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Grey Cup’s namesake named Boswell

A former governor general named Boswell in honour of surveyor Elias John Boswell. - Greg Nesteroff photo
A former governor general named Boswell in honour of surveyor Elias John Boswell.
— image credit: Greg Nesteroff photo

Twenty-second in a series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names

Boswell, on the East Shore of Kootenay Lake, is named for land surveyor Elias John Boswell (1870-1956).

Governor-General Earl Grey — the man who donated the Grey Cup — visited Kootenay Lake in the fall of 1906 and bought prime orchard land there for his son, Lord Howick.

Boswell was hired to survey the ranch and it was named in his honour, according to former provincial geologist Dr. Stuart S. Holland, a distant relative. In a 1942 history of Boswell, D.V. West said Earl Grey also joked that buying the property from prominent fruit rancher James Johnstone and naming it Boswell suggested James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson. (Guess you had to be there.)

The Boswell post office opened on March 1, 1907. The BC geographical names database indicates this place was known as McGregor as of 1900, after original pre-emptor D.C. McGregor of Trail. A creek is also named for him.

According to Early Land Surveyors of British Columbia, Boswell was born in Cannington, Ontario and made his way west after graduating from the University of Toronto in 1895. By 1901, he was in Nelson and obtained his BC provincial land surveyor commission.

His other noteworthy surveys included three miles of the Canadian Pacific Railway mainline through the Monashees and many CPR townsites. In 1915, he moved to Toronto where he eventually became chief engineer of surveys for Ontario Hydro.

Boswell Lake in the Cariboo may also be named after him.

Bosworth

This flag station on the CPR’s Lardeau and Gerrard branch four miles from Howser, was on the timetable by September 1907.

Roger Burrows in Railway Mileposts Vol. II says it was named for CPR vice-president George Morris Bosworth (1858-1925). Mount Bosworth, in Yoho National Park, is also named after him.

Boulder Mill

This spot 2.5 miles north of Salmo was home to a logging camp, sawmill, and post office that opened April 1, 1920 and closed November 10, 1922.

It took its name from Boulder Creek, which appeared on George M. Dawson’s 1890 “Reconnaisance Map of a Portion of the West Kootanie [sic] District.”

Salmo’s Doukhobor cemetery is also known as Boulder Creek cemetery and there’s a Boulder Creek road.

Broadwater

Presumably named after the width of Lower Arrow Lake at this point, opposite Renata. A post office opened on December 1, 1912 and closed August 31, 1954.

According to The Story of Renata 1887-1965 by Mary Warkentin and Rose Ann Rohn, “It was first called Little Deer Park, then Lakeside, and finally Broadwater. The Indians who used to winter there called it Immitoin, meaning sheltered place.”

It’s unclear where the authors found the latter, although a Google Books search returns what appears to be a home by that name in Renata in 1912, occupied by George and Ruth Illingworth.

Although it no longer exists as a community, Broadwater is remembered in the name of the road that stretches all the way from Brilliant to beyond Deer Park.

Previous installments in this series

Introduction

Ainsworth

Alamo

Anaconda

Annable, Apex, and Arrow Park

Annable, revisited

Appledale

Applegrove, Appleby, and Appledale revisited

Argenta and Arrowhead

Aylwin

Balfour

Bannock City, Basin City, and Bear Lake City

Beasley

Beaton

Bealby Point

Belford and Blewett

Beaverdell and Billings

Birchbank and Birchdale

Blueberry and Bonnington

Brandon

Brilliant

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