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Nils Sandell – Rails at the ready

March 16, 2014

Nils Sandell (1887) – Section 33, B5N R2W – Brownsville, BC.


Nils Sandell took up Section 33 in May of 1887, at the age of thirty.
Born in Lomma, Sweden, he became a naturalized citizen in 1890, the same year he obtained his land patent.
Of his 160 acres, he declared,  “I have now 6 acres broken and under cultivation done from time to time since settlement.”
He had partly cleared another 2 acres and had 12 fruit trees.
Nils Sandell mapHis house was 18 by 20 feet in size.
In 1889 he had acquired “2 head of horned cattle,”  and he had built fairly large barn, 20 by 30 feet.
E.B. Ingebrigtsen, who vouched for him, noted that his cattle were heifers, and that:

“He has a lot of rail cut.”
In reference to that fencing, John Douglas wrote:

“He has not put up any yet, but he has a large pile of rails ready.”

Douglas added “He has a good barn.”

When opportunity arose Sandell  was employed fishing on Fraser River, keeping him away from the homestead about three months each year.
In September 1891, Nils Sandell was married at age 35 to Norwegian-born Clara Olsen, 21, in a ceremony witnessed by Hans Espeland and Olga Espeland.
The Sandells sold out and moved to Burnaby in 1901.
Somewhere along the way, Nils Sandell became known as Nels Sandell, as he is sometimes called these days. Sandell Road (128 St), forming the western boundary of his section, was named after him.

The property passed into the hands of Olai Espeland, who in 1910 sold the southwest quarter of section 33 to Gentaro Ujie.
In this quarter, the northeast corner of 128 Street and 96 Ave was to  become the center of the Japanese community in Surrey and North Delta, site of the Berry Growers Hall.

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