Category Archives: Place Names

Parsnip River

British Columbia. River: Peace River drainage
Flows NW into Parsnip Reach, S end Williston Lake
55°10’22” N 123°4’13” W — Map 093O03 — GoogleGeoHack
Name officially adopted in 1974
Official in BCCanada

Adopted in1945 as labelled on BC map 1H, 1917, and as identified in the 1930 BC Gazetteer.

Coordinates of mouth adjusted 3 June 1974 on 93O/3, because of flooding of Williston Lake.

The name of the river comes from the abundance of cow-parsnip (Heracleum lanatum) growing on its banks.” <(a title="Wikipedia" href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Macoun">John Macoun, quoted in the report of N.B. Gauvreau, CE, 1891).

R.M. Patterson mentions the “almost tropical growth of the giant cow parsnip from which the river gets is name.” He found this growing up to 7-feet high and says “the din of the rain on the huge leaves was like the rush of a tremendous wind”.

This plant is sometimes called “Indian Rhubarb” since the native Americans eat the petioles or leaf-stalks.

References:

  • Patterson, Raymond Murray [1898–1984]. Finlay’s River. [Reprint Touch Wood 2006], 1968. Google Books
  • Akrigg, Helen B., and Akrigg, George Philip Vernon [1913–2001]. British Columbia Place Names. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997. Internet Archive
  • British Columbia Geographical Names. Parsnip River

Grant 1872 Yellowhead Pass to Kamloops

Yellow Head Pass to Kamloops. George Monro Grant, plate 34

Yellow Head Pass to Kamloops. George Monro Grant, plate 34
Ocean to Ocean: Sanford Fleming’s Expedition through Canada in 1872

Our maps of the country, east of the Rocky Mountains, are mainly from Captain Palliser’s; those of the Pacific slope from Governor Trutch’s map of British Columbia. For a number of the plates illustrating the Dawson route we are indebted to Mr. Desbarats and his artists ; to the latter and to a kind lady in Ottawa, for making pictures out of our own rude but, we believe, faithful outlines.
References:

  • Grant, George Monro [1835–1902]. Ocean to Ocean: Sanford Fleming’s Expedition through Canada in 1872. Being a Diary Kept During a Journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific with the Expedition of the Engineer-in-Chief of the Canadian Pacific and Intercolonial Railways. Toronto: James Campbell and Son, 1873. Google Books

Fort St. James

British Columbia. District Municipality
SE end of Stuart Lake
54°26’40” N 124°15’33” W — Map 093K08 — GoogleGeoHack
Name officially adopted in 1995
Official in BCCanada

Founded as a trading post by Simon Fraser of the North West Company in August 1806. It was referred to simply as Stuart Lake post until 1822 when it became Fort St. James. The reason for the new name is not known.

Hudson’s Bay Company governor George Simpson, visiting here in 1828, described the post as “the capital of Western Caledonia.” It was in fact the administrative centre for the Hudson Bay Company’s department of New Caledonia. The original buildings have all disappeared, but the local people are making a commendable effort to preserve the three surviving buildings which date from the late nineteenth century.

Labelled “Fort James” on Trutch’s 1871 map, presumably a mistake.

Fort St. James Post Office was opened 1 May 1899, seems to have closed the following year then re-opened 1 May 1905.

References:

  • Akrigg, Helen B., and Akrigg, George Philip Vernon [1913–2001]. British Columbia Place Names. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997. Internet Archive
  • British Columbia Geographical Names. Fort St. James

Fort George

British Columbia. Former name of Prince George: Fraser River drainage
Confluence of Nechako and Fraser Rivers
53°54’47” N 122°44’43” W — Map 093G15 — GoogleGeoHack
Not currently an official name.

Fort George was a trading post founded in 1807 by Simon Fraser of the North West Company and named after King George III.

The Dakelh (Carrier) name for this point at the confluence of the Nechako and Fraser Rivers was “Thle-et-leh” meaning “the confluence”.

References:

Also see:

Indianpoint Lake

British Columbia. Lake: Fraser River drainage
Bowron Lakes
53°15’57” N 121°15’11” W — Map 093H06 — GoogleGeoHack
Earliest known reference to this name is 1871.
Name officially adopted in 1936
Official in BCCanada

By 1892, Canadian Pacific Railway surveyor James Adams Mahood [d. 1901] had cut a trail past Indianpoint Lake on his way to Tête Jaune Cache, where he was to meet Alfred Richard Cecil Selwyn’s Thompson River party, but a few months later the CPR chose a route far to the south and the trail fell into disuse.

References:

  • Wright, Richard. “Tales of a trail [Goat River].” BC Outdoors, (1985)
Also see:

Mahood Lake

British Columbia. Lake
51°55’50” N 120°22’55” W — Map 092P16 — GoogleGeoHack
Name officially adopted in 1955
Official in Canada

After James Adams Mahood, land surveyor, who died in 1901. Mahood conducted a CPR survey party along the shore of the lake in 1872.

By the next year James Adams Mahood, a CPR surveyor, had cut a trail past Indianpoint Lake on his way to Tete Jaune Cache, where he was to meet Selwyn’s Thompson river party, but a few months later the CPR chose a route far to the south and the trail fell into disuse.

References:

  • Wright, Richard. “Tales of a trail [Goat River].” BC Outdoors, (1985)