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

Fraser River freshet peak is coming soon

Predictions for 2020 by River Forecast Centre has the freshet peak at the Mission gauge for June 4-5

Virtual public hearing set for developer with plans to subdivide Willow Street lot

People can submit comments in advance, or call to be added to a speakers list, ahead of June 3rd hearing

Cyclist in his 50s victim of fatal crash near Hope Thursday

Police have ruled out speed, impairment as factors after a tractor-trailer struck a man in his 50s

68-year-old solo hikes the HBC Heritage Trail

Allan Lynde decided on a 74-kilometre trek from Hope to Tulameen, 50 years after his last big hike

Hope’s fitness businesses prepare to get moving again, in a new COVID-19 reality

As order closing gym and indoor fitness facilities lifts, going to the gym will look differently

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley long term care facility

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Suspect sought in alleged assault, hate crime on Metro Vancouver bus: transit police

The woman then allegedly punched the teenager in the head multiple times

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Abbotsford International Airshow opening 50-year-old time capsule

Bronze time capsule was put together to commemorate AIA as Canada’s National Airshow

Most Read