This ad appeared in Revelstoke’s Kootenay Star on April 1

This ad appeared in Revelstoke’s Kootenay Star on April 1

Lardo also found in Idaho

The origin of the US town of Lardo is just as mysterious as its Canadian counterparts.

One-hundred fourteenth in a semi-alphabetical series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names

Last week we looked at the little-known battle between Lardo (on Kootenay Lake) and Lardeau (on the northeast arm of Upper Arrow Lake) over the right to use the name.

The towns’ intransigence meant that by 1895, neither received the post office they desired. However, that year MP John Mara wrote the postmaster general, requesting an office be opened at Lardeau. The department asked BC postal inspector E.H. Fletcher to look into it, but he replied: “I am informed that the townsite has not been built upon to any extent within the past year, nor has the the population increased. In fact I am given to understand that there are no more than half a dozen people living there.”

There is some indication it was nevertheless approved, for the Kootenay Mail of May 2, 1896 reported: “Lardeau City has at last been made a post office to commence business May 1st. C. Menhenick, postmaster.” However, it didn’t open and Lardeau soon ceased to exist. Its buildings were moved to the new nearby town of Comaplix (some sources mistakenly state they were actually the same place).

While promoters of the Lardeau townsite insisted on that name, others in the area weren’t so enamoured with it. The Revelstoke Herald of April 3, 1897 reported: “The people of Thomson’s Landing are thinking of petitioning the government to change the name of this mining district from Lardeau to one more appropriate. This is not Lardeau mining district except on a government map. It is Fish Creek and Upper Arrow Lake district and never can be anything else.”

The paper accused the townsite owners of causing confusion by “stealing a name from a neighbouring district” and declared “we don’t require the services of a borrowed name to bring the district to the front … We don’t want the name Lardeau for this district. It is all right where it belongs, but it has always been a hoodoo to those who stole it from its rightful owners.”

Lardeau, they said, was the country around the north and south forks of the upper and lower Lardeau River and Trout Lake.

“Call this district Fish Creek, Arrowhead, Comaplix, or Barnato,” the paper said. “Anything but Lardeau for that it can never be.”

In 1899, a post office finally opened at Lardo. It changed its name to Lardeau in 1947 and closed in 1967 with the establishment of the Meadow Creek post office.

Coincidentally, there was a Lardo on Payette Lake in central Idaho. A post office operated there from 1889 to 1917. The origin of its name is hazy, although Frank P. Rowland related this story in his 1960 book Founding of McCall, Idaho:

“A huge painting in the Shore Lodge dining room shows a team of horses running away with a wagon load of freight consisting of sacks of flour and buckets of lard in boxes. The boxes have broken open and the lids have been knocked off the cans. The flour sacks have burst, the flour mixing with the lard making a dough — lard and dough — Lard, Oh! Lardo.”

Rowland said he tried hard to prove or disprove the story. He was initially skeptical, noting it wasn’t told until many years after the fact, but eventually came to believe it was true.

Today Lardo is considered the western part of the town of McCall.

Previous installments in this series





Annable, Apex, and Arrow Park

Annable, revisited


Applegrove, Appleby, and Appledale revisited

Argenta and Arrowhead


Bakers, Birds, and Bosun Landing


Bannock City, Basin City, and Bear Lake City



Bealby Point

Bealby Point (aka Florence Park) revisited

Belford and Blewett

Beaverdell and Billings

Birchbank and Birchdale

Blueberry and Bonnington

Boswell, Bosworth, Boulder Mill, and Broadwater



Brooklyn, Brouse, and Burnt Flat


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

Champion Creek revisited, again


Columbia City, Columbia Gardens, and Columbia Park


Cooper Creek and Corra Linn

Crawford Bay and Comaplix revisited

Crescent Valley and Craigtown


Dawson, Deadwood, and Deanshaven

Deer Park

East Arrow Park and Edgewood


English Cove and English Point



Evans Creek and Evansport

Falls City




Ferguson, revisited


Forslund, Fosthall, and Fairview

Fort Shepherd vs. Fort Sheppard, Part 1

Fort Shepherd vs. Fort Sheppard, Part 2

Fort Sheppard, revisited

Fraser’s Landing and Franklin


Fruitvale and Fraine

Galena Bay



Gilpin and Glade

Gladstone and Gerrard, revisited

Glendevon and Graham Landing

Gloster City

Goldfields and Gold Hill

Grand Forks, Part 1

Grand Forks, Part 2

Granite Siding and Granite City

Gray Creek, Part 1

Gray Creek, Part 2

Gray Creek, revisited

Green City


Halcyon Hot Springs

Hall Siding and Healy’s Landing


Hartford Junction


Howser, Part 1

Howser, Part 2

Howser, Part 3

Howser, Part 4

Hudu Valley, Huntingtdon, and Healy’s Landing revisited

Inonoaklin Valley (aka Fire Valley)

Jersey, Johnsons Landing, and Jubilee Point

Kaslo, Part 1

Kaslo, Part 2

Kaslo, Part 3

Kaslo, Part 4

Kettle River, Part 1

Kettle River, Part 2

Kinnaird, Part 1

Kinnaird, Part 2

Kitto Landing

Kokanee and Keen

Kootenay Bay, Kraft, and Krestova

Kuskonook, Part 1

Kuskonook, Part 2

Kuskonook (and Kuskanax), Part 3

Labarthe, Lafferty, and Longbeach

Lardeau, Part 1

Lardeau, Part 2

Lardeau, Part 3