336 - Post No. 1 - Saanich Peninsula, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member The A-Team
N 48° 36.732 W 123° 26.666
10U E 467241 N 5384442
Quick Description: Located beside the Transport Canada radar dome on Mount Newton in John Dean Provincial Park, BC.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 8/24/2013 9:39:01 AM
Waymark Code: WMHXM7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member South Surrey Scavengers
Views: 1

Long Description:
This survey post was the first one surveyed when the Saanich Peninsula was mapped by John Trutch. It was originally placed in 1858 (replaced in 1958) and was used to split the Saanich Peninsula into four quarters using dividing lines running north-south and west-east from this point. The benchmark today lies exactly on the border between North Saanich and Central Saanich. Oddly, despite this benchmark's significance and history, it is not listed in MASCOT. I'm pretty sure it used to be, because I once looked it up and tried to locate it a few years ago as part of a geocache, but it isn't listed there now.
A plaque in front of the benchmark reads:
POST NO. 1
OF SURVEY OF
NORTH AND SOUTH SAANICH DISTRICTS
SET BY
JOHN TRUTCH
- 1858 -
COLONIAL LAND SURVEYOR
- - -
REPLACED BY SURVEYS AND MAPPING BRANCH
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS
B.C. CENTENNIAL YEAR
- 1958 -
The following is a history of the survey post from the John Dean Park Stewardship website:
There’s an amazing place, a secret, at the summit of John Dean Provincial Park – that’s worth a visit. From the parking lot, follow the gravel road upwards, past the swooping Coast Guard radar tower, to the fence of the Transport Canada (weather dome) radar facility. From the gate, walk along the fence upwards to the corner, and you’ll find: the First Survey Mount. You’ll see the 1958 centennial plaque, and look just behind it, and you’ll find a round brass plug.

The year was 1852 – and for the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), Surveyor General, Joseph Pemberton was roughly surveying the coastline of the Saanich Peninsula. That March, Pemberton unknowingly renamed Lauwelnew, giving it the name Mount Newton, which first appears on Pemberton’s 1852 map produced for the HBC.

Six years later, the HBC had the need to properly survey the Saanich Peninsula, which would permit settlers to own their land, and would in turn encourage investors. Pemberton contracted John Trutch to survey and map the ranges; to mark the allotment lines required throughout North and South Saanich, and to divide the whole into 100 acre sections. The survey was to be completed in the Decimal System of Allotment, and was to be completed by January 1st, 1859; for which Trutch received $15 per lineal mile.

In order to survey the lands between today’s BC Ferries and Elk Lake, Trutch established a commencement station at the summit of Mount Newton. He chose the highest, flattest, most central point, to where he wrote in his field notes: “Commencing at Station Tree, on the summit of Mount Newton, at foot of which set a post for corner to sections: 1 North, Ranges 1 East to West; and 1 South, Ranges 1 East to West + marked same… Raised a pile of stones around the post.”

By cutting a line east-west, Trutch divided the peninsula into north and south, which today is the boundary between North and Central Saanich. The sections were numbered outward from Post No. 1, north and southward; and the ranges numbered outward from Post No 1, east and westward.

Today, standing at Post No. 1, you can hold out your arms, forming a 90 degree quarter of a pie: a) facing northwest is the original 100 acre Dean Park; b) northeast is the Barret Montfort, 160 acre addition; c) southeast is the Sydney Pickles, 19 acre addition; and d) southwest is the Ruth Woodward, 80 acre addition.

To spend a few minutes looking in all directions; then to reflect and understanding how the four major park donations all commenced from this survey point, and that all the properties on the peninsula are referenced from this survey – is rewarding.
Unique Designation: 336

Marker Type: Benchmark Disk

Condition: Good

Visit Instructions:
To post a log for any benchmark, a photo will be required. When visiting any site please respect any private property rights that may exist. Given the number and age of the benchmarks, they may not be all accessible or even exist at this time.
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