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British Columbia. Dept. of Lands
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Water rights plans

  • CM/S5-7
  • Series
  • 1892-1981

Introduction: Throughout its existence, the Water Rights Branch (WRB) acquired and created a large central set of plans, maps, and engineering drawings which was assigned a single set of sequential water rights plan numbers. Over time, the original plan series was divided into separate sub- series for the use of particular operational units. The topics documented in the series and in each sub- series are discussed in the scope and contents notes below. The plans are listed in plan number and water rights district order in the series list which follows this overview. The structure and contents of this list are explained in the arrangement section below. Scope and Content: The water rights plans series documents a broad range of WRB activities. It includes: plans and engineering drawings submitted to the WRB by individuals, corporations, and municipalities as part of their applications for water licences or for approval of works; survey plans and maps prepared by WRB field engineers and regional engineers in support of licensing activities, irrigation studies, water power investigations and dam inspections; general reference maps used by WRB staff; and a variety of charts, graphs, and other items used for WRB functions such as stream measurement and precipitation monitoring. Taken as a whole, this series constitutes a wealth of often highly detailed cartographic information on regions and communities throughout British Columbia- - information which in many cases is not available elsewhere. Of particular interest are early large- scale maps and plans which provide extensive topographic information and vegetation notes for many areas of B.C. well before those areas were covered by standard topographic maps, including areas which were later flooded due to dam construction. As well, some of the early plans of towns and of agricultural, commercial, and industrial sites include such detailed cultural and cadastral information as the location and identity of buildings and the names of property owners affected by proposed water projects. And of course, the series contains invaluable documentation of specific major hydro- electric, irrigation, and waterworks projects in the form of site plans and engineering (structural) drawings. The series' value is enhanced by the fact that many of the items contain numbers which can be used to link the items with related records such as water records, conditional and final licences; correspondence files, water rights and reference maps, field notes, and a variety of reports. The water rights plans received by BC ARCHIVES consist of three main sub- series that have been separated from the plans held at the Water Management Branch. To a large extent the topics and document types described above are found in all of the sub- series but each sub- series does exhibit certain characteristics which reflect its provenance. Arrangement: Although the Water Rights Plans consist of three distinct sub- series, a single comprehensive list of the items has been compiled for the convenience of researchers. In part one of this series list, the item descriptions are arranged sequentially according to the water rights plan numbers. In part two, the list is sorted geographically, according to the water rights districts in existence at the time the various items were filed. Researchers should note that the BC ARCHIVES series list is based primarily on the original Water Rights Branch plan registers (see BC ARCHIVES reel B1949 for a microfilm copy) rather than on the items themselves. The dates given in the list are the dates of filing and the descriptions presented are close (but not exact) transcriptions of the descriptions in the registers. The registers also often contain information not transcribed into in the BC ARCHIVES list such as the plan origins, creator names, material types, and numbers identifying related records. The creator names, in particular, can sometimes be used to link the plans with other records produced by the same creator such as the early regional engineers' reports published in the annual reports of the WRB. Since the water rights plan numbers were assigned sequentially, part one of the BC ARCHIVES series list is in chronological order. However, a single plan number often covers numerous individual items and the date of the items themselves sometimes does not match the date of filing. Similarly, the descriptions usually refer to the items originally filed under a given plan number. In some cases not all of the items pertaining to a number were transferred to BC ARCHIVES and in a few cases it appears that the original items filed under a given number were replaced by later plans pertaining to the same general topic. Therefore, while the list usually provides researchers with a strong indication of the types of items found under a plan number, it is necessary to consult the items themselves, using the call numbers provided in the list, in order to determine the precise nature of their contents. The items are physically arranged in call number order within each of the sub- series. Separate lists of each sub- series can be made available, but the sub- series origin of any particular item in the main list can be readily determined by consulting the item's call number against the chart at the beginning of the list.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Water rights maps : second series

  • CM/S4
  • Series
  • [ca. 1920-1978]

Scope and Content: This series of large scale maps was created by the Water Rights Branch pursuant to successive versions of the Water Act and the Water Act Amendment Act. The primary function of the sheets was to document the location of water rights licences. They therefore serve as a geographic index for the licencing function and also provide useful links to other maps and plans produced or used by the Branch. The sheets in this series replaced those in the first series of Water Rights Maps, 1911- 24 (see CM/B1575) and have themselves been replaced at the Water Management Branch by a third series of larger- scale mylar maps. (Accordingly, the sheets are often annotated with a "D" for "deletion," while the new maps are sometimes referred to as the "coversions.") This series was received by BC ARCHIVES in 1981. Additional second series sheets remain at the Water Management Branch. The maps depict the basic planimetry (creeks, rivers and lakes) within the boundaries of the various water districts and precincts, and record the location and numbers of conditional and final licences, as well as the numbers of both correspondence files pertaining to licences and of approvals of works. (Other types of boundaries are also sometimes depicted such as those of local waterworks or improvement districts). Some of the sheets also contain tables which specify creek names, intake codes, and various file, map, or licence numbers identifying the location and nature of water diversions. Finally, the individual sheets frequently provide the numbers of registered plans, large- scale reference maps, and water rights maps or plans containing related information. Related series held by BC ARCHIVES include the Water Rights Reference Maps (CM/S3) and the Water Rights Plans (CM/S5- S7). Arrangement: The maps are arranged in the accompanying list in water rights map number order. These numbers are grouped by the district and precincts identified at the beginning of the list and an attempt has been made to specify the "book" numbers of the volumes in which the sheets were orginally bound. Since the Water Rights Branch often renumbered maps when district or precinct boundaries were changed, a conversion list linking old and new numbers is provided at the end of the main list. The maps are now physically arranged and retrieved by the BC ARCHIVES registration number cited in the attached item descriptions.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Tweedsmuir Park photographs

  • GR-3281
  • Series
  • 1937, 1955

Series consists of photographs acquired by the Dept. of Lands regarding Tweedsmuir Park and the 1937 visit of John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir and Governor General of Canada to the area. The photographs were probably collected in order to produce the souvenir brochure “Tweedsmuir Park, British Columbia, Canada” which was published by the Dept. of Lands in 1938 to commemorate the 1937 visit. The series also includes four negatives of Osoyoos and lake from Anarchist Mountain taken in 1955.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Township registers

  • GR-2642
  • Series
  • 1885-1920

Osoyoos Division of Yale Land District, Township registers, Tp. 46-95, superceded 1920 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1920). Original volume numbers 12 and 14 are missing. The land is listed numerically by Sections and Townships, and records the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease, etc.): information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. There is an alphabetical name index in each volume.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Township register

  • GR-2621
  • Series
  • 1888-1913

Queen Charlotte Land District, Township register, Tp 15-8, superceded 1913 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1913). The land is listed numerically by Sections and Townships, and records the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease etc.): information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. The volume contains an alphabetical name index.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Township register

  • GR-2637
  • Series
  • 1884-1948

Sayward Land District, Vancouver Island, Township register, Tp.. 3, 6, and 7 (part), superceded 1948 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1948). The land is listed numerically by Sections within Townships, and records the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease, etc.): information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants) dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. The volume contains an alphabetical name index.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Township register

  • GR-2593
  • Series
  • 1913-1956

Cariboo Land District, Township register, Tp 21, 39-42, superceded 1956 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1956). The registers list land in numerical order by Sections within Townships and record the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease, etc.): information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. There is an alphabetical name index in each volume.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Tax rolls

  • GR-2618
  • Series
  • 1914-1917

New Westminster Land District, tax rolls for West Nicomen Dyking District. Information may include the names and address of the registered owner and applicant to register, the legal description of the land, acreage, amounts payable and payment records. Auditors' reports are also included.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Subdivision registers

  • GR-2645
  • Series
  • 1921-1923

Similkameen Division of Yale Land District, subdivision registers of District Lot 2450S, Block B and Block A, lots 1-271F, and 280-348, superceded 1923 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1923). The records are arranged numerically, and record the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase etc.), within the Southern Okanagan Irrigation Project at Oliver (B.C.) Information may include the name of purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates (including Crown Grant), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files, and water agreements, There is an alphabetical name index in each volume.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Strathcona Park Survey records

  • GR-1558
  • Series
  • 1912-1914

This series contains diaries (1912-1914; 3 vols.), line index books, (4 cols.), and surveyors' field books (11 vols.) from the Strathcona Park Survey.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Special timber licences

  • GR-3736
  • Series
  • 1911-1990 (primarily 1963-1982)

Series consists of special timber licences created by the Ministry of Forests and its predecessors. The ministry created these records to manage the process of providing applicants with the right to cut in forests. The records were created between 1911-1990 although the majority of the records in this series were created between 1963 and 1982. The records deal with all areas of the province and were created in accordance with the Forest Act and its sections on timber licences.

Special timber licences were first referred to in the 1888 Lands Act (SBC 1888, c. 16). The 1912 Forest Act (SBC 1912, c. 17) stated that a “special timber licence shall vest in the holder thereof all rights of property whatsoever in all trees, timber, and lumber cut within the limits of the licence during the term.” These licences remained in effect until the January 1, 1979 enactment of the new Forest Act (SBC 1978, c. 23). This 1978 act replaced special timber licences with a new form of timber licence.

The records are arranged by the timber licence number which begins with TL followed by a sequential number. The TL number was phased out in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s with the introduction of the timber licence files. Many files have the new timber licence number, which begins with “T”, written on the front of the file. There is also a sheet in the front of the file that contains information about the file that replaced it.

The files usually consist of a copy of the licence, renewal documentation, correspondence, logging inspection reports, and termination documents.

There are also two volumes of file 18043f from the Dept. of Lands and Works’ “O” files series. These files contain documentation about multiple licences. These have been placed in the last box.

Ministries that were responsible for this series include:
Dept. of Lands (1908-1945)
Dept. of Lands and Forests (1945-1962)
Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources (1962-1975)
Dept. of Forests (1975-1976)
Ministry of Forests (1976-1986)
Ministry of Forests and Lands (1986-1988)
Ministry of Forests (1988-2005)

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Similkameen District land records

  • GR-1067
  • Series
  • 1900-1912

This series contains records relating to pre-emptions, subdivisions, Crown Grants, and town sites in Similkameen District. Consists of five registers, including Register of Town Lots, Tulameen, B.C.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Sales book

  • GR-1082
  • Series
  • 1904-1954

Series contains a sales book, lands in Kootenay District. Arranged by lot number. Includes owner, acreage, improvements, and assessed values in 1911-1912.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Reports of the Assistant Timber Inspector at Nelson

  • GR-1213
  • Series
  • 1912

This series contains reports by the Assistant Timber Inspector at Nelson on timber cut and royalties payable by the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Doukhobor Society.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Report to the Honorable John Oliver, Minister of Railways, Province of British Columbia, on the economic and engineering features of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway

The item consists of a copy of a report on the economic and engineering features of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway in 1922, held by the Dept. of Lands. The report was written by J.G. Sullivan who was commissioned by the Premier and Minister of Railways, John Oliver.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Report

  • GR-1125
  • Series
  • 1910

Report on forest fire fighting in the Province of British Columbia, in 1910 season. Submitted by W.C. Gladwin, Chief Provincial Fire Warden to the Honourable W.R. Ross, Chief Commissioner of Lands.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Registers relating to Crown Grants

  • GR-1129
  • Series
  • 1900-1924

This series includes registers relating to Crown Grants, Similkameen Division and Osoyoos Division, Yale District (2 vols.) Volume 1 is a register of Crown Grant applications forwarded to Victoria and includes date and disposition of application, name and address of applicant, legal description of land, Crown Grant number. Volume 2 is a register of Crown Grants and includes date of notice, number of grant, legal description of land, payment schedule, disposition and Grown Grant number. The registers are arranged chronologically.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Registers of auction land sales held at Vancouver

  • GR-1406
  • Series
  • 1901-1908

This series contains registers of auction land sales held at Vancouver. Volume 1 contains information from an auction sale that took place November 20-23, 1901. Volume 2 contains information from an auction sale that took place September 29, 1908. The registers include information such as lot number, name of purchaser and sale prices.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Reference maps

  • GR-3813
  • Series
  • 1932-1995

The series contains a collection of maps used as reference in office of the Integrated Land Management Bureau and its predecessors from various ministries responsible for lands. These particular maps were transferred from the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Lower Mainland office in Surrey, B.C. The maps were produced by the surveys and mapping branch of the Ministry or its predecessors and cover a variety of areas in British Columbia.
The maps detail many features including roads, trails, railways, powerlines, reserved lands, surveyed lands, boundaries, campgrounds, mines, historic monuments, lighthouses, survey control stations, Forest Service lookouts, communications towers, customs offices, airports and airstrips, heliports, seaplane landings, buildings, elevations, dykes, contour swamp/marsh, intermittent lake/seasonal inundation, mud, sand, gravel, glaciers and icefields. Some maps also detail telephone lines, wells, falls, rapids, dams, cliffs, mile posts, orchards and even land lots.
The dates the maps were published do not necessarily coincide with when the data was collected to create those maps. Usually this information is present in the publication information at the bottom or top of each map. The maps would have held important reference information to Ministry workers and were probably consulted frequently. Several maps have annotations marking plots of land, new features, and other notes. Many of the maps are part of composites which can be placed next to each other to create larger maps. It is for this reason that it is believed that some duplications of the maps in this series exist. Most of the maps are topographical; however there are a few maps detailing lots and land registration as well as a few water source maps from the Water Management Division. Maps are printed on paper except for a few which are on Mylar. Maps do not appear to be arranged in any discernable order.

Maps of the following cities and areas are included in this series:
Alert Bay (1956, 1965, 1976)
Ashcroft (1966, 1975)
Boston Bar (1957)
Bowen Island
Bridge River (1970, 1979)
Bute Inlet (1960, 1970, 1991)
Buttle Lake (1977)
Campbell River (1981)
Cheakamus River (1969)
Chilliwack (1959)
Chilliwack Lake (1983, 1986, 1995)
Comox (1956)
Elko (1962)
Haslam Lake (1967)
Hope (1957, 1968)
Kamloops (1979,
Kamloops Lake (1979, 1995)
Kennedy Lake (1975)
Langley (1967, 1978, 1979)
Lardeau (1973)
Lillooet River (1979
Lytton (1968, 1979)
Manning Park (1960)
Merritt (1980)
Mount Urquhart (1955, 1960)
Mount Waddington (1968)
Nootka Sound (1960)
Pemberton (1951, 1972)
Pitt River (1973)
Port Alberni (1976)
Princeton (1980, 1995)
Revelstoke (1932)
Scuzzy Mountain (1956)
Shuswap Lake (1968)
Skagit (1960)
Spuzzum (1957, 1967)
Squamish (1952, 1972, 1982)
Sugar Lake (1956)
Texada Island (1950)
Toba Inlet (1979)
Tulameen (1958, 1978, 1986, 1995)
Vancouver (1959, 1975)
Victoria (1968)
Whistler (1993)
Yale (1966, 1976, 1979, 1995)

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks

Records relating to Whalen Pulp and Paper Mills Ltd.

  • GR-1397
  • Series
  • 1916-1917, 1926

This series contains records relating to Whalen Pulp and Paper Mills Ltd. Records include copies of leases and legal documents filed against the company's licences and leases, including wood pulp, booming ground, and quarry leases. Filed with the Minister of Lands.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records relating to the Vancouver Island Settlers' Rights Acts, 1903 and 1904

  • GR-1090
  • Series
  • 1882-1918

Contains land records file relating to the Vancouver Island Settlers' Rights Acts, 1903 and 1904. Includes correspondence, memoranda, reports, legal briefs and sketches pertaining to land disputes between settlers and the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Company. File 145321/12, 1912 Series.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records relating to the University Endowment Lands

  • GR-1161
  • Series
  • 1925-1953

This series contains the Lands Service records relating to the University Endowment Lands [UEL] adjacent to the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. They contain ledgers of lot sales which show purchase payment, improvement tax schedules, and interest charges. Boxes have nominal indexes. Box 5 is oversized. For related records, see GR-1068.

British Columbia. Lands Service

Records relating to the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Belt and the Canadian Pacific Railway terminus at Burrard Inlet

  • GR-1404
  • Series
  • 1860-1912

This series contains records relating to the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Belt and the Canadian Pacific Railway terminus at Burrard Inlet. The records consist of correspondence, memoranda and other records from the Lands Department. Central files are extracted and filed separately (see f.1 for a list of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo files). These includes correspondence and plans of government reserves at Burrard Inlet and indenture of grant to British Columbia and Vancouver Island Spar Lumber and Sawmill Co., 1860-1866; these materials were filed separately as they pertained to lands comprising the Canadian Pacific Railway terminus at Coal Harbour.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records relating to surveys and surveyors field books

  • GR-1148
  • Series
  • 1913-1920

Records relating to surveys and surveyors field books. Consists of a register of surveyors' field books on Vancouver Island, especially Victoria district; an alphabetical street index to surveyors' field books for the City of Victoria, and miscellaneous correspondence pertaining to surveys. Includes record of surveys done since 1858.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records relating to miners' certificates and permits

  • GR-1057
  • Series
  • 1895-1918

Records relating to miners' certificates and permits issued by the Dept. of Lands and Works and the Dept. of Lands at Victoria. Includes Free Miner's Certificates, 1897-1912; Special Miner's Certificates, 1899-1906; Leave of Absence permits, 1895-1906; mining receipts, 1897-1903; Crown Grant fee receipts pursuant to the Mineral Act, 1911-1918.

Records relating to miners' certificates and permits

Source: GR Finding Aids

Finding aid: box list.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records relating to foreshore leases

  • GR-1402
  • Series
  • 1895-1952

This series contains records relating to foreshore leases, including expired and canceled leases. It consists of a register to foreshore leases (1 vol.), lease indentures, sketches, plans and material relating to leases for Prince Rupert foreshore, fish plants, fish traps, and fishing stations, and to lands formerly comprising the Songhees Indian Reserve, Victoria.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records relating to auction sales of Prince Rupert land

  • GR-1407
  • Series
  • 1909-1912

This series contains records relating to auction sales of Prince Rupert lands in 8 volumes. The records consist of a register of auction sale of Prince Rupert lots sold on May 25, 1909 and the following days at Vancouver and Victoria, as well as a register of auction sale of Prince Rupert lots sold on August 28 and 29, 1912 held at Vancouver. The records include receipt certificates for the May 25, 1909 sale (6 volumes). Volume 1 and Volume 8 are oversize.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records of the Assistant Commissioner of Lands and Works, Similkameen Division

  • GR-0825
  • Series
  • 1905-1920

This series consists of records of the Assistant Commissioner of Lands, Similkameen Division, Yale District, 1905-1920. Records include two volumes of declarations for Certificates of Improvement, nos. 1-182 and 183-561. The declarations give a description of improvements made on preempted lands. Some certificates are from Osoyoos Division, Yale District. There is an index at the back of each volume. Some records may relate to Vernon and Fairview as well.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records of crown grant applications

  • GR-1405
  • Series
  • ca. 1904-1928

This series contains lists of Vancouver Island settlers who made Crown grant applications under provisions of the Vancouver Island Settlers' Rights Act, 1904, and subsequent amendments. Information includes name, acreage, and legal description of lands.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

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