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Ambitious plan to expand Salmo came to naught

Place Names: Salmo and Slocan neighbourhoods

A series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names

Continuing our look at neighbourhood names:

Salmo: The original townsite, laid out in 1897 by John Maclure, consisted of northeast-southwest avenues Maclure, Hutcheson, Railway, Davies, Sayward, and Baker plus northwest-southeast streets First through Seventh. The Nelson and Fort Sheppard Railway ran between Hutcheson and Railway avenues.

When Maclure finished plotting the blocks into lots later that year, Quartz Avenue was added on the southeast side and 8th Street on the southwest. However, neither was developed as envisioned. Only a portion of Quartz Avenue survives.

The Salmo Museum has a fascinating map from 1897 that envisioned a huge addition that never came to be.

South of the original townsite would have been Riverside, Quartz, Opal, Onyx, and Jasper avenues.

To the west and south were east-west streets Nickel, Galena, and Cobalt, plus 10th and 11th streets west and east, and Kootenay and North Fork Avenues.

The north-south streets would have been Garnet, Diamond, Ferro, Silver, Gold, Ruby, Pearl, and Topaz, plus Gladstone, Victoria, Washington, Salmo, Lincoln, Queens, and Disraeli avenues (the streets and avenues inexplicably alternated despite being parallel to each other).

Most interesting of all was Victoria Square, a park that would have fallen roughly where Curwen Road and Woodland Drive are today. None of this ambitious plan was executed. Ninth Avenue, which was nowhere to be seen on the 1897 map, was one of the few roads added to the original townsite, along with Rotter Avenue.

• Glendale is the area south of Erie Creek and west of the Salmo River. The name probably dates to the early 1950s, when many of the homes there were built.

The name is perpetuated in Glendale Avenue The other streets are Birch, Ponderosa, Aspen, and 6th, plus Cedar and Cottonwood avenues, Woodland Drive, and Bakken, Larsen, Tamarack, Cady, Carney Bridge, and Carney Mill roads.

• The subdivision to the south and west of Highway 6, where the Pend d’Oreille steak house and Sal-Crest Motel are, was developed beginning in the 1960s and long known as Teacherville, because four of the first five houses in the neighborhood were owned by teachers.

While the name is no longer widely used, nothing else has replaced it.

• Airport Road, on the east side of the Salmo River, is outside village limits. It winds around the golf course, which was once a golfport — until the 1990s, it had a landing strip, built in 1934 as a government relief project. Many of Salmo’s original Doukhobor settlers lived on or near Airport Road.

• Little Italy was a collection of houses on Delaurentis Road, on the east side of the Salmo River, near the Airport Road bridge.

Slocan: We’ve previously covered Slocan neighbourhoods Brandon, West Slocan, and Bay Farm in this series. They’re all outside village limits, although you’d never guess.

• Within Bay Farm is the Hatch subdivision, developed by Slocan Forest Products employee Ray Hatch in the 1970s.

• Springer Creek Road, on the east side of Highway 6, has several homes on it. The creek — and by extension the road, campground, and former sawmill — were named after Billy Springer, a key figure in mining in the Slocan in the 1890s. As of 1913, he was superintendent of the Idaho-Alamo mines.

The following year in Spokane, Springer was accused of stabbing J.H. Alexander, another mining man, in the nose. Springer denied an allegation that he was enraged over a comment Alexander made about President Woodrow Wilson. He said he acted in self-defense and was acquitted. He may have gone to Alaska after that.

• Three kilometers south of Slocan is the former site of Winjeville, where Albert Winje (1913-99) once had a roadside display of antique machinery and unique skeleton-like sculptures.

Winjeville was included as a stop of interest in The Dewdney Trail: Hope to Fort Steele (1987), but three years after the book was published, the display was dismantled and the artifacts auctioned off. The name fell out of use, but one sculpture remains along the highway at Lemon Creek.

South Slocan: It has a few distinct neighbourhoods, including Playmor Junction (which we’ve previously looked at), at the intersection of Highways 3A and 6. It includes Dogwood Drive plus Sentinel, Garden, Eden, Playmor, Osachoff, Skiboff, White, Webb, Pintail, and Lily roads.

• The Voykin subdivision, developed since the 1980s on Fir Drive and Jacks Crescent, is also part of Playmor Junction.

• South Slocan Village includes South Slocan Village Road as well as Murray, Sadler, Baker, and Yeatman roads.

• The company town that grew up around the South Slocan dam from the late 1920s onward was referred to as No. 3 plant, or by those who lived there as “the camp.” Some of the homes were burned for fire department practice in 2006 and the rest demolished.

— With thanks to Gloria Currie, Joan Field, and Al Craft


The Salmo Museum has this rare map showing plans for a major expansion to the townsite in 1897 that never came to be. Greg Nesteroff photo

The second iteration of the Salmo townsite, completed in July 1897 by surveyor John Maclure, fleshed out the lots and added a couple more streets.

Glendale Avenue in Salmo perpetuates the name of the Glendale neighbourhood. Greg Nesteroff photo

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