There has been but little change in the number of settlers in 1943. None of the settlers took permanent employment in industry. There have also been no more voluntary enlistments for the Armed Service, but a number of young men have been drafted. Mostly they were sons of settlers who had reached the draft age. One of them – Ewald Jilg, who was settled under the arrangements for single men – died in the Military Hospital in Toronto. In addition two more accidental deaths occurred in the Settlement in 1943.
2. LAND HOLDINGS AND DISTRIBUTION OF LAND:
The following information is taken from the Report of the undersigned Manager of TCDC, to the Fourth Annual General Meeting of the Company:
The Tate Creek Development Company had purchased 23,628,32 acres for a total purchase price of $42,745.81. Of this total $32,487.66 had been paid as at December 31st, 1942 so that $10,258.15 was still owing when the management of the Company was taken over by the settlers. The creditors were: York Farmers Colonization Company of Toronto with $5,000.00 the Government of British Columbia with $1,136.66 and Pacific Great Eastern Railway Company with $4,126.49.
During 1943 the balance of the mortgage of $5,000.00 to the York Farmers Colonization Company was paid off in full, with a discount of $155.88. Following this payment the Discharge of Mortgage was properly executed by this creditor and the discharge registered by the Registrar of Lands at Kamloops, B.C. The Company now holds clear Title Deeds for all lands covered by this mortgage and is in a position to issue transfers to settlers who have paid in full the purchase price of their holdings to the Company.
The TCDC has made a further payment of $500.00 to the Government of British Columbia reducing thereby the amount owing as at December 31st, 1943 to $631.66. Another payment of $515.81 was made to the Pacific Great Eastern Railway Company so that the amount owing as at December 31st, 1943 stands at $3,610,68. This leaves the total indebtedness of the TCDC at the end of 1943 at $4,242.34.
These payments could not have been effected without the co-operation of the settlers who in 1943 paid a total of $4,299.10 on principal to the TCDC. The settlers should be complimented for keeping their obligations and for making prepayments whenever they are in a position to do so. So far 31 settlers have paid in full for their lands. The total indebtedness of the settlers to the TCDC for the so-called “Assigned lands” is $16,343.00 at the end of 1943.
The inventory of “Unassigned Lands” as at December 31st, 1942 showed 5,567 acres valued at $7,060.00. During 1943 this acreage increased by 160 acres through the return of the NE 1/4 of Section 35, Twp 26, by W. Schwertner, a member of the Canadian Army overseas, who declared that he was not interested in being assigned a quarter section for settlement in Tupper. This brought the value of the unassigned lands up to $7,310.00.
Sales of unassigned lands were made by the TCDC upon application to 10 settlers. The total acreage involved is 1,280 acres for the total purchase price of $1,630.00. The settlers have paid $800.00 on these Agreements. Therefore the inventory of unassigned lands as at December 31st, 1943, shows a total acreage of 4,447 acres.
A resolution was carried at the Annual General Meeting that no new applications for the sale of unassigned lands will be accepted before — upon competent advice — new prices have been put on all lands held by the Company.
All information regarding taxes is contained in the report on operations of November 31st, 1943. The same applies to breaking, summer fallowing and fall plowing.
There has been an increase in buildings also in 1943. The number of barns added to those already in existence was 10, the number of granaries 25, various other buildings for farm purposes 12. Another feature of the 1943 building activities within the Settlement was improvements in the dwellings of the settlers. At least 10 families replaced the double board roofs of their houses with shingles, and about the same number changed from metal chimneys to brick chimneys. Fifteen other settlers improved their dwellings by additions of different type. Twenty settlers took out fire insurance with the assistance of the TCDC.
5. WATER SUPPLY:
The water supply is still the unsolved problem of the Settlement. A great number of the settlers stayed with the practice of hauling water for several miles from the Pouce Coupe River. The situation became very difficult in the fall and early winter months of 1943, as all the creeks were dry and there was no snowfall until shortly before Christmas. During these months ice had to be melted to provide water for the stock. A few settlers have constructed dams and dugouts but these will not be of any help before next spring. The TCDC tried without success to bring in a bulldozer for the construction of larger dugouts. Since the highway work in Dawson Creek is now finished it is hoped that some progress in this matter will be made in 1944.
6. CROP AND DISTRIBUTION:
The report on the 1943 crop, including the operation of the Central Ranch, has been given in the attached operational report dated November 31st, 1943.
With regard to seed for 1944 the settlers have been told that it will be very difficult and expensive to buy seed from outside and that therefore they should use whatever of their own grain is suitable for this purpose. In order to determine the usefulness of their grain for seeding purposes the TCDC is assisting the settlers in getting samples tested for germination. But some seed nevertheless will have to be brought in, particularly oats. The TCDC will purchase seed for settlers as in the last year.
The hay crop has been satisfactory although not as good as in 1942. Straw for feeding purposes is still plentiful. Although the 1943 season was the frostiest in the history of the Settlement most of the settlers has a satisfactory crop of potatoes. Among the vegetables only carrots, turnips and cabbage, escaped the frost.
The most important matters with regard to the TCDC-Machinery have already been dealt with in my operational report. In the report to the Annual Meeting of the TCDC it has been suggested that steps should be undertaken to increase the general usefulness of the Company’s machinery. The discussion in the Meeting revealed that there was a general demand for the purchase of a second grain separator. A resolution was carried that this purchase be effected with the amount expected as Wheat Acreage Reduction Bonus-Payment for 1943. It is estimated that his bonus will amount to $1200.00. Another resolution authorized the Manager of the TCDC to ask the Dominion Government for the release of an amount from the balance of the settlement fund sufficient for the purchase of a new tractor.
The settlers themselves had made considerable additions to their own machinery during 1943. It is estimated that they spent around $8,000.00 for the purchase of machinery.
The inventory of livestock in the settlement shows a further increase in 1943. At least 30 additional horses were bought by settlers. The opportunity to sell milk to Dawson Creek at $0.40 per gallon caused many settlers to buy cows or to replace some of their poorer cows with better milkers. Unfortunately the sale of milk did not go on for more than a few months as it was not possible for the settlers to have their milk pasteurized as demanded by the U.S. Army.
In the meantime plans have been made for the construction of a pasteurization plant at Dawson Creek. These plans may be realized in the spring of 1944 and we have received assurances that the Settlement will be looked upon as the chief supplier of milk for this plant. If and when this plan is realized, the Tate Creek Co-operative Society will organize the milk shipment from the Settlement to Dawson Creek. For the time being cream is shipped to Grande Prairie as in former years.
The development in the production of hogs during 1943 was steady, as may be seen from the attached statistical report. The settlers marketed 1,610 bacon hogs and 72 cows through the Tate Creek Co-op. Of the hogs, 36.8 percent graded A (Premium), and 38.6 percent B 1. That is, overall 75.4 percent were of the bacon type desired by Great Britain. The total income of the settlers for hogs was $39,993.50.
The income from the sale of cattle was $7,550.18 and the number of all classes of cattle shipped through the Tate Creek Co-op was 107. The receipts from livestock increased by $7,173.78 as compared with 1942. But even this figure does not give all the receipts as quite a number of cattle were marketed locally.
The replacement of bulls is a question which receives the attention of the TCDC as well as of the settlers themselves. At the end of 1943 the TCDC held in trust the amount of $320.35 for the various bull groups. These moneys will be employed for the replacement of bulls when it becomes necessary. The poultry business developed on about the same lines as in previous years.
With regard to feed, the situation in 1943 was much better than the year before as the 1942 crop had provided the settlers with most of the feed they needed for their livestock program. Some exchange of feed took place among the settlers. About 4,000 bushel of all grains were brought into the settlement through the Tate Creek Co-op.
9. LUMBER CAMP:
The 1942/43 operations were dealt with in my operational report of November 30th, 1943. This season will most likely show a higher production, particularly in railway ties. The average number of men working in the camp was 12. We shall be in a position to give a full report on lumber camp operations at the end of March 1944. The 1944 cut in the lumber camp was 300,000 board feet. Some 4,500 railway ties were produced and approximately 100,000 board feet of lumber.
10. OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT:
The earlier months of 1943 saw about one third of the settlers in employment outside the Settlement, most of them working on projects of the Alaska Highway. By April 20th, 1943, all farmers had to return to their farms. This also brought all of the settlers home. Several settlers accepted harvest work during 1943, as usual, and some were working in extra gangs for the Northern Alberta Railway Company. At the beginning of winter it was somewhat hard to find employment on the Alaska Highway but since the beginning of January 1944 the situation has improved. But these earning opportunities will soon cease now for men who do not want to go further north. All in all, outside employment in 1943 helped the settlers to get still better established on their farms.
There had been no new development with regard to home industries. In my opinion home industries in the Settlement will see a revival only after the war, when the present sources of income will show a tendency to decrease. Then — in connection with tourist traffic on the Alaska Highway — home industries may still become quite an important factor.
11. THE TATE CREEK CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY:
1943 was a year of further success for the Tate Creek Co-op. The total sales for the year were $37,262.12, which means an increase of $10,993.10 as compared with 1942. The Co-op has at present 10 members and all shares have been paid in full. The Reserve Fund shows $2,557.24 of which $900.00 has been invested in Victory Loans.
Savings deposits of settlers with the Tate Creek Co-op amount to $4,006.10 as at December 31st, 1943. In the four years of operation the merchandising department of the Tate Creek Co-op had a turnover of $126,241.73. The Marketing Department, which has been operating for three years now, has paid a total of $115,374.80 to shippers of hogs and cattle.
12. BLACKSMITH, SADDLERY AND BUTCHER SHOP:
The blacksmith shop and the saddlery are still being operated by two of the settlers, F. Gebhart and A. Seitner respectively. The butcher shop [operated by] J. Weinhar has been closed.
13. THE TATE CREEK DEVELOPMENT COMPANY:
The activities of the Tate Creek Development Company have been referred to at various places in my operational report of November 30th, 1943, and in this report.
By the end of 1943 there was more understanding of the functions and the necessity of the TCDC than there had been when the management was taken over by the settlers. The complete and continued functioning of the Company for the purpose of assisting the settlers in their further establishment seems now assured, both from the psychological and the financial point of view. All settlers are still in possession of their shares of the TCDC.
14. SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES:
There were no new developments in 1943 except that the Catholic Church has received permission to use the Churchyard for a cemetery. Therefore burials in Dawson Creek will no longer be necessary.
15. VISITORS AND GUESTS:
The outstanding event in the history of the Settlement in 1943 was the visit of Their Excellencies, the Governor General and HRH Princess Alice. This was an assurance to the settlers that the Dominion authorities are greatly interested in the further development and the welfare of the Tupper Colony. The visit, therefore, was a source of much encouragement and it is commonly felt that no better recognition could have been given to the work we have been trying to do in the past four year.
Tupper Creek, B.C. (Signed) W. Wanka.
February 19th, 1944 Manager