Vernon

Feature Type:City - A populated place with legally defined boundaries, incorporated as a city municipality under the provincial Municipal Act.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: NE side of Okanagan Lake, Osoyoos Division Yale Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 50°15'57''N, 119°16'18''W at the approximate location of the Municipal Hall.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 82L/6
Related Maps: 82L/3
82L/6

Origin Notes and History:

Incorporated as a City municipality 30 December 1892; Vernon (City) confirmed in the 17th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1922, and 7 February 1951 on 82 L/SW.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Until 1885 when the CPR was completed to the coast, trains from the east ran only as far as this place; passengers then travelled via sternwheeler to 19 landings on Okanagan Lake, or by wagon road to Kamloops thence to the Interior or the coast. Priest Valley Post Office opened 1 November 1884; renamed Vernon Post Office 1 November 1887. See also the municipality's own internet site. Link through www.civicnet.gov.bc.ca

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Originally known as Priests Valley, then as Centreville and finally the name was changed to the present one in the '80's after Forbes G. Vernon (some-time BC Minister of Mines) and his brother Charles, both of whom owned large properties in the district. (17th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 1922, quoting information provided by C. Lafroy, postmaster).

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Formerly Priest's Valley because, after Okanagan Mission was established in 1860, the priests had an out-station here; also [formerly known as] Forge Valley because of a blacksmith's shop on the roadside at Price Ellison's farm. The Post Office name was changed to Vernon 1 November 1887, after Forbes George Vernon, chief commissioner of lands and works for British Columbia, who with his brother, Charles, both British Army officers, came to BC in 1863. They mined at Cherry Creek in 1864 and held land in partnership with D.F. Houghton, including the famous Coldstream Ranch of which F.G. Vernon eventually became the sole owner. (12th Report of the Okanagan Historical Society, 1948, citing Ok. 6:138-140, 284; GB 18). See also Akrigg's British Columbia Place Names.

Source: included with note