Monday, July 16, 2012

Where Did You Get That Name?

Friday I told you about some of the streets in this area named after mining towns. But where did those names come from? Once again, I am consulting Namely Vancouver by Tom Snyders and Jennifer O'Rourke.

Atlin is a name that comes from the inland Tlingit people. Aht-lah means big lake and there is an Atlin Lake on the B.C.-Yukon border.

Cariboo originally ran the length of the Hastings Townsite. However, a 1950s bylaw changed the name of this section from Cariboo to Skeena. Today a block length off East 29th at Skeena is all that remains.

Hazelton's story is an interesting one. One story is that Thomas Hankin named the area in 1868 for the abundance of hazelnuts ripening there at the time. However, someone states that HBC trader William Hankey founded and named Hazelton. Thomas Dewdney laid out the town site in 1871. Which story is true? Well, it is a fact that hazelnuts are not indigenous to this area so you decide.

Now Kamloops comes from the Shuswap name Kahm-o-loops, which means 'the meeting of the waters'.

Kaslo - river and city - has two versions of how the name was obtained.Perhaps the name is from a prospector by the name of John Kasleau or perhaps the Kootenay name for the blackberries that are abundant in that area - cassoloe or kas-low.
Kelowna is from the Okanagan called Skela'-unina or 'grizzly bear'.Koote4nay is an anglicization version of the Ktunaza First Nations - also spelled Kootenai, Kootenae, Coutonai and Kutenai.

There is some more history to the name of Renfrew. Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island got its name due to Lord Renfrew of Scotland. He had planned to bring Scottish crofters there. The Renfrew Mining Division  drew their name from the town and gave its name to Renfrew Street in Vancouver in 1906. Renfrew is now the name of the neighbourhood.

Rupert is even more interesting. In a roundabout way, King Charles II connects to the name. Prince Rupert of Rhine was Charles' cousin and the prince headed a group that got a royal charter to start the Hudson's Bay Company in 1670. Prince Rupert's name inspired many Canadian places including the town of Prince Rupert and the Rupert Mining District.

Skeena is the combination of two Tsimshian words that mean 'water from the clouds'. The Skeena Mining Division is named for Skeena River, which reaches the ocean at Prince Rupert.

Slocan Mining Division is named after Slocan Lake. The lake got its name in 1859 after an Okanagan Native word meaning 'to pierce'. It refers to spearing salmon.

Then there is Windermere Mining Division. That name came from Windermere Lake, near Invermere.

Isn't it interesting how names came to be? I think so.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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