1793 During July, Captain George Vancouver's vessel HMS Discovery linked up with the survey vessel HMS Chatham, commanded by Lieutenant Puget and surveyed the area of Portland Inlet which provides access to Portland Canal and Observation Inlet. Vancouver named the 70 mile canal Portland in honour of the Ducal house of Portland. During August 1793 survey vessels under his command travelled to the head of the canal.
1866 Promoter named Collins has advance survey crews under the overall supervision of Colonel Bulkley, US Army in the Nass and Stikine country surveying the possibility of extending the intercontinental telegraph line north from Kispiox. The line ran from Vancouver to Kispiox but was cancelled when the Trans-Atlantic reached Newfoundland. A small section of this line was later revived in the 1900's as the Dominion Government Telegraph line.
1867 Alaska purchased from Russia by the United States.
1896 David Du Bose Gaillard, an American Engineer and a squad of US Army Corps of Engineers were detailed to build 4 stonehouses to enforce US claim to Alaska. One house was built at the head of the Portland Canal.
1898 During May, at the time of the Klondike Gold Rush, a Seattle promoter named Burgess arrived at the head of the canal with a party of 65 with a promise of a short and quick trip to the new gold fields in the Nass Valley. No gold was found, Burgess departed apparently in a native dugout canoe. Some tried to pan the creeks for gold while others prospected the hills and by the next spring only three men remained to prospect.
1899 DJ Rainey located the first lode mineral claims at Bitter Creek and called the Roosevelt Group. He also staked out 40 acres on the mud flats of the Bear and Salmon River and as he was not sure if it was in Alaska or Canada, he is said to have recorded the claim in both countries. He has been credited with the discovery of the Premier Gold Mine in the early 1900's.
1903 Saw the arrival of Robert M. and John W. Stewart who prospected the district and staked several locations. The brothers remained in the area and they staked the present Townsite of Stewart after having secured a portion of Rainey's holdings. On March 19, 1906 the Stewart Land Company was officially incorporated. John Stewart owned half the land of the townsite, but lost much of it during the depression. John, who was instrumental in establishing the towns water system remained in Stewart until his death in 1946. Among the early mines opened by John Stewart in the 1920's was the Dunwell Mine located at Bitter Creek.
1903 Final Agreement of the US - Canada boundary was reached in October 1903 but was not officially signed until May 14, 1910. Surveys were apparently started in 1906 but official survey began in May 1911.
1905 Stewart recognized as a place name by the Dominion Government and a Post Office was established.
1906 Stewart has first boom! Canadian, US, British and German money poured into Stewart for many undertakings including the granting of a Charter for a railroad. The line did not materialize but in 1909 another Charter was granted to the Portland Canal Railway Company (changed in 1911 to Canadian Northeaster Railway Company). The first 15 miles of the line were completed but by 1912 the boom in railway construction was over. In 1929 consolidated Mining and Smelter acquired the charter and did some work on the line, the world depression cancelled their plans.
1910 All available land in the Bear, Marmot and Salmon valley was staked. Dozens of mining companies were organized but instead of genuine development the crooked promoters and speculators took over. Few properties shipped ore and with the realization that the railroad would not be built the bubble burst. Lots which had sold for thousands of dollars were worthless and the population fell from 10,000 to 17 overnight.
1910 There were further new discoveries up the Salmon River. The first claims known as the Cascade Falls Group staked by William Dilworth and Bunting brothers Bill and Charles. Adjacent property named O.B. Bush property became known as the Premier Mine. Property worked for some years by New York interests but failed to develop any commercial ore.
1916 Pat Daly acquires Premier and with new New York interests and considerable work uncovered a high-grade shoot of ore. Within two years the mine paid dividends over 4 million dollars or 97% of its total capitalization.
1920 The second longest tram line on the continent was constructed between Hyder BC and Premier Mine. By the spring of 1921 a 4,000 ton bunker to store concentrate was complete at what was known as the Premier Dock.