PLACE NAMES: New Denver, part 2

There’s no mystery about New Denver’s origin: it comes from Denver, Col.

The New Denver wharf is seen in a ca. 1910s postcard. It’s not clear what occasion brought everyone out in their finest

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

Last week we saw that New Denver was originally called Slocan City and Eldorado.

There is some indication it might have also been known as Carpenter Creek. Following the auction of townsite lots, the Nelson Miner of July 23, 1892 reported: “The greatest good feeling was maintained among the bidders, and pioneers who had built cabins on lots were allowed to have them at the upset price. The same courtesy was extended to Eli Carpenter, after whom Carpenter Creek was called and whose name the townsite bore for a longtime.”

The only other contemporary references to the town by that name appeared in the Spokane Review of May 27, 1892. Eric C. Carpenter (no relation to Eli) was quoted as saying The trail now nearly completed from Nakusp creek to the north end of Slocan lake will make Carpenter Creek the town of Slocan. A steamer is nearly completed which will carry passengers and freight from Carpenter Creek to the Nakusp trail. We shall then get goods cheaper at Carpenter Creek than they do at present in Nelson … The British Columbia government has surveyed Carpenter Creek townsite and will hold an auction sale soon.”

In any case, it was soon known as New Denver, and there’s no mystery about its origin: it comes from Denver, Col., which in 1892 was a mining metropolis and was in turn named for Kansas Territorial governor James W. Denver (who coincidentally died only a few weeks after New Denver was christened). His great great grandson was Gilligan’s Island star Bob Denver.

The Kaslo Claim of July 21, 1893 optimistically predicted: “New Denver bids fair to soon rival the city from which she takes her name.”

Who chose the names Eldorado and New Denver? In a letter to the Geographic Survey of Canada in 1905, William Thomlinson attributed the former to Charles E. Perry, who laid out the townsite. However, Eldorado appears to have predated Perry’s arrival. William Hunter and W.C. McKinnon are likelier candidates, since the earliest use of Eldorado was in ads for their store.

There are a couple of suspects for choosing New Denver: prospector Thomas Lothian (also spelled Lowthian and Latheen) and gold commissioner Napolean Fitzstubbs. Lothian was in fact from Denver, although the notion he was responsible for the name didn’t appear until 1946, in a booklet entitled New Denver: Eldorado of the Past: “Most people did not like the name Eldorado. They thought it unsuitable especially as there was no gold, so they had a meeting to talk over another name Thomas Latheen suggested the name New Denver Latheen said the town would grow and become even greater than Denver, Col.”

While Lothian may have suggested the name, Fitzstubbs would have been in a position to make it official. Thomlinson’s 1905 letter credited New Denver to Fitzstubbs, without mentioning Lothian.

An application for a post office at New Denver was submitted on July 18, 1892. It was authorized on Aug. 24 of that year and opened Sept. 1. The name Eldorado survives in Eldorado Ave.

Ethnographers Verne Ray and James Teit also recorded TakElExaitcEkst as the name of a Sinixt village midway up Slocan Lake, near New Denver.

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

Bealby Point (aka Florence Park) revisited

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

Champion Creek revisited, again

Columbia

Columbia City, Columbia Gardens, and Columbia Park

Comaplix

Cooper Creek and Corra Linn

Crawford Bay and Comaplix revisited

Crescent Valley and Craigtown

Davenport

Dawson, Deadwood, and Deanshaven

Deer Park

East Arrow Park and Edgewood

Eholt

English Cove and English Point

Enterprise

Erie

Evans Creek and Evansport

Falls City

Farron

Fauquier

Ferguson

Ferguson, revisited

Fife

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

Fredericton

Fruitvale and Fraine

Galena Bay

Genelle

Gerrard

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

Greenwood

Halcyon Hot Springs

Hall Siding and Healy’s Landing

Harrop

Hartford Junction

Hills

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

Koch Siding and Keen

Kokanee

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

Lardeau, Part 4

Lebahdo

Lemon Creek, Part 1

Lemon Creek, Part 2

Lemon Creek, Part 3

Makinsons Landing and Marblehead

McDonalds Landing, McGuigan, and Meadow Creek

Meadows, Melville, and Miles’ Ferry

Midway

Mineral City and Minton

Mirror Lake and Molly Gibson Landing

Montgomery and Monte Carlo, Part 1

Montgomery and Monte Carlo, Part 2

Montrose and Myncaster

Nakusp, Part 1

Nakusp, Part 2

Nashville

Needles

Nelson, Part 1

Nelson, Part 2

Nelson, Part 3

Nelson, Part 4

Nelson, Wash.

Nelway and New Galway

New Denver, Part 1

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