PLACE NAMES: Oro

Oro, which means gold in Italian and Spanish, was a townsite at the junction of Lemon and Crusader Creeks in the Slocan Valley.

The Oro townsite on Lemon Creek had many lots that were probably never cleared much less built upon.

One hundred forty-third in an alphabetical series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names

Oro, which means gold in Italian and Spanish, was a townsite at the junction of Lemon and Crusader Creeks in the Slocan Valley. It was surveyed by John McLatchie on Aug. 17, 1898 and mentioned, unfavorably, one week later in the Northport News:

“Otto Arnold returned Saturday from a trip to Oro, a camp back of Nelson, BC. The reason he went there was because he saw an article in the Spokesman Review saying that considerable work was being done there in the mines, consequently he thought it might be a good place to engage in the saloon business. When he arrived at his destination he found the town was composed of one building, occupied as a hotel and bar, and very few men in that section of the country. It is needless to say he left in disgust.”

The townsite belonged to the Oro Gold Mining and Milling Co., incorporated on April 20, 1898, which owned the Golden Wedge mine. The local manager, G.A. Farini, knew little about mining but a lot about funambulism — nearly 40 years earlier, as the Great Farini, he walked over Niagara Falls on a tightrope. An avenue in the Oro townsite was named after him. (There was also a Farini St. in the phantom townsite of Vevey on Slocan Lake, which we’ll get to later in this series.)

Oro had some other interesting street names, mostly after local mines and claims: Athabaska, Silver King, Lucky George, Black Prince, Maple Leaf, Two Friends, Cold Blow, Caledonia, and St. Louis, plus Oro, Alpine, Wing, Bank, and Forty-Five.

While Oro never grew very big, for a couple of years it did have a sawmill, stamp mill, mine office, and assay office. An application for a post office was referred to the postal inspector on Feb. 16, 1899 but rejected for lack of a postmaster.

The Slocan Drill of March 27, 1903 reported: “J. Fred Ritchie, of Rossland, has staked three timber limits at the head of Lemon creek, taking in the Oro townsite and stamp mill.”

The same paper announced the town’s demise on Oct. 21, 1904: “As a result of the recent sale of delinquent lands … the Oro townsite as well as that owned by J. Lawrence, both on Lemon Creek, have reverted to the government.”

A late mention of Oro — and an apparent alternate name — appeared in the Nelson Daily News of Aug. 7, 1937: “Five miles farther down the trail at Oro or Lemon City a Mr. Malcolm is continuing the road construction to the Golden Wedge property which he has bought.”

Oro is sometimes confused with another townsite at the confluence of Lemon and Summit creeks, known as Summit or just Lemon Creek.

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

New Denver, Part 2

Niagara

Oasis and Oatescott

Ootischenia

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