(Trail Times file image)

Government reserve, litigation in New Denver stunted early growth

Place Names: New Denver neighbourhoods

A series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names

The land on which most of New Denver was built was staked by Angus McGillivray in October 1891. But before he could do anything with it, a government reserve was placed on the mouth of Carpenter Creek to keep land speculation in check.

The fledgling city of Eldorado grew up haphazardly on the site anyway, until the government sent Charles E. Perry to head up a proper survey the following year.

The townsite that Perry’s team plotted straddled Carpenter Creek and consisted of north-south avenues Eldorado and Bellevue, plus east-west First through Seventh, with Slocan Avenue falling between Fifth and Sixth. Some existing cabins and shacks had to be removed, as they fell in the middle of the new streets.

With an auction of lots in July 1892 came a name change, from Eldorado to New Denver.

• The townsite only represented part of the land McGillivray staked. After the government quietly lifted its reserve in September 1892, McGillivray hired Perry to survey the rest of his property.

However, ownership of McGillivray’s Addition was disputed and resulted in extensive litigation before a settlement was reached.

When the map was finally deposited with the land registry in early 1894, it added north-south avenues Josephine, Kildare, Union, Kootenay, Columbia, Victoria, Vancouver, and Pacific plus eighth through 11th streets on the west and Galena Avenue on the east. Victoria, Vancouver, and Pacific streets do not exist today, but the rest do.

McGillivray’s name has long since fallen from use.

• George Bigelow and Michael Molloy had the Bigelow Addition surveyed by late 1892, northeast of the original townsite. They staked this land adjoining McGillivray’s in 1891, but it was initially caught up in the government reserve. No map of this addition is known to survive, but we know one of its streets was named Wardner.

Lots were offered free “to business men and prospectors who will agree to erect business houses or residences thereon within a reasonable time.”

Despite claims to the contrary, none of the lots had sold by April 1893 when Minnesota capitalists bought the entire property. They don’t seem to have done much with it either by the time the Nakusp and Slocan Railway planned to build its line through the addition in 1894. This led to more litigation, but its outcome is not known.

The name survives in Bigelow Bay, first mentioned in The Ledge of March 14, 1895, although it’s not officially recognized.

• The portion of the townsite south of Carpenter Creek was known informally as Union Bay in the early 1900s, but during the Japanese-Canadian internment, it was called The Orchard after the fruit trees that grew there. The name remains in use.

The earliest reference yet discovered (although doubtless there are earlier ones) is from The New Canadian, Aug. 3, 1946: “The once congested Japanese settlement in the ‘orchard’ is now but a ghost of its former self …”

Denver Siding (or Denver Canyon Siding) was the stop closest to New Denver on the Nakusp and Slocan Railway, first mentioned in the Nakusp Ledge of Dec. 13, 1894: “A freight shed is being built by the railway company at Denver siding.”

Denver Siding today consists of Denver Siding Road and Atlantic Street. Despite many overtures at amalgamation, it remains outside village limits. Oddly, it’s not recognized as an official name.

CASTLEGAR NEIGHBOURHOODS,

REVISITED

Our recent look at Castlegar neighbourhoods omitted the Crestview subdivision, which follows Crestview Crescent, west of Highway 3. It was developed in the 1960s and ‘70s.

Also, a 1958 map reveals some more lost Castlegar street names. Thirteenth Avenue was once Front Avenue. Wood Street, which connected Columbia Avenue and 3rd Street, has disappeared.

Fifth, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th streets were Elm, Green, Hemlock, Juniper, and Laurel streets, respectively. Twelfth Street was Purcell Street, 13th Street was Cascade Street, and 15th Street was Kokanee Street. In the Oglow subdivision, Chickadee Lane was formerly Castlegar Lane.

KOOTENAIAN, REVISITED

We’ve previously looked at Kootenaian, the word once commonly used to refer to people from the Kootenay. It fell out of use after a Kaslo newspaper of the same name folded in 1969.

It was thought the same newspaper coined the term in 1895. However, an isolated, earlier example is found in a subheadline in the Spokane Chronicle of March 18, 1891: “Very indignant Kootenaians.”

The story said locals were mad at the Vancouver Board of Trade for petitioning parliament not to grant any more railway charters in the Kootenay.

— With thanks to Peter Smith

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The McGillivray Addition to New Denver was finally completed in early 1894, more than two years after Angus McGillivray envisioned a town at the mouth of Carpenter Creek. Courtesy Regional District of Central Kootenay

The McGillivray Addition to New Denver was finally completed in early 1894, more than two years after Angus McGillivray envisioned a town at the mouth of Carpenter Creek. Courtesy Regional District of Central Kootenay

This ad for the Bigelow Addition to New Denver appeared in the Nelson Tribune on Dec. 1, 1892.

Just Posted

Fruitvale product new ambassador for Blue Jays Care Foundation

Fruitvale native Ella Matteucci led off Jays Care Foundation with a few Twitter tips on staying fit

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Fact: B.C. bats don’t carry or spread COVID

BC Annual Bat Count goes this summer, citizens encouraged to take part

Mountain Pineapple defers application for new cannabis store in Rossland

The application was originally going to be reviewed by city council on May 19

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read