ABOVE: Columbia Park was where Rivervale is today

Columbia: the City, Gardens, and Park

The Columbia River was named for Capt. Robert Gray’s ship Columbia Rediviva and in turn begat several local place names.

Thirty-eighth in a weekly series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names

The Columbia River was named for Capt. Robert Gray’s 18th century ship the Columbia Rediviva, the first American boat to circumnavigate the world.

The river in turn begat several local place names, including Columbia, a short-lived incorporated city discussed in this space last week, and Columbia City which was not a real city, though it was a surveyed townsite roughly where the Castlegar sewage lagoons and Waldie Island Trail are now.

The earliest reference in the Victoria Daily Colonist of March 29, 1892 said: “The new town of Columbia, formerly known as Sproat’s Landing … will be subdivided at an early date.” (We’ll discuss Sproat’s Landing in a later installment.)

On April 30, Henry B. Smith laid out the 102-acre townsite west of Pass Creek on behalf of the Victoria-based Columbia Townsite Improvement Co.

The Nelson Miner of July 16 joked that Columbia City’s flood-prone lots were better suited to fishing than building, but an annoyed Smith responded: “I beg to state without qualification that the paragraph is entirely at variance with the truth.”

Nothing much became of the townsite, though it appeared on maps as late as 1897. It should not be confused with Arrowhead, which was also briefly known as Columbia City.

Columbia Gardens

The area south of Trail now home to an airport, industrial park, and winery was originally called Sayward, which we’ll address separately in this series.

The Sayward townsite was only a small portion of what J.D. Anderson surveyed in May 1907 as Columbia Gardens — a name reportedly chosen to demonstrate that smelter smoke would not damage fruit trees.

The earliest reference is in the Phoenix Pioneer of December 2, 1905: “Smith Curtis … is handling fruit lands at Columbia Gardens, on the Columbia river, between Sayward and Trail.”

The Columbia Gardens post office operated from April 1, 1908 to July 31, 1950.

But the Nelson Daily News of January 20, 1913 said it took until that month for the Great Northern Railway to change its station name from Sayward to Coumbia Gardens: “Many annoying disappointments will be avoided now, for in the past much of the mail has gone to Sayward, near Victoria.”

Columbia Park

This was an old name for the Trail suburb of Rivervale, judging from a 1909 map which shows it in the same location.

The Nelson Daily News of November 9, 1910 wrote: “Wolverton and Co. have just sold to Ontario parties six 10-acre plots in Columbia Park, situated on the Columbia River this side of Trail.”

Wolverton and Co. were also agents for Slocan Park and evidently fond of that naming scheme. A school operated at Columbia Park between 1911-17 and 1921-22, with a peak enrollment of 19. One teacher, Anne Grierson, later wrote High Day and Holidays in Canada: A Collection of Holiday Facts for Canadian Schools (1938) with Annie Garland Foster.

Following the school’s closure, the name Columbia Park was consigned to oblivion. The Rivervale subdivision was developed beginning in 1954.

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

Bakers, Birds, and Bosun Landing

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

Boswell, Bosworth, Boulder Mill, and Broadwater

Brandon

Brilliant

Brooklyn, Brouse, and Burnt Flat

Burton

Camborne, Cariboo City, and Carrolls Landing

Carmi, Cedar Point, Circle City, and Clark’s Camp

Carson, Carstens, and Cascade City

Casino and Champion Creek

Castlegar, Part 1

Castlegar, Part 2

Castlegar, Part 3

Christina Lake

Christina City and Christian Valley

Clubb Landing and Coltern

Cody and Champion Creek revisited

Columbia

Just Posted

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued snowboarders

Two snowboarders found safe near Rossland, B.C.

Nelson bumps up cost of east Blewett fire service

The 20 per cent increase will amount to approximately $56 per year for a $400,000 home

Spike in vehicle thefts from remote parking lots

RCMP investigating a half dozen incidents

Judgment reserved in Nakusp school sex trial

Trial concluded today with lawyer’s summations

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

Female goalie from Golden wins first Junior B game

Female goalie believed to be league’s first to play a full game and win

Nelson Leafs lose to Nitehawks on last-minute goal

The game was played to finish a postponed contest in December

CBT to provide 100 new child care spaces

Nelson Waldorf School is also getting money for a roof

Leafs down Border Bruins in penalty-filled game

Logan Wullum stole the show for Nelson in the 4-1 win

SKI TIPS: The key to skiing in heavy powder

Whitewater Ski Team coach Dylan Henderson shows how to navigate powder with ease

Leafs’ five-game winning streak snapped by Nitehawks

Nelson fell 4-1 on the first of three straight games this weekend

The book club master

Nelson’s Hazel Mousley takes book clubs to the next level

Glacier freezes competition in Spokane

The gymnastics club returned home with 35 medals

Most Read