Twenty-sixth in a series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names
The ghost town of Camborne in the northern Lardeau was originally known as Fish Creek Camp, but renamed by mining recorder and engineer John Cory Menhinick (1865-1953), who pre-empted the townsite at the confluence of Fish and Pool creeks.
Menhinick reputedly named it after the mining school he attended in his birthplace of Cornwall, England. Founded in 1888, it still exists as part of the University of Exeter. Camborne, which means crooked hill in Cornish, is often misspelled Cambourne and Menhinick’s name is sometime given as Menhenick.
The earliest reference was in the Revelstoke Herald of January 20, 1900 in speaking of the Beatrice mine: “A rawhide trail has been built and today the mine is shipping high grade over the government waggon road from Camborne to Arrow lake, seven miles distant …”
The townsite was laid out the following year. Camborne enjoyed a couple of brief heydays connected to mining in the area. The post office opened May 1, 1902, closed September 30, 1914, re-opened August 16, 1935 and closed again December 31, 1936.
Today the townsite is deserted. By the 1920s, Menhinick moved to Salt Spring Island.
This townsite, also known as Caribou City, was close to Burton on Upper Arrow Lake, and was founded in response to a brief mining rush. It was first mentioned in the Victoria Daily Colonist of June 6, 1897: “Townsites in Cariboo Creek district are … beginning to boom. Mineral City and Cariboo City have been put on the market lately and lots in both are meeting with ready sale in Rossland.”
Twelve days later, the first in a series of ads in the Spokane Spokesman Review placed on behalf of the Cariboo City Land Company declared Cariboo City “the coming metropolis of British Columbia” and “destined to be the big city of the Arrow Lake country.”
Alas, it never happened. The last reference to Cariboo City appeared in the Kootenay Mail in 1903.
This spot 24 kilometers south of Nakusp on the east side of Upper Arrow Lake is identifiable thanks to a homemade sign on a fire number along Highway 6, although it’s spelled Carrol’s Landing.
Several history books indicate it was named for Mike Carroll of Nakusp, who owned land there. However, it seems more likely that he was Miles Carroll (1838-1912). According to Port of Nakusp, he left his estate to Germaine and Pearl Parent, two children who frequently checked on him and did some light housekeeping. The inheritance consisted of money, tools, and a parcel of timber, the proceeds of which allowed the family to buy property for a new home.
The post office opened December 14, 1937, closed March 28, 1951, reopened February 4, 1954 as a postal agency and closed for good November 13, 1968 as the old community was flooded out by the Hugh Keenleyside dam.
Previous installments in this series