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for the
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's .Most Excellent Majesty, 59 Vict. Grown Land Surveys. 731
To His Honour Edgar Dewdney,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour :
Herewith I respectfully beg to submit the following Reports on the Surveys of
Crown Lands during the year 1895.
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Lands and, Works Department,
Victoria, B. C, February, 1896. 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 733
Lands and Works Dfpartment,
Victoria, B. C, February, 1896.
The Hon. G. B. Martin,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and  Works,
Victoria, B. C.
Sir,—In forwarding for your consideration the individual reports of the gentlemen who
have been engaged upon the exploratory and subdivisional surveys of Crown lands throughout
the Province, I have the honour to submit, in accordance with the custom which has prevailed
in the Department during the past years, to add a general statement, giving an outline of the
business of this branch of your office down to the close of the calendar year 1895.
No important changes have occurred in the Department since the date of my last report,
with the exception of a slight reduction in the staff, which was made in conformity with the
Estimates as adopted by the Legislative Assembly at its last Session.
The maps heretofore published under your direction, and that of your predecessor in office,
have been greatly sought after by the general public, and the demand appears to be increasing
so rapidly that in some cases it has been found necessary to add, after revising them, the
additional information which has come to hand and issue a second edition.
Reliable maps are exceedingly important and a very necessary adjunct to the successful
administration of a land department; but it is impossible to publish even a fairly correct map
of any country, or portion thereof, without being furnished with the results of surveys
sufficiently accurate and extensive in character to form a framework at least upon which to
construct the map or plan. The method often adopted of forwarding proof copies to old
settlers, hunters, &c, for corrections and additional information, has proved in the majority of
cases a complete failure, as the alterations so made are placed upon the map with such a
disregard to its scale that they are utterly useless. It is a strange fact that comparatively
enlightened men will shrink from or positively decline making any corrections upon a
published map, although they are, perhaps, the first to proclaim its total unreliability, and
consequently condemn it because a few unimportant details are missing with which they are
It will be noticed from the following table that a large number of maps have been
prepared in your Department during the past year, all of which, with the exception of that of
the Province hereafter referred to, have been lithographed in a highly satisfactory manner by
the Colonist Printing and Publishing Company, Limited, of Victoria.    Copies of these maps 734 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
are as a rule distributed gratuitously to those who are seeking for information respecting
the country, but a nominal charge is made to local dealers who desire to keep on sale
the large map of the Province and the new edition lately published of the West Kootenay
Map of the south-eastern districts of Vancouver Island    3,000, 2 colours.
ii Province of British Columbia    5,000, 3
,, Alberni District    1,200, 1
ii West Kootenay and parts of Lillooet, Yale, and  East
Kootenay Districts    5,000, 2
ii Province of  B.  C.   (small)   to  accompany  Agriculture
Report    4,300, 2
10 sketch maps of  the various mining camps to accompany Mining
Report 10,000, 1
Map of the Sayward District      2,000, 3
The above list does not include 200 maps of the East and West Kootenay Districts
purchased from F. Fletcher, Esq., nor 250 copies of Perry's riiap of the southern portion of
the West Kootenay District obtained from the Columbia and Kootenay Steam Navigation
Company, who, I understand, were Mr. Perry's agents.
The new map of the Province, prepared expressly for photo-lithographic purposes, has been
faithfully and artistically reproduced on a somewhat smaller scale than that on which the
original map was drawn, and already quite a number have been mounted and forwarded to the
principal officials and the various public institutions throughout the land. The reproduction
of the map was performed through the Colonist Printing & Publishing Company by the Sabis-
ton Lithographic Company of Montreal, and is certainly the most perfect map of British
Columbia which has thus far been placed before the public. For a full description of the
character and magnitude of this work, the projection adopted, and the various sources of
information from which the map was compiled, together with all other details connected therewith, I would respectfully refer you to my report of Crown Land Surveys for the year 1893.
Since its publication a supply has been forwarded to the Agent-General for British Columbia
in London, while copies have been forwarded, in response to enquiries, to Australia, India and
other countries.
In addition to the extensive list of maps prepared in this Department for lithographic
purposes and the work specified in the above schedule, it has been found advisable, when time
would permit, to carefully reproduce certain of the old official maps of the districts adjacent to
Victoria, and at the same time place thereon all additional information which has come to hand
since they were made. When the old maps were drawn portions only of the districts were
subdivided into lots, and in consequence they were incomplete representations of what they
purported to be ; besides the method of keeping them rolled up, and the almost daily reference
to them during the past thirty-seven years, have rendered them so much the worse for wear
that their usefulness as sources of information is almost destroyed. In view of the above, and
taking into consideration the fact that all the vacant land in each of the districts of Highland,
Otter, Goldstream and Sooke has been recently surveyed, it became necessary to carefully draw
new maps of each district, placing thereon all the information which the old plans contained
and adding that which had been acquired by subsequent survey.
A large and useful map of the southern portion of the East Kootenay District has recently
been compiled for office reference, comprising the country lying between the International
Boundary and the southern limit of the Canadian Pacific land grant belt. It is drawn upon a
scale of one-half a mile to an inch, and besides giving an outline of the physical features of the
country it shows all lands taken up by pre-emption or purchase, as well as the blocks of land
granted as a subsidy to the Columbia & Kootenay Railway Company. This plan is, of course,
too large to publish, but as it shows all surveys in their approximate relative positions it is a
capital index map of that region, and doubtless will form the basis of a general map of the
East Kootenay District, to be published when deemed expedient.
Log Scale.
As the method of ascertaining the board-measure contents of logs in this Province was
not entirely satisfactory to both mill-owners and loggers, the former asserting that it was 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 735
impossible to obtain in tire mill the number of feet, as given by' rule, from logs over a
certain diameter, which diameter is far below that of the average log in this country, the
Honourable the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works appointed Messrs. Richard Alexander
of "Vancouver, Michael King of Victoria, and Andrew Haslam, M. P., of Nanaimo, a committee to make a thorough examination of the question, and to devise a rule which would
satisfy as nearly as possible all the demands of those two great factors in the lumber
The result of their labours was placed before a general meeting of members of the Legislative Assembly, mill-owners and loggers, and the rule as devised, being thoroughly explained
by means of diagrams and by practical results obtained in several mills, was approved and
adopted. Tables were ordered to be computed according to the rule and printed in the form
of a book, which should be recognized as the standard authority throughout the Province, and
be known as the British Columbia Log Scale.
The Rule.
Deduct lJr inches from the mean diameter in inches at the small end of the log.
Square the result and multiply by .7854 to find area.
Deduct T3T.
Divide by 12 to bring to board-measure, and multiply by the length of the log in feet.
The above is intended to apply to all logs whose length is not greater than 40 feet.
It is further provided that in cases of logs over 40 feet in length an allowance on half the
length of the log is made, in order to compensate for the increase in the mean diameter ; this
allowance consists of an increase in the mean diameter at the small end of one inch for each
additional 10 feet in length over 40 feet. In other words, in cases of logs from 42 to 50 feet
long the contents of half the length of the log are to be computed according to the mean
diameter at the small end, the contents of the other half of the log according to a diameter
one inch greater than the mean diameter at the small end ; in cases of logs from 52 to 60 feet
long the contents of half the log according to the mean diameter at the small end, and those
of the other half according to a diameter two inches greater than the mean at the small end,
and so on ; the contents of the second half to be computed according to a diameter one inch
greater than that of the mean at the small end for each additional 10 feet in length after 40
It was not, however, considered necessary to extend the table for a length of log greater
than 40 feet, as the contents of such a log of given diameter may be obtained with sufficient
accuracy by adding the tabular contents of half the length of the log, at the given diameter,
to the tabular contents of a similar log at a diameter increased one inch for each additional 10
feet beyond 40 feet.
The rule, as laid down above, is of course unSt for the rapid computation of a table ; but
when algebraically expressed and simplified no difficulty need be encountered in expeditiously
carrying it to any desired length. The diameter measurements, as required by the rule, are to
be taken with calipers or a straight edge, and to make the scale effective all parties having logs
to measure should be permitted to use no other rule.
Work in the Draughting Office.
The official duties of the staff connected with the draughting office have been faithfully
devoted during the past year to the careful examination of surveyors' field-notes, the preparation of Gazette notices, the necessary tracings to be supplied to the different Government
Agents throughout the country, and those required to accompany each grant from the Crown,
the ever varying and increasing correspondence respecting details pertaining to surveys, and
the constant scheduling and compiling of the different classes of information necessary to
preserve upon the large detail plans prepared for office reference, which are drawn upon a scale
unsuitable for publication, but which form the ground-work of those new editions of maps
published from time to time under the auspices of the Government.
It will be noticed, on comparison with former reports, that the number of field-books
deposited in the Lands and Works Department during the past year is considerably in excess
of that placed on file in either of the years 1893 or 1894. Greater activity appears to have
been displayed in the survey of  mineral claims than in former years, as fully  one-half  of the 736
Crown Land Surveys.
number of volumes printed in the schedule below contain the field-notes of mineral locations, a
fact which proves that the mining industry is rapidly growing and becoming of greater importance as time advances.
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Crown grant tracings, 430.
Agents' tracings, 220.
Drawings for Government Office and Gaol, Rossland.
Bridge drawings, Tugwell Creek, 75 feet span.
ii Trent River.
School-house, Mud Bay.
n Midway.
Ward School, Oak Bay.
Office map of Goldstream, to replace old one.
n Highland, n
ii Otter, ii
ii Sooke,
|- in. = 1 mile.
As the plans and field-notes descriptive of the extent, shape and location of all Indian
Reserves throughout the Province are required to be placed on file in the Land Office and
receive the approval of the Hon. Chief Commissioner, it became necessary to have them
placed in a form in which they could be referred to without loss of time. The field-notes
were consequently indexed and labelled with the tribe to which each referred, and the plans,
similarly marked, were placed in one large volume, while a complete index was attached, giving all particulars connected with the minutes of decisions and the dates of the correspondence referring to each set of reserves. This arrangement has been found very convenient, and
the plans are less liable to be injured than formerly, on account of being kept in a flat state,
instead of being rolled up on a cylinder of wood.
The exploratory and subdivisional surveys carried on this year throughout the Province
have been performed in localities where the demand was the most urgent, and have been
executed with a degree of faithfulness and vigor which speaks well for those gentlemen who
have been engaged in such work ; still the appropriation devoted to survey work is of such a
fluctuating and limited character that no very extensive and permanent schemes of operation
can be formulated. It must be borne in mind that the money expended in a service of this
character is not lost to the country, as a large portion of it is returned by settlers in the
shape of survey fees, while the information gained by the execution of such works becomes very
valuable in the compilation of correct maps. The Ordnance Survey of Great Britain and Ireland, now about completed, has been in constant progress for over one hundred years, while
the Coast and Geoditic Survey of the United States, commenced in 1807, is still being
actively prosecuted, entailing an annual expenditure at the present time of upwards of five
hundred thousand dollars. The Geological Survey Department of the latter country also
expend annually an equal amount, while several of the individual States of the Union are
carrying on geological researches on their own account. It is, of course, unfair to compare
this Province in matters of this description with Great Britain or the United States, still the 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 737
above facts are briefly mentioned to show the importance of continuing survey work regularly
from year to year, if such a desirable result is ever to be obtained as a correct map of the
The surveys undertaken by Mr. Bell, with his two assistants, Messrs. Fry and Devereux,
were of an exploratory character, situated in the Chilcotin and Cariboo countries, and were
prosecuted for the purpose of determining the most feasible outlets of those regions, both east
ward and towards the coast. Mr. Bell's minute and exhaustive report, hereto attached, speaks
for itself, and is a paper which doubtless will receive marked attention and be in great
demand, considering the reliability of its author and the mass of general information it
As conflicting opinions were held respecting the quantity of available land suitable for
settlement purposes situated upon the. islands and adjacent country along the north-westerly
coast of the Province, Mr. George D. Corrigan, of the firm of Palmer & Corrigan, P. L. Surveyors, Vancouver, was instructed to carry on such explorations, commencing at Kingcome
Inlet, as would enable him to report exhaustively upon the location, character and extent
of the lands, which, when subdivided into small holdings, would prove well adapted for fishing communities, and others who are not altogether dependent for a living upon the fruits of
the soil. Mr. Corrigan appears to have carried on a very careful examination of the country
under consideration, and just at the close of the season's operations, when about to commence
the journey home, he met with an unforseen accident from which he survived only a few hours.
His notes and diary, however, were of such a comprehensive character, that his partner, Mr.
Palmer, had no difficulty, with the assistance of Mr. Corrigan's brother, who accompanied him
on the exploration, in completing the report, which is hereto appended. Before closing
this short synopsis of Mr. Corrigan's work, I wish to express my deep regret at the loss sustained by the surveying profession at large, and to bear witness to his earnest and faithful
work as a surveyor, and of his cheerful and honest disposition as a man.
Reports having reached this department that in the country near Mabel Lake and more
particularly at Trinity Valley there existed a comparatively large tract of land suitable for
settlement purposes, Mr. J. P. Burnyeat, P.L.S., was instructed to verify these statements, and
to report fully upon the location and extent of the country, the character and depth of the soil,
the quantity of rainfall, the drainage and irrigation facilities, the susceptibility of the region
in question to summer frosts, and such other information as he deemed necessary. His
praises of this section of the country are by no means meagre, and the extent of available
land is much larger than was expected, being in the neighbourhood of twenty thousand acres.
His report will be found interesting reading to those seeking a favourable location to commence farming operations.
The country in the vicinity of the Big Bend of the Columbia River, and more particularly
the Valley of Canoe River, has recently been favourably mentioned as a locality well suited for
agricultural purposes; but as the authenticity of these rumours was questioned by some, more
or less capable of judging, it was considered advisable to send some reliable person, acting
under instructions from this Department, to examine the country referred to and furnish a
detailed report of the character and extent of the available agricultural land, with such
additional information as would prove beneficial to parties making enquiries concerning that
region. Mr. R. H. Lee, P. L. S. of Kamloops, was consequently instructed to proceed to the
country under consideration and, with a small party, to make such exploratory surveys as
would enable him to furnish a report which would at once set at rest all conflicting statements
regarding the character of the country and its adaptability for settlement purposes. His report
is replete with statistical information, but as he chose the Columbia River route it does not
follow that there are no others available, which might prove less expensive to maintain and be
much more satisfactory in the long run.
A party of Scandinavians having decided to settle on Vancouver Island chose as a suitable
locality the country in the immediate neighbourhood of Quatsino Sound, one of the most
northerly inlets of the Island, abounding in fish, and in the vicinity of which large tracts of
land well adapted for settlement purposes are known to exist. The particular portion of the
country selected was not subdivided into sections, but the outlines of the adjacent townships
had been previously defined upon the ground, so it was considered advisable to send with the
party of colonists a surveyor, who was instructed to subdivide the country desired by them
into small holdings and locate them thereon, making use of their labour in the performance of
his duties.   Mr. H. Burnet, P.L.S., was detailed for this service, and in addition to the above he 738 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
located and superintended the construction of the Colonization Road running from Coal
Harbour, on the west coast of Quatsino Sound, to Hardy Bay, on the north-east coast of this
Island, a synopsis of which has already been printed in the report of the Honourable the Chief
Commissioner of Lands and Works for 1895.
Settlers whose ranches are situated in the Boundary Creek and Kettle River valleys
adjacent to the forty-ninth parallel, appear to be in some doubt respecting the true position of
the International Boundary in that region, and have made enquiries at the Lands and Works
Department in reference to the meaning of two separate and distinct parallel lines, some
distance apart, which exist upon the ground. As no records of the International Boundary
Commission Survey are on file in your Department no satisfactory explanation could be given;
but it was considered expedient to have an inexpensive reconnoissance survey made of the
portion of the boundary in question in order that the attention of the proper authorities might
be directed to the existing state of affairs, and a respectful request made to have the difficulty
settled with as little delay as possible. The report of Mr. C. DeB. Green, P.L.S., upon this
matter will be found in its place, and will doubtless prove more or less surprising to many.
When this matter is being submitted to the Federal authorities it perhaps would be well to
direct attention to the incomplete manner in which the International Boundary is defined upon
the ground. From the very meagre sources of information in my possession it appears that the
forty-ninth parallel east of Fort Shepherd was defined at the important river crossings only,
where astronomical stations were erected and a few chains of line cut out. These stations
remain even to this day unconnected by any kind of a line, and as they are situated many
miles apart, in the heart of a highly mineralized country, it will be readily seen that endless
confusion must arise in the near future. Mr. Green was also engaged during the season upon
a traverse of the road from Penticton to Boundary Creek. As this work consisted simply of
a road survey, no report is appended.
Enquiries for land upon Vancouver Island are being continually made at this Department,
and as desirable locations were known to be scattered along the many bays and inlets of the
West Coast of the Island, it was considered to be in the interests of the public that all available
information respecting certain portions of that coast should be obtained without delay, Mr.
T. S. Gore, P.L.S., was accordingly instructed to examine the section of the country lying
between Barclay and Nootka Sounds, and to lay off into small holdings, suitable for a fishing
population, any available lands which in his opinion would be found suitable for settlement
purposes. He apparently succeeded in finding a much greater area suitable for the required
purposes than was anticipated, and although continuing his field operations until late in the
fall he was unable to subdivide the whole of it. His report will be found to be of interest to
those who wish to obtain a location suitable for agricultural purposes, and one possessing a
growing prospective value on account of its proximity to important fishing grounds.
Photo-Topographical  Survey.
The extension of photo-topographical survey work has been continued in the Kootenay District during the past season with the utmost vigor, considering the character of the
country passed over and the state of the atmosphere, which at times was so smoky as to completely shut out the view of the surrounding country. This state of affairs not only proves detrimental to the rapid progress of the survey, but causes immense loss directly to the country
rendering it, among other things, more expensive to carry on mining operations, besides
depriving the country tributary to the streams and water-courses of that protection from the
sun which is the main factor in preventing devastating floods at one period of the year, and
distressing droughts at another.
Mr. Drewry's report not only gives us a synopsis of the season's operations, but is replete
with valuable hints respecting matters of vital importance, as well to the Province in general
as to the Kootenay District in particular, and certainly deserves careful perusal by all those
who are now turning their eyes to that rich section of the country.
Mineral Monuments.
The surveys of mineral claims should, on account of the great value of the lands included
within their boundaries, be prosecuted with the utmost precision, and, as they are generally
located in the roughest and most thickly timbered portions of the country, none but the most
modern methods and the most perfect mathematical instruments should be employed. The
field-notes should err on the side of redundancy than be wanting in important details, and 39 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 739
they should contain all information necessary to enable the Department to plot the claims in
their true relative positions with regard to each other. This latter requirement involves the
question of the establishment of mineral monuments—a subject which must engage the careful
consideration of the Government in the near future. This question has been fully decided in
all the mining States south of the International Boundary, where all mineral claims are tied
to a mineral monument, the position of which has been previously determined. The character
of our country may be slightly rougher and more densely timbered than that to the south, still
those facts alone are not sufficient reasons to warrant delay in the adoption of a system which
must come sooner or later, and which will be eminently satisfactory, not only to this department but also in the long run to the mine owner.
The adoption of a system of mineral monuments would prevent the occurrence of such a
state of affairs as happened in West Kootenay last season, where two surveyors were engaged
at the same time upon the surveys of two mineral claims which overlapped to such a serious
extent that the major portion of each location was common to both. Neither surveyor
reported to this department any encroachment or showed any overlap on his plans, and from
the want of additional information the claims were plotted as independent and isolated locations. Such blunders as these are apt to lead to serious results, besides causing a great deal of
extra and useless labour in the Department, as well as annoyance and delay to the mine
owner. The system, as pursued at present, is one which furnishes to this office as little
information of a useful character as it is possible to conceive, and renders the Department
unable to publish a comprehensive map of any of the mining districts in the Province showing
all the surveyed mineral claims in their proper relative positions.
Board of Examiners.
As required by statute, the Board appointed to examine candidates for admission as
students, and for the granting of commissions as Provincial Land Surveyors, meets at the
office of the Honourable the Chief Commissioner of Bands and Works twice every year,
namely, on the first Monday in each of the months of April and October. At these meetings
any complaints lodged against any practicing member of the profession are thoroughly investigated, and such action taken as is warranted by the character of the offence. It is but fair to
say that very few complaints thus far have been dealt with by the Board, still it is necessary
that such a body should exist, as it is not only a severe check upon those who, by gross carelessness or fraud, render themselves liable to complaint, but it also is mainly useful in preventing incompetent candidates from being admitted to the practice of the profession.
Six candidates gave notice of intention to present themselves for final examination, one
of whom failed to put in an appearance, being prevented frorn doing so by his medical adviser.
Four out of the five remaining succeeded in reaching the standard of requirements, and were
granted commissions. The fifth candidate passed in all the subjects but one, and applied for
a special examination to take place one month subsequently. After consideration, the Board
decided to adjourn for one month and permit the gentleman to present himself who was prevented by illness from attending the first meeting, and also to allow the candidate who applied
for the special examination to come up on condition that the expenses of such adjourned
meeting should be borne by themselves. These two candidates, having passed successfully,
were granted commissions.
The October meeting was of short duration, consisting of the examination in the system
of survey only of one candidate, who presented his commission as a Provincial Land Surveyor
from the Province of Ontario and the Dominion of Canada.
The following are the names of the gentlemen added to the authorized list of surveyors
for the Province :—
Cleveland, E Vancouver.
Hirsch, Jno Nelson.
Kerby,  F. M Vernon.
McGregor,  J. M Victoria.
Townsend,  N. F Rossland.
Tracy, Thos Vancouver.
Wollaston, F Victoria.
Certificates as students were granted at the spring meeting to Messrs. James Hislop,
H. P. Renwick, and W. R. Wilson. 740 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
Since the organization of the Board, in 1891, there have been thirty commissions granted
and fourteen students have been admitted to the study of the profession. The receipts thus
far are considerably in excess of the expenditure, which has been kept as low as possible.
Should this favourable result not be continued in the future the existence of the Board is, for
the reasons stated above, a matter of necessity, and the fact of it having been self-supporting
so long, without any lowering of the standard of requirements, shows that the funds placed at
its disposal have been economically and efficiently administered.
• I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
Surveyor General. 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 741
Victoria, B. C, February 22nd, 1896.
Hon. 67. B. Martin,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works
for the Province of British Columbia.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report of the North-West Colonization
The north-west colonization survey was made under instructions sufficiently liberal to
admit of treatment of a comprehensive character.
The information gained during the progress of the survey has been sufficient to justify
the cost, as will appear hereafter.
On the 30th day of May, 1895, Mr. F. A. Devereux, C.E., left Victoria to examine
certain portions of the coast about which little information is upon record, in such a form as
to admit of practical deductions being made from it.
On the 30th day of May, 1895, Mr. Henry Fry, O.E., went to the country about the
headwaters of the Homathco and Klena Klene Rivers, and succeeded in making a continuous
track survey frorn the neighbourhood of Tatla Lake to a junction with the work of Mr.
F. A. Devereux upon thesame river.
Both reports are appended here.
The work of Mr. Henry Fry, C.E., was extended by the writer from Tatla Lake to the
confluence of the Goat and Fraser Rivers, that is, to a junction with surveys previously made
by the Dominion Government during the years 1874 to 1877.
Generally the result obtained from the season's work in 1895 has been the definition of a
base line for colonization purposes, upon which the resources of the Province may be advantageously developed, both laterally and between terminal points.
The Dominion Government surveys of the Bute Inlet route of the Canadian Pacific Railway contain valuable information about that portion of the route to be hereafter referred to as
adopted in part for present purposes. The Government of British Columbia had applied to
the Dominion Government at the time this exploration was undertaken for certain desirable
information. As, however, it had not come to hand at the time of writing this report, and
the greater portion of the route had been re-examined and re-traversed, a plan is submitted
herewith which has been proved by observation to be practically correct.
Some lateral topography is compiled from the Dominion Government geological surveys
which had in part, as a source of information, the surveys above referred to. The geological
map of the Barkerville district has been used within the area of its application, and found to
be useful.
Between Comox and Otter Cove, Vancouver Island, a distance of 70 miles, there are good
agricultural and timber lands, probably not less than 200,000 acres (see Appendix L). The
clearing of these lands for farming purposes is no doubt expensive, but the result in so good a
climate as that of Vancouver Island leaves the farmer who has the enterprise to undertake and
carry it through to completion both comfortable and independent. Good lands adjoining the
coast are especially valuable, as the logs may be sold when clearing instead of being burned.
To obtain a general idea of that which is necessary to facilitate the colonization of the
unoccupied portion of British Columbia north-easterly from the Coast Range to the Province
boundary, it is necessary to consider the relation of existing routes to the development of the
There are at present some sixty settlers in the lower Homathco Valley. The land is good,
but expensive to clear, and the climate probably unexcelled anywhere for the production of
cereals, fruits, and roots. The settler who is not possessed of capital must work alternatively
for himself and others.    It is a slow process, but one worthy of the trouble when accomplished. 742 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
What one and all of these settlers desire is a practicable route to the eastern side of the
mountains. During the summer, and occasionally at other times, they find work in the Upper
Country, but it is an arduous undertaking to go up on foot through the range, although there
are men now in the Homathco Valley that have done it more than once.
The eastern flank of the Coast Range of British Columbia possesses pastoral lands of
exceptional excellence. Some time was spent this past summer in the examination of those
lying east of the mountains along the foot-hills between the Chilco River and the west end of
Tatla Lake.
It would be difficult to find a better section of country for cattle-raising than a large proportion of this, or to see fatter cattle than those to be found at Tatla Lake and vicinity.
The prevalence of the Chinook wind upon the eastern flank and foot-hills of the Coast
Range has a favourable influence on the climate and capabilities of that belt of country.*
The measure of the capacity of a good cattle ranch in this section of country is said to
consist of its ability to furnish winter feed, and in this respect the eastern flank and foot-hills
of the Cascade Range afford opportunities, although necessitating preparatory work in some
instances—as, for example, when beaver dams are found upon the outlet from a meadow, the
proper regulation of which will furnish the means of both drainage and irrigation.!
The configuration of the country examined along the eastern foot-hills of the Coast Range
would, if divided into homesteads with reference to utilizing the neighbouring ranges, probably
provide all the winter feed required for a long time to come for the respective locations so set
It is not to be supposed that with the lapse of time and the accumulation of stock that
natural meadows could be found for every settler; but it will be noticed by those who traverse
the country that the opportunities afforded by nature for the making of meadows with a minimum of clearing are many.
In some cases creeks for irrigation purposes present themselves, and in others irrigation
is not so much required as drainage.
Some of the best natural grasses known may be grown here upon an extensive scale for
no more trouble than the cutting and burning of one crop and the sowing of another, for a
confirmation of which an inspection of the native grasses now cultivated at the west end of
Tatla Lake will suffice.
Having made one trip from Tatla Lake to a summit of the Southgate River, and returned
after making a south-westerly exploration to the Chilco River, the number of good locations
seen were certainly more than one would expect to find from a cursory examination of the
existing travelled routes. J
It has been stated by the present Director of the Dominion Government Geological
Survey, G. M. Dawson, C.M.G., LL.D., F.R.S. (see Appendix F), that many of the mountain
tops throughout British Columbia furnish nutritive summer pastures for cattle.    The expedi-
*The first winter that Mr. Benjamin Franklin spent at Tatla Lake a heavy snow storm took place.
Being apprehensive of losing his cattle he so informed tire Indians there in the vicinity. Taking shovels,
they went into the hay meadow and excavated a trench in the snow. The horses got into it first and the
cattle after them.    In a few days the Chinook wind came, removed the snow and no animals were lost.
An average natural hay meadow will cut about two and one-half tons to the acre, and about 120 acres
nray be considered as enough to winter one thousand head of cattle. There are, however, cattle at Tatla
Lake three years old that have not eaten hay, and hay more than three years old in the stack.
fAt one of the highest cattle ranges in British Columbia, the following information was given :—
That they used as a general average for winter feed, one ton of hay per day for 300 head of cattle for a
period of from one to two months' duration, and in the worst of seasons the same amount  of feed per day
for four months.
This present winter they had put up 186 tons of hay for 300 head of cattle and 100 calves. Nature
seems to have supplemented the higher ranges with more abundant natural hay meadows than the lower-
levels of the country, a beneficent provision more than once noted during the summer of 1895.
Jin the neighbourhood of Choilquoit Lake there in an open slope with a southerly exposure where the
Indians of the country round about have been accustomed to winter their horses. In reply to a question as
to the depth of snow in the winter, a very old Indian replied by intercepting six inches of the end of his
riding stick and holding it up. He said that no horse had ever died here because the wind came and took
away the snow. All the horses seen travelling with Indians in this vicinity were in good condition. Asked
how long Tatlaico Lake was generally frozen during winter, the same Indian said, not more than a few days
before the wind conies and takes away the snow.
The same testimony is corroborated by settlers of that vicinity. 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 743
tion above referred to is a corroboration of that statement, as good pasture was found at 5,000
feet over sea level, together with an immunity from the pest of summer flies.*
With reference to the quality of the pasture to be found in this district, it is various.
On open side hills facing south, it is bunch grass; in partially timbered areas, timber grass,
mixed with wild vetches and pea-vine.
Tt is sometimes said that animals do not care for timber grass, but it is well known in
this district that cattle will often leave bunch grass during the summer to feed iu the timber,
and that they maintain their condition equally as well as cattle fed upon bunch grass alone.
The statement is frequently made that much of British Columbia is disqualified by the
prevalence of summer frost. In this connection, it should be remembered that British
Columbia, being a Province comprising great variations of altitude, may be conveniently
divided into two levels for the purpose of appreciating its economical productive capacity.
The lower level may be taken as under 2,500 feet, where grain and roots of the kinds
suitable to any part of the country may be grown with few exceptions, due to local peculiarities.    The upper level, above 2,500 feet over the sea, may be considered a grazing country.
It is needless to remark that the occurrence of frost does not injure the growth of a
native hay meadow, nor that of a cultivated hay field.
Neither does it recompense the proprietor of a good, high-level cattle ranch to make
experiments in the growth of delicate root crops. Owners of ranches say that they can purchase potatoes and other roots required cheaply enough from their neighbour who cultivates
and lives upon a lower level. There is, however, no prejudice to this district in the prevalence
of summer frost, for the reason that during the fly season, when animals lose flesh if unduly
tormented, they secure immunity from these pests by simply going up to a certain level and
feeding down ; from which it may be inferred that the prevalence of summer frost is a
beneficent provision of Nature for a grazing country while it remains unimproved. The clearing and cultivation of land exercise an influence in neutralizing the plague of summer flies,
and the occurrence of summer frost at a certain level is an easy solution of that which
would otherwise be prejudicial to a district where neither clearing nor cultivation has taken
No one who has seen the cattle ranges upon the eastern flank of the Cascade Range
within the influence of the Chinook wind can doubt that they are choice locations, and there
must be some reason for their not being more sought after and occupied.
Residents of the adjoining districts say that these locations will be sought after and
rapidly occupied if only the means of access were less troublesome, tedious, and expensive.!
The Dominion Immigration Returns for 1894 to 1895 show that of 535 settlers between
Calgary and Edmonton, 462 of them come from the State of Washington and 73 from Oregon.
It would seem natural to infer that if the accessibility were easy in British Columbia, the
latter might have obtained some of those settlers from Washington and Oregon. Frequently,
men anxious to take up land are heard to say that all the land in accessible portions of the
country is already occupied. If the map of British Columbia be taken, and the distance
measured from Vancouver to a point in the latitude of 51 degrees and 40 minutes north on the
Homathco River, via Ashcroft, Clinton, Dog Creek, and the Chilcotin Road, and this distance
be compared with a direct ascent from the coast at the head of Bute Inlet to the same point,
it will be found that the former is nearly five times the distance of the latter. Under these
circumstances, it is not reasonable to suppose that the territory under consideration will be
opened up and colonized further than it is at present, until other means of ingress and egress
than those existing shall be obtained. Had the abandoned Waddington Road through the
Coast Range been completed in years gone by, a large proportion of the area referred to would
now be occupied by industrious settlers.
*There is a mountain some twenty miles west of Tatla Lake where a party went to shoot caribou.
Having turned their horses loose upon the top of the mountain they were subsequently found in an extensive
pasture and irr good condition.
+A number of intending settlers came from Eastern Canada to Vancouver and were met there by a
resident from the eastern side of the Coast Range of whom they made enquiry as to where good locations for
cattle raising could be found. They were informed by him that the eastern slope of the Coast Range afforded
opportunities of the kind that they sought after, offering to aid them so far as possible to place themselves.
Having further enquired about the route and the cost of going in by rail, stage, and pack horses, they took
their tickets and returned eastwards.
The narrator of this incident stated that he wanted neighbours and had presented every fact that he
was cognizant of in favour of the coumtry, but without effect. 744 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
The people of the upper country desire to drive their cattle for shipment to the coast.
There is a unity of sentiment and business interest on both sides of the range, and in order
that both sides should be quickly colonized, there must be intermediate means of communication more easy than that which obtains at present.
Some settlers of the Homathco Valley have had the enterprise to cut a trail to Bute Inlet
from Tatla Lake, via Chilco Lake and the Southgate River. The summit over which this
trail passes is too high for use except for a limited time during summer. At flood time there
are creeks that require bridging, and it would probably not be much used if completed. There
is, however, another trail from Tatla Lake, via the valley of Tatlaico Lake and the eastern
mountain slope through a lateral pass, to waters tributary to the Southgate River. The
approximate position is marked upon the plan herewith. The writer has ascended on horseback within a mile of this summit through a good grazing country above the level of 5,000
feet, and it seems possible that a practicable route for four or five months in the year could be
established in this direction for a moderate expenditure; but it would, in his judgment, be
more advantageous to all interests, and for all purposes, to open up a route by way of the
Homathco River, no matter what the difference of cost might be.
The opening of the Bella Coola Trail in connection with that settlement is likely to prove
an inestimable benefit. Its completion is desired by all those who are situated upon the
eastern flank of the mountains, as being a great help if not a complete solution of the means
of access to and from the interior. It will, however, be understood that, although such a route
will undoubtedly be of great benefit to the people of the Bella Coola settlement, it would not
satisfy the wants of those who are settled in the lower Homathco Valley.
The building of trails and roads through the Coast Range necessitates a large expenditure,
but it should be taken into consideration that when one of these is completed for the distance
through the range, the extension of it, say to the mouth of Quesnelle to a junction with the
waggon road at that point, could be obtained for a very trifling increase of cost, and therefore
the average cost per mile for the whole distance would be thereby much reduced. Without
being able to make a comparison of all the available lands within a certain distance of Tatla
Lake, it may yet be stated with some degree of confidence that within an area bounded by
Alexis Creek, thence to the west end of Tatla Lake, including lands in the valleys of the east
and west branches and main Homathco River, Choilquoit Lake, creeks tributary to Tatla Lake
and Chilco River, there are 8Q,000 acres of good land unoccupied and fitted for raising hay or
hardy crops. Of this area, probably 10,000 acres are irrigable, and 70,000 acres are good
lands that require some amount of clearing. There is a fair proportion of this land that is hay
meadow, or capable of being made so at a minimum cost per acre.
The area referred to does not of course include that of the many cattle ranges to be found
within the same boundaries.
It would, however, require a thorough exploration, extending over probably two years, to
form an accurate estimate of the area of good pasture, meadows, and irrigable lands that
subtend the inside slopes and foot-hills of the whole Coast Range of British Columbia.
The number of locations taken up and abandoned, together with the number of posts
marked, is an indication of the necessity for means of access in order to colonize. Some houses
have been built and abandoned after a year's residence. Having enquired the reason of this
apparently unreasonable action, it was said to proceed from a sense of solitude, coupled with
the impossibility of going anywhere at a reasonable cost with the present means of access to
the country. It was too expensive to go below via the Chilicotin Road to Ashcroft, and
impossible to go through to the coast; no market near at hand, and why should they suffer
isolation in British Columbia when they could find equally good places with better means of
access ?
As to whether the traffic that would be created by making a trail through the Homathco
River to the Interior would justify the cost of its construction, it cannot be doubted that this
route would be largely used for the traffic that would be created by the development of the
country east of the mountains the moment that access was secured. Add to which traffic of
which the elements are in existence at the present time, that requires only an outlet to become
an appreciable, quantity.
It should be remembered also that a grazing country requires transportation, from point
to point, for many commodities of different kinds that are found upon the premises in a country
where mixed farming is the rule. 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 745
In order of progression the country lying east of the Coast Range should be considered.
The Chilcotin Road to Soda Creek passes through the southern and eastern portions, which is
settled. It is a good farming and ranching country, with many streams that have been utilized
for irrigation.
Between and eastward of the colonization line shown by the general plan herewith, and
eastward thence to Alexandria there is a belt of the central plateau described by Lieut. H. S.
Palmer and Mr. Marcus Smith, C.E., as more or less barren. Although this district is not
so fertile as that by which it is surrounded, still it affords many good hay meadows, some of
large extent (from 2,000 acres downwards); and there are also large areas of good soil covered
with scrubby timber which has been burned off year by year. Occasionally one sees a few
acres of the magnificent primeval forest, with the fir trees still standing in a carpet of timber
grass and pea-vine.
Having made particular enquiry as to whether this district was suited to sheep-raising,
the writer was informed that the experiment had already been made, and so far as the raising
of sheep successfully was concerned that nothing more could be desired. A band of four
hundred head had been raised in precisely similar country, but the market for wool and the
price obtainable left no margin of profit. It seems difficult to discover the reason why this
industry could not be made commercially profitable, but it may be inferred from what information can be obtained that the carriage of the raw material to the coast reduced the price to the
sheep owner below profitable rates.
It is therefore, like many other industries, dependent upon the means of communication
for its successful prosecution, and there is no disability that can be called permanent. It is
possible to find large areas of good soil covered with blackened and half burned timber, in
many cases small enough to be taken by the hand and pulled out by the roots. In other cases
the timber is upon the ground more than half consumed.
Such land could be cleared for a small expenditure for the growth of pasture, and if taken
in conjunction with existing hay meadows a larger proportion of this district might turn out
to be available than a casual consideration of the subject might indicate.
The continual burning of this district, taken in conjunction with the grasses found in
unburnt places, seems to prove that grass grows here very rapidly.*
*Not knowing what effect wood ashes might have upon the growth of pasture, the writer was informed
by an experienced farmer that one of the best hay crops that he had ever seen was grown upon the scattered
ashes of a freshly burned clearing. The proprietors of the Australian ranch, some 25 rrriles south of
Quesnellemouth, say that they suffered from the frost difficulty in years gone by, before they had as much
land urrder cultivation as at present. They do not suffer now, and are of opinion that the clearing of land
is influential irr doing away with summer frost, adducing as an instance that when the temperature falls the
brushy margin of a field will often show signs of frost that cannot be detected in the open parts. It is
natural to suppose that the effects of a fall in temperature are greatest where the sun has least power of
penetration, arrd the ground, on account of overhead foliage the least opportunity of absorbing heat, which'
would modify a sudden fall of temperature.
The same persons above referred to say that at the Bohannon ranch, some 22 miles south of Quesnellemouth, (see Appendix B) at a level of about 2,000 feet over the sea, they formerly suffered also from summer
frost, but as their area of cultivation extended they secured immunity so far as to be able to raise wheat and
vegetables in quantity sufficient to supply the local markets with rarely a failure. Mr. R. A. Collins, of
Mud Lake had a flour mill on the Fraser River below Soda Creek, some years ago, his present ranch is about
2,000 feet over the sea level. His business as a miller brought him much in connection with the farmer and
he is of opinion that in a majority of instances if wheat is sown at the proper time little difficulty frorn
summer frost will be experienced. The farmers of Manitoba and the Provinces adjoining, have had occasion
to pass through the same experience and arrive at the same conclusion. Referring to the report of the
Department of Agriculture of British Columbia by Mr. J. R. Anderson, for the year 1894, pages 905 to 909,
it will be seen that fall ploughing is recommended by various correspondents for the district from Chilcotin
to Quesnellemouth, which accords remarkably with the idea of Mr. Collins of Mud Lake as given above.
To continue the same subject, it should be noted that many of the hay meadows with which this country
is diversified are found enclosing small lakes often of considerable depth.
That the presence of a reservoir of still water has an influence upon the cultivation of roots first came
under the writer's notice as follows :—
In the year 1880 a potato patch was planted at the station called Barclay, on the line of the C. P. R.,
about half way between Winnipeg and Thunder Bay, about one mile north of Wabigon Lake, and 150 feet
higher level. Previously excellent potatoes had been bought from the Indians of that vicinity. The
planted potatoes grew fine tops and were frozen in one night. The seed was obtained from the Indians, who
afterwards explained that these potatoes were planted too far from the water; that they planted theirs
close to the water and never lost them.
The growing of crops in the valley of a river fed by glacial streams should not be confounded with the
conditions which hold good beside a fresh water lake of which the temperature continually rises as the season 746 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
At the Twenty-Mile House, east of Quesnellemouth, elevation 2,500, and 53 degrees
latitude, potatoes cannot be grown, although roots of other kinds were found in a flourishing
At the Thirteen-Mile House, which is upon a higher level by some 300 feet, there is a
deep lake surrounded by a natural amphitheatre (hills upon three sides and timber upon one)
where potatoes can be grown in a majority of seasons.
There are no means of knowing whether the same might prove true in other localities
where lakes may be found surrounded by deep black soil, but it would not be surprising if such
were the case. The results of experience prove that if potatoes are planted in such a position
as not to receive the strength of the sun's rays until the afternoon, that the fact of a lowering
of temperature to a few degrees of frost will not necessarily destroy them. It is the sudden
change of temperature that is most to be avoided.
The leading valleys of British Columbia and the settled country along the waggon road
are capable of producing delicate roots sufficient for local consumption. In the latitude of
Soda Creek musk melons, cucumbers and tomatoes ripen in the open air at the level of 2,000
feet. Indian corn may be seen growing at intervals all the way from Quesnelle to Soda Creek.
The writer is in possession of potatoes grown at the latter place from two and one-quarter to
two and one-half pounds weight each ; also specimens of cultivated native grasses from Tatla
Lake five feet in height.
Two conclusions force themselves upon the mind of those who have examined the country—
(1.) That if means of access were had from salt water to the eastern side of the Coast
Range, the country would be colonized in a short space of time and at a minimum cost—the
latter, because individual and private effort could be used with effect to keep open existing
routes, or to open those which the changed circumstances might call for in the partially open
plateau country.
(2.) That there is not much waste land in the country, as that which is not suitable for
farming and cattle raising is suitable for raising sheep ; and the majority of cattle owners say
that sheep crop too closely for cattle to thrive in the same pasture.
North of the last described district there is a good pastoral country with areas capable of
cultivation as far north as the Blackwater River, and with some slight interruption as far
north as Stuart Lake and Fort St. James. (See Appendix F, Farming and Stock-Raising in
British Columbia, by G. M. Dawson, C.M.G., LL.D., F.R.S.)
The eastern boundary of this district is the Fraser River, and the western the eastern
slope of the Cascade Range. The eastern boundary along the Fraser River contains fertile
agricultural land on both sides of the river. As these lands are accessible by the waggon road
into the mines, and farmers have a good market for all they can produce, these benches of the
Fraser River have been largely taken up and settled. They require only more activity in the
mining districts to be settled throughout. There are benches of the Fraser, as those at Alexandria, that require irrigation, and it is opportune to remark that all those benches could be
irrigated by a well devised scheme, because Nature has prepared the way and it requires only
an intelligent application of capital to complete it.     (See Appendix M.)
Irrigation in British Columbia has been undertaken upon a small scale in many places—
that is to say, wherever a small stream can be found in an occupied district that can be utilized
by individual effort it has been so employed.
The heavy crops that can be grown where irrigation obtains are too well known to need
further reference.
There is, however, in British Columbia, as elsewhere, a large area of land that could be
utilized by irrigation upon a more comprehensive scale than any yet employed. The physical
features of the country are such as to require special treatment for irrigation purposes.
With regard to the total quantity of the land available for grazing and cultivation in
British Columbia west of the Fraser River and east of the Coast Range, between the 51st and
the 55th parallel of latitude, one-third of the area so bounded may certainly be taken as
coterminous grazing and cultivable lands, or six millions of acres. Of the two-thirds remaining,
a very large proportion is summer grazing and land that is suited for sheep farming purposes.
advances in a much higher ratio than that of a river of the kind referred to. The conditions are entirely
different, and the results have been considered by good judges to be as nearly as possible of an opposite
character. 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 747
It is difficult to assign a proportion, but the total of all kinds will probably not be far from
twelve millions of acres.
A general description of the capabilities of the great interior plateau of British Columbia,
written by the present Director of the Dominion Geological Survey, G. M. Dawson, C. M. G.,
LL.D., F.R.S., was published in 1877. (See also extracts from other reports by the same
author, Dr. Selwyn, F R.S., F.G.S., and Professor Macoun—Appendices A to K.) These
reports are applicable now as when published, and the re-printing of a portion of them cannot
fail to assist in forming a just appreciation of that which their respective titles and contents
In the section of country east of the Fraser River and north of the latitude of Quesnellemouth, there are many creeks and river bottoms that contain good pasture available for dairy
products, to supply the wants of the mining districts, and also for the cutting of hay. At the
Twenty-Mile House, Cottonwood ranch, twenty miles east of Quesnellemouth, good butter,
milk, vegetables of all kinds (except potatoes), and hay, are successfully raised at the present
time; all of which find a ready market in the mining district adjacent.
The area of land that could be utilized for this purpose is considerable, although it would
be impossible to say how much without further exploring the lengths and widths of the
numerous streams with which the country abounds.
In the same district north of the latitude of Quesnellemouth, thence to the Eastern
Boundary of the Province, and as far north as knowledge of the country extends, the principal
resources may be described as minerals and timber.
The following extracts are taken verbatim from a paper read by G. M. Dawson, C. M. G.,
LL.D., F.R.S., before the Royal Colonial Institute, March 14th, 1893 (see also Appendix K.
extracts from his summary report for the year 1894):—
" The Mineral Wealth of British Columbia.
" For fifteen years or more I have been engaged in the exploration and geological examination of British Columbia in connection with the Geological Survey of Canada, and have thus
enjoyed the opportunity of traversing and inspecting a large part of this Province of Canada.
The information gained has been embodied in a series of official reports, published from year
to year, and it is only because it may be assumed that such reports are seldom read that I can
venture to hope that what I have to say may possess some interest or novelty at the present time.
" Less than one hundred years ago, the region now named British Columbia was wholly
unknown. At about that time its coast began to be explored in some detail by Cook, Vancouver,
and other navigators, and soon after, this coast became the resort of a certain number of
trading vessels in search of furs; but none of these adventurers acquired any knowledge of the
interior of the country. Almost simultaneously, however, the explorers and traders of the
North-West and Hudson's Bay Companies, pushing on and extending their operations from
point to point in the interior of the North American Continent, began to enter the hitherto
mysterious region of the Rocky Mountains from its inland side. Mackenzie was the first to
reach the Pacific, and following him came Fraser, Thompson, Campbell, and others—all Scotchmen in the service of these trading companies,—till by degrees several trading posts were
established, and ' New Caledonia,' as the whole region was then named, came to be recognized
as arr important 'fur country.'
" This era of discovery, with its results, constitutes the first chapter in the known history
of British Columbia. It is replete with the achievements and adventures of these pioneers of
commerce, who with their limited resources, and without knowing that they had achieved
fame—often without even placing their journeys on record—extended the operations of their
Companies across a continent. But this chapter, though full of interest, is not that with
which we are at present concerned. It must suffice to say that what is now British Columbia
remained a 'fur country,' and that alone, for many years. The existence of coal upon its
coast was recognized by Dr. Tolmie, an officer of the Hudson's Bay Company, as early as 1835;
but though small quantities of coal were actually obtained from natural outcrops from time to
time, for the use of blacksmiths at the Company's posts, no importance appears to have been
attached to the discovery. The world was at that time very spacious, and the Pacific Ocean
was still regarded rather as a field for the exploration of navigators than as a highway of
commerce between America and Asia.
"In 1849 gold was discovered in California, and with the resulting influx of miners, the
seizure of that Mexican province by the United States, justified, if justifiable at all, by its 748 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
subsequent development, all are familiar. Two years later a discovery of gold occurred on the
Queen Charlotte Islands, now forming part of British Columbia. This constitutes an interesting episode by itself, but, though some attention was drawn to it for a time, no substantial
results followed, and no alteration in the condition of the country as a whole was brought
about.    The meaning and the worth of this particular discovery yet remain to be determined.
"In 1857, however, four or five French Canadians and half-breeds, employees of the
ubiquitous Hudson's Bay Company, found gold on the banks of the Thompson, a tributary of
the Fraser River, and their discovery becoming known, changed the whole fortunes of the
country. California was at this time filled with gold miners, and it required only the rumour
of a new discovery of gold to create a new excitement. In the following year it is estimated
that within three months over 20,000 people arrived at the remote trading post which then
stood upon the present site of the City of Victoria, while many more made their way overland
to the new El Dorado.
"The difficulties in the way of these fortune hunters were great. The country was without
roads or other means of communication, save such rough trails and tracks as had served the
purposes of the natives and those of the fur traders. The Indians, if not openly hostile, were
treacherous, and not a few of the men who actually reached the Fraser canyons were never
again heard of.
"The Fraser and Thompson were at this time the objective points, and much of the lengths
of these rivers were impracticable torrents. It is not, therefore, surprising that by far the
larger part of those engaged in this sudden migration returned disappointed—many without
ever reaching their destination. Some, however, persevered; several thousand miners actually
got to work on the auriferous bars of the Fraser, and a new state of affairs was thus
fairly inaugurated.
"To follow the rapid progress of these miners along the Fraser and Thompson with their
tributaries, would be full of interest, though the records of their work now existing are scanty;
but this again would lead us too far afield. The gold found on the low reaches of the Fraser
was what is known to miners as 'fine' gold, or gold in very small scales or dust, minutely
divided. Further up 'coarser' gold was obtained, and the miners very naturally jumped to
the conclusion that somewhere still further up the great stream, the source of all the gold
should be found. Thus, with restless energy, they pushed on till before long the Cariboo
country, some 400 miles from the sea, was reached, and here the richest deposits of alluvial or
' placer ' gold were found, and for a number of years continued to be worked, with results
which, considering the comparatively small number of men engaged, were most remarkable.
"Later and more thorough investigation show that the theory so readily adopted by the
miners was incorrect; that there is no regular gradation in amount of 'coarseness' of gold
from the lower part of the Fraser to the headwaters in Cariboo, but that the gold found on
the bars of the river is of more local origin. Still the theory referred to, as a matter of fact,
led the miners to Cariboo, which proved not only to be the richest district so far discovered in
British Columbia, but for its area one of the richest placer mining districts ever found.
"In this district the valleys of two streams, Lightning and Williams creeks, have been
the most remunerative, and these and their tributaries have actually yielded the greater part
of the gold obtained. The work was begun by the washing of the gravels of the streams
themselves, but with the experience already in California and in Australia, the miners soon
began to search deeper. The valleys through which these streams flowed were found to be
filled to a considerable depth by loose material, gravel and boulder clay, due to the glacial
period or to inwash from the sides of the bordering mountain ranges ; and in sinking beneath
all this material the channels of older streams, the predecessors of the present, were found,
with their rocky beds smoothed and worn and filled with rounded boulders and gravel. These
contained vastly richer deposits of gold, because they represented the concentrated accumulation of great periods of continued work by natural forces of denudation and river action.
" This discovery once made, led to the initiation of more extended mining operations,
which often necessitated large expense in labour and the construction of heavy pumping
machinery, but the results as a rule repaid the enterprising miners. Thus the old deeply
buried channel of Lightning Creek was found to average something like $200 in gold to each
running foot of its length, while considerable lengths of Williams Creek yielded as much as
$1,000 to the same unit of measurement.
" Williams Creek affords some notable instances of the extraordinary concentration of
' coarse' gold in limited areas.    Thus from Steele's claim, 80x25 feet, over $100,000 worth of 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 749
gold was obtained. From the Diller Company's claim, it is stated that in one day 200 lbs.
weight of gold, valued at $38,400, was raised ; and in 1863, twenty claims were producing
from 70 to 400 ounces of gold per diem. Four hundred miners were at work on Williams
Creek in this year, which is still admiringly spoken of as the ' golden year.'
"Though, like Williams Creek, discovered in 1861, the deep channel of Lightning Creek
was not successfully reached till 1870, but great developments followed. The Butcher claim at
one time yielded 350 ounces of gold a day; the Aurora 300 to 600 ounces, and the Caledonia 300 ounces.
" It must be remembered that the Cariboo mining district is situated in a high and densely
forested mountainous region, which, because of its inaccessible character, had remained almost
unknown even to the wandering native hunters. At the time in which these great discoveries
in it occurred, it was reached only with extreme difficulty by trails or imperfect tracks, over
mountains and across unbridged rivers. Every article required by the miner was obtained at
an excessive cost; but all these drawbacks did not prevent the rapid growth of typical mining camps in the centre of this remote wilderness, with their accompanying lavish expenditure
and costly if rude pleasures. So long as the golden stream continued to flow in undiminished
volume, everything that gold alone could buy was to be obtained in Cariboo.
" Perhaps more worthy of note is the fact that the development of these mines was
carried out entirely by the miners themselves. No outside capital or backing was asked for
or obtained. Money made in one venture was freely and at once embarked in another, and
the investors were to be found working with pick and shovel in the shaft or drift.
" But the lengths of the rich old channels on both these famous creeks which could be
worked in this way proved to be limited to a few miles. Below a certain point in each case,
the bedrock was found to be at so great a depth that it. was not possible to reach it through
the loose and water-saturated materials filling the old valley. Thus the great yield of gold
became gradually reduced to comparatively modest proportions, and, at the present lime,
mining in the Cariboo District is mainly confined to hydraulic workings, by which poorer
ground is utilized and a much larger quantity of material requires to be removed to obtain a
given amount of gold. But the old valleys of Cariboo have never ceased to produce gold,
and in 1892 their product still amounted in value to about $200,000.
" It has been impossible to follow the fortunes of the Cariboo mining district in any
detail, and time can only be afforded to name the other placer mining districts of the
Province. The Omineca District was discovered soon after Cariboo, but little was done there
until 1867. This district is situated in latitude 56°, in the drainage basin of the Peace River,
and, though so remote, has produced a considerable quantity of gold. Still further to the
north, in latitude 58°, is the Cassiar District, first found to be auriferous in 1872, for some
years thereafter resorted to by many miners, and still a mining centre not without importance. This is the northernmost mining region of British Columbia proper, but beyond the
60th parallel (forming the northern boundary of the Province) alluvial gold mining has of
late years been developed in the Yukon District, embracing the numerous upper tributaries of
that great river, and extending to the borders of the United States Territory of Alaska.
" Neither must it be forgotten to note that the working of alluvial gold deposit of greater
or less importance has occurred at many places in the southern part of the Province, to the
east of the Fraser River, including Big Bend, Similkameen, and Kootenay Districts, from all
of which some gold still continues to be produced by the old methods.
" The story of the discovery and development, the palmy days, and the gradual decline in
importance of any of these mining regions, rightly told and in sufficient detail, would constitute in itself a subject of interest. But without attempting to do more than name the
districts here, it is of importance to note how general, throughout the whole extent of the
great area of British Columbia, the occurrence of deposits of alluvial gold has proved to be.
The gold thus found in the gravels and river beds is merely that collected in those places
by natural processes of waste, acting on the rocks, and in the concentration of their heavy
materials during the long course of time. The gold has been collected in these places by the
untiring action of the streams and rivers, and it must in all cases be accepted as an indication
of the gold-bearing veins which traverse the rocky sub-structure of the country, and which
await merely the necessary skill and capital to yield to the miner still more abundantly.
" Nevetheless, the results of alluvial or placer gold mining alone in British Columbia have
not been insignificant, for, since the early years of the discovery, the Province has contributed
gold to the value of some $50,000,000 to the world. 750 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
" One feature in particular requires special mention, and this is a deduction which
depends not alone on experience in British Columbia, but which is based as well on that
resulting from the study and examination of other regions. The ' heavy ' or ' coarse ' gold,
meaning by these miners' terms the gold which occurs in pellets or nuggets of some size, never
travels far from its place of origin. It is from this point of view that it becomes important
to note and record the localities in which rich alluvial deposits have been found, even when
the working of these have been abandoned by the placer miner. Their existence points to
that of neighbouring deposits in the rock itself, which may confidently be looked for, and
which are likely to constitute a gre'ater and more permanent source of wealth than that
afforded by their derived gold.
" Reverting for a moment to the Cariboo District, where such notably rich deposits of
alluvial gold have been found within a limited area, and where very 'Often the gold obtained
has been actually mingled with the quartz of the parent veins, it cannot be doubted that these
veins will before long be drawn upon to produce a second golden harvest. This district has
suffered and still suffers from its great distance from efficient means of communication; but,
notwithstanding this, praiseworthy efforts have already been made towards the development of
' quartz mining,' while much also remains to be done in utilizing by operations on a larger
scale, and with better appliances, the less accessible deposits which have so far baffled the
efforts of the local miner.
" It is necessary to bear in mind that alluvial gold mining or placer mining requires but a
minimum amount of knowledge on the part of the miner, though it may call for much individual enterprise and effort when a new and difficult region is to be entered. Any man of
ordinary intelligence may soon become an expert placer miner. It is, after all, in the main, a
poor man's method of mining ; and, as a rule, the placer miner lacks the knowledge as well as
the capital necessary to enable him to undertake regular mining operations on veins and lodes.
However promising the indications may be for such mining, he either does not appreciate
them, or passes them over as being beyond his experience or means. He would rather travel
hundreds of miles to test a new reported discovery than spend a summer in endeavouring to
trace out a quartz reef, with the uncertain prospect of being able to dispose of it at some later
" Thus, though the development of placer mining in British Columbia began a new history
for that great region, raising it from the status of a ' fur country ' to that of an independent
colony, and subsequently to that of a Province of Canada, there remained a gap to be bridged
in order that the Province should begin to realize its proper place among the mining regions of
the world. It was necessary that railways should be constructed to convey machinery and
carry ores, as well as to bring to the metalliferous districts men who would not face the hardships of pioneer travel in the mountains, but who are in a position to embark the necessary
capital in promising enterprises.
" For a portion of the Province the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway has
afforded these facilities, but by far the largest part still awaits railway communication. Had
the Canadian Pacific Railway, in accordance with some of the surveys made for it, traversed,
for instance, the Cariboo District, there can be no doubt that we should have already been
able to note great developments there. This railway has, however, been constructed across
the southern portion of the Province, and in its vicinity,  and  concurrently with its progress,
new mining interests have begun to grow up, of which something must now be said.
" It is especially worthy of note that wherever in the United States the Rocky Mountain
or Cordilleran region has been traversed by railways, mining, and particularly that of the
precious metals, has immediately followed. It appears to require only facilities of transport and
travel to initiate important mining enterprises in any part of this region. The building of the
Canadian Pacific Railway across the southern part of British Columbia, with the. construction
of other railway lines in the neighbouring States, near the frontier of the Province, have
already begun to bring about the same result in this new region, which, till these railways
were completed, had remained almost inaccessible. It had long before been resorted to by a
few placer miners in search of alluvial gold, and their efforts were attended with some success.
Silver-bearing lead ores were also found to occur there, but under the circumstances existing
at the time these actually possessed no economic value.    It was impossible to utilize them.
" In 1886, some prospectors still in search of placer gold only, happened to camp in a
mountainous region, which has since become familiarly  known as Toad Mountain, and  one of 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 751
them in seeking for lost horses stumbled on an outcrop of ore, of which he brought back a
specimen. This specimen was afterwards submitted to assay, and the results were such that
the prospectors returned and staked out claims on their discovery. The ore, in fact, proved to
contain something like $300 to the ton in silver, with a large percentage of copper and a little
" There is no reason whatever to believe that the particular portions of British Columbia
now for the first time opened to mining by means of the Canadian Pacific Railway, are richer
in ores than other parts of the Province. On the contrary, what has already been said of the
Cariboo District affords prima, facie evidence of an opposite character. The Province of
British Columbia alone, from south-east to north-west, includes a length of over 800 miles of
the Cordilleran region ; and, adding to this the further extension of the same region comprised
within the boundaries of the Dominion of Canada, as a whole, its entire length in Canada is
between 1,200 and 1,300 miles. This is almost identical with the whole length of the same
region contained within the United States, from the southern boundary with Mexico to 'the
northern with Canada.
" Circumstances have favoured the development of the mines of the Western States of the
Union, but it is, as nearly as may be, certain that the northern half of the similar region will
eventually prove equal in richness to the southern, and that when the mines of these Western
States may have passed their zenith of productiveness those of the north will be still increasing
in this respect. The explorations of the Geological Survey of Canada have already resulted
in placing on record the occurrence of rich ores of gold and silver in various places scattered
along the entire length of the Cordilleran range in Canada, and though so far we have to
chronicle only an awakening of interest in the southern part of British Columbia, these
discoveries stand as indications and incentives to further enterprise to the north.
"While the remote and impracticable character of much of this northern country places
certain obstacles in the way of its development, on the other hand the local abundance of
timber and water power in it afford facilities unknown in the south, which will be of importance
whenever mining operations have actually been set on foot.
" No attempt has been made in this brief sketch of the mineral wealth of British Columbia
to enumerate the various ores and minerals which have so far been found within the limits of
the Province in any systematic manner. Nothing has been said of the large deposits of iron,
from some of which a certain amount of ore has already been produced, and which wait to
realize their true importance, merely the circumstances which would render their working on
a large scale remunerative. Copper ores have also been discovered in many places. Mercury,
in the form of cinnabar, promises to be of value in the near future, and iron pyrites, plumbago,
mica, asbestos, arrd other useful minerals are also known to occur. In late years platinum
has been obtained in alluvial mines in British Columbia in such considerable quantity as to
exceed the product of this metal from any other part of North America.
" While, therefore, the more important products of this western mountain region of Canada
are, and seem likely to be, gold, silver, and coal, its known minerals are already so varied that
as it becomes more fully explored it seems probable that few minerals or ores of value will be
found to be altogether wanting.
" Respecting the immediate future of mining, which is the point to which attention is
particularly called at the present time, it may be stated that coal mining rests already on a
substantial basis of continued and increasing prosperity; while the work now actually in
progress, particularly in the southern part of the Province, appears to indicate that following
the large output of placer gold, and exceeding this in amount and in permanence, will be the
development of silver mines, with lead and copper as accessory products. The development of
these mining industries will undoubtedly be followed by that of auriferous quartz reefs in
various parts of the Province, while all these mining enterprises must react upon and stimulate
agriculture and trade in their various branches.
"Because a mountainous country, and till of late a very remote one, the development of
the resources of British Columbia has heretofore been slow, but the preliminary difficulties
having been overcome it is now, there is every reason to believe, on the verge of an era of
prosperity and expansion of which it is yet difficult to foresee the amount or the end." 752 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
The mines of British Columbia have been a support to the farmers in times gone by, as
they are likely to prove in no less degree in the near future. No community can afford to pay
better prices for the necessaries of life than that which has for its origin the development of
good mines; and there is no surer method of establishing good mines than that of making easy
the means of access. Take as an illustration in point the development of the Kootenay and
Kaslo-Slocan country by the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway and other roads—a
striking instance of the development that never fails to follow the means of economical
transportation in a country richly endowed by nature. The ore which can sometimes be
packed on the back of an animal, and often transported by teams for long distances with a
margin of profit, can well afford to pay the highest rates for transportation by rail.
The Coast Range of British Columbia has begun to attract the attention of miners to the
exploitation of its mineral resources. Lately cinnibar has been discovered upon the Homathco
River. Iron and specimens of copper have also been found in various localities, both of the
islands and the mainland.    (See Appendix P.)
The upper country in British Columbia had the honour of exhibiting its wealth before
the development of the southern section came, and no one cognizant of the conditions that
obtained in early days has doubted that the progress once attained would have led to still
further industry and discovery if better means of access had been forthcoming.
The mining of river bottoms in British Columbia is likely to be one of the most prolific
sources of income in the near future. It has already become a wealth-producing element in
New Zealand. There is evidence upon the face of nature in British Columbia to prove that
many rivers could be dredged and otherwise worked to bedrock in certain places that seem to
be especially adapted by nature for the purpose, if only the means of access were available for
the transportation of the material required. The early pioneers of British Columbia simply
traced the precious metals as far as the richest of mines and expensive transportation would
permit of. They kept going up stream until they arrived at what appeared to be the top at
Barkerville, but the Barkerville District could be many times reproduced in bulk from the
mountains on the north side of the upper bend of the Fraser River. The Saskatchewan and
other rivers on the eastern side of the mountains are also gold-bearing. The continuity of the
slate formation across the Fraser is well known.
The Cariboo Mountains are no more than a spur of the main range to the north, where
already good prospects have been discovered, and the ubiquitous miner has gone to work, but
under what difficulties on account of inaccessibility and want of economical transportation
must be seen to be understood. These discoveries embrace a large area between the north
branch of the Fraser River and what is known as the Little Smoky River, a tributary upon
the north side of the Fraser.
Upon this affluent very encouraging prospects have been found, so much so as to induce
a number of miners to go in last summer (1895) to spend the winter in making preparations
for the spring.*
Seen from an elevated point, the bench formation on the upper part of the Fraser, rising
tier over tier, and cut down to bedrock in places by the flood waters of ages, is stupendous,
and inclines one to believe, apart from the discoveries referred to, that all this immense mass
of benches in the valley of a gold-bearing range cannot be barren, backed up as it is upon the
north by mountains of the slate formation from 12,000 feet in height downwards.
Rich prospects having been found on creeks tributary to the Fraser River where Nature
has provided a fresh water canal as a base line, 200 miles in length, upon which to move
supplies from creek to creek, successful mining seems assured so soon as access is obtained.
* What those men and their animals endured going down to the Fraser via the Goat River was enough
to discourage them from further effort; not because the country is not easy of entrance, but because it has
as yet no means of access that could be considered suitable for fully loaded pack animals without risk of
losing them. Another exploring and prospecting party had found good prospects upon the Willow River,
about direct north some seventy miles from Cottoirwood House. These men, however, went in upon a direct,
level, and good trail made by the Dominion Government irr the year 1876. They had no trouble going in the
previous trip, and did not anticipate any upon their return. They also proposed to winter at their claim. It
would be possible to go in to Goat River by this same trail. The Fraser River would be reached at the
Grand Rapids upon the down stream side of which and upon the south side of the river will be found a
meadow of large proportions. Cottoirwood for canoes can be found there and also spruce for building boats.
There is a bridge at tire crossing of the Bear River, 60 feet span, of which the stringers made 20 years ago
are still in use. 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 753
Competent miners say that many good mines have been abandoned in British Columbia
on account of the cost of bringing in machinery to pump shafts difficult to un-water and for
other kindred reasons, the resumption of which under better auspices would provide remunerative work for a large number of men.
In common with the avenues of mineral traffic further south in the silver-producing
districts, the joint influence of two economical systems of transportation would react upon
each other and make of British Columbia a phenominal mining country.
It has been proved many times that given native wealth and access, capital is sure to
follow. It is true of the silver-producing country at the present time, and would be equally
true of the gold if under the same conditions.
The base line that may be established as a means of communication to join the ranching
and farming country west of the Fraser River, with that which lies east and has for its future
the discovery of gold mines in a country known to be inaccessible, but rich, should have a
great and remunerative future before it.
Hitherto the lumber of the Coast Region has been one of the principal sources of industry
in British Columbia. The time is coming when it will cost as much to go back the distance
required from the coast to find timber and transport it to water, as it would to bring it from
the interior by rail. Logging by railway is a method of working not yet much practiced in
British Columbia. It has, however, been the first and most prolific source of dividend earning
in some parts of the United States—notably, the State of Arkansas, where the saw-mill
followed close upon the heels of construction, and the same sequence of events is taking place
in the Eastern States.
There is a spruce belt in the interior of British Columbia, of which the northern boundary
has not as yet been defined.*
The fifty-third parallel of latitude may be taken as a general average of the southern
boundary, eastward the boundary of the Province, and westward, the foot hills of the Coast
Range. Along the route shown by plan herewith, from Quesnellemouth to the Yellow Head
Pass, spruce timber may be seen at intervals throughout. It is smaller than the fir timber of
the Coast, but undeniably a good timber for constructive purposes, having been used by the
miner for the last thirty years.
It is a difficult matter for one travelling upon a skeleton course to form an idea of areas
or quantities of timber.
It occurs in patches mixed with timber of other kinds, but in the aggregate there must be
a very large quantity of it.
Of timber that would square 10 inches by 10 inches, an immense quantity; of 12 inches
by 12 inches, still a very large quantity, but less; and of 14 inches by 14 inches, a smaller
proportion, but still a large quantity, and so on for greater sizes. Much good timber has
been destroyed in the immediate vicinity of the mines by fire, but north of these, where less
mining has been done, there remains a quantity of unknown depth going north, compared
with which the burned portions are only a small percentage. In addition to the spruce
timber there is a heavy growth of cedar upon the upper benches of the Fraser River. The
writer has seen one hollow tree that measured 43 feet in circumference at the base. The
smaller trees are generally sound. Referring to previous explorations, it will be found in the
report of the Chief Engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway for the year 1880, that the Rev.
D. M. Gordon (page 91) had seen spruce upon the Skeena River as much as six feet in
diameter. From page 160 of the same report, it appears that Captain Brundige had seen at
Port Essington spruce timber 100 to 150 feet in length—3, 4, and 5 feet in diameter. The
impression  got by  observation is that  the size  of the  spruce timber  of  British Columbia
* Picea Fmgelmanni—Parry, Engelmann's spruce.—This tree frequently surpasses three feet in diameter,
and runs up tall, straight, and to a great height. It appears to characterize the interior plateau and eastern
part of the Province, with the exception of the dry southern portion of the former, and forms dense forests
in the mountains. Varieties occur, which, according to Dr. Engelmann, who has examined my specimens,
are almost indistinguishable from Picea alba, and to the north-eastward these varieties preponderate.
Specimens collected on the Peace River plateau (lat. 55° 46' 54", long. 120.20', altitude 2,600 feet) are still
referable to P. Mngelmanni, but trees on the Athabasca (lat. 54° 7' 34", long. 118° 48') belong to P. alba.
The northern and north-eastern range of Engelmann's spruce is therefore indeterminate.
It borders nearly all the streams and swamps in the northern portion of British Columbia between about
2,500 and 3,500 feet in elevation. It is probably this tree which forms dense groves in the upper alpine
valleys of the Rocky Mountains in the vicinity of the 49th parallel. The wood has not yet been extensively
employed, but it is excellent, and in some cases very durable. [Extract, page 171b, Dominion Geological
Survey, report by G. M. Dawson, C.M.G., LL.D., F.S.8., 1879 to 1880.] 754 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
increases with the northing in latitude up to a point or parallel not yet determined, and the
supply of this timber in the northern districts is probably sufficient to furnish employment for
many men and much capital for generations to come. In this connection it is important to
remember that the transportation of this timber to the eastern side of the mountains would
cost less than that of the coast. Further information upon this and many points to which
the foregoing report refers will be found in the appendices herewith.
The colonization line set forth on the plan herewith is in part the Bute Inlet route of the
Canadian Pacific Railway, of which the surveys were made from 1874 to 187.7.
Its description will, so far as practicable, be taken from the reports of Mr. Marcus Smith,
C. E., which will be supplemented by a short description of the sections which do not form
part of the Bute Inlet route.
The report above referred to was made from east to west, and the report to be now made
is made from west to east. The rotation of sections (from west to east) will be preserved in
quotations made from the original reports, but it should be well noted that so far as each
individual section is concerned the description will commence at the east end and finish at the
west, otherwise it would be impossible to preserve the wording of Mr. Marcus Smith's original
report, and adopt a different origin of distances.
The mileage of the terminal points of each individual section will be that of the revised
line and will read eastward from zero, at the head of Bute Inlet, except those from Comox to
Bute Inlet, which are the separate lengths of the respective sections named.
The table of distances attached will explain.
The line may be defined as beginning at Comox, Vancouver Island, thence 70 miles to
Otter Cove; thence by steam ferry 15 miles to Frederick Arm; thence 51 miles more via
the western shore of Bute Inlet to Waddington Harbour at its head where the zero of the
mileage to be hereafter quoted begins. The description may now be resumed as following the
Homathco River by its eastern branch to the central plateau ; thence to Quesnellemouth at
the crossing of the Fraser River near the 232nd mile; thence via the Quesnelle and Cottonwood rivers to the upper benches of Lightning Creek via the Beaver Pass, 267th mile; and
thence by an affluent of to the Willow River, 276th mile ; the Big Valley Creek, 280| miles ;
Bear Lake, 302 miles; Indian Point Lake, 310th mile; Isaacs Lake, 316th mile; mouth of
the Wolverine Creek, 321st mile; to Goat River, 330 miles through a lateral pass ; thence
down the Goat River to the Fraser River, 358th mile; and up the latter to the Yellow Head
Pass, at 477\ miles from Waddington Harbour.
70 Miles—From Comox to Otter Gove.
The description therefore begins at Comox. From Comox to Otter Cove, 70 miles, the
mountain chain forming the backbone of Vancouver Island recedes from the coast generally
throughout the whole distance, leaving for the most part a foreshore of undulating slope from
the base of the hills to the salt water of some miles in width. Throughout this section there
are no constructive difficulties to be apprehended, and the work can be done at a moderate cost.
51  Miles—Frederick Arm to   Waddington Harbour.
From Frederick Arm to the head of Bute Inlet, 51 miles, is a heavy section with some
tunnels, much rock excavation and little possibility of making embankments on many long
stretches of work.  The curvature, however, will be easy and the road-bed can be kept on the solid.
Character of the Shore Line of Bute Inlet.
The profile of this section, burned in 1873 by the fire in the 0. P. R. offices, Ottawa, was
one well known to and often examined by the writer, as having an overhung surface line in
many places. Recent examination proves that this profile should have been made less upon
straight and more upon contour lines, in order to give any idea of the work involved, because
the curves of nature are generally easy, and it is therefore incorrectly representing the work of
excavation not to follow them as much as possible. Throughout the whole of this section,
slopes of the foreshore have been taken, and it is believed that the true quantities will neither
exceed nor differ much from those assumed.
From the head of Bute Inlet, the description of Mr. Marcus Smith may be taken up in
paragraphs from west to east; but the description of each individual section will be from east
to west as before described. 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 755
Homathco River Valley—Mr. Marcus Smith's Report.
From Zero to Thirty  Miles.
" From the foot of the canyon the Homathco Valley widens out to from one to two miles in
breadth, its course is tortuous, but the general direction is nearly south.
" The river is a turbid, rapid stream in the summer months when it is swollen by the
melted snow from the mountains. Its breadth at the foot of the Waddington Canyon, 516
miles, is about 150 feet, but in its descent to the sea it frequently divides into two or more
branches enclosing low alluvial islands of gravel and light soil, covered with Cottonwood,
spruce and cedar.
" The river in winding through the valley alternately washes the base of the rocky slopes
on either side and enters Bute Inlet on the west side of the valley, where the river is fully 300
feet wide.
" The line is located on the west side of the valley, and the gradients are generally easy,
the altitude at the foot of the canyon being 525 feet, of the river 460 feet, and at the Inlet, 10
feet above sea level, giving a fall of 516 feet in 30 miles. But the gradients are not uniform,
as the line at several places has been carried well up the slopes to keep the works secure from
the action of floods, and the maximum gradient of 1 per 100 falling westward has been used to
an aggregate length of about 4 miles.
" The line runs alternately on alluvial flats or low benches where the works will be light,
then on the face of the rugged, rocky slopes of the mountains where the river washes its base.
On this there will be a considerable quantity of rock excavation, and the works will generally
be heavy.
" The aggregate lengths of these alternate sections are :—
" Eight miles on which the cutting will be principally in rock, and the works on the
average rather heavy ; 8 miles excavations in sand and gravel, works moderate ; 14 miles on
low flats, where the embankment will be formed from side ditches, and the works will be very
" The rock excavations on this section can be greatly reduced, as the line has been run to
keep the works entirely out of the reach of the floods of the river; but it might be thrown
closer to the river, and the rock from the excavations used for protection works ; or the rock
cuttings might be altogether avoided by bridging the river three or four times ; but this has
not been thought advisable, as the current is very strong at high floods, the fall above tidewater averaging 25 feet per mile, and at every flood great quantities of timber are brought
"The principal streams to be bridged are :—
" Five hundred and sixteen and three-quarter miles, rapid stream, 80 feet wide, 5 feet deep
at flood ; height frorn bed to formation or grade level, 19 feet.
"Five hundred and eighteen and one-half miles, branch of little Bella Coola, 90 feet wide
and 5 feet deep ; height to formation, 18 feet.
" Main branch," 200 feet wide, 7 feet deep. Height from bed to formation level, 18 feet.
This stream has brought down a large quantity of gravel and boulders from the mountain,
raising its bed above the level of the valley and dividing it into several channels.
" Five hundred and twenty-one and one-half miles, rapid stream, 100 feet wide, and 10 feet
deep; height 16 feet from bed to formation level.
"Five hundred and twenty-five and one-quarter miles, stream 60 feet wide, 6 feet deep ;
height from bed to formation,  9 feet.
" Five hundred and twenty-nine and three-quarter miles, stream 100 feet wide, 50 feet
deep ; height from bed to formation, 14 feet.
" Five hundred and forty-four miles, Homathco River, 200 feet wide, 20 feet deep at high
tide; height from bed to formation, 32 feet.
"The timber on this section is Douglas fir and spruce, of large size and good quality ; a
great quantity of very large cedars, up to 12 feet diameter, generally hollow in the centre,
with cottonwood and alders on the islands.*
*By crossing and re-crossing the main river it is possible that the bridging of some lateral affluents
could be avoided.—H. P. B. 756 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
Through the Heart of the Cascade Mountains—Mr. Marcus Smith's Description.
"From SO to 50 Miles.
"From the 496th to the 516th mile, through the heart of the Cascade Mountains, the
valley is contracted to a narrow deep ravine, the rocks of the mountain slopes in many places
abutting on the river and forming canyons through which the river dashes impetuously,
carrying down boulders and detritus frorn the mountains.
" A great portion of the works on this section will be very heavy, consisting of deep rock
excavations and high embankments and a number of tunnels.
"From 496 to 500 miles the line cuttings will not be heavy, but materials will have to
be found to make up the embankments, the quantity of which will considerably exceed that of
the cuttings. At several points heavy rip-rap or other works will be required to protect the
embankments from the wash of the river at high floods.
" From 500 to 506 miles the rock excavations will be very heavy, and will supply material
sufficient for the embankments. The line is here a considerable distance from the river, and
no protection works will be required. From 506 to 507 miles the works will bo very moderate,
chiefly light cutting and embankments. From 510 to 516 miles the rock excavations will be
heavy, with several tunnels through rock.
" The streams to be bridged over on this section are rapid mountain torrents, fed from
the melting snow and glaciers; their breadth and depth are given approximately at high flood,
the breadth being taken at the surface of the water; but the channel often narrows to a few
feet at the bottom, especially when in rock.
"499^ miles.—River Nude, 75 feet wide, 10 feet deep; height from bed to formation
level of railway, 20 feet.
" 500| miles.—River Cache, very rapid, 75 feet wide, shallow and overflows its bank,
which near the line are formed by the detritus brought down by the stream. It will have to
be diverted and the works protected from snow-slides for 400 feet in length.
" 500f miles.—Stream is a rocky gorge, 70 feet wide and 37 feet from bed of stream to
formation. Snow slides down this gorge, and last year it was nearly filled up, the fall being
unusually heavy.
" 507 miles.—West branch of Homathco River, near the junction of the two branches, in a
canyon between solid rocks, 140 feet deep from formation level to the bed of the stream. It
will require one span of 150 feet wide, with piers 60 feet high, with 200 feet trestle or bridging
of small spans at each end 10 to 50 feet high.
"507^ miles.—Teidemann's Glacier River is 160 feet wide, 8 feet deep, with rapid
current; height of bed of stream to formation level, 50 feet.
"5121 miles.—Rapid stream, 20 feet wide, 2 feet deep.
" The timber from the outlet of Lake Tatlayacoh (484| miles) to the foot of the Waddington
Canyon, at 516 miles, is Douglas fir, hemlock, and cedar, with a sprinkling of spruce and
white pine, all of good size and quality, especially the Douglas fir, of which there are large
quantities upon the slopes and elevated flats among the mountains.
Head of Homathco Canyon to Tatlayacoh Lake—Mr. Marcus Smith's Description.
"From 50 to 62 Miles.
" Here we are fairly into the Cascade Mountains and the Homathco Valley; from this
down to the foot of the Waddington Canyon, at 516 miles, is very contracted.
" The altitude of the line at the outlet of the lake (484J miles) is 2,728 feet; and from
this point it descends 514 feet in 11J miles, equal to 44.7 feet per mile, the altitude of the
496th mile being 2,214 feet. But the descent is not uniform, there being a maximum gradient
of 1.5 per 100, equal to 79.2 feet per mile for a mile and a quarter; one mile of 1.25 per 100,
equal to 66 feet per mile; 1.32 miles of 1.10 per 100, equal to 58 feet per mile; and 2.29 miles
of 1 per 100; 0.67 miles level.    The balance from 0.20 to 0.76 per 100.
" On this section there will be four miles of heavy rock excavations and several diversions
of the river, three miles not quite so heavy, and the balance  will be moderate and light work.
" The Homathco River, near the outlet of the lake, is 100 feet wide, five feet deep at flood,
and the bed of the stream 23 feet below formation level. At the 488th mile the line crosses
Ottarasco River, a glacier-fed stream 100 feet wide; height from bed of stream to formation
level, 18 feet. 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 757
"From 62 to 91 Miles.
" From the summit the line descends the valley by a stream and series of small lakes on a
course generally south to 471 \ miles, where it reaches the shore of Lake Tatlayacoh, about 2|
miles from its head. The altitude at this point is 2,760 feet, and that of the lake 2,717 feet ;
the gradients are continually descending from the summit, and there is an aggregate of 11
miles of the maximum of 1 per 100.
" The line now follows the eastern shore of Lake Tatlayacoh in the same southerly direction,
to its outlet at 484 miles, with easy undulating gradients.
"From the summit at 452 miles to 463J miles the works will be light, but the cuttings
not deep and principally in gravel, sand and boulders, with some loose rock.
" The heaviest works will be in the crossing of two ravines, one 114 feet deep and 500 feet
wide at the top, the other 113 feet deep and 400 feet at top ; in both, the slopes meet within a
few feet at the bottom.
"At 463J miles the line is entering into the Cascade Mountains and the works from this
point to the outlet of Lake Tatlayacoh will be heavier, as a large portion of the excavations will
be in rock, though they will not be deep, except for a mile at the foot of the lake.
" At 481 miles the line crosses the Chesee River, a glacial stream 100 feet wide, rapid, but
not deep.
" The timber on the slopes of the valley is principally Douglas fir, and on the shores of
the lake there is a considerable quantity of good size and quality.
" Lake Tatlayacoh collects the numerous streams that flow down the sides of the mountains,
and its outlet, at 484^ miles, is the east branch of the Homathco.
From the Summit of Divide to the Chilancoh River—Mr. Marcus Smith's
"From 94- to 139 Miles.
"From the Chilancoh the course of the line is south-west, ascending by a depression which
appears to be the ancient bed of a river to the level of the plateau with stiff' gradients, of which
there are two lengths of the maximum of 1 per 100, making together 4\ miles. At 442 miles
the altitude is 3,450 feet above the sea level. Thence the line follows the same depression in
the plateau with easy undulating gradients to 452 miles, where it reaches the summit or divide
from which the waters flow eastward to the Fraser, and westward to Bute Inlet. The altitude
of this point is 3,505 feet.
" This section, from the Chilancoh, 427| miles, to the head of Eagle Lake, 444J miles, is
broken with ridges of sand, gravel and boulders, and indented with hollows and dry beds of
ponds. The works will not be heavy till after reaching Eagle Lake, along the shore of which,
seven miles in length, there will be a considerable quantity of rock cutting.
"The country is of the same character as that east of the Chilancoh, the timber being
principally small black pine in the valleys, with Douglas fir of fair size and quality on the
adjoining hills."
From llfi Miles to Quesnelle River Mouth.
As the general character of the central plateau has been elsewhere described, under the
head of Colonization, from the Coast Range to the Mouth of Quesnelle, it would be reiteration to
refer to it further than to say that it is for the most part a level country with slight elevations
and depressions wide apart, presenting little difficulty to construction in any proposed direction.
It has been well described by Lieut, fl. S. Palmer, R.E., as follows :—
" As regards routes from Coast, the impression conveyed by this glimpse at a very large
tract of country is, that on emerging from the Cascade range the principal difficulties of travel
are passed, and that thence there is no impracticablity in making a road across the plateau to
strike the Fraser Valley at almost any point south of the fifty-third parallel. The determination of the best line, through so extensive a district, would necessarily be a labour involving
weeks, or even months of exploration ; the main object being to avoid as far as possible lakes
and swamps, and guided by the relative positions of the termini to lay out as straight a road
as the natural features of the country admit of."
East of Quesnelle River Mouth the valley of the Quesnelle River is flanked by' benches
upon both sides, of considerable width, for ten miles up stream. The slopes of these benches
are generally straight and practicable for side hill grading  without  heavy  excavations,    The 758 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
line crosses the existing waggon road at ten and one-half miles distance of the same road east
of Quesnellemouth, turns north for about two miles through a well defined pass leading northward ; thence turning north-east and east, it follows a generally level line of country to the
crossing of the Cottonwood River near the 252nd-mile, crossing which the line ascends to the
benches of Lightning Creek, necessitating two high structures about the 258th-mile, and
thence through an easy country to the Beaver Pass, which is a valley of variable width, from
one-quarter to half a mile, the bottom interspersed with hay meadows and lakes, which
character of river valley obtains to the Willow River near the 280th mile, and generally
throughout the Big Valley Creek and meadow country in the vicinity of Bear Lake.
From Bear Lake to Wolverine Creek the general character of the route is that of a lake
valley with good wide foreshores for the most part. None of this section could be classified
otherwise than as light to medium work, for which, and the elevations of the sections last
described, see the estimate appended and the profile diagram of grades and elevations herewith.
The bottom of Wolverine Creek varies from benches to clay bluffs, and slopes at wide
intervals; will be somewhat heavier than the work last described, but without difficult features
worthy of special mention.
The Pass, 330 miles from the head of Wolverine Creek, through to the Goat River, is a
partially open valley about half a mile wide with a flat cross section at the base, presenting no
constructive difficulty of any kind.
The approach to Goat River is lateral and probably six to eight miles from the source of
the latter, which has apparently a general up-stream bearing of S. 28 W. from the east end of
the Pass to its derivation in the mountains.
The general characteristics of the Goat River are low benches and bars between, sloping-
side hills and cut banks at a few points. The grade of the river varies from 40 to 50 feet per
mile. There are two canyons upon the river, with a united length of about 3,500 feet. These
canyons will necessitate some work lighter than heavy, and the same will apply to a few
projecting bluffs that come in at intermediate points. On the whole the work of this section
is not heavy.
From the Mouth of the  Goat  River  to  Tete  Jaune   Cache.—Mr.   Marcus   Smith's
" From S58\ to J&8\ Miles.
" Tete Jaune Cache is nearly on the 53rd parallel of north latitude. Thence the valley
of the Fraser takes a north-westerly course, having the main chain of the Rocky Mountains
on the right and the Cariboo Range on the left. It keeps this course in nearly a direct line
to the latitude of 54° 17', where it makes a great bend to the west, turning the north-west end
of the Cariboo Range, after which its general bearing is nearly south for a long distance.
"The valley varies from two to four miles in breadth ; its course is very direct, but that
of the River is extremely tortuous, running from side to side of the valley, between heavily
timbered flats and benches of sand, gravel, and clay. Some of these are partially submerged
at high floods; the others vary from 10 to 300 feet above the level of the river.
" The line follows the left or south-east side of the valley down to Grand Rapids, at the
181st mile, at which the altitude is 2,065 feet above the sea level; and as it is 2,459 feet at
Cranberry River, near the 59th mile, there is a fall of 394 feet in 131 miles, an average of
about 3 feet to the mile.
"The surface of the valley is very irregular, and the line has frequently to rise or fall
from one bench to another to avoid landslips and the overflow of the river, and to cut off the
sharp bends as far as practicable, so that the gradients are undulating throughout this section,
and the maximum of 1 per 100 has been frequently used, making an aggregate length of 8|
miles rising and falling each way.
" The length of the River Fraser, between the mouth of Cranberry River and Grand
Rapids, is 185 miles, and the difference of level is 367 feet, an average of barely 2 feet per
mile. The fall is tolerably uniform, with a few ripples and rapids, not very swift, so that, at
a small cost, the navigation of this section of the river could be made good for steamers of
light draught, which would be serviceable in the construction of the railway.
" The River Fraser appears to have been, at some remote period, dammed up at one or
more points about its entrance to the Cascade or Coast Range of mountains, and at different
epochs to have burst through these rocky barriers and fallen to a lower level, forming distinct 59 Vcit. Crown Land Surveys. 759
benches and dunes of alluvial deposit. These are very irregular in form and height, and, in
many places, are furrowed by deep lateral gulches, so that the cuttings and embankments in
such places will be heavy, but from the nature of the materials, chiefly sand and gravel, the
average cost of the works on this section will not be heavy.
" The following are the principal streams to be bridged :—
" 66j miles.—Kiwa (Crooked River), 100 feet wide, 3 to 6 feet deep ; formation level, 15
feet above the bed of the river.
" 83^ miles.—Shuswap River, a rapid stream, 4 feet deep, 150 feet wide at low water,
18 feet at floods; formation level above bed of river, 29 feet.
" 86 miles.—Castle River, 80 feet wide; formation level, 18 feet above bed of river.
" 96^ miles.—River, 150 feet wide, 3 to 4 feet deep, rapid current; formation, 23 feet
above bed of the river.
" 102ijr miles.—Rapid stream, 30 feet wide; formation above bed, 7 feet.
" 109tt miles.—Rapid stream, 30 feet wide at low water; at high water it overflows the
valley 200 feet wide to a depth of 3 feet; formation, 37 feet above bed of river.
"119 miles.—River, 200 feet wide and 4 feet deep at low water; at high water it overflows its bank to a few inches in depth when it is 12 feet deep in centre ; formation level, 17
feet above bed of river.
From Tete Jaune Cache to Moose Lake.—Mr. Marcus Smith's Description.
From 4281/2 to 4481/2 Miles,
"From the 29th mile, the river descends very rapidly till it reaches Tete Juane Cache.
About the 37th mile, a large branch enters from the north, and this point is called the Forks
of the Fraser.
" The line follows the left or south slope of the valley, which is steep and irregular, in
some places at a considerable distance from and height above the river. At the 48th mile, it
reaches Tete Jaune Cache, and at 49\ miles crosses Cranberry River, a stream 100 feet wide,
but in spring freshets overflowing its banks and covering the bottom of the valley to a breadth
of 300 feet.
" The altitude of the line at this point is 2,459 feet above sea level, making a fall of 955
feet in 20| miles, averaging 46J feet per mile. The maximum gradient used is 1 per 100,
52.80 feet per mile, of which there is an aggregate length of 16 miles rising eastward.
"At the 30th mile, the line enters on a formation of slate rock, which crops up to the
surface. This continues to 35J miles, between which and the 40th mile the rock is principally
granite. Thence on to 47 miles the surface is covered with sand, gravel, and granite boulders,
with solid granite protruding at various points ; so that on 17 miles of this section the works
will be heavy, consisting of deep rock excavations, high embankments, and the bridging of
deep ravines, with one tunnel through sand and gravel 700 feet in length, and another 1,000
feet in length through solid granite. On the balance, to Cranberry River, 49|- miles, the
works will be light.
" The timber near the summit where the line commences is small black pine, but
from Yellowhead Lake down to Cranberry River it is principally spruce and balsam, with
some Douglas fir on the slopes of the mountains, all of good size for railway structures, ties, &c.
From Moose Lake to Summit at the Yellow Head Pass.—Mr. Marcus Smith's
From U8 1/2 to 4771/2 Miles.
" From the summit of the pass, the line follows down a deep narrow valley on a westward course by the side of a small stream supplied from springs, melted snow and rain on the
mountain slopes. At two and one-half miles it reaches Yellowhead Lake, which is three
and one half miles in length, with a maximum breadth of about half a mile. This collects the
waters of other small streams from the mountains, and forms one of the sources of the main
branch of the Fraser River. The outflow of this lake is a shallow stream about 100 feet in
" A little below this, a stream of about an equal volume comes in from the south.
" The line follows the north shore of the lake and the stream flowing out of it, and at
13J miles it crosses Grant's Brook, 50 feet wide, coming in from the north.    At  16\ miles it 760 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
crosses Moose River, about 150 feet wide, which also comes in from the north. At 18f miles
it reaches the head of Moose Lake, which is 3,400 feet above sea level. But the formation
level of the railway at this point is 3,434 feet, making a total fall of 295 feet in 18| miles,
an average of nearly 16 feet per mile; the gradiants, however, are variable, the maximum
being at the rate of 1 per 100, of which there are two lengths, making together three miles,
rising eastwards.
" Moose Lake is eight miles long and about half a mile in average breadth. The line
follows its north shore to the outlet, which is a stream 200 feet wide in slack water, but in
the current it is about 150 feet wide.
" The altitude at this point is 3,414 feet above sea level, showing a fall of 20 feet in the
last 10 miles, with undulating gradients, the highest of which is .75 per 100, or 39.6 feet per
miles for a little over half a mile in length.
" The works on this section of 29 miles will be moderate, the cuttings not deep, and principally in sand and gravel, mixed with boulders and some loose rocks which have rolled down
the side of the valley from the cliffs above."
Klena Klene River Trail.
The trail by way of Klena Klene River to the Upper Country may be put under construction whenever the Government considers the necessities of settlement so require. There is
not, probably, any pass through the Coast Range easier than that of the Klena Klene Valley,
nor any point more advantageous for the shipment of cattle, owing to the large extent of pasture to be found at the head of Knight Inlet. It would be a work of immense difficulty, if
not impracticable altogether, on account of cost, to construct a road of any kind along the
rock-bound shores of Knight Inlet, for the reason that the slopes are generally very steep, the
water deep, and the number of salient angles impossible to pass with a railway without a total
length of tunnelling that would be very expensive. For the making of embankments there
are few opportunities afforded by nature. (See reports of Henry Fry, C. E., P. L. S., and F. A.
Devereux, C. E., P. L. S., herewith.)
" Victoria, B. C.
" Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report of the North-West Colonization
Survey :—
"In conformity with instructions received may 30th, 1895, I left here here for Ashcroft
on the following day, arriving there on June 1st, and started for Tatla Lake the next day.
" On June 7th we crossed the Fraser by Ferry at Churn Creek, and the Chilcotin River
on June 9th. After crossing the Chilcotin River we followed the left bank up stream to
Hanceville, a distance of about 35 miles.
" From Hanceville to the eastern end of Tatla Lake the distance is about 45 miles,
through a good grazing country.
" Mr. Marcus Smith thus describes the route between the mouth of the Chilcotin River
and Tatla Lake :—
" ' On our journey of the last two days I noticed that the river was descending at a much
greater inclination than the valley, and consequently the banks increasing in height; but
from this point downwards the valley rises from each side of the river in two or three steps or
benches of alluvial formation sharply defined, and certainly indicating the level of water at
different periods. Our present camp is on the lower bench by the river, and by the aneroid is
2,230 feet above the level of the sea, and that of the upper bench is 2,480 feet. I found subsequently that this height is maintained not only on the Chilcotin River, but on the Fraser,
Clearwater and Thompson Rivers, at points 200 miles apart, the height of the upper
benches, by the aneroid, varying from 2,400 to 2,500 feet above the level of the sea.
" ' Tuesday, August 20th.—For the first twelve miles of this day's journey the valley was
rather rough and broken with a number of land slips, some of them well grown over with 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 761
shrubs and grass ; others of more recent date, and looking very insecure for constructing a
railway on. Then we came to a rocky bluff, the base of which is washed by the river for half
a mile or more. We could not pass this, so we had to go back and find a way to the summit
of the hill, about 1,400 feet above the level of the river, descending on the other side into a
deep ravine, with slopes so steep that it would not have been possible to take loaded animals
down. The valley got still rougher as we advanced ; serrated with a close succession of lateral
ravines, which commence on the hills that bound the valley and get wider and deeper as they cut
through successive benches towards the river; many of these, even on the upper bench, 1,100 feet
above the level of the river, are one to two hundred feet in breadth and the same in depth.
" ' In places where the valley is contracted by a swell of the hills the whole of the benches
have been carried away by the river, leaving a continuous slope of loose stones, gravel and
clay, from the brow of the hill to the river.
" ' In other places parts of the clay benches are left standing in huge, shapeless masses,
turreted and broken, presenting the chaotic appearance of a country that has recently been
swept and torn by a great flood. In the evening we descended with difficulty from the upper
bench, on which we had been travelling, by a steep slope to the edge of the river, and camped
about four miles from the Fraser River.
" ' Wednesday, August 21st.—We left the Chilcotin River and ascended the hill which
bounds the valley on the east side, from which we had a bird's eye view of the Chilcotin
Valley dowir to its junction with the Fraser, and which appeared even rougher than that
which we had traversed yesterday. We followed an Indian trail along the brow of the hill
till we reached a cross valley that cuts off the acute angle between the two rivers above their
confluence. This cross valley is considerably higher at the end next the Chilcotin than the
upper benches of the latter ; but as it shortens the distance considerably, and cuts off some very
rough ground in both the Chilcotin and Fraser Valleys, near their junction, I directed the
urvey to be made by this route.
" ' We followed up the Fraser River Valley two or three miles, then we had to make a
long detour to the north to head out a deep ravine. Passing this, we ascended the high level
of the rolling plateau, and saw spread out before us, as far as the eye could reach, an undulating grassy plain dotted with trees, the water-courses and lakes being distinguishable by belts
or groves of fir and poplar, and close to us was a deep but open valley which we could trace
far away to the north till lost in the undulations of the plateau.'
" The present route of the road from Hanceville to Soda Creek follows a higher level than
the trail by which Mr. Smith travelled, and passes through the class of country described in
the concluding words of the above extract from his report of 1873.
" Tatla Lake is a long narrow sheet of water about twenty-five miles in length, no where
over one mile wide. The adjacent country is, with the exception of certain sandy tracts, good
grazing land, thinly timbered with black pine, growing timber grass mixed with pea-vine,
upon which cattle thrive well. This locality offers great inducement for stock-raising, while
its proximity to the coast, under the influence of the Chinook wind, modifies the temperature
of the atmosphere, which is so dry that animals winter well. On the lower flats near the lake
oats, rye, and timothy can readily be grown.
" At the west end of Tatla Lake, Mr. B. Franklin has his house and stock ranche, being
the most westerly settler in the district, and has prolonged the existing waggon road for
about 48 miles to his own place.
" The country from here to the coast is uninhabited and traversed only by a small band of
Indians, a portion of the Chilcotin tribe. Eastward between Tatla Lake and the west bank
of the Fraser River, there are about 75 white settlers who have found meadows for winter feed.
" The country being open, stock can be driven in any direction, or roads made with ease.
" There are also about 200 Indians in this district who engage in farming with profit to
" The cattle on the west side of the Fraser River number about 16,000 and horses 4,000.
To get their stock to market the settlers have at present to drive to Churn Creek, cross the
Fraser River, and thence to Ashcroft, through a country in which the feed is not so good as
formerly. The cattle are then taken to Vancouver by rail, and a considerable portion shipped
to Victoria, making a long journey, during which they deteriorate to some extent.
" The building of a trail from Tatla Lake to the salt water will be very useful to the settlers in this locality, as the distance to drive stock would be shorter, and the route would
pass through a country with more feed. 762 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
" Once at the coast, the cattle could go by water to Victoria in less time, for less cost,
and in better condition than via Ashcroft.
" On the general plan in connection herewith will be seen the proposed location of a
colonization trail from the west end of Tatla Lake down the Klena Klene Valley towards the
coast, joining Mr. F. A. Deveraux's exploration, which, if built, would certainly induce settlers to locate in this district, there being some good agricultural and grazing land at present
unoccupied in this valley, and only requiring communication with the coast to become valuable.
" Leaving Tatla Lake, I went down the valley of the west branch of the Homathco River
to Middle Lake, a distance of twenty-four miles, passing through some good agricultural land.
" I returned to Mr. Franklin's on June 25th, and next day began to explore the mountain range between the Klena Klene and the Homathco valleys. At six miles north-westerly
a large stream comes in from the south 125 feet wide, very swift, muddy, and fed entirely by
snow-water. Following up the valley of this stream for nine miles, a small stream of twenty
feet comes in from a lake one-quarter of a mile west. This lake is about four miles long and
half a mile wide, and is shown on the general plan as Miner's Lake. There is good land at
both ends of this lake, and the hill-sides are covered with pasture. The valley continues west
for fourteen miles, and connects with a stream running into the Klena Klene River, two and
one-half miles below the head of canoe navigation, and would be the best route by which a
trail can be built to the coast.    Its approximate course is shown on the plan herewith.
" On June 29th I followed up the main stream to its source, a small lake half a mile in
diameter, completely surrounded by snowcapped mountains, and consider it improbable that
any pass under an elevation of 7,000 feet above the sea can be found between the Homathco
and Klena Klene valleys.
" On July 7th we moved camp seven miles north to a lake named by the Indians One
Eye Lake, through which the water of the Klena Klene finds outlet. Around this lake and
within a short distance of it is a large area of good meadow land. The elevation is 2,760
feet, the country offering every inducement to settlement. Three-quarters of a mile down
stream from the outlet of this lake another stream eighty feet wide comes in from a large
lake lying 15 miles N. 60° W., on the east slope of the Cascades.
" Thereafter I followed the right bank of the river to the head of canoe navigation, a
distance of 24 miles, where I left the pack-train, and having made a canoe, continued the
exploration by water.
" At two and one-half miles below this point we came to the valley of the stream connecting with Miner's Lake Pass, before mentioned as the best route for a trail.
" From this point I traversed down the Klena Klene River fourteen miles, to its confluence with a large stream coming in from the north, called by Mr. Allen in his report the
Forks. For this distance a trail can be constructed on the left bank without difficulty worthy
of special mention. From the Forks to a junction with Mr. F. A. Devereux's work the distance is twenty-seven miles, the traverse being made by you. The following description is
taken from your notes :—
" 'The trail should continue on the left bank of the river on flats a few feet over high
water level. Spurs from the side-hill coming down to the river in two places would entail a
trifling amount of rock work.     No large streams come into the river on this side.
" ' To make connection with Mr. Devereux's exploration, a bridge across the main river
would be required, which can be constructed at low water without cost or difficulty worthy of
special consideration.
" ' From Mr. Franklin's ranch to the head of canoe navigation, the country is thinly timbered with black pine; a sufficient quantity of spruce may be obtained on the borders of
lakes and meadows to construct all culverts and bridges required. From the head of canoe
navigation to the junction with Mr. Devereux's survey, the timber is larger and of better
quality, consisting of hemlock, spruce, cedar, poplar, fir, &c.
" ' The agricultural land, although limited, is of good quality and easily cleared. Crab-
apple appears at intervals in the valley of the Klena Klene, and it is believed that fruit can
be successfully grown on the lower flats throughout the valley.'
"In conclusion, I beg to state that in the distance of seventy-five miles, from Mr. Franklin's to our junction, there is no serious obstacle to the construction of a trail, which would
without doubt open up a large extent of splendid country at present inaccessible.
" I have, &c.,
" To II. P. Bell, Esq., C. E., " Henry Fry, C. E.
"Engineer in Charge, Victoria, B. C." 59 Vcit. Crown Land Surveys. 763
"Victoria, B C, January, 1896.
" Sir,—I have the honour to present the following report covering the past season's work
in the exploration of a practicable route for the construction of a trail to the Chilcotin plateau,
as well as the possibilities of land fit for settlement, etc., in the country examined.
"In obedience to your instructions of the 30th May, I left Victoria per steamer 'Spinster'
for Frederick Arm, situated near the entrance of Bute Inlet.
" After spending several days in this locality, we moved to Phillips Arm where there is a
stream 200 feet in width entering at its head, and on the 10th of June we began the ascent of
this stream.
"At one mile from tide water Phillip Lake is reached, a sheet of water two and a half
miles in length by three-quarters in breadth, steep and precipitous on its southern shore, and
on the north side there are benches and terraces covered with timber.
" Three miles up stream from the head of the lake the river receives a large tributary
from the south-east which drains all the northern watershed of the range of mountains lying
to the north of Frederick Arm. It was afterwards discovered that this valley continues
through to Bute Inlet.
" Three miles further up stream another tributary comes in from the north-east; this
branch was not examined.
" The main stream was followed up to the 16th mile from salt water; here the valley
terminates in a large basin three-quarters of a mile in length by half a mile in width, 1,400
feet above sea level and filled with snow to a great depth. At its head a glacier stream
descends from many hundreds of feet up on the mountain side. I also examined two other
branches of the stream, both of which terminated in like manner.
" There are several thousand acres of arable land in the Phillip River Valley, though
heavily timbered with spruce and hemlock, and also several small patches of fir timber.
"On the 2nd July we started for the head of Knight Inlet and arrived there on the 4th.
Track surveys were made of the right and left banks of the Klena Klene River as far as the
large glacier stream, and also of the ' Interior Valley,' which is a depression line parallel to the
main valley, containing numerous lakes with several different watersheds. About 75 miles of
track surveys were made in this valley. The route by way of the Interior Valley is recommended and the description will therefore be confined to it.
" Starting from Dutchman's Head, the point where a wharf could be built, the trail
would ascend on gravel ridges for three and a half miles where Third Lake is reached with an
elevation of 270 feet above the sea. At the fifth mile the first summit is crossed, its elevation
being 510 feet; the valley then descends to Second Lake, elevation 450 feet; length about
one and a half miles.
" Leaving Second Lake, the trail would pass over the second summit, an elevation of 600
feet, and then fall 300 feet on a gravel side-hill to the third water system eight and a half
miles up stream. From here the valley again rises very rapidly for two miles when Third
Lake is reached, elevation 820 feet.
" Up to this point the construction of a trail as laid down on the attached plan would be
light, being chiefly clearing (two miles of which has already been accomplished by Mr. Cotton)
and the usual amount of small bridges, culverts and light grading necessary in passing through
a gravelly country. The only two points of any importance are at First Lake where there
would be about one hundred yards of rock-work and at the 8th mile where there would be
about half a mile of grading down a steep gravel side-hill.
" Passing Third Lake on the west side there would be about a mile and a half of medium
rock-work, which ends at the 12th mile post, where there is a meadow containing about thirty
acres of good grass.
" Continuing up stream another mile, Fourth Lake is reached, elevation 990 feet; here
there is three-quarters of a mile of rock-work, some of which would be heavy, and with another
quarter of a mile of river flats, Fifth Lake is reached. This lake can be passed on the east
side with about a quarter of a mile of light grading in loose rock. The trail would again take
the river flats for a mile, where the third summit is crossed at an elevation of about 1,300
feet. 764 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
" There is a large snow slide at this point, which is the main source of the water supply
for the third water system just passed ; this is, however, avoided by crossing with the trail to
the west side of the valley at the 15th mile.
" At a quarter of a mile from the third summit, Sixth Lake is found, elevation 1,190 feet.
This should be passed on the east side, and necessitates heavy work through loose rock and
huge boulders for about one and a half miles.
"The north end of Sixth Lake is seventeen and a half miles from salt water, and from
there to the middle of Seventh Lake, distance two miles, the work would be light, being chiefly
clearing, though some corduroy would be necessary.
" From the middle of Seventh Lake, elevation 1,040 feet, there would be half a mile of
grading in loose rock which would bring the trail to a position overlooking the main valley of
the Klena Klene River ; thence about a quarter of a mile of light grading down a steep side-
hill of loose rock and gravel to a gravel bench 300 feet wide by about a quarter of a mile in
length, elevation 725 feet; thence across the first glacier stream with a 60-feet span, and
thence over a flat containing about two acres of good fir timber, elevation 675 feet, to the
crossing of the Klena Klene River, for which a bridge of 200 feet in length would be
" The crossing is at the 20A mile, and from there to the 21st mile the trail would ascend
with some heavy work to an elevation of 1,500 feet, which height is more or less retained for
eight miles, when the upper valley of the Klena Klene River is reached at the 29th mile. The
whole of this last stretch passed over, from the 21st to the 29th mile, is very similar; the
slopes are easy, ranging from 15 to 25 degrees, mostly of rock ; there are four streams of about
50 feet each, and one of 100 feet; and one snowslide, 200 feet in width, to be crossed, which,
however, offers no obstacle to trail construction, as the snow simply passes by on its way to
the river, and would not materially interfere with the road-bed. The works over this part
would be medium, though heavy at some of the stream crossings.
" The mileage, as referred to in the description of the trail, is the straight distance, and to
allow for local bends about 10 % should be added.
" In conclusion, I may say that the valley of the Klena Klene is practicable for trail
construction, and taking into consideration the fact that it passes through the Cascade Range
of Mountains, would say it is remarkably easy. The almost entire absence of snowslides
throughout this route is a most important feature in its favour.
" You will notice that by adopting the interior route, as laid down on the attached plan,
the whole of that stretch of country which Mr. Allen describes in his report of 1894 as being
' the worst part of the whole route' is avoided, and also much of the rocky road-bed described
by him as being so detrimental to the driving of animals over. If you refer to the plan, you
will see that the river flats and gravel benches are greatly in excess of rock-work, whereas by
the valley of the main river the country is almost all rock.
" There is another matter which your attention should be drawn to, and that is :—
"At the 12th mile, near Third Lake, there is a meadow containing about 30 acres of the
most luxuriant grass I have seen in the Province, and, in the event of this trail being opened
up, this must necessarily be a stopping place for herders. I would, therefore, respectfully
suggest that this tract be set apart by the Department as a commonage, under certain regulations, as this is the first feed reached after leaving the upper valley of the Klena Klene, though,
upon reaching salt water, there are over 1,000 acres of grass land, which adds greatly to the
advantage of this route.
" There is but little land in the lower Klena Klene Valley other than what has already
been subdivided by the Department. The timber occurs in small patches, and may total about
5,000 acres.
" There is red granite to be found at the 20J,- mile, and also crops out on the side of the
mountain north of Seventh Lake.
" In this connection, it may also be stated that there is a whole mountain of some red
material lying several miles to the west of the 10th mile on Phillip River, which was too far
off the route to be examined.
" The shores of Knight Inlet were examined, and their slopes taken. They are
unquestionably the most precipitous on the coast, and rise, in many instances, perpendicular
from the water's edge for thousands of feet. Knight Inlet is impracticable for construction of
any kind other than one continuous tunnel, and is rightly termed in the British Columbia
Pilot ' a mighty chasm in the earth's crust,' 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 765
"We started for Frederick Arm on the Sth of August, and arrived there on the 14th.
Some time was spent at this place in taking soundings of the Arm and Estero Basin, and also
in examining the divide between the Basin and Bute Inlet.
" The average depth of water found within half a mile of the head of Frederick Arm was
about thirteen fathoms, with a sand and mud bottom, which shoals up rapidly upon approaching the entrance to Estero Basin, though on both the east and west shores of the Arm the
water is from eight to ten fathoms in depth to within 100 feet of the shore.
" Estero Basin is an arm of the sea at the head of Frederick Arm, lying almost true east
and west, and about five miles in length, two miles of which, from the entrance in, is about
2,000 feet in width, while the rest may average about three-quarters of a mile. (See plan
" It would seem as though this sheet of water was once a channel connecting Frederick
Arm with Bute Inlet, as its entrance is undoubtedly an old moraine, sloping both ways into
deep water, while the divide between it and Bute Inlet is also composed of glacial deposit, the
summit being 200 feet above sea level.
" The entrance to the basin is very narrow and shallow, its greatest depth being six feet
at extreme high water, and for this reason there is but two feet of rise and fall of the tide
within. The soundings of the basin developed the fact that its bottom is remarkably regular,
18 to 20 fathoms having been found at about 100 feet from shore all round, as well as through
the middle. The slopes along the northern shore are generally steep, ranging from 30 to 60
degrees. On the south side the scenery is truly grand; the cliffs rise straight out of the water,
forming an unbroken wall for thousands of feet high, and perfectly destitute of trees.
" The country generally in this vicinity is broken and mountainous; there is, however, a
flat containing about 35 acres at the head of Frederick Arm, and one containing about 25
acres at the head of the basin ; there is also an elevated flat situated near the south-eastern
extremity of the basin, 150 feet above sea level, which may contain about 100 acres.
" A start was made for the Homathco River on the 29th, taking slopes and examining
the shores of Bute Inlet en route, arriving at the thriving little settlement at the head of the
Inlet on the Slst.
" There are about sixty inhabitants in this village, all of whom are industrious, hardworking people. Many have pre-empted land in the Homathco and Southgate valleys and
have begun clearing and building, but the lack of roads and trails is a serious drawback to
the settlers. For some miles up both rivers the land is either closed to settlement or alienated
by purchase, so that the settlers would be obliged to build from six to seven miles of trail
before they arrived at the first pre-emption, which they do not feel prepared to undertake.
"The old Waddington trail was examined up the Homathco River as far as the canyon.
It was found to have been well located originally, and in few instances can it be improved
upon. A great deal of the old road-bed is in good order, particularly from the 18th mile up,
but the bridging over the whole distance is exceptionally heavy and would comprise half the
expense of reconstructing the trail. The estimated cost of reopening the trail for the first 33
miles from still water is $13,000, divided as follows :—
"Bridging, 4,000 feet; corduroy, 5,000 feet; solid rock excavation, 1,500 yards; loose
rock excavation, 4,000 yards, and clearing and light grading 33 miles at $30 per mile.
"Starting from a point about one mile east of the mouth of the Homathco River, as laid
down on the attached plan, the trail would run north one mile ; thence west to the third mile
with light work. At this point the river strikes a rocky bluff, and there would be about 200
yards of shallow rock cutting.
" The trail would then again take the river flats to the 8th mile in light work ; here the
Slough of Despond is reached, which is a large meadow overflowed from two to three feet
during freshets.    Three thousand feet of corduroy would be necessary to cross this.
"Tire route might be bettered by leaving the old trail at the 11th mile and swinging to
the north-east, cross the first glacier stream in a box canyon 25 feet in width, thence northwest to the crossing of the second stream. This stream is 225 feet in width at its narrowest
point, and requires a bridge of the same water-way ; and thence westward connecting with the
old trail at the 18th mile.
" This detour would lengthen the trail about two miles, but it is for the most part through
open timber requiring no clearing nor grading, though at the stream approaches there would
be some rock-work necessary. It also avoids about 1,000 feet of bridging, much of which is
liable to be carried away every season. 766 Grown Land Surveys. 1896
"From the 18th to the 22nd mile the work would be light, as most of the old road-bed
is in good order.
" At the 22nd mile the river again washes the toe of a bluff, three points of which must
be blown off. At this point, as in several others, the original builders of the trail showed a
decided aversion to rock-work, they having passed either over or around the face of these
points on bridges. Two hundred yards of solid and 300 yards of loose rock would cover
" The trail again takes the river flats for three miles with light work ; thence about a
mile of light grading in loose rock which brings you to the 27th mile, and from there to the
32nd mile the work is very light, there being several long stretches of the old road-bed in good
" The 32nd mile is the point where the old ferry crossed the river, but this is impossible
at present as the river is much wider and has numerous gravel bars which did not exist before.
" From the 32nd mile the trail should pass over a point with about a mile of light grading
in loose rock to a gravel bench ; thence up stream to the mouth of the canyon, and thence
across to the west bank of the Homathco River with a 150-foot span.
"There are about 10,000 acres of arable land in the Homathco Valley exclusive of that
already alienated, as well as several thousand acres of good fir and cedar timber.
"I have, etc.,
"F. A. Devereux, C.E., P.L.S.,
"//. P. Bell, C.E.,
" Victoria, B. C."
With regard to climate, the following extract is taken from a prize essay written by the
late A. C. Anderson, published in 1872, page 66, et seq.:—
To Mr. J. R. Anderson, of the Department of Agriculture, the writer is indebted for
this and many other books and pamphlets containing useful references.
" The pass by the heads of the Miette and the Fraser is so gradual of ascent, with so few
obstacles worthy of consideration, that it may be characterized almost as a natural road. Its
shortness and directness with regard to the probable terminus on the Pacific Coast, give it
moreover an advantage over any other line of approach, and although the depth of snow at the
summit, during winter, is much greater than I have seen gravely stated, there is far less than
by any other pass with which I am acquainted, either from personal observation or report.
The snow, too, through the effects of certain natural phenomena which here prevail, and for
which I do not profess to account, becomes more compacted, consequently does not drift in an
equal degree, and is therefore in all respects more manageable than elsewhere. The importance
of this consideration is material, bearing in mind that the stoppages upon the Union Pacific
Railway during the past winter arose chiefly from drift.
" It is a curious fact that, in the valley of the Athabasca, upon this line of transit, for a
distance of thirty miles or more both above and below Jasper's House, the snow never
accumulates. There is constant grass, and the large herds of horses formerly kept there by
the Hudson's Bay Company for transport over the mountains, wintered there, fat, upon the
natural pasture. Crossing by this pass many years ago, on his way from the Saskatchewan,
the writer found, in the month of January during a winter of almost unexampled severity,
that the snow had entirely disappeared from the immediate banks of the river, at the mouth
of the Cranberry Fork, near Tete Jaune Cache, and for a distance of some forty miles down
the Fraser, the ice was perfectly denuded of snowr. A warm wind prevailed, accompanied at
intervals by a gentle rain. It could only be inferred that this warm current, extending
through the pass, exercised a mollifying influence there, and, spreading afterwards through the
Jasper's Valley, produced the effects noted. As these effects, however, are known to be
constant in the latter named locality, we may infer that the same cause is likewise constant.
I may remark, passingly, that similar effects are also produced in a marked degree in other
parts of British Columbia, but, as before mentioned, I do not profess to account for these
phenomena in all their bearings. Such conclusions could be arrived at only after minute and
protracted observation, and are beyond the scope of the passing traveller, bent on penetrating
through the wilderness and eager to get home." 59 Vict.
Crown Land Surveys.
Alternative Line  Parallel with  Bute Inlet.
Although the section from Frederick Arm up Bute Inlet and the Homathco River is
heavy work, it may possibly be avoided in part by ferry to Phillip instead of Frederick Arm,
thence to Loughborough Inlet by a known easy approach ; thence up Loughborough Inlet and
up the river dischargimg at its head, which may probably lead by a divide into the Homathco
The sources of information upon this point are not as definite as desirable. They were,
however, obtained upon the ground, and indicate that the route has been travelled, and they
are believed to be sufficient to warrant further investigation, as the resulting economy if found
practicable, would be large. The connection between the Estero Basin and Bute Inlet presents
no difficulty, and the result of the season's operations establish the fact, that out of the Estero
Basin there is no practicable route except that which communicates with Bute Inlet.
Without other means of proving what would be the impetus given to British Columbia
by the construction of a railway upon the route under consideration, than that afforded by the
present activity in the southern mining districts, it is yet quite possible to form some idea of
results by a study of that which has been achieved in the Australian Colonies, and notably in
Western Australia, of which the conditions probably more resemble those of British Columbia
than any other colony or place that could be selected.
The following is an abstract of statistics recently received, a perusal of which will go to
prove that the revenue of Western Australia has expanded in proportion with the construction
of railways and the opening up of the districts through which they passed. No doubt the
natural resources of the country are good, but not better than those of British Columbia.
It appears that Western Australia has had faith in the realization of her natural resources
more than British Columbia to the present time. There is, however, in the southern districts
of British Columbia (rapidly undergoing the most extraordinary development), abundant
evidence to prove that there need be no apprehension of anything but a prosperous future in
developing the northern section of the country, also of which the mining resources are equally
well known.
Australasian Statistics from 1861 to 1895.
Miles of railway open for traffic.
Government railways, net earnings.
Government railways, net earnings per mile per annum.
£353 5s.
£270 768
Crown Land Surveys.
Population, December 31st, each year.
Increase in population during ten previous years.
254,730 for three
Population of Capital Cities.
Tons, shipping inwards.
I, 698,930
Tons, shipping outwards
Customs and Excise.
£8,352,336 59 Vict.
Crown Land Surveys.
Domestic produce exported.
Movements in gold in 1894.
ld coin and bullior
Excess of—
Live stock—Sheep.
Live Stock—Horned Cattle.
Live Stock—Horses.
Gold produced—Ounces.
Area of acres under crop.
1881.                     1891.
5,551,513               6,790,462
Public Revenue.
£27,978,675 770
Crown Land Surveys.
Public Expenditure, 1894 to 1895.
expenses of railways and tramways.
Post and
charges on debt,
sinking fund.
All other
Loan Expenditure and Public Debt, 1894-95.
from  loans  during 1894.
Public debt.
Interest charge
on debt.
Public Revenue from various sources, 1894 to 1895.
Customs and
Railways and Post and
Tramways. Telegraphs.
£9,191,362    j £2,168,262
All other-
£3,876,466    I    £2,115,444
Net Customs Revenue, 1894.
Above compiled in the office of the Governmeut Statistician, New South Wales.
Mr. T. A. Coglan.
Dated Sydney, September 26th, 1895.
Statistics of the Colony of Western Australia—1861 to 1894.
Miles of Railway open for Traffic.
Government Railways—Net Earnings.
348,741 59 Vict.
Crown Land Surveys.                                          77l
Government Railways—Net earnings per mile per annum.
Population December 31st each year.
Increase in Population during 10 previous years.
Population of Capital City—Perth.
'   2,550
Tons, shipping inwards.
Tons, shipping outwards.
£1,251,406 772
Crown Land Surveys.
Customs and Excise.
Domestic Produce Exported.
Movements in Gold, 1894.
Gold Coin and Bullic
Excess of—
Live Stock—Sheep.
No. 279,576
No. 670,999
1881.                       1891.
No. 1,267,912       No. 1,962,212
No. 2,132,311
Live Stock—Horned Cattle.
No. 33,795
No. 45,593
No. 63,009
No. 133,690
No. 187,214
Live Stock—Horses.
No. 10,720
No. 22,698
No. 31,755
No. 40,812
No. 50,001
Gold produced—Ounces.
Area of Acres under crop.
81,325 59 Vict.
Crown Land Surveys.
Public Revenue.
Public Expenditure, 1894 to 1895.
expenses of railways and  tramways.
Post and
Interest and
charges on debt,
sinking fund.
All other
Land Revenue.
Loan Expenditure, and Public Debt—1894-95.
from loans during 1894.
Public Debt.
Interest charge
on debt.
Public Revenue from Various Sources, 1894 to 1895.
Customs and
Rails and
Post   and
All other
Rails and Public Lands, about 35 % of the total revenue.
Net Customs Revenue—1894-1895
Total, 1894.
Total, 1895.
Note.—The revenue of the Colony is, in round figures, $4,300,000, and the annual interest charge is
0,000. It appears that the Colony has spent over and above its ordinary revenues about $20,000,000 in
aid to the construction of railways and in otherwise developing the resources of the Colony, and it is thus
enabled to raise a revenue of over $4,000,000 per annum; and although the annual interest charge on the
public debt exceeds $800,000 it is easily met, as will be seen by the statement on next page.
Above compiled in the office of the Government Statistician, New South Wales.
Mr. T. A. Coglan.
Dated Sydney, September 26th, 1895. 774 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
(Extracts from "The Times," London Eng. )
Perth, January 11th (delayed in transmission). The revenue of Western Australia for
the year ended December 31st, 1895, amounted to £1,438,717 as compared with £863,679 for
the previous year.
The receipts of the various departments as compared with those in 1894 were :—
Customs £621,825 Increase  .£2067742
Land  153,876 „   48,187
Mines  77,885 ,i   68,425
Postages  51,143 n   16,172
Telegrams  61,943 „   36,278
Railways  348,741 „   150,187
Stamps  43,667 „   29,190
The export of gold from the Colony during the same period amounted to 231,512 ounces,
valued at £879,748. Of this amount, Coolgardie produced 125,105 ounces; Yilgarn, 19,747
ounces; Wilbarra, 19,522 ounces, and Murchison, 65,477 ounces; the balance being from
other fields. The Government has authorized the expenditure of £100,000 at Coolgardie for
the purpose of supplying the local centres with drinking water. The population of the Colony
on December 31st, was estimated at 101,000 against 82,000 on the corresponding date of the
previous year.—(Signed) Reuter.
The railway has been opened to Woolgangee within 40 miles of Coolgardie, but owing to
the tremendous increase in the quantity of goods coming forward, teamsters have announced
their intention of adhering to the present rate of freight, which is £12 per ton. Notwithstanding the fact that the railway has advanced 60 miles, carriage is more expensive now than
it was last year. Large quantities of machinery are awaiting removal, and more teams are
urgently required. Labour of every description is also very scarce owing to the large number
of buildings going up.
The Net Receipts on all Railways for 1894 were £198,554
. . Increase
....   1894
East end of Exploration, according to Original Plans op Bute Inlet Route, C. P. R.
Survey, made bv Dominion Government 1873 to 1876.
It is to be observed that some plans of the original Bute Inlet surveyed route of the
Canadian Pacific Railway came to hand February, 10th, 1896, and the upper 120 miles from
the Yellow Head Pass to the mouth of the Goat River has been taken from this source. The
work upon the remainder of the plan herewith was, however, finished and could not be revised,
except in some minor particulars. As, however, there are 240 miles of work in the central
portion not previously surveyed, it will be seen that the correction of the eastern portion
leaves the work as complete as possible. Below I submit a table of distances and an estimate
for a line of railway of which the geographical position has already been described. 59 Vict.
Crown Land Surveys.
Table of Mileage op Proposed Railway.
Miles land.
Total miles
of land
and water.
Frederick Arm to Waddington Harbour	
Waddington Harbour to Barkerville Junction    	
Barkerville Junction to the Fraser River, at Goat River mouth	
Goat River mouth to Tete Jaune Cache	
Tete Jaune Cache to summit Yellow Head Pass	
From Barkerville Junction to Barkerville, 20 miles.
Estimate op Proposed Railway Line prom Comox, Vancouver Island, to the Yellow Head Pass,
on the Province Boundary of British Columbia.
Miles railway line from Comox to Otter Cove, Vancouver Island	
Terminal facilities, Otter Cove, consisting of ferry incline, cradle, &c ...
Two three track car ferry boats	
Terminal facilities do., Frederick Arm	
Miles line Frederick Arm to Waddington Harbour	
from Waddington Harbour to 8. end of canyon, Homathco River.
to north end of canyon	
N. end of canyon to 8. end of Tatlaieo Lake	
S. end of Tatlaieo Lake to E. end of Eagle Lake	
S. end of Eagle Lake to Summit	
from Summit to Buche Creek    	
from Buche Creek to Quesnellemouth  	
Fraser River crossing	
Quesnellemouth to W. end Cottonwood River Canyon	
W. to E. end do	
Cottonwood crossing and approaches	
ii to Summit of Beaver Pass	
Beaver Pass to Barkerville Junction, Willow River...	
Willow River to Bear Lake	
Bear Lake to Goat River Summit  	
Goat River Summit to the Fraser River	
Goat River mouth to Tete Jaune Cache	
Tete Jaune Cache to the Yellow Head Pass	
Omissions and contingencies	
per mile.
Total complete and ready for traffic
per section.
I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient servant,
M. I. C. E., Mem. Am. Soc.
C.E 776 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
Geological Survey op Canada, 1875 to 1876, by A. R. C. Selwyn, F.R.S., F.G.S.,
Director—page 32.
Character of country between Quesnelle and Stewart's Lake.
From Quesnelle to the Westroad River (Blackwater) and thence to Sinkut Lake our route
followed the old Overland Telegraph line. The country is generally level, or only slightly
undulating. There are numbers of small lakes abounding with fish, and though the soil is
almost always light, and sometimes on the ridges too sandy or gravelly to be fit for cultivation,
there are nevertheless considerable tracts of good agricultural land on open or lightly timbered
flats and slopes along the borders of the lakes and along the streams and rivers, among which
may be mentioned Westroad River, Chilacoh River, Nechacco River and Stewart River;
also, Naltesby, Eulatatzela and Sinkut Lakes. At the crossing place on the Nechacco, and
between it and Stony Creek, there are extensive areas of the richest land, covered with luxuriant herbage, and similar fine land occurs at intervals along the valley to Fraser's Lake where
most of the horses and cattle belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company are sent from other
posts to winter on account of the abundance of fine grass and the light snow-fall as compared
with that of Fort George, or even at Stewart's Lake.
The average elevation of the country between the Westroad River and the Nechacco is
probably not less than 2,400 feet, and the valleys of the principal streams being everywhere
from 250 to 500 feet lower, are generally reached by a succession of terraced steps cut in the
sand and gravel deposits which are so widely distributed over the whole of the great central
plateau of British Columbia, and up to elevations of more than 3,000 feet. The relation of
these deposits to the underlying tertiary lignite formation is fully described in Mr. G. M.
Dawson's report, and the terraces are well shown in his sketch of Blackwater Valley as well
as in the photographs which I took of the same valley from above the lower crossing place.
Similar terraces are more or less a characteristic of almost every river valley which we crossed,
both east and west of the Rocky Mountains.
Geological  Survey op Canada,  1875 to 1876, by Professor John Macoun—page 126.
Between Soda Creek and Quesnelle the waggon road passes along the benches of the
Fraser at various heights for a distance of at least thirty-six miles. On the right of the road
the hills rise to a height of about 600 feet and the irrigation on the benches is done by means
of water brought from these hills. The soil is light and sandy, but produces good crops when
properly watered. The hills are covered with a thin growth of Douglas fir, interspersed at
intervals with a little aspen and a sprinkling of white birch (Betula papyracea), bunch-grass,
a species of triticum (Triticum repens—Var.j, and the pasture sage brush (Artemisia frigida),
were the leading plants. The latter is the great food plant of the cattle in winter, throughout
Upper British Columbia, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and in fact all the dry North-West. It is
said by all the stock-men to be preferable to any kind of grass or hay, and to have a wonderful
effect on stock, keeping them fat and sleek in the depth of winter.
Buchanan's ranch, about twenty-two miles from Quesnelle, is the largest farm on the
Upper Fraser. It consists of over 400 acres under cultivation; originally it was partly
prairie and partly aspen copse ; oats, barley and wheat are raised in large quantities. The
greater part of the farm is about 300 feet above the Fraser, and this part is considered safe
frorn summer frosts, while potatoes near the river are occasionally injured. Douglas fir and
Pinus cortorto are the principal forest trees, giving indications of a gravelly soil. Low mountains covered with Douglas fir, at one or two miles distance, skirt the road all along as you
proceed in the direction of Quesnelle. For a number of miles the road is quite level, and the
soil suited for cultivation. Approaching Quesnelle, the indications of a change of climate
become more apparent and the absence of many of the characteristic plants of the dry country
shows that irrigation in the neighbourhood of Quesnelle is no more a necessity than in any
part of Ontario. 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 777
The greater part of a week was spent in the neighbourhood of Quesnelle, and many observations made on its flora and climate. It is in latitude 53° North, and about 1,500 feet above
the sea. The spring of 1875 was said to be late, but I found that notwithstanding, the season
was not more than eight days later than at Belleville, Ontario. I commenced my examination
on the morning of the 28th May, and found the various currants and gooseberries in flower.
The bell flower (prosartes Hookerii), the high bush cranberry, (Viburnum pauciflorum) and
many of the common eastern species were found in full flower and nearly as far advanced as
at Belleville on the 24th May, 1876. Nearly all the species observed were eastern ones, or
western plants that reach the wooded country west of Lake Superior. No species indicating
a cold or wet climate was seen, except Viburnum pauciflorum. This plant seems to take the
place of Viburnum opulus in a great degree throughout the North-West, and therefore is not
necessarily indicative of a cold climate. Some farming is done in the neighbourhood and all
kinds of farm produce comes to perfection. The land on both sides of the river is much
broken, but in the hands of a thrifty population much of it might be made to yield large
returns At present only some of the lower "benches" along the river are worked. The
indigenous plants observed indicate a cool moist climate, more like Quebec than Ontario, or
resembling that part of Ontario thirty miles north of the lake. The soil is a sandy loam,
inclining to sand, and could be very easily worked. The country around Quesnelle, on both
sides of the river, has been burned over, and the original forest, which was Douglas fir,
destroyed. In its stead, poplar, birch and willows have grown up, but not a single Douglas
fir. Occasionally a white spruce is seen, but they are very scarce and of little account in the
Geological  Survey  op  Canada,   1875-76,  by  G.  M.  Dawson,  C.M.G.,  LL.D.,  F.R.S.—
page 234.
Character of the Country and General Description of Route.
The region examined lies between the Fraser River and the Cascade Range, the 52nd
and 54th parallels of latitude, and, except where the Cascade Mountains are touched on, is a
part of the geographical valley of the Fraser. It belongs, in the main, to the basaltic or
volcanic plateau of the interior, though in many places older rocks stand out above the general
level of the igneous material, and in some instances appear in the valleys of the rivers, where
it has been removed by erosion.
Opposite Soda Creek, a very steep ascent is made to the summit of the terrace or bench,
which here immediately overlooks the river, and rises to a height of about 340 feet above it;
or, taking the elevation of Soda Creek at 1,690 feet, 2,030 feet above the sea. In following
the trail, southward towards Riske's Creek, which flows into the Fraser a short distance above
the Chilcotin, the route lies for the most part along the same high terrace, which, for about
twenty miles, or to Meldruin's farm, is quite narrow. To the west, the view is bounded by a
range of rocky hills and cliffs, which in some places closely approach the river. No water was
found along this part of the trail, though it is constantly necessary to cross little ravines
which notch the front of the terrace, the drainage during the dry season appearing to be
entirely subterranean through the porous drift material. From Meldrum's to Riske's, the
appearance of the country is much improved ; the more or less rolling surface of the terrace
spreads into a wide plateau, and belts of timber alternate with large patches of open prairie
covered with luxuriant grass, giving a park-like aspect to the scenery. The average altitude
is probably about 3,200 feet (1,500 feet above Fraser River). The trees forming the woods,
which are usually open, are Douglas fir (Abies Douglassii), of medium size, and scrub pine
(Pinus contorta). Aspen, poplar, various willows, roses, and Sliepherdia Canadensis, form
the undergrowth. Solidagos and asters of several species abound, also a castilleia (probably
C. pallida), Spiraea betulifolia, at this date nearly past flowering, Gentiana amarella, Galium
boreale past flowering, and a delicate species of Astragalus. In the meadows in addition,
appear  Geranium Fremonlii,  ffeuchera Richardsoni,  and in  some  places  Geum  triftorum, 778 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
The flora shows in many points a marked resemblance to that of the fertile region along the
eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains in the vicinity of the 49th parallel at a height of 4,000
feet and the vegetation appeared to be at about the same stage at a similar date in the two
localities, comparing together the years 1874 and 1875.
A rapid descent is made from the plateau to the lower bench on which Riske's farm is
situated. Its elevation is about 2,400 feet, but fine crops are produced with irrigation. These
lower terraces and valleys appear to be not only warmer but drier than the plateau above and
the vegetation changes considerably. Artemisia frigida and A. Canadensis become abundant,
and lynosyris, and here and there a stunted cactus appear.
From Riske's Creek the trail passes south-westward across the plateau to the northern
bank of the Chilcotin Valley. The surface of the country is generally open prairie and is
clothed with bunch-grass, forming a fine grazing and stock-raising region, for which purpose
it is already partly occupied. At about nine miles from Riske's the highest part of the plateau
is reached and from thence it slopes slightly toward the Chilcotin, affording a magnificent
view south-westward. Beyond the deep Chilcotin Valley, and rising gently in receding from
it, the same plain is seen to stretch for many miles, diversified with prairie and wood-land.
Then a bounding range of low hills, with gentle slopes wooded to the summits appear, beyond
which the snow-clad peaks of the Cascade or Coast Range Mountains are seen at a great
About seven miles beyond the point at which the trail first reaches the Chilcotin Valley,
it leaves the plateau and goes down into the valley bottom which it then follows. Opposite
the place of descent is a conspicuous mountain, apparently in great part composed of limestone which forms the southern side of the valley and rises to a considerable height above the
level of the plain. From this place to the junction with the Chilcotin of Alexis Creek, fifteen
miles, the valley has a pleasing appearance, being wide and though in some places hummocky,
with much level land, forming broad terraces at a small height above the river. These are
generally prairie-like and covered with bunch-grass. The vegetation of the lower levels of the
valley as a whole, resembles that of Riske's Creek above mentioned. At Alexis Creek are a
few Indian houses, and farming on a very limited scale is attempted. On the night of August
25th a sharp frost was experienced, and on the 27th the tops of the potatoes in the Indians'
gardens were observed to be killed clown. The area of cultivable land in this part of the
Chilcotin Valley may be about 7,000 acres. The plateau above the river is here generally
densely wooded, and the rim of the valley from a short distance above Alexis Creek, probably
to its junction with the Fraser, is very definitely formed by almost continuous cliffs of basalt.
A mile and a half west of Alexis Creek the valley becomes narrowed and almost gorgelike ; a prominent hill, which may be called Battle Mountain from an Indian legend associated
with it, projecting from the northern bank. Immediately west of this hill high cliffs of
columnar basalt front on the river; they are extremely rugged and some of these softer
layers are worn into caves at a great height above the trail. Beyond these the valley again
opens out, though not to so great a width as before, and about four miles west of Battle
Mountain the Chilco River from the south-west joins the Chilcotin in a pretty extensive flat—
a fine view of the Cascade Mountains being obtained through the gap formed by its valley in
the plateau.
The Chilco is a rapid stream, several times the volume of that which continues to bear
the name Chilcotin, and is filled with turbid milky water, no doubt issuing from glacier
streams in the mountains. The Chilcotin above this point is clear, with brownish water
derived from swamps and lakes.
The Chilcotin Valley from the junction of the Chilco to the mouth of the Chilanco, ten
miles, is not attractive. Though still wide there is a little meadow land, the greater part
of the flat being occupied with swamps bearing willow and alder bushes. The plateau
above is thickly wooded. At the junction with the Chilanco the trail crosses the Chilcotin
and after passing through a meadow of quite limited size, but with grass in some places three
feet high and abundance of vetches, continues for fourteen miles to follow the north bank of
the first named river at a greater or less distance, when it joins the located line of the
Canadian Pacific Railway. The Chilanco is at first a rapid brook but becomes smaller and
soon shows long reedy pools connected by short stretches only of running water. The country
passed over is useless for agriculture, and with small patches of grazing land. It is chiefly
covered with a light growth of Pinus contorta, the soil being sandy and gravelly. About
four miles east of the crossing of the Chilanco by the  railway  line  the last low cliff of basalt 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 779
is seen, and at the same time boulders of this rock become rare, and the general aspect of the
country changes, its surface ceasing to be a nearly uniform plateau and becoming diversified
with rolling hills
From this point a nearly level area of triangular form stretches west south-westward, the
acute apex of the triangle touching the Chilanco River, while its base reaches the flanking
range of the Cascade Mountains and its northern and southern sides are more or less perfectly
defined by low hills rising above the general level. The wide valley contains two nearly
parallel depressions, the northern of which is the deeper and is occupied by Tatla Lake,
eighteen miles in length, and Long Lake ; the southern is not so uniform in character, but
holds Eagle, Buckhorn, Loon and LeBlanc Lakes, from west to east. The drainage of the
whole valley converges eastward and enters the Chilanco by the Tatla Lake stream. The
location line runs by the southern tier of lakes and following it westward. For the first few
miles the surface of the country is very gently undulating with coarse sandy soil, supporting
Pinus contorta, which seldom attains eighteen inches in diameter. On approaching LeBlanc
Lake the country becomes rather hilly and continues to have a similar appearance to the
eastern end of Loon Lake. No rock in place is seen, and the arrangement of the drift material
is evidently that of little modified moraines. The nearest point of the flanking range of the
Cascades is about twenty-four miles distant. Loon Lake, a mile and a quarter long, has
abruptly sloping banks of drift material, not distinctly terraced, but irregularly moundy. Its
western end has been filled with detritus, and forms a marshy flat. From this place to the
east end of Eagle Lake, the surface bears a similar growth of scrub pine, and has the same
moraine like character, which between Buckhorn and Eagle Lakes, however, becomes much
more distinct. Loon Lake drains eastward, while Eagle Lake discharges northward into
Tatla Lake, and in the intermediate region lie the Buckhorn Lakes or ponds. These have no
apparent outlets, but occupy basins and hollows enclosed in a very remarkable manner by
steep, irregular and perfectly preserved moraine mounds and ridges, many of them transverse
to the general direction of the valley. The division between Loon and Eagle Lakes may
probably be entirely due to this heaped up material. For about a mile before reaching
Eagle Lake the trail winds among scattered rock masses lying in all positions, and some of
them equalling small cottages in size. They are derived from the two rocky hills between
which the eastern end of the lake lies and of which the southern is a spur of the low range
before mentioned as bounding the valley to the south. The banks of Eagle Lake are high,
especially on the southern side, and the slopes though apparently composed of drift material
only, rugged and tree clad. Between the west end of Eagle Lake and Cochin Lake, six miles
south westward, the watershed separating the tributaries of the Fraser from those of the East
Hamathco is passed over. The valley becomes quite narrow in one place from the encroachment on it of rocky hills, but without attention it would hardly be known that so important a
feature in the general hydrography of the country existed there. White Water Lake occupies
a depression near the summit, is surrounded by drift material and has no outlet. It is lower
than either Cochin or Eagle Lakes.
Tatla Lake, lying north of the line just described, is long and river-like, being seldom
more than a mile in width though eighteen miles in length. It is enclosed between rather
steep banks of drift-material, eighty to one hundred feet high, and above the abrupt ascent
the country on both sides slopes up very gradually as it recedes from the lake. The drift is
apparently not of the nature of moraine matter, or has been subsequently modified by water.
The north side of the lake is open and well covered with bunch-grass, forming a good grazing
region ; the south bank is generally wooded. The plateau above is also timbered, chiefly with
scrub pine, and on leaving the immediate valley of the lake the soil is invariably found to be
sandy and barren The lake is narrowest and most closely hemmed in by its banks at its eastern end, and for about five miles is quite shallow. The remainder of the lake is deep, and its
western end has been partly filled in, forming an alluvial though swampy flat several miles in
length. The brook which runs through this flat probably has its source in Peterson Lake, a small
sheet of water about four miles west of Tatla Lake. Beyond Peterson Lake, a rather extensive
area of flat land, with good grass in some places, stretches westward, and in a few miles the sources
of the west Homathco are reached, the height of land between these waters, which flow to the
Pacific directly through the Cascade Mountains, and those tributary to the Fraser River, being
as before, inconspicuous, but characterized by drift material and moraine mounds. The whole
region, from the crossing of the Chilanco to the eastern base of the mountains, shows little
land which may be of value for agriculture, and no great areas even fitted for stock raising. 780 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
Returning to Cochin Lake, the source of the east branch of the Homathco, the trail and
located line follow the valley of the stream, along which there is a little good grazing land south-
westward for nine niles, when the northern end of Tatlayaco Lake is reached, and at the same
time the eastern base of the first range of the Cascade Mountains. The lake has a general direc
tion of S. 10° W., and, with an average width of about a mile, stretches fourteen miles into the
mountains. The elevation of the lake is 2,747 feet; its waters are clear, and apparently very
deep. The mountains on the west side rise steeply from the water's edge, and tower to
a great height, with broken summits. The eastern side, however, is less abrupt, though
attaining, at a distance of one to two and a half miles from the lake, a height of about 2,000
feet. The mountains here are composed of stratified and fossiliferous rocks, and are not
serried and rugged like those of the opposite shore, but more resemble a gigantic escarpment.
They show well marked though narrow terraces at several different levels, the highest being
probably about 1,500 feet above the lake, or 4,250 above the sea.
The Douglas fir is the most abundant timber of the valley of Tatlayaco Lake, but does
not attain a great size. In one place, the high bush cranberry ( Viburnum pauciflorum) was
found in abundance. Bunch-grass finds its western limit at the northern end of the lake.
Near the western end of Tatla Lake, cactus of very stunted growth was seen to occur sparingly.
Eloeagnus argentea was observed, forming thickets near Cochin Lake.
Returning again to the Chilanco crossing, and following the location line northward for
four miles, Puntzee Lake is reached, ft is wide at its southern end, but tapers rapidly northwestward, and is surrounded by sloping land, which, at a variable distance from the lake,
rises rather suddenly to the general level of the country. The soil of the upper levels is in
general light and sandy, though occasionally clayey, and almost always supports a growth of
scrub pine. Some pretty, sloping, bunch-grass meadows, however, stretch along the shores of
the northern part of the lake, but are quite linrited in size. The valley in which Puntzee
Lake lies is seen to be continuous south eastward to that of the Chilanco and beyond, the
Cascade Mountains lying between the two branches of the Homathco, forty miles distant,
being visible from its northern end. The water, whatever its former course may have been,
now flows north-westward through Puntzee Lake to the upper part of the Chilcotin River.
Near the northern end of the lake are some remarkable ridges and mounds, for which it is
difficult to account, unless it be supposed that the Cascade Mountain glaciers stretched even
this far at one period.
Eight miles north of Puntzee Lake, the Chilcotin River is crossed near its source in
Chizicut Lake. The intervening country is of the character usually met with above the more
fertile benches and bottoms immediately surrounding rivers and lakes, being slightly undulating, sandy, and stony, and covered with an open growth of Pinus contorta. Near Chizicut
Lake, the Chilcotin Valley, now quite shallow, is of rather pleasing appearance, with some fine
meadows. A few Indians were found camped here, busily drying trout and a small species of
white-fish for winter use. After crossing the stream, some fertile and pretty extensive
meadows, with occasional grassy swamps, are found in the vicinity of the Clinch-in-tam-pan
stream, but several miles before reaching Temapho Lake the country again becomes undulating
and hilly, and is covered with a tangled growth of woods. The form of the surface is, no
doubt, due to the arrangement of the drift-material, as no rock in place is seen, though the
ground is stony and boulder-strewn. Near Temapho Lake is a pond or small lake without
outlet, the waters of which are unpleasantly saline.
Leaving Temapho Lake, which drains into the Chilcotin, in three miles the summit
between that river and the Nazco is reached, at an elevation, according to the railway survey,
of 3,680 feet. It is marked by an extremely perfect display of terminal and lateral moraines,
probably of local origin, though there are no hills of great height in the neighbourhood.
Tongues of ice from the south-east and north-west have at one period nearly met in this
vicinity, and have piled up between them a mass of transported rubbish which now forms the
watershed. In their retreat each has left a tier of more or less complete cresentic mounds,
concave in the direction from which the glacier has come, and with the intervening hollows
now occupied by swamps and ponds. Eight miles north-westward from the watershed is a
chain of lakes forming the upper part of the Nazco, but before reaching these about a mile
and a half of very rugged country is passed over, being a moraine composed of large boulders
and masses of basalt thrown together in the utmost confusion. This appears to have been
formed by the retiring glacier when it became low enough to receive the debris of the crumbling basaltic cliffs of the river valley. 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 781
From Temapho Lake to this point, and three miles beyond to Tzazate Mountain, in latitude 52° 30', the country is quite unfit for pastoral or agricultural occupation, as it is not only
rugged but covered with dense forest or tangled windfall and brule.
South of Tzazate Mountain the Nazco River is represented by a long succession of reedy
pools and narrow lakes, with constrictions separating them, in which flowing water is found.
Beyond Tzazate Mountain the river takes a north-eastward course for about nine miles, to the
point of entrance of Tautree Creek. For about five miles the river valley is not in any place
more than about a mile in width from rim to rim, and is much encumbered by lateral moraines,
composed of great masses of basalt derived from the low cliffs which, in a ruinous condition,
more or less continuously bound it. These moraines are often plastered up against the sides
of the valley, but sometimes form long roof-like ridges separated from the banks by narrow
crevices, strewn with angular blocks and thickly wooded. Four miles below Tzazate Mountain
the Nazco Fall, which according to railway levelling is forty feet in height, occurs; and below
this the river flows with a sluggish current for about half a mile in a deep canyon with perpendicular walls of basalt. From the canyon to the mouth of Tautree Creek the basaltic sides of the
valley are very much broken, and their debris, probably in some places partly owing its arrangement to glacier action, strews the slopes and gives the river an extremely desolate and gloomy
appearance. The river valley is evidently the work of a much larger stream than that now
flowing in it, or has at one time had a more rapid fall, as it is not now deepening its bed, but
rather tending to fill it in, in this upper part of its course. The plateau above, wherever observed,
is rough, stony and thickly covered with scrub pine in various stages of growth and decay.
Tautree Creek joins the Nazco from the east. Here the basalt is replaced by sandstone
and conglomerate rocks, and from this point to the mouth of the Clisbaco—joining it from the
south-west twenty miles northward—it does not present the same rocky and forbidding
character. Its banks slope more gently, and show comparatively little bare rock, and are often
grassed and but lightly clad with timber and brush. Some small glades and meadows with
fine grass occur along the sides of the stream ; but most of them seem to be subject to overflow
in the spring. The aspen poplar forms thickets in many places. At Cinderella Mountain,
however, there is a remarkable exception, the valley being for a short distance much narrowed
by cliffs, composed of both conglomerate and igneous rocks. There is here a more than usually
fine display of moraine mounds and ridges, which, though not in so rough a form as before,
still continue to characterize it. Some of the ridges occupy the middle of the valley and are
parallel with its direction, and generally somewhat rounded or flat-topped in transverse section,
while longitudinally they may either run some distance with a nearly level summit and fall
rapidly at the ends, or may slope away gently in both directions, forming " hog backs." Some
of these may be based on solid rock, but ii seldom or never appears. Others are pressed
against the sides of the valley, and from a sharp ridge-like top slope steeply both towards its
centre and the bank. It may be difficult in all cases to prove that these last are not the result
of extensive slips of the hillside ; but some of them are certainly not of this character.
The Clisbaco almost equals the Nazco in size, but when followed upward rapidly gains a
considerable elevation, and probably rises from lakes and ponds on the surface of the plateau
at no great distance. From this point the Nazco pursues a northerly course to its junction
with the Blackwater, and its valley continues to present an appearance not dissimilar to that
last described. While a great part of its area is occupied by ridges and benches of gravel and
sand, generally covered with scrub pine, there are now occasionally more extensive meadows
with fine grass along the river side. Several small lakes and many depressions and little
enclosed valleys lie along, nearly parallel with, the river, and between it and the steep banks.
Some of these are possibly formed by old lateral moraines, others the result of land-slips.
Before reaching the Blackwater, the valley opens out considerably, and the benches are
observed to become somewhat more extensive and regular. The Indian trail from Quesnelle
to Cluscus Lake crosses the Nazco fifteen miles south of the Blackwater. The plateau on the
eastern side of the river valley is here of rather better character than usual, with some meadows
and open woods with grass ; most of the su rface is, however, still covered with Pinus contorta,
replaced in damp hollows by dense groves of black spruce. A fine view was obtained from a
point a few miles west of the Nazco, on the Cluscus Lake trail, from which it would appear
that an extensive group of high, and sometimes rugged, hills occupied the country west of the
Clisbaco, and that part of the Nazco immediately north of it. These hills are without doubt
composed of older rocks, which project above the general level of the basalt. They are
covered from base to summit with dense coniferous forest. 782 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
The Blackwater, above its junction with the Nazco, carries probably four times the volume
of water of the latter stream, but is easily fordable in some places. The united streams form
a considerable river, which, turning abruptly from the former course of the Blackwater, runs
nearly north for about ten miles. The valley is wide and flat-bottomed, with occasional grassy
meadows, but in general well timbered. The western seems, as a rule, to be steeper than the
eastern bank, and the stream winds from side to side, and occasionally cuts into both, showing
a great thickness of rounded gravel deposits. A deep valley, with a string of lakes and ponds,
follows, nearly parallel to the river, a short distance west of it, for some miles, and though now
largely filled with drift material, has the appearance of being a former channel of the river
The blueberry (Vaccinium sp.) and white birch, seen rarely, if at all, since leaving the
immediate neighbourhood of the Cascade Mountains, were again met with in some abundance
near the mouth of the Nazco.
Where the Blackwater resumes its westward course, it breaks through a range of high hills,
which cross it with a nearly north and south direction. Its valley here becomes narrow and
rocky, though seldom precipitous, and has been called the Upper Blackwater Canyon. On
approaching the hills from the west the surface becomes more broken, and much angular rock
debris derived from them is mingled with the drift. From the eastern slope of the hill, where
the Bella Coola trail commences its descent, after having reached an elevation of nearly 1,000
feet above the river, an extensive and apparently nearly level plain is seen to stretch eastward.
It includes the country lying north of the Blackwater, about the southern sources of the
Chilacco, and is bounded only by the mountains beyond the Fraser River, at a distance of
twenty miles. Where crossed by the location line its average elevation is 2,660 feet, and it
has all the appearance of a region either underlaid by a soft or little disturbed formation, or
levelled up with a great thickness of drift. On descending to the plain, the growth of timber
is found to improve much, and groves of large Douglas firs frequently occur. The surface is
generally undulating, with a sandy or elayey soil, with moist hollows supporting large alders,
and might be valuable, agriculturally in some places, if not too high. The valley of the Black-
water is now of great size, and depressed at least 300 feet below the general level of the
country. It is usually flat-bottomed, terraced along the sides in some places, and densely
wooded, few good meadows appearing. It retains this character to the crossing place of the
old Telegraph Trail, a distance of six miles. Below the bridge at the crossing is the Lower
Black Water Canyon, where the river again breaks through older disturbed rocks and flows
for some distance between perpendicular rocky cliffs more than 100 feet in height. I succeeded
in getting from the bridge, eastward, to within about six miles from the junction of the Black-
water with the Fraser. The valley does not again open out, and hard rocks frequently occur
near the margin of the river. As seen from the Fraser River, it lias the same gorge-like character at its mouth. West of the bridge there is a very fine display of terraces at many
different levels, which, near the canyon, successively approach the river and contract the valley.
From Blackwater Bridge to Fort George the direct trail, which crosses the plateau and
ridges lying between the Fraser and Chilacco Valley in a nearly parallel direction at a few
miles' distance. Twelve miles north of the Blackwater is Pun-chaw Lake, a pretty sheet of
water nearly two miles in length, which, according to the Indians, discharges south-eastward
into the Blackwater. The intervening country is gently undulating, but becomes hilly
toward the lake, and is thickly covered with scrub pine and Douglas fir of medium size. Passing for fourteen miles further northward over a succession of mounds and ridges, probably for
the most part composed of drift, a small running stream is reached, which, the Indians say,
rises in two large lakes to the north-east, called Chus-wuz, and, after joining two other streams
west of the trail, flows westward into the Chilacco. Four miles beyond the brook is a very
prominent rocky hill, called Tsa-whuz, of which the probable height, by a single aneroid
observation, is 3,240 feet, and which rises about 800 feet above the surrounding country.
From its summit a very extensive view was obtained. Stretching eastward to the Fraser
River is a triangular area of low and nearly flat land, but in all other directions the surface is
broken by hillocks and ridges. The whole country is forest-clad, mostly with coniferous trees
of small or medium growth, but many limited patches of aspen poplar were very apparent
from their bright autumnal tint. Tsa-whuz, though, when viewed from the south, appearing
conical, slopes gently away northward, its longest axis being N. 60° W. (Mag.) in direction.
Besides the more prominent ridges, the general surface of the country is lumpy, the longer
axes of all  the  elevations  and  depressions  lying  approximately north  and  south.    This is 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 783
especially apparent in the region immediately south of the mountain, where small ridges run
S. 1° E., and are very closely packed, the valleys between them being steep and narrow.
These minor elevations also very generally show a "crag and tail" form, the longer slopes
being, like that of the mountain itself, northward. In some cases small surfaces of rock
appear, but in general only drift-material is seen.
Six miles northward of Tsa-whuz the trail passes about a mile west of a large lake, known
to the Indians as Nads-il-nich. Five miles further on the brook flowing from this lake to the
Chilacco is crossed, and in eleven miles Fort George, at the confluence of the Fraser and
Nechacco Rivers, is reached. After crossing the second of two prominent ridges, which lie
one on either side of Lake Nads-il-nich, and run nearly north and south, the surface of the
country slopes rapidly northward towards a low, level horizon. The ridges, which do not here
appear to have any very definite direction, are composed of well-rounded shingle, and the
hollows intervening become larger in proportion, with a clayey soil, and support a dense
growth of black spruce, with occasional large birches, balsam poplars, and Douglas firs. There
is continued evidence of approach to a region with greater rainfall in passing from Blackwater
to Fort George. Mosses and various species of Lycopodium begin to grow abundantly in the
woods, and a few miles before reaching Fort George specimens of Ledum latifolium were seen
for the first time.
Surrounding Fort George is an area of probably from 2,000 to 3,000 acres, elevated only
about thirty feet above the Fraser River, and bounded to the south and west by the escarpment of the high-level plain above.    Such crops as have been tried succeed well.
Geological Survey op Canada,  1876 to 1877, by G. M. Dawson, C.M.G., LL.D., F.R.S.—
pages 18 to 29.
General Description of Country and Routes Travelled.
From Quesnelle to Blackwater Bridge :—In approaching Quesnelle from the south, many
of the plants of the dry regions of the interior plateau disappear and are replaced by others
suited to a moister climate. In conjunction with this it is found that grain may be grown
without irrigation at this place and northward. On the 28th and 29th May of last year, the
service-berry (Amelanchier Canadensis), the high bush cranberry (Viburnum pauciflorum) and
wood violet (Viola Canadensis) were found in full flower. The wild strawberry (Fragaria
Virginiana) still showed many blossoms, and the floral bracts of the pigeon-berry (Cornus
Canadensis) were beginning to whiten. The berries of Shepherdia Canadensis were formed,
though small.
On leaving the river bank opposite Quesnelle the trail gradually ascends over broken
ground due to former slides, affecting the edges of the terraces with which the river valley is
fringed. The two best marked of these are elevated 150 and 560 feet, respectively, above the
flood level of the Fraser, the last named again appears at an elevation of 100 feet above the
stream called West River, ten miles from Quesnelle. The general level of the plateau is here
about 850 feet above the Fraser or 2,550 feet above the sea. On its surface terrace flats cease
to appear, and are replaced by low rolling hills and hillocks formed of boulder clay, here a
hard, partly arenaceous material of pale fawn colour, charged with rolled pebbles and
boulders of very various origin, but for the most part of rocks which may be attributed to
the Lower Cache Creek series. Basalt is not seen in place on the part of the plateau over
which the trail passes, but in boulders is pretty abundant where the plateau-level is first
reached on leaving the Fraser Valley. In some places the low drift hills show a very general
tendency to north and south arrangement of their longer axes, and in one locality a small
rocky hill projecting through the thick drift covering was seen with a fan-shaped mound of
detrital matter on its south side. A range of low hills rising above the plateau to the southwest of the trail appears to run with a general course of N. 55° W. The summits may stand
500 feet above the general level. On reaching Goose or Herkelthtie Lake, half way from
Quesnelle to Blackwater Bridge, this range breaks down and an irregularly hilly and rolling
country stretches westward.    The lake is about 1,050 feet above the Fraser.    Beyond Goose 784 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
Lake a rather extensive gently undulating terrace-plateau with an average elevation of 1,012
feet above Quesnelle, or 2,706 feet above the sea, was noted. The material of this plateau and
that covering the surface of the country generally is boulder clay of the type above described,
which, though implying water deposit, is in some places so much broken into mounds and
ridges as to suggest moraines. In a few miles the range to the west again becomes pretty
well defined, and, with the same height as at first, runs parallel with the trail at an average
distance of about three miles, but separated from it by a broad valley which holds a chain of
small lakes, with wide swampy meadows. From the northern brink of the Blackwater Valley
a very extensive view is gained showing the north-western continuation of this, the Telegraph
Range, and the lower country toward Fort George.
Fires have passed extensively and often over the country between Quesnelle and Black-
water, destroying the original thick growth of western scrub pine (P. contorta) and Douglas
fir (Abies Douglassii), and in some places over considerable areas, almost completely removing
the windfall. Small alders, aspens and scattered scrub pines come up on these burnt areas,
with grass, which, though sometimes wiry and "sour," is often of good quality and mixed with
wild pea and vetch. It is evident that the destruction of the forest has led to the dessication
of the soil, some places which it had been necessary to corduroy when the trail was originally
made being now quite hard. The vegetation on the plateau is appreciably behind that at
Quesnelle, the difference being most apparent when elevations above 2,000 feet are reached.
The only land fit for cultivation is within a few miles of Quesnelle, and that lying beyond the
immediate valley of the Fraser is very limited in area.
The valley of the Blackwater, near the bridge, with its wonderfully terraced sides, has
has been described in a former report (1875-76, p. 244). The height of the river itself above
the sea brought down by barometer from the nearest bench-mark on Mr. Bell's location line
of 1875, is 2,170 feet.
Blackwater Bridge to Eu-chen-i-ko River, <fec. On the northern brink of the Black-
water Valley, the so-called Bella Coola Trail leaves the well-beaten Telegraph Trail, and following the Blackwater River and its tributaries till those of the Salmon River are reached, leads
eventually to the Salmon House, near the head of Dean Channel, and the Indian villages
on the Bella Coola River, discharging into Bentinck Arm. This trail appears from the markings on the trees and other circumstances, to be a very old one, and, indeed, we know from
Sir A. Mackenzie's narrative of his journey to the Pacific Ocean, that it was in constant use
at the time of his visit (1793). He speaks of it as a well-beaten path, and it has probably
been for a long time one of the great trading roads between the coast and inland tribes.
Like all the other Indian trails in the northern part of British Columbia, since the great
reduction of the Indian population by small-pox, it has become in many places much encumbered with windfall.
Five miles from Blackwater Bridge the trail leaves the river bank, and, continuing westward, crosses the Telegraph Range north of the Upper Canyon, and at about twenty miles
from the bridge reaches the Nan-tan-i-ko and Is-cul-teas-li or Eu-chen-i-ko Rivers, near their
junction, four miles from the Blackwater, which here bends far to the south. This part
of the route has been already described iu my report for 1875.
From the western slope of the Telegraph Range, an extensive view is obtained up the
low valley of the Eu-chen-i-ko, and a belt of low country, which, I believe, extends northwestward to the Nechacco. About the junction of these two streams a wide sandy flat
occurs, with an average elevation of about 2,750 feet. The Eu-chen-i-ko, when in flood, is a
stream about sixty feet wide, and where rapid can not be forded ; the Na-tan-i-ko may carry
about one-third as much water. These streams do not depend for their supply on melting
snow, and consequently, even when full, are clear, though the water has a brownish tint.
They rise early in the season, and like all the streams supplied by swamps and lakes, fall to
their summer level while those with sources in the mountains are still carrying their maximum amount of water. The Eu-chen-i-ko Valley holds many small lakes and lake-like expansions, some of which open into the river or form a part of its course, while others are steep-
sided and separated from the stream by flat-topped mounds. Three large lakes occur as
expansions of the river in the part of its length which has been explored. The first I have
not seen; the second, Tas-un-tlat, eighteen miles up the river from its junction with the
Blackwater, is about six miles in length, with an elevation of about 2,970 feet, and holds
many long islands produced by gravel ridges like those above mentioned, but not distinctly
flat-topped.    The ridges in both cases appear to be probably moraines, but at the lower levels 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 785
must have been somewhat modified by nearly contemporaneous water action. Five miles
beyond Tas-un-tlat is Klun-chat-is-tli Lake, a mile and three-quarters long, with an elevation
of 3,070 feet. Near the west end of this lake, Tai-uk Brook joins the Eu-chen-i-ko from the
south-west; a stream which, on the 6th June, with a very rapid current, had a width of about
ten feet, with a depth of twelve inches. This stream we were obliged to follow in our exploration, the river valley continuing with much the same aspect that it had heretofore presented,
with a general bearing of N. 42° W. The Indians described to me as existing in the valley
at the distance of about a day's journey beyond this point some remarkably coloured rocks,
from which steam or smoke ascends in winter. This may very probably be a case of the
spontaneous combustion of a lignite bed, like that described in the report for 1875 as
occurring at Quesnelle.
The portion of the Eu chen-i-ko Valley followed has a general course of north 65° west. To
the north it is bounded by rising and hilly ground, forming part of or flanking the Telegraph
Range. Hills appear on its southern side within a few miles of its junction with the Na-tan-i-ko,
and continue to increase in height and width north-westward. In some places they may rise
from 1,000 to 1,500 feet above the river. The valley is wide and flat-bottomed, and while its
southern side is thickly timbered, except in certain spots where fires have run, the northern,
with a considerable portion of the flat ground along the river, is generally open, and presents
a very attractive appearance, being covered with bunch-grass, with patches of wild onions and
occasional tufts of sage (Artemisia frigida). There is little arable land in the valley, but a
considerable area fitted for stock ranges. On the fifth June the young grass was showing well
above the dead tops of the old, while small patches which had been burnt over were vivid
green. An Indian who is in the habit of wintering a few horses here cuts a stack of hay for
their use in the autumn, and does not trouble himself further about them till the spring.
Where sandy beaches occur the scrub pine invariably forms groves, in which many of the
trees were here observed to be dead and dying from the effect of the parasitic arcuthobium,
which hangs upon them in masses. The river is generally fringed with dark groves of tall
symetrical black spruces (Abies Englemanii) while small poplars characterize the slopes. This
valley may be taken as a type of many which intersect the northern part of the interior
plateau, of which most arc; probably unknown yet, but which must in the aggregate represent
a great area capable of feeding cattle and horses. On ascending to the higher plateaus or low
hills bordering the valley, the surface is found to be composed of the boulder clay, generally
stony, and either covered with thick forests of the scrub pine, with windfall, or the young
growth succeeding fires. Where the timber has been pretty thoroughly burnt over, by the
passage of a fire, killing the original forest, followed by the uprooting of the dead trees by
wind, and then by one or more subsequent fires among the prostrate timber, fair grazing is
frequently found, and in marry places grass, with pea, vetch and other nutritious plants come
up in great abundance.
Following the Tai-uk stream for eight miles its source is found in Choo-tan-li Lake, at an
elevation of 3,600 feet. The valley of the stream is narrow, and slopes upward more rapidly
than the general surface of the country gains in elevation, so that on reaching the lake one
appears to be at about the level of the plateau. The Kuy-a-kuz Mountains, rising to the
west, showed large patches of snow on their summits at this date (June 7th). It is on the
north-western continuation of this range that Fawnie or Toot-i-ai Mountain is developed.
Terraces are well displayed in the Eu-chen-i-ko Valley, at heights estimated near Tas-un-
tlat Lake at 40, 100, and 250 feet above the stream. The highest of these would have an
elevation of about 3,280 feet above the sea. Near the Tai-uk stream terraces 3,400 to 3,500
feet above the sea are found.
In travelling from Choo-tan-li Lake southward to the Blackwater River, a part of the
very obscure and almost disused Indian Trail from To-tuk Lake, towards Cluscus, was followed. The country passed over is a succession of ridges, running more or less regularly in
east and west bearings, separated by hollows with swamps and lakes. Their elevation varies
from 4,200 to about 4,500 feet, and their northern slopes are densely covered with forests of
tall straight black spruce, mingled with balsam spruce (Abies lesiocarpa) resting on a peaty
and mossy soil, on which patches of snow were found lying in the deep shade of the trees on
the seventh of June. The southern slopes are more openly wooded, but here tangled and
almost impenetrable windfalls occur. On this high country the rock is seldom seen, there
being apparently a great thickness of drift. Very large boulders are scattered over the
surface in many places. 786 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
Valley of the Blackwater north of the Cluscus Lake.
This part of the Blackwater Valley, like most of its length between this place and the
bridge at the Lower Canyon, has much resemblance to that of the Eu-chan-i-ko above described,
but is on a larger scale. The north slope is generally bare, or but lightly tree-clad, with bunch-
grass, wild onions, bear berry, vetch, strawberry, and Galium borecdis, while thickets of willows
and dwarf birch (Iietula glandulosa) fringe the stream. The south bank presents a somewhat
similar assemblage of plants, but is much more thickly timbered with scrub pine and poplar
and occasional groves of black spruce. The appearance of the river valley is pleasing, and
there is abundance of good grazing for animals, which the winter snows can not be deep
enough entirely to cover, as the Indians of Cluscus Lake own a number of horses which are
allowed to live as best they can at all seasons. The sloping sides of the valley are generally
steep, but show little rock, being covered with terraced drift material. At this place a very
conspicuous bench may be traced running for miles along the valley at an elevation (at
Cush-ya, sometimes called Upper Eu-chen-i-ko Lake) of 296 feet above the river, or 3,476 feet
above the sea. The river itself flows rather rapidly between the long lake-like expansions
which here characterise it and add greatly to the beauty of the landscape. Whether these
lakes are held in by rocky barriers or dammed merely by drift material, I have been unable
to satisfy myself.
About one mile above Cush-ya Lake the whole volume of the river descends at a leap
about fifteen feet over a bed of grey columnar basalt. The wTaterfall is symmetrical and
curtain-like, with dark amber coloured water.
Two miles north of Cush-ya Lake, at an elevation, according to the railway maps, of 500
feet above it is Kuy-a-kuz Lake, lying nearly east and west like the Blackwater Valley, but
discharging its waters northward into the Nechacco. It is remarkable that with the exception
of the Eu-chen-i-ko which flows in a nearly parallel valley—the Blackwater receives no
important tributaries from the north—the surface of the plateau seeming on the whole to
slope northward from the brink of its valley. This is specially noticeable in the lower part of
its course where streams eventually joining the Chilacco may be found almost within gunshot
of its northern edge. The northern and north-eastern side of Kuy-a-kuz Lake is bounded
by the mountains of the Kuy-a-kuz Range, while the gently rolling plateau with sandy
and stony soil which separates it from the Blackwater has an average altitude of about 3,700
Country in the Vicinity of the Trail and Location Line, westward by the Cluscus Lakes and
Salmon River  Valley to the Iltasyouco River.
The Blackwater is crossed at several places by the Indians when on the way to Cluscus
Lakes, but of these the best known is at the junction of the Cluscus Stream. At high water
the river can only be crossed in this vicinity by rafting, but this is easily affected. The
Cluscus Stream was estimated on June 15th to have a width of twenty feet by two feet in
depth and slope of about one to ten. Its water had a temperature of 61.5° ; that of the
Blackwater being 53.5°. The trail follows the stream southward for about half a .mile and
then turns westward along the northern border of the lakes. The lower lake has an estimated
total length of about six miles with a width of less than half a mile at its upper end and quite
narrow and river-like at its lower, ft is separated by a stream of about a mile and a half in
length from the upper lake, which, with a length of scarcely three miles, has a width of about
three-quarters of a mile at its upper end, and holds two small islands. The water feeding
these lakes must enter the upper on its southern side, and from its high temperature is probably derived from other shallow lakes or extensive swamps. The country along the north side
of the first lake is of very pleasing appearance, sloping gently with an undulating surface to
the water and clotted with groves of aspen and spruce, where not covered with luxuriant
grass. The northern slope of the upper lake is similar but steeper, and showing a smaller
area of grazing land. The lower lake stands about forty feet higher than the Blackwater
River. A terrace estimated at 100 feet to 120 feet above it is visible and a second near its
lower end at an elevation of about 300 feet. The valley which contains the lake is seen to
continue eastward beyond its outflow. At the west end of the first lake an Indian house is
situated and this has for a long time been a rendezvous for the natives, the site of an old
establishment  of  the Hudson's Bay Company being  visible  near at hand.     The  trail now 59 Vcit. Crown Land Surveys. 787
described was that followed by Sir Alexander Mackenzie when on his way to the sea, the name
obtained by him from the natives of the locality being Sloua-cuss-dinais. There were at the
time of his visit two houses at the upper end of the first lake, which, as he says, " occupied a
most delightful situation."
On leaving the upper end of the second lake, the country is found to change for the
worse. Broken fragments of basalt strew the surface in many places, and dry sandy and
stony soil alternates with swamps. In three miles, the Cush-ya River of the maps (Tsan-tsed-
a-ko of the Indians) is reached. On June 16th, it was estimated to average fifteen feet in
width by two feet deep, with a swift current. To the south, at a short distance, the northern
front of the basaltic plateau appears as a low, broken cliff of columnar basalt; it runs south-
westward for some distance from this point, and was noted by Sir A. Mackenzie as a " high,
rocky ridge " stretching along on the left. The country traversed by the trail from this place
to the third crossing of the Blackwater may, in fact, be considered as a region forming the
broken and more or less denuded border intervening between the northern edge of the volcanic
plateau and the Blackwater River. Older rocks are, however, seen at the surface in a few
places. The trail follows, for about three miles, the south shore of Tsa-cha Lake, crossing
three streams. The first and largest of these had an estimated volume of ten feet by two feet,
with a slope of about one in ten. Here the old C.P.R. survey trail to Chizicut Lake turns off,
and about a mile up the stream rocks of the Tertiary lignite formation are seen below the
basalts, though without any visible lignite coal. The north side of Tsa-cha Lake, which is
one of the expansions of the Blackwater River, is partly open and grassed, with light groves
of poplar, spruce, and pine, rising at a short distance into broken, rocky hills.
Eight miles further on is Tse-tzi Lake, nearly a mile long, and with low basaltic cliffs on
its south-eastern side, and a short distance further on Klootch-oot-a Lake, nearly a mile and a
half long, and discharging into the former, is reached. Between the two lakes, the Indian
trail to Bella Coola or Bentinck Arm turns off, and will subsequently be noticed. Here again
are a few Indian houses, and some swampy meadows of considerable size. About a mile
beyond the last-named lake, Tsil-be-kuz Lake (Kultus Coolir of the maps) is approached at its
east end. It discharges westward into the Blackwater, which here makes a hook-shaped bend,
enclosing this and the two other lakes before referred to. At its third crossing, north of Tsil-
be-kuz Lake, the Blackwater, instead of flowing in a deep valley as before, is found nearly at
the general level of the plateau, and, though easily fordable in the middle of summer, was a
rapid and difficult stream to raft and swim horses across in June.
From the north bank a good view is obtained of a snowy range of mountains, of which
the higher parts are included between S. 37.5° W. and S. 5° W. The surface of the country
slopes up gradually towards its base, while the higher portions are more or less covered with
snow on the shady exposures the whole summer. The peaks probably attain an elevation of
7,000 feet above the sea, or almost 3,500 feet above the point of view. This is the central of
three isolated snowy ranges which lie east of the Coast Mountains, between the main valleys
of the Blackwater and Salmon Rivers to the north, and that of the Bella Coola and its
tributaries to the south. It is called Il-ga-chuz by the Indians, while that lying between it
and the Coast Range is known as the Tsi-tsutl, and to the east is named It-cha. Between
Il-ga-chuz and Tsi-tsutl, a remarkable isolated mountain called Beece, or Anahaim's Peak, is
situated, and stands on the west side of the southern part of the Salmon River. These
mountains were at first supposed, from their appearance, to be formed of beds like those in
the vicinity of Tatlayaco Lake, tilted at low angles on the flanks of metamorphic rocks. They
were, however, subsequently found to consist entirely of volcanic materials, and to mark the
sites of three great vents, from which, in Tertiary times, a large part of the basalt which has
flooded all this region must have been derived.
In continuing westward for about ten and a half miles, the valley of the Uhl-gha-ko, an
important tributary of the Blackwater, is followed, and Eliguck Lake (more correctly Uhl-
ghak) is reached. The country is flat, or gently rolling, with sandy or stony soil, more or less
densely timbered with small pines, and, with the exception of a few spots of limited extent,
not even affording grazing for animals. Where it issues from the lake, the brook was
estimated to have a width of fifteen feet, with a depth of two feet, and a sluggish current.
At the lake is a meadow of fine grass, with an Indian house belonging to a man of some
consequence called Smi-you, and a few Indian graves. This I believe to be the place described
on page 304 of Mackenzie's narrative. Uhl-ghak Lake is about three miles in length, and
has a rather prominent rocky hill on its north bank. 788 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
About sixteen miles west-south-west of Uhl-ghak, the Salmon River is first reached, the
headwaters of the south-western sources of the Nechacco being crossed in the intervening
region. The country between Uhl-ghak and Gatcho (more correctly Ilgatcheo) Lakes is
broken and hilly, though with no elevations of great height, the higher parts of the surface
being remnants of basaltic and other rocks of the volcanic plateau, while older beds appear in
the lower ground. The surface of the uplands is stony, dry, and barren, alternating with
mossy swamps, in which Abies Engelmauii sometimes attains a diameter of three feet, with
dense forests of the western scrub pine, growing to a great height, and reaching in many
places a diameter of over eighteen inches. At Gatcho Lake is another Indian house and some
graves, the house being the best built of any I have seen in the interior, and, though repaired
for a great potlatch this summer, bearing marks of very considerable antiquity. I have little
doubt that this is the house mentioned by Mackenzie on p. 307, and that the "river" he
crossed (p. 308) was the Gatcho Lake stream, which flows to the Nechacco.
Between Gatcho Lake and the Salmon River the aspect of the country is very similar, but
in some places, where the dense forest of scrub pine had been partly destroyed by fire, a rank
growth of fine grass was noticed. Some of the swamps are grassy, though most are covered
with moss and thickets of willows and dwarf birch.
Where the Salmon River is first seen the Indian trail to the Salmon House and Bella
Coola River crosses it, while a new trail made to accompany the railway location line continues
down the stream on its north bank.    The former will be subsequently described.
The Salmon River is here a stream with only a moderately rapid current, and not much
depressed below the general level of the plateau, the surface sloping down gently towards it.
There are many moraine ridges and mounds, some nearly parallel, while others are nearly
transverse to the direction of the valley, causing a multiplicity of small pools and swamps. For
more than ten miles down the north bank of the river from this point the woods have been almost
entirely killed by fire, but have not yet fallen. When a gale of wind visits this region, it will
cause an almost impassible windfall. There are a few pretty meadows of limited size along the
river, and in some places many tall aspens were observed growing among the coniferous trees, a
sign of good soil and more congenial climate. The flowering plants were also noticed to be
considerably in advance of any seen lately. Aqudegia Canadensis and Cornus Canadensis were
in full flower on June 23rd, while the lupin (Lupinus Nootkcdensis) also appeared for the first
time, and Thcdictrum dioicum and Smilacina stellata were common on grassy banks.
Further down the Salmon River, with continued evidence of greater rainfall, the forest is
found unburnt, and consisting in great part of the scrub pine in tall dark groves. One or two
small patches of snow were observed in the densely shady parts of the woods. A corresponding
change takes place in the undergrowth, Lycopodium complanatum becoming abundant, while
the beautiful Calypso boreedis covers large patches of the mossy soil, and Viola sarmentosa
and Pachystima appear.
About six miles above the mouth of the Iltasyouco River (known to the Indians as the
Oun-chi-as-ko), the Salmon River makes its first great leap, in a fall about eighty feet in
height, descending by several steps. The water does not pause at the foot of the fall, but
continues onward as a foaming rapid as far as it can be seen, and here leaving the general
level of the plateau enters its canyon, and in a distance of forty-five miles reaches the sea,
after accomplishing a descent of nearly 3,000 feet. The Iltasyouco River, falling into the
Salmon River from the north, is about seven miles in length between its exit from Si-gut-lat
or Tse-houts Lake and junction with the Salmon River. The bluish colour of its water contrasts with the amber tint of the Salmon River. In June it appeared to carry from one-half
to two-thirds as much water as the latter. The river valley is at least 300 feet below the
average elevation of the country, and is trough-shaped, with a wide rounded bottom.
There are low terraces at several levels near the stream, and one, best marked near Si-gut-lat
Lake, at an elevation of about 200 feet above it, consisting of rolled gravel and sand. The
river itself, though often bounded on one side or other by steep banks, can never be said to
flow through a canyon. A mile above its mouth it forms a very picturesque waterfall, over rocks
of the mesozoic volcanic series, which characterize this valley. The first leap of the fall is made
in a broad curtain-like sheet of water over the edges of hard bluish feldspathic rock, which
dips in a direction opposite to that of the stream. After this descent of about twenty-five
feet, the water boils and foams in a wide rocky basin till, jostled together by the narrowing
rocks into the throat of a very narrow chasm, it falls a similar height between perpendicular
rocky walls, a mass of seething foam. 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 789
A considerable change in the character of the vegetation is noticed in this valley. The
forest is of a more mixed character, pines and spruces being mingled with occasional aspens.
The balsam spruce (Abies lesiocarpa) appears abundantly, while the scrub pine attains a greater
size than it has elsewhere been observed to do, and Abies Englemanni often surpasses three
feet in diameter, and reaches a great height. Another species of pine (I'inus Albicaulis) was
noticed, though rarely. The hemlock (Abies mertensiana) appears, and at the falls scrubby
representatives of the giant cedar (Thuga gigantea). Among the plants constituting the undergrowth, the elder (Sambucus pubens) and devil's club (Ecliinoponax horrida) were new features,
the whole probably indicating not so much a milder as a damper climate.
Geological Survey of Canada, 1876 to 1877, by G. M. Dawson, C.M.G., LL.D.,F.R.S.—
pages 44 to 54.
Leaving the river with our trail, while still involved in the hilly country, we steered
north eastward in the direction in which Ta-chick Lake was believed to be, and reached the
Telegraph Trail on its south-eastern border on the 31st August, short of provisions, and with
the pack animals nearly useless from the privations through which they had gone. The
country intervening between the nearest part of Ta-chick Lake and the Nechacco River to the
west, is low, but slopes gradually up to the south. It has been for the most part pretty well
cleared of heavy timber by fire, but still shows occasional patches of bad wind-fall. The
higher ground is rather light and sandy, and forms undulating ridges, but on approaching the
lake it became nearly level, and slopes gently down to the fertile land bordering it.
The country in the vicinity of Ta-chick and Nool-ki Lakes, stretching westward to Fraser
Lake, and eastward down the Nechacco, is generally level, or but gently undulating, and
more fertile in appearance than any land before seen on the line of route followed. It is
based on the very fertile white silts of the Lower Nechacco basin, with only occasional low
ridges with gravel and boulders, which may belong to the underlying boulder-clay. Open groves
and scattered park-like clumps of aspen poplars, with occasional areas of thicker woods,
formed of scrub pine, alternate with meadows and open land, which is covered with a fine
growth of natural grasses, wild pea and vetch. (See plate V.) The slopes bear thickets of
the service berry (Amelanchier Canadensis), which were covered with fine fruit in great profusion. On our way to Fort Fraser by the old Telegraph Trail, we found numerous families
of Indians at work harvesting the berries, which we were told were more than usually abundant this year. They were fully ripe at the end of August. Near Fort Fraser, the choke
cherry (Prunus Virginiana) appears in some places on sunny northern banks, with the service berry ; and it may here be mentioned that it was also found in similar localities on
Francois Lake, and near Fort St. James on Stuart Lake.
On arriving at Fort Fraser I found myself, owing to the time occupied in the difficult
country between Gatcho Lake and that point, too late to keep my appointment with Mr.
Cambie, who left some days before. Through the kindness of Mr. Alexander, in charge of
the Hudson Bay Post, I was able, however, to obtain a re-supply of the more necessary provisions, there being, fortunately, sufficient flour and tea in the store, the loan of a fish net and
a suitable dug-out canoe, with two Indians. Hiring an Indian boy to assist the packer, I
sent him back for supplies to Blackwater depot with such of the animals as were fit to
travel, while we set out by water to examine Fraser and Francois Lakes, in which fourteen
days were occupied. A general description of these lakes and the country in their vicinity
will bo given.
Broadly viewed, Francois and Fraser Lakes occupy the western portion of a depression,
nearly coinciding with the fifty-fourth parallel of latitude. The upper part of the Nechacco
—which we had followed in our former journey—reaching this depression from the south,
immediately adopts it as its course, and, receiving at its angle the stream from the two great
lakes, flows almost directly eastward to the Fraser River at Fort George. The original cause,
or mode of formation of this depression, I have not been able to determine, but it is paralleled by others of a similar character making important features in the topography of the
country. 790 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
Fraser Lake (Nau-tley of the Indians) is about twelve miles in length, shallow at both
ends, but apparently deep in its central portion. Its elevation is about 2,225 feet. It discharges eastward, over low ground forming a continuation of the trough in which it lies, on a
part of which Fort Fraser is situated. The country about its west end is also low, and in part
swampy. Near Fort Fraser is the Indian village of Naul-tey, and at the other end that of
Stella, each inhabited by a few families, the remnants of a once more numerous tribe, who
appear to live in comparative comfort, and cultivate small garden patches, but are neither
industrious nor cleanly.
The lake is bordered to the north and south by rather bold and broken hills, some of
which probably rise from 600 to 800 feet above it, and are of Tertiary volcanic rocks. There
are, howTever, in some places patches of flat terrace country of considerable size, suitable for
agriculture, where the bays of a former larger lake have been filled with sediment. Benches
are distinguishable on the higher slopes to a height estimated at over 200 feet above the lake,
or 2,450 feet above the sea. The hills on the north side show a general tendency to form
ranges, which run from the lake in a north-westward direction, with steep, bluffy fronts south-
westward, and longer slopes to the north-east.
The Douglas fir again appears in some abundance on the hills about Fraser Lake,
though not observed in any part of the Upper Nechacco country.
The Stellako River, uniting Francois and Fraser- Lakes, is wide and still at its mouth, on
the south side of which the Indian village lies. On its north side it is joined by a stream
called the En-da-ko, coming from a direction a little north of west, and navigable for canoes
one day's journey, to a lake which is described as not being very large. The Stallako soon
becomes more rapid when followed up, and for the greater part of its course may be described
as a succession of rapids, difficult for canoes, in consequence of their shallowness and the number
of boulders and stones with which they are encumbered. In one place a fall of nearly five
feet occurs, rendering a portage unavoidable, and in several other rapids it is necessary at most
stages of water to lighten canoes before tracking them  up.
The working time occupied in ascending by this river from Fraser to Francois Lake was
ten hours twenty-five minutes. It is very tortuous, but in a straight line the distance is not
more than six miles. The river is bordered in some places by terraces of rolled gravel and
coarse sand, which, from their number and arrangement, show that it must have cut down by
degrees to its present level. Granite cliffs, forty to fifty feet high, occur in some places. The
aspect of the country to the south is pleasing, being in great part open woodland, with some
wide grassy meadows, and apparently a very fertile soil.
Francois Lake (more correctly called Lac des Francais, a translation of the Indian name
Ne-to-bun-kut), has a length, according to my track survey, which was carefully checked by
micrometer measurements, of fifty-seven and three-quarter miles, with an average width of a mile
and a half, and an elevation of 2,375 feet. It lies, in the main, nearly east and west, but is slightly
sinuous, and shows a decided tendency to narrow at its western end. It resembles the valley
of an ancient river which, from change in relative elevation of its lower end or blocking of its
outflow in some other way, had been converted into a lake. The two sides maintain a remarkable parallelism, following each other in their flexures so as to preserve the width of the lake
nearly uniform, but there is a marked departure from the appearance usually seen in river
valleys in one respect. The wider reaches of the valley appear rather to lie in the mountainous
parts of its length than in those comparatively flat and low. On a larger scale, Francois Lake
repeats, in most particulars, the peculiarities of Tatla Lake, further south, which also bears a
very similar relation to the mountains of the Coast Range. The depth of Francois Lake must,
in some parts of its length, be groat, the shores often sloping steeply down from the base of the
high land surrounding it. Owing, no doubt, to its depth, it does not freeze readily in winter.
The Indians say it remains open long after the snow covers the surrounding country, and in
some mild winters does not freeze across at all. Generally, however, ice is formed and remains
a short time, and in severe winters covers it for four months, but even then goes away much
earlier than that of other neighbouring lakes—Fraser Lake, for instance, is said to be covered
with ice every winter for about five months. The only other lake known to the Indians
which behaves like Francois Lake is Na-to-bun-ket or Babine Lake The highest water-mark
on the rocks was about four feet above the water level in September last. From the accounts
of the Indians, it nearly touched this mark early in the summer. The principal terrace on the
lake was estimated to be about 100 feet above it, which, allowing for the difference of level of
the two lakes, is about on the same horizon as that before noticed  on Fraser  Lake, and must 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 791
have been produced at a time when the waters were united.    On Tah-cho Mountain  terraces
appear faintly marked to a height probably 300 feet above the lake.
The outlet of Francois Lake is not situated at its extreme eastern end, which forms a
" cul de sac," the Stellaka breaking out across its north-eastern side more than a mile from the
bottom of the bay. The valley of the lake is continued in a direction S. 59° E. by a wide
depression, which has much the appearance of having been at one time its draining valley.
Near the east end of the lake stands a prominent hill called Tah-cho by the Indians, which
may rise 800 feet above its level. The north shore of the lake, for about twenty miles, with
the exception of a few rocky hills of small height, is low, and in many places, after rising
pretty steeply a height of 50 to 100 feet, runs back a long way before attaining a much greater
elevation. One little range of hills, occurring about midway in this distance, reaches a height
of 800 feet, above the lake, but rises very gradually from it. The soil appears to be fertile.
The south shore is much rougher and more abrupt in its character, attaining a height of 300
to 400 or 500 feet above the lake, within a mile of the shore, and in some places showing
rugged and rocky slopes. It is also in general pretty heavily timbered, contrasting with the
partly open character of the other side. Low sandy and gravelly flats, running out as points
into the lake, and fringed along the shore with white-barked cottonwood trees, are not uncommon in all parts of the lake, and add greatly to its beauty. Un-cha Brook, coming from a lake
of the same name to the south, enters Francois Lake at the distance above named from its
lower end. The Indians leave their canoes here, and proceed overland to Uncha Lake, which
appears to be a place of some importance among them, probably from the abundance of fish.
About twenty-two miles up the lake rather prominent mountains rise on either side, that to
the north being called Ta-tzan-ta-cho-nun, that to the south Hun-cha-yuz. The first named
was estimated to have a height of over 800 feet, and rises steeply for a mile or more along the
shore of the lake, with bare, grassy, and stony slopes. It falls gradually northward to lower
country, which was not seen. Hun-cha-yuz, probably over 1,000 feet in height, forms a
prominent land-mark from many parts of the lake ; its highest summit, which is rounded, lies
some distance south of the lake, its greatest length being nearly transverse to that of the lake.
The south shore continues generally low from this point to the upper end of the lake, a
distance of about thirty-two miles, seldom rising more than 100 feet above it. The steep
slope actually bordering the lake is usually thickly wooded, but the country beyond, as seen
from a height, is much less densely tree-clad, poplar and pine woods alternating with much
open grassy country. The surface, though occasionally rising in hills 300 to nearly 800 feet
above the lake, is in the main gently undulating, and of a fertile and attractive appearance.
The north shore, for about eight miles beyond the hills of Ta-tzan-ta-cho-nun Range, is
low and resembles that just described. The next eight miles is more broken, the disturbance
finally culminating in Chesnun Mountain. This is formed at its summit of basaltic rock,
which stands out in a salient point toward the lake, with a perpendicular cliff about eighty
feet high, which forms the crest of a steep and stony slope rising from the lake shore. Its
height is 800 feet, and it affords a magnificent view, embracing nearly the whole valley of
Francois Lake, with many peaks of the distant Coast Range and its eastern outliers, Toot-i-ai
Mountain to the south, and many other ranges. The summit of Ches-nun stretches northward
some distance from the lake without falling much in elevation, and the high land connected
with it runs north-westward, forming the north-eastern boundary of any extensive area of flat
low land, which borders on the lake for ten miles westward. This, like the low country
already described, is partly open, the wood land being chiefly of aspen poplar. The service
berry is abundant, and the rank growth of grass, mingled with tall fire-weed (Epilobium.
augustifolium), cow parsnip (Heracleum lanatum), and tangled masses of wild pea and vetch,
evidence the great fertility of the soil. Rounded pebbles of rocks, differing from those of the
mountain itself, are found on the summit of Ches-nun.
A very considerable area of the low, undulating country near Francois Lake lies beneath
the three thousand foot contour line, a great part of it having, perhaps, a mean altitude of
2,500 feet. If severe summer frosts do not occur, this region should be useful agriculturally,
and, judging from the flora alone, I think there can be little doubt that most of it would be
suited at least to the growth of barley, oats, and the hardier root crops. The soil is very
fertile, and the country in general, like that about Fraser Lake, well suited to the support of
stock. The area of the lower undulating and level country in the neighbourhood of Francois
Lake may be estimated, very roughly, at about 200 square miles. 792 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
We reached Fort Fraser on our return on the afternoon of September 20th, and, after
making the necessary arrangements with regard to supplies and payment of Indians, I set out
on the 23rd by the trail to Stuart Lake, sending Mr. Bowman in a canoe to examine a part of
the Nechacco south of Fort Fraser, where coal was reported to exist. The trail from Fort
Fraser to Stuart Lake is used by the Hudson's Bay Company, and is not in very bad order.
According to my track-survey, a line drawn from Fort Fraser to Fort St. James, on Stuart
Lake, runs about thirty degrees east of true north, giving the lakes a relative position very
different from that which they are made to occupy on the published maps. The distance
between the two places I estimate at about thirty miles in a straight line. By following a
north-eastward course from Fort Fraser, and then turning north, a route between the two
forts could be made over low ground, but the trail running directly northward from Fort
Fraser gradually rises, skirting for a few miles a low range of hills on the west, and then
ascending more rapidly the southern slope of a high ridge which runs nearly east and west.
A remarkable notch or gap in the crest of this ridge, called the Port d'Eufer, conducts the trail
across it, at an elevation of 3,790 feet. A descent is then made to the valley of a brook which
runs westward, and a second broad-topped ridge next passed over at a height of 4,910 feet.
Both these are covered with material resembling the boulder-clay of my report of last year,
and holding rolled and travelled stones. Gradually descending again to flat country, Whool-
tan or Kwa Lake, and a small sheet of water known as Chaz-kan, are passed, and the shore
of Stuart Lake reached at the mouth of Sow-chee Brook, a rapid stream about ten feet wide
by six inches deep. Abies lasiocarpa is quite abundant on the two high ridges, while well-grown
Douglas firs, over three feet in diameter, and tall, straight aspens, occur near Stuart Lake.
Its southern shore is bordered by tiers of moraine mounds. Little land suited to agriculture
occurs on this route, but the low country to the east is seen to be very extensive, and appears
to have a fertile soil.
At Fort St. James we found in Mr. Gavin Hamilton's garden fine cabbages, cauliflowers,
turnips, beets, carrots, and onions, grown from seed in the open air without forcing. Barley
and potatoes are grown on a larger scale for use in the Fort. In his flower garden, notwithstanding the rather severe frost of the evening of September 26th, a species of mallow,
mignonette, a mesembryanthemum. portulaca, and sweet-pea were still flourishing. On the
evening of September 23rd, a light flurry of snow was experienced on the high ridges above
mentioned, but fell in the form of rain at lower levels.
The vicinity of Stuart Lake is described more fully by yourself in the report for 1875-76.
On the second October I left Fort Fraser with two Fraser Lake Indians, Jasen and
Beni-ta, to descend the Lower Nechacco in a canoe to Fort George, sending the pack animals
by the trail to the same place. This portion of the river flows, for the most part, through a low
fertile country, no high hills being visible in any direction. It offers some geological features
of interest, which will be referred to elsewhere, but need not occupy much time in its general
About a mile below the junction of the Fraser Lake stream a rather troublesome stony
rapid occurs, with low cliffs of basalt at the sides. Low fertile-looking land borders the river
for six miles from the same point, when the stream becomes contracted and rapid, and suddenly
turning northward breaks through some low rocky hills. Three miles further on occurs a
second rapid, with small rocky islets, and from this point to the junction of the Stuart River—
a distance of thirty-one miles in a straight line—the river, though making a few abrupt turns,
in the main pursues a pretty direct course through a fertile country generally wooded with
poplar, which seldom rises fifty feet above the water level on the upper part of the stream, but
as the river descends eventually appears to stand about 100 feet above it. Below the mouth
of Sin-kut Creek, however,.a few rounded hills, a little over 100 feet in height, occur on the
south side.
The confluence of the Stuart and Nechacco Rivers is known to the Indians as Chin-lak.
For nine and a half miles below this the ordinary flat country borders the stream on both sides,
several lower benches extending between the river and the general level of the plain, generally
with rather sandy soil. The river here turns northward, and describes a semi-circle in passing-
through a low range of rocky hills, on the east side of which is the Isle de Pierre Rapid, one
of the worst in the river. From this place to the mouth of the Chilacco—a distance of twelve
miles in a direct course—the river is rather crooked, and is depressed from 150 to 200 feet
below the general level of the surface of the country. A mile above the Chilacco the Na-tsen
kuz or White-mud Rapid is formed by a projecting  bed  of  basalt, underlain by soft Tertiary 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 793
clays, From the mouth of the Chilacco to Fort George, at the confluence of the Nechacco and
Fraser—ten miles—the river makes double this distance in a great loop, with many minor
convolutions.    It is rapid throughout, and in many places shallow.
On the upper part of the Lower Nechacco many sections of the fine white silts, already
referred to, occur. Below the mouth of the Chilacco these do not continue to appear, but seem
to blend with thick beds of rounded shingle, which are shown in numerous cliffs at the convex
bends of the river, and in one place, near Fort George, form the great gravel cliff, 200 feet in
height, known to the Indians as Uz-us-ki-whal-kla, which is mentioned in last year's report.
With this change in the character of the deposit the soil appears to become less uniformly
At Fort George wheat and grain of all sorts can be grown successfully. Very fine and
large potatoes were being dug at the time of my visit, and on October 10th the stalks were
frost-killed with the exception of the lower leaves.
Having paid off my two Indians I waited at Fort George several days for the pack-train,
which finally arriving we set out by the trail down the Chilacco River for Blackwater Depot
and Quesnel. The lower part of the valley of the Chilacco is wide and flat-bottomed, probably
averaging about a mile from rim to rim. It forms a great trough in the generally level surface
of the country, and is margined by abrupt slopes with occasional bare bluffs of the white silts.
Some parts of the bottom-land are heavily timbered with Douglas fir, Engelmann's spruce and
Abies lasiocarpa, tall and straight; the two former often reaching a diameter of three feet.
There are a good many extensive patches of open grassy land, elevated from five to ten feet
above the river, and covered with a heavy growth of grass, from four to five feet high in places,
and mixed with the Heracleum and other rank weeds. These flats seem to be more or less
subject to flood, but the soil must be very fertile. At occasional intervals fine groves o.
cottonwood are found, the trees often of great height, and sometimes five feet in diameter
Further up, the valley becomes more contracted, especially near the base of the Double-headed
Mountain, there averaging probably not more than half a mile in width. The surface of the
plateau or plain above is formed of the disintegrated material of the white silts, and which
bears a good growth of timber where fire has not passed.
Above the Double-headed Mountain the river valley again opens out, forming, eventually,
a wide shallow depression, which slopes gradually up towards the high country, near the north
bank of the Blackwater. The white silt deposits are here lost, the stony boulder clay, with its
usual appearance, again coming to the surface.
On October 12th the poplars were here quite bare, and heavy frosts occurred at night.
The Devil's Club (Echinoponax horrida) was found in several places in the Chilacco Valley,
indicating a greater rainfall than usual in this part of the interior.
Note on Agriculture and Stock-raising, and Extent op Cultivable Land in British
Columbia, by G. M.  Dawson, C.iM.G., LL.D., F.R.S., page 252, Canadian
Pacific Railway, Report of Chief Engineer for 1877.
East of the Coast Range of British Columbia lies the great interior plateau or tableland, about one hundred miles in average width, closed northward by an irregular mountainous
country about latitude 55° 30', and to the south by a second irregular transverse mountainous
region near the 49th parallel. The climate of the interior is in marked contrast to that of the
coast, being essentially one of extremes. Though the mean annual temperature differs little
in the two regions, a greater difference is observed between the mean summer and winter
temperatures, and a still greater contrast when the. extremes of heat and cold, as exemplified
by Spence's Bridge and Esquimalt, are compared. The rainfall in the southern part of the
interior is extremely small—at Spence's Bridge 11.30 inches—giving rise to the open or lightly
timbered bunch-grass country so favourable for stock-raising. Northward it increases in
amount, and at the same time the forest covering becomes more dense, till in the vicinity of
the group of great lakes in the northern part of the plateau, judging by the flora and appearance
of the vegetation, it is little less than in Eastern Canada. - ■ 794 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
The greater part of the interior is, however, unsuited to agriculture, by reason of its too
great elevation; while in the southern portion the third limiting cause affects those districts
otherwise arable—the rainfall being deficient for the growth of crops.
In the southern exterior the cultivable land is limited to those tracts of the bottoms and
slopes of the numerous wide, trough-like valleys by which it is traversed, which can be
successfully irrigated. Northward at Quesnelle (latitude 53°) and beyond irrigation is not
necessary; and in the lower part of the Nechacco Basin the greatest unbroken spread of low
fertile country is met with.
The soils of the interior may be broadly arranged in two classes :—1. Soils chiefly composed
of unmodified drift, representing the boulder-clay of some other regions. 2. Soils composed of
modified or redistributed drift, modern alluvium, &c. The first class, though spoken of
technically as " boulder-clay," has not here the stiff, clayey character very generally found in
that formation elsewhere, but is composed as a rule of a yellowish grey mixture of clay and
sand, rather hard in consisterrcy, through which stones of all sizes are irregularly scattered.
When exposed at the surface to the weather it becomes softened and broken down, and
superficially mingled with vegetable matter. Though its materials are in great part derived
from the immediately underlying rocks, it contains much foreign matter, by which any
deficiencies in its composition arising from the character of the local formation are corrected.
Judging from the forest and sward which this soil bears, when otherwise favourably situated,
it must be fertile; but it lies in the main, if not entirely, above the limits of successful
The regions low enough for farming are based on the soils of the second class, which are
much more varied in character. They are chiefly the products of the disintegration and
re-arrangement of the boulder clay, though mingled also with detritus derived from the waste
of the local rocks since the glacial period, or carried clown by rivers when flowing at a higher
level. They form the benches or terraces which are displayed on so large a scale in British
Columbia, the irregular slopes of some of the valleys of the south, and the modern river flats.
Their texture varies from that of fine, almost clayey, material to coarse, sandy, and gravelly
beds; but in general they preserve a mean character in regard to size of particles, and are
extremely fertile. To this class the soil of the flat country in the Lower Nechacco Basin
belongs. This area has no doubt at a former period been the bed of a great lake, with the fine
sediments of which it is now covered to a varying depth, but in some places probably exceeding
200 feet. The beds are usually pale in colour, calcareous, and found when examined
microscopically to be composed of very fine angular siliceous matter mixed with calcareous and
argillaceous particles, resembling in appearance, and probably in mode of origin, the loess of
the Rhine and the subsoil of the Red River Valley in Manitoba. These deposits, which form
an extremely fertile soil, I have called the white silts.
The extraordinary crops which, when favourably situated, the soils of the interior everywhere produce bear witness to the uniform fertility, which is largely owing to the quality
of modern igneous rocks which have been incorporated with them. The following facts as
to yield of grain, &c, of irrigated farms in the interior appear in Mr. Selwyn's report for
At Carson's, Pavilion Mountain, farm the average crops obtained are:
Wheat, per acre    1,400 to   1,500 lbs.
Barley,        „           1,300 „    1,500   „
Oats, „           1,600  ,,    1,800   „
Potatoes,     ., 30,000 „ 40,000  „
The oat crop sometimes reaches 2,700 lbs. per acre.    Timothy grass, from 1J to 3 tons per
At the Australian Ranch, 20 miles below Quesnelle, the yield of crops was as follows:—
Wheat, per acre 2,500 ft>s.
Barley ..        2,500   n
Oats, n        2,500   ,i
Turnips, n        25 tons of 2,000 lbs.
Potatoes, ii        25    „ 2,000   „
Timothy grass,      n 1J    n 2,000   n 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 795
The three thousand foot contour line may be taken as roughly indicating the extreme
upwTard limit of agriculture in the interior, and on examining the relief of the country it will
be noticed that in its southern portion nearly all the main river valleys, and many of those of
the smaller streams, lie below this level, while the general surface of the country stands
above it and would form, were water at this elevation introduced, groups of irregular islands
separated by narrow lanes of water. North-westward the country below the contour line of
3,000 feet opens out till wide shallow valleys are formed, including the whole basin of the
white silts.
In using the 3,000-foot line as broadly limiting the possible upward extension of agriculture, it is not intended to affirm that wheat can be ripened to this elevation, for in all probability the profitable growth of oats and barley will not exceed it, and in some regions fall considerably below it. The height at which immunity from summer frost is obtained varies considerably in different localities, and often seems to depend on local circumstances difficult to
define. Valleys shut in and forming a small area of low ground among high mountains are
less favourably situated than bind at the same height where forming a broader expanse. It
appears to be from this reason that there is little difference between the height to which crops
may be raised in the southern and northern parts of the interior, through nearly five degrees
of latitude.
Between Cache Creek and Clinton, on the waggon road, are several farms at a great
elevation, the highest being, by barometer, 2,800 feet, f am assured that wheat will ripen
here, but is not generally grown, barley being a surer crop and selling better. This is probably
about the limit for the growth of grain in this region, though Mr. Sproat states that one may
see "fine grass and good grain growing (of course with some risk) on Pavilion Mountain,
4,000 feet above the sea level ; excellent grain growing and harvested ; also cabbages, carrots,
turnips and potatoes elsewhere at 2,700 feet ; vegetables of all kinds and grain luxuriantly at
2,000 feet." On Riskie Creek, north of the mouth of the Chilcotin, at an approximate elevation of 2,400 feet, fine wheat and grain of all sorts are grown without injury from frost.
At Quesnelle grain crops are sown from April 20th to the 1st of May ; potatoes planted
somewhat later. The grain is harvested about the middle of August. Wheat, barley, and
oats are cultivated, and all succeed well, though the two last are the most profitable, as they
can be sold in Cariboo without milling. Night frosts happen here occasionally in June, but
are not usually severe enough to do damage to potatoes, though sometimes checking them a
little. On one occasion, potatoes are known to have been so completely frozen down as to
prove a failure. The Hudson Bay Company formerly cultivated a farm at Alexandria, between
Quesnelle and Soda Creek, on which, on certain portions of the land, 40 bushels of wheat to
the acre, by careful measurement, were grown.
At Fort George (near latitude 54°) the season of growth for crops does not differ materially from that of Quesnelle, and grain of all kinds may be ripened. The elevation here is
1,880 feet. Winter is said to set in about the 1st of November, though steady cold weather
may not continue from that date. In December and January there is often a few days' thaw.
In March the snow thaws in the sun every day, the thermometer falling below the freezing
point at night. In April the snow disappears, and by about the 20th of the month the ground is
fit to work. At Fraser Lake (2,225 feet) potatoes and other root crops are grown near the
Hudson Bay establishment, and barley and wheat were formerly cultivated, though it is now
found cheaper to import flour. The Indians have little garden patches, with potatoes, turnips,
etc. At Stuart Lake (2,200 feet), near Fort St. James, garden vegetables and root crops
succeed admirably, and potatoes and barley are grown in considerable quantity. I do not
know whether wheat has been tried, but, with proper care, it would no doubt succeed in most
seasons, if not invariably.
In all these places the complaint of summer frosts is made. These usually happen in
June, and may occur on one night only, or on two or three nights, and are often severe enough
to touch potato tops, and occasionally to harm the plants considerably. It is said, however, that
these frosts have only occurred of late years, and that formerly they were unknown. It hardly
seems probable that any great change in climate is taking place, and it is quite possible that the
necessity for farming having to a great measure been done away with, sufficient care has not
been given to cultivation, or to the renewal of the seed, which is apt gradually to deteriorate
and lose the vigour necessary for successful growth in northern latitudes. Nor are the most
judicious localities always chosen for the more delicate crops, the lowest ground or that nearest
the fort being often selected,  whOe higher slopes may be less exposed to frosts.    It is not 796 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
probable that wheat will grow over the whole area of the white silt deposits of this region ;
but I think barley would flourish over nearly the entire area, while wheat may be successfully
raised in chosen spots.    The quality of the grain seen at Fort Fraser was excellent.
It is very difficult, with the information now accessible, to form even an approximate
estimate of the quantity of arable land in the interior of British Columbia. I have only seen
a few parts of the southern portion of the interior plateau, but judging from these, and facts
obtained in other ways, I am inclined to believe that the cultivable land east of the Fraser is
probably in area less than 1,000 square miles. It is to be remarked, however, that this area
does not at all adequately represent the capacity of the country to support a population, as a
comparatively small patch of arable land serves the stock-farmer, whose cattle roam over the
surrounding high country. West of the Fraser, as far north as the Blackwater, the cultivable
areas are very small. The so-called Chilcotin Plains lie too high for farming, and the available area in the valley of the Chilcotin was roughly estimated by me in my report for 1875
at 7,000 acres only. An area of 300 square miles might be perhaps taken as an estimate of
the farming land of this region. North of the Blackwater is the Lower Nechacco Basin,
already more than once referred to. The area of this is probably about 1,000 square miles.
Bordering on Francois Lake are considerable stretches of country not raised so much as 300
feet above it, and therefore considerably below the 3,000-foot contour. The soil is very fertile,
and the vegetation much resembles that of the white silt basin. Supposing this country to
be suited to the growth of barley, oats, and hardier root crops, which appears highly probable,
though no trials have of course been made, an area roughly computed at about 200 square
miles will be added.
It is much to be desired that regular meteorological observations could be made at some
place such as Fort Fraser or Fort St. James, which would fairly represent the climate of the
northern low country, and remove the feeling of uncertainty with regard to its capabilities,
which to some extent must obtain with our present knowledge. My impression is that a great
part of it is suited to the culture of the hardy cereals and root crops at least, and Professor
Macoun, in his report in connection with Mr. Selwyn's expedition of 1875, speaks highly of it.
Agriculture proper, however, must always take a secondary place in the interior, and
stock-raising constitute the chief wealth of the country. Cattle and horses winter out from
the 49th parallel to Fort Fraser in lat. 54°, a stretch of 450 miles. The capabilities of British
Columbia as a stock-raising country are so well known that little need be said on this point.
The " bunch-grass " country, pre-eminently, is that east of the Fraser, in the southern part of
the Province, where the rain and snow fall is light, and the hills bare and grassed almost to
their summits. But even northward, in the thickly wooded country, there are many fine
valleys with grassy northern slopes and extensive hay swamps, which in the aggregate must
form a very great area capable of supporting stock. Though, as above stated, cattle can
winter out without attention, and in many cases appear fat and in good condition in the
spring, a severe season occasionally happens in which, if no provision is made, they may suffer
much privation, and a considerable mortality may occur. It is thus always better to have a
small quantity of hay in readiness, and, with this precaution, cattle-raising may be made a
certain business. Sheep succeed admirably in the Kamloops country, but at present even the
wool scarcely remunerates the farmer, when he has paid the expense of carriage to the
No precise statistics appear to exist in reference to the numbers of cattle, sheep, horses,
etc., now in the Province, but Mr. Sproat, in the publication above referred to, dated 1875,
gives the following as an approximation :—
Horned cattle  35,000
Horses  6,000 to   7,000
Sheep  12,000 to 15,000
Pigs  10,000
This appears to be rather a low estimate. Stock of all sorts is rapidly on the increase,
and the chief want of the farmer is an outlet to a market.
In the foregoing notes, no reference has been made to the portion of the Peace River
country included in British Columbia, of which I know nothing personally, but which is fully
described in Mr. Selwyn's report for 1875. They also refer to the present condition of British
Columbia. I feel convinced that, by the agency of man, great changes will be produced, as
has happened in other countries.    The reckless destruction of the forest areas of the southern 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 797
portion of the interior by fire or otherwise would, no doubt, cause a gradual dessication of the
soil and climate. To the north, however, great regions of plateaux are covered with scrub
pine and other trees small in size and unfit for most economic purposes. The destruction of
of this useless forest by fire is followed by the growth of grass, with groves of aspen poplars,
and the drying up of the peaty swamps of the little hollows. Such areas will eventually add
largely to the available grazing grounds, and even where situated at a very considerable
altitude will serve for summer pasture. Irregular plateau and mountain country, at yet
greater elevations, is still of some value. The vigorous growth of timber ceases at between
4,000 and 5,000 feet over most of the Province ; above this limit, park-like open country is
found. Considerable regions of this nature occur even among the Bald Mountains of Cariboo,
on the snowy volcanic ranges, south of the sources of the Blackwater and Salmon Rivers, and
elsewhere, and during the summer months yield alpine pasturage of the most nutritious
Geological Survey of Canada, 1879 to 1880, by G. M. Dawson, C.M.G., LL.D., F.R.S.—
page 29b to 30b.
Climate of the Lakes.
The northern or lower extremity of Babine Lake being more closely hemmed in by snow-
clad mountains, is evidently less favourably situated than the remainder of this lake and Stuart
Lake, and vegetation was found to be decidedly behind that of the Sus-kwa Valley. Mr.
Sanspere, of the Hudson Bay Company, states that at the post at Na-tal-kuz, on Babine Lake,
he can grow potatoes and many kinds of vegetables, and that his predecessor grew barley which
ripened well. An Indian living on the portage between the two lakes cultivates a little patch
of land, and though very poorly attended to he had a fine looking crop of potatoes and a little
field of barley—the latter about three feet high and with the ear just appearing—at the date
of our visit (July 4th). He also keeps some cattle here, cutting hay for them in swamps about
the river mouth. At Fort St. James we found potatoes flourishing, but rather late, having
been cut down by a frost in June. Barley was doing well, and has been grown as a regular
crop for many years. In the garden were peas, lettuce, beets, carrots, onions, garlic, turnips,
cabbage and cauliflowers, doing well enough, but not carefully cultivated. Wheat has been
sown this year as an experiment, and had not suffered from frost at the date of our visit
(July 7th).
Canadian  Pacific  Railway  Report,   1880,   G   M.   Dawson,   C.M.G.,   LL.D.,   F.R.S.—
page 110 to 113.
The summer temperature of the region about the Forks or Hazelton is often high, and
the rainfall by no means excessive. According to Mr. Hankin, a trader who has resided many
years here, snow generally first falls in October, but melts again, the winter snow not coming
till about the middle of December. The winter is, in general, steadily cold, though there is
almost always a thaw in February. The thermometer has been known to reach 48° below
zero, and to remain for days at a time below 30°. 798 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
The winter is, in fact, about the same as that of Stuart Lake, but the spring is said to
open much earlier. Grass begins to grow green and some trees to bud out about the first week
in April. Some cultivation is carried on. Potatoes are occasionally nipped by frost in the
spring, and on two occasions have been affected by summer frosts. They are generally harvested
in the end of September, but are ripe before that time, and can be obtained large enough for
use about the first of July. Indian corn does not ripen, and wheat, Mr. Hankin believes,
would be an uncertain crop. The season of 1878 was exceptionally long, and two successive
crops of oats ripened before the frost; the second being a " volunteer " crop. In favourable
seasons squashes, cucumber, and other tender vegetables come to perfection. A few horses
and cattle have been wintered here, the latter requiring to be fed for five months ; the former
have been kept by clearing away the snow to a certain depth in strips, to allow them to scrape
for grass.
The Skeena usually opens during the last week in April or first week of May. fee begins
to run in the river early in November, but the river does not generally freeze until the end of
December. The river being very rapid, the occasion of its freezing is usually the occurrence
of a thaw. This sets free great quantities of anchor ice, sometimes very suddenly, blocking
the river and causing it to freeze over. In 1867 the river closed on the 13th November,
which was exceptionally early. The river is generally highest in July, deriving most of its
water from the melting snow on the mountains.    It is lowest immediatly after the ice goes.
Without entering into details as to the natural vegetation of the region, it may be said
that it appears to indicate that the rainfall is nearly the same as about Quesnelle. on the Fraser,
while the climate is in general much like that of Quebec or Montreal, with the exception of
the winter, which, according to the statements above given, though rather shorter-, is more
I am induced to think that Mr. Hankin is wrong in supposing that wheat would not
succeed well about the Forks ;  but this must remain a matter for future experiment.
Meteorological observations kept by myself while on the Skeena, from June 7th to 23rd,
being taken en route from Port Essington to the Forks, are necessarily imperfect, and as we were
engaged in travelling during the day it was impossible to ascertain the maximum temperature.
The mean minimum temperature read on a good thermometer carefully placed on nine nights,
between Port Essington and Kitsalas Canyon is 43.4° F. the actual lowest reading being 39°.
The mean of seven nights from the Canyon to the Forks, 43.6°, the actual lowest being 37.5°.
The mean of observations taken about 6 a. m. and 6 p. m. every day—on the first mentioned part
of the river is 50.8°; on the upper part of the river, 52.8°. The mean of morning readings taken
below the Kitsalas Canyon, is 45°, of evening readings, 56.4° These reduced for the hour and
time of the year by Dove's table of corrections, derived from observations at Sitka, indicate
actual mean temperature of 49.1° and 53.1° respectively. The mean doubtless lies between
these figures, but their discord shows that we have already a considerably greater range and a
climate more continental in character than that of Sitka. Morning observations above the
Canyon indicate a mean of 46.6°. Evening observations, 58.9°, which corrected in the same
way, yield 50.58° and 55.6° as approximations to the true mean temperature.
Of the Watsonquah River, which joins the Skeena from the south-eastward at the Forks,
Mr. Cambie reports that the valley throughout its entire length is in part prairie and sustains
a magnificient growth of grass, but is subject to frequent summer frosts and unsuited to
agriculture. The Sus-kwa Valley which joins the Watsonquah, and up which the trail from
the Forks toward Babine Lake runs, contains no agricultural land worth mention, but its
northern side has been in many places very completely burnt over, and is covered with
exceedingly luxuriant grass and pea-vine, forming an excellent summer range for cattle or
Babine and Stuart Lakes occupy portions of a single great valley, which is bounded by
mountainous country on either side, and communicates northward with the flat country of the
Lower Nechacco. The upper end of the lake rarely freezes completely across, but this is due,
not to the mildness of the winter, but to the great depth of water. A similar circumstance
has already been reported for Francois Lake. A terrace at a height of about 200 feet is
specially prominent around the lake, and after reaching this height the land frequently runs
back several miles as a level or gently undulating plain. In other places it slopes gradually
up, reaching an elevation of 500, 600 or 800 feet above the lake at from two to five miles from
it. The. valley is not even then shut in by high mountains in its central part, but appears to
continue at nearly  the same or a lower level in some places for many miles.      The  woods  are 59 Vict:. Crown Land Surveys, 799
generally light, aspen and poplar frequently preponderating over spruce, and considerable
tracts with a southern exposure, from which fire has removed the forest, are covered with
luxuriant grass, pea-vine, epilobium, etc. The portage between Babine and Stuart Lakes is
low, across wide spreading benches, and from half to one-third of the surface appears fit for
cultivation.    Considerable areas of low land also border Stuart Lake.
The aggregate area of land below the 3,000 foot contour line, with light slopes or nearly
level, and which may be supposed to have some prospective value, is great, but it is impossible
to form even an approximately correct estimate of it till the maps are further advanced. That
in sight from the lakes must exceed 500 square miles. The soil is generally good, and the
only remaining question is in regard to the character of the climate.
The northern or lower extremity of Babine Lake being more closely hemmed in by snow-
clad mountains, is evidently less favourably situated than the remainder of this lake and
Stuart Lake, and vegetation was found to be decidedly behind that of the Sus-kwa Valley.
Mr. Sanpere, who is in charge of two Hudson's Bay posts, one at the north end, the other at
the middle of Babine Lake, states that at the latter he can grow potatoes and many kinds of
vegetables, and that his predecessor grew barley which ripened well. An Indian living on
the portage between the two lakes cultivates a little patch of land, and, though very poorly
attended to, he had a fine looking crop of potatoes and a little field of barley, the latter about
three feet high and with the ear just appearing at the date of our visit (July 4th). He also
keeps some cattle here, cutting hay for them in swamps around Stuart Lake. At Fort St.
James we found potatoes flourishing, but rather late, having been cut down by frost in June.
Barley was doing well, and has been grown as a regular crop for many years. In the garden
were peas, lettuce, beets, carrots, onions, garlic, turnips, cabbages and cauliflowers, doing well
enough, but not carefully cultivated. Wheat has been sown this year as an experiment, and
had not suffered from frost at the date of our visit (July 7th).
Temperature observations kept while on Babine and Stuart Lakes, June 27th to July 8th,
gave a mean minimum temperature of 40.2°. The mean of the early morning and evening
observations is 51.5°. The temperature here is subject to greater and more rapid changes
than in the Skeena Valley, and on the night of June 29th we experienced a frost, the thermometer registering 26° near the northern end of Babine Lake, and in the vicinity of the snow-
clad mountains already referred to.
In the valley of Babine and Stuart Lakes the summer season seems to be sufficiently long,
and the absolute amount of heat great enough to bring all ordinary crops, including wheat, to
maturity, but the question remains to what extent the liability to summer frosts may interfere
with the cultivation of some plants, more especially wheat. Though this valley may be
regarded as a continuation of the country of the Lower Nechacco, its vicinity to mountains
appears to render it somewhat inferior to that district in climate, and places it in this regard,
in my opinion, nearly in the same position with the country bordering on Francois Lake. In
previous reports I have described the flat country of the Lower Nechacco basin as constituting
the greatest connected region susceptible of cultivation in the Province of British Columbia.
Its area has been estimated at 1,000 square miles. It is based on fine white silty deposits of
the later portion of the glacial period, constituting a soil almost uniformly fertile, and is
remote from high snow-clad ranges. In the absence of further information, I can merely
repeat what was said of this region on a former occasion, viz.:—That while it is not probable
that wheat can be grown over all parts of its area, it can scarcely be doubted that barley may
be ripened almost everywhere in it, while wheat would succeed in chosen spots. This region
will, doubtless, at some time support a considerable population, but it is to be remarked that
the passage of a railway through it would do little at present towards settling it; for in the
first instance, the country to the east of the Rocky Mountains, in the Peace River or Saskatchewan valleys, would offer superior inducements to farmers and stock-raisers.
The country lying in the vicinity of the trail between Fort St. James, on Stuart Lake,
and Fort McLeod has already been described by Mr. Selwyn and by Mr. Hunter. The
elevation of the watershed which is characterized by wide sandy flats, is about 2,816 feet,
taking the height of Stuart Lake at 2,200. With the exception of a belt a few miles wide
near Stuart Lake, and rising in places about 400 feet above it, this region is scarcely to be
considered of any agricultural value. It lies to the north of the Nechacco Basin previously
mentioned. Its surface is considerably broken and the soil generally light, sandy or gravelly.
It is at present covered for the most part with burnt woods. A considerable area would
doubtless be available for pasture land if the forest were completely removed by fire, and there 800 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
are numerous swamps and meadows along streams yielding good natural hay. A frost was
experienced on the night of July 13th, my thermometer going down to 27° on Iroquois Creek.
No frost occurred at Fort McLeod, nine miles off, and between 400 and 500 feet lower.
At Fort McLeod the potatoes had been cut down by frost in June, but had recovered
completely and were growing well in July. The soil is, however, rather poor, and the area of
cultivable land not excessive.
D. W. Harmon in his " Voyage and Travels," published at Andover, Mass., in 1820,
states that the snowfall at Fort McLeod is sometimes as much as five feet, and this is confirmed by those now acquainted with the region. At Fort St. James the snow reaches a
depth of about three feet.    A difference remarkably great for two places so close together.
Geological Survey op Canada, 1887 to 1888, by G. M. Dawson, C.M.G., LL.D., F.RS.—
page 45r.
General Considerations Respecting Placer Gold Mining.
Though the yield of the gold-placers of British Columbia is now very much less than it
was at one time, and shows at present a gradual decrease, placer mining still contributes
substantially toward the prosperity of the Province, and employs a considerable number of
men. It is, moreover, to be anticipated that this form of mining may continue to be a feature
in the industries of the Province for many years to come, and it is quite possible that circumstances may occur which shall bring about a notable revival of mining of this kind. Elsewhere
it is commonly observed that placer mining has been the first step toward vein mining, not
alone indirectly from the fact that the placer work has drawn a population to the metalliferous
regions, but also directly by the actual tracing up of the gold first found in the alluviums to
its original matrix. We cannot, therefore, afford to set this class of mining aside as a dead
The future of placer mining deserves consideration, particularly from the following points
of view :—
1. In each proved auriferous district the poorer or less concentrated gold-bearing ground
must necessarily greatly surpass in area that of the very rich deposits which alone pay for work
with primitive appliances, and with the cost of supplies and labour at high figures. Thus the
cheapening of these essentials produced by improved means of communication and by the
settlement of the country, coupled with the attendant facilities for bringing heavier machinery
and appliances into use, will enable the profitable working of greatly extended areas. These
considerations apply particularly at the preserrt time to the region of country in the vicinity of
the railway or connected with it by easily travelled routes. By the construction of the railway
a large part of the Kootenay District, together with that bordering upon the lower part of the
Fraser, has been opened up for work of this kind, and deserves particular attention. The
hydraulic method of mining will doubtless rank first among the means to be brought into use
for the utilization of the poorer deposits. From this point of view the railway has also, to
some extent, changed the conditions in the Similkameen and Rock Creek country, and in the
Cariboo District. It has effected no change in regard to the Cassiar District, but as already
noted this district may, without great cost, be rendered easily approachable from the coast.
The difficulties remain greatest with respect to the Omineca District, and a number of outlying places of less importance.
2. Another point deserving of consideration is the further exploration of the already
known rich deposits of gold confined principally to the old buried channels of the streams. In
reviewing the experience already obtained in working these, we notice in a majority of cases
that it has so far been found possible to work lengths of from one to three miles of these old
channels only, and while in some instances it appears that the rich ground is not more extensive, in many there is good reason to believe that much more remains, capable of yielding good
returns, but which it has been found impossible to get at with the appliances and means at
command.    There are also quite a number of  valleys in which, though the bed of the present 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 801
stream has proved rich, the deep ground or old channel has not even yet been reached, or if
reached has not been satisfactorily tested. In all these cases it requires only more effective
machinery and greater engineering skill to be brought to bear to attain and work the deposits
referred to, and it is likely that many of them will pay well when such means can be applied
at a reasonable cost. It is not improbable, for instance, that thus treated such localities as
Williams, Lightning, Cunningham and Antler Creeks in Cariboo might be found to yield great
additional amounts of gold, and whenever railway communication is provided for the Cariboo
District they will at least be thoroughly tested. Other methods involving extensive works
with the same object, such as the damming or diversion of streams, and the construction of
long, bed-rock flumes or drainage adits, fall under the same head, and there can be no doubt
that extensive works of this character will eventually be undertaken in the Province with
satisfactory results.
3. The discovery of important new gold-bearing creeks is still to be anticipated from time
to time. The small portions of the lengths of individual streams which have been found to
contain great quantities of gold is alone sufficient to show how easily such localities may be
missed or passed over in a rough mountainous country of great extent. Granite Creek and
Cayoosh Creek afford definite cases of this kind, the first discovered only in 1885, the second
in 1886, and both in parts of the country which have been more or less thoroughly over-run
by armies of prospectors for the past twenty-five years. The tracts which have been slightly
or scarcely at all examined, even those situated on the line of the auriferous range, are very
extensive, and in the Yukon District, to the north of British Columbia, the prospects for
discovery of this kind appear to be most favourable, and are still almost limitless.
4. Not the least important consideration, however, from the point of view of placer
mining is that of the probable existence of placer deposits differing in age and character from
those which have so far been worked in the Province. The rich deep leads of Cariboo
evidently date from a period antecedent to that in which the country was for a time covered
by a great ice mass, or are, in other words, pre-glacial and lie beneath the boulder clay and
other deposits due to the "ice age." The wearing down of the country rock and natural
concentration of gold has been in progress from the close of the Miocene or Middle Tertiary
period (or perhaps in some localities even from an earlier date) to the glacial period. During
the period of the Middle Tertiary a great part of the Province included between the Coast
Ranges and Gold Range became occupied by fresh water lakes. These covered and by degrees
filled up with their fine sediments whole systems of drainage which had been produced during
early Tertiary time ; and into the lakes themselves, during the period of their existence,
streams from the surrounding mountain regions discharged, forming gravel beds, which are
particularly abundant at the base of the finer deposits. Toward the close of the Middle Tertiary, extensive volcanic action occurred, producing the basalts and other igneous rocks which
still overlie the greater part of the area of the olcl Tertiary lakes. Denudation, which has
gone on since this time, has locally removed considerable portions of these Middle Tertiary
deposits, and has cut new valleys in them, and there is reason to believe that some of the
modern placer deposits have been enriched more by the robbing of these old, early and Middle
Tertiary gravels than directly from the wearing down of the original rocks. 802 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
Geological Survey of Canada, 1887 to 1888, by G. M. Dawson, C.M.G., LL.D. F.R.S.—
page 56b.
The general features of the Cariboo mining region have already been referred to in connection with its placer mines. Almost from the first working of the placers, the existence of
numerous quartz veins was noticed, but no particular attention was given to these till the
yield of alluvial gold began to be notably diminished. It was then felt, that notwithstanding
the remoteness of this district, the existence of settlement and of a considerable mining
population in it, justified the attempt to develop quartz mining. This feeling brought about
the premature quartz excitemetrt of 1877 and 1878, which was based on exaggerated ideas of
the richness of certain known lodes, and on erroneous views as to the facility with which gold
might be extracted from the pyritous ores which these afforded. From the collapse of this
excitement vein mining received a severe check, but in spite of this discouragement the miners
of Cariboo have not relaxed their efforts toward the development of vein mining, their attention being, as is only natural, almost entirely directed to gold-bearing quartz.
From what is known of the district, I can entertain no doubt that it is destined to
become an important vein mining one. It has been made clear that in that part of the district
in the immediate vicinity of the rich placers, there exists a great number of well-defined quartz
veins, and while such small tests as have so far been made, show that a majority of these yield
low returns in gold, some are already known to afford encouraging results, such as to warrant
extensive working- if the region were better provided with means of access.
The explorations of the miners have been assisted by the work (in 1885 and 1886) of Mr.
Amos Bowman, of the Geological Survey. In a preliminary report already published (Report
of Minister of Mines of British Columbia, 1886), Mr. Bowman enumerates nearly a hundred
ledges and quartz prospects visited by him, adding that these do not comprise probably half
the number noted or a hundredth part of the really good ledges which a prospector might find
in the Cariboo country. These places are described in greater detail in his forthcoming report
on the district. Notwithstanding the absence of railway communication, the prospects of the
establishment of an important quartz-mining industry in Cariboo were never so bright as at
the present moment.
It is, of course, impossible to mention here all the very numerous localities in which
ledges have been located or noted, or even to specify those upon which more or less prospecting and exploratory work has been done. These details will find a place in Mr. Bowman's
forthcoming report. It may be stated, however, that Mr. Bowman considers the following-
groups or series of ledges as among the more promising ones known up to the present time, and
apparently worthy of special attention : —
Ledges between Island Mountain and Mosquito Creek, extending two miles. (Including
" Walker," " Sadou," and " St. John's " or " Island Mountain.")
Ledges near Williams Creek, from Lowhee divide to Proserpine Mountain, extending one
mile and a half. (Including "Proserpine," " Stedman," "Big Bonanza," "Enterprise," "Victoria," and "Sam Crane.")
Ledges at Burns' Mountain, Lightning Creek, extending half a mile. (Including " Perkins," "Burns' Mountain," and some of the Lightning Creek ledges.)
Lodges crossing Grouse Creek.    (Including " Dufferin " and " Fountain Head.")
Ledges on Showshoe plateau, from Breakneck divide to French Showshoe  Creek, extending about two miles and a half.    (Including " Haywood " and " Arrastra.")
■   Ledges crossing Hixon and Canyon Creeks.    (Including " Washburne,"  " Stewart," and
" Morrison.")
Reference should also be made to the assays from various veins, given elsewhere.
While it is conceivable that extremely rich placer deposits, like some of those of the
Cariboo District, might be produced by the wearing down and natural concentration of great
masses of rock, through which gold may have been thinly scattered, or in which the gold
occurs merely in small and irregular quartz stringers, there is no probability that such conditions are universal in the Cariboo District.    The very coarse character of much  of the placer 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 803
gold, and the definite localization of the richer parts of the deposits here, show that these
must often be near their points of origin, and the problem now before the miner is that of
ascertaining the sources of the gold, and discovering the rules locally applicable to the original
In connection with this problem in Cariboo, I would invite attention specially to the
points alluded to in the general remarks on vein mining (p. 53r.), for the purpose of inducing
an enlargement of the scope of the inquiry. It may also be mentioned that the very fact of
the " coarse " character of much of the Cariboo gold, goes to show that while gold may exist as
well irr paying quantities in a finely disseminated state, much of it must evidently occur very
irregularly in the productive ledges, from which it may, therefore, be necessary to obtain the
average of a large quantity of rock before a conclusive test can be said to have been made.
The existence of " pay chutes " is a fact familiar to all miners, and has been found notably to
characterize gold lodes in both California and Australia. Such chutes may form but a small
portion of the natural outcrop of the veins, an additional circumstance calling for trial of lodes
on a somewhat extensive scale before, they can be affirmed to have been fully proved.
In the California gold belt, according to Mr. G. F. Becker, so general is the association of
gold with sulphurets, that, where gold is not visible, miners judge of the value of an ore by
the quantity of sulphurets it contains. Mr. Becker adds :—" Quartz with plenty of sulphurets
and no visible gold often occurs in large bodies, and is apt to pay better in the long run than
quartz with very coarse gold, or 'specimen quartz,' as it is called by the miners." While this
rule seems to hold also to a considerable extent in Cariboo, particularly in the association of
gold in veins with iron pyrites, it would appear, as far as experience has gone, that it is either
not so constantly the case, or that the proportion of gold in the pyrites is less considerable
than in the gold belt of California. This and other similar points are, however, only to be
settled by exploratory work and by working tests, and as several very strong pyritous lodes
are already among those best known, it will probably not be long before their character is
fully ascertained.
Summary Report, Geological Survey, 1894, by G. M. Dawson, C.M.G., LL.D., F.R.S.—
pages 24 to 31.
Observations on Hydraidic Mining in the Cariboo District.
Although hydraulic mining has long been practised in the Cariboo region, it has
hitherto been on a comparatively small scale, and confined to the immediate vicinity of the
older mining camps. The isolation of the district from main lines of communication has
limited enterprise in this direction almost entirely to what could be done with local resources.
During the past summer, however, work on a much larger scale has been actually begun in
several places, with results, so far as it has gone, of a very gratifying character. Capital has
been interested in this expansion of hydraulic mining sufficient to meet the heavy initial
expenses of long ditches and pipe-lines with the most approved modern appliances. These
operations have already drawn general attention to the extensive gravel deposits of the Cariboo region, which, although less rich than the old channels originally worked by drifting, are
enormously greater in area. The country as a whole is one well supplied with lakes and
streams at every different level, and thus well suited for the hydraulic working of any of the
gravels which may prove to be of a payable character.
It is but just to add, that the present renewed interest in the Cariboo District is very
largely due to the practical knowledge and advice of Mr. J. B. Hobson, who is in charge of
the works of the Cariboo Hydraulic Mining Company and of those of the Horsefly Hydraulic
Mining Company, both of which, it is anticipated, will be in full operation early next spring. It
is certain that extensive prospecting work will be carried on next summer in various parts of the
district, and it is therefore advisable to give here some of the more important facts already
determined, which may be of service to the prospector.    During my short visit to the district, 804 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
attention was chiefly given to the developments made by the two companies above named,
and some notes on these will first be given. The placers referred to will be found laid down
on Mr. Bowman's map of the Cariboo mining region, published with the Annual Report of
the Geological Survey (new series) Vol. ill.
The property of the Cariboo Hydraulic Mining Company is situated on the south side of
the South Fork or Quesnelle River, about three miles above the village of Quesnelle Forks.
It comprises several claims and is believed to cover about 8,500 feet of an old high channel of
the river, separated frorn the modern deep and canyon-like river gorge, for a considerable
part of its length, by an exposed rocky ridge known as French Bar Bluff. Near the lower
end of the property, on Dancing Bill Gulch, successful hydraulic mining, on a small scale, and
with imperfect appliances, has been carried on for a number of years by a Chinese company. At
a distance of about 3,000 feet further east, on Black Jack Gulch, a good deal of work had been
done by the South Fork Company, but without effectively reaching the richer gravels, which
are below the level of the rim-rock where this has been cut through. Short ditches had been
made by both these earlier companies, and the exposures in their hydraulic pits afford most of
the information obtainable as to the character of the deposits. A ditch with a total length of
seveirteerr miles, and a capacity of 3,000 miners' inches, has now been laid out by the present
Company and will be completed in the spring. This is to derive most of its water from
Polley's Lake, situated in the hills to the south-eastward. It is also, I believe, ultimately
proposed to bring an equal volume of water from Moorhead Lake, by means of a second ditch
which will be thirteen miles in length.
At the lower or " China pit" the bed-rock of the old channel where cut by the present
river bank is believed to be approximately 134 feet above the river. The head of the train of
sluices, near the working face, is 200 feet above the same datum, while the sand-box at the
top of the bank is at a height of 489 feet, giving a head of water equal to about 289 feet, with
ample fall for the dump, which is made direct into the river. Two monitors of five and five
and a half inches diameter of nozzle respectively, are established in this pit. Mr. Hobson
estimates that the old Chinese company removed in all, about 158,000 cubic yards of the bank,
from which, it has been ascertained, $135,000 of gold was obtained, without the employment
of mercury, being at the rate of about 90 cents per cubic yard. The scanty water supply
available in advance of the completion of the main ditch, enabled a run of only forty-seven
hours to be made in the early summer. The mean volume of water employed was 2,000 inches
and the yield was 302 ounces.
The floor of the pit of the old South Fork Company is about 200 feet above the present
river, and bed-rock has been found in test pits at a depth of about 30 feet below this floor,
while above it, on one side of the gully, is a nearly vertical face of clay and gravels about 200
feet in height. The head of water from the sand-box to the present bottom of the pit is about
246 feet; but as already stated the rim-rock has not yet been cut through to the full depth
of the old channel.     It is proposed to begin active work here in the spring.
The geological conditions as displayed in the two pits above described are of great interest,
but in the present summary it-is possible only to allude briefly to the main facts. In the old
South Fork pit, the section, in descending order, shows :—(1.) Ordinary boulder clay with
many glacially striated stones, 60 feet; containing little or no gold. (2.) Stratified sands and
gravels, 120 to 130 feet; yielding gold to the amount of about five cents to the cubic yard.
(3.) Hard "lower boulder-clay " with very few glacially striated stones, 30 feet; not known
to contain any gold. (4.) Well rounded gravels, to bed-rock, 30 feet; rich in gold, some
prospects obtained from trial pits being as high as $20 to the cubic yard.
In the " China pit" the section exposed is as follows :—(1.) Stratified gravels, seen along
a portion of the top of the face only, greatest thickness about 30 feet. These contain gold to
the amount of about five cents to the cubic yard. (2.) Boulcler-clay about 100 feet thick, in
what appears to represent the axis of the old channel, but running out to nothing on each
side ; not known to hold any gold. (3.) Rather hard roughly stratified gravels and sands,
with clayey matter; the stones well rounded and often large. Maximum thickness about 310
feet of bed-rock, minimum thickness (where the overlying boulder-clay is deepest) about 200
feet; rich in gold.
The gold content of the several deposits, as above stated, results from tests made by Mr.
Hobson and communicated by him to me. The equivalency of the strata in the two pits is
not quite certainly determined, but No. 1 in the " China pit" is believed to represent No. 2 in
the " South Fork pit" ; No. 2 to represent No. 3, and No. 3 to represent No. 4, respectively.   The 59 Vcit. Crown Land Surveys. 805
bed-rock appears to be generally a much altered and shattered greenstone (diabase) penetrated
by syenitic dykes and including a considerable body of syenite near the " China pit." In
regard to age, it would appear that the lower and richer deposit in each pit is pre-glacial, while
the upper gravels in the "South Fork pit" (No. 2) are certainly, and those in the " China pit "
(No. 1) probably, of inter-glacial origin.
The Horsefly River empties into Quesnelle Lake at a distance of twelve miles from the
outlet of the lake. Its sources are in a mountainous country to the eastward, but its lower
part, here particularly referred to, flows northward. A good deal of prospecting and some
remunerative mining has been done at different times along this river and at its tributaries,
and the Harper claims have for many years attracted more or less attention as extremely
promising, but owing to various difficulties have not been extensively worked. The Horsefly
Hydraulic Company's claims are situated on the river at a distance of about six miles south
of Quesnelle Lake, and here very important operations have now been initiated. The river
was notably rich in this particular part of its length and the bars had all been worked over
by Chinamen some years ago. Mr. McCallum, the discoverer of these claims, rightly believed
that the modern placers must have some local source of the nature of an old channel. In
search of this he endeavoured, by ground sluicing, to work back in the bank of the river, but
finding the ground too heavy for his water supply, eventually drifted into the bank and
succeeded in striking the old auriferous gravels. These were at first worked by drifting and
afterwards with a small hydraulic plant, supplied from Rat Lake, which is now used as a
reservoir by the new company. The mining rights of the discoverer were secured by purchase
by the Horsefly Hydraulic Company, and, in the course of the prospecting carried out for this
Company by Mr. Hobson, much has since been learnt in regard to the character and extent
of the deposit.
By the system now successfully completed, water is brought from Mussel Creek, a southern
feeder of the Horsefly, by a ditch and pipe-line aggregating over eleven and a half miles in
length. The ditch is about ten miles long, with a capacity of 20,000 miners' inches. The
pipe-line is steel, 30 inches in diameter, in two lengths, aggregating 8,300 feet. There is also
about 600 feet of flume. From the sand-box the water is led to the pit by two lines of 22-inch
pipe, each of which is intended eventually to supply two monitors Water is delivered from
the main ditch with a head of 168 feet, and from the pooling reservoir with a head of 106 feet.
The bed-rock constituting the floor of the pit is about 90 feet above the level of the river, and
the working face (60 feet in height at its highest part) at the time of my visit was about 560
feet back from the river bank. The dump is formed in the river itself, which is a moderately
rapid stream, capable (particularly irr high water) of removing a larger quantity of debris.
Respecting the actual average gold content of the gravels, much has doubtless been ascertained since my visit, some $13,000 being reported as the result of the last "clean-up." The
preliminary run made by the Company was estimated to have dealt with 1,330 cubic yards of
gravel. It produced gold to the value of $5,000, or at the rate of about 25 cents per cubic
yard, but about a third of the area then worked had already been drifted on bed-rock by Mr.
McCallum, rendering it probable, in Mr. Hobson's opinion, that the unworked ground would
average about 40 cents.    A small quantity of platinum occurs with the gold at this place.
The bed-rock in the hydraulic pit consists of pale Tertiary (Miocene or Oligocene) shales,
clays, sandstones, and conglomerates, only moderately indurated and, in general, easily
removed by the jet whenever this is required. These rocks contain a few fossil plants and
insects, and are inclined in various directions, but their upper surface is a nearly horizontal
denudation plane. The working face shows, resting upon them, a thickness of from 30 to 50
feet of gravels, roughly stratified, and varying in character in different layers from almost
bouldery material to sand. A few feet near the bottom is irregularly cemented, and some
parts of this "cement" is so hard that it cannot be disintegrated by the water. The cementing
material is chiefly calcite, but strontianite is found in crusts of half an inch or more in some of
the interstices. Stems and fragrants of wood are occasionally seen in the lower layers, in a
condition approaching that of lignite. The general colour of the auriferous gravels is yellowish,
but becomes bluish towards the base. They are directly overlain by a regular layer, of from
ten to fifteen feet in thickness, of ordinary boulder clay, which, except where covered by later
gravels, forms the general surface of the country in the vicinity. In another part of the pit a
local deposit of rather fine, gray gravel is found between the boulder clay and the auriferous
gravel, but unconformable to both. This yields a small prospect of fine gold, but the boulder
clay itself is not yet known to hold any gold.
1 Ca / rs c •"» 806 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
The auriferous gravels at this place are therefore distinctly preglacial in age, and may,
with little doubt, be assigned to the Pliocene period of the Tertiary. While it is probable that
they represent an old river channel, this has not yet been clearly demonstrated, nor is it at all
certain that they have any intimate connection with the present course of the Horsefly. The
problem is one not only of great interest, but also of great importance in connection with the
future development of the field.
The upper end of the Harper claims, where some work has been done, is situated about
four miles further up the river than the last. Small sections, made in the course of work near
the river bank, here show yellowish auriferous gravels precisely like those of the Horsefly
claims, and capped in the same way by boulder clay. Several small shafts have been sunk in
this vicinity, and part of the river bank and bed has been worked by drifting and wing-damming.
The Miocene bed-rock is found nearest the surface at six feet below the river level. Though
not thick the auriferous gravels in this neighbourhood have proved to be exceptionally rich,
and they appear to be somewhat wide spread. Some miners were engaged at the time of my
visit in putting in water wheels to drain small open-cast workings on the east side of the river;
but for the working of the deposit here on a large scale the hydraulic elevator would probably
be the most appropriate appliance.
Adjoining the Horsefly claims on the north is the Thompson claim, where the owner has
been engaged for some years in drifting into the bank with the purpose of reaching the supposed
continuation of the depression or old channel in which the auriferous gravels of the Horsefly
claims occur. The drift is now about 1,200 feet long. It cuts through Miocene rocks like those
already described, somewhat flexed, and including a considerable bed of conglomerate, which
I was informed contains a little fine gold. There is no surface indication to show where an
old channel may be expected to pass, and it would appear to be advisable here to test the
ground by boring in advance of the drifts before this is pushed further in the present direction.
The notes above given refer only to localities actually visited by me last summer. I hope
to give at a later date a fuller account of the various deposits seen, which it is impossible to
explain in detail without diagrams and sections. Exploratory work is being conducted at
present in a considerable number of places throughout the Cariboo District thought to be
suitable for hydraulic mining. Further attempts with better appliances than before are also
being made to " bottom " some parts of the continuation of the well-known auriferous channels
of the central and mountainous portion of the district.
Mr. C. F. Law has kindly supplied some details of the work being done on the deep
ground in the Willow River Valley, in which he is interested. This is the main continuation
of the valley of the famous Williams Creek. Near the mouths of Mosquito Creek and Red
Gulch, four prospect holes have been bored to bed-rock through the alluvial materials filling
the Willow River Valley. The bed-rock was reached at a depth of from 67 to 109 feet. The
old channel was discovered at the depth last mentioned, at a distance of about 500 feet to the
southward of the present river, and was found to be capped by a hard ferruginous cement,
beneath which is four feet of pay gravel, which, from the samples brought to the surface,
appears to be very rich. Some good payable gravels were also encountered in the side ground,
and a shaft, with adequate pumping and other machinery, is now being sunk on the deposit.
Work of a similar character to the above is also, I understand, being carried on by the
Slough Creek Mitring Company, in the valley so named, in which the old channel upon bedrock is reported to have been reached by boring at a depth of 245 feet.
In an article in The Province (Victoria, B.C., Nov. 10, 1894), Mr. Law directs special
attention to a gravel deposit on the west side of the Fraser, opposite the mouth of the Quesnelle River, which he proposes to investigate further. The deposit is capped by basalt, and
Mr. Law very properly draws attention to the probability of its extension and the existence of
others like it in the great basaltic area to the west of the Fraser, quoting Mr. Hobson's opinion
to the effect that the Quesnelle River system at a former period (before the excavation of the
Fraser Valley) flowed westward to the coast. The gravel deposit here particularly referred
to was first noted by Dr. Selwyn in 1875, and a section shewing its relation, based on measurements by Mr. Webster, is given in my report for 1875-76 (pp. 257-263), according to which
the base of the basalt capping is about 700 feet above the Fraser, or approximately 2,380 feet
above sea level. Mr. Law has already ascertained that these gravels contain at least some
gold, and from the appearance of the exposures he believes them to represent an old river-
channel. Should this prove to be the case, it does not, however, follow that the. old river
flowed westward.    It is perhaps even more probable that the general direction of the drainage 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 807
in this region was northward during a considerable portion of the Tertiary period, as I have
elsewhere suggested. Attention may further be directed in this connection to the notes given
in my report already referred to (pp. 263, 264) on very similar gravels met with on the lower
part of the Blackwater River, and elsewhere along the Fraser Valley. Some of these closely
resemble the more lately discovered auriferous gravels of the Horsefly, and may be of the same
age, although it would not necessarily follow from this that all are equally auriferous, this
being likely to depend on the local source of the gravels in each case.
Many of the general questions relating to the conditions governing the occurrence of
auriferous placer deposits in the Cariboo District as a whole, so far as these are already known,
require treatment in greater detail than can here be recorded. It must suffice at the moment
to point out that the late developments have already resulted in greatly, extending the area of
prospecting and prospective mining in the manner previously suggested by me on more than
one occasion. The central portion of the Cariboo District, that in which the highly concentrated auriferous deposits of Williams, Lightning, and other well-known creeks have been
worked, may be described as a mountainous region, surrounded by lower hills and lowlands to
the south, west, and north. In this mountainous tract the valleys of streams are deeply cut,
and the modern streams still occupy the lines of a very ancient erosion. In surrounding
regions the lower portions of the same streams have evidently at different periods flowed in
many different courses, both before and after the date of the great basalt eruptions, being
there subject to changes induced by comparatively slight alterations in relative level of different
parts of the country as well as to many other cases. Where the older channels thus formed,
or the gravelly deposits discharged by them on wider areas, antedate the basalt flows, it is
now as a rule difficult to find any superficial indications of their existence; but in the case of
later streams, and in places to which the basalts have not extended, many of the old valleys
may still be found and followed without difficulty. The superficial filling of such valleys,
together with the latest changes in the course of streams, have resulted chiefly from the
deposits and effects of the ice of the glacial period, and the study of all the conditions and
events of that period has in British Columbia a most direct connection and importance in
relation to the question of mining. Allusion has been made to some of these effects in previous
reports, but much yet remains to be ascertained and applied, for the problem is essentially a
new one in regard to placer mining, no such conditions of a general kind being met with in
California, Australia, or any other country in which alluvial gold mining has been extensively
Extract   from an Essay by A. C. Anderson, Esq., J.P.—British Columbia, its Climate
and Resources.—Victoria, B.C.,  1872.—page 48, et seq.
Climate of the Comox District and Productions.
In the Comox District, about 140 miles from Victoria, as already stated, the soil is
spread over a very considerable area of prairie country, commonly designated an opening,
extending from the coast up the different branches of the Courtenay River for seven or eight
miles. The surface of this district, which is naturally freefrom timber, with the exception of
single trees and stumps, chiefly of oaks (Quercus Garryana) and strips of alders (Aluus Oregona)
in the bottoms, may be some twelve square miles, the scenery of which is picturesque and
park-like. Its margin is very irregular in shape, and it is surrounded by a growth of very
heavy timber, among which are the Douglas pine (Abifs Douglasii); often attaining ten feet
in diameter and two hundred feet in height, half of which is free from branches, and the
cedar (Thuja Gigantea) often equally large. The open country in its natural state is mostly
covered with a growth of ferns, which sometimes attain a height of ten feet, with stems
three-quarters of an inch in diameter, and roots descending to a depth of three feet. These
roots the native Indians prepare in some peculiar way for winter food, and excavate deep
trenches to obtain them. The farmers are under the necessity of grubbing up the fern roots
before the ground is ready for use, and they are often voluntarily assisted by their pigs in this
operation ; these animals, it is said, relishing the fern root as food.    I was informed by Mr, 808 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
John Robb and Mr. John McFarlan, two partnership settlers of the district, that the average
yield of land, after it is cleared and thoroughly under cultivation, is, of wheat from 30 to 35
bushels per acre ; barley, 40 to 45 bushels ; oats, 50 to 60; pease 40 to 45 ; potatoes 150 to
200 ; turnips, 20 to 25 tons. Some of the turnips exhibited by Mr. Robb at the agricultural
show are said to have been remarkably heavy ; but those of the Swedish and yellow varieties
seen by me, I consider rather small. The season, however, was said to be an unusually dry
one. The yield of timothy hay is said to be about two' tons per acre. Clover thrives well,
and rye grass is valued for its after crop.
The yield of butter per cow, after calf feeding, is about 150 lbs. annually, the ordinary
selling price being 40 cents per pound. Cattle generally require to be home fed from the
beginning of December to the middle of April. Snow seldom lies long. Heavy falls sometimes occur ; but generally disappear in a few days. Once or twice snow has remained on
the ground for two months. Apples, pears, plums, cherries, white and red raspberries, red,
white, and black currants, and most kinds of fruit thrive remarkably well. Some apples, of
which I obtained samples, measured thirteen inches in circumference and weighed nineteen
ounces. They were high-flavoured, and well adapted for eating and cooking. Of the pears,
many measured eleven inches in circumference, and were high-flavoured and juicy.
Extract from an Essay by A. C. Anderson, Esq., J.P., 1872.—page 44, et seq.
Climate of the  Upper District.
In the Upper District beyond Alexandria, notwithstanding the elevation above the sea,
the climate is warm in summer, in the higher localities, subject to occasional night frosts, but
as a general rule these do not affect the lower levels where modifying influences exist. In
winter, a moderate degree of cold prevails, alternated occasionally with severe intervals produced by winds from the northward and eastward mountains. Thus the thermometer will,
during such intervals, sink to 15 or 20 below zero of Fahrenheit, and sometimes even to the
freezing point, of mercury. But such degree of cold is exceptional, and rarely lasts more than
three or four days at a time, when a genial change ensues.
This, briefly comprises the main features of the climate of the Province irr its several
divisions. For such as may desire to consult more accurate data, some meteorogical tables
will be inserted in the Appendix. Meanwhile, in connection with the general subject, I
subjoin brief extracts from the published reports of Officers of the Royal Engineers.
Speaking of Fort Alexandria, Lieut. H. S. Palmer says :—
"At 11 a.m. on the 16th August (1862) the temperature of the air in the shade being
70.5° Fahrenheit, that of the Fraser was 58° Fahrenheit; and at 10 a.m., on the 29th September, the temperature of air and water were respectively 58° and 46° Fahrenheit."
With reference to points in the vicinity of Alexandria he says : — "The altitude of this
district is frequently quoted as rendering it unsuitable to agriculture, but the highly satisfactory results obtained at Williams Lake and Beaver Lake, two of the most advanced farms in
the Colony, where, at an elevation of 2,100 and 2,200 feet, varieties of grain and vegetables are
yearly raised in great perfection and abundance, indicate the fertility of the soil, and the
absence of influences materially discouraging to agriculture. There are, in the section of
country under discussion, large tracts of unoccupied land, where the soil rivals that of the
farms above mentioned, and where much of the ground is literally fit for the plough."
Of the portion lying between Alexandria and Thompson River, Captain Parsons writes:—
" Bridge Creek flows into a large stream which is said to be a tributary of Horsefly Creek.
Troughton's boiling-point thermometer shewed a temperature at the level of the house, of 206°
on the 19th August, and 206.40° on 31st August, indicating altitudes of about 3,119 and
and 3,054 feet, respectively, or a mean of 3,086 feet above the level of the sea ; nevertheless
the temperature of the air in the shade at 8 a.m. of the 29th was 57°, and of the water of the
creek, 54°. On the 31st, at 7 p.m., the air was 60.75°, and on the 1st September, at 7 a.m., it
was 48° of Fahrenheit." 59 Vict.
Crown Land Surveys.
Taken from   "Overland Route through  British North America,"  by Alfred Waddington, London, 1868.—page 36.—Appendix B.
Mountain Passes.
It remains to say a few words on the different passes which have been explored through
the Rocky Mountains on British territory, leaving out the Athabasca Pass by Peace River, in
latitude 56.28°, as being too far north for present purposes :—
Names of the Passes.
1. Yellow Head Pass, from the Athabasca to the Upper Fraser	
2. Howse Pass, from Deer River, by Blaeberry River, to the Upper Columbia.. .
3. Kicking Horse Pass,  by Bow River and Kicking Horse River, to the Upper
4. Vermillion Pass, from the South Saskatchewan,  by Fort Bow (4,100 feet), to
the Kootanie.—Hector .   	
5. Karranaski Pass, from Fort Bow,  by Pamsay River,  to the Kootanie (with a
short tunnel, 4,600 feet).—Palliser	
6. Crow's Nest Pass, by Crow River, to the Kootanie	
7. British Kootanie Pass, by Railway River, to the Kootanie.—Blackiston	
8. Red Stone Creek or Boundary Pass, from Waterton River to the Kootanie
(partly on American ground).—Blakiston	
ge or Divide.
With the exception of the Yellow Head Pass in the above table, which is comparatively
straight and short, and the three last, which are tolerably short, but too near the Boundary
Line to be available, the four others describe the most circuitous routes, among a labyrinth of
glaciers and mountains covered with perpetual snow; besides which, the approach to them
over the plain by the South Saskatchewan is, for nearly one hundred miles, through an arid,
sandy, treeless desert, forming the northern limit of the great American Desert, instead of the
rich fertile belt drained by the north branch, which is also the more considerable one of the
two. And it is in the very latitude of this belt that the great barrier of the Rocky Mountains is cleft asunder, so that the road runs along this fertile zone in a direct line up to the
lowest and easiest pass, as to a natural gateway leading to the Pacific. But we have already
seen that all the southern passes (and Captain Palliser wished it to be distinctly understood
that he considered these as far from being the best that could be discovered) are intercepted
further west by the Selkirk Range, which presents an impenetrable barrier, and renders them
so far next to useless. When, therefore, we consider their relative altitude, their necessarily
precipitous nature, and the great depths of snow (27 feet or more), under which they lie buried
during eight months of the year, there can be no hesitation (and such indeed is now the general
opinion) in regarding the Yellow Head Pass through the Rocky Mountains, with its easy
gradients and low elevation, as the only feasible one for a railroad. But the same has been
shown with respect to the Upper Fraser and Bute Inlet Valley through the Cascade Range.
It is, therefore, clearly demonstrated that these passes, which connect naturally with each
other, offer the best and indeed the only really practicable line for a railway to the Pacific
through British Columbia, 810 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
By W. H. Ellis, Esq.
Victoria, B. C, February, 1896.
For the past three years explorations in Alberni have been made for the purpose of
discovering gold quartz mines.
A large number of claims have been located up to the present time, and the work of
development on some of them has been carried on during the past year. Ledges carrying gold
have been found from the shores of Fuca Straits as far north as Clayoquot Sound, on Vancouver
Island, and also on the islands of Barclay Sound.
The greatest number of claims are located upon Mineral Hill, on the north side of China
Creek, distant about fifteen miles from the Town of Alberni, on the Alberni Canal.
The mountain side discloses frequent veins of quartz. On the Alberni, Champion, Missing
Link, and Last Dollar claims ledges have been uncovered showing free gold in considerable
quantity. Assay and milling tests of ore from the Alberni claim have shown $150 to $400
per ton, and as high- as two and three thousand dollars per ton. Assays from other claims
have shown equally high values.
The Mineral Hill group of claims form a block of 12,000 by 14,000 feet on the south
slope. On the north slope a large number of claims have also been taken up, containing
ledges of greater width but less assaying value.
At the head of China Creek and some of its tributaries, on Cameron and Cowichan
Lakes, and Nanaimo River, gold quartz and copper deposits have been located, some of the
former carrying a high percentage of gold.
Further down the Alberni Canal, on Granite Creek, a tributary of Franklin River, many
gold quartz ledges have been located, and a number of gold-copper ledges, the latter similar in
character to the Trail Creek, Kootenay, ores. The ledges here are of considerable width, from
five to ten feet, and the gold generally found in iron pyrites. Some of these ledges have
averaged from numerous assays made from $25 to $80 per ton. Little work has been done
on any of them. The country here is less broken than that further north, the country rock
being diorites, crystalline schists, sandstones, and limestones.
On Coleman Creek, Alberni Canal, an extensive deposit of soft crystalline rock carrying
free gold was discovered last year and is now being thoroughly opened up. At other points
on the Alberni Canal, on the water's edge, a number of ledges have also been located of the
gold-copper kind, but no work done upon them as yet.
On Copper Island there is a large deposit of ore carrying gold, copper, and iron. The
surface indications of the ledges and the character of the wall rocks in the several districts are
favourable to the permanency of the veins, which, of course, can only be finally determined
by sinking and drifting, which is being done in many cases now, and will be in others so soon
as the spring opens.
The special advantages of the district are easy access at all times of the year, cheap
transportation to smelters by water, cheap supplies, and cheap labour.
The prospecting so far done has shown the mineral deposits of the West Coast to be well
worth the attention of capitalists, and it is want of money only that retards the production of
bullion in large quantities.
Several creeks carry placer gold. On China Creek the prospecting of two companies has
proved the ground to be worth from twenty-five cents to one dollar per cubic yard, and in
both cases hydraulic plants are now being placed to wash the ground and save the gold.
Actual work will be begun in the course of about one month. Gold from the size of flour
to $10 has been found.
Gold nuggets with quartz adhering to them and little worn are met with on China,
Mineral and Granite Creeks; and Chinese have mined on these creeks for years by sluicing
and making wing dams.
Victoria, B. O, February 12th, 1896. 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 811
Victoria, B. C, February 26th, 1896.-
Sir,—I have the honour to present the following brief report on the photo-topographic
survey of Kootenay :—
Former reports have dealt with the general geography of the district and the various
outlets for the products of this remarkable country, which, although but a portion of the
treasure-house of British Columbia, seems destined to become, within a short time, one of the
great mining centres of the world.
Something has also been said concerning the preservation of mountain forests, and a few
remarks as to what the almost criminal indifference of the population to this matter has
resulted in will be made later on.
Survey Operations.
Reaching Nelson during the last days of June, an outfit was purchased and a camp located
at Balfour on July 3rd. This point was selected because of its central situation at the outlet
of Kootenay Lake. Work was carried on in all directions until the dense smoke of forest fires
stopped operations in August. It was then decided to go to Ainsworth and tie in the many
mining claims there, establish mining monuments, and make road traverses, etc.; but, unfortunately, a fire was started in that mining camp, which made our work impossible at that
time, destroyed several buildings, and, worst of all, left the camp practically devoid of timber
for mining purposes.
September was remarkable for its snow-storms, but we managed to get over considerable
country, living and working much of the time in snow from one to two feet deep.
October was clear and bright, so that the deep snow disappeared from the mountains, and
we were able to work rapidly, and in such comfort as is to be found out in the hills from 7,000
to 8,000 feet above the sea. As it had been decided to shorten the season of survey operations, work was stopped in the latter part of October, and Victoria reached on October 29th.
Map Publication.
The country now embraced in our operations extends from the Slocan River, on the west,
easterly to the boundary between East and West Kootenay, and along Kootenay Lake a
distance of about forty miles, so that it is proposed to issue shortly a topographical sheet of a
portion of the country. The map has been plotted on a scale of one mile to the inch, with
contour intervals of two hundred and fifty feet; and, in addition to the geography of the
country, roads, trails, &c, will indicate the positions of the various surveyed mineral claims
and other lands for which Crown grants have been issued. The proposed sheet will show the
Toad Mountain, Ainsworth, and Hendryx mining camps, the location of the Pilot Bay and
Hall Mines smelters, together with the basins of Crawford, La France, and Lockhart creeks,
in which many mining claims are being developed, and may prove of great value. The surface croppings are mostly rich copper-silver and lead-silver ores, which, in some cases, as on
Crawford Creek, carry gold. The trail to White Grouse Mountain, another important mining
camp now attracting considerable attention, extends easterly about fifteen miles from Davie,
on Kootenay Lake, up Lockhart Creek, across the head of a tributary of the St. Mary's
River, over a divide to the head of Goat River, which flows into Kootenay River a few miles 812 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
north of the International Boundary. This White Grouse camp will probably find an outlet
down Goat River when the Crow's Nest Railway is built, as the present route crosses two
rather high divides about five thousand feet above Kootenay Lake. A trail up Duck Creek
would be longer, but would avoid one of these summits.
Existing published maps do not show these various places at all correctly, because it is only
by first making a survey that an accurate map can be had. Nearly all civilized countries are
actively engaged in such work for mapping purposes. The survey of England and Scotland
has occupied over one hundred years. The United States Government has been engaged in
similar work for nearly ninety years, and has spent many millions of dollars to obtain correct
maps. There is no doubt that a large measure of their success in procuring immigrants and
floating undertakings of various kinds abroad has been directly due to the accurate and excellent maps issued.
As comparatively few people understand the operations of a survey such as has been commenced in British Colunrbia, and questions are frequently asked as to its progress, it may be
briefly stated that work was begun at Nelson by measuring a base line about four-fifths of a
mile long ; from which line the survey has been gradually developed, until it now extends over
a large tract of country, part of which is completely mapped and part unmapped owing to
incomplete data. The finished portion has sides of (roughly) forty miles, so that a few weeks'
work along one of these sides would complete the survey of over three hundred square miles,
and partially cover another similar area. Speed of course depends considerably on the character
of the country and weather ; but it is probable that, in the future, from eight hundred to
twelve hundred square miles can be mapped each year.
The making of a contour map is essential to the determination of the geology of a country ;
therefore the mining areas should be the first so mapped. The Slocan and Trail Creek mining
districts are those most prominently before the public ; the former probably requiring survey
more urgently because it is the larger area and has important groups of mines scattered all
through it. None of the published maps are accurate in their topography or other information, simply because, they are not based on a comprehensive survey ; nor can reliable maps be
published until a survey is made.
Connecting Surveys.
Much trouble is already being experienced from the destruction of posts in mining areas
which have been swept by fire. As mines increase in value, so that a single foot of ground
may be worth many thousands of dollars, it will probably be found that the system of connecting the surveys of such claims has been very inadequate and the cause of much litigation.
Your attention is therefore again directed to the course pursued in the mining States
south of the International Boundary, where they have had a long experience, resulting in the
compulsory connection of every mineral claim with a mining monument. Such a method may
entail a slightly increased cost of survey, but is a great protection to mine owners, as well as
a most valuable assistance in the administration of a mining country.
A Bill now before the Legislative Assembly, providing for the sale of lands, requires the
connection of the surveys of such lands with other public surveys in the vicinity. It is
respectfully suggested that where the cost of such tie might be out of all proportion to the
benefit derived, a simple latitude observation taken with care would very greatly assist in the
future construction of maps.
Your attention is again called to the necessity of an attempt at preserving our mountain
forests. Without enumerating the many reasons for such a measure, it may be stated that in
timbering mines from four to six thousand feet B. M. is required for evey one hundred feet of
tunnel; each hundred feet of shaft uses from fifteen to twenty thousand feet B. M.; and stop-
ing consumes from five hundred to four thousand feet B. M. for every thousand tons of ore and
rock mined. This gives some idea of the immense quantity which will probably be required in
such a country as Kootenay for mining alone. The region appears to have been originally
well timbered, but it is estimated that to-day there are not over forty thousand acres of milling
timber left tributary to Kootenay Lake. That which has been used by man is nothing
compared with what has been destroyed by fire, largely through sheer, careless indifference, 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 813
There is a small further amount of timber in isolated patches, which might be used for
mining purposes ; but this is being rapidly diminished ; the present consumption of cordwood
in the southern portion of West Kootenay being estimated at fifty thousand cords per annum.
If development continues as expected, the amount of timber used each year will increase
enormously ; so that what is left will be of great value aud should be carefully preserved.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
W. S. Drewry.
T. Kains, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B. C. 814 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
Vernon, B. C, July 18th, 1895.
Sir,—In accordance with your instructions, dated June 15th, I have the honour to report
as follows concerning the section of country above mentioned :—
The Valley lies within a circle of forest-clad hills between the valleys of the Spallumcheen
and Shuswap and Mabel Lake; is in shape resembling somewhat the letter Y, with the
western or left arm considerably the longer, through which flows the principal stream, taking
its rise in the Valley and known as Putnam Creek ; the eastern arm, sweeping on to the north
and east around the bases of Mounts Burns and Ingersoll, which rise on either side north and
south of the Valley, towards the south end of Mabel Lake. Length, about seventeen miles
north and south, and containing within its lines an area of some 20,000 acres of good land,
suitable for agricultural and settlement purposes, at an approximate height of 2,300 feet above
sea level, 600 feet above Lumby, and 1,100 feet above Vernon.
The upper slopes of the hills surrounding the Valley are covered for the most part with a
heavy growth of timber, consisting of fir, cedar, tamarac, hemlock and white pine, whilst small
berths of excellent cedar occupy the lower lands, and more particularly along the course of
Putnam Creek.
Devastated by Fire.
The Valley has been covered in the past by a magnificent forest of heavy mixed timber,
but the great body has been destroyed by fire, which passed through this section about eight
years ago, leaving tlje ground strewn with their great trunks and perfectly dry. The Valley
was visited again by the fire fiend last summer, and the greater portion of it was swept clear
of all signs of vegetation ; the charred trunks of the hemlocks alone remain standing or strew
the ground upon the upper benches.
Second Growth.
A second growth is seen where the fire of last summer had not passed, consisting of
willow, small poplar and alder, with some small patches of pines upon the more exposed slopes.
The soil for the most part consists of a redclish-brown loam, interspersed with a small
shale, with a sub-soil of grey clay.    Average depth of soil, eighteen inches.
Numerous beaver meadows are found throughout the Valley, varying in extent from one
acre to several hundred. These meadow lands are of the richest description, and for the most
part are very easily reclaimed ; in most cases the opening up and cleaning out the obstructions
found in the water-courses being all that is required ; in  other portions, being thinly covered 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 815
by a growth of small black birch and willow, grubbing will be required. On examination of
the soil I found it to consist of about two feet of rich vegetable deposit, below this two feet of
fine black sandy loam, with a sub-soil of pure blue clay.
The facilities for irrigation here are simply unequalled in any other section of the District
visited, small spring creeks being found almost on every mile of land traversed.
Water Power.
Numerous water powers are found upon the larger streams, notably that upon Christie's
Creek, having a fall of some, 200 feet, with a vertical fall of some 75 feet, whilst the Putnam,
Miriam, Ledge, Lossy and other creeks can be utilized.
The Valley was first entered by settlers last spring, and since then a number of records
have been filed, and notwithstanding the difficulty of reaching their claims some improvements
have been made, and all are most favourably impressed with their locations.
On meeting Mr. Nelson, the premier settler of the Valley, I visited his place and found
him most favourably situated, and having clone a good deal of hard work upon his place, with
a comfortable cabin and stable built ; several acres of meadow grubbed this spring; his garden,
consisting of potatoes, turnips, lettuce, peas arid other vegetables, showing a splendid growth
during our few days stay in the Valley.
At Mr. Christie's, our next point camped at, we found a more numerous collection of
vegetables and small fruits had been planted, and all looking equally well. Here I found hops,
planted this spring, doing remarkably well; imported English dwarf beans in full blossom on
July 1st; imported English gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries, mint and rhubarb all doing
well; peas, imported variety, one mass of bloom, four varieties of cabbage, and turnips,
carrots, onions and potatoes.
Taking into consideration the fact that the above were planted upon new and uncultivated
soil, it furnishes a proof of the capabilities of the soil there. In addition to this garden Mr.
Christie has sown, between his meadow land and higher pastures, some 450 pounds of tame
grasses and clover.
At Mr. Cartwright's we found a healthy looking garden, with the usual assortment of
vegetables and some four acres of wheat, sown this spring, doing wonderfully well, considering
that the seed had been simply raked in, the land having received no other cultivation.
A slight suspicion of frost was noticeable on May 29th, but not of a sufficient amount to
do any injury to cereals. This frost was prevalent throughout portions of the bottom lands of
the Lower Okanagan on same date.
To Reach the Valley.
The only means so far has been by trail cut across the mountains by the more enterprising
of the settlers, but at the present writing the Government has a force of men employed cutting
out a pack trail into the Valley from the waggon road passing through Caledonia Valley, leaving this road at a point some three miles east of Lumby.
The prosperity of this District will, as a matter of course, depend upon the construction
of a waggon road to traverse the Valley from south to north, with a branch road leading north
and eastwardly towards Mabel Lake, the character of the country being such that it will well
repay the expense of such road to the Province. No connecting or other township surveys
exist as yet in this Valley. Accompanying this report is a plan showing approximately the
extent of the Valley, creeks and other information.
I have, etc.,
The Honourable G. B. Martin, J. P. Burnyeat.
Chief Commissioner of Lands &  Works,
Victoria, B. C. 816
Crown Land Surveys.
trinity valley weather report.
June 25...
6 p. m.
,i    26...
6 a.m.
6 p.m.
n    27. |
2    „
6    „
45°    )
60°    f
7   „
„    28.-j
6    ,,
36°    )
63°    (
51°    >
67°    f
6:45 „
On Beaver Meadows.
„    29.]
7    „
8    „
Fine   until   rroon,   then
thunder and rain storm.
„    30...
7    ,i
8    „
Rain nearly all day.
Monday, j
July    1.1
42°    )
Cloudy to 3 p.m., then
6    „
52°    f
heavy showers.
2   *
"      2'l
3    ii
7    „
45°    )
57°    ,
7    „
Fine up to 4 p.m., then
n     3...
7    „
7    ii
„     4...
7    n
7    „
,i      5...
7    ,,
7    „
Dull and showery.
ii      6...
7    1,
7    ri
Dull, heavy weather.
„      ....
1         II
7    ,i
,i      8...
7    ,i
Clear and hot.
n      9...
7    „
8    „
ii    10.   .
7    ,,
8    „
ii    11...
7   i,
7    „
ii    12...
7    „
7    „
n 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 817
BY MR. R. H. LEE, P. L. S.
Kamloops, B. O, November 6th, 1895.
Sir,—I have the honour to make the following report of my trip to the " Big Bend "
country this season.
I left Revelstoke on the 12th of August with a boat and crew of four men, arriving at
the mouth of Canoe River, about 92 miles from Revelstoke (see Appendix, Table I.) on the
evening of August 28th.
We were unfortunate in having high water to contend with from Camp 6 (mouth of
Downie Creek), on the Columbia River, up to Camp 20, on the Canoe River. At this point
the river commenced to fall (see Appendix, Table fl.), and we made better progress.
Accompanying this report are two maps, the larger one showing the country from the
mouth of Canoe River to Tete Jaune Cache, on the Fraser River, with townships and sections
projected upon it; the smaller one showing the country from Revelstoke to Tete Jaune Cache,
with the camps referred to herein.
There is very little agriculture land on the Columbia River until within about five miles
of the mouth of Canoe River, where we entered a valley of about 12,000 acres of good agricultural land, about one-half of which is bottom land not subject to inundation, good clay soil
showing ten to fifteen feet in depth at the cut-banks, with a gravelly sub-soil; the remainder
lying upon low benches fifty to seventy-five feet above the river. These benches are also good
clay land, no rock or gravel showing on the surface. The surface of both bottom and bench
land is very level and uniform; small cedar-, spruce, and balsam timber and considerable bush in
the bottoms; cedar, spruce, and hemlock on the benches and mountains, all small timber and of
no commercial value. The, vegetation indicates considerable rainfall throughout this valley,
and I do not think irrigation will be required; but if so there is abundance of water for this
purpose in the creeks flowing through the valley. I am informed by trappers who have
wintered here that the snow is from three to four feet in depth, and the timber and bushes
indicate a considerable snowfall. The altitude is about 1,830 feet above sea level. The
general formation is granite.
From the mouth of Canoe River to Grews Rapids, a distance of about twenty-two miles
in a north-westerly course, the valley will average about one-half mile in width. It has good
clay soil, with a gravelly sub-soil; small cedar and spruce timber, and considerable bush. The
river is from 400 to 1,000 feet in width, with an average, current of about five miles per hour.
The banks are from six to fifteen feet high, showing a good clean clay soil.
Near Grews Rapids the valley widens out from one to two miles wide, and continues the
same north-westerly course to Tete Jaune Cache, on the Fraser River. It has been run ovei
with fire, and the timber and bush in the valley, as well as upon the mountains, are a young
growth. From about Grews Rapids we left the wet belt and entered a drier country. We
did not see moss upon the ground and timber as we did below and on the Columbia River.
The soil is a blue clay five to fifteen feet deep, with a gravelly sub-soil, covered in many places
with one to two feet of black vegetable muck ; small cedar, cottonwood, spruce, and hazel
bushes in patches and clumps; good meadows from ten to two hundred acres scattered throughout the valley. The soil and climate is very much superior to that at the mouth of the river.
The snow and rainfall is also less. The river is from 100 to 400 feet in width, very crooked,
and has an average current of about two miles per hour; banks from six to fifteen feet high. 818 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
I am informed by Messrs. Blackmore and Jackson, who spent the last two winters in
this valley, that the snow was not over fifteen inches deep at any time, and the winters very
mild. The timber and beaver cuttings indicate a very light snowfall. I did not see any
beaver cuttings over twelve to eighteen inches above the ground. I am also informed that
the spring weather opens from a month to six weeks earlier here than at the mouth of the river.
The mountains generally come done with low foot-hills and benches, and in many places
these benches along the base of the mountains are good soil and could be cultivated; good feed
for stock in the bottoms and benches.     Bear and cariboo are very plentiful along the river.
We found numerous Indian camps along the river, presumably left by Crees, who may
have come in from the north-west by way of Jasper House.
At Camp 26, about thirty-three miles above Grews Rapids (about fifty-one miles by river),
the river takes a south-westerly course for about four miles to the foot of the canyon, at the
head of navigation for boats, but the valley continues the same north-westerly course for about
twenty miles to Tete Jaune Cache, on the Fraser River, and is from two to four miles in width;
first-class clay soil, with small cottonwood, willow, alder, and hazel bush; also some small pines
and hemlock timber. The mountains on each side are low, of a granite formation, and come
down with foot-hills and benches.
Cranberry Lake covers about 1,500 acres, and is a shallow body of water; is situated
about two miles north of Trail Crossing; could be easily drained and made into dry land.
If irrigation should be required there is abundance of water for that purpose in the creeks
running through the valley every few miles, and the water could be brought upon the land
with very little expense. Some of the larger creeks come out of large valleys. The altitude
is about 2,200 feet above sea level.
I estimate the distance from Revelstoke to Camp 27 (Trail Crossing) at about 174 miles
by water, and about 150 miles by a waggon road route. At this point the bushes and timber
also indicate a light snowfall, and I am informed by Mr. Joseph Null, of South Thompson
River, who was with a C. P. R. survey party through this country as packer in 1874-75, that
they wintered their stock here and never had over eight to ten inches of snow. I think the
climate is very similar to that around Kamloops, judging from the general appearance of the
country. The first frost of this season occurred on the night of September 18th, and previous
to this there had been about two weeks' rain. There was wet weather at Kamloops corresponding with this, and frost about the same date.
We left Camp 27, at Trail Crossing, on the morning of September 20th, arriving at
Revelstoke on the evening of September 27th. We were 14|- days going up from Revelstoke
to the mouth of Canoe River, and 11J days from the mouth of Canoe River to Trail Crossing,
Camp 27 (actual working days).
I think the trip could be made in 15 to 20 days at a favourable stage of the river.
The Columbia River from Revelstoke to the mouth of Canoe River could be made
navigable for steamboats at almost all stages of the year (see Appendix, Table III.) Neither
Canoe River nor Wood River is navigable for steamers, but a waggon road could be built
through the Canoe River valley very cheaply, and this seems to me the most feasible way of
bringing this beautiful valley within the reach of settlers; or the trail up the Columbia River,
which ends at Smith Creek, could be continued up to the mouth of Canoe River, about
twenty-seven miles, and widened for a waggon road if required.
I did not see any indications of mineral along the Canoe River, but as we were not out of
the valley I am not 'warranted in saying that this is not a mineral country. The well-known
" Bennett" mica mines are situated about eight miles S.W. of Tete Jaune Cache, and judging
from the last cargo of mica brought down this fall these mines have a promising future. At
Smith Creek, about fifty-five miles above Revelstoke, the Columbia River Hydraulic Co. have
a number of men at work, with very satisfactory results. Several hydraulic claims have been
taken up on Smith, Gold, and Fish Creeks. Mr. Cus Lunn has a small stamp-mill on his
quartz claim on McCullough Creek, and Messrs. Boyd and Bain have made some very
promising discoveries on Carnes Creek.
I would place the acreage of good agricultural land as follows, viz.:—
At the Big Bend of the Columbia River 12,000 acres.
On Canoe River, from S. 13, T. 4, to Cranberry Lake 38,000    >■
From Cranberry Lake to Tete Jaune Cache 25,000    u
Total   75,000 59 Vict.
Crown Land Surveys.
In the Appendix annexed hereto the following will be observed: —
Table I. shows the estimated distance in miles from Revelstoke to Tete Jaune Cache and
intermediate points.
Table II. shows the barometric reading in feet at the different camps, state of the weather,
and stage of the river, whether rising or falling.
Table III. shows the approximate cost of making the Columbia River navigable for
steamboats at the various points between Revelstoke and the mouth of Canoe River.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
R. H. Lee,
P. L. S.
Tom Kains,  Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B. C.
Table I.    Estimated Distance prom Revelstoke to Tete Jaune Cache and
Intermediate Points.
From Revelstoke to Camp 1....
4 miles. .
Foot of canyon.
a      2. .
5      „     ..
Head          »
„      3....
14|   „    ..
Steamboat Rapids.
,/      4. ...
23j   ,i    ..
Mouth of Carne's Creek.
„     a....
31|   "    ■
Eight-Mile Bar.                                   ,
„     6....
402    „    ..
Downie Creek.
„     7. ...
44J    „    ..
Death Rapids.
n      8....
51      „    ..
„      9....
56J    „     ..
„    10....
619    „    ..
Gordon Creek.
„    11....
65f    ,,    . .
„    12....
70£    „    . .
„    13....
772   a    . ■
i,    14....
84J   *    ..
,/    15....
91J    „    ..
Mouth of Canoe River.
it    16....
97|    i,    ..
On Canoe River.
/-    17....
1014    „     ..
Boulder- Creek Rapids.
//    18....
1061,   ,,    ..
„    19....
1134   n    . .
Grews Rapids.
i,    20....
118J    „    ..
Head of bad water.
i,    21....
!29i    „     ..
n   22....
138g   »    •■
„    23....
144J    "     ••
Big log jam.
n    24....
1513   „    ..
//    25....
L61§    „    ..
n    26....
1704   t,    ..
( 824 miles to mouth of river by water.
Trail Crossing j   574     "              "               "          laud direct.
[ 149J     /;     to Revelstoke by land via mouth of
„    27....
1744.    „    ..
Tete Jaune Cache
194J    it    . .
[Canoe River. 820
Crown Land Surveys.
Table II., showing the Barometric Readings in Feet at the Different Camps,
Weather, and Stage op the River.
Aug. 12
„ 12
„ 13
» 14
a 15
„ 16
// 17
it )9
„ 20
a 21
i, 22
„ 23
,i 24
„ 26
„ 27
„ 28
i, 29
n 30
„    31
Sept. 2
„ 2
/, 3
„ 4
» 5
,t 6
„ 7
,/ 9
n 10
n 10
„ 11
,i 12
„ 13
„ 14
„ 16
„ 16
a 17
„ 18
„ 19
„ 20
„ 20
„ 21
// 23
„ 24
,, 24
„ 25
„ 26
„   27
Falling .
Camp 1.. .
,,      2. ..
River fell 2 ft. during the night.
//         o . . .
„      4. . .
it     5...
it      6...
»     7...
„     8...
„      9...
„    10...
„    11...
6"                   ,i
„    12...
„    13...
„    14...
„    15...
„    15...
,,    15...
„    J5...
„    15. ..
„    16...
River raised 12" in last 24 hours.
„    17...
Starr ding
Falling .
„    18...
Snow on the moxrntains.
„    18...
„    19...
„    20...
„    20...
„    21...
„    22...
River fell 2 ft. during the night.
,,    23.
„    24...
„    25...
„    26...
„    26  . .
„    27...
Trail Crossing.
„    27.. .
„    27...
„   27...
Light frost.
„    27...
Return trip.
,,    24. ..
//    28...
„    19...
„    15...
Columbia River 4 feet below mark
„    14...
[of Sept. 2nd.
,,     9...
„     6...
Snow on foot-hills.
Columbia River 4 feet below mark
[of Aug. 12th.
21 i
Table III.
showing the Approximate Cost of making the Columbia River Navigable
for Steamboats from Revelstoke to Canoe River.
Canyon (four miles above Revelstoke)	
Steamboat Rapids  	
Eight-Mile Bar	
One mile below Downie Creek	
Priest's and Death Rapids	
Cariboo Rapids	
Other places  	
$ 7,000 00
1,500 00
1,500 00
2,000 00
50,000 00
15,000 00
5,000 00
182,000 00 59 Vict.                                  Crown Land Surveys.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report upon explorations made on the
West Coast of British Columbia by my late partner, the late George D. Corrigan, P. L. S., in
accordance with instructions issued by you and dated June 14th, 1895. This report has been
prepared and compiled from the field-notes and diary left by Mr. Corrigan, who, in the prosecution of his work and as he was about completing it for the season, was killed on Swindle Island
near China Hat by the accidental discharge of a gun. I am also indebted for information and
explanations to Mr. M. W. Hewett, who was Mr. Corrigan's chief assistant during the season,
and who accompanied him in all his excursions.
Mr. Corrigan and party left Vancouver on steamship Danube on June 16th, 1895, and proceeded to Kingcome Inlet via Alert Bay. On the 24th they arrived at the head of Wakeman
Sound and proceeded to explore the valley.
Valley of Wakeman Sound.
The course of this valley is about magnetic north, and it is about one and a quarter miles
wide. It carries this width for about a mile and a half from the mouth, when it narrows down
to about a quarter of a mile; the mountains descending very precipitiously to the river. Above
this it widens out again, forming a circular portion of bottom land, containing from two to
three hundred acres. Above this it narrows again, bearing west of north, and as far as could
be seen continued very narrow, with precipitous mountains on each side, those to the north
being snow-capped. The west part of the lower portion is of a swampy character, containing
old beaver meadows. The soil is a deep sandy loam of a splendid nature. The whole valley,
with the exception of the aforesaid meadows, is heavily timbered with spruce, alder, cottonwood, and scattered cedar and hemlock. The spruce is very large and long, and much of it
would make good lumber. The river is not too swift for easy canoeing, has no bad timber
jams, and but few bars except at the mouth. At the entrance to the river there are. about a
hundred acres of tidal lands. The tide also at times backs up and floods part of the wooded
In all there are about from ten to fifteen hundred acres of first-class land in the valley
accessible and so situated as to receive a large amount of sunshine. The banks of the stream
show very little gravel and no large boulders. The bottom is densely covered with "devil's
clubs" and other vines, making progress on foot very difficult.
On the 27th of June the party reached the mouth of the Kingcome River and proceeded
to explore the valley through which it flows. Here difficulty was encountered with the
Indians. They positively refused to assist the party to ascend the river, giving as an excuse
that they did not wish white settlers to locate there. One or two at first promised to assist,
but being threatened by the rest of the tribe they refused to proceed. Eventually two of the
settlers at the mouth of the river offered their assistance which was accepted.
Valley of Kingcome River.
The general direction of this valley, though being tortuous, is about north and south. Its
width for the first fifteen miles, or thereabouts, is about one and a quarter to one and a half
miles, bordered on either side by high mountains, many of them capped with snow. It is
heavily timbered with good spruce, alder, hemlock and cottonwood. At the time of the
examination the water in the river was very high, but apparently the bed was free from
boulders. It had a velocity of about four miles per hour, is about two to three hundred feet
wide and very circuitous.    At about five miles from the mouth and on the east side, Wolla- 822 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
ston's Creek enters the main river through a narrow valley. The subsoil is gravel, covered by
from four to six feet of clay and loam, mixed with sand, the product of the river wash. On
the concave side of the river bends there are large sand bars partially covered with a young
growth of alder and cottonwood, but otherwise the stream is fairly free. The sand of these
bars contains a large proportion of magnetic black sand. About ten miles from the mouth a
stream called by the Indians the " Lahaw " comes in on the west side. The Indians at times
follow up this stream and cross the divide when en route to the Wakeman River. Beyond
the Lahaw the valley becomes somewhat narrow, but is still good. On the east side, between
the river and the mountain, there lies a large swamp from two to three miles long ; a very
open tract with but a few scattered trees, very .little bog land and no peat. At about fifteen
miles from the mouth the river branches into two, the one from the east entering the main
river through a narrow deep valley. Near the junction, on the branch, is a high fall of about
thirty feet. Over this the Indians " portage" their canoes when proceeding farther up.
Above the forks, on the main river, the valley becomes narrower, the river being very swift and
divided into many small streams. There are several large patches of meadow land covered
with grass farther up, but as the valley appeared to be gradually getting more narrow it was
not deemed necessary to proceed further than about three miles above the forks.
The whole valley appears to get its full share of sunshine.
At the mouth of the river, and below the Indian Reserve, there are about eight settlers,
the principal one, Mr. Halliday, having about twenty head of cattle, besides a goodly number
of hogs. The land which they have under cultivation appears very productive. There are no
settlers above the Indian Reserve. The main portion of the valley is not subject to overflow,
and the best land lies on the west side of the river, along which there should be no difficulty
in building a road. On the east side the river in many places passes close up to the mountains.
On account of the winding nature of the valley it would appear better to adopt the river
as a boundary of survey, allowing the claims to front there and extend back to the mountains
on either side.
Mr. Corrigan's diary contains the following as his opinion of the valley :—
" It is the best valley between here and the Squamisht, and contains from eight to ten
thousand acres of land capable of being worked, perhaps more. It should be a good valley for
hops, hay, oats or roots. The land could be easily tilled and should be productive. There is
plenty of timber for building, even some for exporting. There is no Douglas fir, the land
being more easily cleared in consequence. There are no boulders in the soil and not much
gravel.     There is plenty of room for a good settlement.
"Kingcome Inlet itself contains abundance of cod, halibut, flounders, and several kinds
of salmon, but none of the sockeye or cohoe species. The run of oolachans here is reported as
being the greatest on the coast, and this year the Indians are said to have made 20,000 gallons
of oil."
Ah-Ta Valley.
This valley extends from Kingcome Inlet to Bond Sound, a distance of between two and
three miles. In proceeding from Kingcome Inlet the first quarter of a mile gives a narrow
valley ascending to a rocky ridge, the land being of no value. Beyond this divide is a small
lake surrounded by a swamp of a peaty nature. Beyond the lake the valley becomes wider,
containing in the centre several old beaver meadows which could be easily drained. Along
the edges of these beaver meadows there is some very good alder bottom land. From these
meadows a good sized stream flows into Bond Sound, along which is a belt of good agricultural
land, covered with alder, cedar and hemlock. Where the stream enters Bond Sound there is a
splendid tide flat meadow of about one hundred acres, covered only by the most extreme high
tides and bearing a very heavy crop of salt grass.
In this valley there are from eight hundred to one thousand acres of first-class land, and
its proximity to Kingcome Valley would make it a good location for a few settlers. No
difficulty would be encountered in building a road through it, or from it into Kingcome Valley.
Valley of Thompson Sound.
Having obtained what was considered reliable information, that this valley is very narrow,
and the river flowing through it very swift, it was not deemed advisable to spend time in
investigating it. 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 823
On the fourth July, the party having finished exploring this locality, proceeded to Alert
Bay in order to catch the north-bound steamer. Mr. Corrigan adds the following in connection with the islands passed en route: " None of the islands passed are of much use. They
are rugged and rocky. Many small holdings might be found between the hills in scattered
places on Broughton, Baker or Gilford Islands, but would be detached and separated. They
would serve for a fishing people, but there is not a sufficient area of land in any one locality to
demand a connected survey."
Having reached Alert Bay on July 6th, and having found that the steamer had already
passed on her northerly trip, the party started in their boat for Seymour Inlet. En route they
touched at Deer Island, the Gordon Group of Islands and the Walker Group. Mr. Corrigan
adds : " These islands are small and rocky, with little soil. Several of them, notably the
Walker Group, are low and covered with a dense growth of scrubby timber, chiefly cedar,
hemlock and spruce. They are erf no use except for fishing stations." Having entered the
mouth of Seymour Inlet the party continued up the northerly arm of Mereworth Sound.
At the bend of this Sound a river called the Quascilla empties into a very shallow bay.
Valley of the Quascilla River.
This valley extends almost due west for about a mile, then turns south-westerly stretching towards a large salt lagoon which lies at the head of Strachan Bay. The valley is very
narrow, the mountains at times descending close to the stream. There is very little soil on
the granite rocks. There is a small quantity of red and yellow cedar in the valley and along
the mountains, but with the exception of this there is nothing else of any value.
Valley of Village Bay River.
After following this river for about a mile and a half from its mouth a lake was reached,
extending about three miles in an easterly direction. The mountains descend very precipit-
iously on all sides to the lake. This valley is part of a more or less level stretch of country,
extending from Village Bay in a southerly direction for one or two miles in length and about
a mile in breadth, extending from the sea shore back to the mountains. It is densely timbered
with cedar, spruce and hemlock, but is much broken up by small hills, and the land is of little
value. The cedar, or portions of it, is good, but this seems to be its only redeeming feature.
The main rock of the country is granite, the only exception seen being on a slide on the Quascilla Mountains, where croppings of  metamorphic  rocks were found containing much quartz.
Mereworth Sound.
An excursion was made all around the head of Mereworth Sound, but nothing of any value
was found. There is a very slight rise and fall of the tide in this Sound, due no doubt to its
narrow entrance.    The water is also very warm and fresh, and apparently contains very few fish.
Cape Caution Country.
Having seen from the top of the Quascilla Mountains a low lying level country extending
south from an imaginary line drawn from the head of Strachan Bay to Cape Caution, it was
thought advisable to examine it.
On July 13th the party proceeded to the head of Strachan Bay. From this an inlet
extends about a quarter of a mile long, into a lagoon or lake. This lagoon lies almost east
and west, is about half a mile wide and from ten to twelve miles long, and extends along
the base of Mount Robinson and a mile or so beyond. Only very high tides enter this lagoon,
and its waters are only slightly brackish.
The top of Mount Robinson, which appears a good deal higher than that shown on the
chart, commands a beautiful view. Looking easterly for thirty or forty miles is seen a rolling,
mountainous country, with narrow valleys and numerous lakes lying between, but altogether of
no value for agriculture. The highest peaks are from one to two thousand feet and all thickly
timbered.    Beyond these rise the main coast range of mountains, snowclad and gorgeous.
Looking northerly can be seen Smith Sound and farther still Rivers Inlet, the country,
with the exception of that adjoining Cape Caution, being similar to that on the east. Looking
westerly there could be seen a low level country extending to the shore of the gulf, showing-
much open land and numerous lakes. The best appeared to the south of an imaginary line
drawn from Mount Robinson to Cape Caution. This part gave promise of being of an excellent
nature, and it was deemed advisable to thoroughly examine it. 824 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
Five days, from July 16th to 20th, inclusive, were consumed in exploring it, one excursion
extending from the west arm of Seymour Inlet to the gulf, at a point a short distance south of
Cape Caution, and other excursions south of this line. The actual character of the country
was vastly different from that which was expected when seen from a distance.
It is a practically level plateau, about two hundred feet above the sea level, partly open
with occasional ridges of timber, the balance being very sparsely timbered with jack pine and
yellow cedar. The soil is wet and boggy, with much peat and moss, and of little value, but has
a thin covering of grass of a wiry nature. There are many beaver ponds and several lakes,
each containing several hundred acres. Through some of the beaver meadows small streams
flow, along which a small quantity of good land is found, but very much scattered.
The northerly portion of this country is of a more rolling character and more thickly
timbered, but of no value. The formation, where seen on the banks of streams, consisted of a
granite strata covered with a layer of small boulders and gravel and a fine brown sand, on top
of which rests from one to four feet of wet and boggy peat.
Mr. Corrigan sums up his description as follows :—" This country contains from forty to
fifty square miles of nearly level and partly open territory, but appears to be of little use. A
band of cattle or sheep might be run on it, but would be in danger of bogging. Even were the
soil covered with a less amount of peat and moss it would require much drainage to make it
capable of growing anything. On the whole it is a worthless country. Many bands of deer
run over it, and the ponds and meadows contain many beaver."
Branham Island.
This island lies at the mouth of Seymour Inlet, is from three to four miles long by about
the same in width, and is almost cut in two by a lagoon running from north to south. No
part of the island is high, but the surface may be likened to a potato patch, being an accumulation of hills and hollows. In the hollows the soil consists of peat and moss, with the
exception of some old beaver meadows, which are covered with grass, and are the only places
on the island where the soil is of any value. The whole island is covered with a scattered
growth of jack pine, and more thickly along the shore with cedar and hemlock. The rock is
chiefly granite, with intrusions of metamorphic rocks. A sparse growth of grass is found on
the hills. The island might afford a run for a small band of sheep, but that is the only use to
which it could of advantage be applied.
Shelter Bay.
In passing down the sound this bay was touched at, and one of the highest peaks of the
adjoining mountains, about seven hundred feet in elevation, was ascended. From this point
a view could be obtained of the country lying toward Seymour Inlet. It appeared very
uueven, being a succession of rolling ridges and peaks, with small lakes lying between. The
ridges are mostly thickly timbered with cedar, hemlock, spruce, and a few fir. The land
appeared rocky and of little use, and it was not considered expedient to spend more time in
examining it more closely. The country lying between this point and Blunden Harbour is not
so high, but appears of the same useless character.
Bradley Lagoon.
The next excursion was made up the north arm of this lagoon, which lies at the head of
Blunden Harbour. The country adjoining is composed of a succession of low hills and bluffs,
with small valleys lying between. These valleys contain small quantities of good land, but it
is limited. There is quite a scattering of good cedar and some fir, and the ground in nearly
all parts is covered with a very coarse growth of sal-lal bushes. The lagoon has numerous
arms, at the head of which Olympian oysters may be found. The rise and fall of the tide is
very small, due, no doubt, to its narrow entrance. Several locations might be obtained along
the shores of this lagoon, but not in sufficient numbers to demand a connected survey.
Next the country to the south of Blunden Harbour was examined, and also that lying
between the west arm of the lagoon and Blunden Harbour.
The general features are the same as that mentioned above, the country being in no
place high, but rocky and broken.    Parts contain a considerable quantity of good cedar.
Taking the country around this harbour and lagoon as a whole, it would hold a scattered
settlement, the conditions being suitable for a fishing people, but  not for an agricultural one. 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 825
The harbour and lagoon are well protected, but most of the bays have long tide flats containing large beds of clams. The harbour has been for generations the home of a tribe of Indians,
who have at several times moved their rancheries to rrew locations.
On July 26th the party returned to Alert Bay, where, on August 3rd, they boarded the
steamer Danube on her way north, and embarked for Lowe Inlet, arriving there  on the 5th.
Valley at Head of Lowe Inlet.
While awaiting a chance to get out to Banks Island, an excursion was made to the head
of Lowe Inlet. Here a large stream enters with a fall of about twenty feet at low water. A
few hundred yards above this the stream expands into a very small lake, the stream entering
this lake with another fall and rapids. Above this there is a succession of lakes and rapids.
The valley is very narrow, and made up of rolling ridges and benches, densely covered with
scrub cedar and hemlock, with very little soil, the mountains being very high and rocky on
both sides.
Through the kindness of the captain of the steamer Chieftain, which boat is employed
conveying salmon to the cannery at Lowe Inlet, the party was conveyed to Banks Island on
August 7th.
Banks Island.
The first point touched at was in a small inlet on the east side of the island and opposite
Mint Trap Bay on Pitt Island. From this point a wide valley runs apparently across the
island. It consists of rolling ridges and benches, very open, with a good growth of grass and
a scattering of yellow and red cedar and hemlock. After proceeding up the valley for about
two miles a high hill was ascended in order to more fully view the country. To the north a
high ridge of mountains was seen, over which a fire had run. To the south lay another ridge,
leaving in the centre a valley or rather a low stretch of territory from four to five miles wide,
and extending across the island.    This valley was thoroughly examined.
The centre of this territory consists of a succession of benches, hills and lakes, the latter
shallow, but all connected, and emptying to the west. On nearly all these lakes the beaver
are still at work. Around most of them are stretches of meadows, while on the ridges the
country is open and covered with a growth of grass, the soil being of a peaty nature and wet.
On the south side of this territory the country is more broken up, the timber more plentiful
and of a larger size, and the grass less abundarrt. Large numbers of salmon were seen in the
lakes and streams running up from the salt water to spawn. On the north side of this territory and at the foot of the hills there are some fine old beaver meadows, one especially seen
containing about two hundred acres, with a heavy crop of grass on it waist high. The slope
of this ridge of hills ascending from the meadows presents a long stretch of burnt country,
what little timber there is being jack pine and yellow cedar standing dead and white and
very thin on the ground. The soil is of the same peaty nature, and wet even on the slopes.
Of this burnt couirtry there would be probably ten square miles, nearly all of which would
afford pasture for bands of sheep.
Mr. Corrigan sums up his examination as follows :—
" In this valley we travelled over frorn twenty to twenty-five square miles of the same
kind of country as mentioned above, the belt seemingly passing to the west side of the island.
If the soil were cleared and drained, I think it would grow any root crop. Many of the
meadows would be good and might serve for a community who would gain most of their livelihood from the sea. The whole country would furnish grazing for stock if the climate is not
too wet, for although the ground is wet it is not boggy. The worst feature of the country is
its broken character, but it should make a good sheep run. Here it might be mentioned that
many of the salmon put up by the Lowe Inlet Cannery are caught between Banks and Pitt
Islands, it being reported that there are sixteen streams on the east side of Banks Island,
up which the salmon run, besides several on the west side.
"On August 11th the party moved northward to examine the upper end of the island.
En route a halt was made when opposite the south end of McCauley Island. Here on Banks
Island is a stretch of very open territory, about five miles by two, extending from the shore
back to high mountains. There are a few bunches of jack pine scattered here and there. The
slopes are covered with short grass, the soil being peaty and shallow. It would make a good
sheep run, but is of not much use for anything else. 826 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
" Opposite the west point of McCauley Island, and a short distance below the north end of
Banks Island, there enters a very long deep bay. Frorn this bay the tide recedes for about
three miles, leaving large sand flats. The head of this bay widens out into grassy meadows,
comprising about two hundred acres, and covered with a strong growth of grass waist high.
It is doubtful whether even the most extreme tides overflow this. The shores of the bay are
covered with a heavy growth of cedar and hemlock, the soil being dry and containing much
gravel. Back of the shore and extending into the interior of the island the country is very
open and slightly rolling, no point being over two hundred or three hundred feet above the
sea level. The soil is peaty, has an admixture of clay, but is more or less wet, and has a
poor growth of grass. If drained it would probably grow vegetables. There are large
stretches with scarcely any timber growing upon them, with the exception of patches of jack
pine and yellow cedar. An excursion was then made, commencing at the above-mentioned
bay and extending in a southerly (magnetic) direction for about seven miles, thence westerly
for about two or three miles to a rocky ridge about opposite the north end of Bonilla Island,
which commanded a good view of the west coast.
" In travelling south on this trip for the first three miles, and about four miles to the eastward, there was seen a gradually sloping mountain, very open and well covered with grass.
Farther on the mountain seemed to recede to the south, leaving in the centre of the island a
level country for from fifteen to twenty miles farther south. On the west side of the island,
extending parallel with the coast line and from one to two miles inland therefrom, there lies a
rocky riclge of granite higher than the territory in the centre or east side, very open and
rocky, but covered with a great amount of grass, and affording good feeding grounds for bands
of sheep.
" The balance of the country on this portion of the island is a succession of large, open,
grassy meadows, beaver ponds, belts of timber, and portions of open ground covered with a
thick moss. The latter is covered with a good scattering of grass, and would afford a
considerable quantity of feed for cattle, but is of no value for agriculture. Three of the
meadows in particular have a very heavy growth of grass waist high, being probably old beaver
meadows, while even yet in places there are fresh workings on the streams passing through
"All along the streams there is a belt of small timber, consisting of jack pine and cedar,
while most of the so-called open country has stunted jack pine scattered over it. Most of the
timbered parts contain good land, consisting of gravelly loam. Much of the more open
country is wet, and would require drainage, but when drained should be productive. The
subsoil appears to be gravel, the top being an admixture of peat and clay, a soil which should
give good crops of grass. The mountain slopes would afford excellent ranges for sheep, nearly
all having at this time a greater or less growth of grass. Roughly estimated there are about
two hundred square miles of territory which could be utilized for light agriculture, while the
larger meadows would make rich farming laud. Taken as a whole this would be an excellent
location for a fishing community, who could keep a considerable number of cattle and grow
plenty of produce for all requirements. It is also well situated for fishing, being very close to
the halibut and salmon fishing grounds, which will be mentioned later on."
On August 17th the party left Banks Island, intending to pass through the channel
shown on the maps between Goschen and Porcher Islands, and called Canoe Passage. This
was found to be entirely different from that shown on the maps. The passage, or rather bay,
is much wider than that shown, the shores more irregular, and many islands scattered through
it, and there is no passage through. Instead there is a low-lying piece of land from two to
three miles wide, and about four miles long. Originally most of it was covered lightly with a
growth of cedar and hemlock, but forest fires have killed the most of it. A good deal of the
land is wet, but with a little drainage would be productive. In those places where there has
been no timber, the soil is covered with moss and of little use. Nearly all of the good land is
covered with a good growth of grass, which has sprung up since the fire. A narrow strip of
timber along the shore has escaped the fire, and all along, between high water mark and the
timber line, there is a luxuriant growth of salt grass. The better soil of the country consists
of clay loam and clay peat. Several of the islands in this passage contain good land and are
practically level. The territory on the west side of Canoe Passage was then examined, namely,
that on the south of the small mountains shown on the  plan.    This part of  the island is only 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 827
about two miles wide, and for about five miles in length consists of a low burnt country, much
like the north end, but less moist and having a more abundant growth of grass. The soil is
clay and a mixture of clay and peat with a subsoil of gravel and large granite boulders. There
are about six thousand acres here which, with drainage, could be made productive. The
timber belt along the shore is of a goodly size and consists chiefly of spruce, hemlock and cedar.
The next place examined was a low-lying territory on Porcher Island, situate on the
opposite side of the passage from Kit-Katla Indian Reservation and about six miles further
north. This country lies south of a passage bearing about N. 20° E. and extending apparently
right through the island.
All along the shore there is a belt of good land timbered with hemlock, cedar and spruce.
The territory inside is partly open, with scattered bunches of jack pine and yellow cedar or
cypress, and is slightly rolling. The open country is chiefly wet and peaty with mixtures of
clay in some localities.
On account of the extensive amount of coast line and the belt of good land all along it,
the territory should afford good locations for small holdings all along the water front. There
would be about twenty-five square miles of this low country. Leaving this the party crossed
Canoe Passage and sailed through a channel not shown on the maps, but dividing Goschen
Island into two parts, thence along the west coast past Cape George and through the channel
between Goschen and Henry islands. Much of the shore has a fine gravel beach, and
on the north-westerly part are to be found deep banks of boulder clay, several miles in
length, and at one place about fifty feet high. On top of this clay is a covering of gravel and
sand. All along the shore is seen the same belt of good land and good timber, and backed up
by the same burnt and wet country. This west coast of the island affords no protection whatever for boats from wind and waves, there being no convenient bays or harbours to run into.
The regular steamer en route to Skeena River occasionally passes Spicer Island, which would
afford fair communication.
Henry Island.
The shores of this island are rocky and rugged, being composed of trap rock, while in
places a coarse variety of slate crops out, standing on edge. The island contains from four to
five hundred acres, thickly timbered, except in patches, with hemlock, red and yellow cedar.
The surface is much broken, and the soil peaty, with occasional beds of clay. There are two
lakes upon it, evidently old beaver resorts.    The land is of very little use.
Stephen's Island.
This was not examined very closely, as it appeared very much broken, with several deep
rocky bays on the south side. It has two high mountains upon it. The surface is too much
broken to be of much use, but several well protected locations could be made on the south side.
William's Island.
The same slaty formation crops out here as on Henry Island, but the land is better, less
wet and contains better timber. The surface is not so much broken up, and would make a
good location for fishing people.
Arthur Island.
This island is better than either William or Henry, the shores are less rocky and the soil
of a better quality and the surface more even.
On the 26th of August a start was made on the return trip to Lowe Inlet, where supplies
had been stored. On sailing past the shore of Porcher Island, before reaching the oil works,
there was seen a considerable quantity of flat land, which should be of some value, but it was
not closely examined. Between the oil works and Lowe Inlet nothing of any value was
observed from the boat, the shores being very mountainous and precipitious.
On August 28th a start was made for Crab River, via Hartley Bay and Verney Channel.
The shores along this channel are very precipitious, the mountains being bare, and it was
difficult to find a place level enough to pitch a tent. On August 30th Crab River was
reached, and, having left part of the supplies there at the store of H. M. Price, a start was
made for the Kitimat Valley, at the head of Douglas Channel.
The map of this channel gives a very inaccurate idea of its course. The mountains along
its shore are not so high as those on Verney Channel, but recede back in benches until the
snow-capped ones are reached. 828 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
A halt was made at the Kitimat Indian village, which is now located on the east side of
the channel, about three or four miles below the mouth of the Kitimat River. Here there are
three missionaries located, and they advised ascending the river by canoe, which was afterwards done.
The soil in this locality appeared very productive, the ordinary garden vegetables, together
with cultivated small fruits, giving good returns. In the neighbourhood and at the mouths of
the rivers there is found a variety of crabapple tree which bears fruit very plentifully. This
the Indians collect in great quantities and boil in oolachan grease for preservation. Other
wild fruits, such as the high bush cranberries, saskatoon, etc., are also to be found in great
The run of oolachans is said to be enormous here, the Indians coming from long distances
to collect or purchase them for the purpose of extracting the oil.
Valley of the Kitimat.    .
It requires a full tide to enable a boat of any size to reach the mouth of this river. The
valley at the mouth would be nearly five miles wide.
At the mouth of the river there is a very excellent tide-flat of from three hundred to four
hundred acres in extent, covered with an abundant growth of very fine grass, but all subject
to overflow at the highest tides.
On September 4th the trip up the river was commenced with two fndians and a canoe.
The river is about three hundred feet wide ; is not very rapid, with the exception of
occasional places, and the water clear, being different in this respect from the Kingcombe
River, which, coming from glaciers, is of a dirty milk colour. In ascending the river, about
two or three miles from the mouth and on the left hand side, there rises a hill of sand and
gravel from three hundred to four hundred feet high with a slide towards the river.
About a mile further up, and on the right hand side, a spur of a fairly low mountain
descends to the river. About two miles farther up a spur of a mountain, called by the Indians
the Kitimat Mountain, approaches the river from the left hand side, and here is the narrowest
part of the valley, being about two miles. From this on the water in the river becomes much
more swift. An excursion was made at right angles to the river, on the left hand side, for
some distance. Along the bank of the river was seen a fine strip of timbered land, and behind
that large open beaver meadows containing splendid soil. Farther up the Indians reported
the presence of samples of fossil fish in a small stream entering the river. An examination
was made and one procured.
After having proceeded a distance estimated at twenty miles from the salt water a
mountain was ascended in order to obtain a fuller view of the country. Much of the view for
a time was obscured by fogs, but eventually these having cleared away a grand sight was
obtained. The valley lies very direct, bearing a little east of north, the river, except in one or
two places, keeping very nearly in the centre.
From the top of this mountain a view was also obtained farther up the valley for a
distance of from ten to fifteen miles. The valley up to this point would average between two
and three miles in width, while beyond, after leaving the bend in the river, it is at least three
miles wide, the upper valley being the wider of the two.
Just beyond this mountain the river takes a turn, coming almost directly from the East,
while the main valley leaving the river continues on towards the Skeena Appearances would
indicate that formerly one of two conditions existed here, namely, that either the Skeena River
had at one time emptied in part through this valley, or that an arm of the sea had extended
up through it. The latter was thought the more probable, as many old marine shells were
found in the clay banks.
The lower valley is not densely timbered, and there is little or no underbrush, the timber
being spruce, hemlock, alder and cottonwood. Little or no cedar exists for the first fifteen
miles or so, but above that there is a good supply. From the top of the mountain could be
seen many open patches, probably old beaver meadows. The mountains bordering both the
upper and lower valleys are not high but slope off gradually—receding in benches to the main
mountains, and even they are not high. This allows the rays of the sun free access during the
greater part of the day, which is an advantage not found in many of the valleys on the coast.
The soil in the lower valley, so far as was seen, lay in three separate strata, the lowest
consisting of a bed of stiff, greasy blue clay.     This is  covered  by a deposit of from  two to 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 829
three or four feet of gravel, on top of which lies from two to four feet of silt and sand. It is
not what might be called rich soil, but should be easily worked and grow nearly all kinds of
agricultural products.
The upper valley is broader than the lower, and bordered on the west by a low range of
mountains. It is more densely timbered, but appears very even, having beyond a small
divide, a gentle slope to the south and thence to the Skeena. The divide was inperceptible
from the top of the mountain, and the view of the Skeena was somewhat obstructed by the fog.
It was estimated that from seventy-five to one hundred square miles of first-class country
was seen, covering what was considered the finest valley on the coast, without exception, and
should make a fine settlement. At the bend of the river a trail begins, which leads to the
Kitsilas Indian Village, on the Skeena River, and the Indians report it a two-days' journey
across. An excursion was made up the river beyond the bend, but there the valley becomes
very narrow, being enclosed by high mountains. In this there are scattered patches of good
land, but not large in extent. The one drawback to the lower valley is its low-lying character, much of it therefore being flooded during the time of freshet.
It was estimated from what was seen that there would be scarcely one claim of one
hundred and sixty acres so difficult to clear or till, but that the first season a settler could get
a part of it under cultivation—at least sufficient to supply his own needs. At the mouth of
the river the missionaries and Indians have patches of cultivated fruits, cabbage, carrots,
turnips, potatoes, &c, all of which appear to give good returns.
The valley appears to be the haunt of all kinds of game, four black bear having been
seen, besides marks of the wolf, fox, beaver, &c.
The Indians also report the presence, at times, of caribou.
The spring and cohoe varieties of salmon frequent the river, and great quantities of
The spruce in the valleys is of fair quality, not very large, but long and clear, while in
the upper valley there is some very fine cedar.
Doubtless there is a heavy fall of snow, but the missionaries and Indians state that it
leaves very early iu the spring, and the situation would appear favourable to this. At times
they report the winter to be severe also.
The native rock of the country is alternately trap and granite. Gravel is found on all
the river bars, becoming more coarse the farther up the ascent is made. One noticeable
feature seen in the gravel of the bars and in the stream, but absent from the gravel stratum,
is the great quantity of red nodules of a coarse and low grade of hematite, but black sand is
At present it is difficult to approach the mouth of the river with a boat, except at high
tides, but no difficulty would be encountered in constructing a road to a wharf at the bluffs on
the west side of the channel, and only a short distance from the mouth of the river.
The situation of the valley with respect to the high mountains of the coast would give
one the impression that the amount of rainfall is not so great as on the immediate coast, but
of course this can only be proved by residence.
Kildala Valley.
On the 10th of September, the party left the Kitmat Indian Village and sailed to the
Kildala River. At high tide it was possible to take the boat about two miles up from the
mouth. At the mouth there are about two hundred acres of excellent tide flat lands, covered
with a good crop of long glass. After reaching the timber the valley is not over half a mile
wide, the river very tortuous and the mountains very high and precipitious. What land there
is, is very good, but there is very little of it, and the valley is entirely too narrow to be of any
use except for a very few settlers.
At the mouth of a small river entering an arm to the north of the Kildala River there is
a nice piece of flat tide land, and behind it a narrow valley, allowing room for a few locations,
but not many.
Gardiner Canal.
On September 15th an excursion was made to the head of an inlet orr the south side of
Gardiner Canal and opposite Crab River. The valley, upon examination, proved to be very
narrow, enclosed in by very precipitious mountains. There are a few hundred acres of flat tide
lands at the mouth.    The inlet itself is very long and narrow and much shut in by steep snow- 830 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
capped mountains, a regular haunt for grizzlies and other wild animals unpleasant to encounter.
After having consulted with Mr. H. M. Price, who at one time operated a cannery at the
head of the canal, in reference to the Kitlobe River Valley, it was not deemed necessary to
proceed there. Mr. Price reported the valley to be about two miles wide at the mouth, where
there are about two thousand acres of good flat tide lands, but that above this flat the valley
becomes very narrow. About eight miles from the mouth there is a lake. He also reports a
very heavy snow-fall, which remains late into the spring. Also that the canal freezes over at
the head for several miles, preventing navigation during the winter months.
On September 18th a start was made for China Hat, an Indian Village on Swindle
Island, via Ursula Channel, Graham Reach and Fraser Reach. The shores along Ursula
Channel are very high and precipitious. The Indians reported flat lands at the head of
Anitanhash, Khutze and Green Inlets, the latter being more of a lagoon, but, from all appearances gained in passing, they seemed more shut in and debarred from sunshine. From
September 21st to 27th, the weather was so stormy and wet that it was impossible to make
any excursions. On the 27th, a start was made for the west coast of Swindle Island, by
passing through an unnamed channel lying between Swindle and Princess Royal Islands.
This channel is bordered by very high mountains, the steeper being on Swindle.
Swindle   Island.
That portion of this island, behind Lowe Point, appearing a level, good country, was
examined, but, on going over it, it was found that the lower places were merely yellow cedar
swamps, while the higher ones were either bare rock or rock covered with moss. The southwest coast is very rocky, and much cut up, leaving jagged bays and numerous small rocky
islands. The predominating rock is granite. In the low places there is to be found a little
good land, but much scattered. About a mile south of the head of the bay, which lies south
of Lowe Point, there rises a very peculiar cone-shaped mountain called Kititstu Mountain,
thought at first to be rock, but which turned out afterwards, on close examination, to be a
rich clay, reddish in colour. The timber on the mountain is very distinctive from that of the
surrounding country, being very large and thrifty. The land around the base of this mountain
is much the same as that on the mountain itself, and, except to the west, has a good growth of
long cedar, hemlock and spuce.
Of this tract there are about two thousand acres lying chiefly to the north, south and
east of the mountain.     It is excellent land, parts a little wet but easily drained.
One peculiarity to be seen in Schooner Passage, which lies south-west of this mountain, is
the immense amount of drift material collected there. This drift is composed of materials
which could only have been brought from the saw-mills lying hundreds of miles to the south.
It consists of fir boards, stubs of shingle bolts, &c, which are not manufactured anywhere in
the vicinity. Schooner Passage appears to be the dumping ground for all floating debris on
the Sound. There is enough land here to form a small settlement connected, and many disconnected patches could be utilized. Along the shores of this passage were found ridges of
marble, but much shattered and coarse grained.
On October 6th an excursion was made to the south end of Aristizable Island, but
nothing of any value was found, the land being slightly rolling and generally very poor and
On October 7th camp was moved to a point on the south end of Swindle Island, opposite
the north end of Price Island. On the next day, October Sth, at about 8 a.m., Mr. Corrigan,
while moving a gun from a tent was accidently shot in the arm, the charge of buckshot lodging
in the shoulder. All speed possible was made to reach China Hat and assistance, which was
done at about 4:30 p. m. Having dispatched Indians for a steamer, everything else possible
under the circumstances was done, but of no avail, for on the 9th, at about 2 p m., Mr.
Corrigan breathed his last.
Below is added a short description of the weather encountered during the season, but,
considering that the points traversed were situated several hundred miles apart, it cannot be
considered as an indication of the climate at any one point.
Generally on the immediate coast line the precipitation is great, and it has been observed
that on the comparatively low lying islands, including the Queen Charlotte group, the precipitation is not so great as that on the immediate westerly limit of the Coast Range of Mountains. Apparently vapour laden clouds, generated on the Pacific and travelling eastward, pass
over the low lying country and are precipitated on the high coast range,  leaving a drier belt 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 831
on either side of that immediately adjoining the mountains. This may often be observed from
a distance, but certainly the broken and mountainous character of the country makes it
impossible to judge without actual observations, whether any particular point has a precipitation too heavy for sheep or cattle. Assuredly some of the islands which during the summer
appeared wet, must at some time be very dry or they would not have been subjected to such
severe forest fires as have run over them.
From June 18th to 30th.—Country between Alert Bay and Kingcombe Inlet. There were
six bright clear days; two days threatening rain and cloudy; five days with rain most of day.
July.—Kingcombe Inlet to Cape Caution. Twelve days bright and clear ; fifteen days
threatening rain or cloudy; four days rain most of clay or showery.
August.—Alert Bay, Banks, Goschen, Porcher Islands. Twelve days bright and clear;
three days threatening rain or cloudy ; sixteen days rain most of day or showery.
September.—Kitimat Valley, Gardiner Canal, etc. Eleven days bright and clear ; one
day threatening rain or cloudy; eighteen days rain most of day or showery.
October 1st to 10th.—Swindle Island. Three days bright and clear; one day threatening
rain or cloudy ; six days rain most of day or showery.
The valleys examined and mentioned as being good and containing productive soil were
considered so for an agricultural community, but the islands and those portions of the mainland on its extreme westerly borders, and mentioned above, were considered more suitable for
fishing communities. These places are so situated that there is now, and probably always will
be, plenty of occupation for fishing people. They are so situated as to be within easy reach of
the salmon canneries at Rivers Inlet, Lowe Inlet, Skeena River, and other poirrts, which
employ fishermen practically from early spring until July and August; then, beginning in
September and extending through the winter, the halibut fishing companies carry on operations.
During the early part of the winter the halibut grounds used lie along the westerly shores
of Goschen, Porcher, McCauley, Stephens, and Banks Islands, which are called the "inshore
fishing grounds." The halibut banks fished during the winter months, and called the "offshore
fishing grounds," lie about midway between the north-east end of Graham Island, in the Queen
Charlotte Group, and Banks Island, and are said to extend right down Hecate Channel, all
being accessible to the locations mentioned and reported on above. One company, we understand, procure their fish in the vicinity of Goose Island.
The points thus described above as suitable will afford good locations for settlements for
fishermen, where the country would feed an amount of stock and the ground produce enough
root and vegetable crops for the home consumption of the whole community.
In some portions it would be necessary, when surveying for a settlement, to reserve a
strip of land all along the water front for community purposes, and in order that those having
no water front on their property might have their share of the community reserve for building
their boat or ice houses and keeping their fishing gear. Irr many places, though the water
front is so extensive in comparison to the amount of good land behind it that this would not
be necessary, unless the location were so exposed to wind and wave that one harbour having a
limited amount of foreshore would have to serve for the whole community.
Other industries which would give employment during "off times" would be the extracting of oil from the dog-fish or oolachans and boat building, the timber for the latter being
obtainable in the vicinity.
The portions which have been examined during the season were those which were either
reported by outside parties as being suitable for colonies or those which appeared so while
passing in the boat.
Every place examined, whether suitable or not, has been reported on, and it may be taken
for granted that along the channels passed over in the boat there is no great quantity of
territory suitable for settlements unless distinctly mentioned. Assuredly there are patches of
land lying between the spurs of the mountains and on the shores which contain each a few
acres, but they are few and far between.
In connection with this report is enclosed a sketch plan of the northern coast, showing
(coloured brown) the positions more particularly of the above-mentioned localities.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
R. E. Palmer, P.L.S.
T. Kains, Esq., Surveyor-General. 832 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
BY MR. C. D'B. GREEN, P. L. S.
Sir,—I have the honour to report, in accordance with instructions received from your
Department, that I have made an examination of the monuments set upon the International
Boundary Line, and of the line itself, between Osoyoos Lake and Grand Prairie.
I am able to report that the monuments are all in good condition, being- pyramids of stone
five feet high.
In reporting upon the condition of the line itself it will be necessary to divide it into
two sections. The first, from Osoyoos Lake to Myer's Creek, lies in a different character or
country from that between Myer's Creek and Grand Prairie, since it traverses for the most part
untimbered country, seldom entering timber standing close enough to show the line by cutting.
It is cut out about 100 feet wide, and has monuments at all the important heights, and
upon some of the open hill sides.
No blazing has in any place been done, although there are many places where blazes
would be of great service in calling attention to the lrne where timber is very scattering.
There has been no new growth upon this part of the line, and therefore the only improvement needed is in the matter of blazing trees.
For some six miles east from Osoyoos Lake the character of the country is such that the
Line is hard to find, the timber being too scattering to show any Line, and the country very
broken up about this point. I found too parallel lines equally well cut out through a belt of
close timber, being about 100 yards, or rather more, apart. The monuments upon the north
line are pulled down very completely, and those upon the south line are standing in good
condition. These two lines from here eastward are equally well cut out, and apparently were
run at about the same time.
The pre-emptions on the British side of the line are surveyed to the south line on which
the monuments are standing.     The other side is at present the Colville Indian Reserve.
Section two, from Myer's Creek to Grand Prairie, traverses a slightly different country
frorn that of section one. The climate is more rainy and the timber of a different species,
more Douglas fir than pine appearing, and here the line is much grown up, not cut out in
some of the valleys at all, and generally hard to follow, an air line having been in many places
run over the tops of trees and a slash made upon the crown of the next mountain; on such
places the monuments are set.
The new growth upon such line where cut out originally is now now from 25 to 50 feet
in height, according to the character of the timber, the soil, and aspect, more timber growing
upon the northern than on the southern slopes.
As far as Boundary Creek the monuments continue to stand upon the south line and to
be in ruins upon the north line ; but at Boundary Creek there are monuments on both lines
At a point some two miles west of White's Camp, between Boundary Creek and Grand
Prairie, there is a cutting at right angles connecting the two lines, and from here east the
monuments are in ruins upon the south line and standing on the north line, at Grand
Prairie the land being farmed by American subjects up to the north line.
There will probably be some slight confusion amongst miners along the whole length of
the line, owing to the fact that mineral is now being found all along the Boundary Line on
the British side, and that the Colville Indian Reserve, known to be well mineralized, is about
to be opened for settlers and prospectors, who will in some places undoubtedly find it difficult
to know on which side of the Boundary their claims lie.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
T. Kains, Esq., Surveyor-General. C.  D'B. Green, P. L. S. 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 833
BY MR. T. S. GORE, P. L. S.
Victoria, B.C., Jan. 8th, 1896.
Si^—I have the honour to submit the following report on my survey in Clayoquot
District during the past season.
In compliance with your instructions to examine the country lying between Barclay and
Nootka sounds, with a view to laying out suitable portions for settlement, I left Victoria on
the steamer Mischief on the 7th June, and on the 10th arrived at Mr. Earle's cannery, at the
mouth of Kennedy River, Browning Passage.
Mr. Jacobsen, a Clayoquot merchant, and partner of Mr. Earle's in the cannery, kindly
gave me permission to store my provisioirs there, and use it as a base of supply during my
He also furnished me with much useful information, and in many ways then and afterwards assisted me materially in prosecuting my work.
I commenced operations by connecting by triangulation and traverse the surveys already
made at the cannery with that part of the Clayoquot Peninsula I deemed advisable to
subdivide. I then moved my camp up to Kennedy Lake, and connected by traverse the
the disconnected surveys that had been made there some years ago. I also ran a line south
from Lot 64 to tie on to the Ucluelet Arm surveys, and commenced subdividing the land lying
to the westward of Lot 57, but I soon abandoned this, as I thought it better to first survey
the land nearer the coast, which would sooner be in demand for settlement.
In reference to the Kennedy Lake Country, there is very little land there fit for settlement. The foothills and mountains come right down to the shore on the east and north sides
of the lake. On the south side there is a little good land, in swamps, a good deal broken by
rocky hills. This land, however, is nearly all included in Sutton's timber limits. I was
informed that there was some good land on Elk River, which flows into the north-west arm of
the lake, but it is a very narrow strip, and would not be worth surveying at present.
At the outlet of the lake, about half a mile above salt water, there is a strong rapid,
about twenty chains long, over a very rough bed of boulders of all sizes. In going up I had
to portage our outfit, and rope the empty canoes up the rapids ; but in going down we took
loads and got through safely by using a rope in the worst places and running the rest. A
little work in removing boulders on one side of the rapids would make it quite navigable
for canoes. Kennedy Lake abounds in fine trout; deer are. very numerous, and elk are also
said to be plentiful in the vicinity.
I left Kennedy Lake on the 26th of June, and camped on Low Peninsula, opposite
Indian Island, and commenced the traverse of the peninsula and location of pre-emption
claims already recorded. There were about a dozen settlers there when I commenced the
survey, and a good many more came in since then. I traversed the peninsula first, and then
subdivided it into 40-acre lots, as suggested in my instructions, running a line round four lots
and placing posts every twenty chains. For about one and a half miles from the north-west
end of Low Peninsula, the land is much broken by low, rocky hills, and is very densely
covered with small timber and. brush, and the soil here—as elsewhere throughout the area
surveyed—is light and sandy.
All along the south side of Browning Passage the land is deeply indented with numerous
shallow bays that are bare of water at low tide, with the exception of some narrow channels,
the outlets of streams.
On the shore round these bays, there is a luxuriant growth of rich grass, between spring
tide mark and ordinary high water. 834 Crown Land Surveys. 1896
Eastward from the first narrows the land is nearly level at an altitude of from fifty to one
hundred feet above the sea, as far as Ucluelet Arm, with the exception of about three miles
between Point Cox and Schooner Cove, the point to the east of Mud Bay, and the country
lying north and east of Saw Mill Bay to Kennedy Lake. These parts I did not subdivide, as
they are covered with low rocky hills and are not suitable for agriculture.
There is about three square miles between Mud Bay and the Second Narrows that has
been burnt over many years ago, and a great deal of it now is almost entirely free from timber,
and could be very readily put under cultivation. I here had a better opportunity of seeing
what the soil was like, and I found it everywhere to consist of a very fine loamy sand with a
few inches of dark soil on top. In many places where the original covering of moss has been
destroyed by fire there is a good growth of wild grass. The whole of the level tract is well
watered and drained by springs and small streams.
The land from the Second Narrows to Ucluelet Arm is of the same character as that above
described, but has not been burnt. The timber is small cedar, black pine and hemlock. There
are many places of from a few acres up to thirty or forty with but few trees, swampy, and
generally covered with moss. It is not muskeg, however, as the moss is only on the surface
and the ground below is solid, and if it was cleared up and drained it would, I think, grow
good grass and root crops.
Everywhere near the seashore the timber and underbrush is very thick.
On Ucluelet Peninsula the soil is much heavier than through the tract I have been
describing, but is also more broken up with hills, and the timber is thicker.
I consider the land I surveyed, though the soil is light, to be well suited for growing
vegetables of all kinds, and raising cattle.
There is generally a good deal of rain in the spring and early part of the summer, consequently the sandy soil can sooner be worked than that which has more clay in it, and the
growth is also quicker, which is much to be desired as the summer is not very warm there.
Mr. John Grice had a small patch of land under cultivation last summer on his preemption at the north-west end of Low Peninsula, and grew as fine potatoes, cabbages, peas,
turnips, etc., etc., as I have seen anywhere on the island. He several times during the summer
contributed largely to the comfort and health of my party by dispatching to the camp a canoe-
load of the products of his ranch.
There appears to be always some kind of salmon running in the inlets of Clayoquot Sound,
and in the early part of the summer there is good halibut fishing a few miles out in Barclay
Sound from Long Beach.     Deer are numerous everywhere.
As it was getting late in the season, I did not continue the subdivision to Ucluelet, but
left off a few miles east of the narrows on Long Bay, and connecting with Ucluelet Arm by
short traverse, and then surveyed the three pre-emption claims taken up on the peninsula, and
completed the traverse of the inlet, connecting with Mr. Sutton's surveys. I then returned to
Victoria, arriving here on 30th November.
I laid out into lots about 14,000 acres, running 59 miles of lot-lines and 51 miles of
traverse, besides triangulations.
I saw land of the same character in the vicinity, amounting to about 23,000 acres, still
unsurveyed, as follows :—Between Long Bay and Sutton's surveys at Kennedy Lake, 10,000
acres ; Vargas Island, 7,000 acres, and south end of Flories Island, 6,000 acres.
In case the survey of this land should be continued, I do not think it would be advisable
to lay it out in so small lots as 40 acres. Most of the settlers appear to want to take up the
full amount of land allowed by the pre-emption regulations, viz., 160 acres.
The people who have settled on the land, and those who contemplate doing so, are very
anxious to have a road made through the peninsula.
There are no great difficulties in the way of constructing this road, but it would have to
be properly located. With my field-notes I will return a map showing the approximate location of a road, which would be the most useful and economical in my estimation.
Owing to the large amount of traverse on my survey, the field-notes and plans will take
rather longer than usual to complete.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
T. Kains, Esq., (Signed) T. S. Gore, P. L S,
Surveyor-Genera',  Victoria, 59 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 835
Victoria, B. O, January 16th, 1896.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report in connection with the subdivision
surveys made for the Scandinavian Colonists at Quatsino Sound, during the past season.
Section 31, and parts of sections 30 and 32, Township 11 ; section 6, and parts of sections
5 and 7, Township .10; parts of sections 1 and 12, Township 19 ; part of section 5 and sections
8, 9 and 10, on the south side of Quatsino Sound; sections 14, 15, 22 and 23, Limestone
Island; sections 20, 26, 36, and parts of sections 19, 21, 28 and 35, on the north side of
Quatsino Sound, all in Township 18, were subdivided into half-quarter sections of eighty
acres each, measuring twenty chains by forty chains ; the water front lots, of course, vary in
area, as the back linies are in all cases either section, quarter section, or quarter-quarter section
lines. In sections 8, 9 and 10 only the section and quarter section lines were run but posts
were planted at the front and rear for quarter-quarter section lines ; in sections 19, 20 and 28
the quarter-quarter section lines were planted from the traverse. This was done in order to
enable settlers to looate at once, as it was too late in the season to complete the survey.
The country su rveyed is principally rolling, and timbered with Hemlock, balsam, spruce,
fir and cedar.    The soil, generally, is a clayey loam, gravelly in places.
The surveys were carried on from April 19th to June 16th, and from October 15th to
November 12th, and included the survey of two pre-emption claims at Winter Harbour,
Forward Inlet.
During the interval between these dates I was engaged in the construction of the Colonization Road, running from Coal Harbour on the west coast of Quatsino Sound, to Hardy Bay
on the north-east coast of this Island, and I estimate there are about fifteen thousand acres of
land suitable for settlement within a limit of three miles on each side of the road. This land
of course is all timbered, principally with hemlock and balsam, averaging about two feet in
diameter. Tfere are, however, patches of heavy cedar in places and also several open swamps.
The soil is principally a clayey loam.
Although I ha d no time to make a proper exploratory survey, I have no doubt as to there
being considerable ,-a.reas of good land suitable  for settlement  and  lying  adjacent  to  various
parts of the sound
Fish and Game.
Quatsino Sour id, including the south-east, the west and Rupert Arms, abounds in various
kinds of fish the n.rost important of which are the sock-eye, silver and spring salmon, and the
cohoes, dog salmon , and humpbacks are also plentiful. Large numbers of halibut come into
the sound during t he winter season, probably from the banks, which lie about six miles off
the entrance of th e sound. Herring, smelt and various kinds of cod are also abundant, while
trout are foflnd in   nearly all the streams emptying into the sound.
Deer and blf rck bear are fairly numerous, and wapiti are found north of the west arm and
east of the south- **~rt arm.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
Tom Kains, Esq ., (Signed)        H. Burnet, P. L. S.
Surveyor- General, Victoria.
victoria, b. o.
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty. "
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