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Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 347
To   the   Honourable    Hugh    Nelson,    Lieutenant-Governor   of   the   Province   of  British
May it please Your Honour :
Herewith I beg respectfully to submit the following  Reports on the  Surveys of Crown
Lands during the year 1891.
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Lands and Works Department,
Victoria, B.C., 31st December, 1891. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 349
Lands and Works Department,
Victoria, B. 0., February 4th, 1892.
The Hon. F. G. Vernon,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works,
Victoria, B. C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report upon the business of this branch
of your department for the calendar year ending 31st December, 1891, and at the same time
to lay before you the individual reports of the different surveyors who have been entrusted
with Government work during the past season.
The preparation of general and detail maps for gratuitous distribution forms too small a
portion of the work of this branch of the department. Heretofore, the general information on
file concerning the country has been so widely scattered, and of such a meagre character, that
the expense of publishing it in map form would not meet with any reasonable return.
As reliable information is deposited from time to time by the extension and consolidation
of the surveys, the question of maps must receive more attention, because a reliable map speaks
for itself, and probably is worth more to an intending settler and carries more weight generally
than volumes of printed matter.
During the past year some twenty thousand copies of different maps and plans have been
lithographed and printed for general distribution.    They are as follows:—
1.—Map of portion of the Osoyoos District    5,000 copies
2.— Mr. Poudrier's exploration of the Chilcotin Country.. 2,000
3.—Subdivision surveys in the San Juan Valley  2,000
4.—Tsimpsean Peninsula  2,000
5.—The eastern portion of the Province  5,000
6.—The Town of Nelson  4,000
The first two maps of the above list were photo-lithographed and reduced from original
plans by the Canada Bank Note Company of Montreal. The remainder were lithographed and
printed at the " Colonist" Printing and Publishing Company, Victoria. All the maps on the
above list were compiled and drawn in the Lands and Works Department under my own
A complete map of the Province, showing all recent information to date, prepared by Mr.
J. H. Brownlee, D.L.S., is now in the engraver's hands, and is expected to be ready for distribution sometime during the approaching month of April. This map being engraved upon
stone large editions can be struck off without imparing the general clearness and quality of the
detail work, and as additional information is gathered it can be brought down to as late a date
as is required. As an advertising agent this map will, doubtless, prove of great benefit to the
Province, and I would suggest that the engraver be instructed to preserve the stone so that
subsequent editions can be issued at a comparatively small outlay. 350
Crown Land Surveys.
Work of the Draughting Office.
The following table will show the volume of work performed in the Draughting Office
during the year, which, when taken in conjunction with the preparation of the several maps
above mentioned, certainly is a fair showing, and fully explains, under the circumstances, the
reason why more general maps of portions of the country have not been compiled and
During the early part of the year the Department commenced the issue to surveyors of
note paper and field-book covers specially prepared to suit the requirements of the office,
and in consequence the surveyors' returns have assumed a much more uniform shape, capable
of being properly indexed and easily referred to.
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Plans of the following :—
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Timber Lease G, 2,500 ac, Burrard Inlet
Lot 115, N. W. D., New Westminster.
Lot 95, West Kootenay, Nelson Town.
Total area of all claims plotted during 1891, 332,480.27 acres.
No. of tracings for Government Agents—846.
No. of tracings for Crown grants—1,370.
Drawings for the following public works :—
School-house, Northfield, Wellington.
Do. Duncan.
Court-house,        do.
Do. Donald.
Do. Lillooet.
Gaol and Court-house, Nelson.
Bridge, Thompson River.
Do.     Cowichan River.
Do.     Chilcoten River.
Do.    over Spallumcheen at Enderby.
Wharf for Nelson Town.
Tracings for correspondents, &c.
Nine survey parties have carried on field operations under your instructions during the
past season and have added a large amount of reliable information to that already on file
in the Department.
Five of these parties have been engaged upon detail work, consisting of the consolidation
and connecting together of isolated surveys, and the subdivision into sections of those portions
of the Province which were known to be suitable for settlement and which urgently required
the work of a surveyor.
Two parties have surveyed into blocks of six miles square a large tract of country situated
at the extreme north end of the Island of Vancouver, and have determined, to a great extent,
whether it would be advisable, considering the rough character of a portion of the country, to
further continue survey operations by dividing it up into blocks of one mile square. The
outline work already performed is very valuable, however, not only to the Department but to
the public generally, as it enables the former to map the country with a far greater degree of
accuracy, and the latter are furnished with such information, by lines drawn upon the ground,
as to assist them in locating themselves upon any given section of a Township, with scarcely
any trouble and at small additional expense. This system, if pursued, would probably suit
the requirements of the Province for some years to come, and would be the means of keeping
the surveys in some kind of order and at the same time reduce the actual cost of survey to the
individual settler. The question of connecting these Township surveys together will be further
considered under the head of System of Survey. 55 Viot. Crown Land Surveys. 351
Messrs. Poudrier and Gauvreau have continued the exploratory work commenced last
year by the former gentleman, and have spread out their work considerably to the eastward,
northward and westward. Had it not been for the unfortunate illness of Mr. Poudrier a much
greater extent of country would undoubtedly have been covered and placed in such a shape as
to form valuable additions to the information printed on our maps. These surveys are carried
on for the purpose of determining the character of the country and enabling the Department
to not only map with a certain degree of accuracy what has heretofore been left a complete
blank upon our existing plans, but also of deciding whether it would be of advantage to perform
subdivision surveys and further prepare the country for settlement purposes.
System of Survey.
It must be obvious to almost everyone that British Columbia bears no resemblance to the
North-West Territories of the Dominion in respect to aptitude for laying down a scientific system
of surveys—the latter being almost a plain, without even the ordinary obstruction of trees,
while the topographical features of the former, with its series of rough mountains interspersed
with valleys, canons, rivers, heavy timber, etc., render surveying, even of the most primitive
kind, a labour of great difficulty, entailing large expense.
The question, therefore, of a scientific system of survey to be adopted suitable to the
requirements of the Province must necessarily be approached with considerable caution, hence
a few remarks upon systems already adopted in other and older portions of the Dominion may
not here be out of place.
A large portion of the Province of Quebec is very rough and broken, and is in consequence
laid out according to no particular scientific system. As the rivers naturally are the primitive
highways, land bordering on them is laid out into lots having a narrow frontage and extending
back into the adjacent country for long distances. This river-lot system was also at first
adopted in the Province of Manitoba, and evidently was carried there by the French Canadian
settlers, who in early times formed a large portion of its inhabitants. Consequently, along the
Red and Assiniboine Rivers lots measuring from one to ten chains in width, extending back
two and four miles, are common. Fortunately for the Province in general and the people in
particular, this system was abolished before any very great harm was done.
The portions of the Province of Quebec remote from the rivers seem to have been laid
out in a series of irregular Townships, varying in size and bounded by lines running at all
angles with the cardinal points of the compass. They are, however, as a rule, all connected
together, and bear the names of historical personages and of those prominently connected with
the politics of the Province.
The Province of Ontario is, as a rule, laid out into rectangular Townships, but their
boundaries are not all referred to the true or magnetic meridian; gores, consequently, are
continually occurring throughout the Province. The interior detail work of the Townships is
generally carried out on the same principle, consisting of laying out the lands into single and
double front concessions, with lots of 100 and 200 acres. The newer portions of the Province
are, however, more regularly surveyed, and the lines bounding the Townships and lots are
generally referred to the true meridian. The Townships are tacked on one block to the other,
and, like Quebec, bear the names of the prominent men of the day. In Ontario and Quebec
the country was laid out first along the water highways, and as settlement advanced additional
surveys were performed to meet the requirements of the times. The work was a gradual
extension of a system of Townships tacked on to the original surveys along the water front.
A short resume of the system of survey, as carried out in the North-West Territories,
with a statement of the cost per mile, would be of interest in this connection.
The 49th Parallel is adopted as the 1st base line, and a parallel of latitude 24 miles due
north of it is the 2nd base. The 3rd base is a parallel of latitude 24 miles north of the 2nd
base, and so on. Half-way between the base lines are the correction lines. These, of course,
are situated 24 miles apart, but have a base between them; consequently, there is only 12
miles between a base line and a correction line. This distance is bisected into two equal parts
of 6 miles. We now have the country divided into ribbons 6 miles wide, running parallel to
the International boundary line. These ribbons are called townships, and are numbered
towards the north from the 49th Parallel.
Initial meridians are established every 4 degrees, commencing with the Winnipeg meridian
as the 1st principal. North and south lines, 6 miles apart, divide the country again into
ribbons 6 miles wide, running parallel to the principal meridians. 352 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
We now have the country divided into blocks of 6 miles square, composing the Townships
and ranges, and which, without going into a question of convergence of meridians, constitutes
the Polyconic System of Survey, as adopted by the Dominion in laying out the North-West
The country was first laid off into blocks 24 miles square, by the standard meridians and
parallels, and cost from $18 to $25 per mile.
These 24-mile blocks were divided into blocks 6 miles square, and cost from $12 to $15
per mile ; and the 6-mile blocks were divided into sections, and cost from $6 to $10 dollars per
mile.    The above prices are for prairie work.
It goes without saying, therefore, that the Polyconic System of Survey, as carried out in
the country to the east of the Rocky Mountains, and which has been such a signal success,
comparing favourably with any surveys of a like nature and magnitude in any part of the world,
if adopted in British Columbia, and laid down in the same manner, would be attended with
enormous expense, and in a large portion of the country would be found impracticable.
The nature of the country is of such a character that our surveys must necessarily be, for
a long time to come, more or less isolated and scattered, having little or no connection with
each other. It is suggested, however, to meet the immediate requirements where practicable,
that the surveys should be laid out in township form, and a regular system be adopted for
numbering the townships throughout each District. As time advanced, and it became necessary
to do so, these isolated township surveys could be connected together, and an absolutely correct
map of the whole country compiled.
A large portion of our Province is, as yet, more or less unknown. We are, therefore,
compelled to await the result of exploratory surveys in order to determine whether it would
" pay " to open out these unknown parts to the settler. These exploratory surveys will, however, be of great benefit to both the Government and the public, as it will enable the former to
publish a tolerably correct map of what heretofore has appeared a complete blank on our
existing plans of the country, besides roughly locating valuable deposits of coal and other
minerals, and furnishing data for the calculation of the probable timber area available. At
the time these explorations are being carried on, the surveyor, where a suitable tract of country
existed, and without much impeding the progress of the work, could carry on a system of
rectangular survey, planting monuments, and thereby enabling pioneers of civilization to take
up homesteads on partially surveyed lands.
Where the surveyor found the country practicable, he could lay out the lines of his survey
so as to conform with the outlines of townships, or, in other words, lay the country out into
blocks 6 miles square. These survey lines need not necessarily follow the exact outline of a
township, but could be run at convenient offsets where it was found more expeditious and
profitable so to do. It would then be a small matter to tie on settlers' pre-emption and
purchase claims, thus avoiding, to a large extent, the necessity of having to record and plot
isolated tracts, thereby consolidating the general information in the Lands and Works Department, and placing it in such a shape that a map could be published at short notice. The above
method would also, to a large extent, divide the expense of surveying the country between the
Government and the settler.
The question of connecting these isolated surveys together, and at the same time laying
down a network of lines from which the position of future surveys in a regular system can be
accurately computed, must necessarily sooner or later be considered.
The expansion northward and southward of the system of survey, as laid down by the
Dominion authorities, in the 40-mile belt throughout the Province would, in the unsurveyed
portions, cover the country with a system of townships and ranges similar to the network now
in existence throughout the North-West Territories of the Dominion.
In view of the rough and broken character of the surface of the Province, a triangulation
would be the most accurate method to be adopted, and in the long run, probably the cheapest.
The large current expenditure, especially in the earlier years, before the results become
apparent, is a matter for grave consideration.
The triangulation of the 40-mile belt, now being surveyed by the Topographical Survey
branch of the Department of the Interior, is execnted by two surveyors by means of a double
chain of well conditioned triangles, 20 miles on the side, and proceeds at the rate of about 60
miles a year, at an average cost of $2.50 per square mile. In sections where a more detailed
survey is required, the triangulation is filled in with photo-topographical work (samples of which
I herewith submit) at the rate of 500 square miles per season, costing $8 per square mile, 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 353
The cost of lithographing and printing the finished plans, brings the total cost per square acre
up to 2 cents, certainly a very cheap rate considering the character of the country surveyed.
For the general purpose of forming a basis for surveys and connection work, a triangulation alone is all that is required, and might be pushed forward with a greater degree of
rapidity by the reduction in the length of the sides of the triangles, thereby permitting the
use of  the lower and more accessible mountains.
Sections of the country requiring immediate survey before such a triangulation could be
sufficiently developed, and which are contiguous to or in the vicinity of the sea coast, could be
tied on to some point of the Admiralty Survey, such as a well defined and well surveyed rock,
or small island.
Board of Examiners.
Under Section 3, Chap. 17, of "An Act respecting Land Surveyors," the Lieutenant-
Governor in Council appointed the following gentlemen to act with the Surveyor-General as a
Board of Examiners for the examination of candidates for admission to practise as Land
Surveyors :—
John Albert Kirk, P.L.S New Westminster.
John McKenzie, P.L.S New Westminster.
Peter J, Leech, P.L.S Victoria.
Wm. Pinder, P.L.S Victoria.
James H. Brownlee, P.L.S Victoria.
The first regular examination was held, pursuant to the Act, on Wednesday, 7th October
last. Of the twelve candidates who presented themselves for admission to practise as
Provincial Land Surveyors five only were allowed by the Board to write for their Commissions.
Four gentlemen out of the five were successful, and received their Commissions as Surveyors.
The remainder of the candidates will be allowed to present themselves for examination so soon
as they comply with all the requirements of the "Surveyors' Act."
One candidate presented himself for the preliminary examination, and, on passing, was
granted a certificate.
On Wednesday, the 2nd of December, an adjourned meeting was held, at which two
gentlemen, having passed successfully, were granted Commissions.
The following are the names of the gentlemen added to the authorized list of Surveyors
for the Province :—
Peter Burnet, D.L.S Vancouver.
John Fielding Victoria.
James Herrick McGregor  . Victoria.
Robert E. Palmer, B.A.Sc Vancouver.
Joseph F. Ritchie, D.L.S New Westminster.
Henry B. Warren Vancouver.
A Preliminary Certificate was granted to—
Frederick Wollaston Victoria.
As  no  provision  is  made  in  the   "Surveyors'  Act"  for  the  payment of the Board of
Examiners, I beg to respectfully draw  your attention to  it,  and   venture to hope  that  the
omission will be remedied during the present session of the Legislature.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Tom Kains,
Surveyor-General 354 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
Part I.
The name of New Caledonia was given to the immense country lying between the
Cascade Range and the Rockies, north of the Fraser, by Sir Alexander McKenzie, who
traversed it a hundred years ago.
During the gold excitement a part of the territory was well prospected, and paying placers
were worked on the, the Omenica River and its feeders. Work is still going on there, though
on a small scale.
Very extensive explorations were made to determine the most advantageous route for a
railway, before the construction of the Canadian Pacific, but the information obtained was
kept with so little care, that a very small amount is now available to help us in the geography
of the region.
The officers of the Geological Survey of Ottawa have made several trips across New
Caledonia, and the information obtained by them, especially by Mr. G. M. Dawson, is very
reliable, and constitutes the only accurate data we have.
A very extensive area, especially of the northern part, has, until now, been left blank on
the maps, or at most filled up according to reports obtained from Indians or prospectors, and
proved, on examination, to be far from correct.
Last year I was ordered by the Department of Lands and Works to undertake a track
survey of the whole extent, and the result of the season's work was the mapping out of the
area included between the 54th north parallel, the Fraser River, and the Coast Range.
Last March instructions were given to me to push the exploration northward, and I was
especially instructed to study the best way of opening ways of communication from the ocean
to the good land of the interior plateau.
Mr. Gauvreau, P. L. S., was adjoined to me and it was arranged that he should proceed
to Quesnelle and then to Fraser Lake, and continue the exploration from the point where I left
it last year, on the 54th parallel, and carry on the work towards the north and east. His
season's work will enable us to map the country from lat. 54° N. to the watershed of the
Skeena to the north and the Rocky Mountains to the east, and the watershed of the Fraser
River.    His report of the season's work follows mine.
The observations I made last year on the different rivers taking their sources on the
interior plateau and emptying into the Pacific, like the Southgate, the Homalko, the Kle-na-
klin, the Bella Coola, and the Kamsquat, gave me the belief that a better and shorter way of
access could be found farther north, where the Cascade Range becomes much narrower.
Information obtained from the Indians pointed to Gardner's Channel as being the most likely
place where a pass could be found. I started on the first of April for the mouth of the
Skeena, and from there I went down to Gardner's Inlet, where I began the work. I had a
party of five men, and I was obliged to hire Indians as the work progressed.
The work was started at such an early date to enable us to cross the coast range before
the avalanches would come down, and the experience of last year, when we lost valuable time
in crossing the overflowed mountain torrents, taught us the advantage of crossing the range on
the snow.
The system of survey followed was the same as last year, with very little exception. Mr.
Gauvreau also carried on his work on the same plan, and during the season, though we did not
meet, checks were exchanged and closing points arranged as often as possible. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 355
The distances were obtained in different ways, by the micrometer, the odometer, the
pedometer, and a marine log.
The courses were taken with a prismatic compass. Observations for latitude were taken
almost daily with an excellent sextant and artificial horizon, furnished by the department, and
a transit. Observations for longitude were also taken at intervals during the summer, as the
occasion presented itself. Series of aneroid readings, corrected for temperature, were taken
continually to determine our elevation, and were checked by the few data obtained previously.
The quality of the soil, and its capability for farming and grazing, the timber, the
minerals, the geological formation, the flora, were all given the closest attention. During the
work my health gave way badly, the result of an accident in the beginning ; but with the
help of two assistants, Messes. H. Baker and James McCaulay, the work was not delayed. I
kept the main traverse for myself, and all the traverse of small streams, trails of less
importance, was made by them. During the work it was thought useless to lose much time
over ground explored before by Mr. Dawson, when there was yet so much unknown country
to be studied.
In the course of this report, to render it more complete, material will sometimes be taken
from the reports of the officers of the Geological Survey, being careful to give them credit for
the same.
The work was started from the end of Gardner's Inlet at the mouth of the Kitlobe River,
which falls into the arm of the same name.
Gardner's Inlet is one of the many arms of the sea which cut their way deep into the
Cascade Range. It goes farther in the interior than any other of the inlets south of the
Skeena ; it opens on Hecate Strait, is not difficult of access, and offers some of the finest
scenery to be seen on the coast. It is a narrow, deep passage enclosed by mountains of great
height; the numerous small glaciers and the number of streams forming very high falls,
make it the most picturesque spot of the coast, in its wildness. It branches off in three arms,
the Kitemat, Kildalah, and Kitlobe, this last one being the deepest. The navigation is very
easy for steamers to the very end of it. Anchorage, though, is rather scarce. Mr. H. Price
opened a salmon cannery at a couple of miles from the mouth of the Kitlobe. According to
reports, during exceptional winters the ice would form on the Kitlobe arm as far down as the
mouth of the Kemano, a distance of over 20 miles, but this is quite unusual.
The timber all along the Inlet is of no value except at certain points at the end of the
different arms, where rivers of some extent fall into the sea ; they generally run in valleys of
more or less extent, where there is some land to be cultivated, and where the timber could be
utilized. Douglas fir (A. Douqlasii) of fair size, and spruce (A. Englemanii) are the only
valuable timber. The sides of the mountains along the inlet are generally covered with
hemlock (A. Mertensiana) when they are not formed of bare rocks.
Kitlobe River and Pass.
The end of Gardner's Inlet is known as Kitlobe Bay. Four miles from the bottom of
the bay, on the south shore of the arm, there is a cannery, owned by Mr. H. Price ; there is
also a small Indian village. In the bottom of the bay two rivers come in : a small one, from
the north, and the main river, from the east, named the Kitlobe. It is a stream of no great
size. The valley, at the mouth, is about 60 chains, but it soon decreases. At the fifth mile
the mountains close abruptly. The stream is divided into many channels, separated by bars
of sand and boulders, like nearly all mountain streams. This is one of the best places along
■ the coast for the oolachan fishing, and large quantities are caught and reduced to oil by the
Indians. At one mile from the mouth there is a stream of 40 feet in width and 4 feet in
depth at low water coming from the north-east. Its length is about eight miles, and it takes
its source in the mountains.    Its name is Tseeish.
At seven and half miles from the mouth, a large stream comes from the south. It runs
in a well marked valley fully as large as the main valley of the Kitlobe. At 15 chains from
the Kitlobe this stream emerges from a very beautiful lake of a little over 10 miles in length,
and of a general width of 130 chains; the mountains come very close to it, but there are flats
of 3,000 or 4,000 acres of level land, and very well timbered. The level of this lake above the
sea would be about 60 feet, I should judge. At the time we visited it the ice was still
holding. Its general course is north-west and south-east. A stream of good size comes from
the mountains from the north, but offers no chance of a pass to the interior plateau. At the
south-east end of the lake, which we have named Kitlobe, a small stream falls in, which comes 356 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
from a small lake not far distant, and runs through the well defined valley. Near the source
of this stream the valley is occupied by a stream and small lakes, forming the sources of one of
the branches of the Tsatsquot River, falling into Dean's Channel. This way is often used by
the Indians in travelling from Gardner's Inlet to Dean's Channel. It is a part of the great
structural valley cutting across the Cascade ranges and reaching the north limits of the
Province. This lake is supposed to be a good spawning ground for salmon, and is often visited
by the Indians.
After returning to the main Kitlobe, the trip up stream was continued. The valley gets
narrower and the mountains more abrupt and bare. The general course, of the river is about
south 75° east; its general length along the main valley is 36 miles, and numerous streams, as
shown on the map, fall into it; but they all take their sources on the western slopes, and none
of them cross beyond the core of the range. When followed to their head we are always met
by the so well-known amphitheatre of mountains and glaciers. The highest level on the
valley of the Kitlobe proper is about 350. One of its branches, known as the Kapilla,
coming from the east, has its source at 12 miles near a divide, at an elevation of 1,200,
between the water of one of the branches of the Tsasquot, flowing into Dean's Channel.
Dean's Channel may be reached by two different ways, as stated, and perhaps more ; but
all attempts to cross the Cascades at this point proving useless, the enterprise was given up at
that point to proceed at the Kemano.
The valley of the Kitlobe is almost valueless. No doubt small quantities of timber may
at some time be utilized, but that is about all.
Kemano River and Pass.
After finishing the work on the Kitlobe River, I moved my camp to the mouth of the
Kemano River. We came in canoes, but we were towed by the small steamboat of Mr. Price.
The mouth of the Kemano is in a valley of nearly one mile in width. On the delta there is a
small peninsula formed of alluvial deposits, on which there is an Indian village of small size.
The anchorage is not bad. The land in the valley is low, cut by channels, and subject to be
overflowed. It is a favourite spot for the Indians, on account of the quantity of oolachans
caught there. The timber on the highest level is not bad, a part of the species named before.
The cedar (thuja gigantea) is abundant; the lowest ground is covered with alder (alnus rubra),
crab-apple (pirus rivularis), and other species, showing a very wet climate and forming a
thick underbrush.
The Kemano is a river of a general width of 150 feet, and a depth of five feet at its lowest
stage, as it was at the beginning of April. It is very rapid, and difficult to ascend with canoes.
At its low stages the stream is all cut up by bars and sandy islands, sometimes covered with
poplars ( P. balsamifera, P. tremuloides, P. canadensis), and often the depth of water is not
sufficient for the canoes, which have to be towed by men walking in the bed of the river.
During flood time it is little else than a mountain torrent, and cannot be ascended at all with
canoes. At one mile above the mouth a small river called the Wah-coh comes from the north.
It is a small glacial stream of 30 feet in width and 2 feet deep ; it runs in a well demarked
valley of twenty chains in width, and well timbered ; its length is about twelve miles, and its
source is in the glaciers. The valley of the Kemano gets narrower very gradually above the
Wah-coh, till it gets of a general width of 30 chains, which it keeps towards its head. The
mountains on each side average a height of 5,000 feet. They are rugged and generally bare,
though some parts are covered with hemlock of small size. At five miles from the mouth a
small river comes from the south; it takes its source three miles off, in a glacier. At 6| miles
another river comes from the south-east. It is of small size, and about 8 miles in length ; it
runs through a narrow cut, but well defined. At 1\ miles there is a river of the name of
Tsi-kia-a-kene. It is of a width of 50 feet, and 2 feet in depth at low water. It runs southeasterly in a well-defined cut of 30 chains wide, and its source is about 12 miles off in the
mountains. A small stream beginning near this source winds its way to the Kitlobe, and the
same pass could be followed as far as Dean's Channel. At 9 miles another creek of good size
comes from the east; its name is Punt-il-de-nay. It runs through a fine valley, and it was
found later that this cut was the only available pass to the interior plateau. The Kemano
keeps on to the eighteenth mile, losing in size quickly as we go up, by the numerous small
glacial streams falling from both sides. It is in the very heart of the Cascades, which are here
very much narrower, but higher. At that distance the river forks, and the branch going eastward was followed, in the hope of getting a good pass through the range, but without success. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 357
At 8 miles from the forks this branch takes its source amongst high glaciers, and a walk taken
over the lowest ridge, at a height of 5,600 feet, proved to us that the interior plateau was
separated from us by very high mountains.
The north-eastern branch, of a length of about ten miles, takes its source in the heart of
the range, in an amphitheatre formed by glaciers of large size.
On the way down we camped at the mouth of the Punt-il-de-nay, in the hope of striking
a better pass. There is an alluvial bottom at its mouth of 2,000 acres in area and very well
timbered, especially in Engelman spruce. This creek, of a width of 40 feet and 2 feet in
depth, is very rapid. The valley is about 30 chains in width, and the appearance of the pass
from the mouth is not very inviting. The mountains on each side attain a height of 7,000 and
8,000 feet, and they are all intermixed with glaciers. The altitude above the sea at the mouth
is 170 feet.
This small stream was followed for 10 miles. The cut in the range of mountains is very
narrow and dangerous; snow-slides, rock-slides, and breaking glaciers are often falling, and
frequently go right across the valley and stop only on the opposite slope. The course of the
stream is impeded by numerous blocks of granite, fallen from the heights, and at this season
the stream was often buried beneath masses of snow of over 100 feet in depth. The ascent
from the Kemano to this point was very steep, but from the tenth mile up it got much more
abrupt, and the glaciers were almost continual. The mountains are very high, a peak on the
right attaining nearly 11,000 feet above the sea. A belt of glacier generally envelops the high
mountains, from the valley up to 2,000 feet high. Five miles further up the source of the
stream is reached. It is a small lake of about 400 acres; its height above the sea is 3,785
feet. This lake is surrounded by an amphitheatre of high mountains, except towards the east,
where there is a narrow cut in the heights. There is hardly any vegetation at all in that part,
except some small bunches of hemlock. Snow, ice, and, probably for a couple of months in the
year, some bare rocks. About 30 chains east of the small lake the summit is reached, at an
altitude of 4,150 feet. From that point one of the finest views may be had. Nothing seen in
the previous explorations, or in the Rockies or Selkirks, can come up to it in majestic grandeur. The high bare peaks in the immediate neighbourhood; the narrow but well-defined and
straight cut of the Punt-il-cle-nay, which gives a glimpse of the Kemano Valley and the sea;
the numerous glaciers extending south beyond the power of vision and far in the east; the
central plateau lying like a map at our feet, form one of the finest panoramas to be seen.
From the summit there is an abrupt descent of 1,200 feet to a small lake and valley,
which finally falls into Lake Ootsa and the Nechaco River. The central plateau near this
small lake is densely wooded with black pine (P. contorta), hemlock LA. merteusiana), and
balsam fir. It is only some 20 miles farther, where it gets well out of the spurs of the Coast
Range, that it takes its familiar aspect of a level and sometimes open country.
The steepness of the ascent, the narrowness of the cut, and the dangers of avalanches,
rock-slides, and breaking glaciers, show well enough that this pass is impracticable for railway
purposes, or even a waggon road. It is true that the Indians of the interior often use it to
come down to the sea, as shown by their old camping places, their numerous writing on trees
in Tinneh characters ; but they choose their time to do so. For several months of the year it
would be impracticable.
From this point we retraced our steps down, after having taken two days to examine the
watershed in the interior plateau.
The Kitimat Arm and River.
The examination of this river was done very hurriedly, as it was well known to be of very
little value and offering no chance of getting a pass through the Cascade Range. The length of
the river is about 30 miles, and numerous branches fall into it from both sides. All of these
take their sources in the usual amphitheatre of mountains and small glaciers.
The valley of the Kitimat is much larger than one would judge at first by the appearance
of the stream, which is insignificant, and it is the beginning of one of the most curious structural
valleys of the whole range; it opens from the sea with a width of about three miles, and keeps
that width pretty regularly for the whole length of the Kitimat River. At this point a small
stream falling into the Skeena River, called the Lakelse, occupies the bottom of the valley, now
5 or 6 miles wide, and it intersects the valley of the Skeena, and keeping its general direction
of about ten degrees west of astronomical north, it crosses the Naas River. 358 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
Between the Skeena and the Naas, the valley is watered by the Kit-sum-glum River
falling into the Skeena and the Tse-ax River and Lake falling into the Naas. At this point it
has a width of 7 or 8 miles; from the Naas the same valley keeps on much in the same
direction, watered by a branch of the Naas ; and I have reason to believe that it reaches the
Stickeen, or at least some of its branches. Along the Kitimat River good land is scarce,
though some few miles might be utilized, and the timber is not bad. Cedar (Thuja gigantea),
spruce (Fugleman and A. nyra), Douglas fir, hemlock (A. mertensiana), are the principal
species.    The underbrush shows all the different shrubs of a wet climate.
From the end of the Kitimat Arm this same valley, though irregular and broken, crosses
the point of land between this arm and the Kemano, from the Kemano to Kitlobe, and from
Kitlobe, by the river and lake of the same name, towards Dean's Channel. This will be
referred to again in speaking of the geology of the region.
A small portage from the Indian village at the end of the Kitimat Arm leads to a small
lake at the head of one of the branches of the Extall River. This is sometimes used by the
Indians as a canoe route to go to Essington, at the mouth of the Skeena.
The coast from the Kemano to the mouth of the Skeena is so well known that it is of little
use to describe it here. It may be stated, though, that several small flats, generally at the
mouth of the numerous small streams, are well timbered and of good soil. The timber also is
much better than one might suppose who sees it only from the deck of a steamer. Several of
the foot-hills are thickly timbered with fair sized Douglas fir, hemlock, and two species of
Essington, at the mouth of the Skeena, is a very prosperous fishing village. Two important
canneries, a saw-mill, and several trading posts, doing business there. The Church of England
and the Methodists both have churches at that point; also schools, and an hospital. The
Indian population is numerous in summer; the Indians from the interior and from the littoral
coming for employment in the numerous canneries.
The village of Port Essington lies near the mouth of an arm called the Extall. This arm
is formed by the river of the same name ; but from Port Essington the tide neutralizes the
current of the river for about 21 miles ; it can be ascended with a small steamer for 24 miles ;
at 26 miles a large stream comes from the north, but the Extall proper keeps its general
direction of about'S. 80° E.
From the mouth to the forks, the valley has an average width of nearly one mile—the
river being about 20 chains at its mouth, but diminishing gradually, as it goes up, to 150 feet
at the forks.
Some parts of the valley are of very good land, but very thickly timbered ; the Douglas
fir is of much value; the cedar, both red and yellow, is abundant. Engleman's spruce is of
good quality and in large quantities; its proximity to the canneries rendering it very valuable
for the manufacture of cases for salmon. Soft maple, alder, crab-apple, and all the shrubs of a
wet climate, form a thick underbrush.
Above the forks the valley gets much narrower, but of the same appearance, and the river
diminishes in size as we get near the head, which is reached at 41 miles from the mouth and
within a gunshot of the head of Kitimat Arm on Gardiner's Inlet. The Indians of Kitimat
often profit by this strange river to come to Essington with small canoes.
The branch coming in at the forks is of good size, and at a little distance from its mouth
it comes down in a very picturesque fall of over 70 feet, and perpendicular.
A mile above that fall there is an enormous deposit of hematite of first quality. This
stream has a general length of over 25 miles, and takes its source in the neighbourhood of the
head of Lakelse River.    It is looked upon as one of the best places for bear hunting.
Skeena River.
The Skeena River is one of the largest of the Province, and its mouth forms a large inlet;
it is badly cut up by bars and shoals, and is not considered a good harbour. Numerous salmon
canneries are established at its mouth, and during the salmon season it presents a lively
appearance. During the hot months of the summer the river overflows a considerable extent,
caused by its numerous feeders coming from both slopes of the Cascade Range and from the
different groups of mountains in the interior plateau, and its enormous volume of muddy-
coloured water can be noticed miles down the inlet. As the Skeena partakes of the
characteristics of both mountain streams and river draining a large extent of level country, the
heavy rains of the autumn affect it, but in much smaller degree. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 359
During the time of the construction of the Western Telegraph, attempts were made to
navigate the river, and a steamboat made trips to a point a few miles above Kit-sum-glum.
Last year the Hudson Bay Co. had a very powerful steamer built, named the " Caledonia,"
and not only did she make regular trips to the foot of the Kitsilas Canon, but at a favourable
stage of the water they once reached Hazleton. The caiion above named is the most serious
obstacle to the navigation of the Skeena, and after examination it does not appear to be a
difficulty of great importance. A few thousand dollars well employed would be sufficient to
blow up the two rocks which now cause the obstruction. It is true that the very rapid current
of the whole stream will always necessitate steamers of special construction.
The advantage of having a regular steamer on the Skeena can hardly be over-estimated ;
it would form one of the best ways of reaching the interior, and by it large extents of good
land and mines of great promise could be got at much more cheaply. The river is regularly
ascended by large canoes as far as Kyspyox, but it is very severe work, and takes from ten to
twenty-five days, according to the stage of the water. During the high flood it is not
After leaving the tide-water, the canoes are propelled by means of poles, and more often
by tracking from the shore with a long rope. Advantage is taken of the numerous back
channels formed by the islands, and it is often necessary to cross and re-cross the main stream
several times during the day. The average speed of the current above tide-water is about five
miles an hour, but riffles with stronger currents are only too common. Among the Indians,
the Skeena is looked upon as one of the most dangerous streams to travel on with canoes;
only a few of them, and of a recognized skill, are trusted with the steering. If one can judge
by the numerous graves scattered on both banks, it is indeed dangerous.
During the mining excitement in the Omineca District, the river was the principal channel
through which supplies were obtained. It has long been, and is still, the road for all the
Hudson Bay Co.'s supplies.
The river is called the "Ksi-eu" by the Tsimpsean Indians, and it would be hard to say
where the name of Skeena comes from.
From Port Essington (Spoke-sute of the Indians) the river resembles very much one of
the numerous inlets, but it changes gradually to a more river-like appearance. The tide runs
up to a little above twenty miles, and it is easily navigable to that point with steamers, but
shoals formed of the accumulated alluvium brought down are common. The valley has a
general width of nearly two miles, decreasing as we go up. The mountains are not very high;
they seldom reach 3,000 feet. They have a rounded appearance, but, though mostly wooded,
the soil looks very thin, and slides often have cleaned everything and left only the bare rock.
At a distance of fifteen miles above Essington, at the mouth of a creek coming from the north,
called the Quin-it-sa, the series of islands begin. They are of all sizes, from one to a thousand
acres. They are generally low, formed of gravel and sand, but some of them capped by a rich
bed of vegetable mould, and covered with a luxuriant growth of poplars of two species : the
Cottonwood (P. canadensis), the balsam poplar (P. balsamifera), alder (alnus rubra), birch (betula
papiracea), cedar (thuja gigantea), spruce (abies englemanni), and of small growth, composed of
numerous species of the small trees and shrubs characteristic of a damp climate, like the small
maple (A. macrophylum), crab-apple (pirus rivularis), choke cherries (prunus virginiana),
devil's club (echinoponax horrida), and skunk cabbage (lysichiton kamtschatense) are only too
plentiful. Several large flats along the river have also the same appearance and growth as
these islands. No doubt some of them are sometimes overflowed, but, nevertheless, a large
number could be brought under cultivation, and, in spite of the under-soil of coarse gravel, the
vegetable soil on top is so rich that almost anything could be grown successfully on it. The
sides of the mountains are covered with the ordinary species of coniferous Douglas fir (psu-
dotsuja Douglasii), spruce, hemlock (A. mertensiana), balsam spruce (A. lesiocarpa), but
nowhere in such a quantity as to attract the lumberman, beyond what may be necessary for
local purposes. The soil on the heights is thickly covered with a spongy carpet of damp moss,
in which the foot sinks deeply. This, and the numerous marks of the passage of avalanches,
tells the story of a superabundance of snow.
From the head of the tide-water to the Lakelse Valley the river keeps its general direction
of about N. 80° E. It keeps its uniform appearance and width of from one and a half to three
miles, and the islands are everywhere as numerous. The mountains on both shores become
much higher, especially on the south. A few miles above the tide-water, there is a peak of
5,000 feet, known as Pa-ca-lane. This same height is reached by the whole range in the
neighbourhood of the Lakelse. 360 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
From the mouth of the Skeena to this point, several streams of good size fall into the
river. Mostly all of them have been track-surveyed, but as there is very little to be noted
about them, their delineation on the map will be sufficient. They all run through well-defined
cuts, and their banks are sometimes well timbered. None of them can be ascended by canoes
above a few miles.
On the north shore the principal ones are the Skeeux, the Quin-it-sa, the Ka-it-sicks, Ex-
chom-sicks, and Ex-tons ; on the south, the Ex-tall, the Scotea, the Kinatoyan. The Lakelse
comes from the south, and runs in the valley noted before as commencing at Kitimat, on the
sea. As it is one of the main feeders of the Skeena, it will be better to describe it and its
neighbour, the Kitsumgalum, by themselves.
Between the Lakelse and the Kitsumgalum the Skeena cuts diagonally across the structural
valley occupied by the Lakelse and the Kitsumgalum. For twelve miles above the mouth of
Lakelse, the banks are low and wooded, and the soil seems to be of first quality of light loam.
The vegetation is very thick, the poplar predominating. The current is rapid, and, after
leaving the Lakelse, the islands get less numerous. Kitsumgalum River falls in from the
north, and at its mouth there are a few Indian houses, and some very good gardens, where
vegetables are grown abundantly. Three miles above this small village, as the river crosses the
eastern side of the valley of the Lakelse-Kitsumgalum there is a riffle in the river, where the
steamer " Mumford" stopped during the time of the construction of the Western Telegraph
(Dr. Dawson's Report).
At five miles above the Kitsumgalum, there is a very bad though short rapid, called the
Sip ki-ah. The river, now almost free from islands, runs in one stream of about 500 feet wide,
and for some distance above the rapid the hills on each side of the river are high and rocky.
At three and a half miles above the Sipkiah rapid, the Zimoetz River comes from the south.
It will be described further on.
From the mouth of the Zimoetz, the general course of the river is about N. 45° East, and
the valley gets very narrow, and the mountains higher. The lower end of the Kitsilas canon
is reached at five and a half miles from the Zimoetz. The canon is about forty-five chains in
length. The rocks on each side, immediately near the river, are about seventy-five feet high,
and almost perpendicular, but the high mountains are very close behind these. There are a
couple of rocky islands in the course of the river, and at one point the total width of the
stream is not above seventy feet. At high water it is impossible to ascend in canoes, and at a
lower stage a portage of more or less length has to be made.
The canon, as before stated, was ascended last year by the steamer " Caledonia." If two
of the projecting points of rock and a low submerged rock were blown up, and it could easily
be done in winter, the canon could be ascended at all stages, but it will always require
steamers of special construction and provided with steam steering gear, as the turns in the
river are so abrupt. At this point the Skeena seems to enter into the core of the Cascade
Range ; from the foot of the canon a good view is to be had of the valley of the Lakelse.
There are several Indian houses at the foot of the canon, and the Hudson's Bay Co. have also
a warehouse at that point. At the upper end there is also an Indian village of some account.
Some good gardening is done by these Indians, and we could buy potatoes and different kinds
of vegetables, which look very well and speak highly for the quality of the soil. This is one of
the favourite spots for catching salmon for winter use ; they use nets, spears, scoop nets, &c,
and during our visit there an immense quantity were being prepared.
After passing the caiion the course of the river gradually tends more near the north till
it runs nearly due north at Kwatsalix Caiion, twenty-five miles above Kitsilas. The mountains
along the river between these two places attain a great height, some of them above 8,000 feet;
it is the axis of the range. Several finely-cut summits covered with snow and several small
glaciers are to be seen. The vegetation begins gradually to change after passing the lower
canon. The wet shrubs of the coast climate begin to give way to plants of a drier region;
the flats on each side of the river begin to be covered with black pine (P. contorta). The valley
above the canon regains its width of nearly two miles. Three miles below Kwatsalix there is
a rather large glacier on the north ; it is a few miles away from the river, and is one of the
finest points of view on the whole river.
The small Indian village of Kwatsalix is on the south shore of the river and is occupied
by a few Indian families. It is the first village of the Kitic-sans or Ske-ti-gans Indians ; their
territory begins at Kitsilas Canon, where the Tsimpseans have their outer boundary. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 361
Numerous small streams fall into the Skeena from the Zimoetz to Kwatsalix, but none of
any importance except Lome Creek coming from the north. It is a small stream, and at eight
miles from the Skeena it forks into two branches coming from the mountains a few miles off.
Gold in paying quantity was found on that creek. There was a good trail once along the
bank, but the heavy flood of last year has destroyed it nearly throughout its length; at the
mouth a great number of abandoned miners' cabins are still to be seen. There are yet a few
miners at work on it, but with what success it would be hard to tell.
In almost every small stream from Kitsilas Cafion up to this point the colour of gold has
been found.
From Quatsalix the Skeena keeps its due north course for five miles and then turns to
N. 45° E.; it is now well out of the range of mountains, and the valley begins to show some
very well marked terraces, broken at several places by spurs coming from the low range on
each side. Some of those terraces offer very good chances for agriculture, though the soil is
rather light.
The heavy timber seems to have all been burnt, and is now replaced by thickets of aspen
poplar (populus tremuloides), birch (betula nana), service berry (amelanchier canadensis).
A few Douglas fir are seen on the heights, and black pine (P. contorta) is very abundant. The
shores of the river are studded by tall cottonwood (P. canadensis), and by balsam poplar (P.
balsa, mifera).
The devil's club, the skunk cabbage, good representatives of the coast flora, have
disappeared. Some of the flats where the fire has run over are covered with abundance of
vetches and ferns of divers species, and juniper (J. Virginia), of a height of 15 to 20 feet is
Kitwanga, an Indian village of some importance, is on the north side of the Skeena, at
the mouth of the creek of the same name ; its principal importance being the departure point
of the trail going to the Naas River, and known as the " Grease Trail;" it is very much
frequented by the Indians on their way to the Naas for their annual supply of oolachan fat.
The trail ancr river will be described further on. There is a small church at this village, with
a resident missionary, the Rev. Mr. Price, of the Church of England Missionary Society. The
Indians have good comfortable houses, and seem to have an easy life.
For a few miles above Kitwanga the terraces are badly cut up by high ridges coming near
the river; these finish at a point at the mouth of the Kitseguecla River, coming from the
south. There is a very dangerous rapid at this point, known as " Death Rapid," and it seems
to be well named ; according to what the Indians say, a season hardly ever passes without
some loss of life occurring there. Our own canoes had a very narrow escape, though our
canoe men had the reputation of being very skilful. There is also an Indian village of some
importance, and the old houses and the numerous carved totem poles show that it must have
been of some importance in the past.    The Kitseguecla itself will be described further on.
From this point to the mouth of the Watsonkwa (called the Ahgwilget by the Kiticsans
Indians), for a distance of over 10 miles, the river runs in a direction of N. 20° E., through
very well-developed terraces ; they extend to the right, going up, for several miles, to the foothills of the " Rochers deboules," a mass of mountains lying between the Kitseguecla and the
Watsonkwa; and to the left, to 8 or 9 miles to the chain of low mountains.
The fire has formerly destroyed the high timber, and these terraces are now covered with
a short growth, where aspen poplar predominates (P. tremuloides) ; it is one of the favourite
spots where the Indians prepare their crop of small fruits for the winter use. From Kitseguecla to Hazelton a good number of excellent farms could be located. The soil is rich, the
water plentiful; it would cost very little to clear the land, and the foot-hills of the mountains,
where the timber has been destroyed by fire, offers some first-class grazing. The current of the
Skeena is all the way swift, the river runs in a single channel, and the towing is not difficult.
The Watsonkwa, or Buckley River, is a stream of first importance—the first big feeder
of the Skeena from its mouth to here; it will be described by itself.
There are few houses owned by Indians of the Tinneh stock (Carriers), I believe at its
mouth.    This river was explored and surveyed be Mr. Gauvreau.
One mile above, and also on the south side of the Skeena, is the village of Hazelton. It
was of much more importance than now, during the time of the Omineca mining excitement.
It is built on regular terraces, the upper one being occupied by an Indian cemetery, which is,
like mostly any other Indian cemetery, larger than the village itself. The Hudson's Bay
Company have an important post there, under Mr. Lyons.    During the Indian scare of a  few 362 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
years ago they had the establishment surrounded by a palisade, flanked by two bastions made
of logs. It is not a very formidable fortress. There is also a trading post, kept by the
Messrs. Cunningham, of Essington. It is the residence of the Indian Agent for that district,
and the Church of England Mission Society have a missionary resident there, the Rev. Mr.
Hazelton occupies one of the most picturesque spots imaginable. A bare mass of
mountains, called the " Rochers Deboules," of an elevation of nearly 7,000 feet, seem to be
quite close to the village. The Babine mountains are immediately behind and to the north of
the river. Over the wooded benches a chain of high mountains is seen a few miles off. By
the valley of the Skeena downwards, we have a glimpse of the high snowy peaks of the Cascade
There are numerous Indian houses in the village, and they seem to give great care to their
gardens ; quite an unusual thing with Indians. All the common vegetables are to be found in
their perfection, and one notes numberless flowers and shrubs common in old-fashioned gardens
on the Atlantic, likely introduced there. The telegraph trail coming from Quesnelle, crosses
the Skeena at this point, and the trail going to Babine Lake also converges here, as also a
trail to Kuldo, up the river. The goods for the Omenica mines and for the Hudson's Bay
Company's post at Babine are landed here by canoes and packed either on horses or men's
backs, or rather women's, as they seem to do all the work.
From Hazelton to Kispyox, the next important point, a distance of over nine miles by
the river, the direction is due north ; the current is swift and the river in a single channel.
The terraces continue, but not of such extent, the foothills of the Babine mountains nearing
the Skeena.
Kispyox is an Indian village of some importance, on the north-west bank of the Skeena,
and at the mouth of the river of the same name. It is the site of Fort Stager, one of the
posts of the Western Telegraph Co. The Methodist Church has a missionary there. The land
between Hazelton and Kispyox is, in general, of good quality, and would not be hard to clear.
There is a very good ranch about half-way between the two villages, the property of Mr.
Loering, the Indian agent for the district. The Kispyox river is a stream of some importance,
and above it the Skeena begins to lose some of its grandeur ; the current is more rapid, and
the river runs through a number of canons. The canoe navigation may be said to close at
Kispyox, although small canoes are sometimes used in parts of the river above. Half a mile
above the village, and on the opposite side, there is a creek of some importance, known as
"Sug-wan-yet." It is rapid and generally runs through canons. The trail from Hazelton to the
upper villages crosses it at three miles from the Skeena.
For 35 miles by the river from Kispyox to the point where the Babine River falls into
the Skeena proper, the river runs through terraces very often broken by spurs of the Babine
Mountains, on the east, and by the small chain lying between the Skeena and the Naas.
There are extensive patches of good land, but a great deal would be too light for cultivation.
There are several scattered pieces of open ground, covered with rich grass and peavines. It
gives an excellent pasture. Some miles before reaching the forks there is a fine Indian
village of the name of " Zalas-coom-naniks." It is a new establishment, and all the people seem
to have come from the village of Kuldo, a short distance above. This last named village looks
very abandoned. The houses are numerous, but all the inhabitants appear to have left. At this
point there is a bridge, built by the Indians, over the Skeena, It is on the true cantilever
principle, light, and solid enough for its purpose.
Above the mouth of the Babine River the Skeena shrinks to a very small stream. Its
valley is about one-half to three-quarters of a mile in width, and the mountains on each side
are high and bare. It was not judged expedient to make such a complete traverse of it above
that point. It keeps its general northerly direction for about 20 miles, where a branch of
good size comes in from the north-west. This branch will be described in speaking of the trail
going to the Stickeen, which nearly follows it. From the Babine to this point the terraces are so
broken that they can be well ascertained only at a few places. The ground is more wooded,
spruce (P. Englemanii) predominating. Balsam (A. Lesiocarpa) is also abundant and of a
great size Birch (B. Papiracea) is also of a greater size than down the river. Some of them
would answer very well for making bark canoes.
The general flora shows that the climate is getting damper. It is nothing like the lower
part of the river, west of the Cascades; but it doos not show any of the dry plants of the
neighbourhood of Hazelton.    It resembles very much the climate of the eastern part of Quebec. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 363
By the flora one would be apt to believe himself in the centre of the peninsula of Gaspe.
Nevertheless, large extents could be utilized for farming or grazing, and wherever there is a
small piece partly open, the vetches and peavine are luxurient.
Above this point the river continues with the same characteristics, but bearing much
more to the east, in a general course of N. 45° E, for about 30 miles, where the Bear River
falls in. It is hard to tell which ought to be called the Skeena proper, the Bear River or
the stream coming from the north. This latter comes from the range of mountains
lying due north, at a distance of 20 miles. They are outspreading branches of the
Rockies. This last branch of the Skeena descends from them in several small streams,
through a high mountaneous country. This spur of mountains divides the watershed between
the Skeena, the Finlay, and a branch of the Stickeen.
Bear River and lake of the same name were traversed by Mr Gauvreau, and they will be
described later on.
Main Branches of the Skeena.
The Lakelse.
The Lakelse River is a fine, wide stream of clear water at its mouth, of a width of 100
feet and five or six feet deep in low water. It runs in that long valley which begins at
Kitimat Arm. Its general length is about 25 miles, and from its head there is a low divide of
a couple of miles, and over that is the head of the Kitimat River. One branch of the
Lakelse turns north and then north-west, much in the shape of the figure 6, and comes from a
beautiful lake of the same name. This lake is nine miles in length, and over one and three-
fourths miles broad. It seems to be very deep. There are quantities of freshwater clams in
the lake and river, which are called " Kelse " by the Indians, hence the name Lakelse. The
river and lake lay in the valley, which is over six miles wide at this point. The land is low
and well wooded in mixed timber, the poplars predominating. A large quantity of land could
be utilized, if cleared, as the soil is very rich. There is a short trail from the lake, which
strikes the Skeena at two miles above Kitsumgalum. The distance is less than three miles.
Salmon, trout, and char are very numerous in the river and lake.
Several hot springs have been found near the lake, and there is also a mineral spring.
There used to be an Indian village at the mouth of the Lakelse, but it is nearly abandoned now.
Kit-sum-galum River.
The Kit-sum-galum River comes from the north and runs in the continuation of the same
valley as the Lakelse. There is a small Indian village at the mouth, with a few good houses
and some well-kept gardens. The river is only partly navigable by canoes; it is 75 feet wide,
and 2 or 3 feet in depth. From the Skeena to the site of an old Indian village, a distance of
about seven miles, the river can be ascended by canoes; above that, for five miles, a portage
has to be made. There is an excellent trail for that purpose. For eight miles further to the
lake canoes may be used.
Kit-sum-galum Lake is eleven miles in length, and from one to two in width; it appears
to be very deep. Five creeks fall into it, the biggest of which is called the Wigmamitch River;
it keeps the continuation of the valley. At a distance of six miles there is another lake of 1|-
miles in length, which is the source of the creek. A couple of miles further is the height
of land.    On the other side, the water falls by the Tsi-ax River to the Naas.
The Zimoetz River.
The Zimoetz River drains a large area of land south and east of the Skeena, the greater
part of that vast extent taking the western slope of the Cascade Range and all the mountainous districts between the range and the watershed of the Watson-kwa. It has a width of
100 feet at low water, with a depth of two feet. It is rapid, and at high water it is little else
than a mountain torrent. In the hot weather it rises very much, and its muddy colour shows
that it is fed mainly by glaciers. For a distance of 23 miles it runs in a direction S. 80° E.
Its banks are very high, and the valley, if it may be called thus, is a simple cut through the
high range. There is no land of any value. At this point a heavy mountain stream comes
from the Cascades, and as it is only a torrent it was not traversed. According to Indian
reports, it would take its sources in the glaciers about 15 miles away.
From the forks the Zimoetz, much reduced in size, comes from the due north. It has the
same aspect for a distance of 23 miles, where another heavy stream falls into it from the north- 364 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
west. The ground above that is a high plateau, very undulating and offering some hills untim-
bered, where there is good summer pasture. Eight miles further, a branch comes from the
east; it has a length of 12 miles, and takes its source in a small lake. From the mouth of this
branch, in ascending the Zimoetz another three miles, a lake of two and a half miles in length
is reached. It is fed by a small creek coming from a second lake of the same size, at a distance
of two miles.
All the ground watered by those upper branches has the same character of a high, undulated plateau, sometimes covered with thickets of poplar and birch, and sometimes of grassy
reach. The flora shows a great difference of climate between the mouth of the river and its
head, where it is comparitively dry.
The Kitseguecla River.
The Kitseguecla is a wild mountain stream, draining the mass of mountains lying between
the head waters of the Zimoetz and the Skeena, and the mass of mountains called the "Rochers
Dehoules," lying north of it. It is about 70 feet in width by 2 feet in depth at low water, and
at its high stage it is a regular torrent. It runs on a course S. 60° E., and has a length of
about 22 miles. It takes its source from small lakes. For the first 10 miles the stream is
enclosed narrowly by the mountains; but above that the ground is an elevated plateau, partly
covered with thickets and partly bare. In the openings there is a very luxuriant growth of
grass and peavines, though the soil is very light and appears to be stony. This partly grazing
country extends towards the Watson-kwa River.    The climate is rather dry in that part.
The   Watson-kwa River.
The Watson-kwa was track-surveyed by Mr. Gauvreau, and will be described later on.
The Kispyox River.
The Kispyox falls into the Skeena at the point formerly known as Fort Stager. It is an
important river, draining a large district. Its general course is N. 45° W. It has a width of
120 feet, and a depth of three. It is rapid, but is not a glacial stream ; it rises more by rain
than by hot weather. The trail to the Stickeen follows its course for a long distance. The
length of the river is over 45 miles in a general direction, and near its head is the source of the
Konices River, a branch of the Naas. A great number of small streams feed the Kispyox, the
greater part of them coming from the local range of mountains lying north of it. The valley
of the river is generally several miles wide, and the mountains to the south are low, rounded,
and partly bare, the timber, no doubt, having been burnt.
There is a large quantity of good agricultural land all along the stream, both open and
wooded, with thickets of aspen poplars. The good land is intermixed with woods of spruce
(P. englemanii), black pine (P. contorta), and with swamps timbered with black spruce (A. nigra).
The high, open side-hills would give very rich pasture, and the numberless hay meadows in the
river bottom, covered with a luxuriant growth of rich grass, would render this valley desirable
for cattle-raising. There are several small lakes towards the head, and a large number of them
at the source of the small feeders, but none of them of any size; they are generally well
surrounded by hay meadows. This river is a favorite spot for trapping, and a large number of
Indians are annually employed at it.    Colours of gold were found in washing.
Babine River.
The Babine River is the most important of all the feeders of the Skeena, in size and in
the extent of the area drained. It brings in the water of Babine Lake, the largest sheet of
water of New Caledonia. The general course of the river from its source, at the north end of
Babine, is about S. 85° E. The width of the river at the mouth is about 200 feet, and 3 or 4
feet deep at low water. The river is not navigable for canoes, though they may be used on
certain parts of the stream. It drains the water from the Babine Mountains, lying south, and
the Atna on the north. About 12 miles from the Skeena there is an Indian village of some
importance, known as Kish-ki-gas, on the north shore of the Babine. The current is everywhere swift, and the river is closed into canons for a great part of its course. The valley of
the lower part is generally timbered with all the coniferous species; and where the first growth
has been destroyed by fire, it is replaced by thickets of aspen poplars and small birch. The
average width of the valley is over one mile.    The upper part of the river was track-surveyed 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 365
by Mr. Gauvreau.    It  comes  out  of  Babine  Lake and extends in a long, narrow lake, after
which it runs with a fearful current.
A river of some size falls into it from the north ; it drains the flanks of the Fryingpan
Range of mountains and the Atna Mountains. Numerous other feeders, mostly mountain
torrents, come in from both sides.
Bear River.
Bear River, one of the upper branches of the Skeena, is a very swift river, coming from
Bear Lake. It is not generally navigable for oanoes. It has a general length of twenty miles,
and the valley is over two miles in width. It was wooded with the usual coniferous varieties,
but the fire has destroyed a large extent of them, and they are now replaced by thickets of
poplar and birch. At seven miles below Bear Lake, the Sestoot river comes from the northeast. It is a rapid river. It was not traversed, owing to the difficulty in getting Indians,
but, according to reports, it comes out of the lake of the same name about 25 miles distant.
The lake is supposed to be 10 miles in length.
Bear Lake is a fine sheet of water, of a length of 11 miles by 60 chains in width. The
mountains on each side are high and rugged, from 4,000 or 5,000 feet above the lake, and they
rise immediately from the shore. On the west, these mountains are known as Vermillion
Mountains, and on the east the Buzz Mountains, which tend towards Sestoot Lake. At the
north end there is a small island, the only one in the lake, on which the ruins of old Fort
Connelly, one of the first establishments of the North-West Company in British Columbia, are
to be seen.
The exploration to the Naas River was carried from the Skeena by crossing over by the
trail at Kitwauga, and by the trail to the Stickeen; but to render this report more
intelligible, it has been thought better to give the description of the river from the sea
The different trails of the region explored will be described later on.
The Naas River.
The Naas River is a very important stream, falling into the sea at the junction of Portland
Channel and Observatory Inlet. The general appearance of the mouth of the River is much
the same as all the other inlets of the coast. At the Cascade Cannery, on the south, the inlet
is over two miles in width. Three miles above, on the north shore, is the village of Kincolith.
It is a new Indian village, formed since the coming of the missionaries and the salmon canners.
It is the residence of a Methodist minister, and they have a good church. Above that point,
the river takes a more river-like appearance, and gets narrower. The mountains on each side
are low, comparatively, to those on the Skeena River. They are all well rounded and wooded,
and at their bases there are some large flats of low, wooded land. At twelve miles above
Kincolith there is a small Indian village and an abandoned cannery site. The river there is
very wide in one channel, but has lost its appearance of an arm of the sea. Three miles above,
islands, low and wooded, begin to obstruct the course of the river. One mile above, is the
village of Greenville, where there is a missionary. A man named Gray has there a very good
farm and some cattle; he raises almost everything one could wish for in such a climate, and
his wheat and hay are first-class. He speaks highly of the quality of the soil. There are
large extents of good land below and above that point, both thickly wooded, and stretches
covered only with thickets. The tide influences the current of the river for some six miles
further up, that is, about twenty-six miles from the Cascade Cannery.
From that point, the river runs through the Cascade Mountains. The valley keeps its
width of from one to three miles. A large number of islands obstruct the course of the stream,
from a small sand bank to islands of 600 acres. These islands, and parts of the flats on each
side, are generally wooded with spruce (P. englemanii), balsam fir (A. lesiocarpa), balsam
poplar (P. balsamifera), cottonwood (P. canadensis), red alder (alnus rubra), common alder
(A. viridis), small maple (acer macrophyllum(, crab-apple (pirus rivularis), willows of divers
species, and the general shrubs of the coast flora. The cedar is absent, except a few scarce
pencil cedars of small size. On the side hills, the hemlock (A. mertensiana) is the most common
tree. The Douglas fir is represented only by scattered trees. The flats and islands are mostly
formed of rounded boulders and gravel, but covered up with such a rich bed of alluvium and
vegetable detritus that it forms one of the richest of loams, and, where it has been tried at all
by the Indians, it gives a very rich crop. The current of the stream is about four miles an
hour, but, here and there, bad riffles occur.    The mountains on each side are high and rugged, 366 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
bare on the tops, and several small glaciers are to be seen, especially on the north. A great
number of small streams fall into the Naas, but none worthy of description
At thirty-six miles above the mouth, the Indian village of Kitwansilth is reached. It is
a fine village, well built, on the north bank of the stream. This is just above the point where
the Naas enters the range, and the valley from there up is getting much wider, though the
river itself is getting more into one stream. The width of the valley is about six to eight
miles, the flats wooded with the same essence as before, but the gradual disappearance of many
plants of the coast flora shows the climate to be dry. There is a wide valley between this
point and the Skeena River. The river Tsi-ax runs into the wide flat. It is a fine river of
150 feet in width, deep, and not very rapid. It comes from the lake of the same name, and
river and lake occupy the structural valley commencing at the sea, and crossing the Skeena.
From the head of the Tsi-ax, it is only a short distance to the head of the Kit-sum-galum,
already described. An old Indian trail follows this valley. It branches off at the head of
Tsi-ax Lake, one branch going down by the Kit-sum-galum, and the other directly to the foot of
Kitsilas caiion.
A short distance above the mouth of the Tsi-ax, a good sized stream comes from the
north, in the same valley. Although not very big, it is of a great length. It occupies the
valley as far as the head of a small stream falling into the Skoot River, one of the biggest
branches of the Stickeen River. This valley cuts the whole range of the Cascades diagonally,
and the part of the Cascades east of it seems to decrease in importance as it gets farther north.
A large extent of good farming land could be utilized, not only along the Naas, but all the
way to the Skeena, through that valley, and all along its continuation. Some of it, though,
would be rendered useless, as it is covered with a thick bed of scorises. The whole region, for
a long distance up the river, is a volcanic plateau. The river, for a couple of miles, runs into
a canon entirely formed of lava. The ground all along is wooded—spruce, balsam, aspen
poplar, black pines, and hemlock on the heights. This would have to be cleared to render the
soil fit for farming.
At six miles above, the village of Kitlatamux is reached. It is on the north shore of the
Naas, and is a village of importance. The houses are well built, and they have some wonderfully carved poles, and also some good carving on the doors of some of the houses. The Indians
have some very fine gardens, and their potatoes, turnips, carrots, and cabbages show what could
be done on such a soil with a little work. The Indians on all the course of the Naas are known
as "Na-as-cars." They seem to be closely allied to the Tsimpseans, with whom their language
has some affinity. Besides the village already mentioned, there are others, like Lakelsup,
Kitix, Wil-kis-tum-willi-get, Angetah, etc. The Methodist church people have a missionary at
Kitwansilth and Lakelsup. About three miles above Kitlatamux, the head of the navigation
by canoes is reached.    Above that, canoes can be used only on certain parts of the river.
The river, for a distance of twenty-two miles, runs through a valley of two or three miles,
but it is often cut up, from both sides, by spurs of the mountains coming close to the river
and forming canons. A trail follows the river, but at some distance to the south. The valley
is wooded with spruce (engleman), black spruce (A. nigra), birch (B. papiracea, B. glandulosa),
balsam poplar (P. balsamifera), aspen poplar (P. tremuloides), juniper (J. virginiana). There
are large extents of good land, but the ridges cutting across the valley are of light soil and very
mossy. At this point is the mouth of. the Shigaltin River. It is a stream of some importance,
and the trail from Kitwanga on the Skeena passes in its valley. It will be noted later on. It
continues along the Naas to the head of the canoe navigation. As nearly all the people
coming from or going to the interior during the winter pass over this trail, and as all the
Indians from the Skeena get their supply of oolachan grease through it, it makes it the most
travelled of all trails in the country explored. A little above the mouth of the Shi-gal-tin, a
big creek comes into the Naas from the north. It runs into a wide valley, and comes from
quite a distance.    It was not traversed.
The Naas, above the Shigaltin, comes from a caflon-like cut. Although the mountains
are not high on either side, it cannot be travelled in canoes. For about ten miles, the river
runs through a broken country, almost due north. At this point, the river branches off, and
it is hard to tell which is the Naas. The name of the stream, as known to the Indians, could
not be ascertained, but, according to all appearances, the branch keeping to the north should
be called the Naas. The branch coming from the north-west is a large river of 150 feet in
width, and very rapid. It comes from a direction of N. 50° W., and runs in a valley ranging
from one to five miles in width. The river at several points is contracted by canons. The
mountains on the south side are low, rounded, and, as a general rule, covered with thickets of 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 367
poplar, birch, and black pine, the primeval growth having been burnt. There are also extensive
grassy reaches. On the north side, the mountains are more broken, but of a like appearance.
The river runs for forty miles in that course. In the valley there are very extensive hay
meadows; terraces are very well marked, but broken here and there by ridges. The terraces
are, as a general rule, wooded, but not very heavily. The same thickets are in nearly all parts
of the interior plateau. The greater part of that valley could be utilized for agricultural
purposes, and I do not believe that summer frost would hurt very much.
The open places have a very luxuriant growth of grass, pea vines of different species,
vetches, lupins, and grasses of infinite varieties. A large number of small feeders fall into the
river from each side. The principal are the Anwip, from the south, and the Tode-dgida, which
comes from a good sized lake at ten miles south.
At forty miles from the mouth of the river, and at an elevation of 2,100 feet, a large
branch comes from the north. It takes its source about twenty miles distant, and runs through
a range of mountains; the valley is narrow, and generally wooded. The main stream keeps
in the same direction for about fifteen miles further, and in the same valley. At its head, the
valley continues fine and open, and beyond the source, at an elevation of 2,900 feet, a small
stream, named Nin-gun-sa, takes its head, and is one of the principal feeders of the Skoot.
From the forks of this main branch the Naas keeps a direction of N. 30° E. ; for eight
miles the river has a width of 150 feet, and runs through a thickly wooded valley; the
mountains come close to the river on the north-west, but there is a large flat on the opposite
shore. The trail from Hazelton to the Stickeen follows the river on its N. W. branch, and
then proceeds along the valley of the main branch already described ; it is very hard to see it,
as there is no travel at all and it has never been very much frequented. At this point a
feeder of the Naas comes from a direction S. 40° E.; it is a stream of 50 feet in width and
2 or 3 deep in low stage of water; it is rapid and runs through a valley of about one mile
wide; its name is " Ko-nis-sees." It is 28 miles in length; it takes its source in a series of
small lakes and extensive hay meadows in the continuation of the valley of the Kispyox River.
The mountains to the south are low, rounded, and generally covered with thickets of poplars
and birches, with some good grazing land in places, especially at the head of the river; on the
north the mountains are high and rugged.
For nine miles above the mouth of the Konisues the Naas runs through a wooded valley
to the mouth of a middle size creek coming from the west; then it gets into a canon of over
six miles in length ; the mountains on each side of the canon are very close to the river.
From the mouth of the first big branch—that is, 17 miles from the mouth of the canon—
the river is called " Tsi-we-ax " by the Indians, but geographically it should be the Naas.
At the head of the canon the valley gets gradually wider and terraces appear; they are
mostly wooded, and offer some good land.
There is an important stream coming from the north-west; its valley is well marked, but
narrow and wooded ; it is over 30 miles in length, and takes its water near the head of the
first big affluent of the Naas.
The benches on the main river keep on widening till the mouth of the Tom-to-ax is
reached, 12 miles from the head of the canon. The Tom-to-ax is a small stream coming from
the east; it takes its sources at 15 miles near the head of one of the branches of the Skeena ;
the trail from Hazelton to the Stickeen comes along that stream and then follows down the
Naas. Three miles above the mouth of the Tom-to-ax, the Tsi-we-ax comes from a direction
N. 30° W. ; for 15 miles it runs through a succession of canons and level land ; its valley is
wide and generally wooded. For another 15 miles to its sources the valley gets narrower and
the current more rapid, it is then only a very small stream. A short distance above its source
the valley opens again, and a small river, forming one of the heads of the Stickeen, runs down
swiftly ; the valley can be seen for a long distance in the same direction, and shows very
extensive open grassy benches.    On the north the mountains are high and rugged.
From the point where the Tsi-we-ax turns to the north-west, the valley running north,
followed by the main river to this point, continues in the same direction, only the stream
running into it is very small; the valley gets wider and gradually loses itself in a high plateau,
at a distance of about 25 miles from the forks. The country north of this is drained by small
streams into the head-waters of the Skeena and Stickeen rivers. All the region watered by
the upper branches of the Naas has the character of an elevated plateau, broken by local
mountains; but it offers large extents of farming land in the valley, and wide areas of grazing
land on the benches and side-hills. 368 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
The interior country is reached in summer by ascending the Skeena River in canoes, or
by coming by the telegraph trail from Quesnelle. This trail comes from Quesnelle to the
Nechaco River ; thence along Fraser Lake to the Stellaco, which it crosses, and along the
valleys of the Endaco and Wat-son-kwa to Hazleton; it is a good pack trail and much used.
At ten miles from Hazelton a trail branches off the telegraph trail and follows the valley of
the Susqua to Babine; by this trail the Omenica mines are supplied.
A trail leaves Hazelton and follows the general course of the river upwards to Kuldo and
to Kish-gi-gass on the Babine River; this is merely a footpath now. Near Kuldo there is a
trail branching to the west; this trail was made years ago, to reach the mining district of
Cassiar. Many head of cattle were taken from the Fraser to the Stickeen, and beyond. It
follows a branch of the Skeena, and then the Tum-to-ax valley, turns down the Naas, and after
reaching the forks it follows the north-west branch of the Naas to its source. From there it
runs in a north-westerly direction in the continuation of the same valley, along the head of the
small stream called the " Ningousa." It follows this stream for ten miles, and leaves it to
strike across a large valley watered by the head-waters of the Skoot River; it strikes and crosses
the Skoot at a distance of 25 miles, and in all that course it runs through a flat, thickly-
wooded country, covered by small lakes and hay meadows, and cut here and there by numerous
small streams falling into the Skoot. All that region is a vast undulated plateau, rather dry,
and, though generally wooded, offers large extents of grassy hills. Bunch grass begins to be
common; sage brush is also abundant (artemesiafrigida), cow parsnip (heracleum lanatum),
fire weed (epilobium angustifolium), are also noted. The mountains to the south are low and
bare, but on the north they are higher and more rugged, though many miles away. From the
crossing of the Skoot, which is there a deep, slow river, the trail continues in the same direction
and touches again the head-waters of the Skoot at an altitude of 3,000 feet, and at twenty miles
from the crossing. A couple of miles beyond the head-waters of the Skoot, the trail keeps in
the same valley, now watered by the first south fork of the Stickeen. It follows this fine wide
grassy valley for 36 miles, to its mouth on the Stickeen River at old Fort Mumford. The
valley is formed of terraces well defined, partly wooded, partly grassy.
The country traversed by that trail offers large areas of land, which would be of first
agricultural value, only it is feared that summer frost would prevent the successful cultivation
of wheat; but for other cereals or for vegetables, it ought to answer well, and also for cattle
raising. The vast area of country on both sides of the trail seems to be nearly all covered
with mountains, but along the rivers immense extents could be utilized. A great part of the
mountainous region to the south would give some of the best summer grazing. As far as it
could be ascertained, nearly all the tributaries of the Stickeen present the same partly open
During the winter the communications with the interior are generally by the Naas River.
There is an old trail by Kit-sum-galum, the Tsi-ax, and the Naas, but it is not very much
used. There is also a trail from near Kitsilas Caiion, striking the Naas near the first
trail, but this also is nearly abandoned. The trail from Kispyox to Kit-wan-coole is often
used, but the ordinary way is by Kit-wan-ga. The trail leaves the Skeena two or three miles
above the mouth of the Kit-wan-ga River. The trail follows the north edge of a fertile valley
about three miles wide, in a north-westerly direction. At eight miles it touches Kit-wan-ga
River. The valley is covered with poplars and there are several hay meadows. At 17 miles
the trail crosses the river, and at 18 is the village of Kit-wan-coole. This village occupies a
lonely spot on wide, low terraces, covered with thickets of aspen poplar. It is composed of
about 30 old houses of large size, and the totem posts are better carved and more numerous
than in any other village met before. This is a kind of market town, where the oolachan
grease is taken from the lower Naas and sold to tribes of the interior, who have to pay very
dearly for this highly prized luxury. It would be hard to estimate the quantity of that article
imported to this spot, but the hundreds of boxes seen by us show well the great extent of the
trade. These boxes are scattered all through the interior, to the foot of the Rockies, and, I
am told, a long way beyond that. The name of this trail is the " Grease trail." Five miles
beyond the village is the foot of the Lake Kit-wan-coole. It is nine miles long and averages
two wide. The mountains to the north come close to it. It is a beautiful sheet of water, and
salmon, trout and char abound in it. A small stream comes into its upper part from some
grassy meadows near it.    It is of a length of six miles and about three wide.
The valley towards the Naas is open and rich.    The direction is north-west.    It is partly 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 369
rich meadows and partly bluffs of poplars. The mountains on each side are low, rounded and
very well timbered. A small creek comes from the hill on the west side, runs near the lake
and turns abruptly down the valley. This is the source of the Chean-o-wan River. The
country keeps that beautiful appearance for 35 miles from the head of the lake, near
Kitwanga. The valley varies in extent from three to ten miles. At this distance the trail
crosses a river called the Shi-gall-tin. This river comes from the mountains, and five miles
behind has received the Chian-o-wan. It is a stream 100 feet wide and about three feet deep.
It can be crossed over on an old Indian bridge, or forded a short way down. The main valley, in
the last three miles, before striking this river, has been gradually getting narrower and the soil
much lighter. From the crossing to the Naas River, a distance of only two miles, the ground
is covered with black pine (P. contorta). The trail follows then the general course of the
Naas for 26 miles without getting very close to it, and strikes it at the head of the canoe
navigation. There has been a large number of trails when the Indian population was
numerous, and mining operations more extensive, which are now obliterated. It is only with
the assistance of some old Indian that they can be followed, and it is more by their general
knowledge of the localities than by the marks left on the ground.
Agricultural Land.
There are a large number of good pieces of land, heavily timbered, along the coast, which
could be utilized, but it is very hard to get the acreage with any certainty. The
valley of the Skeena with all its islands, the benches above Quatsalix near Hazelton, the
the valley of the Kispyox, the upper branches, without counting the valley of the Watson-kwa,
and the part included in the second part of this report, after very careful computation, would
give 300,000 acres of farming land, this more or less wooded. The Naas River, its banks, its
islands, the valleys of its higher branches, including the valleys of the Tsi-ax, to the Skeena
of the Shigaltin to Kitwanga, and the prolongation of the valley from the Tsi-ax would give
an approximate area of 700,000 acres of farming land. Of this, three-fourths is wooded, and the
rest is either clear, or covered only with light thickets. Of the higher land exposed to the
summer frost, and where wheat could not be grown, and high pasture land, there are several
scattered areas. Around Kit-wan-coole the higher benches on the upper Skeena and Naas ;
the high plateau lying between the different branches of the Naas, and between this watershed
and Stickeen, can all be used as grazing land and classified as such.
A million and a half (1,500,000) acres would be about the true estimate of the grazing
All the area west of the Cascade range is damp and rainy. Near the sea the snow fall is
not great, but at some points up the rivers it comes up to over six feet. After crossing the
range of mountains, the climate gets very much drier, but in no part of the country explored
included in this first report, would irrigation be necessary, unless it would be on some of the
valleys at the head of the Skoot.
The climate in winter about Hazelton and at the corresponding point on the Naas is very
cold, the thermometer sometimes descending to 40° Far., but the cold is not so prolonged as it
is east of the Rockies ; there are always one or more thaws during the season. The depth of
snow would be over three feet, except on the heights, where it would be sure to be more.
A great attention has been paid to the observation of the gardening done by the Indians;
and although their gardens are cultivated very poorly, it is easy to see that the season is about
the same as in the west of the Province of Quebec.
In no part has the timber been found in very large quantity, as would, for instance,
warrant the hope of future exportation, except, may be, the giant cedar and the spruce
(thuga gigantea and P. Englemanii), but everywhere it is sufficient for every local use, when
the country gets once settled. No doubt that the balsam poplar (populus balsamifera), the
aspen (P. tremidsides), the cottonwood (P. Canadensis), the birch (betula glandulosa), will
some day be of value for the manufacture of wood pulp. The juniper should also be of value
in time. 370 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
Mineral of Economic Value.
Gold has been found formerly, and is yet found, on Lome Creek, on the Skeena. Colours
have been found on the Skeena proper, in the Zimoetz, the Kitsegul-cla, the Kit-sum-galum, in
several small streams falling into the Naas. Small pieces of platinum are found in the
Kitsegue-cla, with the gold. Gold-bearing quartz was brought from the upper Skeena, and
from the upper Naas. Copper was found on the Kemano River, and on the Pund-il-denay, on
the Skeena, on the Tsi-ax, and on the upper branch of the Naas.
Galena-bearing silver was found on the Tsi-ax, and more abundantly in a small creek
coming into the Naas a short way below. On the Skeena, below Lakelse, some good ore of the
same kind was also located.
Lignite, in places, was seen in abundance. On the Skeena and branch of the Naas, and
on many creeks falling into the Skeena.
On the Kitseguecla some coal, of an apparently good quality, was located. It has not yet
been analyzed.
Iron nodules are lying in abundance on the Kitseguecla, on the Skeena, and on the Naas.
Hematite, of good quality, is plentiful on the Kemano, the Kitimat, the Extall, the Skeena,
and the Naas.
Volcanic tuff of different species, some of them appearing valuable, are abundant on the
Naas.    A kind of pitch, resembling bitumen, is also found at the same locality.
Infusorial earth was seen near Hazelton. Good mica was found on the upper Skeena
and on the Naas.
Slate, some of it very good, is abundant on the Tsi-ax and the Naas.
Specimens of very rich cinnabar, coming from Kitimat, were seen, and some of the same
ore was seen on the Kemano.
Mineral Springs.
Hot springs have been located at eight different places along the coast. Some of them
have been for a long time in use by the Indians, and have a high reputation amongst them.
Others have been found on the Naas, the Lakelse, and the Tsi-ax.
Good granite for building stone is common on the littoral and up the main rivers. Good
sandstone is in abundance on the upper Skeena, and on some smaller streams. Limestone, of
good quality, is also common. Some travertine on the Naas, and some basalt, could also be
used for building.    Three shades of reddish ochres were shown to us from the upper Skeena.
The Indians.
The Indians of the coast by Gardner's Inlet seem to belong to a tribe closely allied to
those of Bella Coola. Near the Skeena, they belong to the Tsimpsean nation. Above
Kit-silas Canon, the country is held by the Ski-tigans, or Kit-ticseans; they are closely related
to the Tsimpseans. On the Naas, another tribe, called the Nascars, seem to be close relations
to the two first. The mouth of the Watson-kwa, at Hazelton, is occupied by a few families of
" Carriers." They are a subdivision of the great tribe of Tinnehs. A few families of the same
stock, Nahanies or Sicanies, visit the extreme upper waters of both the Skeena and Naas. A
large number of these Indians come to the sea-shore to work at the canneries. Those who do
not can make an easy living by fishing, the salmon, which is their chief article of food, being
very abundant. Some of them have the bad habit of closing the small streams entirely to
catch that fish. It is a ruinous custom, and it is a good thing the Fishery Inspector is now
teaching them to do better. The crop of small fruit, extremely abundant in the interior,
brings them a good article of food, which they preserve well for winter use. A few plants are
also largely used by them as food. Trout—char—are also plentiful in every stream. The
black-tail deer, so common on the coast, is replaced in the interior by the Cariboo, and at the
head of the big rivers and nearing the Stickeen, by the moose.
Fur trapping is the leading occupation of those Indians who do not come to the sea
in summer.
The second part of this report will include the description of the country explored by Mr.
N. B. Gauvreau, and a geological sketch of the whole extent covered by the two explorations;
also a few notes on the best line to follow to open roads. A list of plants and a series of
thermometer and aneroid observations may also be of interest.
A, L. Poudrier, P. L. S,
Victoria, December, 1891, 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 371
Part II.
The expedition left on the 3rd of May. The party proceeded to Quesnelle and left there
on the 9th of May by the telegraph trail. Five men, and a number of horses loaded with
supplies for the whole season, formed the expedition. One-half of the horses were to be left
with the first party, at Hazelton, on the Skeena. Fraser Lake was reached on the 24th of
May, and the track-survey was at once started at the mouth of the Endako River, where last
year's work was closed. The system of track-surveying throughout the season was the same
as described in the first part of this report, except that the odometer was not used.
The Endako River.
The Endako River has a general westerly course. It is a sluggish stream, 35 yards in
width at its mouth, in a small lake-like expansion of the Stellako. This last-named river is
the outlet of Lac des Fran<jais. There is a fine flat of land of about 1,000 acres at the mouth
of the river, on which the Indians have gardens. The general width of the valley is about
four miles. The land is fairly open, with patches of thickets in the valley. The side-hills,
though generally wooded, offer some good grazing land. The subsoil is composed of boulders
and gravel, capped with vegetable mould, on the side-hills, and of drift and black loam in the
At 17 miles there is a stream coming from the north. It is large and swift and runs into
a canon for one mile, after which its course is more easterly and its current less rapid. It
comes from a small lake at a distance of nine miles. On the east shore the hills are steep, and
on the west they slope gradually to a height of 1,500 feet. In the valley of the stream there
are some very fine hay meadows, and some very good land, although covered with brush.
At 30 miles from the mouth of the Eudako, commences Burns Lake, a beautiful sheet of
water of about 12 miles long and one-half mile wide. It contains a great number of islands.
At the foot of the lake there are about 400 acres of meadow land and 700 or 800 acres of good
bottom land, covered with bush, cottonwood, alder, and willows. There is also a belt of similar
land along the lake and the valley has a width of three and a half miles.
Cottonwood (P. Canadensis) and black spruce (P. nigra) form the general growth in the
valley, and here and there, where sandy terraces appear, black pine (P. contorta) predominates.
The valley continues with much the same appearance to the head of the lake, but getting
wider. Near the head there is a valley with a course south-east, coming from the south. It
is low land and thickly timbered.
There is a fine ranch owned by an Indian at the head of Burns Lake; it is a good place
for cattle raising, and this man had 25 acres of land in barley ; on May 29th it was four inches
out of the ground and looked well; he also keeps several head of cattle and has good buildings.
Decker Lake empties into Burns Lake, by a sluggish stream of 2J miles in length. The
bottom of the valley at that point is 1|- miles in width, and there are very fine meadows on each
side of the river. The length of Decker Lake is six miles, and its width one mile ; there are
no islands in it. The valley gets very much wider and is generally wooded with poplars near
the lake, but beyond there is some good grazing land. The valley attains a width of eight
miles, and for a distance of seven miles from the head of the lake to the height of land, there
are some fine extents of good grazing.
A small sluggish stream takes its source near the height of land and empties into Decker
Lake. The distance from Fraser Lake to the height of land is 53 miles, and this valley may
be looked on as a fine spot for cattle raising ; the timber would be easily cleared, and in the
open land the grass is very rich ; peavines, vetches, several species of triticum, etc., etc.
Wherever the timber has been burnt the grass grows luxuriantly. 372 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
Watsonkwah Valley, or Bulkley.
The river running in this valley has several local names amongst the Indians and the
miners; the name of Bulkley, though, seems to be the most acknowledged. It is a river of
some importance ; it takes it source not far from the headwaters of the Endako, and runs into
the Skeena River at Hazleton. After passing the height of land, the trail crosses a stream
coming from a small lake called Tzia-Kuz ; it is the source of the Buckley. The trail traverses
a plateau six miles in width, but the river goes south-westerly for a distance of three miles,
where it expands into a small lake, and then turns north-westerly and crosses the trail on the
edge of the plateau, where it is locally known as Nil-tsin-a-kwa. From the little lake to the
crossing the valley is fine and open. The soil here is rich and of good bottom land, and
luxuriant grass of an infinite variety grows. After that, on the 13th mile from the height of
land on the trail, a large swamp begins, timbered with spruce, on the north side of the trail.
It has a width of eight miles. On the south, there are several small lakes, with patches of
good land, partly open. At twenty-four miles, the telegraph trail, which follows the valley
right along, passes over a high hill, at the foot of which the Bulkley runs at a speed of two
and three-quarter miles an hour. The valley at this point is much wider—about eight miles.
The trail takes to the heights, and leaves the valley on the left, at about the 29-mile station.
AU the way to the 36-mile station, the valley is wide, with alternate patches of rich prairie and
timber, where cottonwood and spruce predominate. At this point there is a low, basin-like
valley to the S.W., in which the Buckley passes. The snow-capped summits of the Cascades
can be seen to the west. At thirty-nine miles a large stream, coming from a direction N. 36°
W., falls into the Bulkley.
The valley is wide and open, and keeps its same appearance of a fine prairie, with a few
clumps of timber, well watered by several mountain streams, and well adapted for stock
raising or dairy farming, down to the 66-mile station. At this distance, the Bulkley is near
the trail.    It is nearly 120 yards in width, shallow and swift.
The trail crosses over a mountain stream, twenty-five yards wide, on a bridge built by the
Indians in their usual way, a combination of the cantilever and suspension systems. At
seventy-seven and a half miles, the Indian village of Kya-wilgate is passed. The trail crosses to
the west side of the river, which is bridged by another Indian construction of nearly 180 feet
in length. The valley, before getting to the village, was more timbered; now there is a thick
growth of cottonwood, spruce, birch, and balsam. It keeps this appearance to the 98 mile,
where the Suskquah River falls into it from the E.N.E. From there to the Skeena, the
Bulkley is generally enclosed in rocky banks, and the valley thickly timbered, and sometimes
The general length from the summit, between the watershed of the Endako to the Skeena,
is 110 miles. The valley is wide all the way—as much as twelve miles in places. A very
large portion is open prairie, with luxuriant grass, and, where it is timbered, it would be easy
to clear. The soil is good, and, though may be exposed to summer frost, mostly all grain
except wheat could be grown, and vegetables of all sorts. No doubt that the timber once
removed, the danger of frost would be greatly reduced. As grazing land it cannot be surpassed,
and where the timber has been burnt, the numerous varieties of grasses growing show that the
area of pasture could be largely increased.
Sus-quwah Valley and Babine Trail.
At two and a half miles from the Sus-quwah River, on the telegraph trail, and eleven
miles from Hazelton, the trail to Babine branches off. The valley is about two and a half
miles wide, and runs into the Babine range. On the south, the mountains come close to the
river; on the north, the terraces are well defined. The country, for six miles, is thickly
wooded with cottonwood, spruce, alder, balsam, and black pine.
From the sixth to the sixteenth mile, the north portion is good grazing land; on the south
it is heavily timbered; from the sixth to the twelfth, and from the twelfth up to the twenty-
seventh, the country is burnt and barren; on the north, from the sixteenth to the twenty-
seventh, it is the same. At the twelfth mile, the river comes from a direction S. 56° E.,
taking its water from a small lake in the range. A branch of the Sus-quwah, known as the
Oo-at-zan-li River, takes its source up the range at a distance of five miles from Babine Lake.
It is a stream of twenty yards wide, and very rapid. The country is rough and broken, with
some meadows and marshes to the 36-mile, where the summit of the pass is reached at a height
of 5,000 feet above the sea. 55 Vict. CroWn Land Surveys. 373
The trail, after passing beyond the summit, goes down the mountain side, and at five and
a half miles from the summit it crosses a small stream, called the Tzes-a-tza-kwa, which takes
its source near the head of the Oo-at-zan-li, and falls into the Babine. The trail strikes the
lake at eight miles from the summit.
The distance of fifty-five miles from Hazelton to Babine offers little or no farming land,
but good-sized patches could be used for grazing. Where the timber has been burnt the grass
is abundant, a species of wild timothy growing very thickly.
Babine Lake.
Babine Lake is the largest of the numerous sheets of water scattered so plentifully through
New Caledonia. Its name was given by the early Canadian voyageurs in the fur trading
service. The word " babine," meaning " protruding lips," from the fact that the Indians used
to wear a bone or horn " labret" inserted in their lips.
The lake has a general length of eighty-eight miles, and is very deep. From the
north end down, for twenty-six miles, the average width is about one mile; then, for
thirty miles, the width averages two and three-quarter miles, and the last part is about one and
a half miles wide. At the north end is the H. B. Co.'s fort, known as Hootat, and further
south, where the general width of the lake begins to increase, is the old abandoned H. B. Co.'s
post, known as Fort Babine. Near the old Fort, on the east shore, is a bay of five or six
miles in length, near which there is quite a tract of good grazing land. Further down on the
same shore is another bay, known as Wright's Bay, from which a waggon road was made some
years ago by G. B. Wright, Esq., to Lake Tremblay.
On the west side, for over thirty miles from the north, the mountains come close to the
lake, and are thickly wooded ; on the east, the mountains are more in terraces. Some extensive
flats, at 800 to 1,000 feet above the lake, are but partially wooded, and there are also reaches
of good grazing land.
From old Fort Babine to Wright's Bay on the east, the hills come near the lake, and have
an elevation of 3,000 feet above it. Near this bay there is a wide, flat valley, in which the
road runs. It extends towards Tremblay Lake, and will be described further on. From the
end of that valley, south for over twenty miles, there are very extensive timbered flats, at 300
to 400 feet above the lake, with good land. On the west shore, from opposite old Fort Babine,
south, the country rises gradually towards the hills to a height of from 400 to 600 feet. The
soil is generally light loam, with a sandy subsoil. There is a small river coming from the
south-east, running through a wide and low valley about twelve miles in length. It is named
Beaver Creek.    From there the Indians have a trail going to Fraser Lake.
The different species of timber around the lake are spruce and balsam spruce of large size
(A. engelmanii, A. balsamifera), Douglas fir (pseudotsuga Douglasii), birch (betula papiracea),
cedar (tuga gigantea), alder, cottonwood, and black pine. In the open parts, vetches, peavines,
and red top form a very good pasture.
The climate is sometimes rather wet in summer; in winter it is cold, and the snow-fall is
great. At Hootat, it lies from five to six feet in depth some winters, and about three feet at
the head of the lake. The country is also exposed to severe summer frosts. The spring
generally opens on the 1st of May, and the winter commences in the first part of November.
By the flora, the southern part of the lake seems to be much the driest.
The lake empties into the Skeena by the Babine River. It was described in the first part
of this report. One mile and a quarter after leaving Babine, the river forms a lake-like
expansion, called Lake Gettee-poein, of two and a half miles in length, and then goes on its
way to the Skeena through a well demarked valley.
The Fryingpan Pass.
The trail to Tatlah Lake by the Fryingpan Pass leaves Lake Babine near Hootat. For
13 miles the trail traverses a country composed of gravelly soil, large extents of swamps and
some patches of grazing land. At 15 miles the trail begins to ascend the range of mountains.
From the heights the valley of the Babine is well seen and the large expanse of country
towards the lake, shows a comparatively flat, region, generally timbered, with numerous
swamps and small lakes. The summit is reached at 19 miles at an elevation of 5,300 feet.
To the 23rd mile the trail crosses a plateau covered with small meadows and reaches of good
pasture land.    Then the descent begins.    For six miles it is a steep mountain trail, and it 374 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
reaches a fine terrace of good grazing land. For four miles the trail follows that terrace and
then descends to another abrupt piece for one and a half miles, when a second terrace is
reached. From there the flat land inclines gently towards Tatlah Lake. The soil on the whole
course is generally light, gravelly, and of little value. The growth of timber and underbrush is
much the same as at Babine.
Echoo-cher Portage.
Near the south end of Babine Lake the H. B. Co. have built a good waggon road to
Stuart Lake, known as Echoo-cher portage. The distance between the two lakes is seven and
a half miles, through a low country. The trail passes near a lake known as Petit Lac. Its
length is seven miles by three-fourths, and then goes down the valley of the stream coming
from this lake to Stuart. It is named the Ya-koo River. The H. B. Co. have a warehouse
near the mouth.
North Tatlah Lake.
As there are two Tatlah Lakes, it has been thought better to call this one North Tatlah.
The general length of the lake is 56 miles, with an average width of one and a half miles. At
the north end is the Bulkley House, built by Col. Pope, of the Telegraph Co., afterwards used
by the H. B. Co., and now abandoned. The mountains on both sides of the lake are high and
steep and come down very close to the shore. Eleven miles from the bottom of the lake, the
north-west arm begins. It is nineteen miles in length and one and a half in width. From the
head of the north-west arm, in the direction of Hootat, the country is low and further on
undulated, and an extensive burnt country extends as far as the eye can reach. The
mountains between the arm aud the principal part of the lake are very high. At the southwest part of the arm, near the strait, a stream known as Marion's River drains the swampy
country between Babine and Tatlah. At one and a half miles from the foot of the lake there
is a valley through which a trail, known as Leon's Trail, runs to Nation Lakes and river.
The Indians believe that the north-west arm is frequented by a fantastic animal of the sea-
serpent species, which is supposed to live in the deep holes (very numerous) in the lake. Few
of them are willing to visit that part.
The hills on both sides are covered with the usual timber—Douglas fir, spruce of two
species, balsam, cottonwood, and alders near the lake, and the underbrush is generally thick
and shows all the shrubs formerly noticed near Babine.
Driftwood River.
The only feeder of importance falling into Tatlah is the Driftwood River. It takes its
name from the amount of wood accumulated on its shores. Its length is about 47 miles. It
is a mountain stream and very swift. For the first 16 miles from its mouth upwards the river
is about 40 yards wide and very crooked. On both sides there are flats half to one mile in
width, of good alluvial soil giving a good pasture. Beyond these the country is gravelly and
mixed with swamps. Two large streams empty into the Driftwood—the Clearwater, coming
from the foot of the Omineca Mountains, falling in at six miles from the mouth of the
Driftwood, and at thirteen miles from the mouth the Koot-sin River, coming from a direction
of north 36° west. It takes its water from the Fryingpan Mountains, and is a swift
mountain stream of a length of about 10 miles.
From the mouth of the Koot-sin River to a place known as Cache de Beaux Jours, a
distance of 20 miles, the Driftwood is rapid, very sinuous and runs into a wide valley. For
over one mile on each side the flats are formed of good alluvial soil; beyond, the soil
is sandy and gravelly. From the Cache the valley gets narrower, and the river takes its
source about 15 miles further in the Koot-sin range. From Cache des Beaux Jours to Bear
Lake, canoes can be taken by a succession of small lakes and a portage of 16 chains. The
timber in the country drained by the Driftwood is spruce (of two species), cedar, balsam, black
pine and cottonwood, with poplar along the streams.
Middle River.
The outlet of North Tatlah is called Middle River. It empties into Tremblay Lake, and
has a total length of 16 miles. For the 6\ miles it is a succession of lake-like extensions of an
average width of 20 to 40 chains. The rest of the river is 80 yards wide. The current runs
at the slow rate of one to one and a quarter miles per hour.    On the north-east the country is 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 375
low for 18 to 20 miles, to a low chain of heights near Nation Lake. On the south-west there
is a chain of heights at a distance of five or six miles, and the ground rises gradually to it.
The soil in some parts is of good loam ; but beyond that it is sandy and gravelly. The fire
has destroyed the first growth nearly everywhere, and the second growth is formed of the usual
poplars, birch, black pine and balsam. Along the river there are several good hay meadows,
where the Indians cut hay for their cattle and horses. The grass in these meadows and on
the burnt ground is very luxuriant and composed of numberless species.
Tremblay Lake.
The length of Tremblay Lake is about 18 miles by 2J miles. It lies north-east and
south-west, and its principal feeder, the Middle River, comes in on the side of it, at eight miles
from the north-east end. The country to the north-east is low and undulated and seems to
extend to the heights near Nation Lake. Nearly opposite the mouth of the Middle River, on
the south shore, is the mouth of Thatcher River, emptying the water of Tremblay Lake into
Stuart Lake. Three miles before reaching the south-west end of the lake there is a valley
running south 40° east, towards the north-west arm of Stuart Lake. It is called Na-kal-at.
It is four miles wide and six in length. It offers some very rich open land with good pasture.
The soil is a clay loam, covered up with vegetable matter. There are bluffs of poplar, small
birch and willows.
Years ago, during the mining excitement, G. B. Wright, Esq., opened a waggon road
between Tremblay and Babine Lakes. He also built a steamer on Tremblay Lake, where the
remains can still be seen. The road follows a valley of about 24 miles in length and very
wide with a low chain on each side. On the road, six miles from Tremblay, there is a small
lake of one and a half to two miles, which empties its water into the former. From that lake
to the height of land, six miles, the country is low and burnt. From the height of land to
Babine, a distance of 12 miles, the country inclines gradually towards the lake.
From Tremblay to the small lake mentioned above, the country is open and grassy.
From the lake to the height of land the country is burnt and generally covered with thickets
of short growth. From there to Babine it is more thickly timbered. Around Tremblay Lake
the timber is Douglas fir, spruce, balsam, cottonwood, and poplar.
Thatcher River.
The water of Tremblay Lake empties into Stuart Lake by the Thatcher River. The
distance is about 12 miles and the width of the river 75 yards. The current is in general
sluggish, except at three small rapids. Two and one-half miles from the head is the mouth of
a small river coming from the direction of north 32° east. It is the outlet of Tshes-ze-ron
Lake, distant about 18 miles. The country to the north-east is low and cut up by bluffs and
short chains of hills. It extends toward the height of land for 18 or 20 miles, between
Nation River, Thatcher River and Stuart Lake. The country between the river and the
north-west arm of Stuart Lake contains several small valleys, thickly timbered and of good
soil. On the north-east the first growth of timber is burnt and replaced by thickets. In the
open parts vetches, peavines, and various grasses are plentiful and of good quality.
Stuart Lake.
The length of Stuart Lake, from the mouth of the Thatcher River running south to Fort
St. James, is 28 miles, and 3J miles wide. From the mouth of the Thatcher to the Indian
village of Echoo-cher, at the head of the lake, the length is 12 miles by 2|-. Between these
two places there is a low chain of mountains running at a few miles from the lake, from the
Thatcher to the mouth of the river Pinche, a distance of 16 miles ; the country from the lake
is low for two or three miles; from this point to Fort St. James the mountains are high and
close to the lake. The first growth of timber on the east side has mostly been burnt, and is
now replaced by thickets of second growth. On the west shore the ground keeps rising
gradually into a chain of heights, the summits being about eight miles from the lake; it is
heavily timbered with the species already described on the other lakes. At the Indian village
of Pinche, on the east shore, is the mouth of the river of the same name ; it runs through a fine
open valley for 3f miles, and is the outlet of a lake named Tess-ze-ra, 10 miles long by 2 wide.
The Indians cut large quantities of hay for their stock in that valley. 376 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
Near this lake is a second one called Tshes-ze-ron, which empties into the Thatcher River.
Near these lakes the country is undulating and timbered. On the north-east of the first there
is a low local chain, at three miles from the lake.
In all the country described here from Middle River the temperature is pretty good,
according to information obtained from the Hudson's Bay Oo. and the missionaries. The July
frost does no damage to oats, barley, and all the ordinary garden vegetables. Wheat cultivation
would be risky until large extents of lands could be cleared. There are several gardens,
showing how well vegetables can be grown. In the partly open places the grasses of various
species are very abundant.
From Stuart Lake to McLeod's Lake.
The distance from Stuart Lake to McLeod is 64^ miles by the trail. For the first 12
miles the country traversed is much open ; there are fine meadows in which the Indians cut
hay ; the ground gradually rises to an altitude of 550 feet above the lake. Looking towards
the north-west the ground looks very level, except one solitary mountain, at an elevation of
1,200 feet above the plateau. Beyond this, at a distance of 20 miles from the trail, a long,
low chain can be seen. On the south-east a low chain is visible in the distance at about 25
miles, running north-easterly. Beyond that distance the country is more broken, and the first
growth of timber has all been burnt. The trail crosses the Salmon River, which is here a
sluggish stream of 20 yards wide, taking its source at a distance of 20 miles in a north-westerly
direction in a low marshy country, and runs towards the Fraser River, into which it falls at
15f miles above Fort George. The country traversed by this river and its numerous feeders
is low and swampy, and is looked upon as one of the best trapping grounds tor beaver.
At 1-| miles beyond the Salmon River the trail crosses a sluggish stream of 12 yards
wide, three times in succession, called the White Mud, and is a feeder of the Salmon ; it takes
its source in a small lake 6| miles north of the trail. Three miles beyond the last crossing of
the White Mud the Swamp River is reached ; it is one of the big feeders of the Salmon ; it
takes its water at 10 miles north-westerly from the trail, in a series of small lakes and swamps,
runs for 6 miles in a direction S. 80° E., and then turns almost south and empties in the
Salmon at 25 miles from the trail. Between Swamp River and Lac la Carpe, a distance of 6|
miles, the trail runs over the plateau, dividing the watershed of the Fraser or Pacific, and the
stream going into the Parsnip and then to the Arctic Ocean. It is a space cut up by gravelly
ridges, and where the only vegetation now is black pine (pinus contorta); its elevation, by
aneroid, is 3,080 above sea level. Lac la Carpe is a beautiful sheet of water, of 6-J miles in
length and 2A wide ; a low chain of hills follows the lake at a distance of 5 or 6 miles from it
to the south-east. Another chain similar to this can be seen, but lying about 18 miles towards
the north-west. The country was all burnt over, but on the south-east there is a heavy second
growth. Lac la Carpe empties into Long Lake by a small stream of three miles in length ;
this latter is 1\ miles long by 40 chains wide. The Long River drains it into McLeod's Lake;
it is a stream of 40 yards wide and two feet deep.
A short distance after the trail has crossed the river, at a distance of 17 miles from
McLeod's Lake, the river breaks into a magnificent fall of 125 feet, 80 feet perpendicular, and
the rest cascade-like. The country nearing McLeod's Lake slopes gradually towards it and is
more open; there are patches of good grass and rich pasture.
A chain of mountains is visible to the north-west, towards the Parsnip. All the region
traversed by this trail is almost completely denuded of its first growth of timber; thickets
formed of the usual species, like balsam-poplar (/'. balsami fera), aspen poplar (P. tremuloides),
birch (B. glandulosa), and especially black pine (P. contorta), cover the ground. It seems to
be much exposed to summer frost, and little or no land could be used for farming ; clearing
and draining may yet improve the country to such a point that good pasturage could be utilized
and vegetables and hardy grain grown.
McLeod's Lake.
The length of McLeod's Lake is 16| miles and 1J wide; it is very deep. On the west
the shores are thickly wooded and rise by steps to the general level of the country, extending
towards Stuart Lake. This region is traversed by a trail from Fort St. James to McLeod's
Lake. On the east the ground rises gradually to a chain of heights of an elevation of 1,200
feet above the lake, its opposite slope leaning towards the Parsnip River. On the east the
timber is fair—spruce, Douglas fir, Canadian balsam, birch, poplar, and near the water cottonwood, willows, alders, &c. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 377
McLeod's Lake is on the route of the fur trade, from the Fraser River to the Peace River,
by the Parsnip, Crooked River, the principal feeder of McLeod's Lake, being followed. A
description of this route can be given in a few words. Big flat boats holding several tons are
towed up the Fraser from Soda Creek to Giscome Portage, and loaded on similar boats, on the
Crooked River, which then proceed to McLeod's Lake, Pack River, the Parsnip, and the Peace
Rivers. Messrs, Dunlevy and Davies, from Soda Creek, keep up an extensive trade across
the Rockies by that means.
Crooked River.
The length of this river, from its head to McLeod's Lake, is over 45 miles; it is 40 yards
wide at its mouth, and there is a succession of three lakes, of 2| to 3 miles in length and an
average width of 60 chains ; in the lower 20 miles the banks are low and composed of silt,
thickly covered by alders and willows. The upper 25 miles to the summit are very crooked,
and the banks are very low and cut up in numerous arms and channels, making it sometimes
hard to find the main river. There are numerous hay meadows in the neighbourhood.
Beyond the valley the country is undulating and timbered; it seems much exposed to summer
At 20 miles from the mouth the Swamp River comes from the east ; it takes its water
near the head of the Parsnip. The country which it traverses is low at its mouth and more
broken further up.
Giscome Portage.
The Crooked River takes its source in Summit Lake, measuring four miles long by two
wide ; it is 7J miles distant from the Fraser. 3A miles from the lake is the division between
the two watersheds—the Arctic and Pacific. The country on the divide appears level ; it is
cut up by gravelly ridges, then it slopes gently towards the Fraser
The general appearance of the country, the soil, the flora, all tell that a more genial
country is reached ; it is more open, the soil richer, and the vegetation more luxuriant.
From Giscome Portage to Fort George.
The Fraser River at Giscome Portage is a noble stream, with a steady current of about
three miles an hour; towards the east the banks are rather high and timbered ; on the west
it rises more gradually towards the heights near the Salmon River. The country is covered
with thickets of poplar and birch, and has many reaches of open and partly open grassy flats.
Below the Salmon, also, numerous flats covered with alders and willows could be utilized. On
the east, many benches well timbered are formed, of very good soil, and fit for farming.
At 28| miles from the Portage, Fort George is reached. It is a Hudson's Bay Company's
post, beautifully situated.    At this point the closing with last year's exploration was made.
Pack River.
McLeod's Lake empties into the Parsnip, by a stream known as Pack River. Its length
is 17\ miles, and its current has a rate of 2| miles an hour. The banks of the river are
generally low. At 6| miles from McLeod the river expands into a very fine lake, of 2J by 11
miles. Its name is Lac la Truite, or Tu-ta-yah; it is surrounded by low hills, well wooded.
From the outlet of the lake to the Parsnip there are a couple of rapids with large boulders.
On the north-east the country is low and wooded for a couple of miles, then rises to a range
between the Pack and the Parsnip. On the south-west the flat country, generally burnt, seems
to keep on for a long distance. The soil is generally very light loam, lying on gravel, the
vegetation generally poor, and in the open the grass seems very rank—peavines, "red top,"
vetches, <fec. There is a fine meadow on the river near McLeod Lake, where the natives cut a
good quantity of hay.
Parsnip River.
The Parsnip River is a wide mountain stream, which takes its source in the Rocky Mountains and then runs at their base for all its distance. Its head is in a small lake, from which
a short portage crosses to the source of one of the feeders of the Fraser; its upper part was not
explored this season. From the junction of the Pack River to the point where the Parsnip
and the Finlay unite to form the great Peace River, the distance is 65J miles, and the average
width of the stream is  150 yards.    The current has an average of  2| miles an hour.    In 378 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
September the water was very low, and at some places it was difficult to pass the canoe over
the bars. By the marks left on its banks, the high water seems to be 15 to 18 feet higher.
Numerous bars and islands are formed, and the river is sometimes cut up into several channels.
These islands, as soon as sufficient debris is accumulated on them, get covered with a thick
vegetation of willows (salix longipolia), but often the flood of another year carries them away.
The name of the river comes from the abundance of cow-parsnip (heracleum lanatum) growing
on its banks (Prof. Macoitn).
The banks are generally low and well wooded. Towards the south a distant range of hills
is seen ; to the north-east the ground is flat, but rising slightly towards the foot of the Rockies,
12 to 14 miles distant.
At 29^ miles from the mouth of the Pack River, the Nation River comes from the west.
It is one of the large tributaries of the Parsnip, and takes its source in a chain of lakes beginning near North Tatlah Lake. It drains a very extensive country, which, in every particular,
resembles the region around North Tatlah Lake and Middle River. It is a shallow stream,
running over gravelly bars, and its general direction is N. 70° W.
From the mouth of the Nation to the Finlay the distance is 39J miles, and the velocity of
the current averages 3 miles an hour. The banks get higher, and bluffs of clay and stratified
gravel and clay are common.
Towards the south-west, a range of mountains, 1,000 feet above the river and running in
the same direction, keep for about 12 miles. Beyond these, the country is low and gently
undulating, extending in the distance towards the Wet-yea or Cariboo Range. As the Parsnip
gets nearer to its mouth, the distance to the Rockies diminishes sensibly, and the ground is
thickly timbered up to the slope of the latter. At the junction of the Parsnip and the Finlay
there is a vast expansion of water, in which the water of the Parsnip is recognised by its bluish
tint. The two rivers, after joining, form the majestic Peace River, which enters the Rockies
through a most picturesque pass, the high summits on each side being plainly visible. Towards
the east, at 10 miles, Mount Selwyn, with its snow-clad top, is prominent.
The soil along the Parsnip is generally a thin loam, with a clay or gravelly subsoil.
There are numerous swamps and hay meadows. Along the flats, the cottonwood attains to a
very large size (P. canadensis), spruce (albies alba), birch (B. papiracea), willows (S. longifolia),
alder (A incana, A. viridis). The spruce, cottonwood and birch are of remarkable size. The
climate, according to information, is very cold and severe in winter, and the snowfall considerable. It is also exposed to summer frost, and very little, if any, land can be looked upon as fit
for agriculture, at least for a long time, until it pays to clear the timber and drain the soil.
Nation River.
The Nation River takes its head in a group of three lakes, known as Kwi-ni-ca; then a
small stream of 3^ miles falls into a lake called Tse-te ba-bou, or Nation River Lake, as it is
generally taken for the source of the Nation. This lake is 8 miles in length and 1 mile wide,
and is fed by several mountain streams. A river of 2 miles in length brings its water into
Nitata Lake, which is 6 miles long, with a width of 20 chains. A short stream of 1J miles
drains Nitata into Choo-chi-bon Lake, an extensive sheet of water of 15 miles by 4J. Finally,
this lake empties into Choo-chi by a stream of half a mile. The length of this last lake is 7
miles, by 1 mile wide. Below this, the Nation River is crossed by the trail from Stuart Lake
to Omineca. From the old ferry to the Parsnip River, the Nation runs through a generally
low and undulating woody country, much similar to the region described along the Parsnip.
It crosses the low chain of mountains known as McLeod's Range, to the south, and Cariboo
Range, to the north.
Finlay River.
The track-survey of the Finlay River was carried on for a distance of 58 miles to Fort
Graham, a Hudson's Bay Co.'s post. It is a fine broad river, sometimes 200 yards in width.
From its mouth to the confluence of the Omineca, a distance of 12 miles, the current runs at
the rate of 3J miles an hour; above that, the current is slower—about 2 miles an hour. This
was in very low water. In the lower part, islands are numerous; beyond the Omineca they
are scarcer. The banks on both sides are generally from 12 to 20 feet in height, but in many
places there are clay bluffs of 200 to 300 feet in height. These are often formed of cemented
pudding and alternate bands of clay and gravel. The ground in the lower part is flat, but
slightly ascending towards the Cariboo Range.    From the mouth of the Omineca to Fort 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 379
Graham, the chain of mountains draws nearer, and is in the vicinity of the Fort, only about 3
miles distant. From there the chain turns towards the south-west, and a few miles to the
north of that the White Mountain Range begins, and follows up to the head of the Finlay.
Opposite Fort Graham, there is a pass much frequented by the Indians going to Bear
Lake, at the head of the Skeena, at a distance of about 150 miles. The general direction of
the pass is S. 48° W. The trail traverses a country much broken by local ranges and by
small lakes, swamps and  meadows.
One mile above the mouth of the Omineca, on the opposite shore, a river empties into the
Finlay, known by the name of As-pe-ca. This comes from the direction of N. 42° W. for 12
miles, when it turns more to the west and comes from between the Rockies and their continuation here, known as the Wolverine Mountains. It is a stream of 50 yards, and very swift.
From Fort Graham for 20 miles the general bearing of the Finlay is N. 24° W., and there are
mountains on each side. Above that point, the mountains are farther apart and the valley
wider. The upper part of the Finlay was not track-surveyed, owing to the difficulty of getting
Indians, and also owing to the season being so far advanced. From the few Indians it was
ascertained that some of its head branches were very near the water falling into the Skeena and
Stickeen, where there are extensive reaches of grazing land.
Manson Creek.
One mile above the mouth of the Finlay River, Manson Creek empties. In low water
it is twenty yards wide, and one foot deep. For two and a half miles it is sluggish, and runs
in a direction S. 44° E.; after that it turns to the south-west. It takes its water from a small
lake of the same name beyond the Cariboo Range, at a distance of about thirty miles from the
Finlay.    The soil along the Finlay is generally sandy loam, with clay or gravel undersoil.
In the valley proper, the vegetation is nearly all of second growth—cottonwood, aspen,
balsam, poplar, willow, etc., etc. On the higher ground, large spaces were burnt, and, when
otherwise, it is well enough timbered with spruce, hemlock, balsam, and black pine. The
climate is severe, and the winter long; still, the H. B. Co.'s employes have managed to raise
ordinary garden vegetables, which come to maturity before the heavy frost sets in. It cannot
be looked upon as an agricultural country.    At Fort Graham the snow averages four feet.
Omineca River.
At a point twelve and a half miles from the mouth of the Finlay River, the Omineca
comes in from the south-west. It is a broad, swift stream, 150 yards wide, and a current going
at the rate of four miles an hour. For several miles the river runs through a low country
exposed to inundations, and it is divided by many channels and islands. At six miles the
Omineca passes through a caiion of sixty chains in length. From that caiion to a second one,
known as Black Caiion, a distance of twenty-six miles, the river is only a succession of rapids.
The great difficulties in ascending the river with canoes forced the expedition to partly give up
the survey of this stream. The region south-east of the river for eight miles is low and level,
and extends about ten miles towards the Cariboo Range. This range closes on the river at the
Black Caiion. On the north-west, for six miles, the bank rises gradually in benches up to 400
feet. These extend several miles back. At seventeen miles from the mouth, a stream twenty
yards wide comes into the Omineca. For a couple of miles it runs N. 38° E., then follows the
base of a low range of hills to the south for three and a half miles ; then its valley turns to the
north, and it takes its source between the range of hills and the mountain range on the west
side of the Finlay. Three and a half miles above this stream the Oslinca River empties into
the Omineca from the north-west. It is a large stream, nearly 100 yards wide and very
swift. Its general course is N. 26° W., and it takes its source at a distance of 50 miles—
12 or 15 miles south-west of Fort Graham.
At the Black Caiion the mountains on both sides close on the Omineca River; from there
the range on the north turns, and running in a direction N. 78° W. follows the left of the
Oslinca to its source. From Black Caiion to Omineca Landing the distance is eight miles, in a
direction S. 50° W. For a distance of 12 miles after, the general bearing is S. 75° W., and
then it turns to N. 70° W., which is the course of the upper part of the river. The Omineca
takes its source in a small lake in the neighbourhood of Sestoot Lake. It is fed by numerous
mountain streams; on the south-west Fall River, fed by Beaver Creek, along which the old
trail from Tatlah to Hogam runs; Silver Creek, fed by Vital Creek and New Creek,  (the site 380 ■ Crown Land Surveys. 1891
of the old mining town of Old Hogam is at the mouth of Silver Creek) ; Germansen Creek,
coming from the lake of the same name, has its mouth at the Omenica Landing; on the northwest, Duck, Discovery and Slate Creeks and numerous small feeders.
New Creek.
New Creek, or Tom's Creek, is a comparatively new mining district. It is a mountain
stream falling into Silver Creek and then into the Omineca. It can be reached by a trail
branching from that from Stuart Lake to Omineca, but most of the travel is by the trail
from North Tatlah. From Tatlah Landing the trail follows the side of the mountain for 10
miles in a direction N. 86° E., and then goes through a pass whose summit is at an elevation
of 4,300 feet above the sea, and distant five miles from the lake. The trail runs nearly north
for 11 miles, where it strikes the creek. The creek expands into a small lake, three miles long,
before falling into Silver Creek.
At the time of this exploration eight white men and several Indians and Chinamen were
washing.    They appeared to be contented with the result of their work.
The country surrounding is rough and broken.
The climate in the Omineca District is severe in winter and exposed to summer frost.
Only a small portion could be used for agricultural purposes, and that only for the hardy
The timber is spruce and balsam (of good size), hemlock, cottonwood, poplar, birch,
willow and alder.
Trail from Stuart Lake to the Omineca.
During the mining explorations in the Omineca, the trail from Stuart Lake was much
used. Now it is almost abandoned, the little travelling done taking in preference the route by
North Tatlah. The trail leaves Stuart Lake and follows a valley of good land to Lake
Tez-zera. At two miles beyond the lake a small stream emptying it is crossed. The
surrounding country is partly open and partly covered with thickets. At 21J miles
from Stuart Lake the Tsil-co Creek is traversed. It is a mountain stream, coming
from N. 68° E., and empties into Tess-zera Lake. At 24 miles Tshes-zeron is passed. It lies
N. 88° W., at five miles. The Tsisco River is struck at the 30th mile, and the trail follows it
for 10 miles. It falls into Tshes-zeron. At 45 miles a lake called Taz-he-kwa is near the
trail. It also falls into Tshes-zeron, and takes its water from a large swamp north of the
trail. At the same point and in direction N. 43° W. is a large lake called Izana. It empties
into Tremblay Lake.     Its dimensions are 17 by 8 miles.
The country towards Tremblay is undulating and covered with a second growth, with large
extents of burnt country.
At 51A miles the trail crosses a creek draining several swamps.    Its name is Ostat.
At 53 miles another small stream is crossed, coming from the mountains to the right, into
Ohisco River. From the 53rd to the 70th mile the country travelled through is undulating,
stony and swampy, extending four or six miles on each side of the trail.
At 61 miles Wit-chi-tukwa Creek is crossed.    It is a small crooked stream.
At 64 miles the trail touches it again, and at 71 \ miles it is crossed once more, and
from there it runs into one of the lakes of Nation River. The Nation River is crossed at the
80th mile. It is about 50 yards wide at the ferry, shallow and rapid. From the crossing
the country is rough and broken, without any regular valleys. At 91 miles the He-stoo-goo-ka
Creek comes in. It is a small, shallow stream falling into the Nation. Past the 98th mile the
watershed is towards the Omineca. The country is rough and broken, and there are
numerous small lakes and swamps.
At the 107th mile a trail going towards New Creek branches off.
At 118^ miles the trail touches Manson Creek. This creek takes its water from a large
swamp four miles to the east and falls into Manson Lake. This lake is only an expansion of
the river.    The Manson River empties its water into the Finlay.
At 128 miles, Kympton town, an old miners' post, is then struck. It is on the elbow
formed by Germansen Creek. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 381
Germansen Creek takes its source in Germansen Lake, eight miles distant from
Kympton's place. The lake is 18 miles in length, and two or three miles wide. From
Kympton's the trail follows Germansen Creek to the Omineca Landing, a distance of eight
The whole country included and described as part of the Omineca district, offers very few
chances for agriculture, although hardy plants can be grown. No doubt that, should mining
operations be carried out with vigour, extensive tracts could be utilized for hardy grains and
vegetables. Cattle could well be kept with the existing pasture, and the area could be
materially increased.
Indian Population.
The greatest number of Indians in the part of the country covered by this survey belongs
to the nation of the Tinnehs. The " Carriers," or " Porteurs," the most numerous tribe,
inhabit the neighbourhood of Stuart's Lake. The Finlay, Parsnip, and McLeod's Lake
country is occupied by the " Siccanies," another division of the Tinneh stock.
A few Indians of the " Nahanies," a third subdivivision of the Tinnehs, living towards
the head of the Finlay and Stickeen, sometimes come down to trade at the different H. B. Co.'s
The Carriers are an intelligent and prosperous tribe. Most of them can write their own
language. The Siccanies are more of a mountain tribe. They have the reputation of being
honest and upright, but they are in no way so advanced as the Carriers. The small number of
Indians around Babine Lake seem to form a tribe by themselves, but they are, no doubt, a
subdivision of the Ski-ti-gans, and allied to the coast Indians. The salmon is their principal
food. The Carriers also depend a great deal on the salmon, which they obtain from Stuart,
Tremblay, and Tatlah Lakes.
The Siccanies depend more on the hunt for their daily food, but they also use large
quantities of berries. Another of their principal article of diet is the beautiful Arctic trout,
known to the French voyageurs as " poisson bleu " (thymallus stgnifer). It is caught only on
the Arctic watershed.    Some were caught in McLeod Lake.
N. B. Gauvreau, C. E.
31st December, 1891.
Meteorological Observations at Fort St. James.
The following Memoranda, for the years 1888 to end of August,   1891,  were taken from
Journals at Fort St. James, Stuart Lake, kept at Hudson Bay Co.'s post:—■
January      1 to 27—Average cold  30° below zero.
» 28 „ 31 „  32        „      „
February    1  ,,  28 „  20    above   ,,
March 1 „  16 „  26 „      „
,, 17 Rain.
„ 18 ,, 31—Average cold 18        ,,      ,,
April 1 „ 30 Thermometer averaged . . .45        ,,      ,,
May 10 Finish seeding garden seeds.
„ 10 Begin ploughing.
15 7° of frost.
For the month Thermometer averaged 60        ,,      ,,
June 2 Rain last night.
,, 15 Rain.
„ 16 do.
24 do.
,, 25 Cold wind, 3"82
Crown Land Surveys.
For the month Thermometer averaged 58° above zero.
For the month Thermometer averaged 62° above zero.
Warmest   day       82         „
do 82        „      „
Thermometer fell last night 38         ,,       ,,
do.         rose to-day 80        „      ,,
do.         fell to freezing point.
For the month Thermometer averaged 65         ,,       „
r 4
Rain all day.
Cutting, cocking, and hauling barley
do.                               do.
4° of frost.
For the month Thermometer averaged  40         ,,       ,,
Snow on the Mountains.
Snow storm.
Average frost, 6°.
For the month Thermometer averaged 36° above zero.
November 5
Snow all day.
Snowing heavily.
10° below zero.
Sunny day—cold wind.
For the month Thermometer averaged 30° above zero.
December 1 to 16-
11° below zero.
For the month Thermometer averaged 18° below zero.
 22° below zero.
Heavy thaw.
For the month Thermometer averaged 18° below zero.
February 22
Slight rain.
For the month Thermometer averaged 20° above zero.
Begin ploughing.
Finish ploughing.
For the month Thermometer averaged 54° above zero.
Potatoes planted.
For the month Thermometer averaged 48° above zero.
Fine weather all this month.
For the month Thermometer averaged 55° above zero.
Slight rain.
Warmest day 84° above zero. 55 Vict.
Crown Land Surveys.
Showery all day.
Fine weather—mild.
Slight fall of snow.
Snow all day.
Heavy fall of snow
Very stormy—wind from the North.
Decemb'r   4
Heavy fall of snow.
do.           do.
15° below zero.
30° below zero.
For the month Thermometer averaged  25° below zero
February 17
22° below zero.
Weather fine and frosty.
For the month, fine weather.
Seeding garden vegetables.
Begin ploughing.
Showers of rain.
Slight rain.
For the month, weather middling warm.
Slight rain.
4 to 6
9 to 11
Heavy rain.
Warmest day—82° above zero.
82° above zero, in the shade.
Begin hay making.
Heavy frost.
More      do.
Hard frost.
Heavy rain.
Dug potatoes.
Heavy rain.
Very wet day.
For the month, weather fair.
November 7
Snow. Novembe
r 8
More snow.
For the month, cold and fine weather.
December 9
17 to 18
For the month, cold fine weather.
Whole month fine and mild.
Mild to the 11th.
23° below zero.
26°      „      „
Cold to the end of the month.
Whole month mild and warm weather.
Men working at the garden.
Ploughing ground for barley.
Men digging up garden for seeding.
Rest of month warm and fine.
Warm and fine weather, only a few clays cold
Remainder of month warm.
Cold and raining.
Cold and stormy.
Rain all day.
Remainder of month warm weather.
Fine warm weather. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 385
Part III.
Geological Sketch.
The officers of the Geological Survey of Ottawa have made several trips across the country
covered by this track-survey. All what is now known about the geological formation of New
Caledonia comes from the result of their studies.
The trip up the Skeena to the Peace River by Doctor Dawson, the trip across Quesnelle
and the telegraph trail by Mr. Selwyn, and other explorations, have enabled them to determine
the general formation with close enough accuracy.
Their work taken as base and ground work, it has been the object of the expedition to
carry their efforts towards the locating and finding of mineral of economic value.
Instead of a general geological sketch, it has been thought better to collect all the
information derived from the reports of the officers of the survey, supplemented, sometimes,
by details collected on the track-survey on a coloured map, where all the different formations
can be seen at a glance.
It may be said in a few words that the whole chain of the Coast Range, from Dean's
Channel to the mouth of the Stickeen, is composed of crystallines, granites, schists, and gneiss,
highly metamorphosed. They probably all belong to the paleozoic, and are very near the
carboniferous. On the east slope, and on the plateau adjoining, for a distance, mesozoic rock
prevails, sometimes very volcanic. On the upper Naas and Skeena Rivers, vast beds of sandstone and argillites are developed. They belong to the mesozoic. Also, north-east of the
Skeena, and north of Babine Lake, the rocks are mesozoic, and probably cretaceous.
The Skeena, and more especially the Naas, run through and have cut deep channels in
masses of lava and basalt. These are no doubt tertiary. The tertiary and the coal-bearing
cretaceous are well developed in different places, especially on the Watsonkwa River.
Mineral of Economic Value.
The large quantity of gold found formerly in Omineca is a proof that precious metal
exists in large quantities. Nothing else but placer work was ever done. The cost of getting
into the country was so great that, unless gold was found in abundance, it had to be
abandoned. Now that communications are beginning to be opened, there is no doubt that
mostly all the creeks in the Omineca country could be again worked at a profit.
During the expedition, colours were found in several creeks falling into the Skeena—
Lome Creek, Kitseguela, and Kispyox, principally—in the Omineca, the lower Parsnip, and in
a small stream falling into the Naas.
By accident a box of specimens of quartz bearing gold, collected in the Omineca, was lost;
but by a few specimens left it is found that gold, both free and in sulphurets, is found in
quartz collected on the upper branches of the Naas, upper branches of the Skeena, Omineca,
at the New Creek, on Manson Creek, Beaver Creek, Germansen Creek, in the Omineca, on the
Finlay River, and on a local range of mountains between the Skeena and the Naas. Some
small specimens, given by a miner coming from the upper Kitseguela, show gold plainly and in
Silver-bearing galena assaying very high was collected from several feeders of the Omineca,
especially near Germansen River; some collected on Babine Lake proved also very rich. On
Kit-sum-galum River, some galena-holding silver was also collected, and on several of the small
Streams falling into the Naas,    The Omineca country and the upper Naas seem to contain §86 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
abundant veins of that ore. Native silver, combined with mercury, was seen, coming from
Vital Creek. A specimen of rock containing both grey copper and wire silver, and very rich,
was taken from near the Naas by a miner.     Native silver was also taken from the Omineca.
Small pieces of native copper and veins of copper ore were found on the Kemano River,
and on the Punt-il-denny Pass. On the Lakelse, a thin vein of purple ore was located. On
the upper Naas, pieces of native copper are sometimes found in possession of the Indians. It
is supposed to come from a local range of mountains between the Naas and the Stickeen. A
very rich specimen of copper ore was brought down by a miner from a small stream falling into
the Extall River. It was very pure, and the vein reported comparatively wide. Native
copper was also found on New Creek.
Two small veins of cinnabar were located on the psss from the Kema-no to the interior.
Although thin, they were well defined, clean, and easy to get at. Mercury was not seen
anywhere else.
Iron ore in abundance was seen at Gardner's Inlet; it is very pure magnetite iron, lying
in beds of limestone. On a branch of the Extall River, a large mass of hematite was seen.
Magnetite iron was also found on the Kemano and the upper Skeena, on the Kitseguela, the
Zimoetz, and on Bear River.
Iron nodules in immense quantities are to be found on the Watsonqua, in proximity to
the coal. They are also abundant on the Kitsequela, the upper Skeena, Naas, and the Shigaltin
Rivers.    On a small creek below Hazelton, an immense bed of nodules was located.
Iron and copper pyrites are abundantly found near Kitsilas Oafion, on Babine Lake,
Tatlah Lake, and on a small lake at the head of the Tseeax River. Magnetic sand is common
in all creeks at the head of both the Naas and Skeena,
Lignite in drift and in place was found in abundance at several points on the Parsnip, the
Omineca, the upper Fraser, the Skeena, Naas, Watsonkwa, Kitseguela, Zimoetz, Tseeax,
Shigaltin, and numerous other creeks ; in some places abundant enough and of such a quality
as to be of some value. On the Kitseguela, a large bed of lignite, approaching very much to
true coal in quality, was found. On the lower Bulkley or Watsonkwa River, a bed of coal,
appearing of good size and good quality, was examined. It is true bituminous coal; some of
it is now being analyzed.    This bed, in time, should be of some value.
Limestone is plentiful in the interior, in the upper Skeena, Naas, on the lakes, especially
Tremblay, on Middle River, Tatcher, and numerous other places. On the Skeena, it shows
first in abundance in the structural valley of the Lakelse. Some of the volcanic tuffs on the
Naas might also prove of value as material for cement.
Building Stone.
Some of the granite of the Cascade Range could be used as building stone. The sandstones of the upper Naas and Skeena, of the Fryingpan Mountains, Babine and Stuart Lakes,
etc., and some of the limestones also, would make good building material The lavas of the
Naas could also be utilized in that way, being soft and easy to cut. Some red porphirite-like
rocks from the foot of the " Rochers deboules," near Kitseguela, would make a very rich
ornamental stone.
A. L. Poudrier, D.L.S.
Victoria, B.C., December, 1891. 55 Vict. Crown Land Survey's. 387
Notes on the best means to open ways of communication with the country
The opening of the Kitsilas Canon on the Skeena will give an easy way to reach the good
land of the interior, but, if nothing else is done besides that, it will be almost impossible for
settlers to reach the best part of the land. If a waggon road were cut from Hazelton, following the telegraph trail along the valley of the Watsonkwa, a very large extent would be open
for colonization. Only the first part of the trail would be costly ; after reaching the partly
open country, beyond Moricetown, very little would need to be done. This would open all the
country to the Nechaco River.
It was hoped last year that a good opening could be got from the interior to the sea by
Gardner's Inlet, but the exploration has proved that it was impossible. Bella Coola and Dean's
Channel remain the two last routes to strike the interior plateau. The two rivers emptying
into those inlets have not been completely explored by this expedition, but the complete
surveys made by the C.P.R. are at hand, and they can furnish all the necessary information to
arrive at a calculation of such a road. A careful examination of these should decide which of
the two should be chosen. The country, even only from a farming point of view, without
looking into the mining business, is immense. Intending settlers have visited it often, but it
cannot be settled unless better ways of communication are opened up.
A. L. Poudrier, D.L.S.
Victoria, December, 1891.
List of Plants Collected in the Explorations.
1. Atragone americana—Pursh  Lower Skeena.
2. Thalictrum dioicum—L  Skeena.
3. T. canadense—Cornut ...      Naas.
4. Anemone multifida—D. C  Kemano.
5. A. lancifolia—Pursh  Skeena.
6. Ranonculus aquatilis—L	
7. R. Acris—L	
8. R. Nitidus—Walt	
9. R. Reprens—L  ,,
10. Actea Rubra—Begel  ,,
11. Berberis acquifolium  Skeena.
12. Fumaria sempervirens—L  Trail to Stickeen.
13. Corydalis Aurea—Willd  Skeena.
14. ,,       Formosa—Pursh  ,,
15. Arabis sagittata—D. C  Skeena.
16. „      lyrata—L  Pack River.
17. Petrcaa—Lam  Skeena.
18. Barbarea vulgaris—R. Br  „
19. Erysimum precox—Smith  „
20. Nasturtium palustre—D. C  ,,
21. Cardamine virginica—Mich  „
22. „          pratensis—L  „
23. Draba contorta—Ehrh. 1  Naas.
24. „     muralis—L  ,,
25. Lepidium virginicum—L  Kispyox. 388
Crown Land Surveys.
26. Viola affinis—Lempt.
27. Viola Blanda—Willd .
28. „    Pubescens—Ait.
29. Silene acualis—L	
30. „      antirrhina—L	
31. Stellaria borealis—Bigel	
32. ,,        media—Pursh	
33. ,,        polustrus—Rich	
34. Arenaria lateriflora—L	
35. Cerastium tenuifolium—Pursh .
Upper Naas.
Upper Naas.
36. Claytonia linearis—Hook    Skeena.
37. Linum perenne—L   Watsonkwa.
38. Acer macrophillum—Pursh.
39. ,,     circinatum ,,
40. Lupinus polyphyllus—Lindl... .
41. „       arcticus	
42. Trifolium pratense—L	
43. Astragalus canadensis—L	
44. ,, labradoricus—D. P.
45. „ spirocarpus—Gray..
46. „ Purshii—Douglas . .
47. Vicia americana—Muhl	
48. Hediscarum alpinum—Mich. . .
Upper Naas.
Trail to Stickeen.
Lower Naas.
49.    Prunus mollis—Dougl    Skeena.
Rosa gemella—Willd	
Rubus chamoemorus—L	
,,       nutcanus—Mx	
,,      saxatilis—Mich	
,,      arcticus—L	
56. Fragrria canadensis—Mich. .
57. „       vesca—L	
58. Patentilla hirsuta—Mich. . . .
59. ., confertiflora—Tor.
60. „ anserina—L	
61. Pyrus rivularis—Doug	
62. „    americana—D. C	
63. Amelanchier alnifolia—Wat.
Interior plateau. 55 Vict.
Crown Land Surveys.
Saxifraga vernalis—Willd.  Interior plateau,
Mitella nuda—L  Skeena.
Ribes lacustre—Fair         ,,
„     rubrum—L  Naas.
„     glandulosum—Ait  ,,
,,     nigrum—L  Skeena.
,,     sanguineum—Pursh  ,,
Epilobium augustifolium—L  Interior plateau.
„ palustre—L  ,,
„ alpinum—L  ,,
,, tetragonum—L  ,,
Sanicula canadensis—L  Skeena.
„        bipinnatifida—Doug         ,,
Heracleum lanatum—Mx  Parsnip River.
Osmorrhiza longistylis—D. C.     Skeena.
Peucedanum ambiguum—Wat         ,,
Aralia nudicanlis—L    Coast.
Echinoponax horrida—Dec    Skeena—Nass.
Cornus canadensis—L  Coast.
,,      alba—L  „
,,      clareluca—Lamb  Skeena.
,,       racemosa—Lamb  ,,
Symphoria racemosa—Pursh  Skeena.
Lonicea praviflora—Lam  Lakelse.
Linnsea borealis  Skeena.
Sambucus canadensis—L         ,,
,, pubens—Mx  „
Viburnum pauciflorum—Pylaie  Interior.
,,        opulus—L  Skeena.
Galium triflorum—Mx    Upper Skeena.
„      claytoni „      „
„     boreali—L., D. C    Coast.
Valeriana capitata—Willd    Skeena.
Trissilago palmato—Ait  Skeena.
Achillea millefolium—L  Interior plateau.
Artemisia canadensis—Mich  ,,
,,        frigida—Willd  „
,, borealis—Pallas  ,,
„        Douglasiana—Beso  ,,
Gnophalium palustre—Nutt  Skeena.
Antennaria dioica—Gaetu  ,, 390
Crown Land Surveys.
103. Antennaria alpina—Gaetu  Skeena.
104. Arnica mollis—-Hook  ,,
105. „       cordifolia   „       ,,
106. Senecio auraeus—L  Lakelse.
107. „       canus—Hook  Coast.
108. Hieracium canadense—Mich  Skeena.
109. Mulgedium pulchellum—Nutt  Naas.
110. Vaccinium canadense—Kalur  Interior plateau.
111. „           augustifolium—Ait  ,,
112. ,,          fuscatum—Ait  Naas.
113. „           myrtyllus—L  Interior plateau.
114. Vaccinium punctatum—Lamb (scarce)    Kemano.
115. Arctostaphylos uva ursi—Spring  Interior plateau.
116. „             tormentosa—Doug  „
117. Gaultheria myrsinites—Hook  ,,
118. Andromeda polifolia—L  Skeena.
119. Kalmia latifolium—L  „
120. ,,        glauca—Ait  Interior plateau.
121. Ledum palustre—L  Naas.
122. ,,       latifolium  ,,
123. Pyrola rotundifolia—L  Skeena.
124. „       minor—L  ,,
125. ,,      secunda—L  ,,
126. Armeria vulgaris—Willd  Coast.
127. Dodecatheon meadia—L  Interior plateau.
128. Trientalis europsea—Mich  Naas.
129. „        americana—Pursh  Interior.
Scrophu lariacece.
130. Collinsia grandiflora—Lindl  Coast.
131. Mimulus floribundus—Dougl  Skeena.
132. „ luteus—Willd	
133. ,,         van. apinus  Babine.
134. Veronica scerpyllifolia—L  Interior mountains.
135. Rhinanthus minor—Ehrh  Interior.
136. Mentha corealis—Mich  Naas.
137. "      gracilis—Muhl  „
138. Lycopus virginicus—L  ,,
139. Micromeria Douglas!—Benth  Skeena.
140. Monarda glabia—Laur  „
141. Stachys aspera—Mich  „
142. Polemonium caeruleum—L  Upper Naas.
143. Myosotis alpestris—Hook  Coast range.
144. „        verna—Mutt  „        ,,
145. ,,        lapulla—L  Skeena. 55 Vict.
Crown Land Surveys.
146. Gentiana affinis—Smith  Skeena.
147. Polygonum aviculare—L  Hazleton.
148. „          coccineum—Mulh  Skeena.
149. Rumex acetosa—L  Interior plateau.
150. Callitriche intermedia—Willd  Naas.
151. Betula papyracea—Ait  Parsnip.
152. ,,       occidentalis  Skeena.
153. ,,       nana—Willd  Upper Naas.
154     Alnus rubra  Skeena.
154a.      ,,      viridis  Interior.
155. Salix incana—Mich  Skeena.
156. ,,    nigra—Marsh  Naas.
157. ,,    cordata  Buckley.
158. „    longifolia—Mulh  Naas.
159. „    herbacea—L  Babine mountains.
160. Populus tremuloides—Mich  Interior plateau.
161. „         balsamifera—L  „
162. „          canadensis—Mich  Skeena—Parsnip.
163. ,,                 ,,             var. Monilifera  ,,            ,,
164. Pinus contorta—Dougl  Interior plateau.
165. Var.   p. rupistris—Mich  ,,
166. p. monticula—Dougl , Lower Skeena.
167. p. ponderosa        ,,    (scarce)    Kemano.
168. Abies nigra—Pair  Interior.
169. „     alba  Middle River.
170. Abies balsamifera—Mich  Babine.
171. ,,     Douglasii—Lindl  Skeena.
172. „     Menziensii     ,,         Coast.
173. ,      Englemanii—Parry  Skeena.
174. ,,      mertensiana—Lindle  ,,
175. Thuga gigantea -Nutt  ,,
176. „      occidentalis—L  Finlay.
177. Larix occidentalis—L  ,,
178. Juniperus  communis—L  Interior.
179. ,,          Sabina—Hook  ,,        plateau.
180. ,,           occidentalis—Hook  ,,             „
181. Taxus Canadensis—Willd  ,,             ,,
182. „     brivifolia—Nutt  ,,            ,,
183. Potamogeton proelongus—Wolf  Naas.
184. ,,             gramineus—Mich  Lakelse.
Ic5.             ,,              pulcher—Tuck  "
186. Conlinia flexilis—Willd  Interior.
187. Listera cortata—Br  Skeena.
188. Goodyera repens—R. Br  ,, 392 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
189. Calypso borealis—Salisb  Skeena.
190. Corallorhisa verna—Nutt  Naas.
191. Habenaria dilatata—Gray  ,,
192. ,,        elegano—Lindl  Skeena.
193. Allium cernuum—Rath  Interior plateau.
194. ,,       reticulatum—Fraser  ,,             ,,
195. Erythronium grandiflorum—Pursh  Skeena.
196. Fritillaria pudica	
197. Juncus effusus—L  Naas.
198. ,,       cetacens—Fox  ,,
199. ,,      baticus—Willd  Interior plateau.
200. ,,      tennis           „        ,,             „
201. ,,      bufonius—L  ,,             „
202. Luzus joncus  ,,            „
203. „      melanocarpa—Des  ,,             ,,
204. Eliocharis palustris—R. B  Kispyox.
205. Carex disperma. . Daw.  Interior  plateau.
206. ,,     mercida—Booth  ,,             „
207. „     adusta          „       „             „
208. ,,     arida             ,,       ,,             ,,
Plus 22, not classified.
230. Phleum pratense—L  Skeena.
231. Agrostis aba—L.I  Interior plateau.
232. ' „       scaba—Willd	
233. ,,       glauca—Muhl  Skeena.
234. Aira csespisosa—L  ,,
235. Poa palustris—Muhl  Buckley.
236. „    alpina—Tow  ,,
237. „ borealis—Kth  „
238. ,, annua—L  ,,
239. Bromus canadensis—Mich  Interior plateau.
240. Festuca tenella—Mich  „
241. ,,      rubra—L -  ,,
242. ,,       avina—L  „
243. Triticum rupens—L  „
244. ,,        dasystachyum—Gray  ,,
245. Equisetum arvense—L  Skeena.
246. „         robustum—Br. 1  ,,
247. Polypodium vulgare—L  Skeena.
248. Adiantum pedatum—L  ,,
249. Pteris aquilina—L  ,,
250. Aspidium tenue—S. W  ,,
This list is not given as being complete, far from it; a large quantity of specimens were
lost, and this represents only about half of the plants collected.
A. L. Poudrier, D.L.S. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 393
Victoria, B. C, December 14th, 1891.
To the Hon. Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works:
Sir,— I have the honour to submit the following report of progress of the survey of the
West Boundary of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Company's Land Grant:—
On the 27th April I proceeded, with my party of ten men, by steamboat to San Juan
Harbour; thence by canoe up San Juan River about 6 miles; thence up Harris Creek about 3
miles, to the head of canoe navigation. From the latter point we packed our provisions and
baggage along an old Indian trail up Harris Creek about 8 miles, to where I supposed our line
would cross. After two days' search, we found the 23-mile post where I ceased work last
year. It was about 2 miles south of our camp, in a rather inaccessible place, surrounded by
high mountains.
We then continued the line towards the north-west until the 28th May, when, our provisions getting nearly exhausted, we started for Cowichan Lake for a new supply, where we
had some stored. We found the distance to be greater, and the country more mountainous,
than we expected. We then brought our provisions to camp by way of the Gordon River, six
packers being steadily engaged in the work. When we worked farther along the line, we
received our provisions by the head of Cowichan Lake, Vernon Creek, and Nitinat River, and,
lastly, by Alberni Canal. On July 20th we crossed the Nitinat River, at the 49|-mile post.
On September 8th we arrived at Alberni Canal, at the 68-mile post. On September 16th we
set the 72-mile post.
We now had a rain and wind storm for six days, and we decided to leave off work for the
season, as I could not use the solar compass satisfactorily in rainy weather. . We left Alberni
on September 23rd, and arrived in Victoria on September 25th, by way of Nanaimo. There
are 68 miles of line more to run to reach Crown Mountain.
General Aspect of the Country.
The line runs along the backbone of the island, crossing several mountains 4,500 feet above
the sea. The country is thickly timbered with fir, cedar, hemlock, spruce, alder, some white
pine, and when we reach an altitude of 2,000 feet we find yellow cedar.
I noticed indications of an ancient forest fire from San Juan River to Alberni Canal,
about 50 miles. Charcoal and charred trees may be seen at almost any place. The rings on
the wood of the present trees indicate their age to be about 100 years. They have not grown
to their full size yet. Numerous creeks and small rivers run through deep and narrow valleys
in the mountains.
Agricultural Land and Timber.
As this line runs almost continuously through the mountains, there is but little agricultural land on it.
The first place of any importance, west of San Juan River, is on the north-east fork of
Harris Creek, at the 26-mile post. The valley is half a mile wide in places, and contains some
good pieces of bottom land, and also some good fir and cedar timber, for some miles down the creek.
The next place is on the Gordon River, at the 34^ mile post, where there are some narrow
pieces of good land and a long belt of large fir and cedar of good quality, on the river, below
the line.
The next place is in the valley of Vernon Creek and Nitinat River, from the 47|-mile
post to the 50th. Part of this valley was surveyed into townships and sections last year. It
contains much good land and timber.
The next is the valley of Franklin River, which empties into Alberni Canal about 10
miles below the head of the canal. The south-east fork of this river runs through a deep valley,
from a half to one mile wide. The land is good for four miles, as far as I travelled on it, and
I think that the good land may extend eight miles further, to the mouth of the river. The
timber on the upper part of this river is rather small for lumbering purposes. 394 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
Where the line crosses Alberni Canal, three or four miles above Franklin River, and one
mile below China Creek, the land and timber is second or third class.
Geological Formation and Minerals.
On last year's survey from the mouth of Muir Creek, on the Straits of Fuca, to the 23-
mile post, the bed-rock for the first three miles is sandstone, shale, and conglomerate, indicating
coal; then 6 miles of trap ; then 10 miles of auriferous slate, containing quartz veins, indicating
gold ; then 4 miles of trap.
After we pass the 25-mile post we get into alternate belts of trap, limestone, and marble,
which continue to the 41st mile post; then it is all trap as far as I have gone, to the 72nd
mile post.
The limestone and marble are found in the valleys and on the mountains. Some of the
mountains that are 4,000 feet high are one-half limestone. I found some large veins of magnetic iron ore at the junction of the limestone and trap-rock, on the mountains.
The limestone contains numerous caves and craters. The craters are circular in form, and
from 25 to 50 feet in diameter at the top, and funnel-shaped, narrow at the bottom. They
must have been vents for escaping gas or steam in the early ages, when the mountains were
heated by internal volcanic fires.
The next place that shows indications of minerals is in the trap-rock on Vernon Creek,
between the 46th and 47th mile post. Here the banks are red, like paint, where wide belts of
rock, full of iron pyrites, cross the creek. The iron is partly decomposed on the surface. Mr.
McCulloch, the Government Assayer, makes this rock assay |13.50 to the ton in silver.
The next place is near the 57th mile post, in the pass between Mt. Grey and Mt. Spencer,
at the head of Franklin River. There are several quartz veins from six to eight inches wide,
rich in yellow copper ore.
From the 67th to the 68th mile post, near Alberni Canal, are good indications for minerals, such as copper, iron, and perhaps silver.
By washing the gravel in any of the creeks along the line of survey, I could find colours
of gold, but not in paying quantities. I also found fragments of silver ore when panning at
the forks of Gordon River, in the limestone country.
There is a stream which rises in the low pass betweem Mt. Grey and Mt. Spencer, and
runs south-east about five miles to Nitinat River. The lower part of this creek cuts through
freestone rock, which, I think, would be suitable for whetstones and grindstones.
Deer were plentiful in some localities ; in other places, where there was no feed for them,
they were scarce. Two elk were seen at the head of Franklin River. Black bear were
frequently encountered, and one panther was shot.     Grouse were not plentiful.
Prospective Road from Cowichan Lake to Alberni Canal.
A fairly level line for a waggon road or railroad exists between the head of Cowichan
Lake and Alberni Canal. It would run from the head of the lake to Vernon Creek, 4 miles;
then to the Nitinat River, at or near the boundary line, 2 miles; then up the river 3 miles
to a large creek from the north-west; then up the creek 5 miles, following an old Indian trail
to the pass between Mt. Spencer and Mt. Grey ; then through the pass and down a branch of
Franklin River, following the Indian trail, 12 miles to Alberni Canal. When near the Canal,
the road could be branched through valleys to the north-east and south-west.
Work fob 1892.
Next year the work should be resumed about March 15th, if the snow has gone from the
hills around Sproat Lake at that time.
The supplies can be brought to Alberni from Victoria by steamer; thence by waggon to
Sproat Lake; thence by boat and packing over trail to Central Lake. Farther ahead, they
must all come by the way of the Union Mines, Comox Lake, Cruickshank River, Buttles
Lake, and onward to Crown Mountain.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
William Ralph, P.L.S. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 395
Vancouver, December 22nd, 1891.
To the Hon. Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works:
Sir,—We have the honour to submit the following report on our surveys of township
outlines in Rupert District, Vancouver Island, B. C, during the season of 1891 :—
Township 9. Along the line between Townships 9 and 10 the soil is a reddish sandy loam,
comparatively free from stones, and covered to a depth of from 1 to 2J feet with vegetable
fibre and decayed vegetable matter; the surface gently rolling, with here and there low
elevations, from 100 to 200 feet above the general surface. Numerous creeks of good fresh
water, but slightly discoloured by vegetable matter, abound throughout this township. The
principal stream, Quatse River, flows from a small lake in Township 10 (altitude, 200 feet
above sea level) and empties into Hardy Bay, on the north coast of the Island.
The township is crossed by a range of hills (average altitude, about 1,500 feet), from east
to west, and extending through part of Township 20, and finally descending to the waters of
the West Arm, in Township 19. To the north of this range of hills is a belt of grazing land,
to be more particularly described later on.
The timber, in the southern part, is chiefly hemlock and cedar, with a few balsam, spruce,
and dense brush, while along the range of hills and northern portions of the township the
timber is scrubby and sparse. The hemlock averages from 1 to 3 feet in diameter, tall and
straight; the cedar, 2 to 15 feet in diameter, but not found in large quantities.
Township 10 is broken by part of the West Arm, Rupert Arm, and Quatsino Narrows.
The greater portion of the water frontage of the north shores is held by the West Vancouver
Coal Co., who have done considerable prospecting at Coal Harbour.
The soil is a reddish, sandy loam, comparatively free from stones, excepting near the
coast, where outcroppings of rock are met with.
The timber throughout this township is similar to that found in Township 9, before
described, while along the shores an occasional patch of fir and alder is to be seen.
Township 19 is divided into nearly equal portions by the West Arm. The part to the
north is similar to that described in Townships 9 and 10, for three miles. At this point the
line rises to an average altitude of 1,000 feet, and to the township corner the surface is broken
by deep ravines and bold rocky escarpments. This township is too rough for agricultural
purposes, though several small valleys along the creeks extend from the coast inland for a
distance of one to two miles, and portions of them may be found suitable for cultivation.
Many indications of iron were noticed in this township, especially near the northwestern corner, hematite and iron pyrites being most abundant. Many of the creeks are
strongly impregnated and discoloured with iron and sulphur. Small specimens of the pyritic
ore are also submitted.
The timber found in this township is cedar, hemlock, yellow cypress, balsam, and black or
western scrub pine, with dense brush and devil's club all through.
Township 20. The southern portion is similar to Township 19. The northern part will
be more fully described in connection with pastoral lands. In the northern part of this
township a large lake, three miles long, by one mile wide, lying in an extensive valley and
surrounded by high rolling hills, was noted.
Township 25 is a high, rolling, and broken tract of country, sparsely covered with scrub
timber, and not suited for agriculture, though parts of the northern portion may be found fit
for pastoral purposes.
The timber is chiefly hemlock, balsam, red cedar, yellow cypress, black pine, and a dense
growth of sal-lal, hard hack, small hemlock and balsam brush.
Indications of iron ore were noticed in the south-east portions of the township. 3*96 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
Township 26 is divided into two parts by the West Arm. The shore line presents a
bold, rocky appearance, while several small valleys follow the creeks into the interior. A
large valley starts in section 33, and runs in a northerly direction into Township 25, containing
probably 1,000 acres. It is traversed by a fine large creek of clear water, and has an average
altitude of 300 feet above sea level. Near the north-west corner of the township is another
good valley extending in a north-easterly direction some two miles, and is watered by a large
stream which, at the mouth, appears to be a favourite Indian fishing ground.
The southern portion of this township appears to be much broken by high, rocky hills and
sharp escarpments. Along the western boundary a series of high, rocky hills was crossed.
With the exception of the valleys already noted, very little land suitable for cultivation was
seen. The timber is chiefly hemlock and cedar, and a few balsam of very little commercial
Small specimens of drift coal were found in one of the creeks on the north shore of the
West Arm.
Township 32. The shore line continues bold and rocky to the end of the West Arm.
From this point a large valley extends westerly, crossing Townships 37 and 41 to San Josef
Bay, portions of which may be found suitable for agricultural purposes, especially near the
arm. It is well watered by several large creeks, and the mouths of those flowing into the arm
are favourite resorts for water-fowl in the autumn. The soil in this township is nearly all second
and third class, and with the exception of the valleys is unfit for cultivation.
Hemlock, cedar, yellow cypress, and balsam (of little commercial value) are the timbers
met with.
Township 31. The north-eastern and eastern portions of this township are very similar
to Township 32, while a large valley extends across the western boundary from Township 38,
which may afford land suitable for agricultural purposes. About the centre of the township a
high peak, upwards of 3,000 feet, was observed.
Township 37. The southern portion is broken by a high rocky mountain, 3,000 feet
above sea level, with good valleys on either side one to one and a half miles wide, and
extending north-westerly and south-easterly.
From a point about the centre of the township, on the south boundary, a good view of
the country lying to the north was obtained, the sea being visible. The land appears to be
comparatively level, and descending gently to the water on the north coast.
Considerable yellow cypress was noticed in this township, also some hemlock, balsam,
and cedar.
Township 38. The northern portion of this township is broken by a range of high, rocky
hills, and, with the exception of one or two good valleys, is practically unfit for either
agricultural or pastoral purposes.
Township 11. Along the north boundary a quantity of second-class land was found
extending easterly from the western boundary to the narrows, southerly to the waters of
Quatsino Sound, westerly into Township 18 about one-half mile, and northerly into Township
10 from one-half to one and a half miles. It might be profitably brought under cultivation.
In the southern part only a very small area lying south of Kultus Cove is in any way fit for
This township is very much broken by Quatsino Sound, Hecate Cove and Quatsino
Narrows. The narrows is a small, narrow strait joining the waters of Quatsino Sound with
those of the West and Rupert Arms, through which the water flows with a velocity of from
four to six knots at certain stages of the tide.
The principal timbers found in this township are hemlock and cedar; a few very large
spruce were observed near the shores, while dense brush, sal-lal, hard hack, and salmon berry
cover almost the entire surface.
Situate on the Sound, and just at entrance to the narrows, is an Indian village composed
of some 20 or 30 cabins, mostly of rather an antiquated appearance and showing poor construction. Several small patches of potatoes, planted and cared for by the Indians, produced good
Township 18. With the exception of that portion described above joining Township 11,
and one or two small valleys along the coast, the northern part is practically unsuited for
cultivation. Along the southern shores of the sound, what appeared to be large fertile valleys
extending into the interior, were observed.
Limestone Island, the greater portion of which lies in this township, appears to be wholly
composed of limestone.    The same formation was again noticed at Kultus Cove.    Owing to 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 397
the small quantity of limestone found along the coast, this may yet prove of some commercial
importance.    The timber is similar to that noted in Township 11.
Township 27. The northern portion is considerably broken by a range of rocky
mountains averaging 2,500 feet in altitude, traversed by deep canons, ravines, and sharp
escarpments, one of which had a perpendicular altitude of 1,200 feet. The greater portion of
this township has been applied for by private individuals.
Koprino Harbour, one of the largest on the sound, is well sheltered, and affords good
anchorage for shipping. There are two Indian reserves located on its shores, and a trail
connects it with the lagoon emptying into Winter Harbour.
Traces of coal were observed in some of the ravines along the northern boundary.
About two miles east of the Koskeemo Reserve, on the south shore of Quatsino Sound, a
large valley appears to extend southerly into Township 28, but was not explored.
Township 8, and the northern part of 9, is entirely different in its physical characteristics
from those previously described. Instead of the high, rugged hills, the country assumes a more
uniform surface, caused partially by the action of the great Queen Charlotte Sound glacier,
which passed over this portion of the island, the glacial action upon nearly every exposure of
rock being plainly discernable, by polished surfaces, scorings, etc. A belt of about one mile in
width along the coast is densely wooded with hemlock, cedar, balsam, black pine, yew, and a
very thick and heavy growth of brush, such as sal-lal, hard hack, and salmonberry, and it is
quite impossible to get through it without first cutting a trail. The balance of this township,
as well as the northern portion of Township 9, is covered with a sparse growth of scrub
timber, giving it a very park-like appearance, the open portions being covered with a fine
growth of grass, suitable for grazing purposes, with here and there swamps and ponds that
could be easily drained.
Several large creeks traverse this township in a northerly direction, and empty into
Goletas Channel.    The average elevation of this plateau is about 1,000 feet above sea level.
Township 21 and the northerly part of Township 20 is a comparatively level tract, with
low rolling hills, from 100 to 200 feet above the general surface, and covered with a scattered
growth of scrub timber, the open portions supporting a luxuriant growth of succulent grasses,
eminently suited for pastoral purposes.
The surface presents a beautifully diversified appearance when viewed from the high
lands of the south-west portion of Township 21, and which is aptly described by Mr. Forbes in
his essay on Vancouver Island :—
" Stretching into the heart of the country, lying along the bases of the parallel ridges of
trappean rock, are numerous lakes, in some cases forming a continuous chain. Others,
solitary, lie embosomed among the mountains, and form a beautiful feature in the landscape.
Among the rocky, pine clad hills, they lie, clear and calm, fringed by the willow, the alder, and
the trembling aspen, the tender green of the foliage brightly, yet softly, reflected in the sunshine
from the watery mirror, while reaching across, as if to grasp the light, the dark, purple outline
of the shadow of the frowning peak, envelopes the farther side in gloom."
From the high land above noted a very extensive view of the country lying to the west
and north was obtained, and appeared to be a low, rolling country, as far as the eye could
reach, similar to that portion already described in Townships 8, 9, 20, and 21.
From our observations it is estimated that a very large and valuable tract of land, highly
suitable for pastoral purposes, requiring only a comparatively small expenditure to render it fit
for immediate occupation, lies in this part of the district, the entire area being well watered and
of easy access to the coast.
The soil on the portion above described is a vegetable loam, having a depth of from one
to three feet, and resting upon the bed-rock.
The snowfall is probably less on this portion of the island than farther south, owing to
the influence of the Japan current and the low altitude of the country.
At Fort Rupert, in the country immediately contiguous to the above described, Mr. Robt.
Hunt has been eminently successful with cattle and sheep, having as fine a flock of sheep as
would be found on the coast of British Columbia, while his horned cattle appear to thrive
equally well.
A peculiar feature of this district is that it supports a growth of vegetable fibre of from
one to two feet in depth, almost over the entire surface.
In recapitulation, we would place the amount of arable lands explored at 50,000 acres;
pastoral lands explored, 50,000 acres; pastoral lands unexplored, 100,000 acres. 398 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
Further developments will probably reveal mineral wealth, which, combined with the
particularly favourable natural facilities for ocean shipping, will give to this section of the
Province an importance little thought of at present.
The climate differs from that of the southern portion of the island, the line of demarkation
passing from east to west in the neighbourhood of Alert Bay. North of this the climate is
more equable and humid, the mean relative humidity being about 93, and the rainfall slightlv
in excess of that on the southern portion of the island ; the average annual precipitation of
moisture being about 83 inches. The apparently excessive moisture is caused by the rain-
bearing winds striking the mountains to the south of Quatsino Sound. The climate of this
portion of the island is greatly influenced by the Japan current, which is analagous to the gulf
stream. This current, passing around the Island of Formosa, strikes the shores of Japan,
thence to the Behring Sea, from whence one part is deflected southward and passes along the
west coast of the continent, carrying with it the temperature necessary to produce the exceptionally warm climate of Vancouver Island and adjacent mainland. It is this stream which
gives the heat and moisture necessary to the production of the magnificent growths of vegetation to be found in this district Heavy fog-banks are prevalent over the whole northern part
of the island and adjacent waters, in the spring and autumn
While numerous isolated patches of exceptionally fine timber were noticed, yet in no place
was it in sufficient quantity to render it valuable for commercial purposes. The timber in this
district will probably be utilized to supply local demands, rather than for export trade. The
most valuable woods on the coast are red cedar, yellow cypress (commonly known as yellow
cedar), hemlock and spruce. Red cedars 15 feet in diameter were frequently seen; yellow
cypress, 4 feet; hemlock, 6 feet; and spruce, in one instance, 11 feet in diameter, by
The northern shores of the island and adjacent waters are rapidly becoming a most
important fishing ground, and in the near future, probably, several fishing stations will be
established in this vicinity, several companies being already engaged in the salmon and halibut
fisheries, while cod fishing may be said to be practically undeveloped at the present time. The
halibut fishing—though, as an industry, yet in its infancy—affords employment to a large
number of Indians, who are engaged by the fishing-boats frequenting these waters; but as yet
the supply of this delicious fish is quite unequal to the demand. Halibut have been taken in
these waters reaching the great weight of 150 pounds, and upwards.
While prosecuting the survey, we were supplied on various occasions with black and red
cod and salmon, of a superior quality.
In most of the inland lakes and streams, except those mentioned as being impregnated
with iron and sulphur, mountain trout are to be found in abundance, and will undoubtedly
prove valuable, as a food supply, to settlers, as well as profitable pastime for the sportsman.
Numerous hair seals, and an occasional fur seal and sea otter, are taken in these waters.
Large numbers of dog salmon are taken by the Indians, which, when smoked and dried, forms,
with dried clams, the chief article of food for their winter consumption.
Bears are plentiful, especially along the coast, Koprino Harbour being a particularly
favourite resort. In the interior, along the rivers and lakes, many markings and tracks are to
be seen.
Beaver were also seen along several of the inland lakes and rivers. Deer are compari-
tively scarce in this district, though Limestone Island is said to be a favourite resort, and
occasionally one is seen along the coast. Elk are reported plentiful in the northern part of the
island, in the open prairie country about Cape Scott.
Waterfowl of all kinds are numerous at the mouths of the various rivers emptying into
the Sound, in the autumn. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 399
The Indian population are, as yet, in quite a primitive state, and have not generally
adopted the white man's style of dress, though, on state occasions, portions are made use of,
evidently giving the wearer great personal satisfaction and elevation among his fellows, but, to
civilized ideas, presenting a most incongruous appearance—e. g., a beaver hat and the lower
half of a suit of underwear. At present there are no missionaries living among them, though
occasional visits are made by representatives of different denominations.
They cultivate, very indifferently, small patches of potatoes, but system and order in these
matters are entirely wanting. They are essentially an aquatic race, and their only mode of
locomotion is by canoe. In speaking of their canoes, we would like to speak of the excellence
of the workmanship on them. When one considers the very rude tools and appliances used, it
seems almost wonderful how they produce such strong, graceful, and well lined craft. They
are easily propelled, and weather almost the fiercest gales with ease. The Indians hunt and fish,
and trade at the stores at Fort Rupert or Alert Bay, and with passing trading sloops. They
appear to be peaceable and contented, and have not yet acquired all the vices and virtues of
With the exception of a small outlier of granite near Cape Commerell, this whole district
belongs to the mesazoic or secondary period, and by far the larger portion to the " Vancouver
series" of the triassic system. While portions along the north shores of the West Arm and
Main Sound belong to the cretaceous system, and lower cretaceous or neosomian series of this
system, the limestone found on Limestone Island and vicinity belong to the triassic.
Owing to the known rich deposits of coal in the vicinity of Nanaimo and Comox, in
similar formations, one would expect further developments to reveal valuable deposits of coal
in this section. From local disturbances, the coal measures have been considerably broken
and tilted, and appear to present a rather serious obstacle to successful prospecting.
From our observations during the summer, we are inclined to the belief that this district
is destined, at no distant date, to form a not unimportant section of the Province. Though
the climate may be too humid for the successful growth of cereals, hay, vegetables, and small
fruits flourish. Poultry appear to thrive, and could be made a source of profit. But the great
value of the country lies in its excellent adaptation for pastoral purposes.
In order to develop this section of the district, two main roads should be opened—one
extending from Fort Rupert to the head of Rupert Arm, the other extending westerly from
some point near the Indian Reserve on Hardy Bay, across Townships 8 and 21. The first
would cross a low-lying section of the country, and would not present any serious obstacles to
construction, either from an engineering or mechanical standpoint. By following the valley
of the Tsulquate River, an easy gradient could be found to reach the extensive plateau before
described, and would be quite as easy of construction as that from Fort Rupert.
We have the honour to be,
Your obedient servants,
E. B. Hermon,  P. L. S.
A. H. Hawkins, P. L. S. 400 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
Vernon, B. C, 24th December, 1891.
The Honourable
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works,
Victoria, B. C.
Sir,— I have the honour to submit the following report on survey work carried on by me
in the season of 1891 in accordance with your letter of instructions, dated June 23rd.
My instructions were to commence at the south-east angle of section 14, township 57,
Osoyoos Division of Yale District, and from thence to continue the survey performed by
Messrs. Coryell & Gore in the season of 1888 through Fire Valley to the Lower Arrow Lake,
and to subdivide into sections, etc., any lands suitable for settlement.
On completion of my report to the Government on the work of May and June last, I
engaged my party and outfit at Vernon and left for Cherry Creek on the 3rd August.
Commencing at the south-east angle of section 14, township 57, the survey was carried on
section lines through the valley traversed by the Cherry Creek waggon road to the crossing of
Kettle River on the cattle trail, and thence through Fire Valley to the 13-Mile Post.
From this point to the 20-Mile Post a traverse line was carefully run and double chained,
and witness posts established at the intersection with the section lines, so that these lines can
be found on the ground and extended at any future time if desired.
From the 20-Mile Post section lines were followed throughout to the Lower Arrow Lake,
and surveys made of twelve settlers' claims, and five claims applied for by purchase.
Prior to the cattle trail survey in June last the land in Fire Valley was unoccupied,
except by one McDermott, who entered the valley with a year's provisions and settler's
implements in May, 1890. His implements have been found, but his whereabouts has since
been a mystery. Since July all the most desirable agricultural land in the lower valley has
been settled upon, and from the excellent quality of the soil and climate, and proximity to the
Kootenay market, the outlook is favourable to a prosperous settlement in the near future.
The elevation is from 1,500 to 1,600 feet above the sea level.
Townships 57 and 62.
These townships are very rough and thickly wooded. Section 12 locates the mining
property known as the Hidden Treasure Silver Mine, and the placer ground of the Cherry
Creek Mining Company. The latter company have drifted for the old channel of Cherry
Creek during the past five years, and have taken out considerable gold this season.
Section 5, township 62, locates the mill site of the Monashee group of mines, on which is
located a 7-stamp mill owned by D. Mclntyre & Co. This company has expended about
$25,000 in construction of this mill and development work. The altitude at the mill is 3,700
feet above sea level.
Township 63.
This township is traversed by the North Fork of Cherry Creek, and contains about 2,000
acres of good arable land, timbered with pine and fir, and situate about three miles from the
confluence of the North and South Forks of Cherry Creek.
Township 64.
Generally the soil on the sections traversed in this township is gravelly and rocky, very
little arable land existing.    The timber has been nearly all destroyed by forest fires.
Section 12 locates the Kettle River bar, at entrance to Fire Valley. Some good coal
outcroppings were reported by prospectors as having been found a short distance below Kettle
River bar.
From this point the valley of Kettle River affords an easy route for a railway to the
mouth of Rock Creek. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 401
Township 65.
The survey traverses sections 7, 17, 22, 23, and 24 through level arable and wild meadow
land, at an altitude of from 3,800 to 4,000 feet above sea level.
The south slope of the valley is timbered with a mixed growth of spruce, white pine, fir,
hemlock, and tamarack from 12 to 36 inches in diameter, and of about 2,000 acres in extent.
Inonaokln Creek takes its rise in section 17 in this township, and traverses the Fire Valley
throughout to the Lower Arrow Lake.
Township 66.
Sections 19, 18, 8, and 4 were traversed in this township, the valley here narrowing to a
width of ten chains of level arable and wild meadow land of about 400 acres in all.
On the south slope a timber belt of white pine, spruce, cedar, hemlock, and tamarack
extends one-half mile back throughout these sections. The timber on the opposite slope has
been destroyed by forest fires, a dense young undergrowth now springing up.
Township 67.
Sections 33, 34, 26, 27, 23, and 24 were traversed, and are on a steep mountain and rocky
slope, covered with a small sized growth of cedar, fir, spruce, pine, and tamarack, brule, fallen
timber, and thick hemlock brush.
At the crossing of Inonaokln Creek by the cattle trail, on the west boundary of section
26, a 50-foot truss bridge will be required.
Township 68.
Sections 18, 17, 9, and 4 were traversed. The canon terminates at the east boundary of
section 17. Parts of sections 9 and 4 are level bench lands, timbered with growth of hemlock,
fir, and pine, from 1 to 24 inches in diameter.
Township 69.
Sections 33, 27, 22, 23, 14, 13, 11, 12, 1, and 2 were traversed. Throughout this township
the valley varies from one-half mile to one and a half miles in width of level, arable and bench
land, timbered with a growth of cedar, pine, hemlock, fir, balsam, yew, &c, from 1 inch to 72
inches in diameter. Seven pre-emption claims are represented and improvements being made.
The township is well watered by the Inonaokln and other smaller creeks. Soil, clay and sandy
Township 70.
The west half of section 18 was surveyed for a settler in occupation of claim, and is
traversed by a narrow valley of arable and meadow land, extending northerly about 3 miles to
Whatshan or Pouler Creek.
A good route for a waggon road exists from this section to the lake, distant one and a half
Township 71.
All the available arable land in this township has been located by pre-emption and
purchase, and was blocked out as required. A Government school reserve was blocked out in
section 13.
The soil to centre of section 23 is good clay loam. From thence to the mouth of the
valley the soil is a sand-wash from Eagle Creek, which empties into Arrow Lake about half a
mile south from the mouth of the Inonaokln Creek. This township is timbered with some
good cedar and small pine, fir, willows, &c.
Caribou abound in township 66 on the timbered slope, and bear, deer, and martin in
townships 69 and 71.
A heavy rainfall was experienced from early in September until completion of survey.
The party returned to Vernon, via Revelstoke, arriving on the 13th December.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
John A, Coryell, P.L-S. 402 Crown Land Surveys. i89i
Vernon, B. C, December 22nd, 1891.
The Hon. the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works:
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report of survey work carried on by me
throughout the Kettle River and Okanagan Valleys, together with a general description of
country traversed. My instructions were to connect together, by traverse, all surveys made
throughout the above valleys, at present appearing upon the Government plans in a totally
isolated position, and at the same time to block out into quarter sections any lands available
for settlement. I left Vernon with a party on Thursday, August 20th, and proceeded by
steamer to Penticton, at the foot of Okanagan Lake, distant about 75 miles. At the latter
place a pack-train was procured to carry supplies, and the party proceeded on foot to mouth of
Rock Creek, Kettle River, distant 70 miles. A good waggon road exists from Penticton to
Kruger's, Osoyoos, 30 miles ; from thence to Kettle River, 30 miles, the waggon road is on the
American side. A good pack trail, however, exists between these points, but, owing to the
high and rugged nature of the country, six miles of it is on American territory. A connecting
line was run from W. G. Macmynn's, on the boundary line, to mouth of Rock Creek, 3J miles,
over a high mountain, bunch grass range, well watered and sheltered, and affording a good
summer range for stock. The mouth of Rock Creek is on the main road between Osoyoos and
Grand Prairie, and has a population of, at present, about fifteen or twenty, two stores and one
hotel. The hydraulic claim at this point has been shut down for some months, owing to
shortage in water. From this point, eastwardly, the survey was continued by quarter sections
through the Kettle River Valley to Eholt's, on Boundary Creek, distant 12 miles. All the
available arable land between these points has been taken up by pre-emptors, 16 families in all,
and as yet unsurveyed by them. Several of them have made fine farms, and appear industrious
and happy. A weekly mail service is being agitated by them, instead of the now existing
monthly service. The valley is from a mile to a mile and a half in width ; soil, sandy loam
and gravelly in places; timbered in spots with scattering scrub pine, fir, alder and cotton
brush. The mountains on each side of the valley rise very abruptly, and are covered
with a small growth of fir and pine. A very good waggon road exists between above named
points, and the Kettle River is crossed near Ingram's by a very substantial truss bridge, built
by the Government last year. The valley has been staked out for miles by coal prospectors;
some tunnelling and shafting have been done, shewing up good veins of bituminous coal.
At Eholt's, on Boundary Creek, the valley ends on the Canadian side, and crosses over,
following the Kettle River, into American soil. A waggon road exists from Eholt's to Grand
Prairie, 25 miles, but on American territory, whilst the summer trail between these points
passes over Boundary Mountain, 16 miles. From Eholt's, up Boundary Creek in a northeasterly direction, a traverse line was run, and witness posts established at intervals, to tie in
Eholt's meadow. This wild hay meadow is situate on a high plateau, three miles from
Boundary Creek, and contains about 200 acres. The first 2^ miles of the traverse runs
through a high and narrow rocky pass. The mountains on either side are high, broken, and
rocky, and covered with a small growth of hackmatack, fir, and pine. For the next three
miles, or near to the crossing by the trail of Boundary Creek, the country widens out into a
high and rolling bunch grass range. The soil is a black and sandy loam, and small patches of
it might be utilized for raising hay and grain, well watered and sheltered. Following along
Boundary Creek, the valley becomes very narrow, being from 10 to 20 chains in width; soil,
black loam, gravelly in places, and covered with a small growth of pine, fir, and balsam, a
little cedar, and a dense young undergrowth of alder, cotton, willow, and briar, etc. A few
prospectors and miners have taken up patches throughout this valley and on Copper Creek,
built themselves winter caches, but otherwise made no improvements. Cereal crops are
uncertain, owing to the high altitude and occasional early summer frosts. From the crossing
of  Boundary Creek,  the traverse  was  continued  along  the summer  trail  over  Boundary 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 403
Mountain, a distance of 12 miles, and witness posts established at intervals to Fourth of July
Creek. This creek is small, and traverses the western limits of Grand Prairie. The highest
point reached on the Boundary Mountain trail was 4,300 feet above the sea. A heavy snowstorm and gale raged on September 22nd. The mountain is timbered throughout with scrub
pine and fir, and thick young undergrowth of fir, pine, and balsam, with some large open
patches of bunch grass, affording a good summer range for stock, and well watered. A short
distance to the south of, and parallel with, this trail, between Boundary Creek and Grand
Prairie, there is a deep gulch, and, in my opinion, affords a good pass for a waggon road, connecting Eholt's and Osoyoos with Grand Prairie on the Canadian side; length would be 16
miles, and cost about three hundred dollars per mile. From the Fourth of July Creek, the
traverse was continued, and tied in to Grand Prairie surveys. The latter is a low-lying valley,
from a half to two miles in width, and twelve miles in length. The Kettle River runs through
it, and varies in width from two to four chains. The greater part of the valley is open, and
contains rich, arable land, with some scattering pine and fir, and thick cotton and willow brush
along the river's edge. All the available arable land is taken up by pre-emptors, and number
in the vicinity of forty. The trail to Oolville and Marcus passes through this valley, and
crosses the north fork of Kettle River near McConnell's by a truss bridge built by Government
last year. Considerable scour has taken place around the centre pier foundation, and should
receive additional riprap before any settlement of crib takes place. At present, supplies are
packed in over this trail from Marcus. Lines were run, and quarter section posts established
throughout a portion of Grand Prairie. The north and west forks of the Kettle River were
not traversed. Returning to the first crossing of Rock Creek, the country was traversed from
former surveys at that point to Lot 320, and also connection made with the Quartz Camp, or
Camp McKinney, and the Government townsite. The length of this latter traverse is about
six miles, and ran northerly up a southern slope, much broken, sandy, and boulders, and
covered with a a dense growth of small black pine, fir, and balsam, and totally unfit for settlement. From the first crossing of Rock Creek the lines were run westwardly, and quarter-
section posts established over the mountain and on the Boundary Line, 18 miles to Osoyoos,
to connect with Okanagan Valley surveys, The first twelve miles of this survey run over a
high and open bunch grass range, timbered in spots with fir and pine. Several pre-emptors
have settled along this distance within the past year or two. On account of the high altitude
(3,200 feet), the early summer frosts interfere greatly with the successful raising of cereals,
but hay, grain, and wheat seem to do tolerably well. The balance of the survey to Osoyoos
ran over a high and rocky mountain divide, covered with scrub pine and fir.
The Okanagan Valley, from the Boundary Line northwards for a length of 20 miles, and
1^ miles in width, is owned by the Haynes Estate, Theo. Kriiger, and Indian Reserve—the
first-mentioned owning 21,000 acres, and the greater part being first-class arable land. From
the north boundary of Indian Reserve, on the Okanagan River, the survey was extended along
the valley to foot of Dog Lake, and connection made with former surveys. All the available
arable land along the Okanagan River, in this distance (very small in extent), has been preempted. The valley is very narrow, and mountains high and rugged on both sides. Deer and
mountain sheep are very plentiful, and other smaller game.
From foot of Dog Lake following the east shore and the east shore of Okanagan Lake, the
traverse survey was extended and connections made with former surveys. All the arable
land along the two named lakes has been acquired ; the balance is high and rocky, and totally
unfit for settlement. Connection by traverse was made to the former surveys at Okanagan
Mission on Thursday, November 26th, and the party returned to Vernon on the following day.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
J. P. Burnyeat, P. L. S. REPORT OF J. A. KIRK.
The Honourable
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works,
New Westminster, December 29th, 1891.
Sir,— I have the honour to submit the following report on the surveys on Hernando,
Cortes, and Read Islands, made by me last summer, in accordance with your instructions :—
These islands lie at the northern extremity of the Straits of Georgia. The Admiralty
Chart shows that a line running north-westerly from the northern extremity of Texada Island
would pass through Harwood, Savary, Hernando, and Mary Islands, and the peninsula forming
the southern extremity of Cortes Island. The islands and peninsula mentioned are composed
of boulder, clays, and stratified sands and silts ; the shores are generally wide flats strewn with
boulders.    The banks rise abruptly from twenty to fifty feet or more.
With the exception of a similar strip of land at Cape Mudge, on the south end of Valdes
Island, the neighbouring country is uniformly rocky, with deposits of sandy loam interspersed
through the valleys.
Respecting Cape Mudge, and the islands and peninsula mentioned, Dr. Dawson, in his
report on the geology of this region, says, " They may have originally formed a connected
border of low terrace land."
Hernando Island.
The fiftieth parallel of north latitude cuts the north shore of this island, on the Admiralty
Chart, and the same authority places the one hundred and twenty-fifth degree of west longitude
from Greenwich a short distance to the west of its west shore. The incoming tides flowing
round the northern and southern extremities of Vancouver meet near the fiftieth parallel, and
tide rips formed in consequence make navigation for small craft dangerous to the westward.
Eastward, and in the immediate vicinity of the island, there is no danger from this cause.
Tides rise twelve to fourteen feet
There is a narrow strip of exposed rock along the north-eastern shore, about a mile in length.
Stag Bay.
A part of this rocky shore affords good anchorage. At one point tugs can come in to the
shore and tie up.    This is the only part of the island where landings can be made.
The surface is generally sandy, and reaches an elevation of about one hundred and fifty
feet in the interior. There are numerous depressions or basins of loamy soil overlaid with
vegetable deposits, which have filled up what were evidently at one time ponds. These spots
when drained will make excellent agricultural land. The ridges are in many places composed
almost entirely of fine grains of iron and colourless quartz.
Along the north shore it is claimed that in the fine silt deposits a fire-proof paint has been
discovered. This layer or strata dips inland and is there probably covered with coarser
material. On account of the pale tint of this earth the paint can be made any colour by the
mixture with it of suitable pigments.   The island has an area of two thousand five hundred acres.
Cortes Island.
The south point of this island is about three and one-half miles north-west of Hernando
Island. Its length from north to south is about fourteen miles, and its breadth about eight
miles. It is for the most part rocky. The peninsula mentioned forms the only prominent
exception. The surface of the peninsula is generally composed of boulder or gravelly clay, with
hollows similar to those described on Hernando Island. Its area is about two thousand seven
hundred acres. This point is exposed on all sides except to the north and north-east. The
forest affords the only protection from winds from other quarters. Unless a considerable portion
of the woodland is preserved, particularly along the shore, the agricultural capabilities of this
point will be greatly lessened. The remainder of the island is rocky, with a very irregular
shore line. On the west shore a narrow inlet widens into Gorge Harbour, forming a land-locked
bay about two miles long. In the larger valleys there are deposits of sandy loam. There is a
deposit of this kind running northerly from the westerly end of Gorge Harbour, with a strip 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 405
of coarser deposits on the east side. It is sheltered on all sides, and has an area of about six
hundred acres. In addition to the above I included in my survey two or three smaller patches
of arable land. The above forms all the land available for settlement on the island, as far as I
was able to ascertain when making the survey. The geological report mentioned states that
" For about two miles south from the entrance to Squirrel Cove," on the east shore, " the shore
is bordered by a low terrace composed of sand and gravel deposits." " The flat land, however,
appears to be quite limited in width." After completing the survey I was told of a small area
of good land on San Dunop Creek. For reasons given in a former report, I did not visit or
survey these localities.
Read Island.
This island lies north-easterly from Cortes Island. The channel between has a width of
about four miles. From the water it presents the appearance of an unbroken mass of rock.
Behind the ridges forming the eastern shore there are two well sheltered valleys, with rich
loamy soil. These valleys contain some very fine fir, if size alone, is considered, but I was
informed that a large portion of it is unsound. The valleys mentioned have an area of about
thirteen hundred acres.
There is a marked difference between the rich soils of the valleys and the coarser clays
and sands of the peninsula of Cortes Island and the other islands mentioned. The valleys
have also the advantage of shelter from storms, with a more equable climate. They form very
desirable locations for the pursuit of agriculture or horticulture.
These islands are generally timbered, the prevailing trees being the Douglas fir
(Pseudotsuga Douglasti), and cedar (Thuja gigantea). Occasionally an arbutus (Arbutus
menziesii) is seen, and in the valleys the alder (Alnus rubra).
The climate is said to be humid, and milder than prevails in the valley of the Fraser, or
on Vancouver Island. My observation certainly bears out this statement. During the time
I was there severe storms, accompanied by thunder and lightning, were frequently seen
following the coast of Vancouver Island, while we enjoyed a bright sky, or got but a slight
sprinkling of rain. Mr. Raine, of Hernando Island, recently assured me that the weather this
fall and winter had been very pleasant, decidedly different from that experienced here. It is
not improbable that some plants will mature here better than in the New Westminster District,
owing to the absence of cloudy weather, and increased sunlight. I picked tomatoes on Cortes
Island fully ripe. It is asserted that the winter in the northern part of Cortes Island is more
rigourous than in the southern part. This, if true, is probably due to the land—I should
perhaps say the rock—sloping to the north.
During the summer months tugs are constantly passing within hailing distance of
Hernando Island. Last summer a tug called weekly at Read Island. The west side of
Cortes Island is not in the line of travel taken by boats. The tugs taking this route usually
go to Vancouver. Valdes Island attracted the attention of intending settlers last summer.
In September it had twenty-five or thirty inhabitants. In addition to the land settled upon,
I am informed that there are still isolated patches not taken up. It was my intention to
subdivide this island, but the near approach of the wet weather made the chances of satisfactory
progress improbable. I would suggest the advisability of subdividing this island in accordance
with some system, as soon as possible in the ensuing season; otherwise the settlers will have
their own surveys made, which will likely result in conflicting claims and much trouble to the
Department. I would also suggest the attachment of an explorer to a party. With this
addition it is probable that tracts suitable for settlement would be found, where at present they
are not suspected. The surveys could then be prosecuted continuously and a saving greater
than the explorer's hire effected. To give an instance : If, while the settled portion of Valdes
Island was being surveyed, an explorer was sent to the reported lands on Van Dunop Creek,
Cortes Island, and also through the unexplored valleys of Valdes Island, the surveyor could
proceed from the explorer's report (on the completion of the work he was at) to other places
without delay and with an intelligent idea of the work on hand, which could otherwise be
obtained only by personal inspection, involving much loss of time and expense.
During the season I found the compass a very unreliable instrument, owing to presence of
iron in the rocks. In some cases I abandoned the needle and used the transit, with results
that will justify the extra expense, if any, involved.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient Servant,
J. A. Kirk, P. L. S. 406
Crown Land Surveys.
Bridge Creek, B. C, 24th December, 1891.
The Hon. the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works:
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report on surveys made by me in Lillooet
District, &c, during the season of 1891 :—
According to instructions, I extended the Kamloops Lake and Lac La Hache base line
from Lac La Hache to Cariboo District, a distance of about 15 miles, following the Cariboo
Waggon Road. There is very little vacant land fit for settlement in the above distance, the
choice locations having been taken up after the construction of the Cariboo Waggon Road.
From south-east corner of Canoe Creek Indian Reserve I ran a base line to the Kamloops
Lake and Lac La Hache base line, connecting with the same at a point near the 73-Mile Post,
on Cariboo Waggon Road. * The distance between the above points is about 25 miles.
From Canoe Creek along the base line it is a splendid stock range. This section is well
watered with lakes, ifec. I passed several swamp meadows, and have no doubt there are others
to be found in this section. There is plenty of range here for a number of settlers with small
bands of cattle, <fec.
I have connected all the old surveys on east side of Fraser River, from Alkali Lake to
High Bar.
I have also, according to your instructions, made the annexed list of surveys for the
different settlers mentioned therein.
I was occupied three months on the above surveys.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
W. Allan, P. L. S.
Lillooet District.
No. of Lot.
L. 216, G. 1 N. Morrison
L. 217,
L. 218,
L. 219,
L. 220,
L. 221,
L. 17, G. 1
L. 18,    „   ,
L. 19,    ,,
For whom surveyed.
S. Tingley
M. McCarthy .
M. L. Meason.
Jos. Haller ...
Jno.  Davis....
No. of
Pre-emption  ....
Pre-emption  ....
,,            ....
This lot was purchased by Mr.
Morrison at Sheriff's sale.
Cariboo District.
L. 129, G. 1
S. Tingley	
Kamloops Division of Yale District.
Executors of late Capt. Venables
Military grant...
| Military grant of   the  late
|     Capt. Venables. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 407
Victoria, B. 0., 31st December, 1891.
To the Hon. Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works :
Sir,—According to instructions received from you, dated July 13th, 1891, I proceeded to
Alert Bay by the steamer leaving July 15th, for the north. I disembarked at Alert Bay, and
procured boats from Mr. Spencer to take the party and supplies across to Malcolm Island. I
pitched my first camp in Mitchell Bay, on the claim known as Lot 15, R. 1, coast, near the
east end of the island. I then proceeded to find the original posts on the northern boundary of
Lot 15, R 1, along the shore. I found these and started my survey from the north-west post
of the original traverse, and from this post ran due west, adopting this line as my base line.
I also commenced my traverse from this post, and continued it round the east end of the
island, known as Donegal Point.
The claim above referred to, viz., Lot 15, R. 1, coast, takes in portions of sections 27, 28,
2, and 3. and embraces 510 acres.
From an enlarged sketch of Malcolm Island, taken from the Admiralty chart, I divided
the island into sections, taking the line running west from my starting point as a base line,
and numbering the sections from the south-east corner of the island, marked on the chart as
Donegal Point.
At seven chains and eighteen links from my starting point I reached the top of the bluff,
about 100 feet above sea level, and continued running west on comparatively level ground for
several miles.
The character of the soil and the general configuration of the island is so much alike that
I do not consider it necessary to describe each section in detail, but, in giving a general
description of the topography, soil, and timber, I shall be careful to note any special features
that may be confined to a particular section.
This island, at the highest point reached by us, does not exceed an elevation of 250 feet,
and this is reached by gradual slopes, except for the steep bluffs surrounding most of the shore
line. It is noteworthy that no rock is seen cropping out on the surface in all the area
surveyed, except in one or two deep ravines, and at one point on the shore at the south-west
corner of section 5, which is described further on.
The surface of the island is covered by a dense growth of sal-lal, which will average from
10 to 15 feet in height, and is almost impenetrable without cutting a line. Windfalls are also
numerous, sometimes forming obstructions 20 feet and more in height, so that, though the
general contour of the island is smooth and gently rounded, walking over it is a very slow and
difficult matter in its present uncleared condition.
The timber of the island consists of hemlock, cedar, spruce, balsam, and yew, and a few
scattered firs. Hemlock is the most universal of the above, both in range and number, and in
many instances reaches a diameter of six feet. The best development of this timber for
commercial purposes is found on the broken sections of 2 and 18, forming Donegal Point, and
in parts of sections 22, 23, and 24. Those embrace considerable areas of fine, straight
hemlock, averaging 30 inches in diameter, and free from knots and branches for 50 or 60 feet.
Cedar is also very generally scattered over the island, and grows to a great size, frequently
reaching a diameter of 10 to 12 feet, at some height from the ground. In the case of the
largest trees, however, they are very seldom thoroughly sound, the heart being " dosey." It
was noticed that in a number of localities a large proportion of the cedars were dead or dying,
while the other trees in the vicinity showed no signs of decay. There is no particular section
in which cedars are specially plentiful.
Spruce is not so abundant as the above-mentioned, but is scattered pretty generally over
the island. It is most numerous in sections 8, 7, 22, and 23, where some very large trees,
fully 10 feet in diameter, were noticed.
Balsam is chiefly confined to sections 21, 22, 23, and 24, where it is plentiful, and
handsome trees, of from four to six feet in diameter, are numerous. Yew and crabapple are found in the more swampy portions, but are of no value. Alders
form a fringe along all the low lying portions of the shore line.
The nature and character of the soil on this island is so much alike that all the sections
may be included in the same description, and an equal value put upon them all. The whole
area is certainly free from rock, and under favourable conditions is capable of cultivation, but
there is no tract which could be described as fertile land, or good hay land. There is one
swamp in section 6 which, if drained, might give an area of from 12 to 15 acres of fairly good
land, and another swampy tract in section 21 and the north-east corner of section 20, about 10
acres in extent. Apart from these the whole area may be described as a light, dry, gravelly
soil, with a thin covering of vegetable mould which might, when cleared and broken up, be
suitable for fruit growing. With the aid of manure and fertilizers, crops of roots and grain
might, no doubt, be grown in any ordinarily moist season.
I would class the whole area surveyed as second-class land, under sub-section (2) section 29
of the " Land Act "
The rocks forming Malcolm Island belong to the cretaceous series, which compose a great
portion of the adjoining northern part of Vancouver Island. Where exposed they are seen to
consist of a considerable thickness of coarse brownish conglomerate, with cuticular beds of
sandstone and grit, having a very slight dip to the north-east, at an angle of from five to ten
degrees. This conglomerate underlies a series of sandstones and coarse grits and beds of grey
clay. The conglomerate is well exposed on the shore line at the south-west corner of section 5,
where it forms a cliff fully 60 feet high, and extending along the shore for several hundred
yards. The overlying beds are best seen in a deep ravine formed by a stream running through
sections 24 and 26.
No signs of coal have been noticed as yet, but judging from the position the coal beds
are reported to occupy in the northern part of Vancouver Island, it is probable enough that
coal seams might underlie the conglomerate mentioned above. Owing, however, to the
horizontal disposition of the beds here, and their undisturbed character, it is impossible to
ascertain the nature of the beds below the conglomerate without boring.
The whole surface of the island, so far at least as embraced in this survey, is covered
with a very considerable thickness of glacial deposits, consisting of coarse unstratified gravel
and sandy clay beds, with patches of stratified sand and fine gravel. The character and
thickness of these deposits are rarely seen, owing to the thick covering of brush and vegetable
mould, but there is one very fine exposure along the north-east shore of sections 28 and 29, at
Donegal Point, where the drift deposits form a cliff 60 to 70 feet high. Here the arrangement,
beginning at the top, is : gravel, 15 to 20 feet; sandy clay, with bands of fine gravel and sand,
20 feet ; a coarse stiff grey clay, thickness unknown, as the bottom of the cliff is covered
by masses of debris fallen from above.
Proofs of glacial action are also found in the character of the boulders thickly strewn all
along the beach. These are of all sizes, up to blocks 30 feet by 10 by 10 feet, and consist of
granite, gneiss, mica, schist, quartz rock, various felspar, porphyry, and metamorphic conglomerate, none of which are found in place in the neighbourhood, and have most probably come
from the mountain ranges to the east and north-east.
Improvements by the Christian Temperance Co-operative Colonization Society.
This society has a small house and the frame work of a mill erected on the south-east
quarter of section 20. They have also a small clearing of about half an acre near the shore in
the north-west quarter of section 9. The mill machinery was erected during the summer, and,
I was informed, had been in running order for a day or two, but it has now been completely
dismantled, and when we left the district was lying on the beach ready for shipment.
I consider the value of the clearing done in section 9 and round the mill to be about
$150. The house and mill frame may represent $350 more, making the total of improvements
effected by this society amount to $500.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
D. T. Thomson,
P. L. S. 55 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 409
Victoria, July 18th, 1891.
To the Honourable
the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Sir,—The following is a detailed report prepared by Messrs. McKenzie and Reid of their
cruise on Graham Island :—
Leaving Victoria on the 15th May last on the steamship Danube, we arrived in Masset on
the 21st of the same mouth. Masset is situate on the north end of Graham Island, at the
mouth of Masset Inlet. It is an Indian village with a Hudson's Bay trading post. Masset
Inlet opens on the north coast of the island, and extends about forty miles to the southward.
It varies from a mile to a mile and a half in width for the first seventeen miles of its
length, and then spreads out into a large bay, forming a natural harbour. It divides the
northern part of the islands into two parts, the eastern part of which is generally known as the
peninsula. The land in the immediate vicinity of the village is covered with scrubby timber;
the soil is very sandy and covered with moss and not adapted for agricultural purposes, and of
very little account for grazing.
Proceeding along the coast from Masset to the north-east we found a strip of land along
the coast about a quarter of a mile wide, which was covered with scrubby timber, and the soil
of a sandy and worthless character. This belt of land follows the coast trom Masset to Rose
Spit, the north-east extremity of the island, a distance of thirty-five miles. After this narrow
belt of timber was penetrated by us we came upon a tract of open land covered with moss,
ranging from six to twelve inches in depth. The surface of this tract of land is of a rolling
nature. It is covered with innumerable ponds of water from six inches to two feet in depth, and
from three feet to twenty feet in diameter. These ponds, or basins, may cover, probably, one-
third of the surface. They would be easily drained, as there is plenty of fall, and if drained
and the land cleared of this moss it would be valuable for agricultural purposes. The soil is
of a rich brown colour, and varies from two to six feet in depth.
The whole of the open part of the island, on this peninsula, is about fifty miles long and
fifteen wide, and extends to within fifteen miles of Skidegate. It is of the same character as
before described, with the exception of the narrow belt of timber which follows the coast of the
Inlet, nowhere exceeding half a mile in width. Following the coast of the Inlet to the south
we penetrated this belt of timber in several places and found the soil and general appearance
of the country invariably the same. Gibb Island, situated in Masset Inlet, is heavily timbered
with cedar, hemlock, and spruce. On the east coast of this peninsula another belt of timber
follows the coast, resembling the one on the inlet. The whole peninsula is well watered by
streams which empty into the inlet, and also on the north and east coasts of the island.
In our opinion, if the interior of this peninsula were properly drained and the moss
destroyed, the land would be first>-class for agricultural purposes, and from the nature of the
soil we would judge that it cannot be beaten for raising hay.
Intending settlers should be persons of some means, as from the nature of the land it
must first be drained, then allowed time to dry, and after it has been dried the moss could be
removed by burning. This we consider the best way of bringing this portion of the island
under cultivation.
After having satisfied ourselves as to the character of the peninsula we crossed to the
west coast of the inlet, left our boat at the head of the inlet, made up our packs, and started
for the west coast of the island. The mountain slopes from the shores of the inlet, and it is
about two miles to the summit of the first range. The sides of the mountain are heavily
timbered with cedar and hemlock of very poor quality. When the summit is reached it is the
same open country which we have already described in the peninsula. The general character
of the west part of the island is mountainous, with the valleys covered with a dense growth of
timber, principally cedar, hemlock, and spruce of poor quality. The summits are of the same
character as has been described in the eastern part of the island. 410 Crown Land Surveys. 1891
We proceeded westward until we struck the west coast of the island, returning to Masset
Inlet by a circuitous route, and finding the whole country lying to the west of the inlet
mountainous. We then returned to Masset village, and proceeded to the west until we reached
Virago Sound. The land along this coast is very rocky, and timbered for a short distance
inland with scrubby spruce. Farther in we found an open tract of land the same as lying in
the peninsula, but much lower and wetter. Proceeding up Virago Sound to Naden Harbour
we found the land on the east side of the harbour covered with timber for a distance of half a
mile inland, the soil being of good quality ; but beyond this belt of timber the land is so low
and wet that it is almost impassable. At the head of the harbour, on the east side, the land
rises with a gradual slope towards the south-east, and is thickly covered with timber. On the
west side of the harbour it is rough and covered with timber. Proceeding up the Naden River,
the valley of which is heavily timbered and made almost impenetrable by fallen trees, we found
the soil in the valley good, but the valley itself is very narrow and the mountain sides covered
with timber. The river is from five to six miles long, and the tide backs up about a mile and a
half, the balance of the stream being shallow and the current swift, and has two or three rapids.
On one of our tours to the westward of this river, after crossing a range of hills, we came to a
level, swampy stretch of land about three miles in extent; then crossed another range of hills
and came to another swampy tract extending to the west coast of Eden Lake. If these swamps
were drained the quality of the soil is such that it would make good agricultural land. The
shores of this lake are in most cases rocky, and the mountain sides timbered with cedar and
hemlock. Around the shores of this lake the Hydah Indians procure a great deal of timber
for making their large canoes.
Having satisfied ourselves as to the general character of the island we concluded that
parties who wished to settle upon the island would have to be people of means, and that it
would require a large outlay before any returns could be obtained, we thereupon decided to
return and report the same
Wm. McKenzie,
Samuel Reid.
victoria, b. c:
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.


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