Point of Beginning

Exhibit marks history of land surveying

September 23, 2009
Few artifacts survived when Walter McFarlane and his crew surveyed this area a century ago but lots of stories remain. The survey was important to the development of the area since it allowed families to legally occupy their land. To mark this, the Grande Prairie Museum's Heritage Discovery Centre at Centre 2000 is hosting a travelling exhibit on the subject called ''Making their Mark.''


Posted By Jeanne Gagnon, Herald-Tribune Staff
Posted 6 days ago
 
Few artifacts survived when Walter McFarlane and his crew surveyed this area a century ago but lots of stories remain.
 
The survey was important to the development of the area since it allowed families to legally occupy their land. To mark this, the Grande Prairie Museum's Heritage Discovery Centre at Centre 2000 is hosting a travelling exhibit on the subject called ''Making their Mark.''
 
The exhibit's visitors will see the history of land surveying in Alberta laid out in a number of panels, the kinds of equipment and instruments used by the survey crew at the turn of the 20th century, and even earlier, up to the present day - chains, calculating equipment and theolodites. They will also see the original township survey plans and get an idea of how surveyors lived when they were out in the bush through photographs, texts and a tent display.
 
"I like looking at the old equipment, the old brass theolodites and transits that were used at the time and the steel chains that were used by the original surveyors," said John Haggerty, an Alberta Land Surveyor with Grande Prairie's Can-Am Geomatics.
 
"The whole system of land survey being presented at once is also very impressive to me. This is the land in Alberta and this is how it came to be the way it is."
 
Through the exhibit, people will hopefully get a sense of why and how land was surveyed in the past and learn more of this province's land management system, he added.
 
"Land surveying is a part of Alberta history," he said. "It's quite often the case that the legal survey, the township survey of an area was the first thing to happen before settlers moved in. In some ways, you can look at the survey as the foundation for the settled history of the province. It's an important beginning." ...
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