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Early Land Sales Opposite New Westminster

June 4, 2013

First Land Purchases Opposite New Westminster

The map above depicts the pattern of the first purchases of land south of the Fraser River from New Westminster.

Clicking on the map will open a GoogleMap with details of each parcel as to date of sale and name of buyer. The area covered is in Block 5 North, Ranges 1, 2 and 3 West of the Coast Meridian. That is, north of 96 Avenue and west of 168 Street, to Fraser River.

As this was surveyed land, it was not pre-empted but rather sold at auction or  by application to purchase.  The first survey done by JW Trutch in 1859 laid out the grid pattern of square sections still visible today.

A second survey by the Royal Engineers  to coincide with an auction in February 1861, laid down the twelve distinctive strips of land opposite New Westminster, each 10 chains wide and each comprising 45 acres. At either end was a larger lot. The lower one, of 64 acres,was sold with the others, but  the one at the northeast end, here marked in blue,  had been held back for a Government Reserve.  Site of the old Revenue Station, it was comprised two sub-lots, leased to SW Herring, and some Indian houses occupied by Musqueam Chief Tsimlanah.

Note that land back of the river was left untouched, due to its being inaccessible and heavily forested.  As late as 1873 land on the uplands offered at one dollar an acre, remained unclaimed.  The Map Of Property Owners – 1880, previous posted,  shows  no change in this pattern.

Also untouched was the parcel adjacent to the Government Reserve on the east, which is the subject of the next post.

Note: The source of information for this map of early purchases is F.W. Laing’s Colonial Farm Settlers on the Mainland of British Columbia, 1859-1871.

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