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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 47

Similkameen Valley

Similkameen Valley.

This valley extends fifty-five miles from Princeton to the frontier (see Map). Mountains bordering the river are granite, greenstone, and quartz, capped with blue and brown clay slate; clay of slaty texture stained with iron; small quantities of blue clay; bed of river filled with boulders of granite, greenstone, and trap of all sizes; fordable except during freshets, and then it rises very rapidly; grass very good; timber scarce; sharp bends of river generally well wooded; underbrush of willow and wild cherry; near base of mountains sufficient timber for settlers; soil somewhat sandy and light; free from stones, and generally excellent for either grazing or farming; dry in summer; irrigation necessary; many large portions already well watered by streams from the mountains, with fall sufficient to facilitate any further irrigation found necessary; grass most luxuriant, also, on the little tributary streams. Valley very picturesque. "Similkameen beef" is talked of as Englishmen talk of "Southdown mutton." A settler introduced a Durham bull in 1872, which cost him 1000 dollars (2007. English): another wrote lately, "We have a "good mining and good farming district and one of the best stock-ranges on "the Pacific coast: numbers of cattle, horses, sheep, and pigs. The Indians "go into farming; quite quiet; keep cats."

It is unfortunate that this fine Similkameen district has not an easier western outlet in the direction of the New Westminster district.