Settlement and Land Tenure in the Peace Country: A Study of Township 83-25-W5

Robert Irwin


In recent years, historians such as Lyle Dick and Paul Voisey have begun to explore western Canadian settlement and land tenure patterns. Their studies demonstrate that an analysis of land ownership and utilisation is an important first step towards a historical understanding of western Canadian agricultural society. This paper examines settlement and land tenure in one township in the Peace River country. Special problems of settlement in the Peace country, including the homestead system, timing, the Soldier Settlement Board, marginal lands, and distance from market, led to the early maturation of the community. Combined with the post First World War depression, these problems caused an early rationalisation of the population in the township leading to long term stability. This study provides another example of the varied agricultural experience in the west.

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