BC Geographical Names

Name Details:

Name: Saltspring Island
Feature TypeClick here for a list of
Feature Types.
:
Island - Land area surrounded by water or marsh
StatusClick here for an explanation of Status.: Official
Relative Location: Largest of the Gulf Islands, E of Duncan off SE side of Vancouver Island, Saltspring Island Land District
Latitude-LongitudeClick here for an explanation of Position Type.: 48°48'50''N, 123°29'50''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
DatumClick here for an explanation of Datum.: NAD83
NTS MapClick here for an explanation of NTS Map.: 92B/14
Related MapClick here for an explanation of Related Maps.: 92B/11
92B/12
92B/13
92B/14
  Nearby names within
  

Origin Notes and History:

Saltspring Island adopted by the Geographic Board of Canada 1 March 1910 on Geological Survey sheet 21A, Saanich. Local preference continues to be divided more or less evenly between the 1-word and 2-word form: Saltspring or Salt Spring.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
Had been labelled "Chuan Island" on "Plan to accompany the Report of a Canoe Expedition along the East Coast of Vancouver Island" by Governor James Douglas, 1854; spelled "Chouan" elsewhere. The name "Saltspring" was given early by Hudson's Bay Company officers who were interested in obtaining salt from the fourteen briny springs on this island. Labelled "Saltspring Island" on Joseph Pemberton's "Map of Southeastern Vancouver Island", produced for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1855, and on a map to accompany Capt. W. Colquhoun Grant's "Description of Vancouver Island", 1856.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
"Saltspring Island... given by the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company, because a number of springs of brine (3,446 grains of salt to the imperial gallon) exist on the island, was changed by Captain Richards on surveying the surrounding waters in 1859, to 'Admiral island'. The first settlers arrived on the island in 1859. Locally, notwithstanding the surveyor's change, the island has always been known as Saltspring, and consequently this name was re-adopted by the Geographic Board of Canada in 1905..." [note that "Saltspring Island" was not actually adopted by the Geographic Board of Canada until 1 March 1910, according to a June 1910 letter from GBC, file V.1.10 ]
Source: Walbran, John T; British Columbia Coast Names, 1592-1906: their origin and history; Ottawa, 1909 (republished for the Vancouver Public Library by J.J. Douglas Ltd, Vancouver, 1971)
"Regarding the name of Admiral island, Captain Richards when surveying here evidently wished to associate the island with Rear Admiral Baynes, commanding at the time, 1857-1860, the Pacific station, his flagship, staff and officers etc. He therefore named the highest mountain Baynes, and the island Admiral; Ganges harbour after the flagship; Fulford harbour after the captain; Burgoyne bay after the commander; Southey point after the admiral's secretary; Mount Bruce after the previous commander in chief; and Cape Keppel after a friend of Admiral Baynes."
Source: Walbran, John T; British Columbia Coast Names, 1592-1906: their origin and history; Ottawa, 1909 (republished for the Vancouver Public Library by J.J. Douglas Ltd, Vancouver, 1971)
Ranfurley Island was the Hudson's Bay Company name for Saltspring Island. (from SHALE: Journal of the Gabriola Historial & Museum Society; Nick Doe editor)
Source: included with note