Cranberry Lake

Feature type: Lake
Province: British Columbia
Location: Near Valemount
Latitude: 52°49’00”
Longitude: 119°15’00”
NTS map: 83D/14
Official name listed at BC Geographical Names

“Cranberry Lake, which is about seven hundred acres in area, lies on the divide between the McLennan and Canoe rivers,” wrote surveyor A. W. Johnson in 1912. “The lake apparently drains naturally into the McLennan, but it is a mere trickle. The lake is of beaver construction, and must have been quite recently a spruce-swamp, for there are many old roots under the water, which is nowhere more than three or four feet deep. It has nothing to justify its perpetuation as a lake, except that it makes a fine foreground for photographs of the surrounding mountains. So shallow that our paddle stirs up evil smells all the time, and while we were there, at any rate, avoided by ducks and geese, it would fulfil a higher destiny as a hay meadow. The water is warm in summer and almost stagnant; quite unfit to drink. Cranberry Lake is so called because there are no cranberries anywhere near it.”

“Who remembers Cranberry Lake,” asks an early settler. “It had a small island in the centre which grew swamp cranberries.” During the construction of the Yellowhead Highway in 1965, Cranberry Lake was filled in.

The Cranberry Lake post office was open from 1913 to 1918, when it was changed to Swift Creek. In 1928, Swift Creek was changed to Valemount. There are less than ten cancellation marks known from the Cranberry Lake post office.

References:

  • Johnson, A.W. Report on Surveys between Tête Jaune Cache and the North Thompson River, on the route of the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway. December 14, 1912. Victoria: Province of British Columbia, 1913
  • Topping, William. A checklist of British Columbia post offices. Vancouver: published by the author, 7430 Angus Drive, 1983
  • Yellowhead Pass and its people. Valemount, B.C.: Valemount Historic Society, 1984

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