Cranbrook Development: 0052.0471

CRANBROOK AND WINDERMERE DISTRICTS – Notes On Their Progress In Annual Review Number of Nelson News

            The annual review number of the Nelson News came to hand on Tuesday of this week, and a distinctly creditable issue it is, too.

            The following from its review of Cranbrook district will be read with interest locally:

            In making a comparison between any year’s headway and that of the preceding year of a particular locality, one is always at a loss to find a common factor.  Everyone knows that it is a much easier accomplishment to make $5,000 out of $1,000 than to make $1,000 out of nothing, and so in speaking about the improvement of a locality.  Although for some few years past the Cranbrook district has been forging ahead in a quiet way, the advance has not been phenomenal and it would give some difficulty, to almost anyone to lay a finger on any particular spot and say: “Here is a remarkable change” – and yet the improvement from year to year has been noticeable.

            This year would probably be put in the same category if the anticipation for next year were not so exceedingly strong, and there is no doubt but that this year is a connecting link between the heretofore progress and the jump into the limelight.

            Take for instance land values, these have risen abnormally, because it is demonstrated that fruit can be raised successfully and the government has decided to start an observation and experimental farm in order to assist incoming settlers with advice and experience.  It is difficult for an ordinary outsider to estimate the difference this makes to would-be investors, between land that may possibly be of some value and land that in a few years will pay back cent for cent per annum without doubt.

            Why are the wooden buildings in the town being replaced by brick, stone and concrete?  Exactly for the same reason.  The doubtful period has passed and we know and are assured that the country is on a commercial foundation with successful fruit and mixed farming, a permanent mining industry, and a remunerative lumbering trade for guarantees, and when we consider the extent of the farming and grazing lands and the large unexplored and unprotected mineral areas, what further guarantees does future prosperity require?

            Coming down to concrete facts – there are now several big irrigation schemes in course of construction, covering thousands of acres each, the principals of which, after detailed examination and information, are content to invest large amounts, banking on the future prosperity of the country; these schemes include those at Baynes lake, St. Mary’s Prairie, Skookumchuck, Fort Steele, Wasa, etc. – The land in these vicinities being exceptionally adapted for this purpose, and where agriculture has been carried on for some years, very successfully, though on a small scale.

            This year’s exhibition of fruit and vegetables show very conclusively that no place in British Columbia or Canada can raise a superior quality than here, and each succeeding year shows a marked improvement in quality and number of entries from all over the district, showing the interest that is being taken and the evident desire of doing better, and there is little doubt but that this form of advertisement is one of the most telling.

            The land actually cropped this year was more than double that of last year, and from what the agents of the various nurseries state there must be over sixty thousand trees ordered for next season’s planting, mostly in small lots spread over the whole district and not confined to one locality.

            In the mining industry, too, a great deal more interest is being shown and although the outpost of galena has been decreased by the partial closing down of the “Sullivan” and the “Society Girl”, the reorganization of the “Aurora,” means a distinct advance; and there is great reason to hope that the “Estella” will soon be working full force again, which will stimulate great activity in that camp.

            Later in the fall Perry Creek came to the front again with discoveries of free milling gold quartz and there is no doubt that next spring will see an influx of prospectors and investors to that section.  The samples brought in would be difficult to beat, and two outfits thought enough of the showings to put in winter camps.  Also on the St. Mary’s and Whitefish work is going on continually and this year two parties of mining experts were making reports on all the properties that were reported as having good showings; so also on Track and Skookumchuck, in fact there is a restlessness in mining that portends something doing in the near future.

            Taking everything into consideration, the Cranbrook division can look forward with perfect confidence to the future, knowing that nothing can prevent it coming into its own as premier district of the province (although commercial paroxysms may retard it as the late coal miner’s strike) particularly as the building of the Kootenay Central railway is creating an interest that effects all industries and incidentally opens up a country that, besides commercial characteristics, possesses some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, combined with good fishing, shooting and hunting.  Moreover it will give us direct communication north, so that our railway transportation will be as nearly perfect as possible, and we have reason to feel proud of our district and an unfaltering confidence in its future.


            Of the Windermere Valley district, the Nelson News has the following to say:

            What is known as the Windermere district of the Columbia valley of the province of British Columbia is one of the last great valleys of the south eastern portion of this province to be opened for settlement, and a way made for development of its industrial possibilities and the forming of a great national play ground.  Windermere district proper, nestles between the Rocky Mountains on the east and the Selkirk Mountains on the west.  Its eastern boundary marks the western limit of the province of Alberta, its southern outlet is at Cranbrook on the Crows Nest Pass branch of the C.P.R. and its northern entry port is Golden on the main line to Vancouver.  At present the only means of transportation is by roads in winter or by steamer on the Columbia river in summer, but the C.P.R. are rapidly pushing forward a branch of their system, to be known as the Kootenay Central railway, which will connect the two extremes of the valley.  Contracts have already been let for the building of the greater part of this line and through travel should be possible by the summer of 1914.  With the completion of this railway it is expected that a branch line will be extended over the mountains up Toby creek by way of Earl Grey’s Pass to reach Kootenay lake at Argenta near its northern extremity.  Splendid roads, suitable for automobiling, pass up and down the valleys of this district and by way of the south and east connect it with the prairie roads of Eastern Canada while the trunk road goes on down the Kootenay river through Tobacco Plains and joins one of the great international automobile highways as it passes through Montana.  Other projected automobile roads for which surveys are now being made are, eastward, to enter the national Park near Banff, and westward, to reach on the western shores of Kootenay lake, another main road leading to Nelson and coupling up with the roads of West Kootenay.

            Great development is taking place throughout the district.  In the way of agricultural development several irrigation companies – the more important of which are Columbia Valley Irrigated Fruit lands, Limited, of Wilmer, B.C., and Columbia Valley Orchards, Limited, of Athelmere, B.C., are putting in irrigation works, subdividing land, and in the case of the former are carrying out a strong, successful immigration policy.  The industries of the irrigation company and the prosecution of the lumber interests are largely responsible for the establishment and upkeep of the market centres of Wilmer, Athelmere, Windermere and Invermere.  At least one of these is destined to become a place of some importance when the through railway line is completed.  In the way of agricultural development little has yet been done, but experiments which have been carried out satisfactorily prove that vegetables, all fodder cereals, apples, berries, and every variety of small fruits will grow in abundance.  The valley is very wide and there are large areas of bench lands which are open for settlement and development at once.

            The Selkirk Mountains contain many large deposits of low grade ore, some of which have been extensively developed and will, it is hoped commence shipment with the advent of the railway company.

            With the coming of this means of transportation the district will also be opened up and become more widely known as a tourist resort.

0052.0471: Cranbrook Development

Newspaper excerpt Nelson News - annual review on Cranbrook and district.

Medium:  Newspaper - Text
Date:  January 11, 1912
Pages:  1
Publisher:  Cranbrook Herald
Collection:  Columbia Basin Institute (0052)


annual review land values fruit experimental farm settlers farming mining lumber irrigation agriculture vegetable nursery prospectors investor strike railway fishing hunting communication steamer automobile


Cities arrow Nelson arrow Businesses arrow Newspapers and Printers arrow Nelson Daily Newsarrow
Agriculture arrow Experimental Farmsarrow
Agriculture arrow Fruitarrow
Agriculture arrow Irrigationarrow
Cities arrow Baynes Lakearrow
Cities arrow Fort Steelearrow
Cities arrow Skookumchuckarrow
Cities arrow Wasaarrow
Industry arrow Mining arrow Mines arrow Aurora Minearrow
Industry arrow Mining arrow Mines arrow Estella Minearrow
Industry arrow Mining arrow Mines arrow Society Girl Minearrow
Industry arrow Mining arrow Mines arrow Sullivan Minearrow
Industry arrow Mining arrow Gold Mining arrow Perry Creekarrow
Transportation arrow Railways arrow Companies arrow Kootenay Central Railwayarrow
Sports arrow Fishingarrow
Sports arrow Huntingarrow
Physical Features arrow Valleys arrow Columbia Valleyarrow
Physical Features arrow Mountains arrow Rocky Mountainsarrow
Physical Features arrow Mountains arrow Selkirk Rangearrow
Transportation arrow Railways arrow Companies arrow Crows Nest Pass Railwayarrow
Physical Features arrow Rivers arrow Columbia Riverarrow
Physical Features arrow Creeks arrow Toby Creekarrow
Physical Features arrow Lakes arrow Kootenay Lakearrow
Cities arrow Argentaarrow
Transportation arrow Roads arrow Banff-Windermere Highwayarrow
Agriculture arrow Fruit arrow Fruitlandsarrow
Cities arrow Athalmer arrow Developmentarrow
Cities arrow Wilmer arrow Developmentarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Developmentarrow
Transportation arrow Passes arrow Earl Greyarrow


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