McKale River

Feature type: River
Province: British Columbia
Location: Flows SW into Fraser River, NW of McBride
Latitude: 53°24’00”
Longitude: 120°20’00”
NTS map: 93H/8
Official name listed at BC Geographical Names

Named in 1913 by J. A. Walker, BC Land Surveyor, after James R. McKale (d. 1948), timber cruiser at McBride. McKale served in the Forestry Battalion in the First World War. He was identified as a timber cruiser in the 1930 and 1934 McBride Directories. James and his brother Jack settled in the valley after the First World War.

James McKale first came through on the railway survey. He was a charter member of the Royal Canadian Legion, in 1927, and one of the initial trustees of Elks Lodge 247, in 1933.

Jack B. McKale was a stationary fireman on the railroad up to the time of the end of steam locomotives in the mid-1950s. He ran the ice house in McBride in early 1920s, and also the local dray business. The house he built stands on Main Street between Sears and Balcaen Electronics.

R.E. McKale (1910-1950) is buried in the McBride cemetery.

Locally the McKale River is known as the Blackwater River.


  • BC Geographical Names
  • McBride cemetary. Grave markers.
  • Wheeler, Marilyn. The Robson Valley Story. McBride, B.C.: Robson Valley Story Group, 1979

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