One-hundred fifty-fifth in an alphabetical series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names
Of the few remaining railway siding signs in this area, Poupore surely ranks as the oddest. Located just south of the turnoff to Blueberry Creek on Highway 22, the sign is passed by hundreds of vehicles daily yet the name hardly rings a bell.
James (pictured below) came west by 1891, where he married Adeline Genelle of the prominent West Kootenay lumbering family. Poupore worked for his in-laws, was president of a Sandon mining company, and started a Nelson firm, Poupore, McVeigh & Co., that helped build the Slocan branch of the Columbia and Kootenay Railway. He also co-founded the Yale-Columbia Lumber Co. in 1899.
The earliest known mention of his namesake siding is in the Vancouver Daily World of Dec. 8, 1908, in a list of places on the Columbia River and Arrow Lakes. It’s probably no coincidence that Poupore and Genelle were nearby, but while a sawmill was established at Genelle and a community eventually developed there, Poupore was never more than a flag station.
The name, however, is sometimes applied to what is otherwise known as Champion Creek, or Blagodatnoye, on the east side of the river.
This spot on Kootenay Lake’s North Shore, five miles from Nelson, was home to a dynamite powder works. C.G. Griffin started the operation and sold it to the Ontario Powder Co. in January 1900. The name Powder Point first appeared in the Nelson Tribune on March 19 that year among the hotel arrivals.
The Tribune of June 25 reported: “The Ontario Powder Company is adding a carpenter shop to its plant. This makes six buildings in all at Powder Point. The concern is averaging a ton of dynamite daily.”
The Powder Point post office operated from April 4, 1903 to Jan. 8, 1904, with Richard R. Lowe as postmaster. The latest known reference is in the Nelson Daily Canadian of Feb. 27, 1907, noting W.T. Buggins of Powder Point was at the Grand Central Hotel in Nelson.
An online map of Kootenay Lake sternwheeler landings calls the spot “Emory’s (Ontario Powder Point).”
The Nelson Daily Miner of Nov. 3, 1901 noted: “At Powder Point, considerable work is being done by the ranchers who have taken up land in the vicinity. A. Walley, of Emory & Walley, this week planted 300 fruit trees on the section owned by him there …”
This was Arthur Dunham Emory (1866-1939) and Albert Thomas Walley (1874-1927), who founded Emory’s Men’s Wear in 1897 in Nelson. The store was operated by three generations at four locations.
This place in the McGuigan Basin of the Slocan was about three miles southwest of and 3,000 feet above the McGuigan townsite, on the wagon road to the Rambler mine.
It was named for John Wesley Power (1858-1933), who ran a general store there, owned a packing and freighting business, and served as mayor of Kaslo in 1910. (He is pictured below with wife Helen in an undated photo courtesy Karen Richardson and Carol Juarez.)
Despite its location, a post office application was submitted on May 4, 1901. A few weeks later the postal inspector wrote: “The locality known as Power’s Camp is merely a stopping place for teamsters employed in hauling ore from the mines to the railway at McGuigan … There does not appear to be any necessity at present for the establishment of a post office at that place, as many of the mines are closed down or working a small force only.”
In May 1902, a huge avalanche struck, killing blacksmith William T. Douglas, injuring Power and a man named S. McDonald and, according to the Mining Review, “spreading general destruction in its downward course … The slide apparently was not quite contented with the foregoing havoc; but completely carried away Powers’ camp comprising four stables, store and shacks also killing 17 head of pack horses and mules and a large number of hogs. In fact there remains not a vestige of anything to mark the place where once stood the camp but one solitary building overlooked by this rampant avalanche of snow and timbers …”
Power’s Camp was evidently rebuilt at a different location nearby. The Vancouver Daily World of July 16 stated: “Powers’ camp, in McGuigan basin, is the latest boom town in the Slocan. A new store, bunk house, cook house, stables, and several other buildings have been built during the past two weeks and the camp is a busy place.”
But it was never mentioned again.
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