Dora Creek

Feature type: Creek (1)
Province: British Columbia
Location: Flows NW into Albreda River
Latitude: 52°34’00”
Longitude: 119°06’00”
NTS map: 83D/11
Official name listed at BC Geographical Names

Does Dora Creek commemorate one of the eleven brides who became namesakes on maps drawn by Canadian National Railroad engineer Charles Buckle in 1913 (see Clemina)? Or does the name recall Dora (“Ma”) Chapin, who was a “camp follower” during the construction of the railroads through the Yellowhead Pass?

Dora Chapin homesteaded a quarter-section across the Fraser River from Tête Jaune Cache. “At Tête Jaune we had a friendly welcome from Mrs. Chapin and her partner Delbert Switzer,” reported Gerry Andrews, who passed through in 1925. “They operated a large chicken farm, some fifteen hundred purebred White Leghorns. Practically all their eggs and fryers were shipped to the lodge at Jasper on the CNR.” According to Otto Bruning, Chapin and Switzer engaged a young couple who came looking for work, and when the husband left to seek employment elsewhere, enslaved the woman and prevented her from communicating with her husband. After about four years the young woman escaped, and married a nearby homesteader. Dora and Delbert disappeared with the couple’s child.

References:

  • Andrews, Gerald Smedly 1903-. Métis outpost. Memoirs of the first schoolmaster at the Métis settlement of Kelly Lake, B.C. 1923-1925.. Victoria: G.S. Andrews, 1985
  • Yellowhead Pass and its people. Valemount, B.C.: Valemount Historic Society, 1984

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