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Mr. Nesbitt. For some years after its location, it was thought that besides christianizing the Indians they could be taught farming, but buffalo being plenty they would not settle.

In the summer of 1875 Captain Moore, an Irish gentleman of means, brought machinery for a steam saw mill on waggons from Winnipeg a distance of fully 700 miles by the road they had to travel. From that time the progress of the settlement was assured. Besides the saw mill a grist mill was erected, and flour at once fell to Winnipeg prices, but owing to the large amount required for the Indians it is much dearer at present.

The progress of Prince Albert during the last six years has been astonishing, and at present it is the most important point west of Brandon. In 1877 there were about 500 people in the vicinity, and about 1,200 acres under cultivation. Now report says there are 3,000 people in the neighborhood. The correspondent of the Toronto “Globe” writing from Prince Albert last August thus describes the settlement:

“ The settlement, or rather the aggregation of settlements, including the Prince Albert District (extending from Fort Carlton down to the junction of the north and south branches of the Saskatchewan), includes a strip of territory about eighty miles from east to west, by fifty miles from north to south. This district contains a white and Half-breed

population of about 3,000 souls. Here there are about 10,000 acres under crop, and fully 5,000 acres newly broken this year, the latter figure furnishing the reader with some idea of the rapidity with which settlers have been flocking in within the last year. The town of Prince Albert may be designated as about four miles long by half a mile wide, along the south bank of the North Saskatchewan. The town is situated on a plateau considerably above high-water mark in the river, and is bounded on the south by a narrow and shallow ravine, beyond which rises another bench or


bluff to the level of the surrounding prairie, which is considerably higher than the plateau upon which the town stands. The population of Prince Albert proper is about 800, but some idea of its rapid growth may be obtained from the fact that there are now no less than thirty-one buildings in course of erection in the town, and many parties intending to build are merely waiting to secure the services of carpenters, which are in great demand just now.”

Speaking of early frosts he says: “Mr. Miller informed me that though he had been in the country eight years he had never lost anything by early frosts. He does all his ploughing and sows his wheat late in the fall. In this the wheat does not germinate till the following spring, but as soon as the frost is out of the surface of the ground, the wheat begins to grow, and is really well on the way before it could be put in the ground under the ordinary system of spring ploughing. Last year there was a pretty sharp frost about the 25th or 27th of August, but Mr. Miller sold his whole crop of wheat at $1.75


bushel.” Duck Lake Settlement is located half-way between Carlton on the North Saskatchewan and Batoche's Crossing of the South Saskatchewan. In the summer of 1875 Stobart, Eden & Co. started a store at this point, and the same year broke up a small piece of ground. That small piece has now become a large farm, and, other parties coming in, a fine settlement has been formed. Between Duck Lake and Prince Albert the country is generally a light sandy loam, but much of it would be considered very poor when compared with other sections. South from Duck Lake the land improves and is generally well suited for farming.

Fort Carlton is situated on the right bank of the North Saskatchewan, and has been for some years the headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company. Here every summer the Council meet and discuss the business of the Company, and receive the returns of the year's trading. Little farming is

done close to the fort, but many fine farms are located between it and Duck Lake. To supply the settlers and themselves, Stobart, Eden & Co. have a portable flour mill, which does good work for the settlement.

The tract of country lying southwest of this between the rivers has been described in the preceding chapter. Lying north of the river is a fine tract that may be seen from the heights above Eagle Creek, and which, when settlement crosses the river, will be very attractive. Eagle Creek, a fine stream of pure water, enters the Saskatchewan at the eastern end of the Eagle Hills. This stream seems to rise in a large coulée that extends many miles into the great plain south of Battleford.

The Bear Hills pass gradually into the Eagle Hills, which, at first, turn to the northeast, but, as they approach the North Saskatchewan, they rend to the northwest and continue in that direction until they reach Battle River, some distance west of Battleford. At Battleford their base is about eight miles south. As they pass eastward they draw nearer to the Saskatchewan. Their northern slope is a continuous forest of very good poplar (Populus tremuloides and balsamifera), which breaks up and becomes interspersed with prairie as it approaches that river. Between Battleford and Eagle Creek no less than twenty-two small streams issue from the forest and make their way into the river. Owing to these streams, the country between the hills and river is very much cut up, and rendered well nigh impassable for loaded carts, when the hills are wet and slippery

The land bordering on the river is generally a sandy loam, but many fine farms will yet be located there. In the hills themselves, and southward from them, the land is very rich, the soil being a black clay loam, changing as it gets drier (southward) into a sandy one, but with very little change in vegetation. Mr Wilkins, D L S, crossed diagonally through the hills, while I passed on both sides of them,

and his report of the land at the Mission and at the Government Farm agrees with my own observations. The land in the southern extension of the hills is very much broken and contains multitudes of ponds and fresh-water marshes, where immense quantities of natural hay of the best quality goes to waste every year. Although many people think the hills the best for settlement, I believe future settlers will prefer the prairie, as there is less broken land, less marsh and swamp, and less labor required to make a home.

As the views of the “Globe’s” correspondent regarding Battleford are nearly in accord with my own, I give his description :

“ This place is certainly one of the most beautiful and picturesque in the North-West, and if ever there was a spot which nature intended for the site of a city it is Battleford. The steamboat landing on the Saskatchewan is two or three miles west of where Battle River falls into the larger stream, but for a long way (several miles at least above this) the general direction of the two streams is parallel, though the strip of land between them is seldom above two miles and a half, and in places less than three-quarters of a mile, in width. This strip of land between the two rivers consists of a beautiful plateau of fine, smooth upland prairie. Its highest portion is along its centre, midway between the two streams, and it slopes away gently toward each. The lowest portion of this plateau is fifteen or twenty feet above the narrow strips of bottom land along both rivers, which latter in times of spring floods are sometimes partially submerged. On the other hand the highest portion of this plateau (which the reader will have already identified as the site of the future city of Battleford,) is considerably lower than the level of the prairie bluffs, which rise beyond the Saskatchewan on the north and Battle River on the south. Here is a spot which could be easily drained by sewers falling each way from the central ridge; the whole outer boundary would be


river frontage, at which the Saskatchewan steamers could land at nearly all times, while the smaller craft, which would be required to navigate Battle River, could perform the service from the forks when the larger steamers could not ascend on the south side of the peninsula with safety. With a city located on this peninsular plateau (which is now only occupied by the barracks of the Mounted Police), the south bank of Battle River and the north bank of the Saskatchewan (about four miles apart) would afford the most charming situations for villa and suburban residences,

“Regarding the country in the immediate vicinity of Battleford, I am quite aware that what I have to say flatly contradicts what appears to me to be the general impression concerning it. Before coming here I was told that Battleford was in the midst of a sterile, dreary waste of sand, but I wish we had a few hundred square miles of just such dreary wastes of sand in Ontario and Quebec. The soil is not the deep, black loam which I have seen in other portions of the NorthWest, but at the same time that it is not unproductive 1 shall presently produce abundant proofs. It is a rich and very friable soil, in which there is unquestionably some sand, but for all that it is deep, strong, warm and extremely productive. I should have stated before that the few houses (beyond the houses of Government officials, which are on the crest of the beautiful high bluff south of Battle River), are located on a narrow strip of bottom land south of the smaller stream, and the plateau to which I have already referred is the site of the future city.”

The police farm at Battleford was established in 1879. In the spring of that year Inspector Walker broke up the soil, and on my visit about the first of August I found everything well advanced and wrote in my journal,—“The police farm, situated on the point of larıd between Battle River and the Saskatchewan, is a sandy alluvium, and appears to be very dry and barren, but it certainly has produced good

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