REPORT ON TOWNSHIP 51, RANGE 14, WEST OF THE FOURTH MERIDIAN
ACCESSIBILITY AND ROADS
This township is situated just southeast of the town of Vegreville, the northwest corner being about 3 miles from the town. It is well supplied with roads, which on the whole are in fair condition. There are within the township and along its boundaries about 50 miles of well-travelled, and 7 miles of slightly-travelled roads.
The town of Vegreville, which has a population of about 1,500, is situated on the Canadian National railways in sections 18 and 19, township 52-14. From this point a branch line of the Canadian National railways runs to Calgary. The town is an important business centre and local market for the surrounding district. A Provincial Government telephone central is located at this place, from which telephone lines radiate in all directions, and serve the country for many miles around. Excellent public and high school facilities are to be had, every line of business is well represented at Vegreville, while seven grain elevators and one flour mill make it an important business point, as well as a desirable place to live near. The village of Lavoy is but 2 miles east of the northeast corner of the township. With the above facilities in so convenient position, this township is very favourably situated, and the people living therein enjoy advantages not obtainable in many other localities.
SURFACE AND SURFACE COVERING
The surface of this township is nearly level or gently rolling. The land slopes slightly towards the west, but generally the drainage for about 50 per cent of the township is poor. About one-third of the land is cultivated, about 10 per cent is covered with poplar and willow bush 6 to 12 feet in height, about 3 per cent poplar to 4 inches in diameter, and the remainder open country. The Vermilion river flows northerly through sections 6, 7, and 18. Its valley is but 100 to 200 feet wide and only 10 to 20 feet deep. The bed of the river is small, being but 10 to 15 feet wide and 3 or 4 feet deep.
The settlement of this township took place about twenty years ago. The majority of the settlers to-day are Canadians The township forms a part of the municipality of Patricia. From general conditions it would appear that the township has received its fair share of local improvements in the construction and maintenance of roads. Many of the residents enjoy the telephone service which has been installed. There are now about 25 miles of lines along road allowances.
CROPS AND STOCK
Wheat and oats are the chief grain crops grown for sale and oat green feed for fodder. In this district crops, as a rule, are successfully grown and harvested although for the past two or three years, drought has caused a partial crop failure. A limited number of cattle and hogs are raised by the farmers.
HAY LANDS AND WINTER FEED
The greater portion of winter feed for stock is obtained from oat green feed and straw. The clay areas, however, mentioned above produce a good crop of hay during favourable years. These however, cannot all be depended upon for should the season be very wet the lands become flooded, and if very dry the hay does not grow. A limited amount of hay is obtained from the natural upland prairie, which materially supplements the other fodder crops.
A limited amount of fuel is secured from the small poplar bush, when land is being cleared. Nearly all of the settlers, however, use lignite coal which is shipped in from the Edmonton district.
Good water is obtained from wells 40 to 100 feet in depth. Most of the wells have been drilled.
The predominating soil is black fine sandy loam over clay loam, which is found on the higher nearly level and gently rolling lands. The depths of the topsoil average 8 to 10 inches and the subsurface soil from 10 to 20 inches with a subsoil of compact clay. There are approximately 7 square miles of clay loam and about 5 square miles of clay land within the township. The latter are mostly liable to flooding, and during certain seasons are useful only as hay lands or pasture depending upon the amount of precipitation.
POST OFFICES AND SCHOOLS
The post offices to meet the needs of the settlement are Lavoy and Vegreville. Schools within the township are situated on the southeast quarter of section 31 and on the southwest quarter of section 3, while a third school is on the southwest quarter of section 3-52-14.
(Sgd.) R. II. KNIGHT,
Dominion Land Surveyor.