OK Place Names Part 1

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OK Place Names Part 1

Postby Ihor » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:06 pm

Some local names taken from the following book:

British Columbia Place Names
G. P. V. and Helen Akrigg
UBC Press 1997
ISBN 0-7748-0637-0

Any spelling mistakes are mine and I apologize for them.

Armstrong - Page 8 - The first settlers chose the name of Aberdeen; however, when the Shuswap and Okanagan Railway (a subsidiary of the CPR) was built, the station here was named after W. C. Heaton-Armstrong (1853-1917), head of the London banking house that had floated the bonds to build the railway. Around 1892 Armstrong visited the little settlement that had been given his name.

Coldstream - Page 50 - The land along this creek was originally preempted in 1863 by Colonel Charles F. Houghton of the 20th Regiment of Foot. (Trutch's map of 1871 shows 'Houghton's Coldstream.') In 1869 the land passed to the Vernon brothers, and in 1891 Forbes George Vernon sold the estate to Lord Aberdeen, who planted here the first orchards in the Okanagan.
G. M. Dawson, a visitor in 1877, reported that on 8 July of that year he found the temperature of the springwater at the head of Coldstream Creek to be 48.5°F.

Enderby - Page 74 - Originally known as Spallumcheen, Steamboat Landing, Fortune's Landing, Lambly's Landing, or Belvedere. One afternoon in 1887, Mrs. George R. Lawes had some friends in for tea. The Shuswap (then the Spallumcheen) River was in flood, moving one of the ladies to recite a poem by Jean Ingelow, "The High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire," It begins:

The old mayor climbed the belfry tower,
The ringers rang by two, by three;
'Pull, if ye never pulled before;
Good ringers, pull your best,' quoth he,
'Play uppe, play uppe, O Boston bells!
Play all your changes, all your swells,
Play uppe "the Brides of Enderby.'"

The musical name of Enderby so enchanted the ladies that they decided to make that the nane of their settlement. Ottawa acquiesced, and Enderby post office opened on 1 November 1887.

Fly Hill - Page 83 - Flies and mosquitoes are numerous here.

Grindrod - Page 100 - After Edmund Holden Grindrod, first CPR inspector of telegraphs in British Columbia (1886) and later a farmer near Kamloops.

Kalamalka Lake - Page 130 - The Okanagan Indian word chelootsoos (meaning ' long lake cut in the middle') was applied specifically to the narrow strip of land separating Kalamalka Lake from Wood Lake to the south. This strip was sometimes called the Railway because it resembled a railway embankment, while Kalamalka was formerly known as Long Lake . . . The word kalamalka can be identified as an Okanagan Indian man's name, making very suspect a theory that it is a Hawaiian name brought into the country by one of the Kanakas employed by the HBC.

Kelowna - Page 133 - The fur traders and trappers of the early nineteenth century called the place L'Anse au Sable (Sandy Cove).
The name Kelowna (originally pronounced so that the second syllable rhymed with 'allow') entails a curious story. In 1862 one August Gillard preempted here. For his abode he had a strange dwelling, half shanty and half underground Indian keekwillee. Gillard was a great hairy man, and one day, when he crawled out of his dugout, some passing Indians, seeing a resemblance to a bear coming out of its den, laughingly cried out the word keḿxtús (anglicized as kimach touche and meaning 'black bear's face'). This became the local name for Gillard and his residence. In 1892, when Bernard Lequime had John Coryell. CE, lay out the townsite, the question arose as to the name for the new settlement. The old story of 'Kimach Touche' was recalled, but this name seemed too uncouth. Then someone came up with the bright idea of substituting the name kelowna, Okanagan for 'female grizzly bear,' and Kelowna it became.
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Re: OK Place Names Part 1

Postby Fred Wilson » Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:37 pm

He who dies with the most toys wins Ihor!. I have another book on the same topic. Will toss it to you one of these daze... :mrgreen:

See also: http://vernonmuseum.ca/ex_history_of_co ... ngton.html

Trivia cont...

1. A photo of Chief Kalamalka of the local Shushwap Band taken at Kal Beach is in our family collection at the Vernon Museum Photo Archives. Their First Nation's People's name for it translates to "The Lake of Many Colours."


2. Even in my youth, the natives picked wild strawberries just to the east of Alexanders Beach Pub.

3. Just south of the Kal Lake Store - 200 meters or so, just above the railway tracks, you can still find the stone rings of their native sweat lodges.

4. 200m north of the entrance to the Coldstream Cemetery, about 100' east of the log bridge over Coldstream Creek, you can still see remnants of their Kakuli (doughout house) which if I remember right, has been dated back some 7'000 years.
- Every day after King Eddie, I pop by there for a walk.

5. The Nez Perce band walked all the way up from Washington and Oregon State every fall to hand cut wheat fields up until the turn of the century. The also worked as fruit pickers.

6. The beach just north of Sicamous is called Sicamous Beach. Just north of that, the Eagle River projects way out into Shushaw lake. The beach to the north of that is called "Old Town Beach."
Its a beauty and is one of our legal Sicamous Regional District approved alternated LZ's there. Fantastic kids beach. Knee deep for 150m. No boat / kids conflicts... Warm enough to swim in on a hot sunny calm day by May 1st. No joke. That wide and shallow.

Pick up an hand full of the beautiful white and red "sand" on that wide, km long beach.
Ask yourself "What is wrong with this picture?" Sand comes from rock and is ± as heavy as rock.

This handful of "sand" is light! Why? It is 10,000 years of Indian Midden. What you are holding is crushed fish bones, bird bones, clam & mussel shells, etc. Its not sand at all. Take a magnifying glass with you next time you are up there. Really cool stuff.

Reason I posted this PS / BS is because just TODAY I was (again) in meetings with BC Parks - Wes D'Armond ICO of BC Interior in Kamloops (and soon my :cuz" Kevin Wilson ICO of the Okanagan Region, from Penticton) to acquire Old Town Beach as a BC Park and Waterfront Campground (retaining our rights to land there) as a special 1st time Park's acquisition project of its type in Canada:
To create it as a joint park shared between the BC Gov't, the Splats'in Indian Band and thirdly as a United Nations World Heritage Site.


Last edited by Fred Wilson on Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:08 am, edited 5 times in total.
Fred Wilson
Posts: 427
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Vernon BC Canada

Re: OK Place Names Part 1

Postby Fred Wilson » Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:38 pm

Trivia cont part 2...

My great grandfather Price Ellison pre-empted the east shore of Kalamalka Lake at the same time. Later sold to the Howe family, they sold it back to us at a big discount because they knew we would not turn it into lakefront condos.

My home for 42 years (Pheasant Run) is now Coldstream's Sovereign Park - still ? the newest park in Canada.

Right click on the photo below to see the FULL SIZE image of what the Coldstream looked like when we bought it back!


The family also donated Ellison Park, Soverign Lake Nordic Ski Hill and the Vernon Court House.

The are also responsible for Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park (my mom) Polson Park, Vernon Royal Jubilee Hospital (famly homestead propery) the Ellison Archives Wing of the Vernon Museum (my Uncle Ken Ellison and Cousin Liz Ellison both work there) The Glenmor-Ellison District (Kelowna Airport Area)...
Fred Wilson
Posts: 427
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Vernon BC Canada

Re: OK Place Names Part 2

Postby Ihor » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:38 pm

All great stuff Fred.

Knox Mountain - Page 143 - After Arthur B. Knox, who ranched at the foot of the mountain from 1883 to 1902.

Lavington - Page 150 - After Lavington Park, the Sussex home of James Buchanan, the wealthy Scottish distiller who bought land here in the early 1900's. In 1921 he bought the Coldstream Ranch. He twice won the Derby, gave King George V the money to restore the nave of the Chapel Royal at Windsor, donated very generously to charities, and in 1922 was created Baron Woolavington of Lavington.

Lumby - Page 157 - After Moses Lumby (1842-93). He came to British Columbia from England in 1862, mined in the Cariboo, farmed near Kamloops, carried mail up to the Big Bend gold camps, settled in Spallumcheen in 1870, and became a justice of the peace and vice-president of the Shuswap and Okanagan Railway. In 1891 he became the government agent at Vernon. He has been described as "a portly gentleman with a usually smiling face.' After his death White Valley was renamed Lumby in his honour.

Mable Lake - Page 160 - According to A. G. Harvey, Charles E. Perry, a CPR survey engineer, named the lake in the 1870's after Mabel Hope Charles (b. 1860), the eldest child of William Charles, successively the HBC manager in Hope, Kamloops, and Victoria.

Mara Lake - Page 164 - After John Andrew Mara, one of the Overlanders of 1862. After his epic journey west, he became a merchant, blossomed as a capitalist entrepreneur, presided as Speaker over the BC legistature, and went on to become an MP in Ottawa.

Monashee Mountains - Page 177 - A Gaelic, not an Indian name. The story goes that around 1880 Donald McIntyre, the highlander who staked the Monashee Mines, was prospecting in this area. The day had been one of mixed snow and rain and strong winds. Toward evening the wind fell and the clouds cleared, while the setting sun cast a beautiful light on a nearby mountain. 'Monashee!' McIntyre exclaimed. This word correctly spelled in Gaelic, is monadh, meaning 'mountain,' and sith (pronounced 'shee'), meaning 'peace.'

Needles - Page 186 - Formerly a little village stood where the 'needles,' long thin sand spits, ran into the lake. Now both village and needles have disappeared in consequence of the building of the dam at the foot of the lake, and only a ferry terminal preserves the old name.

Oyama - Page 200 - Not an Indian name but that of Prince Iwao Oyama (1842-1916), Japanese Field marshal, captor of Port Arthur in the First Sino-Japanese War and commander in Manchuria in the Russian-Japanese War. The post office at Oyama was opened in 1906.

Sicamous - Page 243 - From the Shuswap Indian term meaning 'narrow,' or 'squeezed in the middle.' This is a good description of this area where the growing delta of the Eagle River has progressively narrowed what was another arm of Shuswap Lake and formed Mara Lake and Mara Channel (into Shuswap Lake).

Silver Star Mountain - Page 244 - Formerly Aberdeen Mountain. Now named after the Silver Star Mining Co., which had a claim here.

Spallumcheen - Page 250 - Derived from the Shuswap Indian word spalmtsin, meaning 'flat area along edge.' (The Okanagan Indian word spelemtsin had the same meaning, and from it has come Spillimcheen River [q.v.].) For many years the Shuswap River, which flows into Mara Lake, was know as the Spallumcheen River.

Sugar Lake - Page 258 - The story goes that a negro, Alexander Clark, and two prospectors were out in a canoe on this lake when a bag of sugar accidentally spilled overboard. 'This will sure be a sugary lake!' remarked Clark.

Trinity Valley - Page 273 - Named for the three creeks and their valleys (Trinity, Vance, and Sowsap), which run north, south, and east from here.
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Shuswap First Nations Peoples

Postby Fred Wilson » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:06 am

Enderby's Splatsin are the most southern tribe of the Secwepemc Nation known by the white man's name: The Shuswap Nation, the largest Interior Salish speaking First Nation in Canada whose aboriginal territory stretches from the BC/Alberta border near the Yellowhead Pass to the plateau west of the Fraser River, east to Chase southeast Enderby to the Arrow Lakes and to Invermere in the upper reaches of the Columbia River.

Secwepemcstin is the traditional language. http://www.secwepemc.org/

See: http://www.firstvoices.com/en/Splatsin

XL Tribal images:
Chief: http://www.splatsin.ca/wp-content/uploa ... 775827.jpg

Councillor: http://www.splatsin.ca/wp-content/uploads/SAM_0071.jpg

Lilloet's The Stl'atl'imx People: http://www.cayoosh.net/native.html
(Lillooet, Nequatque & In-SHUCK-ch First Nations)
Fred Wilson
Posts: 427
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Vernon BC Canada

Re: OK Place Names Part 3

Postby Ihor » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:35 pm

Last one, I promise.

Vance Creek - Page 278 - After Alexander Vance, manager of the BX (Barnard's Express) Ranch near Vernon, from about 1868 to 1885.

Vernon - Page 284 - In 1862 Father Paul Durieu, OMI, built a cabin here, an out-station of Okanagan Mission, and thus he gave Vernon its first name of Priest's Valley. In 1887, after almost becoming Centreville or Forge Valley, Priest's Valley became Vernon, in honour of Forbes George Vernon (1843-1911), Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works for British Columbia.
Vernon was born near Dublin. After a short period of service as an officer in the British Army, he came to British Columbia with his brother Charles in 1863, arriving in the Okanagan with Colonel C. F. Houghton, the first owner of the Coldstream Ranch. This magnificent ranch was bought by the Vernon brothers in 1869 and later passed into the sole ownership of Forbes George Vernon.
Vernon entered provincial politics and became a power in the land. In The Valley of Youth, C. W. Holliday preserves a lively recollection of Vernon's electioneering technique as practised one night in the barroom of the Ram's Horn at Lumby:
Forbes George, a big genial Irishman with a merry twinkle in his eye, sized up his audience, and mounted a barroom chair - there was nothing else to mount, and there did not appear to be a chairman . . . He mounted that chair, and, had a representative of the press been present he would have had little trouble reporting a speech, for, holding up his hand to silence the applause, 'Gentlemen,' he said, 'you boys all know me and know all about me, and I am quite sure none of you want to hear me make a speech, so all I will say at present is: Let us all go and have a drink.' (p. 308)
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