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Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen'** Most Excellent Majesty, 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 437
To His Honour Edgar Dewdney,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia,.
May it please Your Honour:
Herewith I beg respectfully to submit the following  Reports on the Surveys of
Crown Lands during the year 1892.
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Lands and Works Department,
Victoria, B.C., February 5th, 1893. SURVEYS.
Lands and Works Department,
Victoria, B. C, February 4th, 1893.
The Hon. F. G.  Vernon,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and  Works,
Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—In laying before you the individual reports of the different surveyors who have been
entrusted with the exploration and subdivision of Crown lands during the past season, I have
the honour to submit the following statement of the business of this Department down to the
close of the calendar year, and at the same time to offer a few remarks upon matters which
have come under my notice, and which may be of such interest as to justify their perusal.
Since surveys in connection with purchase claims are no longer performed, the preparation
of general and sectional maps for gratuitous distribution is receiving more attention, while at
the same time the information already on file is being consolidated and placed upon maps of
more convenient size than heretofore. The surveys of the past two years, when completed in
this form, will be of great benefit not only to the local Government Agent, but also to the
intending settler seeking for information.
The following table shows the character and number of the maps which have been published
for general distribution during the past year :—
1. Exploratory surveys in the northern portions of the Province 2,000 copies.
2. The south-west  portion  of   British  Columbia,   including Vancouver
Island    5,000
3. The central portion of British Columbia 2,000       n
4. Township sheets for use of Surveyors     700       m
Numbers 2 and 3 of the above list are of a very useful character, and were photo-lithographed without alteration of scale by the Canada Bank Note Company, of Montreal, from
original drawings prepared in the Lands and Works Department, and certainly are high class
samples of good draughtmanship.
The first mentioned map, and one now in press, is the work of the Colonist Printing and
Publishing Company, Limited, of Victoria. The map in press referred to shows the country
from the International Boundary Line to the "Mission," on Okanagan Lake, and includes a
portion of the Similkameen Valley to the west, and extends eastward along the Boundary Line
to Cascade City, taking in Rock Creek, Kettle River, and Boundary Creek, with the numerous
mining camps scattered throughout this growing district. As this portion of the Province is
rapidly coming to the front the map will doubtless prove of some benefit, and as it is drawn
upon the same scale as that showing the country immediately to the northward of the
" Mission " published last year, a continuous map of the whole Okanagan Valley, from the
International Boundary Line to Sicamous Narrows, may be had by simply pasting the two
maps together.
Certain delays having occurred in forwarding the work in connection with the general
map of the Province, prepared by Mr. J. H. Brownlee, D.L.S., it was considered  advisable to 440
Crown Land Surveys.
further postpone its issue until all the recently acquired information derived from the exploratory and other surveys performed this year could be added, and the work made as full and
complete as possible. If something unforseen does not occur the issue of ten thousand copies
ordered by the Government will be ready for general distribution at the Lands and Works
Department in the course of about a month. This map has been engraved by the Canada Bank
Note Company, of Montreal, and is printed on strong paper, in black and three lithographic
colours, and no doubt will be the means, if properly distributed, of advertising the Province to
a great degree throughout the known world.
Work in the Draughting Office.
The withdrawal of Crown lands from sale by Gazette notice of the 22nd February, 1892,
and granting until the 30th September last in which to fully complete all purchases made prior
to the former date, occasioned a large amount of extra work in this office, as will be noticed by
the number of field-books received, which show an increase of nearly one hundred volumes
above the total number deposited in 1891.
When it is taken into consideration that each volume contains the notes of from one to
five or more different surveys, the increase of work becomes more apparent.
The following table shows the volume of work performed in the Draughting Office during
the year, which, when taken into connection with the preparation of the maps above referred
to, speaks well for the gentlemen who attend to the draughting department of this office :—
a of
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Number of tracings for Crown grants—1,656.
Number of tracings for Government Agents—number of lots—658.
Maps of Vancouver Land Registry District; scale, 1 inch = 1 mile.
Map of S.W. portion of British Columbia, including Vancouver Island.
Map of part of Cariboo District.
Map of southern portion of Osoyoos, Kettle River District (in press).
Howe truss bridge, 140 feet span, Vedder Creek, New Westminster District.
Office for Government Agent, Clinton.
Gaol at Golden.
Addition to school-house, Northfield, Nanaimo.
ii ii Union.
ii n Tolmie.
School for Kamloops—4 rooms.
Government Office, Alberni.
Thirteen survey parties have carried on field operations under your instructions during
the past season, and, besides preparing extensive tracts for settlement purposes, have added a
large amount of information to that already on file in the Department.
The survey upon which Mr. Ralph has been engaged during the past three seasons is of a
character quite out of the ordinary rectangular methods adopted upon the Crown land surveys.
This work required the delineation upon the ground of a line running from the mouth of Muir
Creek, on the south-west coast of Vancouver Island, to the summit of Crown Mountain,
situated near the centre of the Island, a little below the 50th degree of north latitude, between
which points, distant from each other upwards of 140 miles, some of the roughest country in
the Province is to be found.    The determination of the bearing upon which to commence this 56 Viot. Crown Land Surveys. 441
line was a work requiring considerable care, and involved the calculation of the latitude and
longitude of the initial and terminal points by trigonometrical survey from already well established stations, When it is considered that it was well on towards the close of the third season
before the surveyor knew " how he was coming out," in addition to the exceedingly rough
country passed over and the constant care required in making the proper correction for convergence of meridians, the line, as now determined, is a standing monument of scientific skill and
physical endurance.
The survey into Townships and Sections of a portion of the Watsonkwa or Bulkley River
Valley, carried on by Mr. A. L. Poudrier, has shown that there exists a comparatively large
tract of country, valuable not only as agricultural and grazing land, but also on account of the
large beds of coal and lignite there deposited. The Government has, during the past season,
expended a sum of money in opening up a road from Hazleton into this country, and doubtless
many settlers will avail themselves of this route in their search for suitable homes.
Messrs. Hermon and Hawkins have continued the Township outline work commenced last
year, situated at the extreme north end of Vancouver Island, and have subdivided into sections
a large tract of land, which they report as being eminently suitable for agriculture and cattle
raising. Numerous applications respecting this tract of country have already been received,
and doubtless many settlers seeking for homes will be attracted to that portion of the Province.
Messrs Cotton and Palmer have laid out into Townships and Sections the valley of the
Bella Ooola River, from its mouth up as far as any land was found suitable for settlement
purposes. As this point is rapidly finding favour in the eyes of settlers—being one of the
nearest outlets of the great Chilcotin country—it is a matter of importance to have the country
prepared for the requirements of pre-emptors.
The " Commonage," near the City of Vernon, has been subdivided into Sections by Mr. J.
P. Burnyeat, and doubtless will be, on account of its situation, rapidly taken up when it is
thrown open for settlement. As the situation of this tract is somewhat better than the general
run of vacant Crown land throughout the Province, it is a question whether it would not be
advantageous to dispose of it in some other way than by means of the ordinary pre-emption
Sectional surveys have been carried on by Mr. P. H. Latimer along the valley of the
Shuswap River, from the vicinity of the " Camel's Hump" to where it empties into Mabel
Lake, and have opened up for settlement quite a large area of country.
The subdivisional survey of Malcolm Island has been completed by Mr. D. T. Thomson,
who has also performed additional surveys upon Cormorant Island, and upon Vancouver Island
in the vicinity of the mouth of the Nimkish River.
The land in the vicinity of the south-west coast of Vancouver Island, lying between the
mouth of Muir Creek and Cape Beale, has of late been attracting the pre-emptor and lumberman, and in view of that fact it has been considered advisable to have an accurate traverse of
the coast performed between those points, and all existing claims carefully noted. Mr. Henry
Fry was entrusted with this service, and has furnished the Department with sufficient information to enable it to make a reliable map of that section of the country.
Mr. N. B. Gauvreau continued the exploratory work commenced two years ago by Mr.
Poudrier, and has covered a large tract of country lying in the north-west portion of the
Province, situated between the  Stikine River and the northern boundary of British Columbia.
The scattered and hitherto unconnected surveys situated at the mouth of the Skeena
River, where the fishing interests of the Province are largely represented, have been connected
together by traverse, and a reliable map of that locality is now on file in this office. No report
of this survey is appended, as, from its nature, none was required. The same may be said of
the survey of two Government Townsites situated on Slocan Lake, performed by Mr. C. E.
The surveyors' individual reports are herewith appended, and no doubt will prove interesting reading to a large class of the community, and, if properly distributed, will be the means
of drawing a number of settlers to the Province.
Geological Information.
The Geological information respecting the Province of British Columbia is very valuable
and has been gathered by the continuous efforts of the Geological Survey Branch of the
Department of the Interior, represented by such well-known and scientific men as Richardson, 442 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
Dawson, Selwyn, Macoun, and McConnell, who have covered nearly the whole Province, and
whose labours extend over a period of more than twenty years.
This authentic and reliable information has been acquired without any expense to the
Province, and must represent in field-work alone an outlay of considerably over one hundred
thousand dollars. The fact that portions of it are published in each of the twenty voluminous
and costly annual reports, containing a large amount of matter irrelevant to the Province,
renders its usefulness of such a character as to be scarcely of any advantage to the average
settler, lumberman or miner.
In view of the above facts, it has been considered advisable to collect all this scattered
information, and after classifying and arranging it in such a manner by the addition of sufficient
reliable data as to clearly set forth all the natural productions of each district, with their
accessibility, to publish it in convenient form and append a small geologically coloured map of
the Province, which would greatly explain the text and materially enhance the value of the
whole work.
The following is submitted as an instance of the value of the above information, which, on
account of its reliability, does not admit of being questioned :
In an excellent essay on Washington, the "Evergreen State," written by Mr. Julian Ralph,
and published in Harper's Magazine for September, 1892, the following statement appears :—
" All the coal of the Coast, including that at Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, may be classed
as lignite, but it is often of so high a grade that the operators do not greatly strain the truth
in classing it as bituminous." Now this is a very erroneous assertion, calculated to injure one
of the staple productions of the Province, and should be as thoroughly contradicted as it is
widely promulgated. In proof of the above, a few quotations from the reports of the
Geological Survey of Canada will not be here out of place.
In the report of the years 1872-73, on page 80, the following is found :
" The Vancouver Coals are for the most part true bituminous coals, and the name of
' lignite,' which has been applied to them by a number of writers, is altogether a misnomer.
The principle of applying the term ' lignite' to all coals of more recent age than the true
Carboniferous, is also unwarrantable. According to this view, the Jarassic Anthracite of the
Queen Charlotte Islands would be called (lignite.' "
Dr. G. M. Dawson, in the Geological Report of 1876-77, pages 119 and following, states,
" The formations known to produce fuels of economic value in British Columbia may be classed
in three divisions as follows :—
"(1.) Lower Cretaceous or Cretaceo-Jurassic Rocks of Queen Charlotte Islands, etc.,
holding Anthracite.
"(2.) Cretaceous rocks of Vancouver Island, etc.,  with bituminous coal.
" (3.) Tertiary rocks with bituminous coal and lignite.
" The rocks of the second class are best represented in the coal-fields of Nanaimo and
Comox, on Vancouver Island, and are now well ascertained to be of Cretaceous age.
" The Tertiary rocks of British Columbia appear to hold true coal, and brown coal or
lignite, though this series is better known in its extension southwards in Washington Territory
than within the limits of the Province. At Bellingham Bay, and at Seattle, on Puget Sound,
it has been worked for a number of years, and the mines of the latter locality are now in a
flourishing state and ship large quantities of coal to San Francisco, which, though inferior to
that of Nanaimo, can compete with it, owing to the protective duty."
If any further proof is desired regarding the superiority of the British Columbia Coals,
it will be found by comparing the analysis of the coal from the localities mentioned, taken
from the more recent Geological reports, and from a table showing the comparative values of
Pacific Coast Coals for steam-raising purposes, published by the War Department of the United
States. 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 443
In the report of the Crown Land Surveys for the year 1891 I briefly alluded to a system
of survey which would be most suitable for the rapidly growing Province of British Columbia,
and which would, eventually, prove the cheapest, most durable and in every way the most
Since that report was published I have been enabled to develop the subject by additional
information which is of a character eminently reliable, authentic and "up to date," as it is
drawn from the published Government reports of foreign countries now prosecuting similar
operations, and from very voluminous notes kindly furnished me by W. S. Drewry, Esq.,
D.L.S., who has for the past five years been conducting, with a colleague, the triangulation and
photo-topographical work in the Rocky Mountains, for the Dominion Lands Branch of the
Department of the Interior.
It will be shown that this character of work is best adapted to a country like the
Province of British Columbia, which has now arrived at such a stage of her existence that
circumstances demand the commencement of a systematic survey, to be gradually carried on
and completed and which would prove of direct economic value.
Primary methods of survey.
There are two primary methods by which large portions of the earth's surface may be
subdivided and delineated upon maps, viz.: The quadrilateral and the trigonometrical, of
which the latter is altogether the most accurate and has finally been resorted to in nearly all
Quadrilateral method.
The first named method consists in running out and measuring on the ground a
quadrilateral system of meridian and base lines governing considerable tracts, which are
afterwards partitioned into smaller blocks of a size determined by the ends to be accomplished.
Trigonometrical method.
The trigonometrical method consists in dividing the area to be surveyed into triangles of
convenient size whose sides are computed by trigonometrical formula from the data furnished
by the measured angles of the triangle and the length of a base which has been determined by
the most precise mechanical methods known. Its superior accuracy and utility depend upon
the fact that the length of the base line thus determined upon the ground is very short in
comparison with the distance to which the triangulation may be extended. This method also
permits the checking and correction of angular measurements by rigid mathematical formula?.
Topographical surveying.
The securing on the ground of such information as will permit the delineation of the
earth's surface on maps is known as topographical surveying, and may be carried on by either
of the primary methods mentioned above.
In the earlier- history of this Province the expenditure necessary for such a class of work
would not have been warranted. The rural inhabitants were largely an ever-shifting
population, engaged in or connected with placer mining. No extensive or permanent system
of survey was needed for placer claims, as such properties were worked out in a short time and
then abandoned. Until within a few years comparatively little Crown land had been granted
for other than mining purposes, but now the Province, advancing with rapid strides, is being
traversed by railways and peopled by those engaged in the various branches of agriculture,
stock-raising, lumbering, mining, &c, and in consequence the values of real property have
immensely increased.
Quartz instead of placer mining is largely carried on and constantly increasing—the
Kootenay District is a standing monument in witness of this fact. It may be classed as a
permanent industry, since many years are required to work out a good quartz mine. 444 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
Progress of Province and what demanded.
Although the progress of the Province has been most satisfactory, yet there is room for
additional hundreds of thousands of population and a vast scope for the safe investment of
capital. Security in title to land and minerals demand a mode of perpetuating the position
of proprietary boundaries and defining their geographical location; while the question of the
enormous value of good maps in attracting people and capital has been so settled that it is
hardly necessary to advance proof of it here.
Various countries undertaking extensive surveys.
But it may be mentioned that even the countries of the old world have found it profitable
to ascertain the locus of all boundaries and tomake complete maps of their territories; to which
end highly accurate and scientific trigonometrical and topographical surveys have been
performed. First and foremost is the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain and Ireland, begun
over one hundred years ago.
Austria, Gei*many, Russia, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and Italy
are all carrying on topographical surveys based on triangulation; while France has completed
On this continent, surveys of a high order of precision have been made by the United
States Government, and the work of the Coast and Geodetic Survey is going steadily on,
having been extended along the sea coast and also along the great lakes. Many of the States
and Territories have been covered by its operations, including some in the west, viz.: Nevada,
Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Montana, Idaho and part of Arizona. Several of the States
have conducted independent topographical surveys of their own territory, including
Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire and California, while in other States they are in
New Zealand.
The British colony of New Zealand has for several years been prosecuting trigonometrical
and topographical work as a base for all settlement and other surveys, and it is this country to
which I wish to direct your attention, because its physical features are in many respects
similar to those of British Columbia.
Objects of New Zealand.
New Zealand realized that, in going into the markets of the world to secure people and
capital for the occupation of her lands and development of her resources, it was necessary to
provide not only an accurate method of definining proprietary holdings, but also to furnish
good maps, both general and sectional, showing the lands suitable for occupation and the
routes by which they could be reached. To accomplish such a result it was first essential to
have a framework, connecting the necessarily scattered settlement surveys, as a base from
which to operate.
The desired end might be attained by either of the two great primary methods already
mentioned. The prairies of the Canadian North-West, and some of the States of the
adjoining Republic, permitted the running out of a great quadrilateral system of meridian and
base lines; but the varied surface of New Zealand showed that, while certain sections would
allow such a procedure, an application of it to the whole country, if not impossible, would be
attended with enormous cost. It is probable that few countries would have been warranted
in conducting a highly accurate trigonometrical and topographical survey in the early years of
their career, although nearly all have sooner or later entered into such an undertaking for
economic and scientific purposes; but the topography of New Zealand rendered it possible
to make a portion of the great work serve alike as the best and cheapest base from which to
survey her lands for settlement and construct good maps.
British Columbia and what suitable.
A glance at the topography of British Columbia shows that here also the same conditions
obtain. A great quadrilateral system is not suited to the physical features of the Province;
but these are pre-eminently adapted to the prosecution of a triangulation at small cost, while 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 445
recent improvements in photo-topographical surveying methods, elaborated by the Surveyor-
General of Dominion Lands, render it possible to make good maps for much less money than has
been done in any other country. Our surveys made heretofore have no coherence—that is,
those lying in different parts of the Province have not been connected, and in very many cases
their exact geographical location is unknown. Therefore, until we have followed the example
of New Zealand by connecting our scattered surveys with each other and with some point
whose position has been precisely determined by astronomical observation, it is impossible to
issue a reliable and comprehensive map.
Before touching upon a scheme having for its object the gradual accomplishment of a
complete survey of British Columbia, a brief consideration of the method of New Zealand will
be of benefit.
Methods of New Zealand.
Judging from the reports issued by the Surveyor-General, the first work undertaken in
opening up a district for settlemeut is a detailed exploration of the area, noting carefully its
character and adaptability for settlement either as farming or grazing land and the best
manner of subdividing it. Main road lines leading to the tract are then carefully surveyed
in locations best suited to serve the district. Preliminary maps are published showing the
situation of the tract, its proposed subdivision, and location of roads; the lands are then
placed on the market for selection for free settlement or purchase. A triangulation with sides
of about twenty miles is carried over the area either before or after the exploration and
permanently marked; this is cut up into smaller triangles of from three to five miles on the
side, generally in connection with topographical work. Upon the triangulation the final
subdivision or settlement surveys are based and accurately checked, thus fixing their
geographical position and permitting it being plotted on the general standard map ; it also
allows the cheaj:) and accurate re-establishment of lost or disputed boundaries. It would seem
that in the so-called free settlement of lands, where not already surveyed by the Crown, a fee is
collected from the intending settler to cover the cost of his subdivision survey, which is made
under government authority by a duly authorized surveyor nominated by the grantee.
The principal surveying is performed by an organized staff, reinforced as circumstances
require by other professional men. The expense of the complete work, of course, varies with
the amount of detail required.
Cost of New Zealand Surveys.
According to the reports mentioned, the average cost for the past five years would appear
to have been as follows, viz. :—
Major triangulation (20 miles side)  88/100 cents per acre.
Minor u (11 to 5 miles)     1.86 m m
Minor n and topography      2.62 n n
Settlement or sectional surveys 31.16 n n
Conditions in Canada.
The whole system seems to be most thorough and efficient; but the expenditure is largely
in excess of what need be incurred in this Province, since our sectional surveys are performed
for fifteen cents per acre ; while a major and minor triangulation, combined with photo-topography, has been conducted in the Rocky Mountains by the Federal Government, and complete topographical maps on a scale of lol00 published at a total cost of about 2^ cents per
acre. By experience in various countries it has been proved that the expense of both
triangulation and topographical operations depends largely on the scale—that is, upon the
length of side in the triangulation and upon the minuteness of detail and scale of the
published maps resulting from the topographical work.
Cost of certain results in British Columbia.
It is therefore considered that by combining and modifying the methods of New Zealand
and the Dominion, as hereinafter set forth, the following results could be attained in British
Columbia, viz., a triangulation could be carried over districts demanding it, reference points
for the perpetuation of proprietary boundaries established where needed and permanently
marked, topography noted by photography, and good topographical maps published on a scale 446 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
of i-g ^ 2 o or two miles to an inch; the whole costing from lf^ 0f a cent to  2T5T cents per
acre, according to the accessibility of the country.
Example of Country.
As an example, it may be stated that a large part of the Kootenay District, whose
importance and requirements strongly demand it, could probably be so treated at the minimun
It must be noted that the above estimate includes not only the cost of complete mapping,
but also the establishment of a base of proprietary surveys of urban, agricultural, grazing,
timber and mineral lands. Photo-topographical work, based on a rough triangulation, purely
for the purpose of obtaining a fairly accurate preliminary map of the physical features, could
be carried on for about ffy of a cent per acre.
Rates per acre for the various works.
The rates for the various classes of surveys in the Kootenay District, or country similarly
situated, may then be tabulated as follows, viz. :—
Triangulation with 12 miles side including fixing of
monuments   and    partial    photo-topographical
work     T7¥ of a cent per acre.
Supplementary   photo-topographical   work   in  combination with above -f^_      n n
Independent photo-topographical work for preliminary maps     -A      ii ii
Township or sectional surveys      15 cents per acre.
It is believed that the above figures would not be more than doubled in any part of
British Columbia requiring survey for many years to come. No fixed amount per acre can be
given for exploratory surveys in unknown areas as the conditions are too variable.
Having given the rate of cost for various classes of surveys, it is now in order to state
some of the urgent reasons why they should be undertaken.
Reason for undertaking triangulation.
A permanently marked triangulation should be carried out from economic considerations;
because, in the first place, while it would form an integral part of a great survey such as older
countries have made, it for the present would afford the best and least costly base from which
settlement and other surveys might be carried out, and by which they could be connected. It
has been already shown that until this latter work is accomplished an accurate map cannot
be constructed.
Perpetuation of Boundaries.
Secondly, since the trigonometrical points would be marked in an enduring manner and
scientifically connected, the positions of all boundaries of real property could be perpetuated,
or redetermined when lost, by reference to the points to which they had been tied at the time
of survey. This is an important consideration, because it would result in a direct saving of
time and money to land-holders; for it has been customary to depend on wooden posts and
bearing trees, or in rare instances on more lasting marks liable to displacement or loss, for the
perpetuation of boundaries, but, by having all surveys joined to a well marked triangulation,
costly and vexatious differences would be greatly avoided, since the evidence as to disputed
boundaries would no longer depend on the durability of wood, or the casual recollection of
locality, but on the mechanical application of trained scientific knowledge and skill. It is
certain that in older provinces, the sums of money annually spent in litigation over boundaries
amount to much more than the cost of prosecuting complete trigonometrical and topographical
surveys, and there is no reason for belief that other conditions will obtain in British Columbia
unless some such steps as those advocated are taken.
Use of Azimuths.
Thirdly, by using the tabulated azimuths of the sides of the triangulation, considerable
money would eventually be saved in the matter of astronomical observations; for in most
surveys, both public and private, much time is lost in waiting for weather favourable to
observing. 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 447
Land Registry Act.
Again, under the "Land Registry Act," the Province has made provision for granting
absolute title to land. This alone requires a method of survey such as is outlined herein; for
in the event of boundaries being lost or destroyed (as they quite frequently are) unless their
geographical position is known and some means of precisely relocating them exists, the
absolute title is worthless and rests on possession alone.
If it were made a condition of obtaining absolute title, that all surveyed lands must be
connected with the triangulation where possible, it is probable that land-holders would willingly defray any slight expense in view of the extra security of title afforded.
Triangulation of Sea Coast.
The trigonometrical work should be extended along the sea coast, because the coast and
foreign trade will probably have a great expansion.
Since, owing to its intricacies, the coast of British Columbia is somewhat difficult of
navigation, accurate charts will be an important factor in the development of commerce. To
obtain such charts it is indispensable that a triangulation be carried along the coast so that
hydrographers may tie in and check their operations. It is altogether probable that the
British Admirality would gladly avail themselves of such an aid to perfect their hydrographic
work so well begun.
In this connection might be mentioned the accidents which have recently happened to
the warships "Amphion" and "Warspite" and to the merchantman "San Pedro." If
casualties of this nature, involving large expenditures of time and money, occur in comparatively well-known waters, what may be said of those which are likely to occur in unsurveyed
channels and harbours where the pilot is compelled to steer the ship by pure guess work and
leave the rest to Providence 1
Working of Mining Claims.
In the foregoing arguments, lands in general have been referred to ; but any scheme of
survey for British Columbia must take especial cognizance of the perpetuation of boundaries
of mining lands alienated from the Crown. Some system having that end in view has been
found necessary in other mining countries; its importance cannot be over estimated and
should command prompt attention.
Conditions in Kootenay District.
In the Kootenay District alone, mining properties whose value mounts high up in the
millions are being developed, while fresh discoveries of precious and economic minerals are
continually announced. But there are claims whose marks have been swept out of existence
by snow-slides and fires : where these lands adjoin, no explanation of the entanglement which
will ensue is needed. Such difficulties will, without doubt, retard mining development more
than any other cause except absence of ore; for, if there is anything a mining man will not
buy, it is a law suit. The result is a loss, not only to those immediately concerned, but to the
Province at large; because, as every dollar of taxable value created is a gain to the whole
country, so also is the reverse proposition true.
In order to show the value of some of the country under consideration, it may be stated
that the assessed worth of the most valuable block in the City of Victoria, that bounded by
Government, Yates, Broad and Fort Streets, with the buildings included, is considerably under
one million dollars, a sum far below that realized a short time ago from the sale of the
"Silver King" mineral claim. Although the block referred to is not of a size equal to that of
an ordinary mining claim, still, if claims in a comparatively undeveloped state realize such
large amounts, it is safe to draw the conclusion that there are portions of the Kootenay
District as valuable as equal areas located in the heart of the City of Victoria with the
buildings included.    A country like the above, therefore, should be well surveyed.
What should be done.
It is therefore evident that some means should be devised whereby the position of mining
locations, having been once determined, can be accurately re-determined at any time, if
inextricable  confusion, endless litigation, and  consequent depreciation of  value are to be 448 Crown Land Surveys. 1893
avoided. It is thought that the inexpensive method, hereinafter set forth, of establishing
mining monuments and connecting claims thereto, would prove efficacious in largely lessening
difficulties arising from disputed boundaries.
It might here be suggested that there is no reason why the same standards of measureshould
not be used in laying out a mineral claim as is required in subdividing for sale or pre-emption
the ordinary Crown Lands of the Province. In the latter surveys a 66 feet chain divided
into 100 links of 7.92 inches each is used, and for obvious reasons is the most useful and
expeditious. The Land Acts provide true and unalterable methods of renewing lost corners,
a matter which seems to have been overlooked when the Mineral Act was framed, and which
is a most important omission as will be discovered as soon as an obliterated corner to a
valuable mineral claim is required to be replaced.
If the land in a mineral country were subdivided into sections as provided by the Land
Act, and each section partitioned into 16 legal subdivisions containing 40 acres each, and
numbered according to a general rule, there would be no difficulty or possible conflict in conveying any one of these legal subdivisions according to its number even though it did not happen
to be actually surveyed upon the ground. This would give the free miner, whose interest alone
seems heretofore to have been considered, an area of 40 acres measuring 20 chains by 20
chains (1320 by 1320 feet). The provisions of the Land Acts would apply in renewing lost
corners, the whole mineral country would assume a regularity heretofore unknown, and even if
a miner were compelled to take two legal subdivisions to acquire a fair length upon the lode
provision could be made for this purpose.
Reason for Topographical Work.
The reasons urging the prosecution of topographical work may be concisely stated as all
and every reason demanding the publication of good maps ; because such maps are the result
of and can be had only by making topographical surveys.
Application of Photo-lithography.
The uses of maps are so numerous and well known that they need not be enumerated here>
it is sufficient to repeat that all civilized countries have found it profitable to have complete
maps of their territories. But it may be added that photo-lithography permits obtaining an
accurate map of this Province more cheaply than any other method; and that it can be
applied, in connection with a triangulation as a base for proprietary surveys, at a fraction of
the cost which would be incurred at any future time. It is necessary to the Province that
the work be done for the proper administration of the country. Its consummation would allow
the publication of large scale district maps showing the occupied land and that available,
together with the main physical features and routes of communication. The vast importance
of being able to place such information in the hands of immigrants, prospectors and capitalists
does not require comment here.
Township or Sectional Surveys.
As township or sectional surveys have been carried on by the Province for many years,
no reason need be given for their continuance.
Of the necessity which has always existed for dividing land into proprietary holdings,
and perpetuating their boundaries, it is said that " Land surveying is, perhaps, the oldest of
" the mathematical arts. Indeed, geometry itself, as the name ' land measuring' implies, is
" said to have arisen from the efforts of the Egyptian sages to fix land marks annually swept
" away by the inundations of the Nile."—(Gillespie, Surveying, preface.)
Triangulation—Introductory remarks on scheme.
Having stated some of the reasons why a systematic survey should be undertaken, a
general plan will now be outlined, which may be executed as the needs of the Province
demand, and which it is thought would result in the maximum benefit obtainable from a
moderate expenditure.
Who should bear the cost of certain work.
It may be prefatorily said that a great triangulation of primary order for scientific
purposes should be made by the Federal Government, and in the event of the British
Admiralty expressing an intention of continuing their hydrographic work on our coast, that 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 449
at least a portion of the cost of extending a triangulation along it should also be borne by the
Dominion. The remainder of the work proposed is purely for Provincial purposes, and may
fairly be performed at the expense of the Province.
Work done by Dominion Government.
Under Dominion authority, the latitudes and longitudes of points at Victoria, Port
Moody, Kamloops, Revelstoke, and Field have been accurately determined by astronomical
observation and use of the electric telegraph. The position of Calgary has also been so determined, and a triangulation carried from it across the Rocky Mountains into British Columbia.
The points above mentioned would serve to fix the geographical position of a survey
embracing the Province, the method of which should be as follows, viz.:—
Where triangulation chains should be extended.
Omitting the triangulation of primary order, which could be made as circumstances
warranted, carefully planned and executed chains of triangles, with sides of from four to
twelve or more miles, should be extended along the lines of settlement which, in British
Columbia as in similar countries, are the great valleys of rivers and lakes, and along the sea
How most cheaply carried on.
The main chains would of course be most expeditiously and economically carried on from
the hill and mountain tops, thus permitting the easy location of monuments in the valleys
where needed as reference points for subdivision surveys, all points determined being marked
by copper bolts, stone monuments, or iron bars, identified by a letter or number.
Triangulation suitable to broad valleys.
A triangulation with sides of ten or twelve miles would probably suit most of the broad
valleys in the hilly or mountainous districts, but reference monuments should be established
in easily found and accessible places in the valleys by taking instrumental readings to them
from two or more triangulation stations.
Triangulation of lateral valleys.
Spurs of triangles with shorter sides could be easily and cheaply projected from the main
chains up lateral valleys where settlement was proposed, and where the adjoining country
might not warrant more extensive work.
Triangulation in mining areas.
In mining areas, the length of side in the triangle would be governed by the ends to be
subserved; where the object was simply to ascertain the geographical position of mining
monuments, sides of considerable length could be most economically used; but, where
topographical mapping was undertaken, the large triangles would require division into smaller
ones of from four to six miles sides.
Location of main triangulation chains.
The main triangulation chains might advantageously be gradually extended along the
lines marked in red on the accompanying map. It will be noticed that the projected system
divides the major part of the Province into a number of great blocks, smaller in the occupied
southern portion, and larger in the northern. Thus blocks into which settlement is rapidly
advancing, or which are being developed as mining areas, can be expeditiously covered with a
net of triangles, reference points for subdivision surveys established, and its physical features
completely mapped at minimum cost.
Triangulation chains in northern interior.
The main chains in the northern interior would be much farther apart, but should be
carried out as soon as circumstances permitted, and track or reconnaissance surveys of the
accessible country between them made and checked on the triangulation, thus, in addition to
establishing a base for proprietary surveys, allowing the construction of a reliable map for
immigration and other purposes, and at the same time placing additional exact and useful
information concerning the lands to be administered in the hands of the Government. 450 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
Mining monuments.
Large iron posts, or stone monuments containing a copper bolt, to be known as mining
monuments, should be established near groups of mining claims. They should be placed in
the most accessible positions, safe from disturbance by flood, fire, or slides, and systematically
numbered or otherwise designated. To commence with, their local place might be fixed by
reference to surrounding or distant mountain peaks : that is, by taking precise instrumental
readings and azimuths to them from the monuments, so that in the event of any attempt at
displacement they could be re-established from unalterable marks. By connecting the monument with the triangulation, their true geographical position would be determined and plotted
on a standard district map.
Mining surveys referred to monuments.
All surveys of mining lands should be referred to the monuments by carefully determined
tie lines, either chained or trigonometrical, and the field-notes of such lines should form part
of the original record of survey.
Having followed out the foregoing system, it would be possible to replace the lost marks
of a claim, or to correctly show its position on a map.
In the flat portions of British Columbia, the ordinary processes of sectional surveys
determine the topography sufficiently well to allow the construction of a map; but in the
hilly or mountainous districts the physical features are so marked and various as to make the
running of section lines very expensive and often useless, and, even where run, the amount of
topography noted is so limited as to be of little utility in making the map necessary to proper
administration of the lands.
Topographical systems.
There are several systems of topographical surveying, but work performed by the Dominion
Government has proved that a large part of this Province is best adapted to the photo-topographical method, in speaking of which, in the preface to his book " Photographic Surveying,"
the Surveyor-General of Dominion Lands says : " The object of these notes is to show the
amount of information which can be extracted from a photograph under various circumstances, and the numerous processes at the disposal of the surveyor. The resources of photography in that respect are unequalled  by any other surveying method."
Operations in the field.
The operations in the field may be shortly described as follows, viz.:—
A sufficient number of photographs to completely cover the surrounding country are
taken from stations so situated that objects appearing in a photograph from one point will also
appear in view taken from another point, and at a considerable distance from the line between
them. A number of these photographic stations are most advantageously placed when they
form vertices of a net of equilateral triangles, and for this reason the work is usually based
on a triangulation, which affords the best and most economic method of ascertaining the
relative positions of the stations, and their distances apart—the latter determining the scale of
the work.
The plans are based on the plotted triangulation, and are constructed from the photographs by applying the reverse laws of perspective, it being assumed that a photograph is a
true perspective, which with a properly selected lens is nearly true, the errors due to the lens
being inappreciable for ordinary mapping purposes.
Triangulation always accompanied by photography.
Since photo-topographical work is best based on a triangulation, it follows that trigonometrical operations such as proposed should always be accompanied by photography, especially
as the additional expense incurred would be but the small cost of a camera and photographic
plates. By so doing, data would be secured for use in the construction of maps whenever
The procedure for this Province is as follows, viz.:—- 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 451
Treatment of thickly settled districts.
Firstly.—The portions which are sufficiently occupied to warrant it should be covered by
combining the first two works mentioned in the schedule of rates, and accurate maps constructed on a scale of two miles to the inch.
Areas undergoing development.
Secondly.—Those areas promising development at an early date, having been enclosed or
traversed by a triangulation chain, as shown on the accompanying map, should be wholly or
partially, as the case demanded, covered by independent photo-topographical work, tied to the
main triangulation chain to permit the making of a tolerably accurate map for the administration of the tracts and the guidance of intending settlers, prospectors, miners, and other persons
going into them.
Then, when the lands were being taken possession of, an accurate triangulation, accompanied by use of the camera, should be expanded over those parts being occupied, fixing
reference points for proprietary surveys and the precise positions of the photographic stations
used in the preliminary survey. The data thus obtained, combined with those secured by the
independent photo-topographical survey, would allow the plotting of a final standard map on
a scale of two miles to an inch, while a larger scale could be used for any important localities
requiring it.
Relative cost of surveys in certain districts.
Where a large area has to be covered with an accurate triangulation net, the expenditure
incurred by combining the trigonometrical and photo-topographical operations in the
first instance would be less than by conducting the surveys independently; but where
only portions of the district would probably be occupied the latter course would be the better
and would probably cost less.
Exploratory surveys.
There is yet another class of surveys for which neither a fixed rate per acre can be given
nor an exact method of procedure laid down, viz., exploratory surveys of unknown or little
known regions. Their prosecution is necessary for the proper administration of the country.
It may be cited as an example that so little is known of the north-eastern portion of this
Province as to make it impossible to say certainly what system would best apply, although it
is probable that the method set forth would be adapted to it.
Where work might be commenced.
A system of the complete survey of the Province having been sketched, it is thought that
work might be advantageously commenced in the Kootenay District. The great number of
valuable mining properties which have been or are being developed there require that mining
monuments be established and all surveyed claims connected therewith, if much confusion and
litigation are to be prevented.
How to be planted.
The monuments might be planted under the direction of the Gold Commissioners for the
various divisions, and the instrumental work necessary to the perpetuation of their sites
afterward performed by a Provincial Land Surveyer; their geographical positions to be shown
on the maps being ascertained by connecting with the triangulations when made.
Why maps are required.
The District has achieved such prominence as a rich mineral-bearing region that the
attention of capitalists and mining men, both on this continent and in Great Britain and
Europe, have been drawn to it, and immense sums of money are seeking investment there,
consequently a great demand for maps has arisen, which cannot be filled until a connected
survey has been made.
Survey to commence at Revelstoke.
The latitude and longitude of Revelstoke have been accurately determined at considrable
expense by the Dominion Government, so that by reference to that point the various features
of the District could be shown in their true geographical position, 452
Crown Land Surveys.
Triangulation chain through Kootenay Mining District.
A main triangulation chain might be extended from Revelstoke down the Columbia
Valley to Upper Arrow Lake, and thus by way of Trout Lake, Kootenay Lake, and Findlay
Creek to the Kootenay Valley, down both which and the Columbia Valley it could be expeditiously carried, thus bringing the various rich minerals and pastoral lands of East Kootenay
under check for survey and mapping purposes.
If deemed advisable triangles with sides of from twelve to twenty miles could afterwards
be projected from the main chain to accurately fix the positions of mining monuments and
check the mapping survey.
The principal chain mentioned would also serve as a base from which to conduct independent photo-topographical mapping surveys of the Lardo, Fish Creek, Slocan, Toad
Mountain, and other mining areas whose importance demand it.
It has been shown that the methods mentioned are peculiarly adapted to the service
required, as by their use reference points for subdivision surveys and an accurate map can be
had for a moderate expenditure.
Rate of progress.
To give an idea of the rate of progress which could be made, the following estimates,
based on what has been done in New Zealand and also what has been accomplished on the
Dominion photo-topographical survey of the Rocky Mountains, are offered, viz.:—
1. Under a surveyor conversant with that class of work, a triangulation party could
annually bring under check for subdivision or other surveys and approximately map upwards
of 2,000 square miles, or 1,280,000 acres ; cost ~ of a cent per acre.
2. An independent photo-topographical party starting from a triangulation and working
outside it could cover and map yearly, on the standard scale of two miles to an inch, about
1,100 square miles, or 704,000 acres ; cost, y^- of a cent per acre.
The above may be tabulated as follows :—
Cost in Kootenay District.
7/10 ets.
7/10 cts.
$8,960  00
4,928 00
113,888 00
Other  requirements.
In addition to the above, for the first year a permanent investment of $1,200 in surveying instruments specially adapted to the work would be required ; also the expenditure of
about $1,100 for horses. One quarter of the cost for the latter has, however, been added in
the tabulated estimate to cover loss by depreciation in value or by sales.
Time of completion of map.
The time within which a complete map of the District could be published would depend
upon the amount of money available ; but, that the information gained might be placed in the
hands of the public as quickly as possible, the map could be issued on a scale of two miles to
an inch, in sheets embracing thirty minutes of longitude, containing about 513 square miles in
latitude 50°.
Maps of the size mentioned would be very convenient for pocket use ; while, if a large
extent of country was wanted, they could be mounted side by side on paper or cloth. 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 453
Closing remarks.
In closing these notes, attention is again called to the fact that the systematic survey of
the whole Province, roughly outlined herein, is not intended to be executed in a short time.
The treatment specified should be applied to those portions unergoing development; but
its extension over our whole territory must be considered in connection with the Greater
British Columbia of the future, containing many times its present population and wealth.
Such a survey as a whole would be the work of many years—even decades; but if faithfully
carried out would stand as a lasting monument of work well done for the future peace,
progress, and prosperity of the fairest Province of the Dominion.
Board of Examiners.
At a meeting of the Board held in April, 1892, fifteen candidates presented themselves
for admission to practice as Provincial Land Surveyors. Seven of these were granted
commissions and the remainder either failed to pass, were absent, or were not allowed to write
on account of having neglected to comply with the provisions of the "Land Surveyors Act."
The four gentlemen who presented themselves as students were successful in the examinations
and were granted certificates to that effect.
Four candidates presented themselves for final examination at the October meeting of the
Board and, having passed successfully, were granted commissions as Provincial Land
The following are the names of the gentlemen added to the authorized list of Surveyors
for the Province:—
Burnet, K. L Vancouver.
Bauer, W. A Vancouver.
Corrigan, G.  D Vancouver.
Dawson, G. H     Vancouver.
Drewry, W. S Ottawa.
Ellacott, C. H Victoria.
Going, A. S  . Victoria.
Parr, T. H Victoria.
Ross, J. E New Westminster.
Twigg, H. T, E Vancouver.
Preliminary certificates were granted to J. E. Blandy, E. A. Cleaveland, J. Hirsch, and
N. F. Townsend.
A complaint of a serious nature, involving the professional standing of a surveyor, was
submitted to the Board at the meeting in April, and after hearing the evidence, as prescribed
by section 20 of the " Land Surveyor's Act," the commission of the offending surveyor was
suspended for a period of six months.
A complaint lodged with the Board at the October meeting against another authorized
surveyor was not dealt with, as the alleged offence took place before the existence of the
Board and, therefore, did not come within its jurisdiction.
The attention of surveyors is directed to Section 19a of the "Land Surveyors' Act" and
more particularly to the penalty of practising their profession without having in their
possession a subsidiary standard of length stamped by the Federal authorities. In order to
meet the requirements of the above provision the Lands and Works Department secured a
number of these stamped measures and is now prepared to issue them, including the certificates
accompanying each, at their actual cost.
Surveyor-General. 454 Crown Land Survey's. 1892
Victoria, B. C, January, 1893.
Hon. Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works,
Sir,—I hereby transmit the following report of the surveying operations carried on in
the Bulkley Valley during the season of 1892 :—
I received my instructions from your Department on May 12th, and after forming my
party and buying the necessary provisions, I took passage on the steamship " Danube" for
Port Essington.
It was my intention to reach Hazelton by the steamer "Caledonia," but the extraordinary
height of the water on the Skeena River made it very doubtful if the Kitsilas Canon—halfway between the sea and Hazelton—could be ascended by steam. This forced me to organize
two canoe crews of Indians, who took passage on the "Caledonia."
After reaching the canon in two days, it was impossible for the steamer to go any
further, so we had to take to the canoes. With the river overflowing and the canoes heavily
laden, it proved a very tedious work to get ahead at all. On several evenings we could see
the smoke of the camp-fire left in the morning.
Hazelton was at last reached on June 20th, and at once I began to procure horses for
packing our provisions and outfit to reach the partly open country beyond Moricetown, where
the best land for settlement lies. The trail being very bad and almost obstructed by the new
growth and fallen trees, it was only on the 3rd of July that we could commence the regular
work of the survey.
Before going into all the details of the country surveyed during the season, I consider it
best to give a short description of the country lying between Hazelton, on the Skeena, and the
point beyond Moricetown where the regular survey was started. The distance is about 42
miles. From Ahgwilget Village, on the Bulkley, we built a waggon road to Moricetown, a
distance of over 26 miles, or nearly 30 miles from Hazelton. Beyond Moricetown, all through
the survey, the pack-trail continues, having been very much improved by the road party.
From Hazelton, for about ten miles, the valley is rather wide—from 10 to 12 miles, about.
Some parts have been burnt and are now covered by a short growth of aspen poplar (P. trem-
uloides), balsam poplar {P. balsamifera), and dwarf birch (B. glandulosa). Hazel bushes
(Corylus Americana Watt) also abound. Further on the forest is of more importance, though,
generally, the growth is rather light. Canadian poplar (P. monalifera), aspen poplar, birch
(betula papiracea), Canadian balsam and small spruce are abundant.
The soil is generally good, of a rich sandy loam, with a clay subsoil, but here and there
are several small pieces of wet land, on some of which small cedar (thuya gigantea), alder (A.
rubra, A. viridis), and numerous shrubs generally found in wet soil abound. On these the
soil is of the richest black loam, but in some parts would require draining. This could well
be done, as beaver dams seem to have been the origin of nearly all such wet land. Other
small spots of less extent are regular swamps, covered with moss and thick beds of peat, where
the only growth, besides the moss and shrubs, is the small black spruce (A. nigra). These
beds are valueless now, but could be utilized in the distant future on account of their peat.
Four or five townships could be laid out in the part above described, containing about 90
per cent, of good agricultural land. Above this the valley, though not getting much narrower,
is cut by several spurs of hills almost at right angles, and numerous small streams, swollen
into torrents in summer, come froin the high range of mountains to the south, called the group
of the "Rochers Deboules," 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 455
This character of country continues for about 10 miles, and in that distance I would
judge that about 50 per cent, of the land would be suitable for agriculture. It is partly
covered by a growth of small poplar and birch, and the vegetation on the hills and on the
rolling ground belongs almost entirely to the coniferous species—Canadian balsam, Engleman
spruce, and black pine. The Douglas fir is absent; cedar is of frequent occurrence near the
streams, and grows to a good size.
From this point to Moricetown the quantity of good land increases, and would average
from 65 to 70 per cent. Nearly all the land fit for cultivation lies south of the Bulkley
River, and in some parts terraces are well marked. The climate here seems to become somewhat drier, judging from the vegetation, and it was noticed that the fire had done much
greater damage than heretofore. The benches are generally bare of trees, and shrubs even are
scarce, the most marked being the service berry. In approaching Moricetown, several fine
open meadows were met with, but these were cut up by numerous small streams, with a
fringe-like border of willow and alder.
At Moricetown, where there is an Indian village of importance, the Bulkley River enters
a narrow and deep canon, worn into the rocks—a circumstance which the Indians have turned
to their profit, by building a bridge on which pack-horses can cross easily. It is a combination of the cantilever and suspension system, and it answers its purpose very well. The old
wire of the N. W. Telegraph line represents all the metal used in the bridge.
The Indians have a reserve set apart for them, though not yet surveyed. It is supposed
to begin half a mile below the briclge, and extend about four miles above it. The ground is
not very hilly on the reserve, and there are a number of good meadows. The chief feature of
importance to the Indians respecting the situation of Moricetown is the extraordinary facility
with which they can catch their supply of salmon. The fish are secured by means of dip-nets
placed where the water rushes through the narrow cafion. Large quantities of lampreys
(petromyzon amer) are also caught here. They are of a very large size, nearly double in
weight to the eastern or the European lamprey, and the Indians dry and smoke a large supply
of them.
Several gardens are here cultivated by the Indians, furnishing potatoes, turnips and
carrots, which could be bought in abundance. This fact shows plainly what the soil and
climate could perform under good cultivation, the Indians paying hardly any attention to the
gardens after the seeds are planted.
The natives possess over thirty horses, which have an excellent grazing locality, and
generally winter out without having any hay cut for them. The abundance of berries of
different kinds, and the proximity of the mountains, where cariboo, mountain goat and bears
are plentiful, render this spot one of the most desirable homes for the Indians, and as a rule
they live in abundance, are well dressed, and are very good customers for the merchants of
The clearing of the waggon road was carried on to the crossing of the Bulkley at Moricetown. Beyond this point, the river runs close to the foot-hills to the south-east of the valley,
and all the good lands lie north-west of the river.
Township 1.
Township 1 was only partially surveyed, twelve sections in all being completed. The
Ahgwilget or Bulkley River traverses it from south to north, passing through 2, 11, 14, 23,
26, and 35. Along the river the land is low and generally covered with thickets of short
growth. On the west the survey was not carried far, owing to the abrupt rising of the
country towards the foot-hills of the high mountains. The old pack-trail from that point
going southerly gradually leaves the bank of the river; it crosses sections 35 and 25 and
enters Township 2 at sections 30 and 19. The greater part of the land in Township 1 could
be utilized for farming or grazing purposes, but, as in every other township surveyed in the
valley, it is subject to the drawback of being more or less exposed to summer frosts, though I
have reason to believe that the danger is very much exaggerated. Further on I will give my
reasons for this, in dealing with the quality of the soil in general.
Township 2.
In Township 2, twenty-two entire sections have been surveyed. The old Telegraph Trail
runs through sections 25, 30, 19, 20, 17, 16, 9, and 7. The general appearance of this township is rather uneven, and the greater part is covered with timber.    On the hills the spruce 456 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
and balsam predominate, but on the lower land the vegetation is composed of a light thicket
of aspen poplar, balsam poplar, and small birch. There are also numerous extents of open
country covered with a rich growth of hay, where from two to three tons can be cut to the
acre. Several tons have been cut by the Indians, and it would be quite easy to use a mower
on all open land. The meadows lie near the trail or along the numerous small streams, where
some parts of them are rather wet. The whole portion surveyed could be utilized, except,
perhaps, a few scattered patches on the hills, where black pine only grows, and where the soil
is very sandy and light.
Township 3.
In this township sixteen sections were surveyed. The trail does not cross it. It is generally wooded, with a very light growth of thickets of poplar and birch. On the hills, though,
the coniferous species are the most abundant. All the part surveyed could be used either as
farming or grazing land. The light growth once burnt would be replaced by prairie grass ; on
the side-hills of the elevated sections the fire has destroyed the growth of trees, and now the
ground is covered with a luxuriant vegetation of different grasses. There are several small
streams and ponds scattered all over the township.
Township 4.
In this township twenty-four sections have been surveyed, besides the lines defining the
outlines. The Bulkley Valley crosses the south-west corner of the township, and the old Telegraph Trail traverses it from north to south. There are some very rich open meadows, especially
along the trail and along the river. On the side-hills the grazing land is also very abundant.
A small river, called the Qui-no-qwa, falling into the Bulkley, crosses the township from east
to west. The parts not opened are covered with the same growth of light poplar and birch,
and on some hills and along the river mentioned above there is a good quantity of tall Engel-
man spruce, fit for all purposes of construction. Parts of sections 2 and 3 are covered by a
lake, which we have called Aldermere. It is a fine body of water, emptying into the Bulkley
by a short stream. On the north end there is a small house, built years ago as a station of
the Union Telegraph Company, and now occupied by Indians.
Township 5.
Only eight sections have been surveyed in this township, namely, 33, 34, 35, 36, 25, 26,
27, and 28. The work was carried only to the river; the difficulty of crossing prevented
carrying it beyond, although there is plenty of good land. A great portion of sections 35, 36
and 26 are taken by Aldermere Lake. Along this last, especially on the west side, there are
some beautiful meadows, and the vegetation of the parts not completely open is very light,
except in the belt immediately around the lake, where there is a fringe of high cottonwood
and birch (betula papiracea). These last are so fine that their bark would answer very well
for making canoes; but this art is not known to the native, who digs out canoes from the
cottonwood, which are very clumsy. The lake is full of fish, and is frequented by a large
quantity of water-fowls, so much so that in the fall it is a very favourite resort for the Indians.
Bears also are plentiful, and come close to the lake to feed on the different kinds of berries.
The belt of high trees surrounding the lake has for underbrush a thick growth of alder of two
species; hence the name of Aldermere given to the lake.
On the Bulkley River and on the small stream coming from the lake, several outcrops of
fine coal have been found and a quantity of fossils collected. Of the coal I will say more
later on, as I believe it better to describe the whole body by itself.
Township 6.
In Township 6, besides the entire outlines, thirty-two sections were completely surveyed.
This is the best township for grazing of those surveyed this season. The south-east corner is
traversed by the Bulkley River, and the trail passes through it from the north-west corner to
the south-east angle. A small lake, which we have called Rosemere, occupies nearly the whole
of section 15, besides small portions of 10 and 16. Another small lake, called Wooclmere,
covers a small part of section 28 and a part of section 12. This last lake is very small, and
surrounded  by  hills  covered with  high  timber; Engelman spruce, birch   and  aspen poplar 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 457
predominate. The immediate surroundings of Rosemere Lake, especially on the north and
east side, is formed of beautiful meadows and prairies, where hay is of the very richest
description. On the south side there are several thickets of small poplar and birch, partly
open. The grazing is very rich, both in the open an,d the thickets, and in the latter pea-vines of
different species grow to an extraordinary height. On the west of the lake, extending towards
the Bulkley River, the timber has been burnt and since replaced by good grass; but as the
soil is a rather light sandy loam, the grass has been in a great part replaced by a growth of
wild rose bushes of two different species. In June, when these are in bloom, it forms one of
the most pleasant sights ever met with in all the country explored. Beside the rose bushes,
service berries of a dwarf variety, not met with elsewhere by me, help to render the ground
attractive. This tract would still answer very well for grazing purposes, and with the help of
fire could be made into fine prairies.
Nearly all along the trail large patches of prairie occur, and often extend much beyond
the boundary of the township towards the foot-hills of the Babine Range. This township is
cut by two spurs coming from the Babine Range and terminating in the vicinity of Rosemere.
They are not high, and would generally form a very rich pasture-ground. The sage was first
seen on these heights, and the general vegetation indicates a much drier climate than heretofore encountered. All parts of this township will be utilized some day or other as farming
or grazing land.
Township 7.
In Township 7 only nine sections were surveyed. The trail runs through section 6 only.
The part surveyed resembles very much the general description of the preceding township,
that is, partly prairie and partly thickets of a light growth of poplar. Beyond the surveyed
part there is a vast extent of side-hills at the foot of the Babine Range, where the fire has
destroyed the forest and where there now exists very fine grazing land. As the land was
hilly and the soil light, it was not considered advisable to survey these side-hills, when so
much good land in the valley proper existed. On sections 9 and 4 several outcrops of coal
were noticed, where the cretaceous meets with the crystalline formation of the mountains.
Township 8.
In Township 8 only eight sections have been surveyed. As in Townships 5 and 6 the
survey could have been carried across the Bulkley; but as the crossing of the river was very
difficult, I surveyed a small quantity of good land without moving camp. The trail does not
go through this township, but the Bulkley passes through sections 34, 35, 36, and 25. The
ground is level and the soil of first quality. One-third is formed of open prairie in small
patches, and the rest is covered with the same light growth of small poplar and birch; but
every inch of the surveyed part can and will be utilized in the near future.
Township 9.
In Township 9 twenty-one sections were surveyed. This was the last township laid out
this season, although good land extends very much further.
Of the continuation of the valley I will give a description later, in speaking of the quality
of the soil in the townships surveyed, which are so much alike that it is better to describe
them as a whole.
The Bulkley River traverses sections 30, 19, 18, 7, and 6 of this township, besides a very
large feeder of the Bulkley goes through sections 9, 29, and 3. The trail passes through the
township from corner to corner; that is, from section 30 at the north-west to section 2 at the
south-east. All along the Bulkley and its feeder, and also along the trail, open prairie is
plentiful. All the sections surveyed are covered with a very light growth of small poplar and
birch, intermixed with patches of open land. The sections not surveyed are generally covered
with a growth of coniferous species, but in many parts, especially on the foot-hills, the forest
has been destroyed by fire and replaced by very fine grazing land. Sections 10, 11, 3, 2, and
1 are cut by a few spurs of hills coming from the Babine Range, where the tops are covered
with spruce and black pine. About eight-tenths of the portion surveyed can be utilized, either
as farming or grazing land.*
*Tlie total acreage subdivided into sections in the nine townships surveyed amounts to 97,280 acres. 458 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
General Description of the Valley, including the surveyed part and the continuation of the Valley* to the head of the Bulkley River.
In giving a description of the different townships surveyed, it has been thought better
not to enter into all the details of soil and growth, as they are so very much alike in each
township that it would have entailed a general repetition. Of the whole valley of the Bulk-
ley, from the point where the survey was begun to the head of the river, about 40 miles
beyond the point where the survey was stopped, the general description is as follows :—
About one-fourth of the whole valley, which averages from five to ten miles in width,
consists of prairie and open land. These openings have been formed only of late years. The
travellers along the river and the trail occasioned many fires, and in these cases the growth of
trees and shrubs was replaced in every instance by prairie. The same thing is possible now.
Along the trail there are many examples of places where the thickets have been burnt only
within ten years, and where fine prairies now stand. This fact, in my opinion, renders this
section of the country of additional value. If a few settlers once begin to put on cattle or
improve the land, they will be re-inforced by new comers, who will be ready to assist them in
making openings in the woods, especially in a country where clearing is so easy, and where it
can be done completely by fire.
The open country is very rich in grass of different species ; as much as three tons of hay
can be cut to an acre, and in some places as many as four. The different species of plants on
the prairies have been ascertained to be the following :—Trilicum repens, potentitta Pennsyl-
vanica, monarda fistulosa, taraxicum pahtslre, rubits ctrcticus, triticum dasystachium, bromus
ciliatus, poet pratensis, poa seratina ens, poa pungens turr, P. striata mixh, artemisea frigida.
The fire-weed is common everywhere.
More than half of the country surveyed and the continuation of the valley beyond the
limits of the survey is covered with a growth of small aspen poplar (populus, balsam
poplar (populus balsamifera), small birch (foetnlct nana, betula glandulosa), service berry
(amelanchier almifolia). The hills are generally covered with coniferous species where
Engleman spruce (A. Engelman), black pine (P. conlorta), predominate. In the hollows and
along the streams and lakes the bottom-wood, alders and different species of willows are very
abundant, with a small quantity of cedar.
The soil all through the valley is very rich. On the level land, which covers the greater
part, the soil is composed of from two to five feet of alluvium, underlaid with a clay subsoil.
On the hills the depth of detritus is not so great, and the lower strata is either sand or gravel;
but at any rate it is rich enough to form a luxuriant pasture ground. On the side-hills of the
mountains bordering the valley the bottom is apt to be formed of boulders and gravel, but a
very small portion of country of this character was included in the survey.
The spring begins in April, and at the end of that month the snow is all gone; that is, if
we can trust to the information obtained. The summer is very hot and rather dry, but the
proximity of the mountains often bring light summer frosts. This fact has doubtless driven
the casual traveller through this country to draw the conclusion that it was impossible to grow
grain in that locality. The altitude of Township One is about 1,200, and Township Nine
reaches about 1,600. At Moricetown, where the altitude is also 1,200, potatoes, turnips,
carrots, ifec, &c., are raised without any trouble by the Indians, and their system of cultivation
is of the most primitive nature. They pay no attention on which side of a hill the land lies ;
they simply scrape the soil and perform hardly any weeding, and it goes without saying that the
use of manure to enrich the soil is an unknown thing with them. They not only raise what they
want for themselves, but last summer we were able to buy all the vegetables we needed, both
for the survey party and the road construction party. A few stalks of oats and barley were
seen perfectly ripe. According to the flora of the country, this valley should have a climate
equal, if not superior, to the neighbourhood of Quebec, and I know by experience that the
summer season is longer. It may be a little colder in winter, but the snow is never so deep,
and, besides, almost every winter the warm winds of the Pacific Ocean reach this locality and
sometimes melt the snow altogether. It is very seldom that a winter passes without having
one or two of these thaws.
Beyond the head of the Bulkley River, but in the continuation of the same valley on the
Endako River, there is an Indian who has a ranch of over thirty acres under cultivation.    He 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 459
raises barley, oats, potatoes, turnips, carrots and other vegetables in abundance, and that with
a very defective method of farming ; still the elevation of his land is over 3,000 feet above
the sea.
I am led to believe by what I have seen of the few experiments of farming carried on by
others and by myself, and by a careful examination of the flora of the country, that in well
chosen ground with a southern aspect and by selecting good wheat—as red fife or, better,
ladoga—that a good result could be obtained. As for barley, oats or common vegetables,
there would be no difficulty in almost any part of the land now surveyed.
It will be noticed that the greatest extent of open land lies either along the trail or along
the different rivers. The fact is that before thirty years ago the whole country was covered
with a light growth of trees. Along the trails and rivers where Indians travel, camp fires have
been the cause of many acres having been burnt over. This light growth once burnt is soon
replaced by such a rich grass vegetation that no new trees have any chance of growing. In
travelling along the trail one can see places where fire has run only a few years ago and
where the trunks of trees are still lying upon the ground ; still, the growth of grass is so
thick that no more trees will grow in the future. Every one of these new openings is bound
to have a beneficial effect upon the general climate. It is a well-known fact that in parts of
the Eastern Provinces the success of farming depends to a great degree upon the extent of the
clearings, which in a large measure tend to remove the possibility of summer frosts. The
greater part of the ground surveyed is covered with such a light growth of trees that every
acre of it is fit for pasture; but, in the future, ranchers will find it to their advantage to burn
this growth and possess fine prairies where hay can be cut on every acre. This remark
applies not only to the Bulkley Valley, but to all the extent of ground explored by myself in
the last three years.
The position of the land surveyed in the Bulkley Valley precludes all ideas of exporting
timber outside of the Province, besides, there are no large quantities of timber to be disposed
of. When the country is once settled there will be no difficulty in obtaining all the timber
needed for local purposes, but with cold winters, as may be there expected, there will be none
too much. The valley itself is covered with such a light growth of trees as to be suitable
only for fencing and fuel; but there are numerous spurs running out from the mountains,
without counting the foot-hills on both sides of the valley, where there is spruce of first
quality for all purposes of construction. Cedar and balsam poplar also grow to a size
suitable for most purposes. Birch furnishes a first-class fuel, and juniper, maple, and wild
cherry can be used as furniture-making material ; the same might be said of the red cedar.
Besides these, there are numerous trees, arbusts, and shrubs of economic value, like hemlock,
giving a fine bark for tanning purposes. Berries, like the service berry, high bush cranberries, wild cherries of three species, wild currants, gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries,
are all most prolific and plentiful. In no part of British Columbia have I found such a
variety and such a quantity of these. To the Indians they are a staple food, and to the
settlers, later on, they should prove most welcome.
Geology of the Bulkley Valley.
The formation of the valley of the Bulkley River from its mouth on the Skeena to its sources
may probably be all determined as belonging to the mesozoic age and the greater part to the
cretaceous. The Babine Mountains, running between the valley and the large depression
partly occupied by Babine Lake, are generally of crystalline formation, though beds of sandstone, shales, and limestone extend in some parts to great heights ; these last have generally been
much altered by metamorphism.
Outcrops of coal occur in different localities along the Bulkley River, and also along its
numerous small feeders ; these have been noticed much higher up the river than where the
survey was carried on in the lower part, both below and along Moricetown; these outcrops
have proved to be of a very good quality. The coal is generally a compact, hard, and brittle
substance of a very dark brown or black colour. Different assays made give an average in
carbon of about 58 to 62 per cent., leaving little ashes, of a reddish colour, and it makes a
firm and fine coke.
I am inclined to class this coal either as belonging to the lower cretaceous or more likely
to the Jurassic age.    Fossils, as pines and cicadeaes, inoceramus,  ammonites of four  species, 460 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
and belemnites seem to show that the proper age is either the lower cretaceous or the upper
Jurassic. The formation resembles wonderfully the coal field of Graham Island, in the Queen
Charlotte group, especially that north of Skidegate. No section has been measured, but
as in Graham Island, the measures are composed of the following divisions :—Upper shales
and coarse sandstone, conglomerate, lower shales mixed with thin beds of sandstones,
agglomerate, lower sandstone.    The coal seems to show mixed with the lower shales.
Further up the valley, above township nine, the outcrops of coal are not so common, and
when they occur do not seem to be of so good a quality. The coal is browner, not so
compact, and does not hold such a large amount of carbon. Some of it, indeed, seems to
approach lignite nearer than true coal. Exposures are not so frequent and fossils are most
scarce. I should judge that the upper portion of the valley would belong properly to the
upper part of the cretaceous and perhaps to the tertiary.
In the cretaceous, in connection with the shales and coal, there are numerous beds of
iron nodules ; in some places very abundant.    They hold about 40 per cent, of metallic iron.
In the mountains, a few thin veins of galena were found. The ore bears a small quantity
of silver.
Gold has been found in small quantities in the Bulkley River and several of its small
feeders. But no quartz, in situ, bearing the pure metal was found by us. A small lot of
platinum was shown to me by an Indian, who claims to have found it on a stream in Township nine.
A volcanic tuff, which might prove to be a good base for hydraulic cement, lies in
large beds in the upper part of the main river.
The value of the Bulkley Valley, besides its "good land and grazing, lies in the fact that,
when the time comes for the American people to run a railway to and through their
Territory of Alaska, this valley offers the best route; in fact, the only route west of the
Rockies, where a railway is possible in that direction.
There is a road already prepared by nature from the Fraser to the Yukon River, where
great engineering difficulties are unknown, where no mountains have to be crossed, and where
the belt of land, though narrow, is rich and already half cleared. When this time comes,
then the immence coal field above mentioned, which has no superior in the Province, will be
a source of wealth.
In the meantime, a small amount of money spent judiciously in opening roads, will soon
bring settlers to that part of the Province.
A. L. Poudrier, P. L. S. 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 461
Vernon, B. C, December 27th, 1892.
The Honourable
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report on survey work carried on during
the past season (1892) by me in the White Valley region, Osoyoos Division of Yale District.
The field-work continued from July 4th to November 19th, 1892, extending through
Townships 40, 43, 44, and half a mile in Township 41, in the above named district.
To facilitate tying on to posts planted previously in part of Township 40 by Coryell &
Gore during season of 1888, work was commenced by measuring two half-miles of the old
lines. Township 40 was first completed, after which I moved to the east side of the Shuswap
River and worked towards Mabel Lake, building a small flat-bottomed boat 4 feet by 14 feet,
so that the lines could be run across the river without delay. After completing the work to
Mabel Lake lines were run up a side valley in Township 43, where there was some good land
and a number of pre-emptions. Work was then closed for the season, the party reaching
Vernon November 19th.
Township 40.
In sections 3 and 4 is a small shallow lake containing about 160 acres, locally known as
Rollings' Lake, from a settler pre-empting on the north side of it. There is evidently a large
variation in the depth of this lake, as the water at present is some six feet lower than a distinct
high water mark, and a belt of dead stubs of large size, mostly fir and bull pine, extend for a
further depth of five to seven feet. In the summer the water around its margin fills up with
water plants and green fungoid growths, making the water unfit for culinary purposes. A
high rocky peak takes up sections 1, 2, most of 3, and the south halves of 11 and 12, at one
time fairly timbered with fir, tamarac, and black and bull pine, but now nearly burnt bare in
places. There is also a high hill in section 6, timbered on the north and west sides with fir
and tamarac (12-30 in. diameter), but open bull pine is found on the east and south slopes, with
excellent bunch-grass grazing. The balance of the land south of Bissett Creek, excepting the
creek bottom, is a rather heavy clay loam bench, varying from 100 to 300 feet above the
creek. There are no running streams, and good surface water is scarce. The creek bottom
along Bissett Creek, at the west side of the township, is about half a mile wide, with good
sandy loam soil, thickly timbered with small black pine, excepting a strip of large cedar
(12-60 inches diameter), and spruce (12-30 inches diameter), three to ten chains wide
along the creek. Through sections 17, 16, and 15 the bottom narrows up to. from ten to
fifteen chains of light sandy loam and gravel. From section 14 to the Shuswap River the soil
changes to a rich black loam, part being moderately heavily timbered, about half being covered
with dense alder, dogwood, and thorn brush.
North of Bissett Creek is a bench, gently sloping towards the creek, varying in width
from 20 to 100 chains, the soil changing to a heavy sandy loam, stony in places, and having
considerable scattered areas of open timber and good grazing, watered by two running streams
of excellent spring water.
The Shuswap River through this township keeps mostly to the west side of the valley,
the soil being a good sandy loam, heavily timbered from its junction with Bissett Creek for
the first mile with large cottonwood (12-48 inches diameter), and cedar (12-60
diameter); the balance north in this township running through rich bottom land covered with 462 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
dense dogwood, hazel, alder, and maple brush, with considerable windfall. The greater part of
the arable land of this township is now taken up, excepting on the north side of Bissett Creek,
which is difficult to get at at present.
Township 44.
Only a portion of the west tier of sections of this township is suitable for settlement,
excepting at the north-west corner, the balance of the township being mountain land, steep
slope, rocky in places, heavily timbered on the north half, but more open and with good grazing
on the south portion. Starting at section 6, the south bank of the Shuswap is a bare, rocky
cliff, 200 to 300 feet high, the bottom laud on the north being sandy loam for a distance of 30
chains to the foot of bench slope. Through section 7 the land rises to a bench about 125 feet
high, considerably broken by gullies ; the east half of the section, and also section 18, being-
good grazing land, a spur of the mountain slope running out through section 18. The valley
through sections 19, 30, and 31 has a width of from one-half to one and a half miles of fine
sandy loam, generally thickly timbered (cottonwood and cedar), or dense hazel, dogwood, alder,
and maple brush, but a few small meadows occur, particularly in N.W. |- section 19 and S.W. ^
section 30. On the west side of the valley here the mountain rises at once, but on the east
side the land rises to a bench 200 to 400 feet high, a spur of the mountain running out to the
river through sections 29 and 30, the soil on the upper bench changing from a clay loam to
more of a sandy loam towards the north end of the township, all being moderately heavily
Township 43.
This bench takes in most of section 5, east half of 8, and extends up both sides of Slack's
Creek, the soil being mostly a sandy loam, getting stony as the mountain slopes are approached,
and being closely timbered. A high ridge, varying from 600 to 1,000 feet above the river,
takes up sections 34, 27, 22, 28, 21, and 16, the south and south-west slopes being chiefly open
timber with excellent grazing, but no water nearer than Slack's Creek. Through sections 9,
10, and 15 this creek runs in a narrow ravine 50 to 100 feet below the side benches, but rises
to the bench in sections 23 and 26, where there is considerable alder bottom, patches of prairie,
and in 26 a large beaver meadow. At this point the creek comes out through a gorge, rising
in a small lake to the eastward, a high peak called by Indians Snakakoos (mountain of gullies)
rising directly on the north-east to a height of about 3,000 feet above the valley. There is a
foot path from this side valley over a narrow ridge to Mabel Lake, but quite steep on the lake
side ; also a pack-trail, used by the Indians, leading over to Sugar Lake.
From sections 7 and 8 northward the river valley has many small meadows scattered over
it, the heavy timber being in patches, excepting a strip along the river of cottonwood, cedar,
(one to five feet diameter), some spruce and fir (12-24 inches diameter). Judging from
large burnt cedar stubs and windfall the whole valley has been timbered with very heavy
cedar at one time, but nearly completely burnt up many years ago, trees grown up since then
showing over one hundred rings (spruce). The brush is very thick and tangled, but being
hazel, dogwood, and alder, with some cottonwood and aspen, is comparatively easy clearing.
The Shuswap River enters at the south-east corner of Mabel Lake, leaving a strip of fine
bottom land about three-quarters of a mile wide to the westward, but only some ten chains to
the eastward.
In the south half of township, north of Township 43, there is no arable land available
along Mabel Lake, excepting at the mouth of a creek opening on the east shore about three
miles from the mouth of river. A valley and bench run back from this creek to the eastward, and from authentic reports merge into the thickly timbered valley, running north
through section 35, Township 43. Further up on the west shore a large bay runs in, having
some bottom and bench land towards its head. The lake has a gradually shelving sand
bottom at north end, but deepening rapidly at either side.
As far as this season is concerned there has been an abundance of rain, and no irrigation
required; but it has been considered as an extra wet season in this division. The quantity of
cedar found would seem to indicate a heavier annual rainfall than at Vernon. There were
some slight falls below the freezing point in September, but not enough to cut off plants, the
first snow on the bottom land falling on October 16th, but from the middle of September to 56 Vict. Crown Land Survey's. 463
end of work it rained or more or less every day, and towards the close the snow
accumulated on the thick evergreen brush, greatly hindering any rapid progress, being a month
earlier than usual.
In Townships 40 and 41 the timber of sufficient size is too scattering to be valuable for
commercial purposes, that on portions of the bench along the south side of Bissett Creek
being completely destroyed by fire. There is a little cedar near the junction of this creek and
Shuswap River, but only of medium quality and limited extent.
In Township 44 the timber is mostly cedar and cottonwood on the bottom land, but not
sufficiently valuable to reserve for mill purposes, but the mountain slopes down to Mabel Lake,
excepting the range land mentioned later on, are closely timbered with fir (12-24 inches
diameter) ; some cedar (6-24 inches, fair quality), and scattering white pine (6-24
inches); some perfect sticks of the latter being seen 60 feet long and 24 inches diameter;
tamarac (12-30 inches) being the most numerous. In the fall as cold weather comes
on the mountain sides assume a decided yellow tint, owing to the change in colour of the
tamarac foliage. Power can be obtained in section 19, Township 43, from a stream coming
out of a high valley, having a fall of 300 feet in half a mile. Through the north half of section
32, Township 43, a stream runs, with a fall of 125 feet, within twenty or thirty chains of Mabel
Lake, and on Slack's Creek sufficient fall for power can be obtained any where above the west
half of section 8, Township 43, within a distance of ten to twenty chains.
There are scattering clumps of large cedar along the river, all that was cut being hollow ;
also many large cottonwood, balsam poplar, aspen, and spruce. Considerable yew were
noticed on the bench land through Townships 43 and 44, going as high as 10 inches diameter,
and common juniper (juniperus communis) on the higher slopes where rocky and open.
Shuswap River.
The Shuswap River through Townships 40, 43, and 44 varies in width from one to five
chains, generally with a rapid current (2 to 4 miles per hour), with few possible fords, three
only being noticed, one each in sections 32 and 33, Township 43, and one in section 13, Township 40 ; but they are not available during high water or part of May, June, and July, the
difference between high and low water averaging six to eight feet. The water is always clear,
continues quite cold throughout the year, and is good for culinary or other purposes. Two
falls are met with, both being a succession of short drops, the first at the crossing of east
boundary of section 12, Township 40, the other at the crossing of north boundary of this same
section. The first fall is equivalent to a fall of about 50 feet in 250 feet; and the lower one
to 40 feet in 200 feet, both being through narrow rocky openings 20 to 50 feet high. In
September salmon commence running up in considerable numbers, and at the same time many
small fish 12 inches long of a redish colour, the Indians catching them in traps. Many fish
of large size were seen rising to the surface of Mabel Lake, near the outlet of the Shuswap
River. During low water the limit in possible draught for boats on this lake, with present
conditions, is about 18 inches.
Deer are plentiful, particularly around Rollings' Lake and eastward of it in Township
44. Lower down the river many tracks of deer were seen, but few deer, owing to thickness
of brush and timber. One black bear was seen (Township 43) and a number of tracks of
others ; also a few fresh beaver marks and many martin. Around the mountain peak in
section 36, Township 43, (^Suakakoos) cariboo were reported, and an occasional silver tipped
bear. Ruffed and dusky or mountain grouse are plentiful, and quite a number of Franklin's
grouse ; also many sharp tailed grouse where the open timber occurs in Township 40.
Grazing Land.
The following sections are useful for grazing purposes only :—In Township 40, N. ^ and
S.W. \ section 17, S. J section 18, greater portion of N. J section 7, section 23, E. -|
section  13, S. J section 6 ; in Township 41, N. ^ section 31, 32, and N,W. ^ section 33; in 464 Crown Land Surveys. 1892,
Township 44, section 8, E. -J- section 7, and west \ of section 18; in Township 43, N. \ section
16, and N.E. \ section 17 is excellent bunch-grass grazing ; and fair grazing (timber grass),
principally in open timber, in sections 22, 27, 21, 28, and E. 20 chains of section 20.
A waggon trail has been cut by some of the settlers in Township 40, starting from the
Cherry Creek waggon road in section 32, Township 41, running in nearly a direct line for the
west side of Rollings' Lake, over a high ridge 500 to 600 feet above its starting point, so that
only a portion of a load can be taken over at one time. A better road can be found by going
about half a mile further east, where there is a pass through the ridge ; or without any steep
grades whatever by starting out from the Cherry Creek waggon road in section 25, Township
3, running up on the west side of Bissett Creek to section 12, Township 2, and thence nearly
due east across Township 40 to the Shuswap River, where a good bridge site can be obtained
at a falls on the east boundary of section 12, Township 40. Thence a good road can be found
both up and down the Shuswap. A road is badly needed towards Mabel Lake, as at present
the only road is a rough pack-trail that keeps up on the mountain slope to avoid heavy brush
and timber in the river bottom, and over which only light loads can be carried.
The greater part of the most desirable land has been taken up since the survey was commenced and buildings started, but no great headway can be made by the settlers with the
present means of getting in and out from their pre-emptions.
The country rock is practically all granite through these townships, some few outcroppings
of trap, however, were seen near the south-east corner of Township 43, and a few stringers of
carbonates- probably lime and magnesia—in section 19, Township 44, a small brook running
near by showing a distinct white deposit. Some fine specimens of drift quartz carrying gold
were picked up in gravel bars along the river, but worn smooth and round.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
F. A. Latimer, P. L. S. 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 465
Duncan, B. C, December 26th, 1892.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit my report of the past season's work, comprising a
survey of the coast line in Renfrew District, laying off the pre-emption claims of the settlers
located west of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Company's land, and connecting all
timber limits, Indian reserves, and other isolated parcels of land previously surveyed.
The party, consisting of a cook, two chainmen, and four axemen, left Victoria on the
steamer T. VV. Carter on the 10th of August, and arrived at Carmanah Light-house on the
following day. I was accompanied by Mr. J. Jacques, who went with the party to locate the
boundaries of lots No. 49 and 50, the field-notes of which survey were deposited in the Land
Office. We started work on August 12th at Mr. Jacques' initial post of lot 50, and made the
survey, as far as the land would permit, in accordance with the field-notes, but after a careful
search within 5 chains of our lines could not find any posts, bearing trees, or any signs of a
former survey having been made, and I may here report the same in regard to lot 49. The
survey could not have been made upon the ground shown to me by Mr. Jacques, where I
found his initial stakes full size, well marked, and answering to the description given in his
application to purchase.
On August 17th, we started work at the south-west corner of lot 57, Renfrew District,
and began the traverse of the coast line towards Sooke, and made a continuous survey to connect with the south-west corner of the Carmanah Light-house Reserve. For the most part the
coast is low and sandy with rocky points interspersed; the formation is sandstone, and near
the Light-house some very thin seams of coal were found. The land rises abruptly to a height
of 100 feet over the water, then slopes gently back to the mountains for some miles. The
soil is of a gravelly nature, underbrush very thick and the timber of little or no use for
lumbering purposes. Passing by the Light-house and Indian reserves, surveyed by the
Indian Department, started work on August 19th at the south-east corner post of the
Carmanah Indian Reserve and continued the traverse of the coast line towards Sooke; at
half mile came to a large stream called Carmanah River, about 200 feet wide at high water,
and navigable for canoes for a short distance; the banks are steep and precipitous. The
Indians report that the river comes from a lake about 8 miles back in the mountains, the
land about it being rocky and of an inferior quality.
At Bonilla Point the formation is sandstone, very thin seams of coal shewing in places;
a narrow flat girts the shore from 60 to 200 feet in width, then a steep hill or bluff rises for a
height of about 100 feet, the land then rises gently back towards the interior, thickly covered
with underbrush, spruce, hemlock and cedar timber. At 4^ miles came to a large stream
150 feet wide, called by the telegraph repairers the 7-mile creek. A small canoe was taken up
this stream for about 2 miles, but the banks were so nearly perpendicular (150 feet in height),
that it was impossible to climb them at any point in that distance.
The shore from this stream towards San Juan harbour is a series of perpendicular sandstone bluffs, 60 to 100 feet high, the base of which is washed by the sea at high tide; a
rocky flat from 100 to 300 feet in width extending out between high and low water mark.
Inland the country is nearly flat and ground swampy, scattered small pines and cedars with
very little underbrush; it slopes gently towards the coast and can be easily cleared and
drained, the main drawback to its immediate settlement being difficulty of access—the coast
being such that a boat cannot make a landing safely except in very calm weather, and no trail
at present existing by which a pack animal can be taken over,—the telegraph trail being
barely passable for a man without a load. 466 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
One mile west of the entrance to San Juan harbour trap-rock takes the place of sandstone, and the country is more broken up and the land of little value for agriculture.
On August 28th we moved camp to San Juan harbour and connected lot 17 with the
township surveys, thence ran traverse on the south east shore to the entrance of the harbour.
The coast formation is slate-rock, and very rugged and broken up. There are a few small
bays between the rocky points with gravel or sand beach that may be used as landings for
small boats or canoes ; inland it is a series of ridges and ravines, the proportion adapted for
farming purposes being very limited.   The timber is stunted and useless for lumber.
From San Juan harbour to Providence Cove the coast is very rough, steep precipitous
bluffs fronting the sea ; inland it is comparatively flat with dense underbrush, medium sized
spruce, hemlock and cedar timber.    The soil is gravelly and clearing would be heavy.
From Providence Cove to Sombrio River the country improves slightly, the formation
changing to sandstone. Indications of coal were found about one mile west of the river. The
stream is rapid, 150 feet wide, and at the mouth there is a small flat, but the country behind
is very rough and much cut up by ravines. The Indians report a considerable area of good
bench land 6 miles up stream.
From the Sombrio River to the Jordan the country is intersected by innumerable
streams and presents nothing but a series of ridges and ravines, but the timber is of much
better quality than any hitherto met with, consisting principally of Douglas fir, spruce and
The farming land in the valley of the Jordan River is of small extent, the mountains
closing in about one mile from the coast; the timber is valuable, Douglas fir and spruce
From the Jordan River to Muir Creek the country on the coast is comparatively flat, the
whole of the available frontage being taken up by recent settlers who are residing upon their
pre-emptions, the trail built by the Government during the past season west of Coal Creek
having been of great utility and encouragement to the settlement; the timber is of the best
quality, leases being held over the greater portion. At no distant day logging camps will be
here established and this section prove one of the most thriving settlements in Vancouver
In laying off the different pre-emption claims, I found for the most part that the pre-
emptors were in possession of the land their records called for, but there are instances where
mistakes have occurred and improvements made on the wrong location. The most notable is
the case of Mr. John Begg, whose improvements, consisting of house, orchard and garden to
the value of $400, were found to be on Mr. John French's pre-emption. The mistake was
caused by Mr. Begg assuming that the original stakes placed by Mr. French were his legal
boundaries, but Mr. French in planting his stakes did not allow himself a frontage of 40
chains, which his record calls for, and when this distance was measured off the west boundary
enclosed Mr. Begg's house and improvements.
From Otter Point started work at the south-east corner of lot 10 and ran traverse to
connect with the Sooke system of surveys. Our work being completed, we reached Victoria
on November 3rd, the amount accomplished during the season being : traverse line, 53 miles;
pre-emption boundaries, 19 miles; tie lines, 1 mile; total, 73 miles.
I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient servant,
Tom Kains, Esq., Henry Fry, P. L. S.
Surveyor-General,  Victoria, B. G. 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 467
Vancouver, B. O, December 13th, 1892.
The Honourable Forbes G. Vernon,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works,
Victoria, B. C.
Sir,—We have the honour to submit to you the following report of a survey carried on
by us in the Valley of the Bella Coola River during the summer of 1892.
Our instructions were to commence at the mouth of the river and subdivide into
townships and sections the valley as far easterly as possible. We arrived, per S.S. Comox, on
the night of the 8th of June, and next morning got our supplies up as far as the Indian
village, which lies about one mile from the mouth of the river.
Here we were met by Mr. John Clayton, who has a trading post and large ranch there,
and from the appearance of his root crop, fruit trees and cattle, we came to the conclusion that
we had settled down in a good farming locality. The Bella Coola River rises in several lakes
on the plateau to the west of Chilcotin and flows westerly, emptying into the North Bentinck
Arm. It is navigable for canoes for a distance of about forty miles. It is very swift and
circuitous, so much so that Indians with lightly loaded canoes take from three to four days to
go from the mouth to the head of navigation, and the return trip is made in from four to five
The Bella Coola Indian Reserve takes up the whole width/of the valley and extends about
three miles further up the river than the Indian village, so we decided to make its eastern
boundary the western boundary of our operations.
At first we endeavoured to take our supplies up over the trail made by Lieut. Palmer,
R.E., in 1862, but after a few miles we found it impossible to follow it, as it is completely
overgrown, and, added to this, we had no means of crossing the many sloughs and streams
flowing into and from the main river. We decided that it would be more expeditious to move
our supplies and outfit by canoe, which we did. During the months of June and July the
freshets from the melting snow in the mountains caused the river to rise to a considerable
extent, preventing us from working for a few days. Some of the low sandy lands along the
river shore and along the banks of the sloughs were completely flooded. Again, at the end of
September, after a very heavy rain, the waters rose very rapidly, causing portions of the land
to become flooded, but a cold snap following shortly afterwards caused the river to fall as
quickly as it had risen.
From reports obtained we learned that the water rose higher in the river last summer
than it had done for many previous years, owing, no doubt, to the fact that the snow
lay on the mountains longer than usual and the warm weather coming on suddenly caused it
to melt all at once.
The highest water, as a rule, occurs there during June and July and the latter part of
September, while the lowest occurs during the winter months.
The valley in the main will run from one to three miles wide and consists of a light
sandy loam, a few inches in depth, covering a very rich loam, making the finest soil for root
crops. This was proved to us later on in the summer by the samples of potatoes and other
vegetables obtained from Mr, Clayton and the Indians. The townships are in the main so
similar that we do not think it necessary to describe each in detail, one description being
applicable to all.    On the plans and field-notes we give a detailed description of each section. 468
Crown Land Surveys.
The soil in the valley, though apparently a light sandy loam, is very productive.
All along the coast Bella Coola is noted for its potatoes, and certainly those grown by
Mr. Clayton and the Indians are very fine, as also all root crops. Fruit and berries grow in
profusion at the mouth of the river, and if the growth of wild berries is a sign that the valley
will produce well, then the production is an assured fact, for wild gooseberries, currants, high-
bush cranberries, huckleberries and the sopolallie are very plentiful in their season.
The sopolallie is a berry very much sought after by the Indians, those from the interior
coming all the way from their homes to the head of navigation in order to preserve and carry
them back.
Part of the soil in the valley is gravelly, especially where the mountains close in towards
the river. Still a good portion of this could be brought under cultivation for the production
of fruit. '
The following table shows the approximate amount of land surveyed by us in townships
and the amount of flat good agricultural land in each:—
Approximate total land surveyed.
Approximate total agricultural land.
9 and 10
3,100 acres
5,860     „
7,680     ,,
7,680     „
7,680     ,,
3,840     „
2,000 acres.
2,500   „
4,280   „
2,500    „
3,200    „
1,800    „
35,840     ,,
16,280     „
The larger portion of the best agricultural land is easily cleared, the timber on this land
being light and readily removed.
Among the best sections for agricultural land we might mention the following:—
Township 1—Sections 31, 32 and 33.
2, 3 and 4.
7, 8 and 17, in the valley of the Saleinnt.
9 and 15, in the valley of the Noosatsum.
24, 25, 27, 28 and 30.
12, 14, 22, 21, 30, 29.
33, 32 and 31.
The valley in many places is covered with a dense growth of small, thickly tangled underbrush, such as salmonberry, gooseberry, elderberry, hardhack, willow and crabapple.
Of the large timbers along the river we find: Cottonwood (P. Canadensis), Alder, both
red (almis rubra) and common (A. viridis), cedar (thuja gigantea), and spruce. The
cottonwood and cedar grow to an enormous size, the former often reaching six and seven feet
in diameter, the latter as much as ten and twelve feet in diameter. The ceder is, as a rule,
knotty and much twisted.
All along the valley we find quantities of Douglas fir (pseudotsuga Douglasii), but more
especially along the foot of the mountains and on the benches of some of the streams flowing
into the river. The majority of the fir could not be termed first-class, being rather knotty
and "conkey," still a large quantity could be used for lumber, and enough exists for all local
needs for years to come. In the valleys of the Saleinnt and Noosatsum Rivers may be found
some first-class fir, spruce and cedar. The timber in the valley, as far as explored, is rather
isolated for commercial purposes. Were all confined in a limited area there would be enough
to make a good timber berth, but the bulk of it is so scattered that the cost of hauling would
be very great, and to improve the river for driving would be very expensive, as there are so
many sloughs running in and out of the river. 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 469
Fish and Game.
Spring and Cohoe salmon run in quantities up the river, but the Sockeye are not very
plentiful.    Trout also run in the spring.
The principal run of fish is what is known as the " humpback" salmon. The waters
literally teem with them during the summer months. Deer are very scarce in the valley, in
fact are very seldom seen. Bear, both black, brown and grizzly, are very plentiful, also
marten, and in the lakes at the heads of the tributary streams are great quantities of beaver.
Mountain goat are numerous on the mountains. In the flats and sloughs ducks and
geese and grouse are to be had in numbers.
From our experience during the summer, and from the reports of the residents and
Indians, and from the appearance of the country and timber in general, the climate appears
less humid than on the immediate coast. To the east of Mount Deluge, which is the main
crest of the Cascade Range, the climate is certainly more dry, but not dry enough to require
irrigation for the land.
During the winter snow falls in the valley, increasing in quantity as we go east, but the
fall is not heavy.
We append a list of the number of days on which rain actually fell during our stay there:
June    6 days.
July 16 days.
August    7 days.
September    9 days.
October    6 days.
This, considering that there was a very heavy rainfall this season on the Coast, and when
we think that on many of the above days only a shower or two fell, appears dry.
The principal drawback to the valley at present is the want of a road.
The only means of conveying supplies up and down the river at present is by canoes,
which is an expensive and tedious method, and without the aid of Indians very dangerous and
next to impossible.
Were a trail ten or twelve feet wide brushed out on the south side of the river for a
distance of about twenty or twenty-five miles, it could then by crossing the river connect with
Lieut. Palmer's old trail, which is kept open by Indians continually travelling over it with
their horses. There would then be an opening for horses right through from Quesnelle to the
Coast. At present the Indians from the interior bring their horses to a point about
twenty-five miles from the mouth, and then take canoes for the rest of the way. Were a trail
or road built, it should be located near the foot of the mountains, as it would then require
less bridging and be on more solid ground. The clearing would not be heavy, so the expense
would not be great.
A trail or road, ten or twelve feet wide, built as above, suitable for horses and carts and
for packing supplies over and to fill all requirements for the present and near future, could be
constructed at from $200 to $250 per mile.
Having arrived at the head of navigation, or the old Indian village of "Stuich," we found
the valley became very much narrower and cut up. We followed the trail from this point
easterly a distance of about fifeen miles to the " Great Slide," as shown on Lieut. Palmer's plan.
In this distance the valley at its widest would not average more than a quarter of a
mile, the mountains at short intervals closing in to the river.
We should estimate that in this distance there would not be more than 1,000 acres of
land suitable for agriculture.
We also followed up the Atnarko River, a branch running from the south towards the
" Great Slide " to a chain of lakes about ten miles distant, where it was reported grass lands
existed, but we found nothing to guarantee our proceeding further.
On the 15th of October we arrived at the mouth of the river, and having sent out to
Bella Bella to ask the first steamer on her return trip from the North to call in for us, we had
to await her coming. 470 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
The Danube arrived on the 28th of October and landed us in Vancouver on the 31st.
An observation of the plans will show that for the amount of land surveyed we had very
many and tedious lines to run. The necessity of having to cross and recross the river and many
sloughs so often took up a great deal more time in making the survey than would have been
the case had the river been less circuitous and more easily crossed. Also, along the banks the
underbrush is very thick, and besides being delayed in waiting for the steamer, as mentioned
above, we were delayed several days through high water.
Several settlers have taken up claims in the valley and some improvements are being
made on them. Several others have signified their intention of locating there in the early
We have the honour to be,
Your obedient servants,
A. F. Cotton, P. L. S.
R. E. Palmer, P. L. S. 56 Via. Crown Land Surveys. 471
Vancouver, November 17th, 1892.
To the Hon. F. G. Vernon,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works,
Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—We have the honour to submit the following report on our surveys in Rupert
District, Vancouver Island, B.C., during the season of 1892.
In accordance with your instructions, dated May 17th, 1892, we organized our parties,
and on May 30th proceeded, per Steamer Comox, to the scene of the summer's operations,
arriving at Fort Rupert the first day of June, and thence by canoe to Shushartie Bay. This
point we made the centre of our operations for the summer, having built a cache for our
From this point we opened up a trail in a south-easterly direction to the south-east corner
of Township 24, where last year's work was left off.
The land along the east side of Township 24 is a rolling surface, lightly timbered with
hemlock, cedar, and jack pine, principally of a scrubby nature. The soil is of a light sandy
character, and in the open portions supports a fair growth of grass.
Shushartie River takes its rise in Lake of the Mountains, in the south-east corner of the
township, and flows north-easterly into Township 21, thence turning westerly flows through
the northern part of Township 24, emptying into Shushartie Bay. It is a very rapid stream
of clear water, affording many excellent chances for the utilization of water-power. In the
northern part of this township, the river widens and forms two small lakes teeming with trout
of a most excellent quality.
The valley is about five hundred feet deep, and in the bottom some very fine spruce, cedar,
and hemlock are to be found.
" Shushartie Saddle " Mountain, which occupies the north-west corner of this township,
rises to a height of about nineteen hundred (1,900) feet, and is one of the conspicuous landmarks in this district. The slopes of the mountains in this township rise very gradually, and
are very lightly timbered, with many patches of considerable extent entirely open, supporting
a luxuriant growth of grass.
On the summit of the mountain is an open plateau of excellent land, covered with a very
heavy growth of grass, and seems to be a favourite breeding ground for water-fowl, especially
geese, several of the latter which found their way to camp being pronounced " good."
The western and central portions of this township are about fifty per cent, open grass
land. This part is traversed by three creeks flowing in deep ravines, and emptying into the
Nahwitti River to the west.
The southern portion has about fifteen per cent, of open grass land, but is considerably
cut up by small ravines and rocky bluffs and ridges.
Township 21.
The western part is crossed by the Shushartie River, which here flows through a deep
ravine of about one-half a mile in width. The surface, generally, is rolling, with about fifteen
per cent, of grass land.
In the northern part are two peaks, rising to a height of about fourteen hundred feet in
Section 31. The remainder is a rolling surface, with valleys of good grazing lands between
the ridges, and is well watered. The timber is all of a light scrubby nature, being composed
of hemlock, cedar, pine, and yellow cedar. 472 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
Township 22.
In the south-wrest portion of this fractional township are several small valleys of fair soil,
supporting a good growth of grass in the open portions.
Along the coast, for a mile inland, is a dense growth of sal-lal and hard hack brush, with
a heavy growth of hemlock and cedar. The shore line is bold and rocky, and rises precipitously
from the water, presenting a most inhospitable appearance.
The average altitude of the interior portion is about one thousand feet.
Township 23.
The southern portion is broken by the valley of the Shushartie River and the Shushartie
Saddle. The valley contains more or less fairly good timber, principally cedar and spruce,
while on the slopes of the mountain considerable open grazing lands are to be found.
The eastern portion has an average altitude of two thousand feet, and is generally
timbered with a light growth of cedar, hemlock, and pine.
For a mile inland the surface is very broken and rocky, covered with a dense growth of
sal-al and hard hack brush, and supporting a heavy growth of timber.
Shushartie Bay, situated in the western portion of the township, affords good anchorage
and shelter to vessels of any draught. Although small, this is the only harbour between Cape
Scott and Hardy Bay on the island, and must necessarily become an important point in the
future development of this district.
It also appears to have been a favourite resort for Indians in the past, as evidenced by
the ruins of their structures still existing at the head or the bay, and by the beds of mollusc
Township 25.
This township appears to be practically useless for either agricultural or pastoral purposes,
and is broken by high rocky ridges and deep ravines.
In the north-eastern portion a large lake was observed, which appears to be the source of
the Nahwitti River.
The timber is chiefly hemlock, balsam, and cedar of a scrubby nature, with dense
Township 32.
The east and north-eastern portions of this township are similar in character to that
described in Township 25, while in the north-west and southern portions are two good valleys
of some two hundred acres each, well watered by large creeks, and suitable for agricultural
Township 33.
The southern portion is considerably broken by rocky ridges and deep ravines, with
occasional patches of open grazing lands.
The eastern portion is traversed by the Nahwitti River, flowing nearly north and south
through this township in a valley about eight hundred (800) feet deep and one mile wide.
The uplands are fifty per cent, open, while the valley supports a heavy growth of hemlock,
cedar, balsam, and spruce.
The northern portion of the township is a gently undulating surface, sloping to the northeast.    Fifty per cent, of this is open, and is covered with a medium growth of good grass.
The western portion of the township is of a similar character to the northern, with the
exception of Section 6.
The altitude ranges between one thousand and twelve hundred feet, and will average
thirty-five per cent, open grazing lands, the balance being covered by a sparse growth of scrub
hemlock, cedar, pine, and yellow cedar, with a few balsam.
Township 34.
The southern part of Township 34 is an undulating surface, fifty per cent, open grazing
lands, the central portion being broken by the Nahwitti River flowing through a deep ravine
or valley, one-half mile wide, and from three to six hundred feet deep. The uplands are comparatively level, with twenty-five per cent, of open country.
The timber is cedar, hemlock, balsam, and spruce, and along the river some very fine trees
were seen.    The surface has a gradual descent to the salt water. 56 Vict.
Crown Land Surveys.
The shore line is somewhat irregular, with considerable gravel beach, though some
portions are very bold and rocky, and present a most insurmountable obstacle to the landing
of boats or canoes.
Township 35.
Twenty-five per cent, of the eastern portion of this township is grazing lands, presenting
an undulating surface, sloping gradually to the water, the timber being about the same as that
described in Township 34.
The southern part is broken by small rock ridges and several streams flowing in a northerly
direction to the coast.
The western and northern parts are covered with a dense growth of sal-lal and hard hack.
Some very fine spruce was observed along the creeks.
Cache Creek, a large stream flowing through the western portion of the township, is
navigable for a mile for boats drawing not more than three feet of water. It would also
afford shelter at its mouth for craft drawing not more than seven feet.
The valley along this creek is composed of a black loam, alluvial soil varying in depth
from two to five feet, with a clay and gravel subsoil, and is a fine tract of fertile land.
Township 36.
The eastern half is fifty per cent, open rolling grazing lands, what timber the surface does
support being commercially worthless.
The western portion is traversed by Cache Creek and its tributaries, along which some
good agricultural lands are to be found, which is comparatively heavily timbered.
The valley of the San Josef River is a very fine tract of good agricultural land, heavily
timbered, supporting a very dense growth of sal-lal and salmon berry brush.
Along the creek is some very fine spruce timber, though in scarcely sufficient quantity to
be of commercial value.
From observations, the northern portion of Township 41 is a rolling open country, covered
with scrub timber, but the southern portion is very much broken by low rolling hills.
Township 42.
This township is an open rolling country, thirty-five per cent, of which is open grazing
lands, supporting a rather scanty growth of scrub timber.
In summarizing the results of our observations throughout the district, we would consider
the following table the most efficient means of showing the approximate areas suitable for
pastoral and agricultural purposes :—
Area of grazing lands.
Area of agricultural
7,000 acres.
7,000 ,,
17,000     „
5,000 „
23,040     „
6,500 ,,
11,200 „
23,040 ,,
11,000     ,,
6,000 „
12,000     „
2,400     ,,
5,000 „
17,000     „
By an expenditure of $5.00 per acre for clearing
and drainage, the value of the pastoral lands
would be greatly enhanced.
640 acres.
600      „
By an expenditure of from $50.00 to $100.00 per
acre, the agricultural lands would be brought
2,000 acres.
3,500     „
3,000     ,,
3,000     „
143,180     „
12,740     „ 474 Crown Land Survey's. 1892
A very small amount of cultivation would greatly improve the value of the country for
pastoral purposes, such as the introduction of cultivated grasses known to be suited to a humid
climate. Although the country is not of a low or swampy nature, yet, owing to the considerable
amount of rainfall, a certain amount of surface drainage would be necessary to provide a
ready outlet for storm water.
The soil in the pastoral lands is largely composed of "glacial drift" and rock detritus,
covered with varying depths, according to the prominence of the underlying drift deposits,
with a layer of vegetable fibre and sandy loam from one to three feet deep.
The arable portions are composed of alluvial deposits of black loam, two to four feet deep,
resting on a subsoil of boulder clay and gravel, and are covered with a heavier growth of
timber, with dense brush and, in some parts, heavy windfalls.
The climate is more equable and humid than that of the southern portion of Vancouver
Island, the mean relative humidity being about 93, and the rainfall slightly in excess of that
on the southern part of the Island, the average annual precipitation of moisture being about
83 inches. The apparently excessive moisture is caused by the rain-bearing winds striking
the mountains to the south of Quatsino Sound, and is greatly influenced by the Japan Current,
which passes southward along the west coast of this Continent, carrying with it a temperature
of sufficient warmth to produce the exceptionally mild climate of Vancouver Island and the
adjacent Mainland. It is the stream which gives the heat and moisture necessary to produce
the extremely thick growth of vegetation which may be seen in the valleys of this district.
Heavy fog banks are prevalent over the whole portion of the Island and adjacent waters in
the spring and autumn.
The timber, with the exception of small tracts along the streams, is of no commercial
value. That on the uplands is of a scrubby growth, suitable only for firewood, and consists of
hemlock, cedar, scrub pine, and yellow cedar; while in the valleys, hemlock, cedar, balsam,
and spruce are to be found, suitable for any local purposes for which lumber may be required.
What fishing has been prosecuted during the past season goes to prove the existence of
valuable fishing grounds in this vicinity, and, as soon as some systematic efforts are made, will
undoubtedly prove of great importance in the development of this district.
Salmon in large numbers were seen ascending the Shushartie and Nahwitti Rivers and
Cache Creek, also some of the smaller streams, while all the waters of this district are teeming
with trout;  Cache Creek especially offering favourable opportunities for the sportsman.
The fisheries, if systematically developed in this portion of the Province, would afford a
livelihood for a large number of persons, as well as being of great commercial importance to the
Province as a whole, and must eventually become one of the first industries of the country.
On the uplands, both blue and willow grouse are to be found in considerable numbers.
These lands appear to be a favourite breeding ground for wild geese. In the month of July
they were to be seen by the hundreds, feeding on the open grass lands. A few small deer
were seen, but they do not appear to be plentiful in this district. Large numbers of elk
tracks were observed, but this rather shy animal succeeded in keeping out of sight. Black
bear were seen throughout the whole district, and are considered harmless, unless wounded or
cornered with their young, when they will show fight. Water-fowl of all kinds are numerous
at the mouths of the various rivers and streams flowing into the salt water.
The only Indians found in this locality are the " Nahwitties," and have their reserve on
Hope Island. They appear to be peaceable and industrious for natives. Their principal
occupation is fishing for halibut to supply the steamers which frequent these waters in quest
of this excellent fish. They cultivate small patches of land indifferently, in which potatoes
and small vegetables are grown. 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 475
The whole of this district appears to belong to the Mesozoic or Secondary Period, excepting a belt of granite about one mile wide, extending through Townships 24, 33, and 34, and
appearing on the coast near Cape Commerell. The highest point on this ridge noted had an
altitude of 1,125 feet. With the exception of this ridge of granite, the greater portion of this
district belongs to the Vancouver Series of the Triassic System. Near the south-east corner of
Township 36, a small quantity of conglomerate rock was noticed, evidently an outlier of the
Cretaceous rocks found to the south on Quatsino Sound.
No indications of coal were noted, or of the precious metals, though some prospectors
have been at work on the black sands found just east of Cape Commerell on the shore.
Indications of magnetic iron ore were found in many places.
This district is not suited for the production of cereals, owing to the humidity of the
climate, though potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, and all vegetables of this class would no doubt
do well. Small fruits, such as currants and berries, plums, cherries, etc., would, judging from
the wild fruits found, prove equally successful. In fact, anything not requiring to be dried
for maturity may be successfully cultivated in this district.
But the great value of the country lies in its great adaptability for pastoral purposes.
Poultry of all kinds would doubtless thrive, and prove a valuable source of income to the
In order to develop the lands surveyed this season, two main roads would be required,
one running south from Shushartie Bay, through Townships 23 and 24, to the east of Shushartie
Saddle, and would probably follow the valley of a large creek flowing into the Shushartie
River to the north, and not far from its mouth. This road would not require to be over ten
miles long, and would give access to a large area of country. The other road would start from
Shushartie Bay, and run westerly to the north of the Shushartie Saddle, passing through
Townships 23, 34, 33, 36, and 42, and would require to be about twenty miles in length.
Neither of these roads would present any engineering difficulties, or require any expensive
structures in their construction. If roads were built along these proposed routes, they would
give ready access to all portions of the lands above described.
We have the honour to be,
Your obedient servants,
E. B. Hermon, P.L.S.
A.  H.  Hawkins,  P.L.S. 476 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
Victoria, December 19th, 1892.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit for your approval the following Report on Surveys
performed by me on Malcolm Island, Cormorant Island, and on Vancouver Island in the
vicinity of the Nimpkish River.
According to instructions received from you, dated May 2nd, 1892, I proceeded to Alert
Bay, by steamer " Danube," leaving May 3rd for the North. I disembarked at Alert Bay,
and following the same course this year as I had done last year, I procured boats from Mr.
Spencer to take the party and what supplies I needed across to Malcolm Island. I pitched
my first camp on the west side of Rough Bay. I then proceeded to produce my base line
west from the point at which I concluded operations last year.
The character of the soil and the general configuration of the island is so much alike
that I do not consider it necessary to describe each section in detail; but in giving a general
description of the topography, soil, and timber, I shall be careful to note any special features
that may be confined to a particular section.
The highest point on the island does not exceed an elevation of four hundred feet, and
this is reached by gradual slopes, except where steep bluffs surrounding the shore line exist.
The surface of the island is covered with a dense growth of sal-lal, which will average
from ten to fifteen feet in height, and is almost impenetrable.
Windfalls are also numerous, sometimes forming obstructions twenty feet and more in
height, so that, though the general contour of the island is smooth and gently rounded, walking
over it is a very slow and difficult matter in its present uncleared condition.
The timber of the island consists of hemlock, cedar, spruce, balsam, alder, yew, and a few
scattered firs; of these, hemlock and cedar are the most universal. The hemlock, in many
cases, reaches a diameter of six feet, and good merchantable timber is to be found anywhere
throughout the island.
Cedar grows to a great size, trees having been met with reaching a diameter of from
thirteen to fourteen feet, at some height from the ground. In the case of the largest trees,
however, they are seldom thoroughly sound.
On the northern slope of the island a large quantity of cedar is to be found; but the
majority of the trees are either dead or partially so, whilst the other species of trees in the
vicinity show no signs of decay.
Balsam is also universal, but more is to be met with along the northern slope of the
island than on the southern slope, where in some instances trees of six and seven feet in
diameter are to be met with.
Spruce is not so abundant as the above-mentioned woods, but is scattered more or less
throughout the length and breadth of the island, and when met with is of good quality, often
reaching ten feet in diameter.
Yew and crab-apple are to be found in the swampy portions of the island; yews thirty
inches in diameter and reaching a height of from fifty to sixty feet, perfectly straight, are met
with. Alders form a fringe round all the low-lying portions of the island in the vicinity of
the shore line. 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 477
The nature and character of the soil is so much alike that the whole island may be included
in the same description, and an equal value placed on all the sections.
The whole area is free from rock, and under favourable conditions is capable of cultivation;
but there is no tract that can be described as fertile land, or good hay land.
Along the northern slope, extending the whole length of the island, is a belt of more or
less swampy land, which could be easily drained, and which, when cleared, might be suitable
for root crops; the only drawback being that it faces the north, and is exposed to the winds
from Queen Charlotte Sound.
The whole island is composed of decayed vegetable matter to a depth of from ten to fourteen inches in thickness, and to save which great care would have to be taken in clearing the
land, as it ignites easily and burns very readily, leaving a subsoil of sand and gravel.
The only rocks met with on the island belong to the Cretaceous series, and consist of a
coarse brownish conglomerate, with cuticular beds of sandstone and grit, having a very slight
dip to the north-east at an angle of from five to ten degrees. This conglomerate underlies a
series of sandstone and coarse grit, and beds of grey clay. The only place on the island where
this conglomerate is met with is on the shore line of the south-west corner of Section 5, where
it forms a cliff fully sixty feet high, and extending for several hundred feet along the shore.
On the north shore of the island, beds consisting of coarse unstratified gravel and sandy
clay are met with, and are clearly exposed to view by landslides which have taken place, caused
by the action of the sea undermining the foot of the banks. Also, on Lizard Point, which is
composed completely of this material, and which by degrees is being cut into and washed away by
the action of the sea, the whole shore line of the Point being strewn with trees that have been
undermined and fallen upon the beach. In point of fact, the whole island may be said to be
covered with a considerable thickness of glacial deposits, which are, owing to the thickness of
the vegetation, only discernible where these slides have taken place. No coal was found on
the island, but judging from the position the coal beds occupy on Vancouver Island, it is
probable that coal seams might underlie the conglomerate before mentioned; but in order to
ascertain this, boring would be necessary.
Black sand, to the depth of several inches, is met with on the shores of Duncan's Bay ;
but though some of it was washed out carefully, no traces of gold were found, though no
doubt with the proper appliances at hand it might be extracted, but it is doubtful if in paying
The shore of the south side of the island is thickly strewn with boulders, proof of glacial
action, and composed in some cases of blocks of 30'xlO'xlO', consisting of granite, gneiss,
mica, schist, quartz rock, porphyry, and metamorphic conglomerate, none of which are found
in place in the neighbourhood.
Although there are numerous bays along the shores of the island, the only two that are
of any importance as harbours, are Mitchell's Bay and Rough Bay, five and six fathoms of
water being found in the former, and from six to eight in the latter, and both affording good
shelter in the event of a south wind blowing—the prevailing wind during the stormy season.
On the north coast of the island there are no harbours, and the heavy seas from Queen
Charlotte Sound, which are continually rolling in, make landing on this shore somewhat risky.
The climate of the island is humid. The rainfall is not so great as it is on the Mainland,
or on the adjacent shores of Vancouver Island. Heavy fogs, blown in from Queen Charlotte
Sound, continually overhang the north shore of the island.
My work here consisted of laying out a Government Reserve, making a traverse of the
eastern portion of the island, and laying off two pre-emptions. The great drawback heretofore
with the Government Reserve had been the want of water. By running the lines further
north, and taking in an area to embrace the hill at the back, an opportunity was afforded of 478 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
sinking a well at the base of the hill, thereby procuring a plentiful supply of water, at a depth
of twenty-four feet. The two pre-emptions taken up embraced the eastern portion or point of
the island. They were covered with a growth of hemlock, with a fringe of alder around the
shore line, and a few scattered firs.
The island is covered with a thin layer of vegetable mould, with a subsoil of sand and
Township No. 1.
This is a fractional Township, intersected by the Nimpkish River, and situated in the
Rupert District, Vancouver Island. In describing this township, I shall give each section by
itself, in order that an opinion may be formed as to its adaptability for settlement.
Section 1.
Section one is a fractional section, fronting on Broughton Strait, and, with the exception
of a rocky point, is suitable for agriculture. In the low-lying portions of the section the soil
is a brown sandy loam, and the ridges for the most part are composed of a reddish gravel.
The timber, which is very thick, is composed of hemlock, spruce, balsam, and large cedar in
the vicinity of the coast, with a few scattered firs. There is a large creek running through
the section, with a good water power on it, situated close to the coast.
Section 2.
This is also a fractional section, part of which is taken up by the Indian Reserve, leaving
only a small portion on the coast. In the low-lying portions of the section the soil is very
rich. With the exception of a limestone bluff of about nine acres, the whole section is fit for
agriculture. The timber is much the same as in Section 1, although more second growth
balsam is to be met with.
Section 3.
Section three is a full section, intersected by the Nimpkish River, which flows to the
north through it. Some parts of this section are cut up by gravel ridges, more especially in
the vicinity of the river ; but where the land is low the soil is of a very rich quality. There
are two pre-emptors on this section, viz., Messrs. Mathers and Hammond, who have each quite
a number of acres cleared, good houses erected, and who are perfectly satisfied with the results
of their crops.
The Indian Reserve takes up a portion of this section also. The timber is larger on this
section than on the two preceding ones, and is composed of hemlock and balsam.
Sections 4, 5, and 6.
These are all full sections, and may be classed together. The southern portions of these
sections are very rough, being composed for the most part of limestone ridges running east
and west, and in one ridge good marble was found. The northern portions of these sections
are swampy, and, as there is a large creek running through them, could easily be drained;
and if once drained, the soil would be excellent for agricultural purposes, and is composed of a
dark rich loam. The timber is for the most part hemlock and balsam, with occasional small
jack pine,
Sections 7, 8, 17, and 18.
These sections are private property, having been purchased prior to this survey.
Sections 9 and 10.
These sections are composed of a series of terraces gradually falling towards the coast.
The soil is good, and is composed of a sandy loam. Two claims and part of the Indian
Reserve come in on Section 10. A small portion of this section is also cut off by the Nimpkish
River. 56 Vict.
Crown Land Surveys.
Section 11.
This is a fractional section, fronting on Broughton Sound and the mouth of the Nimpkish
River. It is for the most part taken up by lot number 6, the property of S. A. Spencer, and
a portion of the Indian Reserve.
Section 15.
This is a fractional section, fronting on Broughton Sound. The soil for the most part is
light and gravelly ; the timber is spruce and hemlock, both of which are of a very good quality.
Section 16.
This is a fractional section, fronting on Broughton Strait. This section is pre-empted
by the Hydes, father and son, who have done a large amount of clearing and erected two
good dwelling-houses thereon.
Taking into consideration the easy accessibility to any part of the Township, afforded
either from the Coast by trail, the Nimpkish River, or the Government trail built this summer
to Kartmitsen Lake, I can see no reason why this Township should not be all settled in the
near future, more especially the portion to the east of the Nimpkish River, where a valley or
low-lying tract of land seems to extend some distance beyond the part surveyed.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
D. T. Thomson, P. L. S.
To the Surveyor-General,
Victoria, B. C. 480 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
(continued from the survey op 1891.)
Victoria, B. C, November 14th, 1892.
To the Hon. Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Sir,—I have the honour to make the following report:—■
I left Victoria on March 27th, 1892, with a party of men and a supply of provisions by
steamboat for Alberni, to continue the survey of the western boundary of the Island Railway
Belt. We commenced running the line on March 31st, from the 72nd mile post, about one
mile west of Alberni Canal, the place where I ceased work last year, and on September 19th
we suspended work for this season at the 135th mile post, about five miles from the top of
Crown Mountain, the objective point of the survey.
The line runs along the top of the mountains the whole distance, except where it crosses
some rivers and lakes in deep and narrow valleys.
From Alberni Canal to Sproat's Lake, at the 78-mile post, the hills rise about 2,000 feet
above the sea. Along the line, but close on the west, they are much higher, and covered with
snow at this season. The timber is fir, cedar, hemlock, &c, about two feet in diameter and less,
rather too small for lumbering purposes. The soil is rocky. The country on the north and east sides
of Sproat's lake is level. There are many farm houses and clearings to be seen on its banks.
A waggon road runs from Alberni Town to this lake; thence a trail to the lower end of Central
Lake. We found this road and trail very useful in getting our supplies to camp for a portion
of the work. Between the two lakes the land rises gradually 1,000 feet, then it drops suddenly
1,000 feet to Central Lake, at the 85-mile post; but the land is much more level along the
trail; the timber is small, and land is second and third rate.
Across Central Lake we find a rocky ridge, 1,500 feet high, running along the lake shore;
then we descend into a low valley, about one mile wide, at the 87-mile post, having good timber
in it, and running east and west from Central Lake to Alberni Valley. I noticed
some survey lines running through this timber. We now ascend Thunder Mountain, about
3,200 feet high, at the 89|-mile post. The snow was five feet deep on this mountain on May
1st. It is thickly timbered with small fir, cedar, hemlock, yellow cedar, balsam, white pine,
&c. Then we descend from bench to bench through timbered land, of second and third
quality, to a deep and narrow valley at the 92| mile post, running north-easterly to the Alberni
Valley along a chain of lakes, and southerly to Central Lake. There is a large tract of good
fir and cedar in this valley. We now traverse a hilly country, which flattens out towards the
east into Alberni Valley, but close on the west are high mountains covered with snow. At
95 J miles we cross a wide and rapid river, marked Fisher's River on the Admiralty Chart. It
comes from high mountains on the west, runs east two miles to Glen Lake, four miles long,
then south-east through Alberni Valley ten miles to Stamp River. We next ascend a ridge 3,000
feet, at 97| miles, over deep snow, then descend one mile steep to a large stream in a narrow
valley, 1,200 feet above the sea, and running east to Clen Lake. We rise again to 3,000 feet
at 99|-mile post, then descend to a river in a narrow valley, 650 feet above the sea. This river
runs east through a chain of narrow lakes, then north into Comox Lake. We get our supplies
now by way of Comox Lake. The mountains on the line now become very steep and high. I
have great difficulty in ascending them on account of steep bluffs  aud  deep  canyons.    I 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 481
measured some of the bad places by triangulation, but keep the line straight ahead. At 102J
miles the height is 4,800 feet, with deep snow and only a few scattering trees The country
ahead and to the west is a mass of snow-covered mountains, bare of timber. At 104J miles,
height 4,800 feet, good view ahead, perpetual snow, bare of timber, the canyons are from
500 feet to 3,000 feet deep. From this point onward the line is not chained, but the distances
are estimated. It is blazed where there are any trees, and stone mounds and posts are set
on prominent points along the line.
June 25th. At 107| miles, height 6,800 feet, Comox Harbour and Lake are visible from
here. There is deep hard snow on all the mountains around here. At 110J miles, height
7,650 feet, we have a good view of the islands in the Gulf of Georgia. At 113 miles, height
7,750 feet, Crown Mountain is visible for the first time on this line, about twenty-seven miles
distant. Its peak or crown projects above all other mountains ahead. The line strikes it fair
on the highest point. At 117J miles, height 7,000 feet, Buttle's Lake is visible ahead. We
now descend very steep to Buttle's Lake at 123 miles, height 800 feet. Buttle's Lake is about
eighteen miles long, and from twenty to eighty chains wide; it runs nearly north and south, is
surrounded by high mountains, and its outlet is Campbell River, from 200 to 300 feet
wide, running north.    The line crosses about four miles above the outlet.
At 125 miles, obliquely across Buttle's Lake, we ascend high mountains again, rising from
the edge of the lake. At 128 miles, height 3,500 feet, we have a good view of Cape Mudge
and the islands in the Gulf of Georgia. At 131 miles, height 6,000 feet, there is a good view
here in every direction. It is very mountainous to the west and south-west, and white with
snow that has been there for ages. From the north, around to the south-east, the mountains flatten
out into a level country towards Seymour Narrows, Campbell River, Cape Mudge and Comox.
Towards the north-west, across a very deep valley, is Crown Mountain, .about nine miles ahead.
The line strikes it just right, on the top.
We now descend steep to Elk River at 134| miles, height 800 feet. It is a branch of
Campbell River. This valley contains good land, and very large fir and cedar timber of the
best quality. I observed several survey lines and posts through this timber that appeared to
have been made recently. There is a continuous low pass here across Vancouver Island, from
the mouth of Campbell River to the waters of Nootka Sound. I have named the river Elk
River, from the numerous signs of elk here.
At 135 miles ascending the base of Crown Mountain, it rises steep, and is timbered with
yellow cedar, small fir, hemlock, Sec., to within 1,000 feet of the top, where it becomes bare.
September 19th, 1892, we ceased work for this season, and returned to Victoria by way
of Buttle's Lake, Cruikshank River, Comox Lake, Union, &c, along the packers' trail. On the
way out it rained for a week in the valleys, and snowed on the mountains. We arrived in
Victoria on October 8th, all well.
Rock, Minerals, &c.
It is a continuous bed of trap-rock along the survey line from Alberni Canal to Crown
Mountain, with only a slight variation in one or two places. There is a ridge of very good
fine-grained granite at the 82-mile post, between Sproat and Central Lakes. A thick bed of
conglomerate overlies the trap-rock on Thunder Mountain, at 89 miles. Viewing the west end
of this mountain from Central Lake, I could see strata of sandstone, about 500 feet thick at
the top, which indicates that there may be coal there.
In the valley leading from Comox Lake to Alberni, and from five to ten miles east of this
line, are tracts of country showing sandstone rock with some thin seams of coal in the banks of
the creeks.    It looks well for a coal field there.
At a place about two miles north-east of the 115-mile post, at an elevation of 6,000 feet,
on the packers' trail in the mountain pass, at the head of the west branch of Cruikshank river,
are some mineral veins fifteen feet thick, containing iron, copper and perhaps silver.
I could see extensive belts of stratified limestone and marble on the west side of Buttle's
Lake, up the sides and on the tops of the mountains. We observed some pieces of red marble
in the streams, where they had been washed down from the mountains. These beds of limestone and marble are all west of the boundary line.
At 129, 130 and 131 miles the rock is conglomerate, composed of angular pieces of trap
cemented together, showing little or no wash, No slate was seen at any time, and only a few
threads and bunches of quartz. 482 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
Wild Animals, Game, &c.
Deer'are plentiful in all the valleys and mountain slopes, and we saw some as high up as
7,000 feet.
Bear are nearly as numerous as deer, both in the valleys and mountains. Our party shot
seven bears during the season. We saw four wolverines on the head-waters of the Cruikshank
River, at an elevation of 5,000 feet, and killed one of them. Two panthers and some large
timber ^wolves were seen along the shore of Buttle's Lake. A few marten tracks were seen in
the snow on the highest mountains. There are beaver in all the deep valleys. We find
ptarmagan, or white grouse, on the bald mountains, 5,000 to 8,000 feet up. They are quite
tame. They feed upon the buds of heather, stunted hemlock, yellow cedar, juniper, &c.
Willow grouse and blue grouse are scarce, but I saw some blue grouse that appeared to be
larger than the ordinary kind on the high mountains. No elk were seen, they had moved farther
Timber, &c.
The line kept too high on the mountains to find much good timber, but farther to the east
I could see valleys well timbered. The yellow cedar commences at an elevation of 2,500 feet.
The valleys of Elk and Campbell Rivers have good land and first-class timber for many miles
in length. All the bare mountains above 3,000 feet high are covered with heather, having red,
white and yellow blossoms. Juniper, loaded with berries, grow on the high mountains, and
high bush cranberries along the rivers and lakes. Huckleberries of different kinds are found
on the mountains.
Fish, Lakes, Rivers.
There is good trout fishing in all the lakes and rivers, except those at a high elevation. In
the high mountains are many small lakes from one-quarter to one mile long, some of them quite
round like a well, surrounded with smooth, steep rock; they must be very deep. I think they
are the craters  of extinct volcanoes.
Campbell River is one of the largest rivers on Vancouver Island. It has numerous long
lakes and branches, and is well stocked with mountain trout, but the salmon cannot ascend
more than two or three miles from its mouth on account of a falls in the river. Were these
falls fixed so that salmon could go up to the Campbell Lake, Buttle's Lake, and the head-waters
of the river, they would find excellent spawning grounds, and would after a time increase the
supply of salmon in the country.
The packers' trail from Comox Lake to Buttle's Lake is about twenty-four miles long. It
passes over a summit 6,000 feet above the sea. It is not safe to travel over the summit except
in August and September. The mountains rise 1,000 feet higher on each side of the pass, and
there are indications showing that great rock and snow slides occur there in the rainy and
winter seasons, and there are three crater lakes in the pass that nearly close up the valley.
The best way to go into Crown Mountain and Buttle's Lake is by way of the valley of
Campbell River.
I have given my field-notes and plan, in duplicate, to the Lands and Works Office,
Victoria, for the work done this year.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
William Ralph,
P. L. Surveyor, 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 483
T. Fains, Esq., Surveyor-General,
Lands and Works Department, Victoria.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the report of the exploration carried on during last
On May 1st, 1892, I received instructions from the Department to prepare myself, with
a party of three (3) men, to explore and track-survey that portion of the Province north of the
Tahltan River to the boundary in Lat 60° N, and on the way back to track-survey the
Chilkoot and White Passes, at the head of Lynn Canal, in Alaska.
I left Victoria on May 13th by the steamer "Mexico" for Wrangel, where I arrived on
the 18th. On the 22nd, I proceeded up the Stikine River by the steamboat "Alaskan" to
Telegraph Creek, distant 140 miles from the sea. I reached this place on the evening of
the 28th.
On June 1st I left Telegraph Creek with a pack-train of six horses, and began a track-
survey towards the northern part of the Province, which is almost unknown, except to a few
miners and traders.
The system of surveying carried on was similar to that employed in the previous
Stikine River.
The notes taken on the way up the river, the information obtained from miners and
residents, and more especially the valuable notes published by Dr. Dawson in the Geological
Report of 1887-88, enable me to give a good description of the Stikine, though no complete
survey was made.
The Stikine is by all means the largest river in the northern part of the Province, and
some of its tributaries are also of considerable size.
From Fort Wrangel to Rothsay Point, at the mouth of the river, the general direction is
north, and the distance about ten miles. For a distance of about eight miles from its mouth,
the river is wide, and divided into many channels by low alluvial islands. From the mouth
to Klootchman Canyon, a distance of 98 miles, the river runs in a north-easterly direction, as
shown by the map attached to this report.
From this point to Telegraph Creek, the head of navigation, a distance of 140 miles from
the sea, the same general direction is kept; also for a further distance of about 30 miles, to the
mouth of Tanzilla River. From this last point, the general bearing of the river to its source
(near the 128° of longitude West) is east near east.
The mountains along the river are very steep, and have a general altitude of 3,000 to
3,500 feet; certain peaks being as much as 7,000 feet high. On the north side of the river,
the mountains are generally steeper and more broken than on the south-east side. From the
mouth of the Stikine to Klootchman Canyon the valley has an average width of two and a half
to three miles, and the flats through which the river winds its way are covered with a growth
of cottonwood, spruce, balsam, birch, alder, and a very thick underbrush.
At a distance of 90 miles from the mouth, the river runs through a narrow place called
the Little Canyon, where the width is not more than 60 yards. This is formed by spurs of the
mountains on both sides, and the walls of the canyon are about 200 feet high, and formed of
granite.    This can be surmounted by steamer only, at a proper stage of water.
Klootchman Canyon is one-quarter of a mile in length and 100 yards wide, and does not
offer much difficulty to navigation.
At 102 miles from the mouth, the Grand Rapids occur. The river at this point is shallow,
and the steamer can only overcome the current by carrying a line ashore.
At 123 miles, Glenora is reached, and 12 miles further is Telegraph Creek. This is the
head of navigation, and is the beginning of the Long Canyon, where canoes even cannot pass, 484 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
At Klootchman Canyon, the Stikine seems to leave the massive chain of mountains of the
coast. The climate and vegetation change also to a marked degree. Above the canyon the
mountains are less abrupt and more rounded ; peaks are uncommon, and spurs of low hills lie
between the river and the mountains. The side-hills are often denuded of trees, thus giving
the country a very different appearance.
Three large glaciers—the Great, Dirt, and Flood Glaciers—occur on the west side of the
valley at no great distance from the river.
The width of the river from its mouth to Little Canyon averages 250 to 300 yards. From
this point to Telegraph Creek the average width is about 180 yards. The rate of current
increases as we ascend. For about 25 miles from the tidal water it averages two and a half
to three miles an hour; thence to the Little Canyon, about four miles; and from there to
Telegraph Creek, from five to six miles an hour. For short distances it often attains a higher
rate. At the latter end of June, the rush of water in Little Canyon renders it impossible for
steamboats to ascend.
The height of the river at Telegraph Creek, as determined by aneroid observation, is 525
feet. Dr. Dawson makes it 540 feet by simultaneous observations, and his results should thus
be more correct than those obtained by single readings. This would give a general fall of 4.30
feet per mile from Telegraph Creek to tidal water. The Stikine has several tributaries of
considerable size, one of which, the Iskoot, falls in from the eastward at a distance of 33 miles
from the sea. It was explored by the men of the Western Union Telegraph Company, whose
survey followed one of its upper branches. The Iskoot is navigable for 25 or 30 miles for
canoes only. For that distance the valley is formed of low alluvial flats, well wooded by the
commoner species of trees. Above that the current is swifter, and the ground more broken.
The river can here be navigated by canoes only with the aid of the tow-line. Indians follow
the South Branch on their way to the Naas River. The North Branch takes its source near
the head of the First and Second South Forks of the Stikine. Prospecting for gold on that
North Branch has been successfully carried on.
Scud River.
At 80 miles from the sea, and 10 miles below the Little Canyon on the Stikine, the Scud
River comes in from the east. It is a stream of some importance; its head waters are distant
about 45 miles from the Stikine, and it flows from a low flat country at the foot of the Coast
Clearwater River.
At 106 miles from the sea, and eight miles above the Klootchman Canyon, the Clearwater
River comes into the Stikine from the north-west. It is a large stream, and Indians ascend
it with canoes for a distance of fifteen miles. It takes its waters from a large glacier. The
Sheslay River, the main branch of the Taku, also comes from the same glacier—the two heads
being about eight or ten miles distant from each other.
The First South Fork.
One mile and a half below Telegraph Creek, the First South Fork enters the Stikine.
For quite a distance from the main river, it flows through a narrow gorge, bounded on both
sides by high mountains. At a distance of twelve miles from its mouth, the country becomes
more level, with benches only partly timbered. The head-waters of the Iskoot are near the
head-waters of this stream.
As the Stikine traverses the coast range, a good illustration is shown of the difference
between the coast climate and that of the interior. At Wrangel the annual precipitation is
over 100 inches; while at Telegraph Creek, irrigation has to be resorted to for cultivation.
The climate of the coast is milder and more temperate than in the interior, and in the winter
the thermometer often falls to 36° below zero at Telegraph Creek, while it seldom reaches zero
at Wrangel. The snow is known to lie from eight to ten feet deep along the flats of the
Stikine ; but it decreases in ascending the valley At Telegraph Creek, and on the Tahltan
River, it is only about two and a half feet in depth. When leaving Wrangel on the 20th of
May, the mountains near the sea-shore were well cleared of snow at their bases; but on entering the river, large patches of snow could be seen on the flats bordering the river.. In some
places even the great bars were still covered with it down to the water's edge.    About 56 Vict Crown Land Surveys. 485
twenty-five miles up the river, the snow disappeared, only to be again met with near the
glaciers, and it was only at Little Canyon that the flats were completely cleared of snow.
At this point the change of climate is very perceptible; the moisture of the coast is left
behind for the dryness of the interior plateau. The day Little Canyon was passed, while we
were enjoying beautiful weather, the rain was decending in torrents a short distance below us.
On entering the river, the trees were just taking on their greenish hue; but as we
ascended a gradual advancement in vegetation could be observed. Along Little Canyon, and
at Telegraph Creek, the leaves were all formed, and the general appearance of the country
was that of early summer. The following species of plants were then blooming :—Service
berry, (A. Alnifolia), choke cherry (P. Virginiana), golden corydalis (corydalis aurea, var
occidentalis), Sec, &c.
There is quite a large area of tillable land, and though crops would be exposed to summer
frost, I believe, that hardy grains of well chosen variety, would succeed well. Oats, barley,
rye, peas, and all the common vegetables could be grown in sufficient abundance to sustain a
large population. As there are only a few people, kitchen gardens only are cultivated, and
enough fodder raised for eighty or one hundred horses and mules.
The Stikine is opon for navigation in April, and generally freezes up at the end of
November.    The first freshet occurs at the end of June.
In the year 1793, Capt. Vancouver visited that part of the coast and indicated the
mouth of the river on his chart.
In April, 1799, the sloop "Dragon," Capt. Cleveland, visited the mouth of the river ; also
the sloop "Eliza," Capt. Rowan.
In 1834, the "Dryad." fitted out by the Hudson's Bay Company, for the purpose of establishing a post at the mouth of the river, found the place occupied by the Russians, who had
fortified a spot called by them, Dionysus—(Fort Wrangel of the present). The Hudson's
Bay Company then abandoned the enterprise. Later on, in 1840, the Hudson's Bay
Company leased from the Russians all the narrow belt of land, now part of Alaska, and the
Fort was handed to the Company and was called Stikine.
In 1862, the Company built a post on the east side of the river, about sixty miles from
the mouth, but it was afterwards removed to Glenora in 1874, where it remained till 1878,
when all the posts of the district were closed.
In the summer of 1862, two miners, Choquet and Carpenter, discovered fine gold in the
bars of the Stikine, and the year after a large number of miners came from Victoria and
worked with more or less success. The paying ground was found to begin twelve miles below
Glenora. In 1873, two sturdy Canadians, Thibert and McCulloch, crossed the country from
the McKenzie, westward, and found gold in some of the creeks falling into Dease Lake, and
in the autumn they joined the miners working on the Stikine. The next year, a large number
of miners rushed in to the new diggings, and a large and rich camp was established, which was
successful for six or seven years. The amount of gold taken out in the district of Cassiar is
shown in the following table, taken from the reports of the Minister of Mines :—
1874 , $1,000,000
1875  830,000
1876  556,474
1877  499,830
1878  519,720
1879  405,200
1880  297,850
1881  198,900
1882  182,800
1883  119,000
1884  101,600
1885  50,600
1886  63,610
1887  55,205
1888  43,325
1889  54,910
1890  no return
1891 , . . .  40,000
Total $4,974,024 486 Crown Land Surveys. 189
No new discoveries of gold have been made, and, in fact, very little prospecting is now
done.    The few miners remaining in the country are working the old grounds.
The great extent of auriferous country, in Cassiar district (not including the area that
has already been worked), has not been properly prospected and explored. With improved
machinery, and better methods of working out claims, which to-day do not pay on account of
being too expensive, there will, in the near future, be opened a paying area in the district;
and in quartz mining Cassiar will ere long have its turn of prosperity. According to the
report of a couple of experts, a good galena mine has been discovered on the Liard River, near
the boundary of the Province and the Canadian North-West. In addition to this, Dr. Dawson
says, in the annual report of the geological survey of Canada (1887-88), "Quartz mining will,
ere long, be inaugurated and will afford a more permanent basis of prosperity than alluvial
mining, however rich."
Tahltan River.
At thirteen miles above Telegraph Creek the Tahltan River flows into the Stikine, and
is crossed near its mouth by a bridge built in 1874, when the Government opened a trail from
Telegraph Creek to the head of Dease Lake. This trail is sixty-three miles in length, and
follows the north shore of the Stikine and the Tanzilla Valley.
The direction of the Tahltan, from its mouth to a point distant nineteen miles, is about
north-west; thence south-west for ten miles. It takes its waters from the lake of the same
name. This lake has a length of four to five miles, and a width of one and a half miles, and
is fed by numerous streams issuing from glaciers.
A trail was built a few years ago on the north-east side of the river to Middle Creek
(twelve miles up the river), by a company who had started hydraulic works; their enterprise,
however, proved a failure.
The Hudson's Bay Co. in 1891, and again last year, opened the trail a distance of thirty
miles to the south branch of the Taku or Sheslay River, intending to reach Tesline Lake;
but subsequently abandoned the idea.
The trail follows the river closely, never being more than two miles from it. Several
streams flow into the river, and on two of them large mining works have been carried on, but
with poor result.
At nineteen miles from the mouth of the Tahltan the Little Tahltan River comes in
from the north-west, and at twenty-one miles from the mouth the trail crosses the river, which
it follows up to the 23rd mile. From this point upwards the direction of the river is north.
It takes its source in snow-capped mountains, and its waters are turbulent and muddy. At
the 25th mile the height of land is reached. It is a valley of one and a half miles wide,
consisting of low sandy flats covered with black pine; its elevation above sea level, by
barometric measurements, is 1,790 feet.
At the 27th mile a lake named Ta-kit-sah is reached. It is the source of the Kat-kets
River, and has a length of two and a quarter miles, and a width of three-quarters of a mile.
It empties its waters by a narrow stream of one-quarter of a mile in length into a lake called
Hat-chaw, which is one and a half miles long by half a mile wide.
The Kat-kets River is a very swift stream of a width of thirty-five yards. At the 35th
mile there is a fall 40 feet high, coming down in cascades. The river falls into the Sheslay
or South Fork of the Taku at Egnell's Flat, and there ends the trail built by the Hudson's
Bay Co., where they have a small post. The general bearing of the valley from the 19th to
the 35th mile is nearly west; from there to the 43rd north-west.
The valley of the Tahltan is narrow, never more than two miles, and in some parts even
narrower. The river is very swift, and from its mouth to a point five miles up cuts its way
through basalt. From the 19th mile to the lake it is a regular torrent. The mountains on
the north-east, from the mouth to the 19th mile, are from 1,800 to 2,000 feet above the river;
they are rounded and rise gradually.
The timber covering this mountain is composed of cottonwood (P. Canadensis), aspen
popular (P. Tremuloides), birch (B. Papiracea), spruce (A. Nigra), balsam (B. Canadensis),
alder, and numerous willows. The extensive growth of grass and pea-vines observed indicates
a rich soil. On the north-west side of the valley the mountains are much higher, from 3000 to
3,800 feet above the valley ; there are much more broken and abrupt, and the fire has destroyed
much of the vegetation, leaving bare, wide, rocky patches. On these heights spruce, balsam,
black pine dominate.    At a distance of three miles above the junction of the Little Tahltan, 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 487
a stream heading near the head-waters of Telegraph Creek, empties into the Tahltan River.
From the junction of the Little Tahltan to the height of land at the 25th mile the valley has
a width of one mile, and is formed of hills of from 500 to 800 feet, rising towards the mountains.
At the 19th mile the valley of the Little Tahltan, in a northerly direction, is narrow and well
From the height of land to Egnell's Flat, at the 43rd mile, the valley keeps a width of
one mile, but getting gradually narrower as it nears the head-waters of the Sheslay. On the
north-west side the mountains are steep and well timbered, and on the north-east the benches
rise towards the mountains, terrace-like, of 800 to 1,000 feet in height, forming a table
land covered with thickets of poplar, birch, and black pine.
The climate of the Tahltan Valley is similar to that of Telegraph Creek, but more liable
to summer frost, especially towards the head of the valley. There is very good farming and
grazing land on some of the table land formed by the high benches.
Sheslay Valley and River, or South Branch of Taku River.
The Sheslay River heads from the same glacier as the Clearwater, which flows into the
Stikine. From its source it runs N.N.W. for thirteen miles, where it receives the water of
the Ka-ket-sa River on its right bank. For that distance the river flows through a very
narrow valley, never more than one-quarter mile wide, and the mountains on both sides are
very steep, with a height of 800 to 1,000 feet. From the junction of the Ka-kets for about
five miles the Sheslay runs north-west; from this point to the 43rd mile it runs north ; and
at this last point there is a canyon of 40 chains in length. From the 43rd to the 55th mile
the general direction is north-east; there the river empties into the In-klin River. On the
east of the upper part of the Sheslay, above Engell's Flat, are the Kat-ket-sa Mountains, which
are 5,000 feet above the sea, and have their summits covered with snow all the year round.
The mountains on the west side of the river are about 4,000 feet above sea level, and have
several peaks of great height. They come down very abruptly, and in some parts have perpendicular walls of 800 to 1,200 feet. Above the very steep parts they are more rounded, and
covered with grass and moss. On the east side for eight or ten miles high hills from 1,200 to
1,500 feet run by the river's edge, and come down to the level of the water like walls. These
hills are backed by a range of mountains similar to the ones on the opposite shore. The
average width of the Cheslay is from 120 to 150 yards, and the valley is nowhere more than
sixty chains wide, thus making the river appear to run between two high walls. By barometer
the level at Egnell's Creek is 1,675 feet above sea level. The water of the river runs sluggishly
for eighteen miles ; thence it increases to four and a half miles an hour near the canyon, and
is still swifter below.
Leaving Egnell's Creek we ascend a high hill, till at a height of 1,400 feet a plateau is
reached, which descends gradually towards the Nah-lin River. The trail by which the high
hill is ascended follows Egnell's Creek for two miles. The creek runs north-easterly, and is
about seven miles long. At three and a half miles from its mouth it is joined by the northeast branch, which is four miles long, and a regular mountain torrent. At the 5th mile along
the trail Me-a-dele Lake begins. It is three miles long by twelve to fifteen chains wide, and
empties into the Doo-de-don-too River, which was crossed at the 9th mile. This stream runs
N. 48° E. from a lake eight miles from the trail. It is rapid, and only twenty yards wide.
Then the stream turns northerly, and we leave it at the 12th mile, where it trends for a short
distance to the north-west, then follows a northern course and empties into Masset-tu-ya
River about thirty-three miles further down.
At the 16th mile we follow a small lake called Tsetete-Leoui, two miles long by fifteen to
twenty chains wide, which flows into Ka-ko-chou-yea River.
At the 21st mile we reached the west bank of the last named river. This stream comes
from the south-east ten or twelve miles from the trail, and rises in a low swampy valley
bordered by high summits. This river was followed for six miles, and finally crossed at the
27th mile along the trail. The banks are generally high ; but some low flats occur. At the
28th mile the stream leaves the trail and turns northward to the Masset-tu-ya River, seven
miles distant.    Here a high mountain forced us to travel in a north-easterly direction.
At the 30th mile the Masset-tu-ya River is reached. It comes from a direction S. 60° E.
from a mass of high and bold mountains, ten to twelve miles from the trail, and is a rapid
stream which often overflows its banks. It runs northerly and empties into the Nah-lin River
about twenty-four miles below the point where the trail crosses it.    The lake called Mou- chou-ya is struck at the 33rd mile. It is about three and a half miles long by twenty to
thirty chains wide, and empties its waters into Masset-tu-ya River.
Here the valley is about ten to twelve miles in width and dotted by numerous detached
hills. On the west the range of mountains is low; on the east is seen the same bold mountain
range, covered here and there with large patches of snow and fine grazing areas where pea-
vines and many other species of grasses abound.
At the 39th mile the Kos-kin River is crossed. It is a narrow mountain stream and
comes from mountains to the east. The trail follows it for three miles, and crosses it for a
second time where Kah-ha Creek comes in. This latter is a small swift stream, and has its
source in a lake about eight miles from the trail. From the 43rd mile the Kos-kin River runs
north-east for eight miles, then turns northerly for about twenty miles, and empties into
Nah-lin River. From the 43rd to the 50th mile the trail runs a little north of west, and from
the 50th to 59th mile the direction is N.N. W. At the 59th mile an Indian bridge spans the
Nah-lin River, eight miles above its mouth.
The country is dotted with a number of sandy ridges, covered with black pine, looking
like islands. In the swampy parts of the valley moss abounds, underlaid by gravel and
broken stone.
Up to the 16th mile the country is similar to that above described, and from the appearance of the hills, and the shores of the small lakes, must once have been covered by glaciers.
The scenery is very grand, and during the summer at no place have I seen such a
About the 25th mile the valley is about three miles wide and surrounded with bold
mountains, and then for about seven or eight miles it is more or less swampy.
Where the trail crosses the Masset-tu-ya River the valley opens up from three and a half
to ten miles, and keeps this width as far as the Indian bridge. Froin the crossing of the Kos-
kin River to the Indian bridge the country is wooded. The swamps are very wet during the
freshets, but dry up later on and offer fair grazing. The plateau keeps its average height of
3,000 feet, except from the 47th mile along trail, where it falls gradually towards Nah-lin River
to about 1,180 feet above sea level. The principal trees are cottonwood, black pine, poplar,
birch, balsam, dwarf cedar, alder, and dwarf juniper. The swampy places abound with alder,
willows, devil's club, skunk cabbage, &c, &c, and the ridges are covered with wild roses, high
bush cranberry, grasses of divers species, such as swamp grass, buffalo grass, red top, &c.
There is no farming land of any account in this valley, which is much exposed to summer frost
in June and July.
South-west winds are here the most prevalent during the summer season. These winds
laden with moisture and subsequently cooled by passing over the glaciers and snow-capped
ranges lying between the Stikine and the Taku Rivers, give rise to frequent heavy showers of
cold rain, as well as much cloudy weather. Grazing is very good for a few months in the
The following notes taken by the Hudson's Bay Co.'s agent at Egnell's Creek from
November 12th, 1891, to April, 1892, might prove of value :—
below zero.
November 12
,      14
,       15
i      16
,      17
,      18
,      19
,      20
,      21
,      22
i      23
,      25
i      26
,      27
Fine day.
and snow. 56 Vict.
Crown Land Surveys.
November 29
0°        Fine day.
1 to 20
Fine warm weather.
21 to 22
Fine and warm.
24 to 25
Fine and warm.
27 to 31
Mild and snow.
1 to    2
18° below zero.
Fine and warm.
High wind, warm.
Fine and warm.
30° below zero.
40°          ii          and below mercury freezing.
Fine and warm.
Fine and warm.
High wind and warm.
20° below zero.
Snow storm.
Fine and warm.
Snow and rain.
n                ii
26 to 31
Fine and warm.
February   1 to   2
ii                ii
10 below zero.
Fine and warm.
ii                 ii
n                 ii
9 to 20
ii                ii    and some snow.
21 to 28
it                ii
Fine weather.
Fine and warm.
ii                ii
it                tt
Heavy snow storm.
Snow, 8 inches fall.
10 to 14
Fine weather.
Very warm.
19 to 31
1 to   4
ii 490 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
Heavy snow storm, cold wir
6 to   8
Fine and warm.
Heavy snow storm.
it              it
Very cold wind.
Fine weather.
17 to 23
Fine and warm.
Heavy snow storm and rain
27 to 30
Fine and very warm.
About two and a half feet of snow on ground during winter.
Nah-lin River.
This river, which may be regarded as a continuation or branch of the Inklin River, empties
at the junction of the Sheslay and Inklin Bivers. Its bearing, from the mouth to the Indian
bridge, a distance of 8J miles, is N. E. Its width, as far as the mouth of the Masset-tu-ya
River, a distance of 4J miles, is about 80 yards. At the Indian bridge it is about 30 yards
wide. At the third mile from its mouth, on the N. W. side, a mountain stream comes in.
From the bridge to the 19th mile, the direction of the river is northerly; then it turns to the
east for about 18 miles, where one of its branches takes a south-easterly course for about 10
miles. At the 15th mile, on the main stream, Chestot Creek enters it from the N. W., taking
its source from a lake three miles up the last named creek. Hasettot Creek runs in from the
north, and also takes its water from a lake. The Nah-lin valley is about two miles wide, and
formed of well-marked terraces ; these are covered with poplars, birch, and several species of
grass. The mountains on each side average 4,500 to 5,000 feet in height. Above the bridge,
the valley is only about 1^ miles in width. This river rises in a chain of mountains which
follow the Sheslay Valley to the east, then continue towards the Teslin Lake range, and finally
join the Cassiar Mountains. Being fed by the melting snow, it overflows its banks in the
spring, and dwindles to a very small stream in summer. At the Indian bridge the river is
narrow and canyon-like.
The timber in the low places along the river is composed of cottonwood, poplar and birch;
and along the heights, of black pine, spruce, balsam, &c.
From Nah-lin Indian Bridge to Teslin Lake.
Leaving the Indian bridge, we followed the west bank of the river and crossed the Chestot
Creek, and followed the Hasettot Creek to the point where it turns to the west, and forms the
Elbow, 16J miles from the bridge. At the 20th mile from the bridge we crossed the height of
land, and at the 21st mile we reached a lake called Cheeslivah, which is about 7 miles long by
1^ mile wide for the first 3 miles, and then widens to 2 miles for the other 4 miles. The
bearing of the lake is N.N.W., and its outlet runs N.E. for 5£ miles, and then empties itself
into Toddayhill River. The outlet is 12 yards wide; the current is sluggish, and the depth of
water about 3 feet. The country around the lake is swampy and dotted with small lakes. At
the 34th mile Toddayhill River is reached, on its west bank. This stream is large, and runs
N.W. to the 36th mile, then it turns N.E. At the 39th mile there is a small canyon, which is
20 chains in length.' At the 45th mile the outlet of a lake called Cheesminah is reached; it
lies nearly parallel to Toddayhill River, and running S. E., is 10 or 12 miles long by 1J to 2
miles wide. The outlet is 2 miles long, running E. to W.; the current is sluggish. At the
46th mile the Toddayhill River empties into a lake called Otsioley, which is 8 miles long, with
an average width of 1J miles. At the 55th mile a small canyon is reached, and at the 57th
mile the river turns N. E. for one mile, where a second canyon is encountered ; then the river
turns to the north-west, and the South-east Bay of Teslin Lake is reached, at the 61st mile.
The country thus track-surveyed, between Nah-lin River and Teslin Lake, was seen at the
worst time of the year ; the spring freshet was at its highest, and all the low land was covered 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 491
with water.    The weather being thick and rainy,  the view of the country was, consequently,
very limited.
The valley, extending from the height of land to Teslin Lake, is swampy, and numerous
small lakes exist. The vegetation, both in the bottom land and on the benches, is very much
similar to that of Sheslay and Nah-lin valleys.
Teslin Lake.
At the south-east end of this lake are two wide bays, called South-east Bay and Southwest Bay, respectively. From the last named an Indian trail goes to Nah-kina Junction, a
tributary to Taku River. This trail will be described later on. A large island lies 8 or 9
miles from South-east Bay. The width of the lake at this point is from 1 to 1-| miles ;
beyond the island it has a greater width.
This lake was not track-surveyed, being kept for the return trip by the Taku ; unforeseen
obstacles prevented us from reaching the lake-by that route. Its length is about 80 miles, and
its course is about N. 38° W. At the upper end it is from 2 to 2J miles wide, and 3 to 4 miles
wide at the lower end. The Indians can paddle from one end of the lake to the other in 2\
days. The mountains on the south west appear to come down abruptly to the lake ; but on the
opposite shore they are much further away, and a large extent of low land lies between them
and the lake. Sixty or seventy miles back of the lake are the high, snow-capped mountains of
the Cassiar Range, running in a north-west direction; they are easily seen, and form a beautiful
About 40 miles from South-east Bay, on the north-east shore, there is a deep bay running
easterly, into which empties a river, called Nesutlin by the Indians, and reported by them to
be of a large size. It comes from the north-east, in the direction of the Cassiar Range, and
one of its branches, 30 miles from its mouth, turns to the north-west, and is navigable for
canoes over 50 miles. The outlet of Teslin Lake is Teslintoo River, a broad stream without
rapids or canyons, and almost 100 miles in length. It empties into the Lewis River, 30 miles
below Lake Laberge. For about 25 miles, Teslin Lake lies in British Columbia; the rest is in
the North-West Territories.    More will be said of this lake later on.
Inklin River.
The river which flows westward from the junction of the Sheslay and Nahlin Rivers is
called by the Indians the Inklin River. The general bearing of this stream is east and west.
An old Indian village (now abandoned), called Tagoun, is situated one mile below the junction
of these rivers, near a small canyon of 120 yards long and 25 yards wide, which is spanned by
an old suspension bridge built by the Indians. The current here is very swift. Below the
canyon, the river widens to 170 yards. At the 6th mile from the junction, along the Inklin
River, a glacier stream comes in, which, 2| miles from its mouth, branches into three streams.
From the junction to this stream, the terraces on the north side are very well defined, hut on
the south side they are not so well marked. The south bank of the stream is very low, but
the north bank is 15 to 20 feet high. At the 7th mile, a large mountain stream comes from the
south, and at the 12th mile the river turns towards the south-west, and the mountains on each
side get higher, leaving only a few narrow flats between their base and the stream. Another
large mountain stream enters the river at the 16th mile, and at the 17th mile two other
streams join it. On reaching the 22nd mile, the river turns sharply to the north for a distance
of 2 miles, where it takes a westerly course.
A canyon of 2J miles in length, and 35 yards wide, is met at the 32nd mile, and one mile
further a second canyon, similar to the first, but only 1|- miles in length, is also passed. The
walls of the canyons are from 200 to 300 feet in height, and cut straight down. Yeth Creek,
a mountain stream of good size, comes in at the 37th mile. Good coal has been found at a
short distance up this last creek. At the 44th mile, and 7 miles below the foot of the last
canyon, the river takes the name of Taku. The Inklin River has a very swift current, from 4
to 5J miles per hour at low water. Its width averages from 150 to 200 yards, and where it
merges into the Taku River it is 240 yards wide.
From Tagoon Village down, for about 6 miles, the valley resembles that of the Nahlin,
with terraces of two or three benches rising towards the mountains. Further on, these
disappear, and the mountains come down on the river, leaving only narrow flats. Rock slides
are common, and bars are often formed at their bases. 492 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
On the banks the usual variety of trees grow, viz.:—Cottonwood, balsam, poplar, alder;
and on the side-hills, black pine, spruce, small juniper, and all the common shrubs and berries.
The climate seems slightly more moist than on the Sheslay, and it is subject to many
sudden changes from great heat to extreme cold, owing to the proximity of the glaciers, over
which the prevalent south-west winds have to pass. There is no land fit for farming, and the
grazing is limited.
The mountains are high and rough on both sides of the valley. Especially is this the case
with Coast Range to the south. Their average height is from 4,500 to 5,000 feet, while some
peaks attain an altitude of 6,000 feet.
Taku River and its Tributaries.
Taku River flows into Taku Inlet, Alaska. This inlet has a length of 14 miles, and a
width of 11 to 2 miles, and faces Admiralty Island. On the east side, the mountains are
high, and come down steeply to the water. The mouth of the river is approximately in N.
Latitude 58° 25', and Longitude W. 133° 52'. About 2\ to 3 miles west of the mouth of the
Taku River lies the great Taku Glacier. Icebergs breaking from it are seen floating at all
seasons in the inlet. The width of the river at its mouth is about 60 chains. The course of
the river from the mouth to the fifth mile is north-east, and about a mile above the mouth it
widens to \\ miles. From the 5th to the 9th mile the course is north, and the width about a
mile; from the 9th to the 13th mile the course is easterly. The tide ceases to be felt after the
llth mile. From the 13th mile it runs on a north-easterly course, which it keeps to the 45th
At the 23rd mile a river known as the Tallsaykway enters the Taku. It is a large stream
of 300 yards wide at its mouth, where it is cut into several channels by low islands. The
direction of that stream from the Taku is north-west for ten or twelve miles; then north, where
it takes its waters from a large glacier. The valley through which the Tallsaykway runs is
about one and one-half miles wide, and retains this width for ten miles. Its banks are
low, and the stream is frequently obstructed by numerous low islands covered with poplars and
willows. Above that distance the stream becomes a regular mountain torrent. The mountains
on each side of the valley just mentioned are high and generally well timbered on their slopes
with the common species of Coniferae.
The width of the Taku from the 9th to the 25th mile averages 350 yards, and its course
is often in some degree obstructed by numerous low islands. The banks are low, and the
valley proper has a width of about two and one-half miles up to the 25th mile. Several
mountain streams enter the Taku, among which are the Conah Creek at the 33rd mile, Tayee
Salmon Creek at the 36th mile, on the east side, and Frog Creek almost opposite on the west.
From the 25th to the 45th mile, where the Taku River merges into the Inklin River, the
width of the Taku averages 175 to 200 yards. The banks are low and the stream is very much
obstructed by small low islands and gravel bars. For two miles below the junction at the 45th
mile, on the south-east side, the banks get higher. The rate of the current from the tidal
water to the 25th mile averages three and a half miles per hour, and from that point to the
junction about four and three-quarter miles per hour. The water is at its lowest stage about
the end of August, and the marks observed on the trees along the river show that at high
water it rises from ten to twelve feet.
The mountains along the Taku average 4,200 feet above sea level. Many peaks attain an
altitude of over 5,000 feet. Their summits are bare of vegetation, but their sides are generally
well wooded. Numerous herds of mountain goats were seen grazing on grassy patches at a
great elevation.
The height of the mountains seem to decrease in ascending the river, especially on the
north-west side. These last are much more wooded towards their summits. One peak in
particular, south-east of the Tayee Salmon Creek, attains a height of about 6,000 feet, and is
very rugged and quite bare of vegetation at its summit.
The Taku River is not navigable for steamers of any great size, and even then only for a
short period during the summer. This river and its feeders do not flow from any big lakes;
the waters come from the melting snow and glaciers. Like nearly all the northern rivers, the
freshet generally comes in June and does not last more than a month. The numerous islands
and sand-bars dividing the stream into many channels present almost insuperable obstacles to
steamboat navigation. During the freshet the bars of sand and gravel are often shifted, in
consequence of which the location of the best channel cannot always be known. While
ascending the river in July, it was common to find only eighteen inches of water in the channel. 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 493
The first glacier lies on the north-west side of the Taku, about ten miles from its mouth.
It is about one mile wide, and extends down quite to the river bank. There is a second glacier
on the opposite side, about seven miles farther up. This one has a width of three-quarters of
a mile, and branches to the south-east and south-west.    It comes to within a mile of the river.
The climate of the lower Taku is similar to that of the lower Stikine, viz., damp and
changeable. A few miles above Tallsaykway River the climate gets drier, as shown by the
presence of many plants that flourish only in a dry climate. Vegetables could be grown fairly
well in the lower part of the valley, if the season is not too wet. In the interior, though
summer frosts are of common occurrence, vegetables would do well. On the flats along the
river the chief trees are cottonwood, balsam, poplar, birch, alder, willow, spruce, black pine,
See., Sec.
Nah-kina River.
At a distance of forty-five miles from its mouth, the Taku River branches into two streams,
viz., the Inklin River, coming in from the east, and the Nah-kina River, coming in from the
north. The direction of the Nan-kina River, from the junction of Taku and Inklin Rivers,
is north to the 5th mile; from this point to the Sth mile it is north-east. At the Sth mile the
Na-ko-na-ke River falls into it. Here is the head of the canoe navigation. The direction of
the Nah-kina from the 8th to the 10th mile is east; then north-east as far as the 26th mile.
At this point the Ka-teene Creek joins it. From the Ka-teene Creek to the head of the
Nah-kina River, a distance of 16 to 18 miles, the course is N. 50° E. The Nah-kina River
takes its waters from a low chain of mountains, running south-east to north-west, between
Teslin Lake and the valley of the Ka-teene Creek. Two streams of good size enter the
Nah-kina River on the south-east, about six miles from the junction of the Ka-teene Creek
with the Nah-kina River.
The Nah-kina is 150 yards wide at its mouth, and soon expands to 180 yards. It keeps
that width to the Sth mile. The current is very swift, the fall being seventy-eight feet in
eight miles. From the Sth to the 25th mile it averages sixty yards in width. From that
point the width decreases gradually. The valley is from one-quarter to one and a quartet-
miles wide, with spurs of hills coming to the river's edge. The mountains bordering the valley
attain a height of 2,500 to 3,000 feet above sea level. They are rounded and not very steep.
Their summits are generally bare of trees and grassy, but the sides are wooded.
The current of the river is swifter in the lower part than it is farther up. At the 17th
and 20th mile two small canyons are reached, where the Indians have salmon fisheries.
Nakonake River.
This large stream joins the Nahkina River eight miles above its mouth. It is swift and
muddy. Up to the fifth mile its direction is N. 48° W., and from that point south-west for
seven or eight miles, where it takes its waters from the same glacier in which the Tallsaykway
River rises. The valley for about six miles, is one and a half miles wide, then narrows to
half a mile, and the upper part of the stream is a narrow torrent, running through a gorge
between high mountains. There are a few flat benches along the stream, especially in its
lower part. The slopes of the mountains are well wooded. At five miles from the mouth of
the Nakonake, the Sloko River joins it. This is a mountain stream, which was track-
surveyed for twenty-two miles from its mouth. Its general course is about N. 45° W. It
has its  source  in Lake Slokoha.
This lake is four miles long by one and a half wide, and is only about half a mile from
the south-west end of Atlin Lake. The valley of the Sloko River is very narrow. On the
south-west, the mountains attain an altitude of 3,000 to 3,500 feet, and are well wooded on
their sides, and their summits are covered with grass and moss. The mountains on the
opposite side to those just described are similar, except that, near the Nah-kina River, the
chain of mountains rises gradually and finally culminates in a high mountain, the summit of
which is denuded of trees, while its sides are covered with shrubs, grass and moss. That part
of the river track-surveyed has an average width of fifty yards. Several canyons are met on
this part of its course.
Ka-teene Creek to Atlin Lake.
Ka-teene Creek empties its waters into the Nah-kina River at the twenty-second mile
from its mouth. This creek is a fine, clear stream. Its direction from the mouth for five
miles is N. 30° W.; from this point to the tenth mile, it runs N. 70° W.; thence N. 30° W. 494 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
to the nineteenth mile, and due west to about the twenty-ninth mile. At the twenty-second
mile, along the Indian trail, a lake called Kuth-hie, two miles in length and one mile wide, is
met with. It is the head-water of Ka-teene Creek, alohough another small creek, which
drains a small lake, falls into it. This small lake is 40 chains long by 20 chains wide, and is
called Beaver Lake. At the twenty-ninth mile from the mouth of the Ka-teene Creek (along
the Indian trail) the height of land is reached. Five miles up from the mouth of the
Ka-teene, a creek called the Sine-oko-tine, joins the former. It is a small, swift stream, 15
yards wide, having a length of about seven miles, and a N. E. direction. Its head is a
small lake. At the seventeenth mile another creek called Tah-we-nah, comes from a direction
N. 35° E, and has a width of ten yards at its mouth. This stream is very deep and clear
with gravelly bottom. The Ka-teene is very swift, and has a width of about 50 yards. In
addition to the Indian trail going to Pike Lake, another trail starting from Ka-teene Creek,
at the fourth mile from its mouth, near Sine-oko-tine Creek, leads to the south-west bay of
Teslin Lake, passing over a low range of mountains, distant about 50 miles.
Pike Lake and Pike River.
Along the Indian trail that follows Ka-teene Creek and one and a half miles beyond the
height of land, or at a distance of 31 miles from the mouth of Ka-teene Creek, Pike Lake is
reached. It is a sheet of water three and a quarter miles long by three-quarters of a mile wide.
Its general bearing is N. 16° W. Pike River, the outlet of the Lake, has a general direction
of N. 50° W., and empties into South-east Bay, Atline Lake, a distance of 13£ miles.
Pike Lake appears to be very deep, and has fine, stony shores. The river is eight or ten
yards wide, rather sluggish, and has a gravelly bottom. Four miles below the lake, coming
from the west, a small stream called Flat Head Creek, enters the Pike River.
From the junction of the Ka-teene Creek and Nah-kina River, a bold mountain of about
4,500 feet above snow level, composed of lime-stone, stands as a land mark which can be seen'
at a great distance. It extends N.E. a distance of six miles near the Sine-oko-tine Creek
and up the Nah-kina River for a great distance. The heights on both sides of the valley of
Ka-teene Creek are formed of moderately high hills, well rounded and wooded on their sides ;
their summits are generally grassy. The valley for twelve miles is about half a mile wide.
Slides of loose rocks and clay frequently occur here.
From the twelfth mile the valley expands to one mile and retains that width to the
height of land, which is a low, swampy divide. The mountains on each side of Pike Lake are
low and the valley narrow. Along the Pike River the valley proper is cut by spurs of hills
coming to the river banks. Eight or ten miles before reaching Atlin Lake the valley opens
to one or two miles in width. On the N.E. side no mountains are seen, only ranges of low
rolling hills ascending gradually from the river. On the opposite side a few high and well
timbered mountains stand by themselves, but the regular chain is low. At the mouth of
Pike River a fine flat, covered with a growth of pine, poplar, birch, and shrubs of different
kinds ascends gradually from the lake shore towards the foot of the mountains.
The Nah-kina River and its tributaries, being situated in the dry region of the interior,
have a climate similar to that of Telegraph Creek, on the Stikine River. The whole country
is subject to severe summer frosts, still, it is believed that the hardy vegetables, such as
potatoes, turnips, carrots, cabbages, and onions would succeed well. There is very little good
land, the soil as a rule being sandy and gravelly. In the valley of the Ka-teene the low land
is generally swampy, and the bench land dry, sandy, and gravelly.
The Taku River freezes about the beginning of November and sometimes later. The
snow lies very deep on the flats and bars of the Lower Taku, and large patches of solid snow
are often seen on them as late as the month of June. Farther up the river and towards the
interior the snowfall is much lighter. On the Nah-kina River the depth of snow averages two
feet, and in April it quickly disappears.
The freshets come in June and last about three weeks. In winter the cold is very
severe. A very old Indian informed me that about 60 years ago the snow and ice were much
more abundant along the Taku, and that the river was bridged over at several places by ice.
Now only two glaciers of any importance are seen in the valley of this river, but the numerous moraines and grooves in the rocks prove that, at a comparatively late period, these great
ice rivers were much more numerous.
In these valleys, spruce, poplar, birch, black pine, &c, <&c, are abundant, but the timber
would not be of any value except for local use. 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 495
Chilkoot Pass.
Chilkoot Pass, the lakes at the head of the Lewis River, and the river itself, were instru-
mentally surveyed by Mr. Ogilvie, D. L. S., in 1887.
At the head of Lynn Canal there are several inlets, viz., Chilkat Inlet, Chilkoot Inlet,
and Taiya Inlet, which lies north of the second named. Taiya Inlet is a narrow arm of the
sea, about 16 miles long and one mile wide, running due north and south. Taiya River
empties into it at its head.
From the mouth of this stream to the forks at the sixth mile, its bearing is due north.
At this point the Taiya is joined by a stream which rises in several glaciers, at a short
distance up its valley where there are several high snow peaks behind the range enclosing the
valley. The valley through which the Taiya River flows is from a quarter to half a mile
From the forks, at the 6th mile, the general bearing of the valley is N. 30° E. as far as
the 15th mile, or summit of pass. From the Forks to the 2nd mile above Stone House the
valley is very narrow.
At the llth mile Sheep Camp is reached, and two miles farther up is Stone House.
These two places are the favourite camping grounds of the Whites and Indians, being near the
timber limit of the valley and but a short distance from the foot of the steep and high ascent
■which leads to the summit of the pass. At the 15th mile from the head of the inlet the
summit of the Chilkoot Pass is reached at an elevation of 3,475 feet above sea level. It is a
steep and hard climb of one and a half miles over bare broken stones to reach the summit of
the pass.
Looking north from that point the aspect of the country is very desolate. Broken peaks
covered with snow and ice everywhere meet the eye. The distance from summit of pass to
Lake Lindeman is eight and a half miles, and the bearing is N. 40° E.
At three-quarters of a mile from the summit Crater Lake is met with. It is two miles
long and very narrow, only about eight to ten chains wide. The outlet of this lake is a small
stream two miles long, flowing through a narrow gorge and falling into a very small lake.
This last one empties into a third lake at a distance of about twenty chains from the second
lake.    Third Lake flows into Lake Lindeman by a stream two and a quarter miles long.
The distance from the head of Taiya Inlet to Lake Lindeman is twenty-three and a half
miles by Ogilvie's survey; but by the trail it is not far from twenty-eight miles. The trail
for seven and a half miles from the inlet is very fair, and follows the gravel bars. From
that point to Sheep Camp, four miles, it follows the south-east side of the valley, along the
mountain side, which is boggy and swampy.
From Sheep Camp to the second lake north of the summit, the roughest and hardest
travel over the trail is experienced ; from the second lake to Lake Lindeman the trail is
fairly good, passing over moss and rocky benches. On both sides of the pass all the common
trees and shrubs are seen; but on the summit and its neighbourhood the country is completely denuded of all kinds of vegetation.
Lakes Lindeman, Bennett,   Nares, Taoish. and Takou.
The sources of the Lewis River, one of the great tributaries of the Yukon River, are in a
chain of lakes partly in this Province and partly in the Canadian North-West.
Lake Lindeman is the first of this chain of lakes. It is five miles in length, and not over
three-quarters of a mile in width. The outlet of the lake is three-quarters of a mile long and
25 yards wide.    A rapid in the outlet, of 25 feet fall, renders a portage necessary.
At this point, Bennett Lake is reached. It has a general bearing of about N. 22° E., and
it is 26 miles long.
At I If miles from the head of the lake, a small island of 12x8 chains marks the northern
boundary between British Columbia and the Canadian North-West Territories. For that
distance the lake has an average width of 40 to 60 chains. From that point to the 17th mile
from its head the width of the lake increases to 1J miles. At the 17th mile the west arm of
the lake is reached, running south-westerly for 7 or 8 miles. From the 17th mile the lake is
then two miles wide to the 26th mile. At this point a narrow strait joins Lake Bennett with
Lake Nares, which is three miles long by one mile wide, and by a narrow outlet of 120 yards
wide and about a quarter of a mile long, Tagish Lake is reached, Tagish Lake.
The general bearing of the lake from its head to Bove Island, four miles, is S. 65° E.
From the island to the entrance of Taku Lake, six miles, it has a direction of N. 65° E. ; and
from Takou Lake to the foot of Tagish Lake, seven miles, the bearing is N. 22° E. At the
4th mile from the head of Tagish Lake, Windy Arm is crossed. This arm runs S, 36° W.,
and is 10|- miles long by 1J miles wide at its mouth, and half a mile wide at its upper end.
Bove Island is half a mile wide.    Several small rocky islets lie at the entrance of Windy Arm.
Takou Lake.
Ten miles from the head of Tagish Lake is the entrance of Takou Lake, which is an arm
of Tagish Lake, extending south-easterly. From its entrance to the Boundary Line, in
latitude 60° N, a distance of 11 \ miles, the general bearing is S. 22 E.; thence it turns S. 30° W.
for 8| miles. At the 15th mile a bay, called Tata-haw, extends to the S.E. for three miles,
and has a width of one mile.
At the 20th mile the direction of the lake changes to S. 14° E. for 13 miles. At the 33rd
mile the bearing is S. 38° W. for nine miles. The entire length is 42 miles, and the average
width is about 1^ miles. At the 34th mile from its entrance on the east side of the lake,
there is a bay called Tatigi, the direction of which is N. 65° E., with a length of two and a
half miles by three quarters of a mile wide. At its head it receives the waters of Atlintoo
River, the outlet of Atlin Lake. At the 18th mile from the northern end of Takou Lake, a
river called Toosh-hie, six miles long and fifteen yards wide, coming from N. 60° W., enters
the lake.    It rises in a lake of the same name, which is eight miles long by one mile wide.
The mountains bordering the chain of lakes forming the sources of the Lewis River are
rough, rugged and high. Some of the peaks attain an altitude of 6,000 feet above sea level,
and are generally covered with snow the year around. At the foot of Lake Bennett, on the
north side, sandy hills and terraces begin to appear.
At Lake Nares the mountains though high are not broken as those farther up the valley.
Along Windy Arm the mountains are not high, but they come down steeply to the edge of
the lake. Along Tagish Lake, on the north-west side, a low wooded bench runs along the lakt,
backed by low rounded mountains, looking green and grassy. On the opposite side the
mountains come close to the lake, and are grassy on their summit and well timbered on the
Along Takou Lake the mountains on the east side rise gradually from the shore of the
lake towards the summit of the range. They are well timbered on their sides, while the
summits are grassy. They are steeper on the opposite shores, coming nearer to the lake and
being more timbered. At the south end of the lake they are bolder and more rugged, and
attain an altitude of 3,000 feet. The elevation of this system of lakes was found to be 2,075
feet above sea level.
The valleys of Lakes Lindeman and Bennett, being situated in the Coast Range, have a
moister climate than those of Lakes Tagish and Taku, which lie at the foot of the range, and
therefore have a dryer climate. The vegetation is similar to that of the other places described
east of the range.
Atlin Lake.
The Atlintoo River enters Taku Lake at the head of Tatigi Bay. This river is about
eight miles long by fifty yards wide, and has a general bearing of N. 70° E. The current
averages about two and a half to three miles per hour, at the medium stage of water.
At the 4th mile up the river there is a rapid, caused by boulders. Atlin Lake was not
track-surveyed, owing to the bad weather and the lateness of the season. At the southern
end of the lake it receives the waters of Pike River. The general bearing of Atlin Lake, from
the southern end, is N.W. for about 6 miles, then N.E. for about 14 miles, and thence northward
for 25 miles to its northern end. Its width at the southern end is about four miles, and it is three
miles wide facing its outlet, then gradually narrows down to about one and a half miles at the
northern end. The total length of the lake is about 4 5 miles, of which 35 miles lie in this Province.
There are several small islands at the southern end, and at five miles from the southern end
of the lake lies a high bold island of two and a half miles long by one and three quarter miles
wide. Several low wooded points project into the lake at its southern end. The mountains
at the south end of the lake are bold and rugged ; many of the peaks are high, bare, and
denuded of vegetation on their summits, while the sides are generally covered with timber, 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 497
: " Atlin'Lake, at its north end, receives the waters of a lake seven miles long and one mile
wide, and has an outlet of four miles long. This lake runs in a N.N.W. direction.
'"i,q5JDr. Dawson considers that Takou Lake, which receives the waters of Atlin Lake, should
be considered as the true source of the Lewis River, instead of Lakes Lindeman and Bennett,
on account of the greater volume of water supplied, and the consequent wider area drained by
the first named lake.
White Pass.
The Shkagway River enters Taiya Inlet five miles below its head. It is a mountain
stream fed by glaciers, and snow-capped mountains. There is no trail along it. It is 35
yards wide at the mouth, where there is a flat of 150 acres covered with poplars and alders.
Two miles above this flat there is a spruce swamp, and on the opposite side of the creek, to
the north-west, there is a bluff of 150 to 300 feet high, extending for two miles and culminating
in a high mountain.
At two and a quarter miles from the mouth of the Shkagway River we pass over the toe
of a high, steep mountain, and a quarter of a mile farther up we crossed the stream. The
water was two feet deep and very rapid. At the fourth mile from the mouth there is a bluff
of 200 feet high and 20 chains long. At the fifth mile a mountain stream joins it on the
opposite side. The mountains at this point are very high, coming down in bluffs almost to the
stream ; their sides are wooded with black pine and spruce.
The general bearing of the river for 5 miles is about N. 50° E. At 5J miles from.the mouth
of the river, a canyon is met with, which is If miles long. We had to climb over the bluffs, and
travel from the river until a small lake was reached. Following the outlet of this lake to the
river, the roughest part of the canyon was avoided, and the rest of it was passed by walking
along its rocky sides. At the 7th mile, two mountain streams come into the river, and at the
10th mile the forks are reached. The East Branch has a direction of N. 46° E. for 4 miles,
then turns north and takes its waters, at about 7 miles from the Shkagway River, from snowcapped mountains.
The Shkakway River receives the great bulk of its waters from the East Branch, the
West Branch being very small.
From the 10th mile to the summit of the pass, at the 15th mile, the West Branch is
followed.    At the 13th mile, vegetation is left behind.
The general bearing of the river from the forks to summit of pass is N. 20° E. The
elevation of the summit of White Pass above the sea level is about 3,000 feet.
The river runs for fifteen miles through a narrow gorge, the bases of the mountains being
seldom more than ten chains apart. The mountains rise in a succession of bluffs terrace-like,
with small flats covered with shrubs. The vegetation is scrubby and dwarf-like. The upper
part of the West Branch runs over a bed of rock in a grooved channel worn by glacial action.
The summit of the pass is a very desolate spot ; there is no sign of vegetation—only bare
rocks, worn smooth or furrowed by the ice, meet the eye.
At one and a half miles past the summit of the pass, northward, a lake, known as Summit
Lake, is reached. It is about three and a quarter miles long and eight or ten chains wide; its
outlet is a very small stream of three miles long, which empties into a second lake of two and
a quarter miles long by ten to twenty chains wide. Thence its waters flow by a short outlet
to a third lake of two miles long by twenty chains wide ; thence the waters of the third lake
are led by a short outlet to a fourth lake of one and a half miles long and twenty chains wide;
the fourth lake is drained into a fifth lake of one mile long by twenty chains wide. After
this, a chain of small lakes is followed for eight or ten miles to Tooshie Lake, the waters of
which empty into Takou Lake. Besides all these lakes, hundreds of ponds are seen in the
pass. At the fifth lake, twenty-eight miles from the mouth of Shkagway River, a low pass,
running N. 70° W., leads to Lake Lindeman. At a distance of six miles from the fifth lake,
the latter is reached at a point two and a half miles below its head, making a distance of
thirty-four miles from the mouth of the Shkagway River to Lake Lindeman.
Notes on the Indian Tribes op the Stikine River, Taku River, and Tagish Lake.
The Indians of the Stikine River, called the Tahltans, belong to the great Tinne family.
The Tahltan tribe to-day does not amount to more than fifty families. They claim for hunting
grounds the valley of the Stikine, and its tributaries, as far as the mouth of the Iskoot River,
and including the last-named river, and northward as far as Dease River. 498 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
The salmon, which they take in abundance, is their principal diet; they also hunt and
trap fur-bearing animals. They are generally lazy, and little reliance can be put in their
veracity. Pulmonary diseases have been making great havoc among them, and at the present
death rate the tribe will be swept away in a short time. Five or six families of Tahltans were
met at the head waters of the Taku River. Formerly they lived at the junction of the Sheslay
and Inklin Rivers, where the Taku Indians used to come to trade with them, but of late they
have left their old grounds, and now live at the head-waters of the Sheslay River.
Taku Indians.
The Taku Indians of the coast belong to the Thlinkit family, and claim for their territory
the Taku River as far east as the Inklin and Sheslay Rivers, and northward to Nah-kina,
eight miles above the Taku Junction. They are great traders, and every summer they go to
the interior to meet the Nah-kina Indians, and barter goods with them for furs.
The Taku Indians of the interior belong to the Tinne family, and speak nearly the same
dialect as the Tahltans, with whom they intermarry.
They claim for hunting grounds the upper Liard River and its tributaries, which fall
westward, and north as far as the outlet of Teslin Lake, and also Atlin Lake. This tribe may
amount to about forty-five families.
They gather in summer at the mouth of the Nah-kina River to catch and cure salmon.
Here they are met by the Coast Indians, who trade with them. They hold the best hunting-
grounds in the north of the Province, where beaver, bears, and silver foxes are common, and
caribou, moose, and mountain goats are also abundant. They are in many ways superior to
their kindred the Tahltans, and are physically stronger and more intelligent, but consumption
is carrying them off vey fast. Their frequent indulgence in oo-chi-noo, a fiery spirit manufactured by themselves, has a baneful effect, and no doubt causes many diseases.
The drunken orgies witnessed last summer at the Indian trading post at Nah-kina are
beyond description. When under the influence of that raw and ardent spirit, everything
human seems to disappear, only to give place to the worst instincts of the wild beast.
Tagish Indians.
The Tagish tribe belongs to the Thlinkit family. About twelve families now form the
remnant of that tribe. For hunting grounds they claim the Lewis River as far north as the
mouth of the Teslintoo River, and this river also, and to the south as far as the head of the
Takou Lake. They are separated from the Coast Indians by a range of mountains, and by the
Chilkoot Pass. The Taku Indians go by the way of Kateene Valley to Tagish House, on the
lake of the same name, where they meet the Tagish Indians to trade goods and oo-chi-noo for
furs. The oo-chi-noo is manufactured on the spot, for no sooner do the Takus arrive than they
busy themselves in the work of transforming harmless molasses into this poisonous spirit,
which they dispose of in large quantities, and at great profit, to their less-skilled but thirsty
brethren. A large trade is carried on by these tribes with the white traders of Alaska. At
least $25,000 to $30,000 worth of furs are brought every year from the interior to Juneau
City, or other places where stores are kept for the purpose of trading with natives. The
Indians receive goods in exchange for their furs, and take these to the interior to trade with
the natives who do not come to the coast.
Summary of Country explored through which Trails could   be   built   to reach the
head-waters of the Yukon River.
Two valleys and two passes have been explored with the object of finding the best way to
reach the Yukon River.
The first is from Telegraph Creek, on the Stikine River, to Teslin Lake, via Egnell's
The Stikine River is navigable for 140 miles to Telegraph Creek by steamers from May
to the end of August. From Telegraph Creek to Egnell's Creek, at the head-waters of the
Taku River, a fairly good trail is built for a distance of fifty-miles. From Egnell's Creek to
south-east end of Teslin Lake the distance is 120 miles—making the total distance from
Telegraph Creek to south-east end of Teslin Lake 176 miles.
From Egnell's Creek a trail would require to take the high plateau, and follow the foot
of the mountains east of Masset-tu-ya and Kas-kin Rivers, till it reaches Nahalin River ; thence 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 499
crossing that river near the Indian bridge, follow it up on its west side for six or seven miles
to Chestat Creek ; thence follow the narrow valley of this stream and Hasettot Creek (which
empties into the former) to the height of land ; and thence from this point follow the valley
to Chesliva Lake and its outlet until the trail reaches the Toddayhill River, which empties
into the south-east end of Teslin Lake. This trail would only be passable late in the spring,
especially along the plateau between Egnell's Creek and the Nah-lin River, and in the valley
east of height of land as far as Teslin Lake.
On the plateau proper the water stays a long time on the ground, the soil being mossy or
peaty, and thus is given very bad footing for horses. It would never be a good trail, although
as a rule the bottom is of solid gravel. By keeping near the foot of the hills a great deal of
bad ground might be avoided; but, on the other hand, at that altitude the snow remains very
long on the ground, and the trail would thus be passable late in the summer ; in the month of
October it would be too late to travel over that portion of the plateau.
From Telegraph Creek to Egnell's Creek the trail could be kept open as late as November.
The plateau near Sheslay Valley has an altitude of about 3,000 feet above sea level.
By Taku River to Teslin Lake.
From Juneau City, in Alaska, to the mouth of the Taku River, at the head of Taku Inlet,
the distance is about twenty-eight miles. From the mouth of the river to the junction of the
Nah-kina River (head of canoe navigation) the distance is about fifty-three miles. From
Nah-kina, where iand travel has to begin, to South-west Bay of Teslin Lake, the distance is
about seventy miles, and there is no difficulty in building a good trail to this lake.
The total distance from Juneau City to Teslin Lake is about 150 miles.
The Taku River is not navigable for steamers, even of light draught, except during the
freshets, which last about a month, usually the month of June.
In going up the river in July we found the water as low as eighteen inches in mid-channel
from the 15th mile upward. Above the Tallsaykway River the water is still shallower, and
in August coming down river our boat, drawing about twelve inches of water, often grounded
on the gravel bars in mid-channel. Canoes of two to four tons capacity can always manage to
go up safely from May to August. The prevailing winds (south-west wind in summer) help
very much canoeing up stream, the sails saving a great deal of poling and towing.
Canoes ascend the river to Nah-kina, head of canoe navigation, in three or four days.
The rate of current at a medium stage of water averages three miles an hour from tidal
water to Tallsaykway River; from there to Taku Junction it runs four or five miles per hour,
and from the Junction to Nah-kina, about six miles an hour.
This route is certainly the best to reach Teslin Lake, one of the sources of the Yukon
River. The country is partly open, and not mountainous. By following the Nah-kina River
to Katune Creek, and along this last for four or five miles, then striking north-east over a low
range of mountains, forming an undulating country where generally the snow lies only one and
a half to two feet deep in winter, and the grazing is good in summer, the route would be easy.
The Taku River opens at about the end of April or the beginning of May, and freezes
over at the beginning of November, or sometimes later.
A trail built from Nah-kina Junction to Teslin Lake could be kept open for horses for
five or six months during the year.
The country traversed is generally dry, few swamps being met with.
White Pass.
The White Pass lies south of the Chilkoot Pass, and is impracticable as far as trails are
concerned. The Shkagway River up to the forks, ten and a half miles from its mouth, is
bordered by a succession of high bluffs from 150 to 250 feet in height, rising towards a high
range of mountains. From the forks to the summit of pass, fifteen miles from Taiya Inlet,
the valley is more open ; it is still very rough. The whole course of the river is nothing else
but a narrow gorge, and the mountain sides are bare or formed of broken rock slides. A
trail along that pass would have to be cut out of solid rock for many miles, and a large amount
of cribbing would require to be done whenever the trail would follow the stream.
In this narrow valley the snow lies deep and remains late in the season. At the end of
September a trail would be practically closed for the long winter, as the excessive depth of
snow would make it too dangerous. From the summit of pass to Lake Lindeman, nineteen
miles, the country would offer no difficulties for trail making. 500 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
Chilkoot Pass.
The valley leading to the Chilkoot Pass, starts from Taiya Inlet, in Alaska, into which
the river of the same name empties. For a distance of eight miles up the river, canoes can be
used. From the eight mile to Stone-House (at the thirteenth mile from the head of the inlet),
there is a rough trail, passing over bluffs and swampy bottoms. From this last point to the
summit of pass—one and a half miles further up—the climbing is very hard, smooth bare
rock and rock-slides being constantly encountered From the summit of pass to the second
lake, about five miles, it is also very rough ; from this point to Lake Lindeman, three and a half
miles, the trail would pass over smooth rocks. The steep ascent from Stone House to summit
of pass, the equally difficult descent to Crater Lake, render it impracticable for trail purposes ;
also, the snow lies very deep and melts away only in June, rendering the trail difficult of
travel. In the middle of October, the summit is covered with snow and ice, thus closing the
trail for a long period of months.
This is the pass now used by the miners who go and come from the Yukon. They draw
their supplies over the summit on sleds, profiting by the crusted snow, and continue their
journey over the chain of then ice bound lakes forming the head-waters of the Lewis, to the
foot of Lake Laberge, a distance of about 190 miles from the Taiya Inlet. Here they build
boats, and float down with the stream as soon as the rivers are free of ice. According to the
miners, Lake Laberge is generally free of ice about the middle of May, but sometimes later.
The Lewis River opens about one week sooner. It is seldom before the end of May, that
navigation of those lakes is practicable, though some of the waters above may be open
before that time.
Miles Canyon and White Horse Rapid.
Between Lake Marsh and Lake Laberge, or twenty-five miles from the foot of the former,
Miles Canyon is reached, where a portage of fifty chains has to be made with supplies and
boats. A high hill has to be overcome, and for this purpose the miners have made a windlass.
Three miles below the foot of the Canyon, White Horse Rapid begins. It is the worst rapid
on the whole course of the Lewis River, and is about thirty chains in width. The portage is
on the west bank of the river. This rapid, together with the canyon, forms an obstacle to
the navigation of the Lewis River, which cannot be overcome.
Rink or Five Fingers Rapid.
This rapid is caused by several small islands dividing the stream. The channel is deep
and there are no obstructions if the latter is closely followed. Below this rapid, there is a
smaller one, or rather a strong riffle, of small importance. The main rapid is about 164 miles
below Lake Laberge, and is not much dreaded by the miners who run it. It is the last
obstruction of any importance on the Lewis River down to Forty-mile Creek on the Pelly
River. It is the opinion of miners, and, also of Dr. Dawson, that a suitable boat could
ascend the Five Fingers Rapid.
The Lewis River takes it source in the northerly part of British Columbia, and joins the
Pelly River at 386 miles from Lake Lindeman. It receives a large number of tributaries,
some of which are very important. Among them are the Takheena River, 116 miles from
Lindeman Lake; Teslintoo River, 33 miles below Lake Laberge; Big Salmon River, 37 miles
below Teslintoo River; Little Salmon River, 37 miles below the Big Salmon River. These
large streams drain a great extent of country, almost all of which the miners can travel
over in boats, and where gold has been found in more or less quantity, on almost all streams.
The Lewis River falls into the Pelly River, and the Upper Pelly is nearly as large as the
Lewis, for it receives a large feeder, the MacMillan River, which furnishes half of its waters,
as I was informed by the miners. Besides, the Pelly is fed by the White River, Stewart
River, and numerous other streams. Eight rivers of considerable size empty their waters into
the Lewis and Pelly, making these two the largest feeders of the Yukon.
This great system of river navigation is to this day the only route by which miners and
prospectors can traverse the country ; no doubt, in the near future, steamers will be running
on long stretches of navigable streams, and will thus open up a valuable gold country of which
very little is as yet known.
Taking Juneau City, in Alaska, as a departing point for miners to reach the placers of the
Yukon country, the advantages and drawbacks of the two routes, the Chilkoot Pass and the
Taku River, should here be discussed. 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 501
The distance from Juneau City to Forty Mile Creek, on the Pelly River, via the Chilkoot Pass, is, approximately, 750 miles. Many difficulties and hardships have to be overcome, such as the hauling of supplies in sleds over the high pass of the Chilkoot, and over the
frozen lakes and rivers to Lake Laberge, a distance of over 160 miles, and portaging round
Miles Canyon and the rapids below.
From Juneau City to Teslin Lake, by the Taku River, the distance is about 150 miles.
Canoes can be used from Juneau to the head of canoe navigation to Nahkina Junction, a distance of eighty miles ; thence by land to Teslin Lake, a distance of seventy miles.
Teslin Lake is about eighty miles in length, and there is plenty of good timber on its
banks to build boats.
The Teslintoo River is the outlet of Teslin Lake, and according to information received
from miners, it is a fine broad river, the current of which averages three or four miles an
hour, and which has no bad rapids. On its upper course, the water of this river runs much
slower. From Juneau City to the mouth of the Teslintoo River, on Lewis River (33 miles
below Lake Laberge), the distance is about 330 miles, which is ten miles more than by the
way of Chilkoot Pass ; but it avoids the summit of Chilkoot Pass, the canyon, and the rapids
on the Lewis River.
A smart American trader has started a post on the old site of the Hudson's Bay Company's
post at Fort Selkirk, at the confluence of the Upper Pelly and the Lewis Rivers. From there
he distributes American goods over a large extent of Canadian territory. A steamer is
employed to take his goods from Forty Mile Creek up the Pelly River.
At this Fort, a Church of England clergyman has opened a'mission.
Neil McArthur, an old miner, informed us that numbers of paying gulches had been discovered on the Pelly River, and that, no doubt, more would be found as prospecting continues.
He also stated, that on his way up, he prospected many bars along the Pelly River and Lewis
River, and made from eight to twelve dollars per day. Very little gold seems to be found above
the mouth of the Teslintoo River, which tends to prove that much of the gold found on the
bars of the Lewis River is carried down by that river. There were over fifteen miners on
this last stream during the past summer, and although the water was so high that little could
be done on the bars, they still have great faith in its wealth and intend to return.
A steamboat could leave the south end of Teslin Lake and come down by its outlet, and
by the Lewis River, with only one rapid (Rink) to overcome, and could reach Forty Mile
Creek on the Pelly River.
There are about 600 miles of open navigation by Teslin Lake, Teslintoo and Pelly
Rivers, with no obstacle for a boat properly built, so miners have often assured us. If this
were done, a great amount of hardship would be saved, and it would permit the miners to
develop their claims during the short season.
The bulk of supplies now used in the Yukon diggings come by the Behring and Arctic
Seas, and thence up the Yukon, a distance of over 1,000 miles by that river alone, to the
Steamers owned by the Alaska Fur Trading Company leave St. Paul Islands, in Behring
Sea, for these posts. They start in the spring and reach Forty-Mile Creek during the
summer—coming back in September. These boats winter at the mouth of the great river
Yukon. This makes a very long route to carry supplies, when they have to be taken all the
way from San Francisco.
With a trail built from Nahkina Junction to Teslin Lake (as described on another page),
and with steamboats on the almost perfect system of interior navigation, the merchants of
this Province could obtain a share of the business done with the miners of the Yukon country.
This portion of the Province, as well as the adjoining portion of the Canadian Territories and
Alaska, have only begun to be known. It is sure to contain wealth in placers and in quartz
mines, equal to Kootenay, or any other rich mining region.
Very little need be said of the geology of the country track-surveyed during the past
summer. The report of Dr. Dawson's exploration, contained in the annual report of the
geological surveys, 1887-88, contains much information on the subject.
Still it may be useful to remark that, in every way, the main geological features resemble
those described in the country further south. The Coast Range is mostly formed of granite
and crystalline schist, and  east of  this  range the general  formation  answers to that  part, 502 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
classified by Drs. Selwyn and Dawson as the Cache Creek Group, in the southern part of the
Province. They are palaeozoic rocks, formed of limestone-quartzites and schists, as well as
rocks of volcanic origin. In many places the schists and slate associated with serpentine
rocks resemble the gold-bearing rocks of Cariboo and Omineca. Although there are no very
extensive beds of basalt, local flows were noted at many places. The palaeozoic rocks are
often cut by ridges of granite.
Rocks of the cretaceous age appear at several places, on the Lewis and Stikine Rivers
and elsewhere.
Extensive areas show evident traces of glacial action.
List of Plants Collected during the Exploration.
1. Anemone patens—Lin.    Takou Lake and Lake Bennett.
2. Anemone multifida—D. C.    Lake Bennett.
3. Ranunculus abortivus—L.    Sheslay River.
4. Actsea spicata var—Arguta Torrey.    Tahltan River.
5. Cardamine hirsuta—L.    Sheslay River and Inklin.
6. Arabis sparsiflor—Nutt.    Tahltan River and Telegraph Creek.
7. Draba muralis—Hook.    Tahltan and Nahkina Rivers.
8. Viola adunca—Smith.    Nahkina River.
9. Viola Blanda—Wild.    Sheslay Valley.
Carey ophyllacce.
10. Arenaria lateriflora—L.    Tahltan and Nahkina Rivers.
11. Arenaria physodes—D. D.    Lakes Bennett and Lindeman.
12. Prunus virginiana—L.    Telegraph Creek and Nahkina.
13. Rubus strigosus—Michx.    Tahltan River and Sheslay Valley.
14. Rosa Blanda—Ait.    Sheslay, Inklin and Taku Rivers.
15. Dryas Drummondii—Hook.    Tahltan and Nahkina Rivers.
16. Fragaria  canadensis—Michx.      Tahltan   Valley,   Taku   and   Nahkina   Rivers,   and
Teslin Lake.
17. Potentilla fruticosa—L.    Lake Bennett and Takou Lake.
18. Amelanchier alnifolia—Nutt.      Tahltan  River,   Nahkina  River,   Takou and Tagish
19. Saxifraga tricuspidata—Retz.    Tahltan and Inklin Rivers and Lake Bennett.
20. Ribes lacustre—Poir.    Nahkina and Taku Rivers.
21. Ribes rubrum—L.    Taku and Nahkina Rivers.
22. Sedum stenopetalum—Punch.    Takou and Tagish Lakes.
23. Epilobium augustifolium—L.    Nahlin and Pike Rivers, Sheslay Valley, and Lakes
Bennett and Takou.
24. Epilobium latifolium—L.    Taku and Nahkina Rivers.
25. Fatsia horrida-^Beuth and Hook.    Sheslay and Inklin Rivers,  Shkagway, White
Pass, Taiya River, Chilkoot Pass. 56 Vict. Crown Land Surveys. 503
26. Linnaea borealis—Gronov.    Sheslay River.
27. Achillea millefolium—L.    Takou and Atlin Lakes.
28. Solidago multiradiata—Ait.    Takou Lake.
29. Artemisia frigida—Wild.    Tahltan and Nahkina Rivers.
30. Artemisia canadensis—Michx.    Taku River.
31. Arnica latifolia—Boug.    Takou and Bennett Lakes.
32. Vaccinium uliginosum—L.    Takou and Atlin Lakes.
33. Vaccinium canadense—Kalm.    Nahkina and Inklin Rivers.
34. Arctostephylos uva-ursi—Spreng.    Nahkina River and Kateene Creek.
35. Ledum latifolium—Ait.    Sheslay River and Teslin Lake.
36 Blitum capitatum—L.    Tahltan, Inklin and Nahkonake Rivers.
37 Betula papyrifera—Michx.     Tahltan,   Sheslay,   Inklin,   Taku  and Nahkina Rivers,
Kateene Creek, and Pike River.
38. Betula glandulosi—Michx.     Taku  and  Inklin  Rivers,   Kateene  Creek,   Atlin  and
Teslin Lakes.
39. Alnus rulua—Boug.    Taku and Shkagway Rivers, White Pass.
40. Alnus viridis—D. C.    Tahltan River, Sheslay Valley, Teslin and Atlin Lakes,  and
Nahlin River.
41. Salix glauca var-vellosa—Anders.    Lindeman and Takou Lakes.
42. Salix rostrata—Rich.    Tahltan, Taku and Nahkina Rivers.
43. Populus  tremuloides—Michx.      Tahltan   River   and   Sheslay  Valley.      Generally
44. Populus balsamifera—L.    Sheslay and Taku Rivers.
45. Populus canadensis—Michx.    Sheslay, Inklin, Taku, Taiza and Shkagway Rivers.
46. Pinus  murrayana—Belfour.    Tahltan, and  Sheslay Rivers,  and  Teslin,  Atlin and
Tagish Lakes.
47. Juniperus communis—L.    Sheslay and Nahkina Rivers.
48. Juniperus virginiana.    Telegraph Creek and Tahltan River.
49. Abies menziesii—Lindley.    Lower Taku River.
50. Abies nigra—Poir.    Tahltan River, Sheslay Valley, Taku Valley,  Teslin and Atlin
51. Picea alba—Link.     Inklin, Taku and Pike Rivers, and Kateene Creek.
52. Tsuga  pattoniana—Englm.      Taiya   River,  Chilkoot   Pass,   Shkagway  River,  and
White Pass.
53. Hierochloa borealis—Roena and Schultz.    Tahltan River.
54. Phleum alpinum—L.    Sheslay River plateau.
55. Agrostis scabra—Wield.    Takou and Atlin Lakes.
56. Deyeuxia canadensis—Hooper.    Inklin and Taku Rivers.
57. Deyeuxia sylvatica—Kunth.    Bennett and Takou Lakes.
58. Poa alpina—L.    Atlin Lake.
59. Poa caesia—Smith.    Nah-konake River.
N. Belleau Gauvreau, P. L. S. 504 Crown Land Surveys. 1892
Vernon, B. C, Sept. 26th, 1892.
The Hon. F. G.  Vernon,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works,
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report of the survey made by me of that
tract of land lying between Okanagan and  Long Lakes, known as the Commonage Reserve,
and situate between Okanagan Mission and Vernon, in the Osoyoos Division of Yale District.
. .   All full lines shown in black on plan herewith submitted were run on the ground, quarter
and section posts established, and Okanagan and Long Lakes traversed.
Township 20.
Only a small portion of this township is included in the Commonage, the balance has been
acquired by pre-emption and purchase. Sections 20 and 21 are open and rolling bench land;
soil—clay, light sandy loam, and some rock croppings.
Section 22 slopes to Long Lake, and is traversed by the waggon road ; the soil is light
and sandy and rocky in places, timbered with a small growth of fir and pine.
Section 29 is sparsely timbered ; soil—clay and some rock.
Sections 28 and 27 are high, rolling, and broken; soil—sand, gravel, and rock, suitable
only for pasturage.
Section 32. A small portion of this section is open and rolling bench land ; clay soil;
balance is on a steep and rocky slope, timbered with fir and pine.
Sections 33 and 34 are high, broken, and rolling pasture land ; soil—sand, gravel, and
Township 14.
Section 5. A small portion of this section is open, rolling bench land ; soil—clay, sand
and gravel; balance is high and broken.
Sections 4, 3, 2, 9, and 10 are high and very steep, broken, and rolling, covered with a
luxuriant growth of bunch grass, well watered with small lakes, timbered with fir and pine,
some willow and cotton brush ; soil—sandy and gravelly loam, solid and loose rock.
Section 7. A small portion on a point on Okanagan Lake is undulating bench land ;
soil—clay, sand, gravel, and rock.
Section 8.    Rolling and broken bench land, partly timbered ; soil—clay and gravelly.
Section 11.—The greater portion is open and sloping gently to Long Lake; soil—sandy
and gravelly loam. This is a very desirable location for fruit culture, having a southern and
eastern aspect, and bordering on the lake front. There is a spring of good water, and plenty
of wood for fuel, and is traversed by the waggon road.
Sections 16, 21, 22, 27, 26, 33, 34, and 35 are mixed second and third-class lands, rolling
and undulating, timbered in places, and a few springs of water; soil—clay, sandy, and gravelly
loam. The remainder of the sections in this township are high and rugged and very steep in
places, timbered and watered, and affording a first-class summer range for stock, 56 Vict Crown Land Surveys. 505
Township 13.
In this township, section 1, east half of 2, east half of 11, 12, and part of 14, are second-
class or bench lands, somewhat rolling and undulating, and more or less open. The soil is
good, being a sandy and gravelly loam. The lakes are more or less alkaline. A spring of
good water exists near the centre of section 2. The remaining sections are high, broken, and
rocky, with steep slopes and scattered fir and pine.
Township 9.
In this township there are only sections 6, 7, 8 and the south-west quarter section of
section 18, that can be classified as second-class ; the soil is a sandy loam with gravel and rock
in places. There is a small run of good water fed from springs near the centre of section 6.
Poplar groves are scattered throughout, affording good fencing material for the settler. Other
and larger timber is scarce.
The remaining sections are high, broken, and rocky, but watered and affording good
pasturage for stock.
Township 10.
Only acres of open, rolling, bench land exist in this township.
Below is a statement of classification, giving acreage of second and third-class lands :—
Second-class land   10,451|- acres.
Third      „       ,, 14,662J    „
Total   25,114   acres.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
J. P. Burnyeat, P. L. 8.
Printed by Richard Wolfendbn, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty


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