BC Geographical Names

Name Details:

Name: Spallumcheen
Feature TypeClick here for a list of
Feature Types.
:
District Municipality (1) - A populated place with legally defined boundaries, incorporated under the provincial Municipal Ac
StatusClick here for an explanation of Status.: Official
Pronounced: SPALL um-sheen
Relative Location: N of Vernon, between Armstong and Enderby, Kamloops Division Yale Land District
Latitude-LongitudeClick here for an explanation of Position Type.: 50°24'09''N, 119°13'03''W at the approximate location of the Municipal Hall.
DatumClick here for an explanation of Datum.: NAD83
NTS MapClick here for an explanation of NTS Map.: 82L/6
Related MapClick here for an explanation of Related Maps.: 82L/11
82L/6
  Nearby names within
  

Origin Notes and History:

The Corporation of the District of Spallumcheen was incorporated 21 July 1892, to be known as the Township of Spallumcheen. "Spallumcheen (Municipal District)" adopted in the 18th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1924. Spallumcheen (District Municipality) re-approved 7 February 1951 on 82L/SW.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
Spallamucheen Post Office was opened 1 July 1881, G.M. Wallace postmaster. The Lansdowne Hotel was constructed on an adjacent property and opened 1 July 1885. Spelling of post office name was changed to Spallumcheen in February 1892, to agree with the letters of incorporation for the District of Spallumcheen, formalized 6 months earlier. At incorporation, this was the first rural municipality in the interior of BC, Donald Graham first reeve. Spallumcheen Post Office closed 20 July 1908.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
A corruption of the Indian "Spil-a-mi-shine" meaning "flat mouth". (Geological Survey Report 1877-78, by G.M. Dawson) From the Shuswap spil-a-mi-shine, "flat mouth," or from the Shuswap spal-lum-shin, "meadow flat." The name has had various spellings, often with four syllables. Claudet's Report of his trip to Cherry Creek in 1867, refers to the river as "Spellmacheen". (12th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 1948, citing G.M. Dawson's 1877-78 Geological Survey Report, p.27B; also Dawson, "Shuswap", 43; Ok, 6:136-138, 10:66).
Source: Provincial Archives of BC "Place Names File" compiled 1945-1950 by A.G. Harvey from various sources, with subsequent additions
"Derived from the Shuswap Indian word spalmtsin, meaning 'flat area along edge.' (The Okanagan Indian word spelemtsin has the same meaning, and from it has come Spillimacheen River. For many years the Shuswap River, which flows into Mara Lake, was known as the Spallamcheen River."
Source: Akrigg, Helen B. and Akrigg, G.P.V; British Columbia Place Names; Sono Nis Press, Victoria 1986 /or University of British Columbia Press 1997
"Beautiful river bank" (information from Isaac Harris, published in Vernon News, 18 July 1918). Compare with: "The word Spallumcheen is Indian in origin and signifies in the Indian language 'the meeting of the waters'. This no doubt refers to the low lying land joining the Columbia and Fraser River drainage basins located approximately one mile south of Armstrong where the two drainage streams split - one flowing south the other north." (City of Armstrong web site, December 1999)
Source: included with note
Halfway between Enderby and Armstrong, three draws cross the road. Once a year a man named Polson disappeared up one of the draws and would return two months later with more than $10,000 in gold that he had panned from a side creek. Polson is reported to have stated that he never found the mother lode. He eluded those who tried to trail him. Offers were made to buy the location of the creek but Polson by then was too old to lead anyone to it, and the route too complicated to draft; he died without revealing the location. (information condensed from "Lost Treasure in British Columbia" by L. Lazeo; Victoria 1973; presented at BC Folklore Society's website http://collections.ic.gc.ca/folklore/)
Source: included with note