Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 47

Nicola Country

Nicola Country.

Directly south from Kamloops, 30 miles, is Nicola Lake (see Map). The road at present from Kamloops is a sort of natural trail over gently undu- page 67 lating but high open country, with fine grass. First few miles no herbage; many ravines. At the first height turn and survey the magnificent scenery of the Thompson River valleys; will give some idea of the grazing resources of the province. Can bring a waggon with light load across from Kamloops to Nicola Lake, if you take a guide, an axe, and a spade.

Nicola Lake is reached also from Lytton, which is on the trunk waggon-road (see Map). The post comes in from Lytton.

The road in this direction will doubtless be improved. At present, going from Lytton to Nicola Lake, you first skirt and look down on Thompson River.

Eleven miles on, at a break in valley, is a waterfall; diverge; steep mountain-trail 12 miles; strike Nicola River, whence 40 miles to the lake. First part of river unattractive; wild sage bushes; hot sand in summer; rattlesnakes (some say). River winds through masses of alder and willow; by-and-by plains dotted with pines; fine land; a few settlers. Rich sheltered bottoms, where the peach, castor-oil plant, sweet almond, will grow, and fine meadow-grass, grain, and root-crops; grassy hills, good for cows. Provincial Exhibition prize for cheese came to this district. Irrigate from river water; land in valley heavy black loam; no stones nor gravel near surface; "red pine" on the mountains. Coal, it is said, has been found in the Nicola district.

Nicola Lake, thus reached either from Lytton or Kamloops, is in a fine district; climate dry and warm in summer; warm rains April and May, and again August and September. Have to irrigate; can grow finest wheat, oats, barley, broom corn, and vegetables—one experienced settler says better produce than in "Vancouver Island or Oregon;" tobacco, tomatoes, and melons mature well. Winters mild; two months cold clear weather, with snow. South winds melt snow and leave ground bare for weeks. Thirty-six settlers—seven ladies—two wives coming from Scotland. Round the lake open prairie; bunch grass. Year-old steer of 600 lbs. (dressed). Seldom have to feed cattle on hay. On 2nd March, 1872, after a bad winter, cattle fat; grass green on hillsides, spring birds and wild ducks back to their haunts. Good land round the lake occupied, but room in the neighbourhood. Milk cows scarce; a few gentle cows for sale at 65 to 75 dollars (13l. to 15l. English); plenty of cattle, but young breeding stock dear. Beautiful sheep-farm a mile from lake; level plain, river on one side; sloping heights to the north, running parallel to the river. About 2000 sheep; do well.

A correspondent, "Observer," in the 'British Colonist,' Victoria, of 28th November, 1871, says:—"I predict a prosperous future to all who obtain a footing in this most delightful valley . . . . . . It is a fact that all kinds of animals will "not only thrive by what they can procure for themselves, but will keep fat, "so great is the quantity of vegetation and so moderate the climate."

East side of Nicola Lake, up river 10 miles, fine valley; home for fifty families, at least. Open prairie along the river; very good land, easily irrigated; timber scarce, except close to river; "pine" on mountains seven or eight miles back. As far the eye can see, a beautiful prairie of grass.