About this Interactive Google Earth Map ...
If you're a resident of Grand Forks, British Columbia, and curious about its early settlement, you may find this map useful in your own personal research. The above graphic is a screen capture of a tilted Google Earth Map of Grand Forks with a single transparent overlay depicting the locations and boundaries of historic Crown Land Grants within the Grand Forks townsite as well as the Sion and Spencer areas west of the city. The parcel boundaries for this transparency were determined using current web resources on the BC Ministry Parcel Map website. An interactive version of this map with an additional content layer is also available below.
British Columbia Crown Grant records have been digitized by BC Ministry technicians some years ago and copies are available on the BC GATOR website. The Grand Forks records are categorized under the Osoyoos or SDYD (Similkameen Division, Yale Land District) section. The additional layer on the Interactive Google Earth Map includes clickable labels which identify the Crown Grants, the names of the original Land Grantees, their District Lot Numbers and Dates of issue. The labels then link to their respective records on the Gator website which reveal the Crown Grant Certificate and a sketch map of the parcel in question.
Note: Gator records were not available for the Vaughan-McInnis District Lots 364 and 365. Their identities were confirmed from online Pre-emption Records (Link). Also not shown - a small 1912 two acre subdivision (L87S) to George Averill enclosed within his larger DL 1699 (Link).
Grand Forks Settlement history
A fair amount of early Grand Forks settlement history can be learned from these records. The two Columbia and Western Railway (CPR) Land Grants (DL 2700 and DL 2701) are particularly informative, their sketch maps offering a wider angle view of the Kettle Valley, including the larger parent Township boundaries, a 1901 view of Crown Grants within the city, the track of the railway, locations of adjacent towns, mining camps, roads, trails and streams.
Comparing Grant Dates ... it appears that the earliest District Lot was granted to a Roger Moore in 1878 (DL 108 - a 160 acre quarter section). In their book, "The Life and Times of Grand Forks - Where the Kettle River Flows", local historians, Alice and Jim Glanville, identified him as a sapper with the Royal Engineers who were employed to survey the southern international boundary across British Columbia. His grant certificate reveals that he was given the 160 acre parcel for "diverse good causes and considerations", as was often the case for retiring Royal Engineers. Other records reveal that on his retirement, his compensation also included 30 Pounds Sterling. Roger Moore's parcel subsequently changed hands several times before ultimately taking its place within the newly incorporated city of Grand Forks in 1897.
Grand Forks residents are sure to recognize a number of other familiar names on this map, many leaving their mark in local history as place names in geographical gazetteers. A number of excellent family stories also appear in local Boundary Historical Society reports.