Soldier Settlement

One significant change in Cariboo ranching at the end of World War I was the establishment of soldier settlements. Thousands of soldiers returned to British Columbia looking for work and a livelihood.

A photograph of a ranch at Hanceville in the 1920s. Click to enlarge,
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Ranch at Hanceville, 1920s. A-05372 – Courtesy of Royal British Columbia Museum

To facilitate them, the government set up Soldier's Settlement Boards that encouraged returned soldiers to take up land. Unfortunately, shortly after the close of the war, most of the land that was suited for full- or part-time cattle raising in the Cariboo-Chilcotin had been acquired. Few new areas were available for pre-emption and the available land was marginal. The Forest Grove, Canim Lake, and Red Lake areas attracted a few soldier settlers who were prepared to carve a homestead out of the forest. The Chilcotin, Anahim Lake, and Kleena Kleene areas were also settled at this time. However, settlement by returned soldiers was on a small scale only.

A photograph of the Graham family at the Comer Ranch.Click to enlarge,
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The Grahams at Comer Ranch. Courtesy of the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin.