One-hundred and sixth in a semi-alphabetical series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names
Kootenay Bay, the eastern terminal of the Kootenay Lake ferry (not Crawford Bay, as many people inexplicably believe) was originally known as Lynchville.
According to Terry Turner and Susan Hulland in Impressions of the Past, it was named after its only resident, a Mr. Lynch “who made his living by cutting cordwood for the Kootenay Lake steamboats.”
Ted Affleck in Kootenay Lake Chronicles writes that “J. Lynch … built a house on the lakeshore in the early 1900s. This part of the lakeshore, marked by a small rocky knob was renamed Kootenay Bay after Lynch departed, having lost his house and possessions in a fire.”
John Lynch applied in June 1897 with W.T. McDonald and George W. Orchard for land “on the east shore of Kootenay Lake about 3½ miles north of Pilot Bay.”
That summer he was also embroiled in a lawsuit against J.A. Sayward, “a claim under an agreement for fixing up the Pilot Bay sawmill,” which was settled out of court.
We don’t know anything else about him.
There are further references in 1901 to a John Lynch who was involved in mining around Rossland and a John Lynch who represented the Taylor air compressor company, but it’s not clear if either was the same man.
Lynchville never showed up in the civic directory but was referred to by that name in the BC government sessional papers from 1906-11.
The Kootenaian of May 7, 1908 reported: “The opening of a post office at Lynchville, giving direct mail connection with that section, places another lever in the hands of our merchants to corral the lake trade with …”
By then, however, the name had changed. The Kootenaian of May 28 added: “Kootenay Bay, as Lynchville has now been officially christened, boasts the dignity of a post office …”
But the old name hung on for a while, as demonstrated in the Nelson Daily News of Nov. 21, 1908: “A resident of Lynchville and his wife had what was to them an exciting experience one evening recently …”
Kootenay Bay was first mentioned in a dispatch that appeared in many US newspapers on July 25, 1897: “This afternoon the Omaha & Grant Smetling company announces that it has completed the purchase of the Pilot Bay Smelting company’s plant at Kootenay Bay, British Columbia.” However, there are no other known examples until 1908.
(The etymology of Kootenay is so complicated that we’ll leave it to the end of this series, but suffice it to say that it comes from the Blackfoot word for Ktunaxa.)
In 1947, the eastern Kootenay Lake ferry terminal moved from Gray Creek to Kootenay Bay. The post office closed May 31, 1990 despite community protests.
This is the now-seldom-used name of the railway siding at Castlegar’s Celgar pulp mill. A clipping from an unidentified newspaper of April 22, 1959 in the Elsie Turnbull fonds at Selkirk College states: “Kraft will be the name of the new CPR station on its Kettle Valley line. It will be at the site of Celgar …”
Bleached kraft pulp is Celgar’s principal product. Kraft is the German word for force. The kraft process was invented in 1879.
This is one of the few Doukhobor place names still in common use.
It’s first mentioned in Russian in a letter held by Simon Fraser University dated Oct. 22, 1909 and entitled: “A letter from Dolina Krestova to all brothers and sisters from Peter Verigin.”
The first known English transliteration is in the Trail News of Sept. 13, 1918.
According to Jon Kalmakoff’s Doukhobor Genealogy Website, the name meant “valley of the cross.” It was later known as Krestovoye and then Krestova.
For a long time, it was interchangeably transliterated as Crestova. Examples of the latter spelling can be found from the 1930s through the 1960s.
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