A series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names
By Greg Nesteroff
Special to Black Press
No births, deaths, or marriages occurred there. It doesn’t appear on any maps. It’s not mentioned in the BC Geographic Names System, although there is a Yoder Lake due north of Port Hardy.
But we know Yoder existed because it had a post office, which opened Sept. 17, 1923 and closed Oct. 15, 1924. The postmaster was George C. Massey.
The 1924 Wrigley’s directory listed Yoder as “a post office in the Kootenay district,” with no location specified. The following year, and for several years running, it was given as “a settlement in the Kootenay district, ⅛ mile from Meadows on GNR.” The 1930 BC Geographical Gazetteer says it was “a settlement on Great Northern Railway adjoining Meadows railway station – 5½ miles west of Salmo.” It was last listed in the 1937 Sun directory, which called it “a settlement five miles west of Salmo.” None of the directories listed any residents besides Massey.
We do know who Yoder was named after: Abner C. Yoder (1872-1960), a representative of the Lindsley Bros. Co. of Spokane. He was born in Ohio and came to Nakusp in 1906, where he established a pole yard. He later lived and worked in Nelson. The first sign of his presence in the area was a hotel listing in the Nelson Daily Canadian of Nov. 5, 1906 that indicated he was staying at the Strathcona.
Yoder arrived in Canada as a widower with a five-year-old daughter named Bernadine. On June 25, 1912, he married Valeria Monica McGrady in Revelstoke, with whom he had three more children. On the marriage registration Yoder gave his profession as commercial traveller. His name was twice misspelled “Yoda.”
The Nelson Daily News of April 12, 1923 quoted Yoder, by now district manager for the Lindsley Bros.’ Canadian operations: “Conditions for the year throughout the district look very promising and as soon as weather conditions permit, the operations at Meadows along the Great Northern line will be resumed on a large scale.” Yoder was then buying machinery for the mill and expected to put 200 men to work.
In the Daily News of May 10, 1924, Yoder described the work being carried out at the various Lindsley Bros. yards. “Down at Meadows,” he said, “we are shipping the winter’s output of hemlock logs for pulp, and expect to have this order all completed by June 10.”
What happened to the operation?
According to the Daily News of Nov. 13, 1926, “The forest fires of last summer ended the utility of the Meadows camp. Equipment and other assets are being disposed of.” The same story described how Lindsley Bros.’ Canadian division was liquidated and a new company created to take its place.
“The A.C. Yoder Cedar company will not itself operate camps,” Yoder said, “but will let contracts for pole production all over the district. Sales agencies have already been arranged for in Montreal and Winnipeg and I … will arrange for a sales agency in New York.” The new company’s offices were to be in Nelson.
Yoder continued to operate in the West Kootenay for another decade but returned to Spokane sometime after 1936, where he died age 88.
The Yoder postal cancellation is exceedingly rare. Only one example is known to exist, which sold a few years ago for $750.
This Boundary locality just south of Westbridge was first included in the 1918 Wrigley’s BC directory with the note: “No residents or settlers in the district yet, though some farming and range land.”
Railway Mileposts: British Columbia, Vol. II says Zamora was “named for the Spanish city,” while Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway says it was “named after the Spanish province,” but neither suggests why or by whom. Zamora was devastated by wildfire in 2015, but the name is perpetuated in Zamora Road.
Zamora is also the name of two rivers in Romania, a city, province, and river in Ecuador, a city in Mexico, three municipalities and a defunct province in Venezuela, and a community in California.
This ghost town between Kaslo and New Denver was originally known as Lucky Jim, after a zinc mine discovered by (Lucky) Jim Shields and first mentioned in the Nelson Miner of June 11, 1892: “J. Shields claims to have 12 feet on his claim, the Lucky Jim. Other reports say that he has only 30 inches.”
Lucky Jim was first referred to as a stop on the Kaslo and Slocan Railway in the Nelson Tribune of Jan. 16, 1897: “The Nonpareil group is located in the Slocan opposite the Lucky Jim group, the cabin on the property being about 30 minutes’ walk from the Lucky Jim siding …”
Forest fire wiped out the camp in 1910, but it was rebuilt and renamed Zincton. The earliest known mention is in the Winnipeg Tribune of Aug. 11, 1911: “The Tierney Company has been awarded the contract for the construction of the new CPR line to be built from Three Forks to Bear Lake … A new station will also be erected, which will be known as Zincton. This line will run right up to the Lucky Jim mines and will be utilized mostly by the company for shipping ore.”
A rare example of the postmark sold this year for $675.