David Thompson’s name for Wood River
Earliest known reference to this name is 1811 (Thompson).
Our residence was near the junction of two Rivers from the Mountains with the Columbia: the upper Stream which forms the defile by which we came to the Columbia, I named the Flat Heart, from the Men being dispirited ; it had nothing particular. The other was the Canoe River ; which ran through a bold rude valley, of a steady descent, which gave to this River a very rapid descent without any falls…
Thompson’s “Flat Heart ” river is now Wood river. It is clear from this text that both the Athabaska Pass and the Canoe river region had been visited earlier than this by the guide, Thomas the Iroquois, and by other Nipissing and Iroquois Indians ; but Thompson was the first white man to cross it.
- Thompson, David [1770–1857]. David Thompson’s Narrative of His Explorations in Western America, 1784-1812. Toronto: Champlain Society, 1916. p. 451. University of British Columbia