Agriculture along the Crow Route in British Columbia (2 of 5)


In the 1890s and early 1900s, particularly after the opening of the Crowsnest Pass Route, many small agricultural settlements were established throughout the region. As mining and lumbering grew in importance along the railway and steamboat routes and the population of the region increased so to did the market for fresh fruit, grain, vegetables and meat. At the same time markets were developed beyond the region particularly for the fine fruit being grown. Around Kootenay Lake and the Arrow Lakes towns and cities such as Kaslo, Lardeau, Procter, Burton City, Fauquier, Edgewood, Nakusp and others shipped apples, cherries and other fruit across Canada and to Europe.

Large sections of these lands were parts of railway land grants, particularly those to the Canadian Pacific (including the various subsidiaries in the region) and the Great Northern-controlled Kaslo & Slocan Railway. In addition, F. Augustus Heinze retained large land grant tracts although he sold his Columbia & Western to the Canadian Pacific. The railways and the steamboats on the lakes were the only means available for ranchers and farmers to ship out their crops. At the same time, the transportation companies depended in no small measure on the farmers and ranchers for sustained and reliable traffic. A mutually-dependent relationship developed that was not always happy but nearly everyone realized its importance.


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