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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 47


page 64


In the arid south-east angle of the province among the flanking ridges of the Rocky range; a well-known and promising mining region (see "Mines").

Farming land—principally on alluvial bottoms—lies along Kootenay River and the head waters of the Columbia, say for about 200 miles long and 5 miles wide; good grass; timber and water privileges; heat and cold rather extreme (for British Columbia)—November 14th, 1872, six inches snow on the ground; facilities for irrigation favourable; capabilities of the soil are becoming known after trial.

Wild Horse Creek—fine dairy farm—good stock, grain, and vegetables.

Joseph's Prairie—the same—Columbia lakes the same. At the Columbia, a fine farm of 5000 acres, rented for grazing; believed to be good arable—along the streams flowing by the side of mountains crowned with perpetual snow in this district, almost all kinds of vegetables can be grown; quality excellent, particularly the potatoes. Every Chinaman has a vegetable patch. What is produced finds ready sale in the mining camps. Cattle at present in this district: 1200 head of stock and beef; 155 cows; 5 bullocks used every week; resident white men, 85; Chinamen, 200 (own 25 cows); Indians, 300 (own 30 cows); people generally orderly and contented; hopeful as regards their future; a number of persons taking up land for settlement; a water-power sawmill in course of construction. The Kootenay, Osoyoos, and Similkameen settlers sent lately 23½ dollars to the Royal Columbia Hospital at New Westminster.

Much trade done at present between Kootenay and the American town of Walla Walla (408 miles from Wild Horse Creek). Wages in Kootenay in autumn of 1872 were 3 to 5 dollars (12s. to 20s. English) per day: prices as follows:—Flour, 14 cents (7d. English) per lb.: beef, 15 to 20 cents (7½d. to 10d. English) per lb.; sugar, 33 to 40 cents (1s. 4¼d. to 1s. 8d. English); tea, dollar (6s. English) per lb.; bacon and hams, 40 to 50 cents (1s. 8d. to 2s. English) per lb.; potatoes, cabbages, and turnips, 4 to 6 cents (2d. to 3d. English) per lb.; beans, 33 cents (1s. 4¼d. English) per lb.

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Oregon considers that the country about the sources of the Columbia River is of great prospective importance. It is divided into forest and prairie in proportions favourable for settlement; mining resources undoubted; birch, pine, "cedar and cypress" prevail; climate delightful; snow goes generally as it falls; a most desirable country, needing people only and road communications. Stock-owners now drive cattle to winter in neighbourhood of Columbia River lakes—will by-and-by be reached from the north, probably more easily than by the road from Hope which I have described.

Many prefer the climate of this section to the climate even at Victoria, Vancouver Island.