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

Just Posted

Volunteer organization provides first aid and rescue services

Main fundraiser, the Winter Extreme Ski and Board Swap, takes place at Abbotsford Exhibition Park Nov. 16 and 17

BREAKING: Vehicle fire on Highway 1 between Chilliwack and Abbotsford

One westbound lane blocked after 11:30 a.m. on Friday leading to traffic delays

Fraser Cascade students vape more often than average B.C. youth

Fraser Health’s Dr. Alexandra Choi shared her concerns around vaping, and what Kent could do about it

UFV Town and Gown dinner raises more than $245,000

Of the total raised, $100,000 will go toward a new Peace and Reconciliation Centre

UPDATED: Brother of Chilliwack homicide victim killed in Surrey

Andrew Baldwin killed on Nov. 11, three weeks after Keith Baldwin shot in downtown Chilliwack

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

VIDEO: Giants toppled by visiting Hurricanes

Sunday afternoon play at Langley Events Centre saw a team from Lethbridge defeat Vancouver, 6-0

Security camera records hatchet attack on Langley store owner

Target escaped uninjured, but was ‘upset’ by incident

PHOTOS: Snoozing seal pup captures attention at White Rock Pier

Dozens of seals spent the day at White Rock’s iconic structure

VIDEO: Collision in Surrey breaks axle off SUV

Two people were reportedly sent to hospital

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Most Read