, these islands are not
very well served with roads. Communication is chiefly by steamer. The Union Steamship
Company maintains a bi-weekly service to many ports of call.
The season's work was chiefly the subdivision of expired timber limits and adjacent Crown
lands. A few unsurveyed pre-emptions were included in the surveys. Forty-acre blocks was
the standard adopted in the subdivision work, but this method was departed from where larger
blocks were found to better suit local conditions. In all, fifty-five lots were surveyed, varying
in size from 40 to 200 acres.
A 35-foot gasolene-launch with 12-horse-power engine provided transportation for the survey
party, and a rowboat fitted with a Wisconsin engine was of material assistance in carrying out
the season's operations.
Cortes Island lies at the head of the Strait of Georgia. Sutil Channel separates it from
Read and Quadra Islands, and Lewis Channel divides it from the Redonda Islands. The length
of the island is about fifteen miles in a northerly direction, and its width varies from one to
seven miles; the greatest width being at the centre. The coast-line is indented by several bays
and creeks, in many of which good anchorage can be found.
Cortes Island is well settled and better served with roads and trails than any of the
neighbouring islands. The chief settlement is around Manson's Landing and Whaletown, on
the westerly side of the island. Whaletown has a general store and post-office, and Manson's
Landing boasts of a Farmers' Institute co-operative store, post and telegraph offices, and a school.
Steamboats call regularly at both places. Single fare from Vancouver to the Landing is $4;
return fare, $7. Freight charges between these points are $3.50 per ton.
Surveying operations were commenced on Cortes Island, where portions of Sections 5 and
10 were subdivided in 40-acre blocks. These tracts are situated on the south-east end of the
island, and front on Blind Creek and the Strait of Georgia. The distance from Manson's Landing
is about three miles, and trails lead from this area to a road connecting Manson's Landing with
Smith's Landing, on the east side of Cortes Island. Blind Creek contains good anchorage. The
entrance is narrow, and in the centre of the channel is a rock which is covered at certain stages
of the tide. For safety it is advisable for boats to keep about 50 feet from the shore on the
south side of the channel. B 96 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
The contour of this land is broken up by low rocky hills and knolls. The prevailing soil is
sandy loam, inclined to be gravelly; though patches of good brown loam soil almost entirely
free from stones are scattered throughout the area. Practically all the blocks contain small
areas of first-class land. The central portion of this land was recently logged off and contains
a considerable amount of logging debris and windfalls. The whole area, however, contains a
fair amount of standing timber, more than ample for pre-emptor's needs. The cost of clearing
will vary from $80 to $250 per acre.
Creeks are scarce on this land, but many springs of water were found; and where there are
no surface streams shallow wells will generally reach good water.
These blocks might be made suitable for mixed farming, or sheep and cattle raising on a
small scale. Sheep are being raised very successfully by John Manson, whose ranch is about
two miles to the west. Small fruits and vegetables should grow well.
Read Island, where the greater part of the season was spent, is ten miles long and from
one to three miles broad. Its southern portion is low, but rises gradually to the northward to
about 1,600 feet. The shore-line is rocky, steep-to, and much indented, more especially on the
east side. This island is sparsely settled, the present population being about forty. The settlers
are chiefly occupied with hand-logging, the raising of garden produce and chickens; while a few
are successful with cattle.
In Burdwood Bay, on the east side of Read Island, Lots 1004 to 1007 were surveyed. The
soil on this area, apart from ridges and knolls, which are rocky, is sandy or light loam. In parts
there is much swamp soil, and in places black loam soil almost free of stones was found. These
lots have been logged off, but a recent fire cleared out the logging debris, thereby making the
task of clearing this land much easier. The cost of clearing the first-class land within these
lots will average $150 an acre. Hogs should thrive on this land, as they are being successfully
raised under similar conditions on a near-by ranch. Burdwood Bay has a post-office and a
weekly boat service, which provides the rancher with an easy means of marketing his products.
Lots 283 and 284, on the west side of Read Island, were cut up into five blocks averaging
40 acres in area. Hoskyn Inlet forms the west boundary of Lot 284. The south-eastern portion
of Lot 2S3 is easy of access by a good trail leading from Burdwood Bay. These lots are badly
broken up by rocky ridges, and the area of first-class land is small. Excepting the south-east
quarter of Lot 2S3, none of this land has been logged. A recent fire, while it damaged the
standing timber and vegetation, was instrumental in clearing the land of debris and underbrush.
Loam well mixed with sand and stone is the prevailing soil. Bold Point, which has a post-office
and a bi-weekly boat service, is about a mile and half away on the opposite side of Hoskyn Inlet.
The nearest store is at Surge Narrows.
Lots 1008 to 1016 and 1029 are situate in the centre of Read Island and are easy of access
both from Hoskyn Inlet and Bird Cove. Lots 1008, 1010, 1014, and 1015 are very rocky and
broken, but would in my opinion be suitable for sheep-raising. The soil on the remainder of
the lots is for the most part a good sandy loam, with patches of black loam. Lots 1013 and
1029 are settled upon. The latter lot shows a very productive appearance after a short
occupancy, and the former also gives promise of a good future.
On the east side and head of Evans Bay Lots 1017 to 1025 and 1043 were surveyed. A skid-
road gives access to Lots 1025 and 1043 from White Rock Bay. Good land was found in this
part of Read Island. Lots 1020, 1023, and 1024 have already been taken up. This tract has
been logged off, but the timber still standing is of a fair grade and ample for the needs of
settlers. The northernmost lots are within easy distance of store and post-office at Surge
Narrows, and the lots in the southern portion have postal and boat facilities at Burdwood Bay.
Quadra Island is the largest of the Valdes group of islands. The work on this island only
consisted of subdividing old Timber Limit Lot 439, fronting on Open Bay and Sutil Channel.
Lot 439 was subdivided into three lots—viz., 1026 to 1028. These lots are covered by pre-emption
records, and considerable improvements have been made by the settlers on Lots 1027 and 1028. 6 Geo. 5 Sayward and Coast Districts. B 97
Manrelle is the smallest island of the Valdes Group. Hoskyn Inlet divides it from Read
Island, and contracts at its northern end into a narrow boat passage, choked with rocks and
almost dry at low water. Lots 1030 to 1042 are at the south end of Maurelle Island, being
subdivision of old Timber Limit Lots 106 and 450. This block of land contains the best land
surveyed during the past season. Lots 1030, 1031, and 1033 are excellent for agricultural
purposes, while Lots 1032, 1034 to 1036, 1040, and 1041 contain a fair amount of first-class land.
The remainder of the subdivision is rather rocky and broken. The soil varies from light sandy
loam to black loam.
This land has been thoroughly logged off. Clearing will be comparatively easy. Many
stumps will have to be taken out, but fires have done good work in the way of clearing underbrush, debris, and windfalls. A squatter, F. Kilpatrick, has a good house built and a garden
in cultivation on Lot 1040. Another squatter, T. Keefer, has a nice home and garden on Lot
1041. The latter is also the owner of sixteen head of cattle, which, he finds, do remarkably well
on the land throughout the whole of the year. Surge Narrows post-office and general store are
within convenient distance of this tract.
Similar climatic conditions prevail on these islands as in Vancouver and surrounding district.
Rainfall is about 70 inches. The past summer was drier than usual, there being only four or
five days' rain from the beginning of June to the middle of September. Summer temperature
seldom rises above 80° Fahr., or falls much below zero in winter. The prevailing summer wind
is from the north-west, and during the winter months southerly gales are frequent.
In normal times settlers can dispose of most of their produce in the logging camps. During
the past year beef, eggs, and garden produce have been marketed in Vancouver, Powell River,
and summer resorts on the Coast.
Deer and grouse are plentiful on the islands described in this report. Ducks and geese were
seen on the inlets. Cod and salmon are very abundant all along the Coast.
I have, etc.,
H. H. Roberts, B.C.L.S.
SAYWARD AND COAST DISTRICTS.
By Frank Tuppee.
G. H. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—Under your instructions, surveys were made by me in the Sayward and Coast
Districts during July, August, September, and October, 1915. I commenced operations at Elk
Bay and made surveys at the following points along Johnstone Strait, viz.: Elk Bay, Sonora
Island, Hardwiek Island, Blinkinsop Bay, Chancellor Channel, Port Neville, and Port Harvey.
The surveys comprised the subdivision of portions of expired timber limits into 40-acre lots
and pre-emptions lately taken up.
At Elk Bay I surveyed five 40-acre lots, Nos. 973, 974, 975, 977, and 978. These lots are
for the most part good land, which has been logged off many years ago. It is now covered with
dense second-growth and fallen timber. The cost of clearing would consequently be somewhat
heavy. The lots are well watered by small creeks and are easily accessible to Elk Bay by an
old skid-road, which with very little trouble could be converted into a very good road. These
lots lie in a rather narrow valley bounded by rocky hills on the north and south.
7 B 98 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
On Sonora Island I surveyed four 40-acre lots, one lot of 62 acres, and one pre-emption of
160 acres. These lots, Nos. 968 to 972, inclusive, and 976, are situated in a valley or basin
surrounded by rocky hills which is drained by a nice creek. The soil is good along the creek,
and there is a good flat on the pre-emption with rich soil; the balance of the soil is more of a
gravelly nature. This country has been swept by fire during the last few years, and the ground
is now covered with dead and fallen timber. There is a heavy growth of wild blackberries
and raspberries over almost the entire area. An old skid-road gives easy means of access from
On Hardwick Island I surveyed five pre-emption claims containing an area of 525.4 acres,
also two lots containing 70.8 and 66.8 acres respectively, all fronting on Johnstone Strait. The
country here, for the most part, consists of a strip of good land along the shore which extends
back on an average of about 10 to 15 chains. The northern portion of the different lots is
very poor rocky country. The northern line runs through very steep and precipitous country
in places. All these pre-emption claims, with one exception, are occupied by their respective
holders. They have all erected cabins and have done a little clearing, and so far have been
able to raise sufficient vegetables for their own use. These lots are all logged-off lands and
are covered with dense second growth and windfalls.
Before leaving this locality I also surveyed and tied in Helmcken Island, lying in Johnstone
Strait opposite Hardwick Island. This island contains 334 acres. It is rough and rocky and
contains practically no good land.
Blinkinsop Bay and Sunderland Channel,
At this point I surveyed three pre-emption claims containing 273.6 acres, one purchase
claim of 167.4 acres, and three other lots of Crown lands containing 40, 40.7, and 53.4 acres
respectively. These holdings and lots are numbered 1767 to 1773, inclusive. The lots, with the
exception of Lot 1773, all front on Blinkinsop Bay or Sunderland Channel.
The country embraced by these lots is very rough and broken, with occasional small areas
of good flat land. On each of the pre-emptions there is a small area of good land on the
water-front, where the settler has erected his cabin, and in each case has done a small amount
of clearing. Apart from this small area, the rest of the coast-line consists of steep rocky bluffs.
On one pre-emption I saw fine potatoes, turnips, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes growing.
Chancellor and Wellbore Channels.
At this point I found some particularly good land. I surveyed in all ten lots, numbered
1774 to 1783, inclusive, and containing an area of 454.7 acres, none of which has been pre-empted.
The lots that I would class as exceptionally good are Nos. 1774, 1776, 1779, and 1782. Lot 1774
is low-lying and fronts on a nice beach; with the exception of a small area at the north end,
it is practically all good land, and is timbered with a little spruce, hemlock, and cedar, and
covered with a thick growth of second-growth hemlock, devil's-club, etc. The other three lots
mentioned are practically level and are nearly all good soil. All are well watered by several
small creeks and are easily accessible to the shore by an old skid-road. Lots 1780 and 1781
are steep and rocky along the shore, but there is an area of good land on each near the north
boundary. Lots 1777 and 1778 run up on the mountain-side, which is rather rocky, but there
is a strip of very good land on each lot at the south end. Lot 1783 is on an elevated bench
which rises gradually towards the north. The soil is of a gravelly nature, and the rock is
rather close to the surface in places. On Lot 1775 there is practically no good land, but I was
obliged to survey this lot in doing the others.
I surveyed four 40-acre lots at this point. These are a portion of old Lot 37, and are, I may
say, about the best land surveyed by me this season. They are numbered 1784 to 1787, inclusive. Lot 1784 touches the shore at the south-east corner, and is nearly all good alder-bottom
land. It is practically level. Lot 1785 is very similar, except at the north-west corner, where 6 Geo. 5 Sayward and Coast Districts. B 99
it is slightly hilly. Lot 1786 is about two-thirds good land. The north-west corner runs high
up on a steep rocky mountain-side. Lot 1787 is nearly level and all good land. All these lots
are well watered by small creeks. There is practically no big timber, the whole having been
logged and also burnt over many years ago.
At Port Harvey I surveyed three pre-emption claims, Lots 1788, 1789, and 1790, all occupied
by their respective holders, who have erected dwellings and done a little clearing. Lot 1788
adjoins Indian Reserve No. 2 on the north and contains 161.2 acres. Along the south boundary
there is a strip of fairly good land, while there is also a small flat of good land inland from
the north-west corner. The balance is of rough, broken, mountainous country quite useless
from an agricultural point of view. Lot 1789 (Mist Island) is a rocky island of 35.25 acres.
There is a small area of fair soil near the south end where the settler has his home. The
balance is poor and rocky. Lot 1790 is a small strip of 4.5 acres lying between Timber Limit
42873, Lot 70, and the shore. It has been swept by fire during recent years; the soil is of a
gravelly nature for the most part, but the rock outcrops in places along the north boundary.
With regard to the agricultural possibilities of the different tracts surveyed, I may say
that from what I have seen on several pre-emptions, etc., all kinds of vegetables and roots seem
to do exceedingly well where the soil is at all good. I saw splendid potatoes, carrots, cucumbers,
cabbage, etc., on several pre-emptions at Blenkinsop Bay, Sunderland Channel, Hardwick Island,
and Port Harvey. Tomatoes do well and ripen in the open.
There is a good local demand for all the truck that can be grown at the different sawmills
and logging camps scattered all along the Coast, and this market is likely to last for many
years to come. The City of Vancouver, to and from which there is a good weekly steamship
service, should supply a good market for all time.
The Union Steamship Company run a weekly line of steamers which call once a week at
Rock Bay, Salmon River, Port Neville, and Port Harvey. As these points are each within a
few miles of the different tracts surveyed, settlers should have no difficulty in getting their
produce conveyed to the Vancouver market should they so desire.
The climate is very wet during the winter months, while the summer months are perfect
for the growing of root and other vegetable crops. The snowfall is comparatively light; 18
inches, I am informed, is about the maximum, and in some winters there is practically none
at all. Summer frosts are almost unknown.
There is plenty of timber for fuel and logs for the building of settlers' cabins, fences, etc.;
while lumber can easily be obtained from the numerous sawmills along the Coast.
The country is very good for game all along the Coast. Deer are plentiful on many of the
islands as well as on the mainland. Ducks and geese are very plentiful on the different bays
and inlets during the autumn, while black bear are also fairly plentiful in places. Fish, such
as salmon, halibut, and cod, are plentiful and easily caught all along the Coast.
There appears to be a good demand for pre-emptions all along the Coast. I had numerous
inquiries at almost all points, and I am of the opinion that any land, that is at all suitable for B 100 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
settlement, that is thrown open will in the course of the next few years be all taken up. Once
the settler gets a few acres cleared, he should be able to make a very comfortable living, as he
can obtain a ready local market for all he can grow.
I attach blue-prints of each group of lots surveyed which show all the principal topographical
I have, etc.,
Frank Tupper, B.C.L.S.
SAN JOSEF AND CAPE SCOTT DISTRICTS.
By* H. H. Browne.
Alberni, B.C., October 11th, 1915.
G. fl. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit herewith the plans and field-notes comprehending the
surveys carried out this year. The work was of a scattered nature, owing to the necessity of
filling in gaps left in former years. Very little remains to be surveyed of the " Reserve of
August 29th, 1907," perhaps no more than a party could do in four or five months, considering
the long moves.
The Cape Scott end of Rupert District is not only surveyed, but settled. Only a few miles
of line will have to be run to permit the settlers to obtain their Crown grants. For the most
part, so far as my observation goes, the improvements are of a lasting character. Of course,
it happens here, as in other parts of British Columbia, that land will be taken up, improved
to the minimum, and then left to become an encumbrance, just because the settler must go out
to earn money. People with capital seldom settle on Crown lands. A lenient treatment is,
perhaps, due to those who take the initial effort, which is all they may be able to do at once.
It is true, I believe, that nowhere in British Columbia can such prolific yields of vegetables
and small fruits be had as in the San Josef and Cape Scott Valleys. But there is no market.
So, what are the people to do? The younger men do what they must do—go elsewhere and work
for wages. This year the young men had good fortune at the fishing in Queen Charlotte Sound,
reaching an average of well over 2,500 fish to the boat, which at " one bit" a fish is not so bad.
Some were employed at the Elk Lake Mines, near Quatsino; some had employment on the roads
and land surveys. So, altogether, there seems a feeling of content. A few who, for domestic
reasons, had to remain at home will need some extraneous help, which might come through the
upkeep of roads.
I have had the honour to report to you so fully in former years upon this country that it
would seem idle to repeat myself now as to its character and possibilities. I did, however, find
a good valley in Sections 5 and 6, in Township 41, which, if divided into small holdings of, say,
40 acres, might easily support a dozen settlers. There are no meadows, but there are many
salmon-berry patches, and the timber is not very thick. The valley is only five miles from the
store and post-office at San Josef Bay. The post-office is on the telephone-line from Alert Bay
to Cape Scott.
The shortness of the season prevented a more extensive examination of this valley.
I have, etc.,
H. H. Browne, B.C.L.S. 6 Geo. 5 Vicinity of Cape Scott, Vancouver Island. B 101
VICINITY OF CAPE SCOTT, NORTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND.
By L. S. Cokely.
December 22nd, 1915.
G. fl. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—My work for the past season was situated in the vicinity of Cape Scott, near the
extreme north end of Vancouver Island. Cape Scott is a comparatively old settlement, being
settled some twenty years ago by the Danes. These first settlers turned their attention to the
tide-flats at the end of the long lagoon just south of Cape Scott. These flats, with the aid of
the Provincial Government, were dyked off and converted into excellent hay meadows, forming
the foundation of the dairying industry through which the locality became favourably known
in later years. Only a few of the Danish families still remain, and the present settlers are
mostly Canadian, English, and Scotch. There are many more settlers than one might expect,
and I was surprised that there should be over 200 attend the very successful fair held by the
Cape Scott Agricultural Society during the summer.
The settlement of the district is retarded, to a large extent, by the physical characteristics
of the country itself. The north end of the Island from Cape Commeral to Cape Scott is very
regular, there being no stream of any size and no inlets. As this Coast is exposed to the rigours
of the open Pacific, the absence of any shelter for boats is a serious obstacle. In winter, when
northerly gales are frequent, it is often impossible for boats to make a landing for days at a
time. Six miles east of Cape Scott is a small bay, Fisherman Bay, where it is said fishing-boats
may weather the gales at anchor, but it is at times impossible, even here, to make a landing,
as the bay is exposed to the open sea. The Dominion Department of Public Works had an
engineer at Fisherman Bay with a view to experimenting there with a wharf, but it is doubtful
whether anything will be done along that line during the war.
The character of the soil, together with the heavy winter rainfall, makes this an exceedingly
expensive portion in which to build wagon-roads. During the period of settlement only six or
seven miles of roads have been constructed. During recent years the Government has been
constructing foot-trails, as these open up a much larger area for the same expenditure.
The surface of this part of the Island is rolling. There are no high peaks, and the ridges
are broken up to a certain extent into isolated knolls. In the portion in which I was working
the elevation of none of the knolls exceeded 1,200 feet above sea-level. As the whole district
is quite heavily timbered and exposed to the gales from the sea, these knolls are sometimes
covered with windfalls on the windward side, which are very disheartening to the luckless
traveller who must make his way through them. On a steep hillside they are frequently crisscrossed up to a height of 30 or more feet, with an undergrowth of salal attaining a height of
10 or 12 feet.
The soil in general appears to be of good quality. Along Fisherman River extends a level
strip of land that may be classed as muskeg. The soil here is only a few inches deep, with a
gravelly subsoil, and very wet; during the rainy period these flats are covered with water. The
timber, pine, hemlock, and cedar, is comparatively light, making clearing inexpensive. These,
lands, when cleared and drained, make good hay meadows, but would be of little value for
other crops. The remainder of the lowlands have a richer black soil, and when cleared give
a good yield. Unfortunately, the land of this character is the most expensive to clear, as there
is a heavy growth of red and yellow cedar and hemlock, with a dense undergrowth of salal. The
cost of clearing is from $150 to $250 per acre, and is hampered by the damp climate, making
Many of the knolls mentioned cover a large area and the tops of them are nearly level, with
a fairly light growth of timber and little undergrowth. The soil appears to be good, which,
together with the natural drainage and light clearing, is causing an increasing settlement of B 102 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
the land of this character. The soil and the climate adapt the country to the growth of hay
and vegetables. It would not be practicable to raise grain of any kind.
The climate is typical of the west coast; the rainfall is heavy, being about 120 inches per
annum. Most of the precipitation is during the winter months, while during July, August, and
September the weather, as a rule, is bright and dry. Throughout the year the temperature
remains very uniform; the summers are cool and the winters are mild. The snowfall is very
light and soon disappears.
Although the country is heavily timbered, the quality of the timber is poor. Yellow cedar,
which is much in demand in the outside markets, grows here, but is so scattered as to make it
of little commercial value. Red cedar, spruce, balsam, and hemlock, all of poor quality, are
found throughout the district. In connection with the timber must be noted the dense growth
of salal; near the shore this forms an almost impenetrable barrier, growing in a tangled mass
to a height of 12 feet or more.
At the present time there is little game to be found here; there are a very few black bear
and a few panther, but during my stay we saw neither. Trout are plentiful in the streams and
lakes, and along the Coast is a good halibut bank, affording occupation to a few fishermen.
The Government has constructed a wagon-road from Fisherman Bay to Cape Scott, and a
wagon-road extends south from Fisherman Bay about three miles along the west boundary of
Township 42. This is the extent of the roads. A foot-trail has been built from Fisherman Bay
to Shushartie Bay, on the east coast of the Island, and from Fisherman Bay south to San Josef
and Sea Otter Cove and to Holberg. The Federal Department of Public Works has during the
past year extended its telegraph-lines north to include all of these places, as well as Cape Scott.
At Fisherman Bay there are two stores and a post-office; at San Josef there is a store and
post-office, and there are post-offices at Sea Otter Cove, Cape Scott, and at Cache Creek.
The steamers on the Coast runs do not come within twenty-five miles of Cape Scott; the
C.P.R. boats call twice a month at Holberg, twenty-five miles to the south, and the Union Steamship's line makes Shushartie Bay a port of call weekly. From Shushartie Bay a private launch
makes the trip weekly, weather permitting, to Fisherman Bay, charging for freight the same as
the freight rate from Vancouver to Shushartie Bay.
This district has for many years been reserved exclusively for pre-emptors, so no land has
been disposed of by purchase by the Government. In consequence there are large areas in
Townships 41, 42, and 43 still open to pre-emptors.
I have, etc.,'
Leroy S. Cokely, B.C.L.S., D.L.S. 6 Geo. 5 Township 4, Graham Island. B 103
By H. N. Clague.
December 10th, 1915.
G. II. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report on my work on the west coast of
Vancouver Island for the past season:—
I made examinations or surveys of certain lands on Copper Island and the vicinity of
Franklin Creek, in the Barclay District; Meares Island, the vicinity of Cypress Bay, and Flores
Island, in the Clayoquot District. The bulk of my work being on Flores Island, I propose to
confine ■my report on same.
Mention of the island was made in my report of 1913, but at that time my knowledge of
the island was to a certain extent limited*. This island, the second largest on the west coast
of Vancouver Island, covers an area of some 34,000 acres, and is situate to the north of
Clayoquot Sound. In many places the island stretches to within a few chains of the mainland
of Vancouver Island. The south and wrest sides of the island are exposed to the full force of
the ocean. There are some good beaches on the south, but the west is very rough and rugged,
with no safe boat-landings, excepting near the north-west corner of the island.
The land suitable for settlement is found on the south and west sides of the island, by far
the best being on the south. There is a considerable area of swampy land on the west side,
and I doubt if this could be used for other than rough grazing purposes without great expense.
There appears to be but very little soil in this swampy land, and drainage generally will be
The soil of the island, taken as a whole, is generally of a gravelly and clayey nature, overlaid in many parts by deep peaty soil.
The climate is mild, and although the rainfall is heavy, most of it falls in the winter months
and early spring.
Game is scarce and appears to be getting more so each year. Ducks and geese are plentiful
in the autumn. The sea-fishing is good; salmon, cod, and halibut are to be obtained in abundance.
The C.P.R. S.S. " Tees " or S.S. " Princess Maquinna " calls at Ahoussat (near the southeast corner of the island) with mail and supplies bi-monthly in the summer and monthly in
the winter. At present there is no wharf at Ahoussat.
In conclusion, I would say that my experience of a number of seasons on the west coast of
Vancouver Island has been that the summers are dry, no excessive heat, nights cool, much
I have, etc.,
H. N. Clague, B.C.L.S.
TOWNSHIP 4, GRAHAM ISLAND.
By Fred Nash.
Queen Charlotte, B.C., October 19th, 1915.
G. fl. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I left Masset on July 19th to complete the survey of Township 4, Queen Charlotte
Islands District, proceeding with my party by gas-boat to Port Clements, twenty-five miles up
Masset Inlet. From Port Clements we crossed to the east coast at Tlell over the " Mexican
Tom " Trail, which, owing to the dry season, was in good shape. This trail becomes almost
impassable during the wet season, as the creeks which should drain the lower lands are blocked
by log-jams, which back up the water over considerable areas. Going south, we found the
wagon-road in excellent condition from Tlell to Lawn Hill. This wagon-road, which extends
to Skidegate, is twenty-seven miles in length and is the longest continuous road on Graham B 104 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
Island. At Lawn Hill we connected with the mail-tug from Prince Rupert and reached Queen
Charlotte two hours later, making the trip from Masset to Queen Charlotte in twenty-five hours.
In my last year's report I dealt with the physical characteristics of Township 4, and I
have nothing further to add relating thereto. In previous reports I have mentioned the mining,
agricultural, and industrial possibilities of the Queen Charlotte Islands, and in this report will
comment briefly on recent progress.
Settlers in the different communities have considerably increased the areas under cultivation
and crops have been uniformly good. The " South-eastern End of Graham Island " was successful for the third successive year in winning the silver cup offered at the Prince Rupert Exhibition
for the best district exhibit of farm produce. This result, obtained in competition with other
northern districts of Lakelse, Kitsumgallum, and Terrace, and the extensive district of Fort
George, should silence the often-heard statement of pessimists that " Graham Island is nothing
but muskeg," and proves that the climate and soil are most suitable for agriculture. It is to
be regretted that the settlers of Masset Inlet and the northern portion of Graham Island have
not yet arranged annual agricultural exhibitions similar to those which have proved so successful
at Lawn Hill and Queen Charlotte.
Cattle and Sheep.
There are now over 500 head of cattle on Graham Island and at the Sand Spit on Moresby
Island. Very few of the herd of 250 wild cattle which only a few years ago roamed over the
grass lands and sloughs of the north and east coasts now remain. Sheep-raising is still in an
experimental stage. A flock of 150 head are doing well on the Sand Spit, and 40 head have
recently been turned out near Cape Ball.
Agricultural development in a country mostly timbered is necessarily slow, entailing hard
work and plenty of it, but those who have been and are honestly developing their holdings need
have no fear of ultimate results.
The weather during the past summer has been excellent, almost too dry from a farmer's
point of view. Indian corn and tomatoes ripened in the open, while strawberries produced a
The frequent visits of Mr. Tomlinson, of the Provincial Department of Agriculture, have
been of great service to the settlers, who also benefit greatly from the experiments undertaken
at the Provincial Experimental Station at Lawn Hill, in charge of Mr. Richardson.
Prospecting in the Takoun coalfields has not been continued this year. The British Columbia
Oil Company, Limited, have been drilling for oil at Tian Point, on the west coast, but up to
date no report of finding oil in commercial quantities has been made public. The Ikeda Mines,
on Moresby Island, have been shipping ore (copper-gold) regularly during the past year. The
South-easter Mine near the Skidegate Indian Reserve is being developed under lease, with
promising indications. A continuation of this vein has been discovered on the reserve, and the
Indians are doing development-work. Prospecting for placer gold has been undertaken on a
small creek one mile and a half south of Masset, and also on black-sand deposit on the east
During the run of spring salmon a large fishing fleet of small boats operated around North
(or Langara) Island. Three of the larger gas-boats of Masset Inlet were employed carrying
the fish, packed in ice, to the cold-storage plants at Prince Rupert. The halibut fleet has also
operated continuously on the banks to the north and west of the islands. The whaling-station
at Naden Harbour was also working during the summer months.
With the exception of two small mills at Port Clements, no mills have been operated during
the past season. Although the suummer was drier than usual, no forest fires occurred. ■6 Geo. 5 South-east of Graham Island. B 105
Roads and Trails.
Great improvements have been made on the roads and trails of Graham Island. This year's
appropriations have been expended in improving existing roads rather than in extending them.
The Nadu, the Woden, and the White River Roads have been gravelled for several miles. Port
Clements has been connected up with the Meyer Lake Road. The roads from Tow Hill to Spence
Lake and from Skidegate to Tlell have also been put in good repair.
New wharves have been built at Queen Charlotte and Skidegate Indian Reserve by the
Dominion Government, and wharves at Masset and Port Clements repaired.
The termination of the mail contract with the Grand Trunk Pacific Steamship Company
resulted in the company's service being discontinued, and the small tug-boats which were
employed for several months were not suitable for either freight or passengers. The Union
Steamship Company's steamer " Camosum" has now taken over the run, making regular
fortnightly calls at the Island ports from Vancouver via Prince Rupert.
The world war has not left the islands untouched. Over fifty settlers have so far gone
to the front from Graham Island, several of whom have been killed or wounded.
A few new settlers have come to the islands during the past twelve months, while some of
the older settlers have left, probably owing to the increased cost of living, due both to the
universal raise in prices and to the increased freight charges during the early summer months,
when the tug-boats before mentioned were the only freight-carriers. The excessive cost of
wheat had a very detrimental effect on chicken-raising, which promised to be a very profitable
industry on the islands.
While settlement and the development of the natural resources of the Queen Charlotte
Islands may be retarded by the present " hard times," the islands will eventually " come into
their own " and support a thriving agricultural, mining, and industrial population.
I have, etc.,
Fred Nash, B.C.L.S.
SOUTH-EAST OF GRAHAM ISLAND, NEAR SKIDEGATE INLET.
By J. C. A. Long.
Masset, November 12th, 1915.
G. II. Daioson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report upon the lands surveyed by me
during the past season, being the south-easterly corner of Graham Island, in the vicinity of
The work assigned to me was intended to complete the survey of this section of the island
by projecting the prior surveys lying to the north and west, southerly and easterly to the Coast.
Unfortunately I was not able to complete the work. The area allotted to me to survey lies to
the east of Townsite 5 and south of Lots 1851 to 1854. This land is best approached from the
east by following the wagon-road connecting Skidegate with Tlell as far as the north boundary
of the Skidegate Indian Reserve; thence by the Government trail to the " South-easter " Mineral
Claim, which is situated at the south-east corner of my work.
This land consists of a number of benches varying in width up to three-quarters of a mile,
separated by the valleys of Miller Creek and of the headwaters of the Tlell River, the former
being for the most part a narrow gorge without any considerable amount of bottom land. It is B 106 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
also cut by several deep ravines of smaller creeks, which give the country as a whole a broken
surface. The benches are thus separated from each other in such a way as to render the
question of their accessibility from the wagon-road one upon which their future settlement
must depend. The altitude of these benches varies from 900 to 1,500 feet above sea-level.
The climatic conditions are almost the same as at sea-level, with the exception that heavy mists
settle on the bench lands on days that would pass merely as dull days on the sea-shore. During
the period that I was in this country there was an almost total absence of frost. On one or
two mornings in late September there were slight ground frosts.
Most of the land is heavily timbered with hemlock, mountain-hemlock, cedar, yellow cedar,
and spruce. On the bench lands most of the first-growth timber has been damaged by fire and
wind. There are several tracts of muskeg, or swamp land, in this area, lightly timbered with
yellow cedar, hemlock, and pine, which are free from moss. These appear to have an excellent
soil and should be productive.
The soil throughout the timbered area is a yellow clay loam of varying depth, which has
been demonstrated to be very fertile.
Settlement throughout this part of Graham Island has hitherto been confined to the lands
adjacent to the sea-shore. In a hilly country such as this is accessibility is of prime importance.
Apart from this question, however, several of the lots surveyed by me are well suited for
agriculture. They are essentially the same, both as regards soil and climate, as the lands
along the water-front, the productiveness of which is best proved by the fact that this district
was awarded the cup at the Prince Rupert Agricultural Exhibition for the third consecutive
year in open competition wdth all other districts in Northern British Columbia for the best
exhibit of vegetables.
The main obstacle to the agricultural development of these lands—and of all other parts
of Graham Island—has hitherto been the lack of market facilities. Owing to the isolated
position of the island, the local market has been the only one open to the producer. There is
no longer any question as to the productiveness of the land or of the suitability of the climate
to produce any ordinary farm crops. One still hears discussions on the productiveness, or
otherwise, of " muskeg " lands on Graham Island. Muskegs no doubt vary in quality, as do
any other varieties of land. In vindication of them, and of statements I have made in referring
to them in previous reports upon the island, I beg to submit that I have obtained results from
muskeg land that was drained only three weeks before seeding as good as I have seen from
any new land. With drainage, aeration, and cultivation, I am of the opinion that time will
prove them to be lands of exceptional fertility.
From the agricultural standpoint, therefore, the situation is, briefly, the land is productive
and the climate is good. These two facts alone should be sufficient to determine the agricultural
future of the island. The lack of markets for garden-truck can be temporarily obviated by
farmers going in for sheep, cattle, or hog-raising, or poultry-farming, in which cases feed-grain
must and can be home-grown. Conditions are suitable for stock-raising on lands that can be
inexpensively brought under cultivation. I think it is becoming generally recognized at the
present time that Graham Island is emerging from the experimental stage, and that discussions
on the chemical composition of the ground must give place to digging ditches and of turning
the natural richness of the land to some profitable account; and that, as far as the land is
concerned, it may be depended upon to do its part.
The timber of commercial value is chiefly hemlock and yellow cedar; there is some good
spruce, though not very much of it. Most of the timber of good size and quality is found on
the hillsides and in the creek-valleys. In many parts the yellow cedar alone will scale 8,000'
feet per acre and extends over considerable areas.
This country has been known for a good many years to be rich in minerals. Several claims
have been located in the south-easterly portion of this area. The only mine operating is on 6 Geo. 5 Okanagan Valley. B 107
the " South-easter " Mineral Claim, in which there are good showings of gold-bearing galena,
reported to run to very high values. Most of the work done recently has been to determine
the extent of the ore-body.
I have, etc.,
J. C. A. Long, B.C.L.S.
PHOTOGRAPHIC SURVEY IN OKANAGAN VALLEY.
By R. D. McCaw.
November 26th, 1915.
G. fl. Dawson, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—The photo-topographical survey of the Okanagan Valley, commenced last year, was
continued this season. In my report to you last year a detailed description of the methods
used was given. The same instrumental outfit was used again, having been loaned by Dr. Deville,
Surveyor-General of Dominion Lands. Last winter the camera was fitted with a new lens and
ray filter. An advice was also received from Dr. Deville to use panchromatic instead of isochro-
matic plates as formerly. The latter plates have been used for many years on this class of
work, but are now supplanted by the former, as they are colour-sensitive to all lights. Better
results were obtained with the new plates. The detail is sharper and contrasts better marked.
Another feature worthy of mention is the black backing which prevents halation. This was
absent in the case of the isochromatic plates used, insomuch that many were fogged in the high
As the appropriation at my disposal was limited this past season, I decided to confine
operations entirely to the east side of Okanagan Lake, so that I might cover as large an area
as possible with less delay by moving, which working on both sides would necessitate. However,
several triangulation stations were required on the west side of the lake in order to continue
the triangulation of last year and have views looking across toward the east side.
Work was commenced early in July. I left Victoria on July 2nd, and upon arrival at
Kelowna began organization, and at the same time erected further signals for the primary
triangulation system in the vicinity. The number of men engaged was the same as the previous
year—namely, six. The outfit of pack-horses and camp equipment was brought from Penticton,
where storage had been arranged for the winter previous.
The triangulation systems were described in my last report as expanding from a base at
Penticton, and there is little to be said in this regard now, as the same procedure of triangulation was followed this year. Readings were taken to several triangulation stations of the
Geological Survey of Canada during the summer, and these are incorporated with my " smaller "
primary system. The geodetic position of my stations and direction of the meridian correspond
except in longitude, where there is a difference of some 18 seconds. The cause of this is not
known at present, but is no doubt due to a different origin of longitudes. The matter is being
inquired into. Primary station No. 11 of last year was changed to a secondary station. This
station had been selected during heavy smoke last year, but was found upon occupation this
year to be unsuitable for a primary station; accordingly the change was made. As triangulation and photographic work went on simultaneously, all will be dealt with under the head of
" Season's Operations " following.
The photographic work was started near Kelowna on July 12th, the time previous being
taken up with the erection of new signals. Camera stations were located on two mountains
north of Kelowna, known locally as Knox and Dilworth Mountains. These stations were easily
reached from Kelowna and served as good stations upon which to break in a new party while
organization was not yet complete. B 108 Report of the Minister of Lands. 1916
On July 14th the different outfits being complete, the first main camp was located at a point
along the Kettle Valley Railway about three miles north of Lequime (Chute) Lake, and work
was taken up in this vicinity, where it had been concluded the previous year. The greater
part of the move from Kelowna was made over the old tote-road built by the railway contractors
for hauling in supplies to their construction camps. Lequime Lake, as I mentioned in my last
report, is the largest of a number of small lakes in the vicinity. The country immediately to
the north is in the form of a basin, with rolling hills and numerous marshes forming headwaters
for several streams flowing northerly towards Okanagan Lake. The timber on the higher land
is usually second- or third-growth jack-pine, with some bluffs of fir and spruce. Spruce and
balsam timber the highest slopes to the east. Several camera stations were occupied in this
locality, and on July 20th a fly camp was moved to a point of access to the primary signal on
Okanagan Mountain. The next day this station was occupied for transit readings to the new
signals and some of the old ones. I found that the old tower had been struck by lightning and
partially shattered. It was repaired and the signal raised some 8 feet in order that it might
be clearly visible over the tree-tops from other stations. The same day two camera stations
were occupied in the vicinity and a small lake located, which is apparently unknown in the
locality. It is a proper mountain lake confined in a narrow canyon with perpendicular sides.
The length is about three-quarters of a mile and the average width about 200 feet. There is
doubt as to whether it would serve in the capacity of a storage-reservoir as the drainage area is
small. The present surface could be raised easily by dams at both ends, and it would probably
A creek locally known as Sawmill Creek was the next base of operations, continuing
easterly. This stream heads in two main branches on the west end of the Little White
Mountain ridge. Camp was moved to the east side of the main branch on July 23rd. Several
camera stations were occupied in the vicinity, and on July 27th a move was again made to the
foot of Little White Mountain. This mountain is another of my last year's primary stations.
A very good trail leads up to the top on the north side. Since I had been on this mountain last
season a new signal by the Geological Survey of Canada had been erected on the site of my old
one. Also the Forestry Branch of this Province had constructed a cabin for the convenience
of the Fire Ranger stationed there for the summer season. New transit readings were taken
to some of the old signals, as well as the new ones erected a few weeks prior. A new camera
station was occupied at the east end of the ridge, from which a good view of the Hydraulic
Creek country is obtained, dotted with lakes.
From Little White Mountain camera stations were carried down the first main tributary
of Mission Creek from the south—namely, Canyon Creek (local name). This stream has two
branches and bears its name well. The Kettle Valley Railway winds about the sides of the
canyon over high trestles, heavy rock-cuts, and through tunnels, which show up the engineering
difficulties. Some good views were obtained showing the railway in its numerous windings. At
the head of the east branch of the creek is a storage-reservoir of the Kelowna Land and Orchard
Company, and by means of a ditch the water from a small lake at the east end of the Little
White Mountain ridge has been diverted into this reservoir. The lake, known locally as the
K.L.O. Lake, formerly drained towards the Kettle River Valley. The former site of the reservoir
was also on the Kettle River side of the divide, so that really the whole system is diverted into
Canyon Creek by means of ditches and dams. The overflow from the reservoir still follows
the original watercourse towards the Kettle Valley. Part of this overflow is again diverted
farther on into Hydraulic Creek. Usually the upper part of Canyon Creek is heavily timbered
with large spruce apparently untouched by fire. Balsam and jack-pine is intermingled with the
spruce, as well as much windfall.
Hydraulic Creek and Summit was the next base of operations. This stream is the next
tributary of Mission Creek easterly. The summit or pass is at an altitude of about 4,100 feet
above sea-level and conveys the Kettle Valley Railway from the Okanagan Lake to the Kettle
River Valley. For the most part the surrounding country is in the form of a large basin, with
low rolling hills. Many lakes and marshes differing but little in elevation are dotted throughout. This basin contains the storage-reservoir of the South Kelowna Land Company, and when
filled to capacity is probably the largest storage-reservoir in the Kelowna District. Water is
diverted into the main reservoir from lakes near, by means of retention-dams and ditches. The
timber in the vicinity is jack-pine for the most part in all varieties of density, sometimes park- 6 Geo. 5 Okanagan Valley. B 109
like, and again small and so thick that it is almost impossible to penetrate. On account of
the flat topographical featuring of the summit, other methods were employed for getting the
topography, in conjunction with the triangulation and camera work. Compass and barometer
were used upon old survey-lines, as many had been run by the engineers in locating the reservoir-
site. Land-lines and the railway location were also used. Near McCulloch, the summit station
of the Kettle Valley Railway, we found one rancher who was growing hay and a few vegetables
at that high altitude.
Kettle Valley' Railway.
So far but casual mention has been made of the Kettle Valley Railway, and as it is not
touched again after leaving the Hydraulic Summit it might be well to mention it here. From
Lequime (Chute) Lake to the station at McCulloch the grade rises from about 4,000 to a little
over 4,100 feet. It is practically a level road-bed skirting around the ends of ridges and running
back into the ravines of different creeks in order to maintain the elevation. The actual distance
between the two points just mentioned is about eighteen miles, whereas the distance traversed
by the railway is about thirty-one miles. There are two main creeks crossed in this distance,
Sawmill and Canyon (local names), by means of high wooden trestles built on rather sharp
curves, and from 110 to 175 feet above the strea