BC Geographical Names

Name Details:

Name: Loos
Feature TypeClick here for a list of
Feature Types.
Locality - A named place or area, with or without a scattered population
StatusClick here for an explanation of Status.: Official
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: W side of the Fraser River just below Crescent Spur (locality), NW of McBride, Cariboo Land District
Latitude-LongitudeClick here for an explanation of Position Type.: 53°36'12''N, 120°42'33''W at the approximate population centre of this feature.
DatumClick here for an explanation of Datum.: NAD83
NTS MapClick here for an explanation of NTS Map.: 93H/10
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Origin Notes and History:

"Loos (Post Office & Station), not Cresent (Station)" identified in the 1930 BC Gazetteer, as labelled on BC Lands' map 3H, 1919 et seq. Form of name changed to Loos (Station) 12 March 1965 on 93H, as identified in the 1953 BC Gazetteer. Form of name changed to Loos (locality) 15 June 1983 on 93H/10.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway station here was originally called Crescent Island. Loos Post Office opened here 30 March 1916, named in recognition of the (failed) Allied offensive called the Battle of Loos that had taken place a few months earlier, near the Belgium border in France. The GTPR changed their station name from Crescent Island to Loos sometime later in 1916.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
Horrific losses were suffered during the Battle of Loos - an Allied offensive in late September 1915 to regain the city of Lens in Pas de Calais, France; in one four-hour period 10,000 Allied and German soldiers were killed. At battle's end no ground had been gained and 50,000 Allied troops and 25,000 German troops were dead. Troop losses are subjective, as Major-General Richard Hilton recounted at the time: "A great deal of nonsense has been written about Loos. The real tragedy of that battle was its nearness to complete success. Most of us who reached the crest of Hill 70 and survived were firmly convinced that we had broken through on that Sunday, 25th September 1915. There seemed to be nothing ahead of us but an unoccupied and incomplete trench system. The only two things that prevented our advancing into the suburbs of Lens were, firstly the exhaustion of the 'Jocks' themselves (for they had undergone a bellyfull of marching and fighting that day) and secondly the flanking fire of numerous German machine-guns, which swept that bare hill from some factory buildings in Cite St. Auguste to the south of us. All that we needed was more artillery ammunition to blast those clearly located machine-guns, and some fresh infantry to take over from the weary and depleted 'Jocks.' But, alas, neither ammunition nor reinforcements were immediately available, and the great opportunity passed." (quotation from The Battle of Loos, by Philip Warner; Wordsworth Editions, Hertfordshire; 1976).
Source: included with note
"The founding family of Loos was Ole Olson Leboe (originally from Vagland, Sweden)* and his wife Anna Marie. Around 1917 their sons Alvin, Bert, Harold and Wilf built the first Leboe Lumber Company sawmill on the edge of the Fraser River. The sawmill was the reason Loos grew from a mere station beside the tracks into a community. A post office was established in 1916 in the cabin of the postmistress, Mrs. A. Martin, at the west switch of the GTPR passing track at Loos. The post office moved into its own building in 1919, near the Leboe Lumber Company sawmill, with Ole Olson Leboe as postmaster. After the flood of 1936 mail was collected and distributed from the [Leboe's house] where the post office remained until 1950..." (Postscript 90: Commemorating 75 Years of Postal History in the Fraser-Fort George Region; Fraser-Fort George Museum Society, 1990.) The post office was closed 11 July 1951; by that time fires had destroyed the GTPR station and the Leboe Lumber Company sawmill and the population had largely relocated to the nearby community of Crescent Spur. [* NOTE: Nick Leboe, grandson of Wilfred Leboe, advises that Ole and his wife Anna Marie were from Vagland, NORWAY.] [NOTE: Ray Olson, great nephew of Ole Olson Leboe, advises that Ole was from the village of Liabo, Norway - Liabøen is the preferred Norwegian spelling.]
Source: included with note
Ole Liabo Olson was a child when he emigrated from Liabo, Norway (a village near the city of Vagland, Norway) with his parents Olaus and Ildri Liabo Olson and his brother Olaf in 1886; they came to Canada by way of the Kansas Territory. Eventually Ole, his wife Anna Marie, and their 12 children relocated from Alberta to BC: Ole and some of his relatives arrived in Loos in August 1917 and established a logging and sawmilling operation; Anna Marie arrived in May of 1918 with 5 of their youngest children. The older children stayed behind to complete the school year and joined the family during the summer of 1918. At about the same time, Ole changed the family surname from Olson to Leboe (their 13th child, Wilfred, was born in 1919 and given the Leboe surname, as were two others). In February 1921 the Prince George Citizen newspaper reported that the Leboe Lumber Company had a bankruptcy sale, and from that time until the mid 1930's, theirs was basically an agrarian existence. Bert and Wilfred operated a sawmill at Loos in the late 1930's and then relocated two miles east in 1940 to Crescent Spur; when the Leboe Brothers Sawmill opened at Crescent Spur, most of the community at Loos relocated there. When the Crescent Spur Post Office was opened [29 December 1944], my information is that Wilfred Leboe was postmaster. Ole Leboe died in 1937 at age 57, and Anna Marie died in 1978 at age 92. The original Leboe home at Loos, built in 1936, is still owned and occupied by a great granddaughter of Ole and Anna's. [Biographical information shared May 2014 by great nephew Ray Olson, citing family histories collected by Alvin Leboe (Ole and Anna’s 3rd child), and compiled into the book "From Liaboe to Loos and Beyond" © Ray Olson, 2011.]
Source: included with note