History Timelines

History Timelines

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.


POSTED: October 13, 2016 | Mayors Blog

The 2016 Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention is focused on the theme “Stronger Together”. Standing together, from far and wide, each region still stands together. Each region has something unique to contribute to the growth and prosperity of BC and is integral to the success of this province.

Water quality

POSTED: September 5, 2016 | Mayors Blog

Lately the District of Stewart has issued few times a boil water advisory.  It's strictly a precautionary measure due power outage. Without power  water pressure at our pump declined below established level. A loss in pressure can result in contamination entering the drinking water distribution system from surrounding soil and groundwater. 
To address the issue Council approve the purchase of new generator for new pump 4, to make sure that water pressure will be rebounded to acceptable levels for the remainder of the outage.  Also, Council approved a purchase of a drinking water quality test kit. 
District of Stewart drinking water undergoes  quality tests monthly to ensure that our citizens are provided with clean and safe water. People of Stewart can take pride in their drinking water - it continually meets  quality standards set out in the BC Drinking Water Protection Act and the Canadian Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality. Detailed water quality reports are available in the District office.

Stewart - the Best Town for Nature Lovers

POSTED: July 7, 2014 | Kids Blog

If you enjoy fresh air, hiking and wild life photography, see why this Bear Valley School student thinks you'll love Stewart!  => read essay


POSTED: March 3, 2014 | Kids Blog

Read this essay from Lane Hyslop to understand why the soil in Stewart is great for gardeners!

Regional District Solid Waste Management Plan

POSTED: March 23, 2017

The District of Stewart is a member of the Regional District Solid Waste Management Plan. This Plan is a new approach that will help make waste management safer and more cost efficient by sharing resources. All communities will contribute to the plan based on their population. This means that Stewart’s taxpayers will contribute approximately 7% of the cost.

You will be receiving an informational flyer in your mailbox that provides more information. We encourage you to read the flyer and be informed about the changes that will be taking place with the closure of our landfill and the construction of a transfer station.

Community meetings will be arranged in the coming months so that you can provide your input into this process.

If you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

Jennifer Larson, CPA, CGA
Chief Financial Officer


POSTED: March 22, 2017

Please be advised that the District of Stewart has now switched back from Well #3 to Well #4

Water Quality Advisory:  UPDATE

POSTED: February 23, 2017

The District of Stewart received water sample results today from the lab and there is no bacteriological contamination. The water continues to be safe to drink. However, due to ongoing construction and maintenance work in and around the wells, the District has decided to keep a Water Quality Advisory in place. The Water Quality Advisory is the lowest-level notification and is used in situations where the public health threat is modest, and actions can be taken to reduce the risks. If you are a member of a high risk population, or you have concerns, you may choose to boil the water (rolling boil for one minute). Sampling will continue to be conducted periodically to assess the condition of the water. We will advise further if there is any change.

Public Comments on Rural Education in Stewart

POSTED: February 3, 2017

On February 6, 2017 there will be an Open House in Terrace hosted by Parliamentary Secretary Linda Larson who is seeking feedback from British Columbians on the challenges & opportunities facing rural school districts and communities.
Please visit the Rural Education Website and submit comments.
For more information, please see the District of Stewart's Open Letter on Rural Education.

Discover BC’s Stewart-Cassiar Region

POSTED: December 20, 2016

Take a look at this Auto Tour video produced in conjunction with Destination BC, Kermode Tourism, and the Regional District of Kitimat Stikine-displaying spectacular views of scenery near Hazelton, New Hazelton, the Nass Valley and Stewart, with Dr. Joseph Gosnell narrating:  www.stewartcassiarhighway.com 

Salmon Glacier Auto Tour Brochure

POSTED: August 2, 2016

Here is an excellent resource to accompany you on your travel to visit the spectacular Salmon Glacier - Auto Tour Brochure