Point of Beginning

Surveyors paved the way for things to come

August 4, 2009
Dailyheraldtribune.com: Alberta land surveyor John Lehners talks about how surveying has dramatically changed over the last 100 years and why it's still important today.

JEANNE GAGNON – Herald-Tribune staff

Dailyheraldtribune.com: Local land surveyor John Lehners recounts a time when he was helping a senior co-worker find a survey pin right on the side of a hill at Dunvegan, one of the oldest settlements in the region.

“I was pretty green. He was telling me to go down this hill and I had these snowshoes on and all of a sudden, my snowshoes started taking off on me and I was sliding down the hill. Finally, I leaned back and thought I had grabbed on to a tree. I pulled back and I hung on and I stopped and I looked back and there it was, I had grabbed the pin halfway down the hill,” he said. “It was one way to find the pin. It was always a comedy of errors sometimes but it all works out; it’s all good fun.”

Walter McFarlane’s survey crew probably experienced similar incidents when they subdivided 17 townships in the County of Grande Prairie 100 years ago. This represented the last major land rush in North America and allowed families to legally live on the land.

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