The New Student's Reference Work/Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island, not the least important portion of British Columbia, which, from its great wealth of natural resources and its commanding position on the Pacific coast, is fast becoming one of the richest and most prosperous districts of the province. Coal-mining and lumbering are the chief industries, and fishing, quartz-mining, copper-smelting, ship-building, whaling and other branches are being rapidly developed. The Esquimault and Nanaimo Railway, running from Victoria to Wellington, serves a section of country which it will be difficult to surpass anywhere in the world for beauty of scenery and natural wealth. There are prosperous agricultural communities along the railway and in the Comox District, and several mines are being developed. There is quite a large area of agricultural land, but it is heavily timbered and costly to clear by individual effort. The Esquimault and Nanaimo Railway Company has arranged for the clearing of large blocks of its land-grant (which consists of about 1,500,000 acres) and it is expected, through the exercise of economical methods in removing the timber, that the company will be enabled to sell the cleared land to settlers at moderate prices.