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Archival description
Smithers (B.C.) Series
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Prince Rupert Forest District wild fire mapping records

  • GR-4048
  • Series
  • 1921-1991; predominant 1921-1980

This series consists of wildfire mapping records including fire atlas maps and fire reports from the Prince Rupert Forest District. The records date from 1921-1980. Collectively these records provide a comprehensive image of the amount and extent of forest fires in the area.

The Prince Rupert Forest District was divided into smaller Ranger Districts. These Ranger Districts changed over the years, but included: Burns Lake, Hazleton, Terrace, Prince Rupert, Kitwanga, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), Ocean Falls, Francois Lake, Smithers, Telkwa, Houston, Pendleton Bay, Kitimat, Lower Post, Topley, Bella Coola, Southbank, Telegraph Creek and Atlin.

Annual fire reports are oversized handwritten tables that provide detailed information on individual fires for the years 1921-1967. The tables list: name of the fire; name of officer in charge; date; district fire number; fire origin; cost of fighting and source of funds; area burned; total area of damage done; amount of merchantable and unmerchantable timber burned; amount of range land burned; amount of property or other damage caused; and the cause of the fire. Possible causes include lightening, recreational activities, railroad clearing, smokers, brush or range burning, construction, industrial activities, incendiaries, miscellaneous known causes and unknown causes. The pages are arranged by year, with one page used per Ranger District. Each year includes a summary sheet with the totals for all Ranger Districts.

Fire atlas maps and overlays show the location and type of fires, as well as the extent of some burned areas. The majority of the maps are forest cover maps which have been annotated or had overlays added with this additional information. Many of the maps have been cut to fit in the bound volume they were originally stored in. This can make it difficult to determine the precise year the maps were created and annotated.

The series also includes one scrapbook of newspaper clippings related to forest fires, fire protection and firefighting for the years 1988-1991. This item was created by the successor of the Prince Rupert Forest District, the Prince Rupert Forest Region.

Ministries responsible for the creation of this series, and their dates of the responsibility, are:
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. Prince Rupert Forest District

Delgamuukw court records

  • GR-3481
  • Series
  • 1985-1991

The series consists of transcripts of court proceedings, cross-examinations, examination of discovery, exhibit indices, closing statements, briefs, and reasons for judgement of Delgamuukw v. The Queen. The case was heard in the Smithers Supreme Court between 1987 and 1989 (case file 0843). Following the hearings in Smithers, the case reached the BC Court of Appeal and eventually made its way to the Supreme Court of Canada where a landmark ruling was finally issued in 1997.

The transcripts of the proceedings at trial, which consist of 369 spiral-bound volumes, provide a wealth of information on First Nations genealogies, traditional resource knowledge, and language, as well as details of the extent of traditional territories. The series consists of more than 23,000 pages of trial transcript and includes the testimonies of more than 60 witnesses. The series also includes the reasons for judgment. Gitxsan hereditary chief Delgamuukw (Albert Tait), who filed the Statement of Claim, passed away shortly before the trial opened in 1987 and was succeeded by Kenneth Muldoe who was in turn succeeded by his brother, artist Earl Muldon. The claim covered 133 traditional territories, which amounted to 58,000 square kilometers of northwestern British Columbia. Peter R Grant served as lead counsel for the Gitxan and Wet-suwet'en chiefs, and D.M.M. Goldie served as lead counsel for the Province.

The files are arranged as they arrived from the Smithers court registry. Boxes 1 to 13 contain the proceedings at trial. Boxes 16 and 17 include lists of exhibits which provide information on relevant archival collections held in repositories across the province.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Smithers)

Smithers Supreme Court divorce case files

  • GR-2754
  • Series
  • 1929-1948, 1968-1983

The series consists of divorce case files created by the Smithers Supreme Court registry between 1929 and 1983. The series does not include records from 1949 to 1967 and the whereabouts of those records are unknown. The majority of case files include divorce orders. Typical divorce case files can include petitions, affidavits, court orders, and relate documents. The records dating from 1968 to 1983 generally contain court orders, correspondence, and the registration of divorce form.

Records dating from 1968 to 1983 are arranged by the number assigned by the Central Registry for Divorce Proceedings.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Smithers)

Operational records

  • GR-1264
  • Series
  • 1973-1975

This series contains operational records concerned with the North Line and North-west Line timber study reports: File 1, Smithers Veneer Plant Study; File 2, Port Simpson Sawmill Proposal; File 3, Terrace-Hazelton Forest Resources Study.

British Columbia. Prince Rupert Forest District

Smithers Supreme Court letters probate

  • GR-3178
  • Series
  • 1944-1974

Letters probate (Form A). There are two overlapping volumes; 1944-1966 and 1961-1974.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Smithers)

Maps and drawings

The series consists of maps and other drawings, created or acquired by Tommy Walker between ca. 1929 and 1974. With a few exceptions, the maps are all purchased copies of maps published by various departments within the Canadian or British Columbia governments. Many of these maps have been annotated by Walker, in pen and pencil. He traced various routes and trails, added notes and showed other information with his annotations. Most of the maps depict the Tweedsmuir and Spatsizi areas. In some cases, Walker purchased several maps and taped them together to form one big map. Another of the maps of the Spatsizi Plateau is hand drawn in pencil.

In addition to the maps, the series includes five hand drawn plans from 1970, of Walker's house at Smithers.

Smithers Supreme Court civil orders and reasons for judgement

  • GR-4120
  • Series
  • 1958, 1969-1974

The series consists of original civil orders and reasons for judgement created in the Smithers Supreme Court registry between 1969 and 1974. One additional record from 1958 was added in 2009. Civil orders are the formal expression of the ruling of the court and reasons for judgement provide the court's rationale.

The 1969-1974 records are arranged by volume and folio number as assigned by the court registry. Within this series, there are divorce orders interfiled with other Supreme Court orders. The records were scheduled for full retention under Court Services ORCS (schedule 100152) 51400-25.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Smithers)

Adult community case files

  • GR-2977
  • Series
  • 1967-1972

A sample of adult community case files. These are case files opened by a probation officer for adult offenders who are completing their sentences or dispositions in the community. The file documents diversion, parole and probation. (13 files).

British Columbia. Corrections Branch. Probation and Family Court Services (Smithers)


The series consists of 63 black and white photographs or postcards created or acquired by Hutchings in the 1920s and 1930s which mainly document the 1936 Skeena flood and its impact on Anyox and Terrace. There are also snow slide photographs taken near Lillooet and Fernie in the 1930s. In addition there are some photographs of Smithers, postcards of the Revelstoke area and several other miscellaneous photographs.

The series also includes 27 black and white copy prints loaned by Hutchings for copying by the Provincial Archives in 1972. These prints show the town site of Anyox including the dam, the smelter and various fires.

Youth community case files

  • GR-2976
  • Series
  • 1970-1972

A sample of youth community case files. These are case files opened by a probation officer (youth worker) for young offenders (between the ages of 12 and 17 years) who are completing their dispositions in the community. The file documents the supervision of a sentenced young offender on terminal temporary absence, probation or diversion. (15 files).

British Columbia. Corrections Branch. Probation and Family Court Services (Smithers)

Smithers County Court firm declaration book

  • GR-3125
  • Series
  • 1911-1966

Firm declaration book (#1-317), 1911-1966 with the wording of the Certificate of Limited Partnership included at the back of the volume; firm index book, 1911-1966; individual index book, 1932; 1944-1966.

British Columbia. County Court (Smithers)

Smithers Supreme Court cause books

  • GR-3128
  • Series
  • 1921-1965

Cause books. Volumes from 1941-1965 are indexed.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Smithers)

Kirby, James E., 1865-1965. Smithers; Police Constable, Government Official.

Diary, consisting of a register of mail sent, 1905-1907, a record of temperatures, 1935-1939, and memoirs; short sketch of life; reminiscences, 1891-1908; speech to Chamber of Mines, Smithers, 1931; memo book. Kirby was a provincial police constable at Port Essington, 1893-1900, and at Hazelton 1900-1908. He was a mining recorder at Hazelton from 1908-1918 and at Smithers until 1931.

Kirby, James Ernest, 1865-1965

Smithers Police Court record books

  • GR-3211
  • Series
  • 1926-1956

This series consists of three record books from the Smithers Police Court, from 1926-1956. Many charges related to offences allegedly committed by Indigenous people under the Game Act for hunting, fishing and trapping.

The first volume is an offence book, presumed to be from the Smithers area. Only the first 8 pages are used. They cover September 1926 to December 1928. Recorded information includes the complaint, action and result.

The second volume is Provincial Police Court Record Book from November 1926 to December 1956. The years 1926-1929 cover the Fort Fraser and Fort St. James areas. The book then continues in Smithers for the years 1940-1956. Recorded information includes date, name, charge, information on charges, fines and remarks.

The third volume is a criminal record book showing date, name of BC Police informant, accused, charge, plea and fine levied. It is mostly in the hand of Harvey Davies (Stipendiary Magistrate), October 1947 - December 1950.

British Columbia. Police Court (Smithers)

Conditional sales agreements

  • GR-2509
  • Series
  • 1919-1956

Conditional sales agreements.

British Columbia. County Court (Smithers)

Smithers judge's notebooks

  • GR-3213
  • Series
  • 1931-1955

Judge's notebooks: Volume 1: Smithers civil and criminal cases in both Supreme and County courts, April 1931 - December 1946; Volume 2: Burns Lake and Smithers civil and criminal cases in both Supreme and County Courts, September 1936 - June 1955.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Smithers)

Smithers Supreme Court civil case files

  • GR-2753
  • Series
  • 1921-1951

Civil case files with the exception of divorce and adoption files which have been removed from this series and are filed separately in GR-2754 and GR-2755.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Smithers)

Smithers County Court civil case files

  • GR-2756
  • Series
  • 1924-1926, 1928-1951

Civil case files. Orders and judgments from 1918-1924 and 1927 can be found in GR-2393.

British Columbia. County Court (Smithers)

Smithers Small Debts Court cause books

  • GR-3124
  • Series
  • 1914-1950

This series consists of cause books from the Smithers small debts court.

British Columbia. Small Debts Court (Smithers)

Smithers County Court probate/estate files

  • GR-1466
  • Series
  • 1921-1947

This series contains probate/estate files from both County and Supreme courts, 1921-1947; 1951-1953.

British Columbia. County Court (Smithers)

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