B.C. land needed for Trans Mountain pipeline owned by man who died in 1922

Trans Mountain is looking for heirs so it can gain access to 500 square feet of land

Trans Mountain Pipeline is having trouble finding the owner of a small piece of Langley property it needs to build its oil pipeline expansion, because the registered owner of the land has been dead for almost a century.

James C. Kavanagh, who was born around 1850 and died in 1922, is the registered owner of two lots that are bisected by the Canadian National Railway tracks north of Walnut Grove.

The two lots – assessed at $9,000 for the larger and just $200 for the smaller by B.C. Assessment – include land needed for the right of way and for work sites for the pipeline expansion. Trans Mountain needs just 10 metres of land on the smaller lot for the actual right of way.

But before construction can begin, they have to notify landowners and gain their permission to cross their land. That’s proved difficult for a man who lived in the Vancouver area briefly and has been dead for 97 years.

To try to locate first Kavanagh, and later his descendents who might have inherited the land, Trans Mountain has embarked on a search through legal archives, and from Langley to California and Connecticut.

Born in Niagara Falls in 1850, Kavanagh was a businessman and financier who started out as a postmaster in Brandon, Manitoba, according to a report created for Trans Mountain.

He eventually became a hotelier in Winnipeg, moved to Vancouver by the 1910s, and in 1911 he acquired the land in Langley, just as the Canadian National Railway tracks were being laid.

Kavanagh moved to California a few years later, where one of his daughters had settled with her husband. He died in Los Angeles.

Trans Mountain filed documents with the National Energy Board documenting the search for the true owner of the land.

Kavanagh’s will showed he left all his property to his wife Helen (Nellie) Irene Kavanagh, who is also now long since deceased.

But no will could be found for Nellie Kavanagh.

Trans Mountain then commissioned a genealogy search and found multiple descendents, including two elderly granddaughters of the Kavanaghs, both living in the United States. One is living in Norwalk, Connecticut, and the other in La Jolla, California. The pipeline company has tried to contact both women.

To attempt to find the real owner of the land, Trans Mountain has bought ads in multiple newspapers, including the Langley Advance Times, and papers in La Jolla and Norwalk, trying to notify Kavanagh’s descendents of their interest in the property.

Trans Mountain is required to reach agreements for access with each landowner along the route of the expanded pipeline. If no agreement can be reached, the Canadian Energy Regulatory may ultimately grant Trans Mountain right to enter the property in any case.

READ MORE: Thousands of landowners on Trans Mountain pipeline route have yet to grant access

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Stop checks, searches of Wet’suwet’en pipeline opposers unlawful: Watchdog

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs file complaint

Wet’suwet’en pipeline supporters speak up

“Protesters get one side of the story and they stand up with their fists in the air.”

Federal minister pledges to meet Wet’suwet’en chiefs in Smithers over natural gas pipeline

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they are visiting Mohawk territory

Lake Kathlyn school sold to Wet’suwet’en for new seat of government

The 11.64-acre property was listed in mid-January for an asking price of $1.1 million.

‘Kids saw this as their legacy’: SSS students speak against decision to remove painted ceiling tiles

As of Feb. 20 an online petition against the decision is currently at just under 1,250 signatures

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

One dead in multi-vehicle collision involving logging truck on northern B.C. highway

DriveBC says highway expected to remain closed until 8 p.m.

B.C. teacher gets 15-year ban after lying about having sex with just-graduated student

Teacher had been dishonest with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

Most Read