A series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names
Continuing our look at Grand Forks-area neighbourhoods, started last week:
• Almond Gardens: Northeast of the Kettle River where it crosses the international boundary.
Its roads include Almond Gardens (north, east, and west), plus Laktin, Marchal, Gritchen, Diepenbeck, Hughes, Cooper, Konkin, Dowedoff, Russell, Lobay, Pereversoff, Danish, and Carson. The eastern limit is roughly where the Cooper bridge used to cross the river at Almond Gardens Road East and Pereversoff Road.
No nuts are grown in Almond Gardens. Rather it’s named for government agent Sidney Russel (Sid) Almond (1856-1945), one of the earliest European settlers in the area, who had a ranch there. He received a Crown grant on Jan. 21, 1896. Almond Creek is also named after him.
The earliest known use of Almond Gardens is an ad in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix of Sept. 3, 1921, which offered “a group of 10 and 20 acres tracts in the heart of Grand Forks Valley” for sale.
The name was officially adopted as a community in 1977.
While cities usually grow to add rural areas, in 1962 Almond Gardens residents on the west and south sides of the Cooper bridge petitioned to leave the city and revert to unincorporated status.
City council thought that was fine, since they felt it was impossible to serve the area with municipal utilities. Residents voted 313 to 57 in favour of secession. That area, and indeed all of Almond Gardens, remains outside city limits.
• Nursery: Farming area east of the city, between two bends of the Kettle River, named chiefly after Riverside Nurseries, established in 1900 by Martin Burrell and operated into the 1950s by Clinton Atwood as Riverside Seed Farms.
Nursery was officially adopted as a community name in 1977, but it has been in use since at least 1951, and perhaps a lot longer than that. Its roads include Nursery, South Nursery, Atwood, Starchuk, Whitehall, Heaven, Antifaev, Nagraeff, and Seed Farm.
• Prest’s Addition/Johnson Flats: East of Almond Gardens, between two bends in the Kettle River.
Surveyed as Prest’s Addition by 1905 and named for Rossland realtor Thomas Prest (1838-1924). He and wife Sarah had three daughters: Lillian, Mabel, and Beatrice, each of whom had a street named after them. The north-west streets were Beatrice, Emily, Eva, plus River Avenue, while the east-west streets were Mable and Lillian. (It’s not clear who Emily and Eva were.)
Today this area is known as Johnson Flats, a name that appears to date to after 1970. Only Beatrice Street survives from the original plan.
The area also includes Division Road, 12th Street, 17th through 19 streets, 59th through 62nd avenues, portions of Kettle River Drive, and as far north as the back of Evergreen Cemetery.
Along with South Ruckle, this area was hardest hit in last year’s floods.
• Yale Addition: The subdivision on the east side of the Kettle River where the Golden Heights mansion sits. Developed by founding mayor John Manly and named after the federal riding then Grand Forks belonged to.
It slightly extended Winnipeg Avenue and Bridge Street across the river. Its north-south streets were North Fork Avenue, Granby Street, Norma Street, and Bluff Avenue.
By 1905, Granby Street had been renamed Smelter Street and another addition had been surveyed, creating Hill, Lambly, Kains, Volcanic, and Boltz avenues further up the hillside. However, they were never developed. Only Bluff Avenue survives today, as Bluff Street.
• Carson: We’ve previously covered this townsite, laid out by John Coryell and named after Isabella Carson McLaren (?-1887), mother of the McLaren brothers who ran the Grand Prairie Hotel there.
It was first mentioned in the Midway Advance of Nov. 4, 1895: “A petition has been largely signed and forwarded to the postal department, praying that the name of the post office at Kettle river may be changed to Carson, the name of the new town.”
The name was indeed changed, and the post office continued to operate until 1915.
Carson would today be considered a Grand Forks suburb, although it’s outside city limits. Its surviving streets are Vernon and Graham plus Victoria, Vancouver, Vale, Westminster, Riverside, and International avenues. Oddly, Carson Road is not actually in Carson, but in Almond Gardens. (This confuses Google Maps, which erroneously centres Carson on Carson Road.)
The name is perpetuated in the Carson border crossing.
— With thanks to Sue Adrain, Della Mallette, and Laura Lodder