REPORT ON TOWNSHIP 32, RANGE 12, WEST OF THE FOURTH MERIDIAN
ACCESSIBILITY AND ROADS
This township is easily reached from the villages of Ranfurly and Lavoy. Both these villages are on the Canadian National railway, and each is about four miles distant from the nearest part of the township. The former is southwest from the southeast corner of the township and the latter due west of the southwest corner of the township. There are approximately 40 miles of well-travelled and 15 miles of slightly travelled roads in the township. Most of the well-travelled roads are graded and follow closely along the regular road allowances.
The villages above referred to are both small, each having a few general stores. A bank has been established at. Lavoy, while there is none at Ranfurly. Each place has two large grain elevators.
SURFACE AND SURFACE COVERING
The greater portions of sections 6, 7, 17, 19 and 20 are gently rolling or gently sloping lands while the balance of the township is rolling or rolling to hilly and in many places quite hilly. The surface covering is as follows: 28 per cent of the township is now under cultivation; 10 per cent is covered with poplar 4 inches to 8 inches with young undergrowth, 13 per cent is covered with young poplar and willow from 6 to 12 feet in height; about 5 per cent is small lakes and the remainder being 44 per cent is open prairie land or very light brush.
The main soil type of sections 6, 7, 18, 19 and parts of sections 5, 8, 17, 20, 29 and 30 is black fine sandy loam to depths of 8 inches to 12 inches With a sandy loam subsoil; section 1 and parts of sections 2, 11 and 12 have a black sandy loam soil to depths of 6 inches to 10 inches over a sandy loam subsoil; parts of sections 13 and 24 are sand and gravel while the remainder, has alternating areas of black fine sandy loam with clay loam subsurface soil, and areas of black sandy loam with sandy loam subsurface soil. The surface soils range in depths from 6 to 12 inches and a clay subsoil is reached at from 2 to 3 feet. Within the township there are many areas that are stony, and considerable work is entailed in removing them before cultivation can be successfully carried on.
The settlement of this township commenced from fifteen to eighteen years ago about the time that the railway was being constructed in this locality. At present there are about fifty families within the township the majority of whom are Ukrainians. The township forms a part of the municipality of Birch Lake and from general appearances it would seem that this locality has received its fair share of local improvements as much work has been done on grading roads and cutting down hills. The Provincial Government telephone system serves a portion of the west and a portion of the southeasterly part of the township. In all about 14 miles of telephone lines have been built upon road allowances.
CROPS AND STOCK
Wheat, oats, rye and a limited amount of barley are the chief grain crops grown, while oat and rye hay are the fodder crops. As a rule grain is successfully grown and harvested in this locality although 2 or 3 years are reported as having been partial failures due either to drought or frost.
All of the farmers are well supplied with horses and most of them have from 20 to 30 head of cattle. Many of them carry on dairying and ship cream to the creameries at Vegreville or Edmonton. There is no market for dairy butter hence the shipping of cream is necessary where dairying is to be carried on. Some of the farmers raise a few hogs but none are raising them on an extensive scale. There are no sheep in this locality.
HAY AND WINTER FEED
Part of the winter feed required for stock is obtained from low slough areas and land liable to flooding, but the greater part of winter fodder is obtained from oat and rye hay, which is cut when green, and from oat straw.
There is an abundance of poplar wood to be had within the township, and all the settlers use this for fuel. The poplar when properly dried burns well and is considered very satisfactory.
Good water is obtained from wells at depths of from 20 to 70 feet. The numerous small lakes have no outlets, and as a consequence the water is somewhat alkaline in most of them, and is not suitable for use.
POST OFFICE AND SCHOOL
Most of the settlers get their mail at Ranfurly or Lavoy although a few have Innisfree as their post office. The only school in the township is in the northeast quarter of section 9. Four other schools, however, are within reach for the children. One situated in the northeast corner of section 11, township 52-13 serves the people in the westerly part of the township; one in the northeast corner of the northwest quarter of section 36, township 52-13 serves the people in the northwesterly part of the township; one in the southeast quarter of section 2, township 53-12 serves the people in the northerly part and one in southwest quarter 17, township 52-11 serves the people in the easterly part of the township. Each of these schools has one teacher and all are well attended, the number of scholars ranging from 25 to 40. The majority of the school children speak fairly good English and most. of them reach grades 7 and 8 before they pass the school age.
Though the land is very rolling and somewhat broken the soil generally is good and produces, under favourable conditions, excellent. crops.
(SO.) R. II. KNIGHT,
July, 1923. Dominion Land Surveyor.