Before the passage of the Land Surveyors Act of 1891, about 150 land surveyors practiced in British Columbia. The L.S. Group British Columbia’s First Land Surveyors presents us with biographies of 142 of those pioneer surveyors.
Surveyors such as Trutch, Dewdney, Pemberton or Moberly found their way into the history books, but there are scores of surveyors about whom little was known before this publication. These land surveyors lived and worked in the formative years of British Columbia. Some of their work was exploratory, but mostly their assignments were related to the demands of the growing number of settlers, industry, government and the railroads.
The book is richly illustrated with photographs and drawings, mainly from the British Columbia Archives, including images of historic survey instruments. This rich collection of biographies and minutiae not only makes for an interesting read, it also provides a fascinating glimpse at the formative period of the province of British Columbia and at the lives of individuals caught up in and actively contributing to the making of a new society.
Review by Fred Braches as published in Heritage BC Quarterly Summer 2008.
“The L.S. Group British Columbia’s First Land Surveyors” may be ordered direct from the ABCLS office. It is soft cover, 386 pages, $30.00 (includes tax & shipping).