One-hundred thirty-fifth in an alphabetical series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names
Earlier in this series we saw that Nelson’s Fairview neighbourhood was originally called Salisbury, or Salisbury Landing. It also had three other names.
A Victoria consortium surveyed the area as a townsite and called it Nelson City, first mentioned in an ad in the Victoria Daily Colonist of Aug. 7, 1889 (pictured at left). An auction of lots was held that month, and a beautiful colour prospectus was issued including a street map.
The avenues were numbered first through sixth plus Nelson and Kootenay, while the streets were given alphabetical names that mostly survive today: Anderson, Behnsen, Cottonwood, Davies, Elwyn, Fell, and Gordon. (Gordon St. is now Gordon Rd. and Kootenay Ave. was renamed Kokanee Ave., probably when Fairview joined the City of Nelson in 1921 — there was already a Kootenay St. in Nelson.)
Anderson St. was after Harry Anderson, the police officer and mining recorder who named his pre-emption Salisbury. Anderson Creek was also named after him. Most of the other street names were after prominent Victorians, including Thomas Elwyn, Joshua Davies, and James F. Fell, some or all of whom were involved in the townsite promotion. Additionally, there were Pine, Maple, and Oak streets.
According to the Colonist of Jan. 7, 1896, many people bought lots in Nelson City “under the impression that they were buying lots in Nelson itself.” That, combined with the fact local bills for the development weren’t paid on time, resulted in a colourful if disparaging nickname for the area: Bogustown.
Also spelled Bogus Town, it was first mentioned in the debut issue of the Nelson Miner on June 21, 1890, although by then it had probably been in use for some time: “Building operations progress rather slowly in Nelson owing to several causes … But these are no reasons why Nelson is to be outstripped in the race for commercial supremacy by ‘Bogustown.’”
Bogustown became the common name for the neighbourhood, to its owners’ chagrin.
The Nelson Miner of Aug. 7, 1897 noted: “The Nelson City Land & Improvement Company, the owners of the townsite just beyond the eastern boundary of the city limits, have relocated their survey stakes, many of the old stakes being destroyed by fire, and have opened up several streets. Nelson Ave. is being cleared from one end to the other …
“The property has been facticiously [sic] known as Bogustown, but the proper name is Lake View, given on account of the three-quarters of a mile lake front. Some time ago, many of the lots were sold to Victorians, who with their characteristic enterprise, have made no improvements there. Lake View is the only level track [sic] of land in the vicinity of Nelson.”
This is actually the first known use of Lake View, which appeared in ads for the next few weeks. Fairview first pops up in a real estate ad in the Nelson Tribune of Sept. 12, 1899, although it took a long time for people to stop calling it Bogustown.
The name is perpetuated today by the Bogustown India Grill and Lounge.
Next: Nelson, Washington
Previous installments in this series