Committee Punch Bowl

Feature type: Lake
Province: British Columbia
Location: Alta-BC boundary, headwaters of Pacific Creek
Latitude: 52°23’30”
Longitude: 118°10’30”
NTS map: 83D/8
Official name listed at BC Geographical Names

“At the very top of the pass or height of Land is a small circular Lake or Basin of water,” wrote Hudson’s Bay Company governor George Simpson in 1824, “which empties itself in opposite directions and may be said to be the source of the Columbia and Athabasca Rivers as it bestows its favors on both these prodigious Streams. That this basin should send its Waters to each side of the Continent and give birth to two of the principal rivers in North America is no less strange than true both the Dr [John McLoughlin] & myself having examined the currents flowing from it East and West and the circumstance appearing remarkable I thought it should be honored by a distinguishing title and it was forthwith named the ‘Committee’s Punch Bowl.’” Fur-trade travelers paused at this natural campsite to drink a toast “to their Honours the Governors,” the governing committee of the Hudson’s Bay Company in London.

References:

  • Simpson, George. Fur trade and empire. George Simpson’s journal entitled Remarks connected with fur trade in consequence of a voyage from York Factory to Fort George and back to York Factory 1824-25. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968, 1824?
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