Friday, May 3, 2013

Beautiful B.C.

Beautiful British Columbia. Not to sound like the tourism board but this is a gorgeous section of the world. However did we get that name though?

In a way, this segment of Canada was named after a river. If you think back to your school days, you may remember an Italian explorer, Christoforo Colombo.

In 1792, Bostonian Captain Robert Gray named his ship the Columbia. He also gave the same name to a river he was exploring. A river that had been named Rio de San Roque in 1775 by the Spaniards.

Sir Francis Drake had once called the area that stretched from California to Oregon and through B.C. "New Albion", but it didn't catch on.

Around 1793, Captain Vancouver decided to honour his king and gave the names of New Georgia to northern Washington/southern B.C. and New Hanover to the northern B.C. coast. That also did not catch on.
The Hudson's Bay Company named the northern part of this province, New Caledonia. Simon Fraser chose this name around 1808 because the area reminded him of his mother's descriptions of her homeland, the native Scottish highlands. The southern part of B.C. was known as Columbia.

When the border was created at the 49th parallel in 1846, the northern part became known as British Columbia. New Caledonia was rejected due to the fact that there are French islands in the South Pacific using the same name and it might have become confusing.

So, this province was named after a river that was named after an explorer. Just be happy it wasn't a Spaniard who had named their ship after Colombo or this could have been British Colonic! Makes me think of a cleansing procedure.

Thank you Tom Snyders and Jennifer O'Rourke for the book Namely Vancouver from which I obtained the above information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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  1. It is so interesting how places get their names. The flowers are beautiful. Thanks again for another glorious morning of history. Love it. Lana Lee

    1. I find it fascinating as well. This book I have, Namely Vancouver, is full of such information. So interesting to read.

      Thanks for reading and for commenting.

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