Fiftieth in an alphabetical series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names
Christina Lake has two English place names along its eastern shore – English Cove and English Point, both apparently named for a group of young men who settled there in the 1890s.
According to Lincoln Sandner in Christina Lake: An Illustrated History, “They were, in turn, under the guidance of Angus Stewart … a very able Scotsman, well-known in this district as a newspaperman, teacher, scholar, and prospector, who was also the origin of the name Stewart Creek at Chase’s Point.”
English Point was first mentioned in a longer form in the Rossland Miner of August 13, 1898: “A store and hotel is being built at English Point Bay Landing. Why not abbreviate the long drawn-out name and call it ‘Mugg’s Landing.’ … With its hurriedly constructed hotel, saloon and store nestling under the shade of the tall trees and lapped by the waters of the lake, the scene will be typical of those brought out in the well-known drama Mugg’s Landing and why wouldn’t it be a good name for the new Christina Lake town?”
The English Point post office operated from April 1899 to August 1900, and the English Cove post office, to the southeast of English Point, from March 1909 to August 1911. J.W. Spaulding built several tourist cottages at English Cove as well as a resort hotel, and was appointed postmaster.
English Point was originally known as McRae Landing, named for Colin Scott McRae (1860-1952), a trapper and prospector in the area. It was referred to in ads in the Cascade Record beginning in late 1898.
Lincoln Sandner credits McRae with discovering the pass the Canadian Pacific Railway used in building its line from Castlegar to Christina Lake. McRae died in Greenwood at 92 and was buried there. His name survives in McRae Creek, so called by September 1896, and McRae Road.
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