Table of Contents
2: Location, Borders, and Lakes
3: Geologic Structure and Landforms
6: Pre-historic and Early Historic Settlements
7: Survey Systems
8: Southern Hamlets, Villages, and Towns
9: Mennonite and Hutterite Settlements
10: First Nations Settlements
11: Northern Settlements
12: The Southern Cities
13: Mining and Oil Extraction
15: Industry / Manufacturing
16: Water Resources
17: Parks, Recreation, Sports
18: Transport and Communications: Past and Present
19: Legal Issues and Law Enforcement
7: Survey Systems
Click for chapter introduction
Land holdings in most of southern Manitoba have been determined using one of two systems. The older long-lot system, derived from the St. Lawrence lowlands in Quebec, is found along the Red River, along the Assiniboine River west to Portage la Prairie, as well as in several other isolated areas. Lots were laid out at right angles to the river, resulting in a distinctive pattern easily observed on remotely sensed images. The DSL system, which divided land into one square mile sections, was applied to virtually all other areas. The resulting squared pattern is a prominent feature on remotely sensed images. Interesting situations occur where the two systems come into contact. The DLS system was amended several times, but in Manitoba there is evidence of only the first and third systems. Careful interpretation of air photos can reveal the differences between the two systems.
7.12: Correction Line Between Townships 2 and 3 Near Pilot Mound
“Because the eastern and western boundaries of townships are meridians (true north and south), they converge northwards, and the DLS system had to take this into account. At the 49th parallel, the southern edge of each township is six miles plus six 99-foot road allowances. The northern edge of the township is about 61 feet shorter, and the northern edge of the second township is an additional 61 feet shorter. To adjust for this convergence, a new base line was added at the northern edge of township 2 and the southern edge of township 3 was made approximately 112 feet longer than at the 49th parallel, and at the northern edge of township 6, it is once again 112 feet shorter.
This pattern was repeated every four townships north. Thus there are correction lines between townships 2 and 3 and between townships 6 and 7 where north/south roads jog westward by 224 feet at the western edge of range 1W. At the western edge of range 2W, the size of the jog is doubled, and it increases by about 224 feet every range westward. Thus at the Saskatchewan border the jog is well over a mile and is expressed in the stepped border between the two provinces. Within the townships, all sections are the same [or are supposed to be] except those along the western edge of the townships, where the differences are all accommodated in the most westerly quarter section”[i] (see figure7.10).
In this photo the correction line between townships 2 and 3 can be seen by tracing the boundary between ranges 10 and 11WI 1 north through township 2 to the boundary between townships 2 and 3. There it takes a jog (of about 2240 feet/ 682 m) westward 2 before continuing north. It can be seen that all the north/south section lines in the northern tier of township 2 end at the boundary between townships 2 and 3 3. North/south section lines in the southern tier of township 3 4 are located about 2240 feet west of those in township 2.
In this flat agricultural region, section lines can be easily identified, as can the town of Pilot Mound 5 and the village of Crystal City 6. The settlements are joined by the CN railway line 7, and in both, roads are oriented parallel to and at right angles to the line—across the trend of the DLS system. PTH 34 8 also links the two, but it bypasses Pilot Mound 9 before continuing east. Another north-northwest/south-southeast linear feature 10 is probably the route of an abandoned railway line.
The area is mainly a flat ground moraine-covered plain, but in the northeast gullies 11 lead to the Pembina River (just off the photo to the northeast). Also, poorly defined Agassiz strandlines 12 trend northwest/southeast neat Pilot Mound, and a small stream draining west to the Pembina Valley has been dammed to produce a reservoir 13.
Figure 7.12: Correction Line Between Townships 2 and 3 Near Pilot Mound
Vertical air photograph: A21743-4
Flight height: 23,150 feet a.s.l. ; lens focal length: 85.611 mm
Scale: 1:80,200 (approx.)
Date: July 25, 1970
Location: Townships 2 and 3; Ranges 10, 11, and 12 WI
Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon
1:50,000 62 G/2 Pilot Mound
[i] Richtik, J. “The Township and Range Survey System” in Welsted, Everitt, and Stadel. op. cit., 1996, 102.