Surveying in 1874

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Surveying in 1871
Surveying in 1872
Surveying in 1873
Surveying in 1874
Surveying in 1875
Surveying in 1876
Surveying in 1877
Surveying in 1878
Surveying in 1879
Animated Map

Map of surveys from 1874 - Also see month-by-month animation

The Survey Crews


(Gray)This survey party was working under E.W. Jarvis (more on E.W. Jarvis) and left Victoria on May 5, 1874 for the North Thompson. Their plan was to survey the route being explored by Joseph Hunter near Blue River or if that did not look promising, the headwaters of the Clearwater. If neither was promising, the party would survey down the Fraser River from Tete Jaune Cache. They met Hunter 40 miles north of the mouth of the Clearwater River on June 1st, 1874 and found Hunter's route impractical. Jarvis went along up the Clearwater drainage and met the crew at the mouth of the Albreda River. Since Jarvis's route was not practical either, they survey down the Fraser River.
Sometime in late summer they met N who was surveying up the Fraser from Fort George (now Prince George) and travelled overland along the route and arrving in Fort George on October 5th. From there they survey up the Nechako River to the mouth of the Chilako River and returned south, being in Quesnel on October 23rd and Victoria October 31st.


(Green)This group was led by H.P. Bell (more on Bell) and left Victoria on May 19th, 1874 to run an exploratory survey from Fort George towards Tete Jaune Cache. They went by the steamer 'Enterprise' to New Westminster and steamer to Yale. From there on B.X. Express Stage Coach line to Quesnel. They left for Fort George with 80 mules and 14 cattle. First officer (transit man) J.H.E Secretan (more on Secretan) describes how they started surveying in Fort George,

"After establishing the latitude and altitude above sea-level by a series of boiling point thermometrical experiments, we planted our initial zero stack and started next morning to hack our way through the gloomy forest in the direction of Tete Jaune Cache." p54 Canada's Great Highway

For the first distance out of Fort George they left the Fraser River, cutting through the drainage of the Willow River before rejoining the Fraser further to the east. They built boats to assist with transporting their equipment since the forest made for very tough travel. Secretan recalls, "... I think it rained there [in the forest] day and night continuously - until it snowed." (p54 Canada's Great Highway) When they met M surveying downstream they used the boats to return to Fort George via the Fraser River arriving October 5.

With Marcus Smith, they then cut a trail across the highland from Fort George to the mouth of the Chilako River and surveyed up the Chilako until meeting X which was heading north. The survey crew was back in Victoria on November 18th.


(Yellow)The group was formed during July by John Trutch (more on John Trutch) to make an instrument survey of the Lower Fraser Valley from Fort Hope (now Hope) to Burrard Inlet. Their route began on the south side of the river at Hope and crossed to the north side near the current site of Mission. It continued to Port Moody but did not make it to the current location of Kitsilano because of lack of time. They met Marcus Smith (more on Marcus Smith) in New Westminster on December 1st.


(Pink)This survey group left Victoria on May 19, 1874 under C.H. Gamsby (more on Gamsby) for Bute Inlet and up the Homathco Valley to Tatla Lake on the 1872 line surveyed in that area. From there they did an instrument survey north towards Fort George. On September 8th, they met Marcus Smith at Tsacha Lake on Alexander Mackenzie's Route. Later in the season, on October 20th they met Smith 40 miles up the Chilacoh River. After joining with the work by N, they returned to Victoria by November 18th.


(Orange)This group was formed during June by Joseph Hunter to re-survey the route from William's Lake, across the Fraser River and into the Chilcotin Plateau to try to eliminate much of the heavy rock work. This route went from the south end of William's Lake to a point near the confluence of the Fraser and Chilcotin Rivers. Marcus Smith visited around the 20th of August and swapped Joseph Hunter with Henry Cambie (more on Henry Cambie). Sometime after this, the crew moved to the Fraser Canyon and did a representative survey on the 14 miles north of Yale to get an idea of how difficult and expensive that route would be. This group was back in Victoria on November 18th.

The People

Charles Horetzky

(Dark Green)Charles Horetzky along with a small group explored the Dean and Gardner Channels. Along with Marcus Smith they left Victoria onboard the Hudson Bay Company "Otter" and HM gunship "Boxer". June 4th, 1874 and were left by Smith at the Kemano River on June 7th. They used a sloop operated by Mr. Richardson of the Geological Surey to get around after Smith left. From June 8th to 17th they explored up what is now Horetzky Creek to snowline and then left to Kitimat. They arrived June 22 and went up the Kitimat River to the glacier, returning to the sloop on July 30th. Going via Bella Bella, they went to the mouth of the Tsatsquot (now the Kimsquit River) river by August 20th. By the 31st they had explored the east branch up to the height of land and were back at the boat. Then they explored up the west branch to what is now Ear Lake and Lindquist Lake returing to the boat on September 29th. By boat to the mouth of the Salmon (now Dean) River and spent from October 5th to October 22nd exploring that drainage. Horetzky was in Bella Bella on November 8 and after waiting for a boat to Victoria, went by open canoe south to Victoria, arriving January 7th, 1875.

Joseph Hunter

(Orange)Early in the season, Joseph Hunter and 5 others (Charles Williams, Andrew Anderson, C.E. Fortier and "Jim" and "Dick" (Native Indians)) left Kamloops on May 2, 1874 up the North Thompson. On May 6th, 6 miles south of the mouth of the Clearwater River, they crossed to the west side of the North Thompson and headed up Mahood's trail from 1872 to Canin Lake. They crossed the drainage between Canin Lake and Mahood Lake and went up a creek they named Deception Creek to Camp 12 from Jarvis's previous season. Leaving the rest of his group, Hunter headed east, crossing the Clearwater River and went up a river they named the Murtle. He crossed the south side of Murtle Lake and dropped down the Blue River to the North Thompson on the 31st of May, intersecting the line survey by V in 1873 "near peg 1,037, bench mark 423.34." (p104 Fleming (1877) - Report). Hunter met the rest of his group and M 40 miles above the mouth of the Clearwater River on June 1st and returned to Kamloops on June 8th.

Back in Victoria around mid June, Marcus Smith, directed Hunter to form the Y survey party and survey near William's Lake. On August 15th, Marcus Smith put Cambie in charge of Y and took Hunter with him on his explorations north of the Chilcotin Plateau.

Henry Cambie and John Trutch

(Red)John Trutch and H.J. Cambie were directed to examine all passes south of the Coquihalla. They left Hope on June 2nd, 1874 and followed the "path to Similkameen as far as Cedar Camp, on the Skagit River, a distance of some 30 miles from Hope." (p 105 Fleming (1877) - Report) It appears they followed a route now taken by Highway 3 up the Skagit River, across Allison Pass and into the Similkameen. They went as far as the Chilukweyuk River (now the Chuwanten River?) and found a path made by the Boundary Commission of 1859. Since the route was impractical for a railway, they returned to Hope. They then went up the Coquihalla valley which originally survey by Edgar Dewdney (more on Edgar Dewdney), working under Trutch in the spring of 1872 as part of the V group. They searched for any creek heading east into the headwaters of the Tulameen with no success and also did not see any easy way to improve the route through the Coquihalla.

After this work they met Marcus Smith in Hope on 28th of June and Trutch was given charge of V to survey from Hope to Burrard Inlet.

Cambie was later given charge of Y and told to do a sample survey of the Lower Fraser Canyon.

Marcus Smith

(Purple) Marcus Smith was in charge of all surveys of the Mountain Region and began the season in Ottawa. He arrived in Victoria (via the States) on May 5th 1874. During May he organized the departure of M (under Jarvis), N (Bell), X (Gamsby) and Henry Cambie and John Trutch.

On June 4th, along with Horetzky, he left on the Hudson Bay ship "Otter" and HM gunship "Boxer" to the Kemano River and left Charles Horetzky on June 7th. Smith first went to the Kitlope River then north to Kitimat River (June 8th) and Port Essington, now Prince Rupert (June 9th). Then Port Simpson, Masset on the Queen Charolettes (June 11th), south to the Bella Bella and the Dean Channel, to Bella Coola (June 15th) and Victoria.

He then met Joseph Hunter and instructed him to form Y to survey near Williams Lake. He left Victoria June 26th and gave instructions to Henry Cambie and Joseph Trutch in Hope. Smith went via the Skagit and Similkameen Rivers to Osoyoos Lake on July 4th. He then travelled north over the hills to Mission Valley (now Kelowna) and north to "the ranche of Mr. Charles Vernon, which comprises a large extent of fine agricultural and grazing land, partially timbered, and considerable portion of it under cultivation." (p117 - Fleming (1877) - Report) He was in Kamloops on July 11th and then went to Victoria via the Nicola Valley and Spence's Bridge arriving June 22nd.

Smith's next trip was in early August to William's Lake and replacing Hunter with Cambie in charge of Y. He then went to Quesnelle (August 29th) and north up the drainage of the Blackwater River and Alexander Mackenzie Trail of 1793. Near Tsacha Lake, he met division X under Gamsby and continued west to the divide about September 11th and met the Dean River. Heading north via the north-east end of Tetachuck Lake, Euchu Lake (September 20th) and north to the Nechaco (now flooded as part of Ootsa Lake). On September 30th he arrived at Francois Lake and went downstream to Fort George on October 5th. He directed M and N to cut trail and survey up the Nechako and Chilako Rivers during October. Also he direct E.W. Jarvis (more on E.W. Jarvis) to do a winter exploration through the Smokey River Pass towards Edmonton. Smith travelled with the horses to Kamloops and the winter grazing ground then via the Nicola Valley to New Westminster where he met Trutch (part of V).


  • Appendix D - Report on Explorations from the Clearwater to the North Thompson, via Blue River Pass, by Joseph Hunter
  • Appendix E - Report on Explorations across the Cascade Mountains by the Similkameen and Tulameen Valleys, by Messrs. John Trutch and H.J. Cambie
  • Appendix F - Report on Survey Operations in the Mountain Region during the year 1874, by Marcus Smith
  • Appendix G - Report on Explorations from Douglass, Gardner, and Dean Inlets, eastward in the Cascade Mountains, by Charles Horetzky
  • Appendix H - Report on Explorations across the Rocky Mountains by Smoky River Pass, by E.W. Jarvis