REPORT ON TOWNSHIP 56, RANGE 14, WEST OF THE FOURTH MERIDIAN
ACCESSIBILITY AND ROADS
This township is situated about twenty-one miles north of the town of Vegreville. It is reached by two main roads from Vegreville. One touches the southwest corner of the township; the other runs north through the township, two miles east of the west boundary, and leads to Desjarlais ferry on the North Saskatchewan river. There are many well-travelled roads throughout the township and all parts are easily accessible.
The Canadian Pacific Railway has located a branch line between Edmonton and Lloydminster which passes through the township to the south. When it is operating, shipping facilities for the settlers of this township will be greatly improved.
Vegreville, situated on the line of the 'Canadian National railways from Edmonton to Winnipeg, via North Battleford, has a population of about 1,500 persons. It is an important business, centre and local market for the surrounding district. A. Provincial Government telephone central is located here from which telephone lines radiate in all directions and serve the country for many miles around. Nearly every line of business is represented and there are seven grain elevators, with a total capacity of 520,000 bushels, a flour mill, and a creamery. There are also excellent educational facilities at Vegreville.
SURFACE AND SURFACE COVERING
The southwesterly half of this township has a good surface, being undulating, gradually sloping or gently rolling. Generally speaking, most of the northeasterly half of the township has a somewhat rough surface, being rolling, heavily rolling, and in places inclined to be hilly. In this part of the township a large proportion of the surface is covered with poplar and willow brush, with numerous bluffs of poplar from two to six inches in diameter. About twenty-five per cent of this portion of the township is under cultivation. In the southwesterly half of the township the area under cultivation is larger, being about seventy-five per cent. The remaining twenty-five per cent is prairie with scattered bluffs of poplar to three inches in diameter, Considering the township as a whole, about one-half is under cultivation.
DRAINAGE AND WATER
The drainage of the land is good. The water drains into well-defined watercourses, or into the lakes and sloughs. Nearly all of the lakes and sloughs are located in the northeast half of the township. There is generally plenty of water for stock in the creeks, lakes, and sloughs. Good water for domestic purposes is secured from wells twenty to seventy feet in depth.
The soil is generally rich in organic matter and nearly all of the township is covered: with black fine sandy loam from six to sixteen inches in depth. The subsoil is clay loam or clay.
The settlement of this township, which was commenced about 1904 or 1902, is now highly developed. The settlers are well established and apparently prosperous.
There are a few English-speaking farmers in the westerly part of the township, but most of the settlers are of Russian or Austrian descent.
CROPS AND STOCK
Wheat and oats are the chief grains grown for sale, while oat greenfeed is grown for fodder. In this district good crops are successfully grown and harvested, although in a few years there has been partial failure due to drought or frost, Stock raising and dairying are carried on extensively in the easterly part of the township.
An abundance of poplar wood is available for fuel. When properly dried it burns well and is considered satisfactory.
POST OFFICES AND SCHOOLS
There are two post offices in this township, Boian at the southwest corner of section 10, and Shalka in the northeast quarter of section 24. Schools attended by the children of this township are located at the southeast corner of section 16, in the southeast corner of section 4 of the township to the north, and at the northeast corner of section 25 of the township to the west.
(Sgd.) R. H. KNIGHT,
Dominion Land Surveyor.