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Anton Klavanes – carpenter homesteader

March 19, 2014

Anton Klavanes (1888) Section 22, Block 5 North  Range 2 West – Brownsville BC.

Anton Klavanes homestead 1888John Douglas met Anton Klavanes when he first came to Brownsville in April of 1887.  Section 22 lay to the north of  the  homestead of Douglas, separated from it by the Hjorth Road.

In  May of 1887  a homestead application for Section 22 was filed by Petter Meller, a sailor and miner. Perhaps by agreement with Meller, or upon Meller’s abandonment of the claim, Klavanes took up the same property the following summer. Meller’s application was cancelled in August 1888 —  the same month Klavanes made his own application for homestead entry on this Section 22, B5N R2W.

Klavanes was a Norwegian, 35 years of age and unmarried.
He lived on the property on-and-off up to the time of his application for a patent in 1891. A skilled carpenter, he was often working in Vancouver on building projects.
His own house was 16 by 25 feet in size.
A portion of this 160-acre section was occupied by a large peat bog which extended from the corner of the present day King George Boulevard and 104 Avenue.

During his three years residency Klavanes had cleared 5 acres which he had ploughed and planted. He was cultivating 20 fruit trees and had another acre cleared.
Lately he was keeping a cow and calf. He had built 56 rods of picket fence and 106 rods of rail fence.
John William Stein, farmer, of Brownsville, had known Klavanes only three years. At the time Stein met him, in the fall of 1888, Klavanes was living in a tent on the property.
Stein noted that Klavanes now had a house 16 x 26 feet and had built  a barn consisting of a  “wood stable, chicken house and hay combined 12 x 40 feet” in size.
Stein also stated that Klavanes had built “34 chains of road on this place.”
John Douglas noted that Klavanes had also built a 10 x 14 foot root house, had dug 168 rods of ditch and had constructed “1/4 mile road.”
Anton Klavanes received his land patent in 1892.

In June of 1910 Klavanes dropped into the office of John McKenzie, Dominion Land Agent at New Westminster, and asked if he could have back his certificate of naturalization, which he had submitted with his application some 19 years earlier.
Unfortunately the file had been lost in the New Westminster fire of September 1898.
That John McKenzie had an excellent recollection of his files and the people in his district proved invaluable in the years after the fire.
In this case a copy of the Certificate of Naturalization was held by the ministry at Ottawa and was duly forwarded to New Westminster for Anton Klavanes.
We have nothing further about Anton Klavanes, although he may have been living at New Westminster in 1911, identified as a Sea Captain.
There was  Hans Klavanes who also came to reside at Brownsville, relation unknown.
Hans Klavanes, born in Norway, died at South Westminster of Bright’s disease, on March 22, 1895. He was 28.

Section 22 was later the site of a peat-harvesting industry, established in 1927.  The Whalley Ball Park is  located on the old Klavanes homestead.

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